Burger with goats’ cheese, carrot and beetroot salad and lemon crème fraîche
Prep time: 50 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
For the burger
- ½tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 250g beef mince and 250g pork mince, combined
- 10g fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- Leaves from a few sprigs thyme
- Salt and pepper
For the salad
- 1tbsp lemon juice
- 1tsp caster sugar
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 medium-sized carrot, cut into fine strips
- 2 cooked beetroot, sliced
- Pinch of toasted fennel seeds
- Zest of ½ a lemon
For the lemon crème fraîche
- 100ml crème fraîche
- 1tsp lemon juice
- Zest of ½ a lemon
- Handful of watercress, roughly chopped
- 1tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 4 burger buns
- A small handful of watercress
- 150g mild goats’ cheese, sliced
Put a frying pan on a medium heat, add the oil and fry the onions and garlic for about 10 minutes, until golden. Cool a little, then tip into a bowl along with the meat, breadcrumbs, egg and thyme. Season, mix together, then divide into 4 patties. Pop the burgers in the fridge.
To make the salad, combine the lemon juice and sugar in a bowl, then add the red onion. Mix and leave to marinade for 30 minutes. In another bowl, add the carrot and salt and mix. Leave for 15 minutes, then squeeze the carrot to remove as much water as possible. Put the carrot in a bowl with the onion, beetroot and fennel seeds, then toss. Finally add the lemon zest and set aside.
Put the crème fraîche, lemon juice, zest, watercress and parsley into a bowl. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
Remove the burgers from the fridge and cook on a BBQ, or in a frying pan with a little olive oil. Cook for about 5 minutes each side, until cooked through. Meanwhile, halve the burger buns and warm up under a grill. Top each bun base with watercress, a little salad, a burger, goats’ cheese, the lemon crème fraîche and the bun tops, then serve.
Panzanella (tomato and bread salad)
Prep and cooking time: 20 minutes
Cooling time: A few hours to overnight
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3tbsp olive oil
- 1½tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2tsp caster sugar
- Salt and pepper
- 360g mixed cherry tomatoes (red, orange and yellow), halved
- Handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- ½ cucumber, deseeded and cut into 1cm cubes
- 250g day-old sourdough bread
- 1 small Romaine lettuce
Combine the garlic, onion, olive oil, white wine vinegar, sugar and ½tsp water in a small bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the tomatoes, parsley and cucumber.
Slice the bread 3cm thick and lightly toast under a grill. Tear roughly into 3cm cubes and add to the bowl of tomatoes. Pour over the dressing and use your hands to mix everything together so the bread is well coated. Leave for 3 hours, or overnight, so that all the flavours combine and the bread soaks up the dressing.
Just before serving, tear the lettuce into bite-size pieces and add to the salad. Toss lightly and transfer to a large bowl for sharing.
Chilli and lemongrass sea bass cooked in banana leaves
Serves: 4 as a light meal
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 40-60 minutes
- 2 whole sea bass gutted and cleaned (approx 450g each once gutted)
- 2tsp sea salt
- 4 lemongrass sticks, outer stalks removed and finely sliced
- Zest and juice of 2 limes (about 60ml of juice)
- 2 red chillis, finely chopped
- 20g fresh ginger, cut into thin matchsticks
- 2tsp rapeseed oil
- 2tsp sesame oil
- 2tsp fish sauce
- 2tsp demerara sugar
- 2 banana leaves (roughly 40cm x 60cm each to cover the fish, or use two or three smaller leaves overlapping a few inches between them)
- 4 x 30cm cooking strings
To serve (optional)
- 3 spring onions, finely sliced and soaked in water
- Light soy sauce
- A small bunch of coriander leaves
- Lime wedges
Banana leaves help to keep the fish moist during cooking. Buy them either frozen or fresh from Chinese supermarkets. Alternatively, use a few layers of tin foil.
Make 3 incisions on each side of the fish. Place the fish in a large shallow dish, sprinkle with 1tsp of salt over both sides, and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
To make the marinade, combine the lemongrass, remaining salt, lime zest and juice, chilli, ginger, both oils, fish sauce and demerara sugar in a bowl. Pour the marinade over the fish. After 15 minutes, turn the fish over and continue to marinade for another 15 minutes.
Lay 1 banana leaf out on a flat surface, then lift one fish out of the marinade and place it on top. Do the same with the other leaf and fish. Pour the marinade from the dish over both the fishes, and then fold the head and tail sides of the leaves towards each fish. Fold over the sides to completely cover the fish, then secure the leaves in place with cooking string.
