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Limoncello Gin Fizz

The summer between my junior and senior year of college, I had the amazing privilege of studying abroad in Florence, Italy. If you ever have the chance to go, I highly recommend it. That summer (which was longer ago than I like to think about!), I first discovered limoncello, among Italy’s other wonders. Limoncello, just so we’re clear, is a lemon liqueur traditionally produced in Southern Italy. It makes light, just-sweet-enough summer cocktails. And thankfully, unlike lots of other Italian treasures, you can find limoncello in the U.S., just about anywhere that sells other liqueurs.

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This spring, whilst on the quest for a perfectly curated home bar, I rediscovered my love for limoncello. Although in Italy it’s usually consumed as an digestivo (after dinner drink) that’s allegedly meant to aid digestion, it works quite well in American-style cocktails too. Here’s my current favorite cocktail, which I like to pretend is totally original but is really very similar something you’ll find around the internet called a “lemon gin fizz.”

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Ingredients (makes 1 serving)

2 oz gin

3 oz limoncello

splash (approx. 1 oz) club soda

Directions

Glass + ice: I prefer this drink stirred, not shaken, although I don’t have a good scientific reason for it. For some reason, I think the sweetness of the limoncello comes through a little more when it hasn’t been shaken up. If you decide to follow my lead, you can skip using a shaker, and just start with a highball glass. Fill the glass about half of the way up with ice (if you’re using an 8 oz. glass).

Add the liquids: Dump them right on in! Club soda last, so you don’t spoil the fizz.

Now, stir. And enjoy!

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What do you think? Refreshing, isn’t it?

 

Sweet Salsa Topped Salmon

Welcome to my FIRST POST EVER at Hummus and Honey! Thanks for reading!

It’s been a crazy journey that led me to starting a food blog (okay, not THAT crazy, but not not-crazy). To be honest, I don’t really know where this will go. Sometimes I have big plans for it, and other times I doubt it will last out the year. What I do know is that cooking – creatively, with fresh ingredients – is something that makes me happy, and I’m excited to see what the future holds. But for now, I’ll just share what lunch held for me today.

Sweet salsa topped salmon, or, more accurately, nectarine-basil-red pepper topped salmon. The topping doesn’t really deserve to be called a salsa, but it made a yummy accompaniment for the pan-seared salmon. The crisp veggie-ness (note to self: find a more descriptive, real adjective) of the red bell pepper mixed so nicely with the juicy sweetness of the nectarine. I finished it off with basil. Keep following my recipes if you’d like to know approximately ten thousand more ways to use basil (yeah…I put it in basically everything).

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I served it all over rice (white, shame on me for not having brown in the pantry) with a little salsa verde to keep it all super-moist. I was tempted to opt for baby spinach, instead, but didn’t want it to turn into some kind of strange, salmon salad. Someone will have to try it sometime, and report back!

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Ingredients (serves 2)

1 nectarine

1/2 red bell pepper

3-4 large basil leaves

1 tbsp olive oil

2 salmon fillets

1 cup long grain white rice

1/4 cup salsa verde (optional, to moisten the rice – use store-bought or try this easy recipe… but go easy on the cilantro so it doesn’t overpower the basil!)

 Directions

Start the rice: Follow the instructions on whatever kind of rice you’re using, but count on this needing to cook-down while you’re prepping everything else.

Pan-sear the salmon: Heat the oil in a flat-bottomed pan until it starts to smoke. The key to pan-searing is high heat, but if the oil smokes too much it means the pan is too hot, and the inside of the salmon won’t have time to cook at all before the outside burns. Once it’s hot, place the fillets in the pan. I generally sear on one side for 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook on the other side for the same amount of time.

Make the topping: While the salmon and rice are cooking, chop the nectarine and pepper into small pieces (reminder: you’ll only need half of the pepper for this recipe). Mine were roughly 1/2 inch squares, but you can do bigger or small pieces to preference. Chop up the basil as well; I like to try to do this in narrow strips (I think it mixes in better than wider slices), but sometimes that’s easier said than done. Mix this all together.

Put it all together: If you time it correctly, as I accidentally did, the rice and salmon should both be done about the same time, just as you’ve finished stirring up the “salsa.” Mix the salsa verde into the rice, before dishing it. Top with the salmon, then the nectarine-pepper-basil mixture. I saved a few little basil leaves for garnish, too.

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Voila! Super easy, made from ingredients that might just be sitting in your fridge without a purpose, and surprisingly tasty (I expected it to be good, but really, it exceeded my expectations). I hope you enjoy it too!

If you liked this (or didn’t, but want to give me a second chance – please do) check back in a few days for another peak into my kitchen!