Sitting in the sunshine on the patio of a cafe with a gentle breeze blowing, sipping cool wine. Now, that is my idea of a perfect summer evening. I sit and inhale the aroma of the herbs growing in the pots next to me, and quietly watch the people walking down the street. The pedal pub rolls by and the people on it are laughing loudly. Many couples are out for their evening walks or jogs. I see a girl in a white dress across the street, twirling, and dancing looking like she is having a wonderful time. Summer is here!
I like to enjoy as much fruit as I can during the summer months, in any form, desserts, drinks, and salads. This weekend I decided that a carpaccio salad featuring fresh fruit would be lovely!
I wanted something rich to go along with it, and goat cheese sounded wonderful. But I am trying to stay away from so much dairy, so I decided to make some out of almonds instead. It was amazing...so creamy, maybe even better than the real thing, and it complimented the fresh fruit wonderfully!
A drizzle of balsamic syrup, and sprinkle of fresh basil from my herb pot and it was all a quite delicious cobination. Too bad the people watching in my neighborhood isn't as good as at the cafe.
1/2 cup ground raw almonds*
2 Tbsp organic lemon juice
1/8-1/4 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
1-2 Tbsp filtered water
1 large ripe organic nectarine, thinly sliced
6-8 ripe organic strawberries, thinly sliced
a few fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
To make almond chevre, combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth and of chevre consistency.
Arrange strawberries and almonds on two plates, overlapping the fruits in a pretty pattern. Place some of the almond chevre on each plate, sprinkle each with the basil, and drizzle each with a little of the balsamic syrup. Serve!
*To make ground raw almonds, put almonds in the food processor and process to almond meal consistency.
**You can buy balsamic syrup at a specialty store or make it at home. To make balsamic syrup, place 1 cup balsamic vinegar in a sauce pan and bring to a simmmer. Simmer until balsamic is reduced to 1/4 cup or less and is a syrupy consistency, about 20-30 minutes. Keep a close eye because it could burn if it gets too reduced.