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Happy-Gourmand

Eat a 'rainbow' when the sun's not shining

Edible sunshine

I don’t know about you, but I am a bit weary of all this unsettled weather.

Perhaps, having grown up in sunny southern Alberta, it gave me my love for those cheery blue skies. I miss them when they go away.

As a result, I decided to share some ideas for creating edible sunshine to keep us sustained until Mother Nature feels like sharing more of it.

Have you heard the phrase, “Eat a rainbow”? This is easiest to do when we have fresh produce to enjoy that comes in all colours. June is a bit early. I just saw this week the first bit of non-green edible plant life where we live—zucchini blossoms in the farm gardens of Paynter’s Fruit Market.

Nevertheless, I will show you some recipes that offer some brighter colours and moods for your table.

As we work to make sure we look good in those skimpier outfits or even bathing suits, a light appetizer is never a bad idea to help us pace ourselves to that new shape.

One of my earliest elegant dishes to present was an appetizer I adapted while I was in France years ago, from an old cookbook I found while staying with a friend in Nice.

Tart n’ Tangy Salmon Bites offer a reminder to your tastebuds that it’s time they started working out a bit more too.

I’m sure you want to have something on the grill, even if the weather for sitting outside on the deck might be a bit “iffy”. One recipe I love can be done in the oven if your grill is too susceptible to stormy days. It never fails to bring thoughts of a laid-back beach day, as it’s from Jamaica.

Jerk chicken is a fantastically flavourful spicy dish, and the rice-and-peas side dish offers a way to cool your palate. I also enjoy serving this with some bell or Poblano pepper slices blistered on the grill, which completes the rainbow.

If you don’t have a taste for spicy food, you can try Chicken with Sumac and Lemon, one of my favourite Ottolenghi recipes. He is the well-known chef from Israel who has so many Mediterranean recipes to share. This link has other popular recipes from him too, so click away.

Maybe you’re more of a brunch person. Have you had Eggs Shakshuka? This is a wonderful way to use any of your early season herbs. That way, you can feel gratified about growing something even if you were late planting veggies.

Rhubarb is one of the first fruits of summer, and I love its vibrant colour and taste. If you can find some tasty strawberries to pair with it, that makes a nice balance of sweet and tart for an early summer dessert.

This simple recipe for a fruit galette (as in, easier-than-pie dessert) lets any fruit shine and offers a rustic but still elegant presentation, with leftover pieces for breakfast if you make it big enough.

If you’re not a rhubarb fan, don’t worry, this recipe works with any fruit or combination. The wise blogger who created it, Deb from Smitten Kitchen, even offers a few pointers so you can get it just right no matter what.

That gets you from one end of the day to the other with recipes full of colour and flavour.

I hope it helps you stay upbeat as we move into summer, even if Mother Nature has a different idea of what it looks like than we do.

Here’s to watching for rainbows instead of rain.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.



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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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