Egg and Potato Salad with Anchovies (4)

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Summer is all about grilling and being outside and food is simpler too – maybe freshly shucked corn and potato salad with sun-ripe fruit or ice cream for dessert. Egg and Potato salad is simple but different and combines two popular salads in one. The mayo dressing is diluted with apple cider vinegar which makes it lighter and the addition of store bought rolled anchovies with capers in the middle adds extra flavor.

8 oz. new potatoes – boiled and cut into small pieces (I use organic potatoes and leave the skin on)

3 eggs – hard-boiled and cut into small pieces

1 x can anchovies with capers – chop 4 finely and reserve 4 for decoration

1 tbsp. mayonnaise

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Freshly ground black pepper

Boil the new potatoes and the eggs in a pan together for 10 minutes or so until the potatoes are tender. Drain pan then fill with cold water and add ice cubes.

When cool  cut potatoes into small pieces and place into a mixing bowl.

Peel eggs (easiest way I have found to do this is to crack egg on its bottom on a counter top – there is a little air pocket at the bottom of the egg – and it makes it easier to peel) then chop into little pieces and add to potatoes.

Add the finely chopped anchovies with capers and chop finely to the mix.

Whisk 1 tbsp. mayonnaise with 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar and season with a little pepper (salt probably not needed because of the anchovies). Pour over salad and mix well together. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the remaining rolled anchovies.

 

 

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Cranberry Tuna Salad (2 – 4)

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Tuna Salad, that staple of the deli counter, is something that most people like – cold comfort food.  By playing around with the basics I may be alienating the classic tuna salad aficionados, but I hope not. Give it a try just once. The additions are dried cranberries or craisins as they are sometimes called, celery salt and lemon juice.

1 x 6.7 oz. jar or can of tuna – flaked

3 large scallions/spring onions or 1 bunch – finely chopped

2 sticks of celery – finely chopped

Handful of dried cranberries

A good pinch of celery salt

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

2 tbsp. mayonnaise

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well together.

Lemon-Dill Dressed Noodles with Chicken, Olives, Cucumber and Feta (4)

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If I had a garden I would set aside  a patch for growing herbs. How nice it would be to gather them fresh for a recipe – to make mint sauce to go with lamb or add basil to a tomato sauce for pasta or to chop some fresh parsley for a garnish. Luckily my supermarket has a wide range of fresh herbs – oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage and dill among others.

Dill is a common ingredient in Russian, Scandinavian and Eastern European cuisines where it is used in such recipes as sauces and salads and for pickling.

I didn’t realize how many beneficial properties it has. It boosts digestion and the immune system, contains calcium, is an anti-inflammatory and an anti-flatulent!

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

4 oz. rice noodles

1 x chicken breast

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 tbsp. olive

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 an English cucumber – sliced then each slice quartered

12 black olives – cut into quarters

2 oz. feta cheese – cut into little cubes

Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

3 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. dill – finely chopped

1/4 of a shallot – finely chopped

Cook the rice noodles in boiling water for 5 minutes, drain and leave to cool.

Place chicken breast on a piece of aluminum dish in an ovenproof dish, pour over the lemon juice and olive oil, season with salt and pepper.  Make a parcel out of the aluminum foil, place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes until cooked through. Remove from oven, let cool then cut into bite-size pieces.

Into a large bowl put the rice noodles, chicken pieces, cucumber, olives and feta cheese.

Make the dressing by whisking together the juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon, Dijon mustard, olive oil, dill and shallot. Pour dressing into the bowl and toss together well (the ‘hands’ in the photo and really good for tossing the salad and separating the strands of noodles).

