The easy way to summer

By Sarah Levannier - June 16, 2014


As summer is approaching, cooking at home has already left its spring features for summer ones. Between summer vegetables and always-longer days, my soul cannot find a place where to stop. I am always mesmerized by the stunning sunset we have a home. The view on the top of the cliff where we live is so beautiful that I don’t understand how anyone could get bored of it. Besides, the skies are changing everyday. It offers us a wonderful show of colors promising some more beauties on the next day.

Sunday nights are the non-cooking nights. There are the nights when we set all the leftovers on the tables and eat whatever we want to. However, yesterday night, as it was Father’s day, I cooked for my stepfather. He has played such an important role in my life that even though he is not my blood-father, I wanted to thank him, just for being here when I needed him when I was younger. Picking me up at school, training me in sports, telling me when I could not go out “dressed up that way”, teaching me to respect my mother when I was not… Having divorced parents is not easy, but I believe we should take the better of it. I love both my parents and stepparents and could not do without them.

I couldn’t cook for my father as he lives in Philadelphia. So I cooked for my stepfather, thinking a lot of what my father would have thought of my dish.

I cooked some gambas. I stir-fried them and served them with an apple and lettuce salad. Topped with spring onions. That dish was really easy to cook but it is also very savory. It is light and healthy, somehow, perfect to end a hot sunny day.

Stir-fried gambas with apple and lettuce salad

Serves 2 :

·       20 gambas
·       2 large garlic cloves
·       3 large handles arugula
·       30 g almond flour
·       4 Tbs Olive oil
·       Salt to taste
·       30 g fresh parmesan cheese
·       2 Tbs Ricard or Pastis alcohol (a French alcohol with a strong anis taste. You can replace it by any liquor of your choice)
·       1 red apple (I used a fuji apple)
·       Some lettuce
·       1 spring onion
·       1 orange
·       1 lime
·       3 Tbs olive oil
·       1 Tbs vinegar
·       Salt and pepper

Prepare the pesto:

In a blender, mix the arugula, the almond flour, the parmesan cheese, 3 table spoons olive oil and 1 garlic clove. You should obtain a grainy mix. If the arugula taste is not strong enough to your taste, you can add some until the pesto tastes as you please. Add some salt if necessary. I don’t always add salt to my pestos. Sometimes, the herbs have a string enough taste and I don’t need to add any salt. It depends on the weather, on the origin of your ingredients, on your tastes…

                  Prepare the gambas:

If you bought your gambas whole, begin by taking off their heads. Then, peel them, so that the flesh of the crustacean remains attached to its tail. Just a small part of the shell should remain when you’re finished preparing them.

Prepare the salad and the dressing:

Cut the fuji apple in thin slices. Cut the salad and mix it with the apple slices. Chop the spring onion and add it to the salad.
Press the orange and the lime. Mix them in a bowl together. Add the oil and the vinegar. Mix again and season with salt and pepper. Set in a jar.
Use the dressing (you do not have to use the whole jar) to season the salad.

                  Cook the gambas

In a wok, heat one table spoon of olive oil. Chop one garlic clove. When the oil is hot (you will see some tiny bubbles), lower a bit the heat and throw in the gambas, the chopped garlic and one table spoon of the pesto you just prepared. Keep stirring for a minute. The gambas have to be covered by the pesto and garlic. Then, add some salt and the alcohol. Keep cooking the gambas for another minute or until a thin golden layer appears.

Serve the gambas with the apple and lettuce salad. Eat right away!

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