My local Farmer’s Market has a wonderful tropical fruit stand selling a wide variety of ripe, colorful exotic fruits – some I have never seen or heard of before. I bought a bright and varied selection of them and made a show stopping fruit salad – containing mango, papaya, kiwi fruit and the lesser know yellow dragon fruit (a sweeter version of the bright pink dragon fruit). Dragon fruits are, happily, becoming easier to find in supermarkets these days. The fruits should be cut into pieces of roughly equal size. Try and make sure that some of the good juices end up in the fruit salad too.
1 mango – cut into cubes
1/2 a papaya – de-seeded and cut into cubes
1 yellow dragon fruit – cut each half into cubes
2 kiwi fruit – peeled and cut into pieces
Place all in a serving dish. It is good for a breakfast too.
Smoked mackerel is full of Omega 3 and can be found in some, but not all, supermarkets. It usually comes in two varieties – peppered and un-peppered. Personally, I find the peppered variety too overpowering. This salad is substantial and packed with all sorts of goodness – hard-boiled eggs, roasted beetroot, baby spinach, and a sprinkling of a chopped shallot. Added to this is a delicious dressing made of raw egg yolks, oil and lemon juice with a little salt and lemon pepper for seasoning. Lemon pepper is a good addition to anything lemony and I rub it over chicken before roasting it. Consuming raw eggs make some people nervous so dilute some mayo with some lemon juice to get an approximate effect. Toss the spinach and a couple of tablespoons of the dressing together and leave for half an hour for the dressing to soak in before assembling the whole platter.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
2 egg yolks
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Crack the eggs into a small mixing bowl, whisk in the oil followed by the lemon juice and season with salt and lemon pepper (I use Simply Organics brand).
2 medium beetroots – roasted
2 hard-boiled eggs – cut into quarters
5 oz. baby spinach
1 fillet of smoked mackerel – skin removed and cut into smallish pieces
1/2 a shallot – finely chopped
Roast the beetroots in their skins in aluminum foil in the oven for an hour or more until they are tender. Let cool, take the skin off and dice.
Hard boil 2 eggs
Toss the spinach together with 2 tbsp. of the lemon dressing and place in the fridge for half an hour.
Compose salad by first arranging the dressed spinach on a salad platter.
Add the other ingredients and drizzle over the rest of the dressing.
Another soup – different ingredients. I really like using white beans as a thickener, better for you than potatoes. Bacon adds a nice saltiness. I used back bacon (in the supermarket you may find it names ‘Irish bacon’) which is leaner cut. Dilute with extra broth after cooking if you prefer a thinner soup.
2 rashers of back bacon – halved and sliced
1 onion – diced
1 head of broccoli – cut into florets and I used the stem also
1 can of cannellini beans – drained
2 cups chicken broth (or more if you like a thinner soup)
Heat a frying pan until nice and hot and then add the bacon.
Once bacon is a little browned and giving off juices, add the onion.
Cook stirring occasionally until bacon and onion and nicely browned.
Add the broccoli, beans and broth, bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes.
Process in a food processor or use a hand held blender.
I have had such a lovely afternoon pottering in my mother’s kitchen trying to make this sauce which I tasted last week in the depths of North Yorkshire at the Stapylton Arms at Wass. This sauce was served with lamb chops and was on both the ‘Specials’ board and on the gluten and dairy free menu. It was a refreshing combination and beautifully presented with a few whole blueberries and slices of apple that had been cooked in the sauce. The smooth sauce made a lovely puddle around the chops.
The blueberries were ripe and I used an eating apple so that I didn’t need to add sugar. The mint came straight from my mother’s garden. So that the sauce had a zing to it, I ‘muddled’ the mint (as one would do for a cocktail) with balsamic vinegar. It can be served hot or cold. I am so looking forward to having it tonight with organic roast lamb – bread and reared in the area de-boned in front of my eyes in the fantastic local butcher, The Fabulous Meat and Fish Shop in Helmsley, North Yorkshire.
2 tbsp. mint – finely chopped
1 tbsp. aged 12 year old balsamic vinegar
4 oz. blueberries
1 green eating apple – peeled and thinly sliced with a potato peeler
1/4 cup of water
Place the mint in a small glass and pour over the balsamic vinegar, ‘muddle’ it and leave for 10 minutes or so to infuse.
In a small lidded saucepan put the blueberries, apple slices, mint, balsamic vinegar and water.
Bring the pan to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes on a low heat.
Process sauce in a food processor or hand held blender then push through a sieve.