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I love summer. As far as I can remember, this is one of my favorite times of the year.

MahiMahi

I love the long daylight hours, the smell of dusk when the garden revives itself from the heat under the summer sun. I love its colors, the sun ripened berries and the crisp vegetables that taste glorious only at this time of year. If it could be this way year round I would be happy!

In the kitchen the counters are packed with summer produce from the market’s and vegetables with dirt still clinging to them right out of the garden. It is times like these that become an impromptu moment of creativity.

With a simple recipe such as this, requires care in finding the freshest ingredients. I wanted this recipe to have the perfect blackberries to accompany the rich nature of mahi mahi, and the sweetest, cucumbers right off of the vine.

What would be more perfect than freshly clipped micro greens to sprinkle over the fish. I adore these tender little pickings; with a steady supply they find themselves everywhere and in just about every recipe.  And I can always count on taking a few steps outside to grab a few plucks herbs from the kitchen garden.

This is summer! It is all about seasonally curated edibles. With such abundance, everything is bursting with bounty. Every kitchen garden, every herb pot and market stand.  This is what makes summer so special.

Who wouldn’t want to enjoy every fresh herb, every tender berry and every bit of sunshine?

Thank you Sonia for having me as a guest on your site! This post can be seen here and there is much more so take a look around!

Mahi Mahi, Blackberry-Cucumber Salad with a Grapefruit Vinaigrette

1 large grapefruit, reserve 1 teaspoon of zest

4 small mahi mahi fillets

2 tablespoons grape seed oil

1/3 cup cucumber, diced

½ cup blackberries, halved

1 handful of micro greens

2 Tablespoons small whole opal basil leaves

2 Tablespoons small whole Thai basil leaves

a few sprigs of chervil [optional]

Grapefruit vinaigrette

2 Tablespoons avocado oil or grape seed oil

2 Tablespoons grapefruit vinegar or grapefruit juice

1 teaspoon grape fruit zest

½ teaspoon grainy mustard

¼ teaspoon crushed chilies or piment d’espelette

¼ teaspoon sea salt

¼ – ½ teaspoon sugar [to taste] [omit if using grapefruit vinegar]

freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Marinate fish with the juice from the grapefruit for 10 minutes.

2. Discard marinade and place the fish filets on a parchment lined baking pan.  Coat with grape seed oil.

2. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3. Roast in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Alternatively, grill the mahi mahi.

4. Meanwhile whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients except the oil in a bowl.

5. Slowly drizzle oil in while whisking vigorously until emulsified.

6. Place fish on a serving platter and garnish with blackberries, cucumbers, micro greens and herbs. Drizzle with vinaigrette.

I know I have not found the time to tell you much about what I’ve cooked this summer. I have been away working on some special projects. Even in the tightest of schedules I can always find a few moments, inspired by market stands bursting with summer goodness a way to cook.

 

It has been a summer of fanciful salads, chilling soups, delicate sweet tarts; some savory and more than I can count the delightful Sunday suppers with friends. So many good things come out of summer despite the heat, I love it.

 

Stone Fruit Tarts w/ Coconut Pastry Cream & Pistachios

Summer Inspired Fruit Salad

Having fun with heirloom tomatoes.

An Heirloom Tomato Tart.

Coconut, Strawberry & Red Currant Ice Cream.

One recipe this summer I fell in love with are these stone fruit crumbles filled with rainier cherries, Freestone peaches, red currants and raspberries. Why not settle for just a one fruit crumble when you can have them all so beautifully baked under tender crumbs. They taste of summer and are basically the easiest thing on this earth to make.

Stone Fruit & Summer Berry Crumble

During the days of summer one cannot help but pick the best sun-ripened fruit for a tart or pluck a few fragrant herbs from the garden to season hand-harvested tomatoes. Simple joys, simply delicious!

So here you are, take a peek and enjoy these summer snapshots.

Enjoy!

Stone Fruit & Berry Crumble Recipe [serves 4]

4 medium peaches, pitted & cut into ½ inch pieces

½ cup Rainier cherries, halved & pitted

1/3 cup whole red raspberries

1/3 cup whole golden raspberries

¼ cup red currants

2 Tablespoons cane sugar

1 ½ Tablespoons arrowroot powder

1 vanilla bean, split & seeds removed [reserve pod for another use]

2 teaspoon raspberry vinegar

gluten-free Crumble Recipe

¼ cup amaranth flour

¼ cup sorghum flour

3 Tablespoons cane sugar

4 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 350°F.

preparing the crumble:

1. Mix together the flours, sugar and sea salt in a bowl.

2. Cut cold butter into the mixture. I like to grate the butter and work it into a crumbling mixture with my fingertips. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

preparing the fruit:

1. Whisk together sugar, arrowroot and vanilla seeds.

2. Toss mixture with prepared fruit, add vinegar and allow to macerate for 10-15 minutes.

3. Evenly divide fruit into four baking bowls or oven-safe dishes.

4. Top with crumble and bake for 35-40 minutes or until fruit is bubbling and crumble is golden.

Enjoy with soft whipped cream or ice cream.

