Food is for weather

We had a spate of hot, hot days last month and I think another might be on its way. Sharing two ice-cube salads and a semifreddo one, all snappy as they are refreshing, that I’ve used to keep my cool:

Cucumber Peanut Salad (above)

A mountain of tiny cut cukes (Heidi says to make them like “pencil erasers,”) brightened with a squeeze of lemon, sprinkled with serrano chile and cilantro, and drizzled with a dressing of Indian flavors–then topped at the last minute with lightly-toasted peanuts and coconut.  Recipe on 101cookbooks.  Comes together faster than you’d think.  We had this with poi supper for Aunt Marjorie’s moving-out party.

Watermelon with Lime and Jalapeno

A tiny twist on a great and easy recipe from SNE.  Shower watermelon with the juice of a lime (with a little salt) and finely-diced jalapeno.  This could work as a salsa, a salad, a dessert… (In the book, no jalapeno: Heidi splashes with a drop of rosewater and tops it very prettily with bright green pistachios.)  Pool party perfect.

Caprese soft serve

At a Parisian aunt’s suggestion (she said use a pseudonym, and suggested Aunty Batty), I made basil ice cream–but substituted yogurt for half of the custard, and didn’t bother to measure the salt–and arrived at something distinctly in the neighborhood of mozzarella.  So summoned the ripest of my vine, and the last of the Provencal granola.  I wonder how far I could push this into yogurt territory–what a summer lunch it would be!

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