Nothing beats a simple salad, especially when the sun is shining and you have a chance to sit and savour a little bit of goodness. In my opinion the dressing is as important as the salad components – it brings the whole plate together and gives everything a satisfying lift. Here the saltiness of the olives paired with the lemon in the dressing keeps everything light and the crunch of the cucumber makes this a joy to eat.
1/3 cucumber, cut into thin rounds
10 pitted green olives, halved
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp oregano
1 dsp lemon
A handful of parsley, finely chopped
Ground black pepper
In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, oregano, lemon and season with the black pepper.
Using the dish you’re serving your salad in, evenly distribute the cucumber, olives and parsley.
The real trick with this dish is actually the quality of the products that you purchase. For this particular recipe it isn’t the seasonings that are the winner it’s the main ingredients themselves that make this so delicious. When you pop to your local supermarket add a few extra pennies to the mozzarella you buy, make sure it’s a good quality and not the ‘everyday value’ type (those always have little to no taste). Pick out the best avocado and baby vine or plum tomatoes that actually come on the vine. These particular aspects make this so important to making this dish so delicious as it showcases the most delectable flavours and keep you wanting more.
1 avocado, peeled, deseeded and cut into bite-size chunks
1 mozzarella, drained
8 baby plum or baby vine tomatoes, quartered
Crushed black pepper
Take a plate or dish you wish to serve with. Evenly distribute the avocado and tomato pieces on the plate.
Either slice or tear the mozzarella and spread across the dish.
Season with a little sprinkling of oregano, salt and black pepper. Drizzle over a little olive oil and serve.
This recipe is perfect when you want something slightly lighter but something that also packs a punch. The harissa comes at you hard in this recipe but the sweet pepper and preserved lemons give such a contrast it’ll be a staple for when you want something quick, easy but (more importantly) extra delicious too.
1 preserved lemon, chopped into small pieces
1 tsp harissa paste
1 spring onion, finely chopped
1 handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1 sweet pointed red pepper, chopped into small pieces
4-5 mint leaves, finely chopped
80g fine bulgur wheat
Start by preparing the bulgur according to the packet and set aside.
Mix the harissa together with the olive oil in a small bowl and drizzle over the prepared bulgur.
Add all the remaining ingredients, mix thoroughly and serve.
Delicious, chilled and cucumber perfectly sums up this weeks recipe. Even though the rainy wet weather has returned it has been incredibly humid and still rather warm. The feeling of having a warm hot meal still doesn’t tickle my taste buds and so this cucumber concoction is the way to go. Personally I think that cucumbers are underrated and can be so versatile and refreshing. An ingredient that is readily available all year round and can make such a simple dish so tasty.
1 cucumber, deseeded and roughly chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 shallot, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove
1tsp dried mint
1tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tbsp yogurt
Extra virgin olive oil (for serving)
Put all ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth.
Leave in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.
Now that it is becoming warmer and brighter outside I am starting to feel those ‘summer’ vibes. I cannot wait for it to get really warm so that we can say goodbye to the coats and scarves for a few months. This Choc Ice Milkshake sorted me right out the other day when the day was looking so glorious. I really wanted a cheeky cold drink but didn’t want to venture out to Starbucks or Costa Coffee. Luckily I have Choc Ice ice creams stashed in the freezer and thought I’d jazz it up a little with a couple of extra components to make a really simple chocolatey milkshake.
2 choc ice ice creams
2 tsp chocolate drinking powder (I used Cadbury’s)
Put all the ingredients to a blender and blitz until smooth. Pour the mixture out evenly into two tumbler glasses.
Let’s just keep it real, keep it simple and keeping it delicious with this recipe. Unreal how quick and simple this is to prepare and just so flavourful, definitely one that I will be going back to a fair few times as we draw closer to summer.
1 can (400g) red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 spring onion, finely chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried mint
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic granules
Start of by making the marinade by adding the lemon, mint, olive oil, garlic granules, salt and pepper in a bowl and give it a good mix.
In a separate bowl put the beans, parsley and spring onion.
Drizzle the marinade over the bean mixture and give it another thorough mix.
Pearl Barley, a versatile delicous grain that can be used in a multitude of ways: soups, stews and salads. It can be the ingredient that almost ‘pads out’ your meal or can be the showcase; either way, it’s a win win situation. With this particular recipe, I love how the chicken remains so moist and juicy, absorbing the lemon and all those delicious seasonings.
2 chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
100g frozen peas
100g pearl barley, rinsed
500ml chicken stock
1 celery, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp onion granules
In a pan, fry the garlic and celery in the oil for 2-3 minutes.
On medium heat, add the chicken, lemon, onion granules, oregano and season with salt and pepper; cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add the barley and cook for a further 4 minutes.
Pour in the chicken stock, add the peas, mix and bring to a gentle boil.
Cover and leave to simmer on low for 40 minutes (stirring occasionally) or until the barley has softened but still has a bite to it.
Asparagus screams spring time to me. I love the preparations for spring time, seeing the new plants and flowers starting to bloom once again just gets me so excited for the warmer weather and the longer, sunnier days. Additionally we slowly start to move away from the heavier more richer foods and start having lighter meals. Starting with this: baked sea bass and asparagus is a deliciously light meal packed with such simple but tasty ingredients. I really enjoy baking fish in foil, it just keeps the meaty part so soft and moist. By tightening the foil it traps all the juices and the aromas inside so when you open it up after removing it from the oven it just awakens those tastebuds and other senses to the deliciousness you’re about to experience.
2 sea bass fillets
100g asparagus tips
5 cloves of garlic, whole or chopped (depending on how intense you prefer the flavour to be)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs of rosemary
Preheat the oven to 180°C or gas mark 4.
Place the sea bass in the centre of a large sheet of foil and season with salt and pepper.
Then add all remaining ingredients to the foil and seal it up tightly.
Place the foil parcel onto a baking tray and put in the oven and leave to bake for 15-20 minutes.
Best served hot and with a side dish of boiled or roast potatoes.