Stone Fruit Tarts w/ Coconut Pastry Cream [makes approx. 8-4 inch tarts]

Assorted fresh fruit [such as cherries, peaches, red currants…]

Coconut Pastry Cream

1 ½ cups glutted-free baking mix [bottom of post]

½ cup almond meal

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 large egg

¼ teaspoon sea salt

preparating the dough:

1. In a food processor combine butter and confectioner’s sugar together until fluffy, 2 minutes.

2. Add egg and sea salt and process for another minute or so.

3. Add flour and almond meal, pulse just until combined, approximately 5 seconds.

4. Dump bowl onto a work surface and knead just to form a ball.

5. Form dough into a log and chill for 4 hours.

baking the tart shells:

1. Cut dough into thin slices and press into tart shell to an eight inch thickness, do not roll out.

Left over tart dough can be frozen for impromptu tarts latter!

2. Dock bottoms of tarts and chill for 30 minutes.

3. Bake shells at 350°F from chill for 12-13 minutes or until edges start to turn golden.

4. Cool for a few minutes in the tart pans, then unmold and cool completely on a cooling rack.

assembling tarts:

Spoon a layer of coconut pastry cream into each tart and arrange fruit; sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Once tarts are assembled they should be eaten as soon as possible.

Coconut Pastry Cream

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk [from carton]

1/2 cup regular coconut milk [from cans]

1 1/2 Tablspoons corn starch

3 Tablespoons cane sugar

1 large egg

1/4 cup coconut puree [such as Boiron Brand]

3 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed

1. Place coconut milk in a small sauce pan and bring just to a boil

2. Meanwhile, whisk together corn starch and sugar in a bowl.

3. Beat in egg until incorporated and sugar is dissolved.

4. Slowly pour hot coconut milk into egg-sugar mixture while whisking.

5. Return mixture to saucepan and bring to a gentle boil, whisking constantly.

6. Once coconut mixture thicken strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl.

7. Stir in coconut puree and cold butter until incorporated.

8. Cover cream with a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface, chill.

 

 

Creamy mousse, coconut rum soaked lady fingers, rainier cherries and passion fruit, perfect for a hot summer afternoon.

I am always inspired by the flavors and colors of summer. It’s easy to imagine what to eat when there are so many wonderful things available this time of year.

Peaches, plums, cherries and other splendid things. I wouldn’t know what I would do without summer.

Snacking on baskets of summer fruits is nostalgic. Growing up foraging for days in the hidden fruit patches was what we did. The experience was special. Wild fruits bursting with flavor had something extra than being delicious, something so natural as if touched by magic.

Besides loving the season of fruitfulness this mousse dessert soaked with coconut rum is refreshing. However I am still thinking of my friend d’s mixed berry pie we all shared the other week during dinner.  With wild berries now available, I might just make a berry pie for a picnic with friends.

For now, timing is perfect for cooking easy, vibrantly flavored recipes so simple that makes summer extra special.

Lots of fresh recipes I can’t wait to share.

Do you have any fond memories of summer?

Coconut Mousse Recipe [Serves 6]

6 Tablespoons coconut puree*

3 Tablespoons cold water

¾ teaspoon granular gelatin

¾ cup heavy whipping cream

1-2 teaspoons cane sugar

24 gluten-free lady fingers

1 cup coconut syrup

24 rainier cherries

2 passion fruits

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

1. Sprinkle gelatin over cold water and allow to bloom for a few minutes.

2. Gently warm coconut puree in a small bowl over barely simmering water. Set aside.

3. Place gelatin over simmering water to melt. Turn off heat and continue.

4. Whip cream and sugar in a bowl just before stiff peaks form.

5. Whisk warmed coconut puree into the gelatin until incorporated.

6. Gently fold coconut/gelatin mixture into whipped cream.

assembling individual desserts:

1. Dip lady fingers one at a time in coconut syrup for a brief moment and place one in the bottom of six serving cups.

2. Spoon a little coconut mousse over the lady fingers.

3. Repeat with another layer of lady fingers and more mousse. Continue until you have four layers of lady fingers. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour to set mousse.

4. Garnish mousse with rainier cherries and a small amount of passion fruit flesh.

5. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve chilled or bring almost to room temp.

assembling one whole desert:

Follow the layering instructions as stated above, but cover the base of a dish with soaked lady fingers and a layer of coconut mouse. Repeat to use up remaining lady fingers and mouse. Garnish with cherries and passion fruit; dusted with confectioner’s sugar.

Gluten-free Lady’s Fingers [makes 24]

6 Tablespoons sorghum flour

1/3 cup tapioca starch

3 large eggs, separated

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1/3 cup cane sugar

Confectioner’s sugar for dusting.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. Sift together sorghum flour and tapioca starch together. Set aside.

2. Beat egg whites with sea salt until soft peaks form.

3. Gradually beat in sugar until stiff peaks form.

4. Beat in egg yolks.

5. Gently fold in flour mixture.

6. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a ½ inch round tip and pipe strips of batter two inches long.

7. Dust with confectioner’s sugar, and then repeat when the first dusting is absorbed.

8. Bake for 12 minutes.

9 Remove from the pan once there are finished baking to a cooling rack. Cool completely.

Coconut Soaking Syrup [makes 1 cup]

1/3 cup coconut rum

1/3 cup canned coconut milk

1/3 cup cane sugar

1. Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Cook until sugar is dissolved. Cool.

*note: The coconut puree used for this recipe is a concentrate made from coconut with added sugar and should not be substituted with coconut milk. I used Boiron brand puree.

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