Saturday, June 22, 2013

Summer Solstice

Celebrated the summer solstice by enjoying a wonderful meal on the BPYC deck with foodies Caro, Dick, Maureen, and Rob. Other dinners were being prepared and served by fellow bluffers around us, giving the patio a festive air as sailboats floated in and out past the gap.

We brought our telescope along and took a peek at the almost-full-super-moon. It looked like it was glowing from within. Absolutely beautiful!

The meal's theme accidentally became Salad Days.

First a 'deconstructed' Greek salad: delicious cucumbers plated with heirloom tomatoes, dressed with fresh thyme and oregano, drizzled with a Greek dressing. Served alongside ashrind goat cheese (Albert's Leap), nicoise and dry cured olives, and baguette crisps.

Second, perfectly prepared salmon served on top of a bed of greens, fennel and orange. Maureen found the recipe in a back issue of the LCBO Food and Drink magazine (see below). Curls of orange zest added a colourful touch and delivered a flavour punch. Heinz wandered by from another table, offering hot red peppers stuffed with feta. One or two small bites were like a punctuation mark between courses.

Next, a potato salad that was all about texture. Creamy dressing, a crunch of bacon, firm potato, lacy dill. Very tasty!

Then it was time for dessert. Alex, Aldo and friends arrived with perfect timing to share a decadent chocolate cake.


½ lime
½ lemon
½ orange
4 skinless salmon fillets, each about 6 to 7 oz (175 to 200 g)
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter, melted
1 ½ tsp (7 mL) granulated sugar
1 small clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
Several grindings of black peppercorns
¼ cup (50 mL) olive oil
2 oranges
1 large bulb fresh fennel
4 cups (1 L) baby salad greens or romaine
½ cup (125 mL) slivered almonds, toasted
  1. Using microplane or other grater, zest lime, lemon and orange. Combine zests; set aside. Juice lime, lemon and orange; combine juices and set aside.
  2. To grill salmon, preheat barbecue to medium-hot. Brush tops of salmon with butter; place buttered-side-down on grill for 4 to 5 minutes or until grill marks are evident. Turn salmon; continue grilling for another 4 to 5 minutes or until a fork used to separate the flakes of flesh show a slightly undercooked centre for medium or opaque for well-done. Sprinkle each fillet with a pinch or 2 of zest (all zest will not be used). If serving cold, cover and refrigerate immediately for up to a day.
  3. To make salad, stir reserved juices with sugar, garlic, salt and pepper. Whisk in olive oil; set aside. Cut rind off oranges; section. Cut off green fronds from fennel; finely chop some of feather part for garnish. Cut bulb in half; core. Using a mandoline or fine blade of food processor, finely slice crosswise into slaw-like pieces. Toss fennel and orange sections with dressing. (If making earlier in day, cover and refrigerate fennel mixture and dressing separately until ready to serve.)
  4. Line serving plates with salad greens; top with fennel orange mixture. Lay salmon, hot or cold, over salad and strew with almonds and reserved fennel tops

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