It’s brutally hot in here (Los Angeles). Too boiling to function properly. I feel the global warming everywhere, especially in my brain. It took me three days to fold two loads of laundry and two days to put it back, the kitchen is a constant mess, and my desk is invisible. I’m starting to think getting an AC is not a bad idea, even if it’s only for three to five weeks a year. My mother, who came to visit us from Israel last month, is so lucky, she left just a few days before the meltdown began.
I can’t bring myself to prepare anything that require fire. Our meals are mainly raw salads with lots of crunchy vegetables, herb and lemon juice. Summery salads such as this one (My father’s signature salad). The nectarine was a last minute impro, an act to save a fruit that isn’t hard-as-a-rock enough for Leo and Alex but pretty rocky for me. It added a nice sweetness and some lovely color but Leo and Alex thought that it shouldn’t be there. I think they are wrong, I think in hot days, when nectarines are in season they should be everywhere. Avocado goes really well in this salad but if you decide to add it, add it ten minutes top before you serve it.
Leo and Alex adore fennel. Actually, all the children in my extended family do. You can’t assume with children, you have to try all the time.
I love, love, love this Japanese mandolin gadget I found recently at Daiso, the Japanese 99¢ store. At Daiso, nearly everything costs $1.50. The products are practical and well-designed, and they are made in Japan. My husband and I discovered the store while staying in Japan Town in San Francisco, in a cute mall with tons of sushi and ramen restaurants and household Japanese stores. I spent an hour at Daiso and $40 on many kawaii (cute) things (I bought colorful lunch boxes, kitchen gadgets, pencils, brushes…).
- 1 Fennel bulb
- 5 small radishes
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 firm nectarine
- 1 handful cilantro – soaked in cold water to remove sand and insects
- 1 lemon or lime
- 2 tablespoons
- Olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
- Salt & pepper
- Wash the fennel and radishes and slice as thinly as possible, use a Japanese mandolin if you have one. Toss them in a medium salad bowl. Cut the nectarine in half, remove pit, and slice it very thinly and toss it into the bowl. Wash the cilantro and dry. Chop it as finely as possible and add it into the bowl.
- To get the most juice out of it, before you cut in half, press and roll against the kitchen counter with your palm. Cut the lemon in half then squeeze it straight into the salad bowl, using your other hand as a strainer.
- Drizzle the olive oil, sprinkle chili powder, salt and pepper, and toss the salad with your hands or with tongs.