We’re at the height of summer in Los Angeles currently, which means all I have the energy to do is take afternoon naps and consume cold beverages. But all jokes aside, it’s definitely a time where I rethink my kitchen habits and opt for low fuss, no-cook recipes throughout the day. That in combination with a mellow month where most everyone seems to be out of town on their last summer vacation, we thought it the perfect time to embrace the afternoon siesta. Below is a menu of our favorite beat-the-heat recipes to break mid-day and gather around the table with this month.
Spicy Kale Salad
Yields: 2 Servings
1 head of Lacinto kale
1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
1 medium green apple, thinly sliced
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
1 avocado, sliced (optional)
3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 medium lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. sesame, seedweed and sea salt mix
1/2 tsp. orange zest
Rinse and dry kale thoroughly, slice into thin ribbons and add to a large serving bowl. Add in sunflower seeds and apple slices and toss well. Top with sliced avocado and grated parmesan cheese and set aside. For dressing, use a small mixing bowl to combine olive oil, lemon juice, ground ginger, red pepper flakes, sesame mixture and orange zest. Whisk until well combined. Right before serving, pour the dressing over the salad mixture and toss well.
Lemon Rosemary Sun Tea
1/4 cup rosemary leaves
1/3 large lemon, thinly slices
1 1/2 quarts cold water
In a large jar, bruise the rosemary leaves with a wooden spoon. Add the lemon and water, cover and let stand in the sun for 4 hours. Strain and serve in tall glasses over ice, or store in the refrigerator in a pitcher. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and lemon slices.
Polenta Poppyseed Cookies with Lemon Rosemary Sorbet
Yields: 12 Sandwiches
1 cup instant polenta
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening, at room temperature
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
2 pints lemon sorbet
1. In a food processor, combine the polenta, 3/4 cup of flour, confectioners’ sugar, baking powder and salt and pulse to blend. Add the butter, shortening and lemon zest and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add the egg and poppy seeds and pulse just until the dough forms a ball. Pat the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic; refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until firm.
2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Generously flour a work surface and rolling pin. Roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick. Using a floured 2 1/4-inch round biscuit cutter, stamp out 24 cookies as close together as possible. Gather the dough scraps together and gently reroll the dough, then stamp out 4 more cookies. Carefully transfer 12 of the cookies to an ungreased baking sheets.
3. Bake the cookies on the middle rack of the oven for 18 minutes, or until golden; shifting the pan from front to back halfway through baking to ensure even browning. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets.
4. To form the sandwiches, scoop about 1/4 cup of the softened sorbet onto each of 12 cookies. Top the sorbet with the remaining cookies, pressing lightly to help evenly spread the sorbet. Set the sandwiches on a baking sheet and freeze for about 1 hour, or until the sorbet is firm.