Raspberry, nectarine and smoked chicken salad
You can also use leftover roast chicken instead of smoked chicken.
4 smoked chicken breasts, cut into thin slices or strips
200g pack of salad leaves
4 nectarines, thinly sliced
50g pistachio nuts, shelled
For the dressing
50ml olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Place all the dressing ingredients in a glass jug and mix with a hand blender.
2 Arrange the salad ingredients on a serving platter – you can group or stack them. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle over the dressing just before serving, or serve on the side.
Tip For a more filling salad, use a stale ciabatta or baguette to make croutons and serve them with the salad.
Fillet of beef and pickled blueberry salad
80ml white wine vinegar
1 bay leaf
3 allspice berries
500g beef fillet
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch spring onions
200g pack of salad greens or baby lettuce
1 lemon, zest of
1 In a pan, mix the sugar, white wine vinegar, verjuice, bay leaf and allspice berries. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
2 Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for a few minutes, then pour over the blueberries and leave to cool. The pickle can be stored in the fridge for a few days.
3 Rub the fillet all over with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Heat an ordinary or griddled frying pan to very hot and grill the fillet for 5 minutes each side, until golden brown all over. Cool, then wrap tightly in cling film and freeze for about 3 hours.
4 Using a very sharp knife, cut the spring onions into long thin strips and plunge into cold water to curl.
5 Remove the fillet from the freezer and use a very sharp knife to cut it into thin slices or strips. Spoon these on to a serving platter with the salad leaves and spring onions. Sprinkle the pickled blueberries over, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and serve.
Blueberry and apple chutney
Makes 2 jars
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
200g brown sugar
500g apples, peeled and diced
250ml apple cider or white wine vinegar
1 whole star anise
3 allspice berries
½ tsp coriander seeds, roasted
1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
½ red chilli, seeded and chopped
1 Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onions until soft and glossy, then add the sugar, blueberries, apples, vinegar, a pinch of salt, spices, ginger and chilli.
2 Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the fruit is soft.
3 Stir the mixture occasionally and simmer until all the liquid has evaporated and the chutney has thickened (remember it will thicken even more as it cools).
4 Once cool, pour into warm sterilised jars and seal.
Tip This chutney is delicious with chicken and rocket as a sandwich filling, or serve it with a cheeseboard.
For the pastry
½ tsp salt
125g cold butter, cubed
4 tbsp ice-cold water
For the filling
200g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, seeded
1 lime, grated zest of
2 eggs, beaten
200g finely ground almonds
Fresh cream or vanilla ice cream, to serve
1 To make the pastry, place the flour and salt in the mixing bowl of a food processor and add the cold butter. Pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then add 2 tbsp water and process the ingredients into a ball of dough. Don’t add the rest of the water unless necessary. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2 Roll out the dough on a floured surface and line the base of a loose-bottomed tart tin. Trim the edges then refrigerate for 25-30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
3 Blind-bake the pastry with baking paper and baking beans for 12-15 minutes, then take out of the oven and remove the paper and beans. Bake for another 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to 170ºC.
4 To make the filling, beat together the sugar, butter, vanilla and lime zest. Add the eggs one by one, beating thoroughly after each egg. Fold in the almonds, season with a pinch of salt, and pour the mixture into the baked pastry case.
5 Sprinkle the berries over the top and bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown and risen.
6 Serve the tart warm or cold with mascarpone, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.