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Menu Plan for Summer I: Week 8, Friday

Zucchini (Courgette), Tomato and Mozzarella Stacks
Grilled Scallops on Avocado Sauce
Barley with Chives
Lentils Provençal

Cooking time:  45 minutes for menu          Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

       We're doing a bit of 'planning ahead' with this menu: The rest of the mozzarella will be used on Saturday, and the rest of the zucchini and extra lentils will be used on Monday.

Zucchini (Courgette), Tomato and Mozzarella Stacks

Total time: 20 minutes  
   Three peak seasonal ingredients + 15 minutes cooking = perfect summer first course.  Pour a chilled Rosé and relax.  Drizzle with olive oil and Balsamic if you like... I didn't.  I prefer the pure summer flavors! Fresh mozzarella comes in a round, ball shape, packed in liquid, usually in a bag.  Save leftover cheese in the liquid, in a small bowl.

Zucchini (Courgette), Tomato and Mozzarella Stacks Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Hint: If you don't have a brush, dip a corner of a paper towel in the oil to brush on.

Grilled Scallops on Avocado Sauce

Total time: 20 minutes
   With the sweet scallops and creamy avocado, this is a rich dish.... I served fewer scallops than usual.  Use a grill pan or basket for easy handling and be careful not to overcook.

Grilled Scallops on Avocado Sauce Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Note: Wrap remaining avocado half in cling film, place, cut side down, on a plate and refrigerate.

Barley with Chives

Total time: 20 minutes 
   Barley is not just for soup!  It's a hearty, nutritious grain; easy to cook and flavorful.  I get the quick-cooking barley which takes about 15 minutes.  Cooked in chicken stock and finished with a bit of oil and fresh herbs, it's chewy texture is a fun change from rice or pasta.

Barley with Chives Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Lentils Provençal

Total time: 45 minutes  
     I use the tiny, green lentils de Puy, but you can use the larger brown or tan lentils. Do not use the red ones, they get too mushy. With the shallots, garlic, olives and mustard it's reminiscent of long, slow lunches in Provence. 

Lentils Provençal Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Cooking Schedule: 45 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
scissors, medium bowl, medium skillet, 2 small
saucepans with lids, baking sheet, blender, BBQ grill,
basket, mat or pan or large skillet

Turn oven on, 400F (200C)
Light barbecue if using charcoal
Pick over lentils, rinse, start to cook
Snip all herbs
Chop shallot, mince garlic
Pit olives if needed
Slice tomatoes, courgette, mozzarella
Oil 1 side of zucchini, place on baking sheet, bake
Mind the lentils
Sauté shallots, garlic
Squeeze lime
Make Avocado Sauce
Remove zucchini, add tomato, return

Turn shallots, garlic off, remove from heat
Drain lentils if done, if not turn heat to low
Remove zucchini, add cheese, return
Start to cook barley
Mix cumin, lime, oil
Add scallops, stir, set aside
Turn on barbecue if using gas
Remove zucchini, arrange on plate, garnish, serve
Done?
Mind the barley
Cook scallops
Put shallots back on heat
Drain lentils, refrigerate half
Add other half of lentils to shallots with parsley
Turn scallops
Add mustard to lentils, finish
Add chives, basil to barley and finish
Spoon Avocado Sauce on plates, add scallops
Serve