This is not really a recipe, but a big huge run-to-the-farmers-market right now recommendation!

Heirloom tomatoes are amazing! So so tasty, better than any tomato I have had from a shop, up there with fresh from the garden tomatoes. They are basically tomatoes that have been openly (naturally) pollinated, ‘non-hybrids’… naturally grown! And the taste proves it. Read more here.

I am going to be keeping my eyes out for these, they are more expensive but so so worth it.

You can see by all the different colours you are putting goodness into your salad.

They come in all sizes too, check out these bad boy!

You need;
a selection of tomatoes, different colours is good here
a pack of/150g soft goats cheese
semi skimmed milk – up to 50ml
basil and/or mint
sea salt
(rough quantities but I estimate you could make 6-8 little starter size salads or 2-4 main size salads with this amount of cheese)

1. First pop your goats cheese into a large mixing bowl and pour a little of the milk in and whip with an electic mixer until combined, keep going until the cheese becomes a good mousse texture and is airy and light.

2. Make your herb salt by chopping up your soft herbs and blending with seat salt until combined (you need very little so use as much salt as you think you’ll need or make extra to use on other dishes)

3. We also made a very simple light dressing by cooking a little vinegar, white, white wine or cider would work here, with some sugar until it reduced a little, then added the tomato juices.

 

So to make this pretty salad (it’s so pretty I think I must have taken 50+ photographs!) we start with a big slice of the big tomato for a base…

Then arranged our chopped tomatoes on top

Then start to add your cheese, we made our into little balls using teaspoons… then placed them on top of the arrangement.

Then drizzled the dressing and arranged some pea shoots (my fave green garnish) and then sent them off to our guests. We also made a little salad for ourselves and I have to say it really is the perfect summer starter I cannot think of anything nice than sitting in my garden eating (a big version) this with a glass of white wine.

Tonight!

I apologise for the many many photographs but I just love the colourful prettiness I couldn’t stop snapping, I hope you enjoyed them!

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Cucumber Gazpacho

June 29, 2011

The first recipe I am going to share is an easy one, and great for right now with all the sunshine we’re having this week.

The colour is great you can see the health!

This is a great slimming lunch, nothing bad in there and eat enough and you will be full; believe it or not… I used to live on this when I worked in restaurants.

This makes 2 small portions, or 1 large.

you need;
2 small shallots
1 large clove garlic
2 tsp olive oil
1 large cucumber, cut into small chunks
1 large pepper
2 tsp good balsamic vinegar
sea salt and black pepper to taste

1. Saute the shallot and garlic over medium heat for about 3 minutes, until the shallots start to go nice and clear do not let them brown.
Meanwhile, cut the pepper into chunks and remove all its seeds.

2. In a food processor or blender, puree the shallots, garlic, cucumber, pepper, vinegar, and salt together for about 2 minutes. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Keep blending until completely smooth.

Serve chilled and cool your lunch break down!

We also added a little cube of tomato and basil jelly and I found an easy recipe here if you want to recreate this dish for your next dinner party.

A little extra effort for a wow!

Demuths

June 21, 2011

On Sunday for Fathers Day the Boy and I treated my Dad to a trip to Demuths, a treat for him and for us.

Finally I made it back to Demuths, I used to be more of a regular visitor but I hadn’t been for years before this visit. I was very excited.

The restaurant is in lovely Bath, tucked away down a little side street near the baths.

I have a little soft spot for restaurants in old buildings that are really not meant to be restaurants, I love Demuths’ little rooms and corners. It’s still very bright and airy though, it’s the high ceilings.

I would never pretend to be a restaurant reviewer, I am passionate about food but I am very much a learner, I offer recommendations of places I have visited and loved.

On the same vein I cannot be a restaurant reviewer because it is rare I go somewhere and eat 3 or more courses, I just can’t do it, so I can rarely offer a comprehensive view of the menu. I even stuck to water this time so I cannot even comment on the wine list.

I will comment on the food though… it’s great!

Demuths is a vegetarian restaurant and everything is oh so delicious and fresh and although I never leave Demuths feeling like I cannot move I always leave full and satisfied.

We started with some bread from the Thoughtful Bread Company, based in Bath. My Mum works in Bath and has told me about them and as a big lover of real bread I wanted to try some.

Next time I am in Bath I will have to pay them a visit.

This was served with rapeseed oil and an applely balsamic, different to olive oil. I approve!

Like I said I am rubbish at eating three courses so I had to leave the starters and light bites, it was a hard decision but knowing how great and pretty the desserts are I had to skip it or I’d pay later!

I really wanted to try the Crostini though, maybe I’ll have to go back soon for a little lunch.

Dad and I went for the Ricotta Tart and the Boy ordered the Urid Wadis, which are little pounded lentil dumplings.

I love pastry, tarts and pies are up there as some of my favourite things to eat, I was worried this would be a little bland but it really wasn’t. The tart was quite strong-tasting and served with amazing roasted new potatoes and confit tomatoes.

Much more filling than I thought it would be.

These are the little dumplings. Unfortunately I didn’t get to try (I was too interested in my food!)

