A Summer Lunch For Two

When I was a little girl, I loved day trips. Sometimes it was the beach, other times the countryside. I loved packing lunches and even then, I expected to have multiple courses and snacks to munch on throughout the day. In retrospect, I think food was actually the thing I looked forward to the most, more so than the destination itself.

A few days ago, as I was completely submerged in writing, I looked up at my computer screen. “It is 4 o’clock and I have not left the house all day!” I thought. Seems to happen often these days.

Kids arrived home shortly after. They craved my attention, but my mind was elsewhere. It is hard to come out of your head when you have been in it for so many hours, isn’t it? I asked the babysitter to stay a bit longer and I decided to go for a run to clear my head.

I thought of those day trips and the outdoor lunches in the summer heat. Sometimes even on the side of the road, close to a stream, or under an oak tree. I remembered my dad cutting melon slices for all of us while my mom finished her lunch. An array of small plates and nibbles always followed by a tart or shortbread we took from our family’s pastry shop.

The following day, I woke up knowing I still had lots of work to do, but thought it would be fun to prepare a quick meal Miren and I could eat outside. Partly for her, but mostly for me. Just to get a break and some fresh air.

We had ripe heirloom tomatoes that I blended into a gazpacho with cucumber, scallions, fresh herbs, and a drizzle of avocado oil. Toasted gluten-free bread, rubbed juicy tomato all over it, and topped it with shaved Idiazabal. Miren’s favorite.

We also enjoyed a simple salad with greens, berries, and pan seared salmon. And for dessert, plum and currant crumble.

“One for you, one for me.”

Chilled Heirloom Tomato Soup

Serves 2

3 medium heirloom tomatoes, stem removed and diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
3 scallions, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
small bunch of oregano
2 sprigs thyme
salt pepper
avocado oil, to garnish
2 slices toasted bread
Idiazabal or Manchego cheese, shaved

Puree all ingredients in the blender and chill for 1 hour.

Serve with toasted bread rubbed with tomato and shaved Manchego cheese.

Salmon and Berry Salad

Serves 2

8 ounces wild-caught salmon (mine was Coho)
2 cup mixed greens (frisee, baby romaine, watercress, arugula, parsley…)
1/4 cup yellow raspberries
1/4 cup blackberries
1/4 cup red currants
1 scallion, sliced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for salmon
salt and pepper

In a small saute pan, cook the salmon for 2 minutes (depending on the thickness) with 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Flip over and finish cooking for another 2 minutes. Set aside.

In a bowl, toss together the greens and all the berries.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar and olive oil. Drizzle the vinaigrette over salad. Season with salt. Toss to combine and top with seared salmon pieces.

Red Plum, Currant, and Almond Crumble

Serves 4

1/2 cup (70 grams) superfine brown rice flour
3/4 cup (70 grams) almond meal
1/3 cup (70 grams) natural cane sugar
5 Tbs (70 grams) cold unsalted butter, diced
6 red plums, pit removed and sliced
1/4 cup red currants
1/4 cup white currants
1 Tbs natural cane sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs cornstarch

Preheat oven to 400F (220C).

In the food processor, combine the first four ingredients and pulse until it forms a crumbly sand. Transfer to a bowl and chill until ready to use.

Toss the rest of ingredients in a bowl. Divide amongst 4 (8-ounce) bowls. Top with crumble.

Bake for 30 minutes until filling bubbling and crumble is golden.

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82 Responses to “A Summer Lunch For Two”

  1. A fantastic lunch! That soup looks and sounds just amazing.



  2. Simply. In. Love.

    I could crawl inside your website and take a long nap. I love it.

  3. tinajo says:

    Beautiful images as always – and thanks for the recipes. :-)

  4. Even with how hot it has been around here, my little girl is always up for eating outdoors. Your food looks delicious…so do your photos.

  5. True summer color and fresh vegetables a fruits. Lovely photos and sharing.

    Thanks for sharing the recipes too.

  6. All of your photos are stunning but the salmon berry salad is so great. I don’t know if I want to eat it or just stare at it!

