Happy 4th of July to all my American friends and Happy 150th Birthday to my beloved Canada!
As the celebratory long weekend winding down, its time to share the highlights of what I cooked on the weekend. On Saturday, we were hosting a small BBQ on our balcony. We live downtown Toronto, and our balcony is as much of the outdoor real estate as we get, but we love it. It’s our most favorite part of the condo, in fact, I think we bought the condo because we fell in love with balcony. Its long and wide enough to accommodate a corner outdoor sectional, a small table with chairs and a BBQ. So in summer months it literally becomes an extra room, and the door to the balcony almost always stays open. Our corner unit allows us the views of the South, West and North which is pretty cool. In the South we can get a glimpse of lake Ontario, in the West it’s a pretty cool urban landscape made up of new and historical buildings of various heights and shapes that our neighborhood in Toronto is known for. And in the North there is a vast and open panorama of the rest of Toronto as it stretches all the way to its North York boonies. In the summer I decorate the balcony with outdoor rugs, flower pots and we have some evergreen trees that manage to survive through the harsh Canadian winters somehow. So the bottom line is – its a nice and cozy place, that we love to hang out at and light some candles and market lights to enjoy nice summer nights in our little urban oasis.
As I was saying..we hosted a friend for a BBQ, and she recently decided to become somewhat vegetarian. Which ruled out my husband’s specialty – picanha, Brazilian style steak – and made him venture into somewhat uncharted territory of fish grilling. We cooked some red snappers following a recipe I discovered a year ago that we tried once before. I was determined to photograph it this time but, although, very delicious it did not turn out very photogenic or maybe after a few pre-BBQ aperitifs I didn’t trust myself with the camera as much;) Either way, the fish was delicious and so was the salad that accompanied it:
Red snapper is a meaty fish that is best experienced with a side that is fresh and crisp. We also served red roasted pepper and garlic sauce with the fish, so the salad ought to counterbalance the strong flavours. I think we hit a jackpot with this Fennel, Apple and Watercress Salad – a fresh-tasting salad with a hint of licorice from the fennel.
And the Mint Vinaigrette was a perfect dressing for this salad. The mint added just a touch of character without competing with fennel, and the overall effect was fresh, crispy and slightly fragrant which turned out to be a perfect pairing for the grilled red snapper.
By the way, my hubby is determined to master the grilled snapper recipe. So stay tuned for the recipe sometime soon;) I promise next time to stay on top of my game and produce the most mouth watering pictures right of the grill!
In the meantime, enjoy the Fennel, Apple and Watercress salad as an accompaniment for anything else you decide to get grilled this summer. After all, the summer in the Northern hemisphere is in full swing and we better take advantage of the short opportunity we get to be outdoors, enjoy the sunny days and warm, magical summer nights.