The Magpie Anthology

What to Eat & Drink in a Heatwave!

It’s boiling out there folks and not likely to change anytime soon so what do you fancy to eat and drink? Not much we imagine, so here are some ideas from Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen… (measurements are old fashioned as Deb hails from New York!)

Watermelon & Cucumber Salad

  • About 1/4 a large watermelon or 1 small (mini) watermelon
  • 2 small cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces ricotta salata, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/4 cup toasted, salted pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For small watermelon, halve it and then place each half cut side down and cut each half into 8 pie-like slices. Remove the rinds from each and cut each wedge into 1/2-inch thick triangles. For a larger watermelon, cut it into smaller wedges, remove the rinds, and cut into 1/2-inch thick triangles.

On a large platter, scatter a thick layer of watermelon triangles, followed by a thinner scattering of cucumbers, ricotta salata matchsticks and pepitas. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Repeat this rustic layering and seasoning until your ingredients are used up, finishing with an extra generous drizzle of olive oil. Eat at once!

Courgette Carpaccio Salad

  • 1 1/2 pound courgettes (about 3 large) or a mix of thin summer squash
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 pound rocket, stems discarded and leaves cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips (6 cups), or baby arugula
  • 1 ounce parmesan, coarsely grated (on large holes of a box grater; about 1/2 cup) or shaved with a vegetable peeler
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

You can either cut the courgettes crosswise into paper-thin slices with an adjustable-blade slicer, or use a vegetable peeler (this works best if they are thin, thinner than the length of the peeler blade) to shave the courgettes lengthwise into long ribbons. Toss the slices or ribbons with 1 teaspoon salt in a large colander set over a bowl and let drain 20 minutes.

Rinse the slices well, then drain, pressing gently on them to extract any excess liquid. Pat zucchini slices dry with a kitchen towel.

[Do ahead: I often prepare these up to this point. Once drained well, they keep in the fridge for a few days in a container so you can use them here or elsewhere.]

Put the rocket in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup parmesan and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Drizzle 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil over greens and toss. Arrange the courgettes over the greens, then drizzle with remaining oil, lemon juice and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup parmesan and black pepper

Frozen Coconut Limeade

  • 2 1/2 cups crushed or small ice cubes
  • 1 cup coconut milk, well-shaken if from a can
  • 1/3 cup lime juice (from about 3 limes)
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar (more or less to taste)
  • Lime slices for garnish

Blend every thing until it reaches your desired consistency — almost smooth, for a crunchier effect, or fully smooth, for a milkshake/creamier effect. Pour into glasses, garnish with lime and don’t forget to share.

More recipes on Smitten Kitchen

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