cool as a cucumber . . . salad!

DSCN9100It’s the middle of July, and even though it’s hot, it’s dry today and we’ve had a fairly cool breeze find its way through the house. For tonight’s supper, I thought I’d try out the cucumber-peach salad recipe that came in my Bon Appetit magazine that arrived yesterday.

As usual, I simplified and adapted it a little since it was meant to serve 6 and we’re just the two of us. I used the small crunchy persian cucumbers (2) and 2 ripe white nectarines. This stone fruit is more reliably juicy, tasty and not mushy as some peaches are sometimes wont to be. I sliced the cucumber more thinly than usual, and cut the fruit into small diagonal segments, not full slices.

The dressing calls for a chopped shallot, salt, white wine vinegar, lemon and lemon zest. I have champagne white vinegar in the cupboard and picked up some fresh Meyer lemons today. Yummy!

The only ingredient I had to go out to the store for was feta cheese, which I don’t often have on hand. After dropping off a package at UPS, I went to the grocery store found a small bin of crumbled feta cheese. So, the salad is all set to put together, along with fresh basil and mint, torn up on top of it when ready to serve.

In addition to this salad, I had three almost black bananas in the fridge that I’ve been too lazy to throw out and equally lazy to do anything with them. I decided to make some banana walnut muffins with golden raisins – feeling rather virtuous about salvaging the bananas, but frustrated that I couldn’t find the muffin baking pan. Fortunately, I did find some paper cups to bake them in, and besides the fact that they look floppy, they’ll be fine. At least, I think they’ll taste great even though they look funny!

Before I made the banana muffins, I had taken some large shrimp out of the freezer and defrosted them. No hot deep frying them tonight to make shrimp tempura, I’m just going to boil them until cooked, chill them and serve them in the shells with some Meyer lemon mayo (Hellmann’s.)

So that’s it! I’ve been in a rut with dishes I’ve been cooking too often lately and so this is new combo for dinner tonight: cold shrimp, cucumber and nectarine salad with feta and banana walnut muffins. Oh, and for dessert, we’re looking forward to sharing the last of the key lime pie I made a few days ago. Yum!