  7. Katie says:

    Beautiful pictures! Everything looks so fantastic and of course delicious!!

  8. YELLOW raspberries!? Say it isn’t so! I’ll be on the lookout for those.
    Thanks for the lovely recipes!

  9. It’s so hard to find gluten free bread here in Puerto Rico. Hopefully when I move to FL during the end of the year, it will be easier.

  10. You have just inspired me on several foodie levels and made me smile all in one.

    This is SUCH a gorgeous post with the colorful photos and awesome dishes. I can’t wait to get to the market to buy what I need to make these.

  11. I made one of your crumbles this past weekend for my cousin who was recuperating from a health issue. She just loved it. The salmon dish with the berries look so excellent for this time of summer. So simple.

  12. ARAN says:


  13. Gorgeous, dreamy post as always. I want to try the crumble — looks like such a great summer treat.

  14. Anna says:

    I, too, have memories of food which was just as much a part of outings and adventures as the event itself. It reminds me that my passion for food started early. Thanks for the reminder to get out and enjoy the day with a picnic more often!

  15. I love the photos of the salad dish. It was exactly what I was looking for to feature on my site today. Packed with anti-oxidants, and a small carb load. I love it!

  16. Shopping and packing the food was also what I always got most excited about when going on day trips as a kid… (and that hasn’t changed much!). The addition of oregano to gazpacho sounds interesting, should try it next time. Thanks for your always inspiring recipes.

  17. Rose D., NJ USA says:


  18. Carmen says:

    oo I love los dias de picnic…os adoraba de pequeña y los adoro ahora!

    estos dias hago mucho gazpacho a mi manera, sin pepino y con fresas..mmmmm

  19. nedj says:

    C’est gourmand, gourmet, coloré .. plein de vie .. comme toujours dans tes posts !!

    Nedj du Pays Basque

  20. sécia says:

    The salmon berry salad looks and sounds amazing. Definitely will be trying that one!

    ♥ sécia

  21. Elly says:

    I love your story and your recipe, you’re a perfect writer!!! ;D

  22. Andrea says:

    Everything looks so delicious and healthy!


  23. Dzoli says:

    Salmon berry salad..fanatstic.I live near Pacific ocean and in the summer we often cross the stret to teh beach and have picknick.So many memories of those sunny days;)

  24. What a sophisticated little lady Mirren is.

  25. I just love soup, and I always miss it in the summer when it’s too hot. The idea of a cool tomato soup is fantastic! I can’t wait to try this.

  26. Joy says:

    Can you adopt me already please? You have perfect little outings with your kids. Love how fantastic airy the photos are!

  27. beautiful lunch. that crumble looks fantastic. we don’t get any currants here in NJ. what a pretty fruit!

  28. kickpleat says:

    That salad looks amazing! The soup does look good – however I’m nervous about tomato soups, especially cold ones. Beautiful!

  29. Natashia says:

    You’re photography is just soo beautiful!

  30. Indu says:

    Hey, how did you manage to dish up summer in a bowl?

  31. Your Tomato Soup looks fantastic! Beautiful pics :-)

    Hugs, Sandra

  32. Una delicia de platos y unas fotos extraordinarias.


  33. Aran,
    your food looks to die for as always! I feel like I can actually taste your crumble when I look at your amazing photos. Thank you! I was wondering if you ever have any trouble getting your kids to eat the foods that you make? I have a 21 month old daughter who refuses to eat almost all of the food that I make for her and consequently has become very picky! I would be amazed if I could get her to eat a salad for example. Have your kids always been good about eating whatever you make? Just wondering…
    Bergisch Gladbach, Germany

  34. Laura- my 5 year old is my picky eater. He was a good eater until about 2 1/2 and then he refused to eat many things. Slowly he is getting better. I make lots of blended soups for him to dip with bread and that’s how I get him to eat greens and vegetables. Miren on the other hand eats everything. He ate everything you see here for example. I think they go through phases so be patient.

    Thank you!

