Summer’s the perfect time for a field trip, so I rounded up my fifth grade foodie and we headed to Phoenicia Specialty Foods way out Westheimer. Our goal was to get some rose water for the recipe that follows, Mixed Fruit Salad in Rose Syrup, but we found so much more and had a ball browsing past the hookahs, tea and such. With aisles piled super-high with product and tasteful displays, there’s a real warehouse/gourmet grocery vibe at Phoenicia. Unfortunately the pita conveyor belt was not in operation that afternoon, but our visit yielded rose and orange waters, green French lentils, hummus from the deli, black cherry preserves, a few nut and seed bars, and some interesting candies. (My favorite was a cardamom-flavored, nougat and nut job.) What a nice change from the weekly grocery store drudgery. Inner loopers are thrilled that Phoenicia is opening an outpost in downtown Houston.
Fruit salad is a refreshing addition to a summer menu, and the rose syrup in this recipe ads interest. (On a side note: don’t you just love the thick, glass bowl in the photo? It is Royal Copenhagen and came from the Houston store Sunset Settings. This photo was taken by Ralph Smith and styled by Julie Hettiger for July-August 2003 issue of Culinary Thymes magazine.)
- 3 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
- 1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 3 kiwis, peeled and sliced
- 1 mango, peeled and sliced
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 Tblsp rose water
- Combine all fruit and chill for several hours.
- Make the syrup. In a small saucepan, combine water and sugar. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in rose water.
- Toss fruit with syrup and serve chilled.
Recipe I’ve Tried Recently: Summer Squash and Corn Chowder
What am I thinking making soup when it’s 135 degrees outside? Recovering from vacation excess and travel fatigue, that’s what. But I made this soup (from Cooking Light’s August issue) anyway and it was de-lish. It is loaded with veggies and the bacon gives it the right amount of fat for taste. I served it with Tomato Bruschetta, as mentioned in the article, and it made for a lovely, light summer supper. Click on the link above to try it for yourself. Enjoy. -alyce eyster