Salmon and Kiwi Verrine

A fresh starter for summer meals

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Serves four:
4 smoked salmon slices
2-3 kiwi fruit
1-2 avocado

For the sauce:
4 tbsp creme fraiche
2 tbsp mayonaise
fresh or frozen dill
salt and pepper to taste

lime juice

Cut the salmon in small pieces. Dice the kiwi fruit.

Divide the kiwi fruit at the bottom of the verrines, add the salmon and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Mix the ingredients for the sauce and chill too.

Just before serving, dice the avocado, sprinkle with lime and place over the salmon.

Serve the sauce separately.

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Château-Thierry American Monument

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The summer holiday is a perfect time to explore one’s area and discover new places. As this region is famous for the numerous and significant battles that were fought during World war One, a number of memorials have been erected as a tribute to the soldiers who crossed seas and oceans to fight for our freedom.

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The American Memorial in Château-Thierry is an impressive monument situated upon a hill near the town of Château-Thierry. It offers a wide view of the valley of the Marne River and is located about 54 miles (87 km) east of Paris. It was designed by Paul Philippe Cret and built in the 1930s. It is managed by the American Battle Monuments Commission.

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It commemorates the achievements of the United States forces that fought in the region during World War One when in 1918, the 2nd and 3rd United States Infantry Divisions took part in heavy fighting around the area during the Second Battle of the Marne. The monument consists of an impressive double colonnade rising above a long terrace.

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On its east facade, you can see the Great Eagle above a map showing American military operations in this region, an orientation table pointing out the significant battle sites as well as the names of the troops involved.

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On its west facade are heroic sculptured figures representing the United States and France. Can you tell which is which?

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Cauliflower and Chickpea Soup

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Serves four:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp cumin powder
750 ml/3 cups water
1 cube vegetable stock
1 tsp curry powder
1 medium cauliflower, raw, broken into florets
400 g chickpeas, cooked or canned, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp cilantro, fresh

Gently sauté the onion in olive oil for 2-3 minutes, until softened. Add garlic, turmeric and cumin powder and cook, stirring, for another minute or two.

Add the vegetable stock and curry powder and bring up to the boil. Add the cauliflower and chickpeas. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the cauliflower is tender. Transfer half the soup to a bowl and blend the rest until smooth. Return what has not been blended to the pan and add the cilantro. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the soup is piping hot. Season to taste.

Lentil and Smoked Trout Salad

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An easy and lovely salad – very suitable for a summer evening.

Ingredients for two:

120 gr green or Le Puy lentils
1 shallot
100-120 gr smoked trout, cut into small pieces

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp strawberry vinegar
1 tsp mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the lentils with the chopped shallot according to package instructions – usually 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile mix the olive oil, vinegar and mustard in a salad bowl.

Drain the cooked lentils and allow to cool a little. Add them to the bowl and mix. Add the trout and mix again. Season to taste and chill for at least an hour.

The warm lentils and vinegar will ‘cook’ the trout so that it will turn pink.