  35. I am officially starving now!!!! :) Wow.. amazing photos of delish food!

  36. yum! beautiful Aran as always ;) so making that soup! Delicious. The heirlooms are finally here :)

  37. I’m always looking for summer soups, and this one sounds unbelievably delicious!

  38. Laranjinha says:

    As always, you have beautiful photos. I loved your lunch, specially the soup, fresh and full of flavors, very nice on these summer days. Currently, in my kitchen, it is also tomato time.

    Best regards.

  39. Susan York says:

    Your little ones are way too cute! Beautiful photos.

    Susan York

  40. GastroStu says:

    Seriously delicious photos, great post. Thanks for sharing.

  41. I can completely relate to food being the highlight of day trips. I probably would hardly ever go on hikes if there wasn’t a delicious picnic to go with it and to look forward to. Your photos are so beautiful and inspiring!! Thank you!

  42. noake says:

    I love your recipes and your photos … everything is so magical in your shots, it seems to live in a dream ….:-)

  43. Isnt it amazing how food can bring back wonderful memories!

  44. Mike says:

    Wow! I gotta say that those artistic images are of really high quality as well as ideas. I am genuinely impressed.

  45. Sounds like a dream lunch! Soup and crumble is what summer is about!
    beautiful photos once again!

  46. Maja says:

    Absolutely simple and beautiful! I love your photos :D

  47. Heather says:

    wow- what a great post. nice to find you through sweet saturday!

  48. Christine says:

    your food photos are beautiful!

  49. Meagan says:

    That spoon in the first photo is so pretty!

  50. Lissy says:

    It`s realy looks very pretty!

  51. Katherine says:

    The plum and currant crumble looks amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipes.

    Katherine @ thistle handmade

  52. A delicious and sweet share for sure! POP ART MINIS

  53. can’t wait to give that tart a try!

  54. You have the most beautiful blog that I have ever seen!!

  55. Beautiful as usual. Been thinking it is time to make gazpacho!

  56. megcjones says:

    yum. these photos are beautiful, and your gazpacho sounds amazing!

  57. Now I’m starving. Can you please email me one of those tarts? Thanks!

    JJ – The Dude

  58. CONGRATS on being chosen a BON! I’m glad I found your blog!

    Common Cents

  59. Merganzer says:

    What a relaxing and smile-inducing story. The food looks so tasty!

  60. KINGRPG says:

    Amazing… so beautiful!

  61. these photos are beautiful! :d

  62. Lovely blog – congrats on the blog of note award!

    Great overhead pictures of the food.

    Duncan In Kuantan

  63. Beautiful Aran! Love the pairing of salmon with the berries. Must get my hands on fresh currants, they are stunning. I was the same way on road trips – the food made the trip way more fun :) Wonderful seeing you in Everyday Food mag.

  64. Lucia says:

    It often happens me to write and to be caught by my house and to forget the sun, the sky,meadows and food. Some weeks ago we went for a nice pic-nic. It healed me.


  65. Oh, heeheeheee! I just read you post from VT (which is where I live) and I just saw that you had s’mores. Now, our lives are complete….=D Just one other funny little thing. There is a pond across the street from us and, hidden in the trees, far on the other side, is a campground that I’ve never seen. We would hardly believe in its existence except that, on Friday evenings, during the summer, we can definitely, without a doubt, smell s’more in the air.

  66. La receta de chocolate de ayer fantástica, de las fotos no se puede decir nada más, sin palabras, pero déjame decirte que hay que ver lo mucho que ha crecido tu Miren, que está preciosa. Un abrazo y que disfrutes de tus vacaciones, yo mañana también empiezo las mías.

  67. Ideos says:

    Nice pictures but better recipe, really delicious.

    Thanks a lot

  68. Seanna Lea says:

    Your crumble looks amazing, and I love that you are able to raise your children with such joy in the different flavors around them. I have friends whose children won’t eat anything but the most boring of foods without a vegetable in sight!

  69. […] Salmon and Berry Salad: made this for dinner recently. Pretty much followed the recipe except I didn’t have any […]

  70. […] #5 – Chilled Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho RECIPE […]

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