Summery dinner: Crisp salad with mustardy-lemon vinaigrette, baked salmon and white wine sangria

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The weather in London has suddenly become HOT. And when I say hot, I mean shorts at 8pm, the windows stay open, and a bad night’s sleep as I seemed to be sticking to my sheets. But on the plus side, last night’s dinner was amazing, as I made it fit the weather perfectly. Everything was very light, so although we ate a lot more than our share (oops), it was very healthy and we didn’t feel stuffed.

Ever since my trip to Portugal last month, I have been crazy about white wine sangria, and in the past 3 days, I have made it 3 times. It is the perfect refreshing summer drink, and it can be varied depending on what fruits and ingredients you have in your fridge. I had a good university friend visiting for dinner, and we decided that it was too hot to eat anything but salad to go with the sangria. But mere salad would be boring… Enter the mustardy-lemon vinaigrette and garlicky lime-drizzled salmon!

The salad was made up of 1 bag of crunchy mixed leaves, half a cucumber, a ball of mozzarella and an avocado. You can add or remove anything you want from that – options could be tomatoes, peppers, carrots, feta cheese, and more. Best served with baguette which should be placed in the oven for 5 minutes before serving.

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All this serves 2 hungry people

Mustardy-lemon vinaigrette

Yet another invention from my culinary genius friend, who gave us Cullen Skink and perfect pancakes. These measurements make enough for the salad we had, which was quite a lot.

  • 2 heaped tsp of grainy mustard
  • Generous pourings of olive oil (can’t really measure it in teaspoons, but it’s the main liquid, so just keep pouring)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • Half a lemon, squeezed

Mix it all together, adjust for taste and pour over the salad!

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Asian salmon with lime drizzle

  • 3 tsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chilli oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 4 tbsp lime juice
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp flour
  • Water (base the amount on whether you want your glaze thick or runny)
  • 2 salmon fillets

Heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, add garlic and chilli oil, and fry for 1-2 minutes. Then add honey, lime juice and soy sauce and cook for another 3 minutes. Combine the flour with water in a little bowl before adding to the saucepan and cooking for another minute. Put the salmon fillets on a baking tray, spread with the glaze and roast for 12 minutes.

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White wine sangria

First discovered in the Bairro Alto in Lisbon, this drink will make you shun the red stuff for life! You can adjust based on taste and what you have handy. Over the weekend we used strawberries, lemons and mint, yesterday we used oranges, lemons and nectarines.

  • One 750ml bottle of white wine (ideally vino verde – don’t use one that is too sweet, as there is enough sweetness in the other ingredients)
  • 600ml fizzy lemonade
  • 1 orange, 1 lemon, 1 nectarine, cut into chunks
  • 3-4 bottle caps of brandy
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar
  • Ice cubes

Mix everything together, squeezing half the oranges and lemons before adding. Let chill and serve with extra ice. Salud!

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