 

 

 

 

Lightly Curried Chicken, Spinach and Quinoa (4)

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A healthy dinner on the table in a short space of time and any leftovers are great cold and would work well as a packed lunch. The curry flavor is mild –  just a hint really – though you could alter that to your taste and comes in the form of a dressing. The chicken and onion are poached together in aluminum foil. Peanuts and raisins in added to the mix. All in all, a nicely different dish.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

2 x chicken breasts – cut into 1 inch slices

1/2 a medium onion – cut into slices, then halve the slices and separate into individual pieces

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup quinoa

2 cups of boiling water

10 oz. baby spinach

Handful of unsalted peanuts – chopped

1/2 oz raisins

1 tsp. curry powder

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp. olive oil

1 dessertspoon mango chutney

Put a piece of aluminum foil in an oven-proof dish and place chicken and onion slices on top. Pour the 2 tbsp. of oil over, season with salt and pepper and mix together. Make a little parcel with the aluminum foil and cook at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. After cooking, cut chicken into bite size pieces.

Meanwhile, place quinoa in a saucepan, add boiling water, bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

Place spinach in a large lidded pan,  add a little boiling water and cook for just a few minutes until spinach is wilted. Drain, then wrap spinach in a clean T-towel. When it is cool enough to touch, wring the T-towel to get rid of excess water, then chop the spinach.

Mix curry powder, apple cider vinegar and mango chutney together, add oil whisk well together.

To assemble, place quinoa in a large bowl, add the chicken, onion and their juices, chopped spinach peanuts and raisins. Pour over the curry dressing and mix well together.

Tuna and Cannellini Bean Salad with Red Onion and Caper Garnish (4)

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One of my favorite salads – very simple, very tasty. I use the tuna that comes in a jar with oil or water as it has a better flavor than regular canned tuna (and fresh grilled tuna would be the ultimate). The basic recipe is tuna, cannellini beans, and red onion slices nestled on a bed of shredded lettuce garnished with capers and served with an apple cider vinaigrette.

Romaine lettuce – shredded

1 x 7 oz jar of tuna – drained and broken into small pieces

1 x 15 oz can of cannellini beans – rinse and drained

Several slices of red onion – depending on how much you like it

2 tsp capers for garnishing (optional)

Place the lettuce on a platter and put the beans and tuna on top, sprinkle with red onion and top with olives. Toss with dressing or let people serve themselves.

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix mustard and vinegar until they make a smooth liquid.

Add the oil and season with salt and pepper and whisk together (for the best results place in an old jar with a lid and give the ingredients a good shake – this will emulsify the dressing).

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Lentils and Beans with Lime and Cilantro (4)

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Pulses in all guises are some of my most favorite foods and the bonus is that they are good for you. This really is so quick to make and would be perfect to take to work for lunch. I served it alongside chicken (poached in lemon juice and olive oil) but it stands alone too for a satisfying vegan/vegetarian dish.

1 can of lentils (approx. 15 oz.) – drained and rinsed

1 can of cannellini beans (approx. 15 oz.) – drained and rinsed

1 heaped tbsp. cilantro – finely chopped

Juice of half a lime

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Asparagus with Hard-Boiled Eggs and Prosciutto (4)

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Perfect for an appetizer, light lunch or quickly assembled for a picnic this is a bit of a riff on ‘Asparagus Mimosa’, where hard boiled eggs are pushed through a sieve and placed atop spears of asparagus.  I took thin, baby asparagus spears in season, cooked them until just ‘al dente’ and sprinkled chopped, hard-boiled eggs and thin, crispy strips of prosciutto over the asparagus. I served it with an apple cider vinaigrette.

8 oz baby asparagus spears

2 eggs – hard boiled

3 slices of prosciutto – cut into fine strips and fried till crispish

Place asparagus spears in a skillet and cover with boiling water. Bring to boil and simmer for only a couple of minutes (prick with a fork to see if they are just nicely tender) then drain and run cold water over them till they are cool to prevent any more cooking or, if you prefer cover with cold water and add some ice cubes.

When spears are cool put them in a clean, dry T-towel, pat dry and place on a serving dish. Sprinkle over the chopped boiled egg and the crispy prosciutto.

Apple Cider Vinaigrette

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp. olive oil

Mix mustard and vinegar together until smooth. Add oil and whisk until emulsified.