It came with a little jug of sauce which had all the spice, the waitress said maybe try a little before you pour it all on see how spicey it is… but the Boy didn’t do that. He likes spice so he just poured it all on. he very much enjoyed it and although was also afraid he’d be leaving hungry, he was stuffed.

Dessert! Always my favourite course here… and they had my most favourite dessert, Posset!

My Dad and the Boy had a chocolate mousse, which the chef said wasn’t quite set but we were welcome to have it if we didn’t mind… we didn’t.

It definitely wasn’t set but I think it looks good like this, like a little sunken pudding. It was very rich and gorgeous but I am glad, after my tart that I didn’t have a whole one.

That biscuit has pink peppercorns in it!

My blood orange posset came with rhubarb and oats. Loved it, could have eaten another.

Another great thing about Demuths is they have my favourite tea; Lahloo Tea, so I tried an infusion that I hadn’t seen before.

Green Mulberry…

Once again I will insist you try fresh tea leaves if you haven’t yet, they really are 100 times more delicious than tea bags!

Perfect ending!

As you can guess I love Demuths, I highly recommend it for all, even if you are a massive carnivore you can appreciate it (the Boy loves it)

They also have a cookery school, which one day I will definitely be doing a few courses.Vegetarian food is something that really impresses people when you do something interesting.

Salsa

June 14, 2011

Not really a recipe I know but is one I use a lot so I wanted to make it its own post. It’s another one of those things that I used to buy ready-made but now know that nothing compares to freshly chopped salsa that I have made, plus it’s cheaper and only takes 5 minutes.

You need;
3 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
1 medium red onion
1 red chilli, finely chopped
juice and zest of 1 lime
black pepper
fresh coriander, chopped

That is what I put in mine anyway, how about you?

Theres no technique here, just chop it all up and mix together. Serve with tortilla chips, or on tuna steak or in fajitas which is what I did, recipe coming tomorrow!

Guacamole

June 3, 2011

I think everyone’s perfect guacamole is a personal preference. But shop bought will never darken your door again once you’ve made your own, I used to think shop brought was fine until I did make my own and it took me 2 minutes and was 10 times better.

I like mine chunky and fresh with tomatoes and chilli and a ton of lime.

Do you ever have difficulty getting the flesh out? I like to cut around the edge with a sharp knife, if ripe enough you don’t need to go deep.

Then scoop it out with a spoon, again if ripe it should come out in one perfect piece. If you have difficulty then it probably isn’t quite ripe enough to do this,  it will also be harder to get the stone out.

Am I missing a trick here? How do you do it?

You need;
3 ripe avocados
1–3 red chillies, finely chopped
handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
10 cherry/mini plum tomatoes
juice of 1 lime
sea salt and black pepper

1. Cut the avocados into smallish pieces and mash up with a fork into a chunky paste, leaving some pieces.

2. Add the chillies, tomatoes and coriander, then season and add the lime juice to taste.

Serve immediately or it will go brown, or cover the surface with cling film and pop in the fridge, maybe adding more lime juice.

Fresh! A little friday snacky treat, you could serve with home made pittas for a great lunch or you could just get the tortilla chips out!

 My perfect lunch is me, a glossy, french fries and a glass of Chardonnay. It is my most favourite thing to do when I need some me time.

A few weekends ago I added a Caesar salad to this, to have a proper meal. It was great.

No added bits, no chicken or bacon. Just a proper Caesar.

My salad was made by the lovely people at Riverstation but you can make your very own, it’s a simple classic salad that everyone should master.

You need;
1 large free-range egg
1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
4-5 anchovy fillets, chopped (optional)
3 tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra for frying
freshly ground black pepper
25g parmesan cheese, coarsely grated
1 cos lettuce, washed and torn into pieces
2 thick slices of white bread, crusts removed, cubed

1. Place the egg in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Boil for 1 minute and then plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process.

2. Once the egg is cool enough to handle, crack the egg into a food processor and add the garlic, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, anchovies and oil. Process well and add pepper to taste.

3. Place the cos lettuce in a bowl. Fry the bread cubes in a little olive oil until crispy, then drain on kitchen paper.

4. To serve, pour the dressing over the leaves and add the croutons and parmesan. Toss well and serve at once.

Recipe from BBC

Orange Cured Salmon

March 24, 2011

A big hit at our first supper was the orange cured salmon dish, our fish course and the perfect antidote to the very rich parfait and duck either side of it.

It is very easy to do yourself, and cured salmon is so good, so delicate. Try it at home.

This recipe is for 225g of salmon, adjust if you want to make a whole side like us!

You need;
225g salmon
5 tbsp sugar
juice of 1-2 lemons/oranges

Put your salmon in a tray and cover with the juice and sugar then cover the salmon with cling film and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, rinse the salt and juice off the salmon if done. It should feel slighty firm. Pop back in the fridge until your ready to slice and eat!

So delicate and lovely to eat.

We served our with some puréed avocado, fennel and orange slices with an orange vinaigrette (try orange juice, sugar, olive oil, salt, adjust to taste) which was summer on a plate!

Plate-ing up!

I am definitely making this over the summer. A lot!