Flaked Salmon Salad on a Bed of Watercress (serves 4)

Flaked Salmon Salad on a Bed of Watercress (serves 4)

Cold salmon embodies summer (think whole poached salmon with cucumber slices down the middle – a memory from childhood celebrations). Peas – fresh from the pod – are a summer treat if you can get them. Also in the salad are shelled edamame, but if you have baby broad beans you could substitute those. Then there is some English cucumber and some finely chopped scallions. Served on a bed of super healthy watercress and tossed in a lemon vinaigrette (special ingredient to vinaigrette is juice from cooked salmon).Add some new potatoes or else quantities are for a ladies’ lunch. Vegan or vegetarian if you omit salmon.

2 oz watercress – torn into little pieces

1 x good size piece of salmon

1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/8 cup of water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place salmon on a piece of tin foil big enough to wrap around salmon.

Pour over lemon juice and water and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Cook in oven for 20 minutes or until salmon is cooked through and then let cool.

Retain juice.

Place 1/2 cup peas and 1/2 cup edamame beans in pan with boiling water and cook for 3 minutes or so, then drain.

1 bunch scallions/spring onions – finely chopped

1/2 English cucumber (English because no seeds) – chopped into small chunks

1/2 lemon juice freshly squeezed

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Poach salmon in aluminum foil in an oven proof dish with the lemon juice, water and seasoning – make a kind of parcel.

Cook for 20 minutes or so in oven until salmon is cooked. Then let cool.

At same time cook peas and edamame beans/baby broad beans in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse.

Place torn up watercress in bottom of serving bowl and add scallions/spring onions and chopped cucumber.

Add cooled pea/edamame mixture

Add flaked salmon

Vinaigrette – juice of 1/2 lemon, 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper AND lemon/water juice from poaching the salmon (makes all the difference).

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Watercress and Sweet Potato Soup (serves 4)

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This soup is absolutely packed with an alphabet of vitamins and minerals – vitamins A, B-5, B-6, C, E and minerals calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, thiamine and also fiber.The sweet potato adds a sweet flavor so I added turmeric and cayenne pepper along with celery salt. Extraordinarily, this recipe has had the most hits on my blog.

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil seasoned with freshly ground black pepper

Good pinch of celery salt

Pinch or so of cayenne pepper, depending on how much spice you want to add

Pinch of turmeric

1 x medium onion – finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic – grated

1 x medium sweet potato – peeled and cut into small cubes

3 cups veg. broth

4 oz watercress

Heat oil and seasonings in cast iron casserole dish and, when sizzling, add onion. Let soften for a few minutes and lightly brown, then add garlic.

Add sweet potato and veg. broth, bring to the boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes with a lid on casserole dish.

Then add the watercress and cook for a further 5 minutes or until sweet potato is soft when pierced with a fork.

Puree in food processor.

Spinach and Watercress Soup with Cannellini Beans and Pesto (4)

Spinach and Watercress Soup with Cannellini Beans and Pesto (serves 4)

There is so much goodness in this soup you will positively glow with good health. Spinach and watercress are excellent for you. I added cannellini beans for bulk and texture and added a bought spinach basil pesto for extra flavor (contained no cheese). I am going to experiment with making pesto as a dollop can be added to so many recipes. I remember the very first time I tasted pesto some 25 years ago. It was mixed with spaghetti and was so delicious I could have eaten it twice over. I was so worried I would never find it on a menu again not realizing it was an Italian staple!

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large onion (8 oz) – finely chopped
3 cups chicken/vegetable broth (add more if you like a thinner soup)
1 x 4oz bag/bunch of watercress
6 oz baby spinach
1 x 16 oz can cannellini beans – drained and rinsed
2 tbsp. pesto

Heat seasoned oil till sizzling in a cast iron casserole dish (I use Le Creuset) then add onion.
When softened add broth and bring to a boil.
Add watercress and spinach, turn down the heat and cook for 5 minutes.
Blend in a food processor, then tip soup back into casserole dish and add the cannellini beans and pesto.
Bring soup back to boil then turn down to simmer and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Vitamin Soup (serves 4)

Vitamin Soup (serves 4)

Vitamin soup is packed full of vitamins – A, B9 C, E and K – and so is really good for you and is quick to make. I put broccoli, spinach and watercress together with a base of onion and my homemade chicken stock (vegetarians, substitute vegetable stock). For some reason I will only make chicken stock from the most organic chicken I can find – this one was from Whole Foods. If you are lucky enough to have a butcher near you he should know where his chickens come from. My mother, the great cook, has a butcher who rears his own cattle so he definitely knows where his stuff comes from and he hangs it for 3 weeks! She also gets her eggs from a farm which looks like a film set for Beatrix Potter. To get to the porch where the eggs are kept you have to negotiate the car around the free range chickens, ducks and geese! You pick out your eggs and hopefully you have remembered to bring your own egg box and are trusted to put your money into a jar. That was a little digression!

 

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 large onion – diced

4 oz each of broccoli (cut into florets), watercress and baby spinach

3 – 4 cups chicken/vegetable stock

 

Place oil in cast iron casserole dish (I use Le Creuset) and season with salt and pepper.

When sizzling, add onion and cook until softened but not browned.

Add stock to onion and then add broccoli, spinach and watercress.

Bring to boil and then simmer for around 10 minutes until broccoli is ‘al dente’.

Blend in food processor and result will be delicious and a lovely color of green.