Special of the day: A Super Simple Summer Supper

20 Jun Special of the day: A Super Simple Summer Supper

Super Simple Summer Supper

               Laze away the summer day, soaking up all the fun and sun your heart desires, even if company is coming for dinner tonight. Rest easy knowing we’ve got you covered with a super simple summer supper menu that’s sure to please both you and your guests.

                Grilled Salmon with Pesto Mayonnaise on Wilted Greens provides an all-in-one centerpiece for your dinner party starring an enticing entree that’s good and good for you. Eating fish instead of red meat a few times a week is a great way to reduce your intake of cholesterol and saturated fat. Salmon contains both calcium and vitamin D, which helps your body absorb the calcium, working together to protect you from osteoporosis. In addition, salmon is a rich source of vitamin B12 which promotes healthy brain and nerve function. Well, then, serve up the salmon, I say.

                And that spinach your salmon is presented upon is truly one of the healthiest foods available, boasting sufficient stores of vitamin A and K, manganese, folate and dietary fiber, as well as cancer-fighting antioxidants.

                Fashioning a foil tray for the salmon ensures foolproof cooking on the grill and wilting the spinach could not be any easier. Before you know it, dinner is served!

                Oh, sure, making focaccia from scratch takes a little time. But the pure pleasure derived you’ll get serving it to your company and savoring the fresh homemade goodness is well worth the extra effort.

                Master the basics on grilling fish (so many fish in the sea), wilting greens (kale, chard, collard greens… oh my!) and making focaccia (the sky’s the limit on herbs and cheeses you could use) from scratch, and the world is your oyster this summer as you impress your guests with variations on the super simple summer supper theme.

                Pull off an impromptu dinner party with panache using this week’s Special of the day: Super Simple Summer Supper recipes for Grilled Salmon with Pesto Mayonnaise on Wilted Greens and Herbed Focaccia. Happy cooking!

Recipes and food photography by Sydne George. 

Herbed Focaccia

(makes a 9 x 13 inch pan)

½ cup warm water

2 and ½ teaspoons yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

3 cups flour

½ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup warm water

2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence

In a small bowl combine ½ cup warm water, yeast and sugar.

Stir to combine and dissolve yeast.

Let rest until foamy, between 5 and 8 minutes.

In mixing bowl, combine flour, olive oil, salt and ½ cup warm water.

Add yeast mixture and mix with dough hook until dough forms a ball.

Remove from bowl.

Coat inside of bowl with olive oil and put dough back in bowl.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap and put in a warm place to rise.

Punch down dough when it has doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Replace plastic wrap and let rise again.

Coat bottom of 9 x 13 inch baking dish with olive oil.

Spread dough out in pan and let rise until ready to bake.

Poke holes in surface of dough with your fingers, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with Herbes de Provence.

Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Immediately invert and remove from pan.

Using pizza cutter, slice into squares or triangles.

Serve hot with butter or balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

 

Grilled Salmon on Wilted Salmon

 

Grilled Salmon

(serves four)

4 6-ounce salmon fillets

4 tablespoons butter, cut in 1 tablespoon pats

1 lemon

Salt

Freshly ground pepper

 

Preheat barbecue to medium high heat.

Stack two sheets (about 15 inches long) of aluminum foil on work surface.

Lay out salmon fillets on top, leaving a little space between.

Fold all four sides of the foil inward and bend up, making a foil tray with sides.

Squeeze juice from the lemon over fillets and dot with butter.

Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Place foil tray with salmon fillets on preheated grill and cook for about 10 minutes, or until salmon has begun to turn orangish-pink around edges and middles look opaque.

Avoid overcooking.

Remove from barbecue and let rest.

Pesto Mayonnaise

(makes one cup) 

1 cup real mayonnaise

1 tablespoon prepared pesto

Stir together mayonnaise and pesto until combined.

Wilted Greens

(serves four)

1 large bunch spinach

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt

Freshly ground pepper

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat.

Add spinach and cook quickly, stirring, just until wilted.

Remove from heat.

Add salt and pepper.

To plate:

Arrange a small bed of wilted spinach on each plate.

Top with grilled salmon fillet.

Place a dollop of pesto mayonnaise on top of each grilled salmon fillet.

Garnish with fresh basil leaves and lemon slices.

Enjoy!

                Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at sydnegeorge@hotmail.com . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at http://sydnegeorge.com/blog/.

 

 

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