It’s been really hot recently in London (although it seems to have cooled off a bit today). It’s been lovely having the sun and warmth after winter lasting well into May, but it has made cooking a bit tricky. Since I live in a really tiny studio flat, it’s hard for me to cook when the weather is hot. If I turn on the oven or hob my entire flat heats up. So, this week has been a lesson in kitchen creativity and I’ve been experimenting with some recipes that don’t involve turning on the oven or the hob. Two of my favourites were salmorejo (a Spanish cold soup similar to gazpacho, but thicker and creamier) and a recipe I invented based on my cravings Sunday night, a cannellini bean and artichoke heart salad marinated in orange-miso vinaigrette. Recipes below.
I had planned to make gazpacho but a recipe for salmorejo caught my eye. I modified a recipe I found (here if you can read Spanish), but I should have used even less oil. The recipe called for 100ml of olive oil (nearly 1/2 a cup!) and I used 6 tablespoons but next time I’ll only use 3 or 4.
- 800 g ripe tomatoes, peeled and quartered
- 200 g stale bread
- 1 clove of garlic
- 3-6 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of salt
Preparation is easy. Simply blend the tomatoes, garlic, and salt in a blender, then add the bread and olive oil a little bit at a time. Make sure you blend thoroughly to make it as smooth as possible. It’s normally served with boiled egg or ham, but sometimes bread. I dipped bread in mine.
- 2 tins (400g each) of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 280 g artichoke hearts
- Handful of basil, chopped
- Orange-miso vinaigrette, recipe follows
Combine all the ingredients and mix well. This salad is best after marinating 24 hours.
- 1 t freshly grated orange zest
- Juice from 1/2 of an orange
- pinch of salt
- pinch of freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp agave nectar or sugar (optional)
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp high quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp white miso paste, optional
- 1/2 tsp dried Italian herbs
Mix all ingredients together thoroughly, making sure that the miso mixes in.