You come lower back from the shops with cherries, their skins tight and vibrant, the shade of Beaujolais. Green-shouldered tomatoes too, fats crimson peppers and a group of basil, its leaves as big as bay. A heavy wedge of watermelon perhaps, a fab cucumber and spiky bunches of the warm rocket. Summer buying is frustrating. Peaches or nectarines? Peas inside the pod or large beans? Should we buy radishes and artichokes? We need food for the grill, something to marinade, and yet we nevertheless want something of substance. (Seafood for a potato-topped pie, hen for the fish fry.) From now till overdue autumn there’s almost an excessive amount of from which to pick out. We have to make the most of it.
Watermelon, salted ricotta and pumpkin seeds
A halved watermelon will become a fixture inside the fridge from now until early autumn. Its ruby flesh chilled and waiting to end up a part of a salad or cut thick and brought out on a plate of crushed ice to finish a lawn lunch. A watermelon laughs loudest when it’s miles matched with chili as it is so regularly in Mexico, but additionally when in the organization of salty cheeses which include feta or ricotta Salata.
In the innermost summer season, I soak iceberg lettuce, bunches of thick-stemmed watercress and white-nippled radishes for 20 minutes in a bowl of ice and water to crisp and refresh. The watermelon wishes a very good hour or within the refrigerator before slicing. The marriage of ice-bloodless melon, salty cheese and chili are extraordinary. Tweak the number of chili flakes to suit your very own taste. The batch I actually have in the meanwhile is fiercely warm, so I continue with caution, a pinch at a time.
Wash the watercress, discarding any hard stems or less than ideal leaves then submerge in a big bowl of ice and water. Separate the chicory leaves, halve the radishes, then upload both to the bowl. Leave them for 20 mins to crisp and curl.
Use a pestle and mortar or spice mill to grind the coriander seeds to a coarse powder. Warm the olive oil in a shallow pan, then upload the coriander, pumpkin and fennel seeds, transferring them around for a minute or two until they’re warm and fragrant. Add the chili flakes, keep cooking for a minute, then remove the pan from the heat and set apart.
Peel the watermelon, cut into thick slices after which into big chunks into a bowl, eliminating the seeds as you move.
Finely chop the mint leaves, add to the melon then disintegrate or coarsely grate the ricotta over them. Drain the watercress, chicory, and radish and add them to the bowl.
Tip the seeds, spices and their oil over the watermelon and tumble the whole thing together lightly then transfer to a serving dish and convey to the desk.
A spice-speckled yogurt marinade is something I use loads with fowl I plan to grill. It must be said that it does have a habit of sticking to the bars of the grill and the smoke that ensues sets off the fire alarm, so I even have taken to browning the marinated fowl beneath an overhead grill within the oven. The meat shouldn’t be too close to the heat, lest the skin brown before the flesh is cooked thru. I move the oven rack in the direction of the heat towards the cease of cooking, to inspire a crisp skin. I think a touch charring here and there may be to be positively encouraged.
Grind the saffron to a powder, tip it right into a small bowl then pour the hot water over and leave for 10 mins.
Finely chop the chilies and put them right into a big mixing bowl. Peel the garlic, finely chop and add to the chilies, then stir in the yogurt and the saffron liquid and set apart.
Place a chicken thigh skin-facet down on a slicing board then cut out the bone with a pointy knife. Open each boned thigh flat, skin facet down, then bat out with a heavyweight such as a rolling pin or cutlet bat, till the meat is about ½cm thick. Submerge the meat inside the yogurt marinade and set aside for a great hour.
Put the rocket leaves right into a large bowl of ice and water and depart for 15 mins. Peel the cucumber then cut into large diagonal chunks. Pick the parsley leaves from the stalks and add to the cucumber, then drain and shake the rocket dry and toss with the cucumber, olive oil, and white wine vinegar. (No salt or pepper is needed right here.)
Heat an overhead (oven) grill. Line a grill pan or oven tray with foil, lay the portions of chook on its pores and skin-side down and cook dinner, a good 15-20cm from the warmth source, for eight-10 mins, then flip over and cook dinner the alternative aspect. Check the flesh is cooked properly thru and regulate the proximity of the oven shelf to the heat as important. The fowl ought to be nicely browned, cooked all of the ways through, its pores and skin patchily gold and dark brown.