It’s too hot to turn the stove or oven on. Our temperature reached 38˚C or 100.4˚F today, that is really hot for Prague. Many people in Europe do not have air conditioners in their homes, in fact I don’t know anyone that does. Thankfully many of the old European stone and brick building stay cooler than the wood frame houses in the states. If you are lucky enough to live on a lower floor of an apartment building, then you really don’t have much to worry about when heat waves strike. But if you live in the higher or the top floors, then you’re in for a bit of hell-literally.
I remember a few summers in both our Parisian and Prague flats, where we lived on the top floors of 5 story buildings, those summers were almost unbearable. The tin rooftops of Parisian buildings appear to generate more heat and to also prevent it from escaping. That may or may not be technically correct but it sure felt like it to me. One summer, a few years back, while living in Paris we were hit by a massive heat wave. Our flat being the top floor of course was where all the heat, from the four floors below, rose to. The only way we could keep from passing out from the heat was by jumping in the shower to cool off repeatedly throughout the days, and in between sips of ice cold water.
In Prague we used to escape the heat by finding refuge in a shopping mall. We would come up with all sorts of excuses just to walk down to the mall. Though I do think some of the merchants and cafe/restaurant owners might have caught on to what we were doing. But I’m sure they didn’t mind it because we became very good customers. When we moved to our current flat we made it a priority not to relive hot sweaty summers on a top floor. Our flat is nice and cool during the hot summer months. As long as I don’t turn the oven on, or the stove for too long then it stays pretty cool in my house. So we no longer have to escape to a shopping mall just for the air conditioner.
Since there was no way I was going to risk raising the temperature in our flat, for dinner I made salad. This salad was inspired by my good friend Patty of Patty’s Food. Last September Patty shared a salad recipe that I knew I would love. Her recipe was titled “Smoked Trout Salad with Key Lime Mustard Dressing” The next day I gathered as much of the ingredients on her recipe as I could, mixed in with what I had in my refrigerator, and tried to recreate Patty’s salad. My husband and I both really loved it. We had never eaten smoked fish in a salad, usually we eat it on crackers, but both really loved the combination. Over the year that has passed since Patty shared her recipe I have made the salad several times. Each time it takes on a slightly different look depending on what is in season. Today I want to share the latest version of Patty’s salad.
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- 1 large smoked Mackerel
- roasted cherry tomatoes*
- dried Goji berries
- finely chopped chives
- black sesame seeds
- 1 large bag of your favorite salad greens mix
- 1 heaping tbsp whole grain mustard
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- pinch salt
- pinch pepper
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- pinch granulated garlic
- ¼-1/2 tsp sugar, to taste
- Place all ingredients in a jar or sealable container. Shake vigorously until oil starts incorporating with other ingredients. Set aside. You may need to give it a shake again right before serving.
- Skin and de-bone the Mackerel, cut into even sized pieces. Place salad greens in serving bowls/plates, arrange some roasted cherry tomatoes and Mackerel pieces over the greens. Sprinkle some dried Goji berries, sesame seeds and chives over the salad.
- Serve with Mustard Turmeric Vinaigrette.
As you can see the recipe is quite simple. Feel free to adjust, add or remove any ingredients you like. But before you do so make sure to also read Patty’s recipe which inspired this one, http://pattysfood.com/salad/smoked-trout-salad-with-key-lime-mustard-dressing-and-a-cookbook-giveaway/ . Thanks Patty!
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