If you are cooking the fish on a BBQ, wrap the fish parcels in a layer of aluminium foil to protect the leaves from getting burnt and cook on a medium to high heat for 40-60 minutes, depending on the heat. You can peel back the skin a little to check if the fish is cooked to your liking. Alternatively, cook the fish on a tray in an oven preheated to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. To serve, unwrap the fish from the leaves and top with spring onion, soy sauce, coriander and lime wedges. ➜
Spicy chicken wings
Prep time: 10 minutes Marinating time: 30 minutes to overnight Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 1tbsp rapeseed or vegetable oil
- 1tsp salt
- large piece
- fresh root ginger, finely grated
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
- ½tsp cumin
- 1tsp hot smoked paprika
- 10 twists of black pepper
- 50ml fresh orange juice, from ½ orange
- 2tsp honey
- 12 chicken wings, or chunks of chicken breast if you prefer
- 1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
- Few sprigs of rosemary
- Cayenne pepper (optional)
- 6 skewers, either metal or bamboo (soaked in cold water beforehand)
In a bowl combine the oil, salt, ginger, garlic, chilli, cumin, paprika, black pepper, orange juice and honey. Pour the marinade into a freezer bag. If using chicken wings, cut each one in half at the joint. Add the chicken pieces to the bag and marinate for at least 30 minutes in the fridge or ideally overnight.
About 30 minutes before serving, remove the chicken from the fridge and thread them on to skewers, alternating with lemon wedges. Insert some rosemary leaves between the meat pieces. Cook the skewers on a high heat on the BBQ or grill for 10 minutes each side. Sprinkle with a little cayenne pepper if you like extra heat, then serve.
Nutritional information: 348 calories, 23g fat
Grilled summer vegetable bundles
Makes: 16 vegetable bundles
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips, 6-7cm long
- 100g green beans, trimmed
- 2 aubergines, cut lengthways into 5mm thick slices
- 4tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil
- 1 block halloumi cheese, cut into 5mm-thick slices
- ½ red pepper, sliced into 1cm thick strips
- ½ yellow pepper, sliced into 1cm thick strips
- 16 sun-blush tomatoes, or sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
- 16 sprigs of thyme
- Salt and pepper, to season
- 150g natural or Greek yoghurt
- Small handful of parsley and chives, chopped
- 2tbsp toasted almonds
Cook the carrots in a pan of boiling water for 1 minute. Remove using a slotted spoon, then plunge into a bowl of cold water to refresh. Repeat with the beans. Once cooled down, drain the vegetables, pat dry and set aside.
Place a griddle pan on a medium to high heat. Once it starts smoking, smear the aubergine slices with oil and cook them for a few minutes each side, until they have nice griddle marks. Set aside on a plate. Repeat the same process for the halloumi, red and yellow peppers, carrots and beans. Once all the vegetables are cooked, spread the aubergine slices on a large tray and divide the grilled vegetables and halloumi between them. Add the tomatoes and thyme, season with salt and pepper, then roll up the aubergine slices from top to bottom to make bundles. Secure them with skewers.
Combine the yoghurt, parsley and chives together in a bowl. Sprinkle the almonds on top of the bundles, drizzle with sauce and serve.
Nutritional information: 110 calories, 8g fat
Pistachio and rose-water meringue with boozy nectarines and vanilla mascarpone
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
Marinating time: 3 hours
Cooling time: 1 hour
For the nectarines
- 125ml sweet dessert wine
- 2tbsp caster sugar
- 4 ripe nectarines, stoned and sliced
- 1tsp lemon juice
- Peel of 1 orange
- ½ vanilla pod
For the meringue
- 4 egg whites
- 200g caster sugar
- ½tsp rose water
- Pinch of salt
- Few drops of red food colouring
- 10g chopped pistachios
For the mascarpone
- 250g mascarpone
- 20g sugar
- Seeds from ½ vanilla pod
- 50ml water
Make the boozy nectarines at least 3 hours ahead of serving. Pour the dessert wine into a small pan, add 1½tbsp sugar and cook over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool slightly.
Place the nectarine slices, remaining sugar and lemon juice in a bowl, stir well, then add the orange peel and vanilla pod and pour over the warm dessert wine. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
Preheat the oven to 110°C/230°F/gas mark ¼. Place the egg whites in a clean bowl and whisk until they form soft peaks. Start to add the sugar 1tbsp at a time, and continue to whisk for 3-4 seconds between each addition. When it has become stiff and glossy, add the rose water and salt. Transfer a quarter of the meringue mixture to a small bowl and add a few drops of red food colouring to tint. Tip the coloured meringue mixture back into the white one and swirl through very lightly.
Prepare a baking sheet lined with baking parchment and, using a large spoon or a spatula, scoop the meringue mixture on to the sheet in 6 mounds. Sprinkle pistachios over each meringue then place them in the oven. Cook for 2 hours until crisp. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues inside to cool.
Meanwhile, tip the mascarpone into a bowl. Add the sugar and vanilla seeds and mix well. This will form quite a stiff mixture, so add a little water to loosen. Chill until ready to use. If it separates, just give it a good stir.
To serve, put a meringue on each plate and add a spoonful of mascarpone. Decorate with some nectarine slices and then pour a little poaching liquid over the top.