Recipes

Courgettes

Grilled courgettes, preserved lemon and hot smoked salmon salad – Serves 4

Adding a smoky flavour works really well against the courgettes. Preserved lemon not only adds acidity but also seasons this wonderful salad, raising the humble courgette to the centre of attention.

Ingredients:
3 courgettes, washed and sliced on an angle about ½ cm thick
1 tsp chopped rosemary
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 clove garlic, grated
1 onion, finely sliced
2 x 150g portions of the finest hot smoked salmon or trout you can find
2 preserved lemons, diced
Juice of 1 lemon
10 summer radishes, sliced lengthways
3 tbsp fine capers
2 large handfuls of lambs lettuce or watercress
3 tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil, to finish

Method:

  • Lay the courgette slices on a large tray and sprinkle them with a teaspoon of salt. In a bowl, mix together the rosemary, rapeseed oil and garlic, pour this over the courgette slices and leave to marinate for 20 minutes or so.
  • Scatter the sliced onion over a large plate or platter and season with salt. Leave for 20 minutes to draw out the moisture and raw flavour.
  • Preheat a griddle pan and carefully the courgette slices in it (you might need to do this in batches). Grill them for two minutes just on the one side. Remove and allow to cool.
  • Lay out the the cooled courgette slices on a platter and flake over the salmon and then sprinkle with the preserved lemon, lemon juice, radish slices and capers. Finish with the lambs lettuce or watercress and drizzle with the lovely cold pressed rapeseed oil and a little extra flaky salt.

Jerusalem Artichoke Recipes

Cream of Jerusalem artichokes soup with truffle oil

Ingredients:
Jerusalem artichokes about 850g, cut into chunks and peel.  Roughly chop them into pieces of about 1cm.
125g unsalted butter
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
750ml chicken stock (homemade if possible)
250ml double cream
1 or more teaspoons truffle oil or a knob of butter (both optional)
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt and pepper

Method:

  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the artichokes, herbs and garlic and cook on a low heat for about 20 minutes, until soft.
  • Add the chicken stock and bring the soup to the boil, skim off any sediment or froth which come to the surface.  Give a gently simmer and cook the soup for about 40 minutes.
  • Add the cream and bring the soup back to the boil.  Take the saucepan off the stove and ladle the Jerusalem artichokes and stock into a liquidizer. Blend the soup until smooth.
  • Add the truffle oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Blend again for a few seconds. Taste for seasonings.

Cucumbers

Sweet and Sour Cucumber relish

Great with smoked salmon

Marinated Cucumber with mint

Rhubarb

  • Honey baked rhubarb (as recommended by Claire)

For the rhubarb: 400g young rhubarb

3 heaping tbsp honey

a small orange

a cinnamon stick

2 whole star anise

Method:
Set the oven at 160C/gas mark 3. Trim the rhubarb and cut it into short lengths. Put the pieces into a baking dish, then trickle over the honey. Cut the orange in half, squeeze it over the rhubarb and add the orange shells to the dish. Add the cinnamon stick and the star anise. Cover with a piece of foil or a lid, then bake for 30 minutes, or until the rhubarb is soft but has kept its shape. Serve with the panna cotta.

    Redcurrants

    Beetroot

      Makes about 600ml

      Ingredients

      500g beetroot

      300ml milk

      300g raspberries

      2 tbsp liquid glucose

      60g caster sugar

      Pinch of salt

      40g milk powder

      120ml double cream

      50g white chocolate

      Method

      Heat the oven to 180C/Gas 4 and bake the whole beetroot for about two hours, until completely soft and a little shrunken. Leave to cool.

      Peel the beetroot with a small sharp knife and put in a liquidiser with the milk, raspberries, glucose, sugar, salt and milk powder. Blend to a purée, then sieve out the raspberry pips.

      Stir in the cream then freeze in an ice-cream maker. When almost set, scrape into a freezer box. Melt the chocolate and trickle over the ice cream in thin strands, giving it a second to set before stirring it in and repeating. Freeze until solid.

      Blackcurrants

      Blackcurrant jam – makes about 3 litres

      Ingredients:
      1.8kg blackcurrants, pulled from their stems and washed (Monika thinks not washing helps the set as very ripe currants may absorb the water) but small flowery ends kept intact
      1.8kg granulated sugar (no pectin needed for blackcurrant jam)

      Method:

      • Put the blackcurrants into a large saucepan with 600ml water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until softened.
      • Add the sugar and stir gently to dissolve then increase the heat and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for around 5-8 minutes (in practice I have found more like 20 mins needed), then test for a set
      • When the jam has reached setting point, remove from the heat and leave to cool for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally before pouring into warm sterilised jars and sealing.

      Will keep for up to a year.

      Cassis – makes about 1.1 litres (2 pints)

      Ingredients:
      450g (1lb) blackcurrants, stalks removed and washed
      600ml (1 pint) gin or brandy
      Sugar

      Method:

      • Crush the blackcurrants
      • Place with the gin or brandy in screw-topped jars, then screw down tightly. Leave in a dark place for about 2 months.
      • Strain the spirit, then add 175g (6oz) sugar to each 600ml (1 pint) of liquid. Pour into a jug, cover and leave for 2 days, stirring at intervals to dissolve the sugar. Strain through muslin. Bottle the liquer and store for 6 months to mature before using.

      Great on ice cream or to create a sparkling wine/champagne Kir Royale cocktail.

      Blackcurrant crumb slices – Makes 10 bars

      A good recipe for using up any overripe fruit. Serve with ice cream or a spoonful of mascarpone or clotted cream.

      Ingredients:
      125g unsalted butter, softened
      125g caster sugar
      2 eggs
      125g self-raising flour
      1 tsp vanilla bean paste
      200g blackcurrants
      200g blueberries
      5 tbsp demerara sugar

      For the crumble:
      40g cold butter, cubed
      40g caster sugar
      75g oat flour

      Method:

      • Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Grease and line a deep 23cm square baking tin.
      •  First, make the crumble. In a bowl, rub the cold butter into the sugar and oat flour to form a rough crumble. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 15 minutes to allow it to firm up. This can also be made in advance and kept in the fridge at this stage overnight.
      •  For the base, beat the softened butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, adding two tablespoons of flour with each addition (this will prevent the batter from splitting). Once the mixture is smooth, fold in the remaining flour and the vanilla bean paste.
      •  Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread it out in an even layer. Top evenly with the berries, then the chilled crumble. Sprinkle over the demerara sugar to finish.
      •  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean (or with only fruit on it and no uncooked batter from the base layer). Allow to cool completely in the tin, then cut the slab into 10 bars, or into squares if you prefer.
      • Store in an airtight container for up to five days.

       

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