New potato salad with asparagus and wild garlic pesto

IMG_1431It’s not peak season for wild garlic anymore (sob) but I have been slightly too busy lately to be able to post on the blog regularly. I’m hoping to redeem myself with this delicious (and super easy) recipe and higher posting frequency going forward.

If you don’t happen to stumble on some fresh wild garlic in an usually shady part of the woods you can use blanched frozen wild garlic too, or bookmark the recipe for next year.

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New potato salad with grilled asparagus and wild garlic pesto, serves 4

450 g new potatoes

200 g asparagus

1 batch wild garlic pesto

salt, black pepper

Make the pesto. Boil the new potatoes in salted water. Drain and leave while you fry the asparagus on a griddle pan until semi-soft. Cut each stalk into 3-4 pieces and cut the potatoes into chunks. Toss with pesto in a bowl and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve with various barbecued meats or this lovely pork fillet.  

The best couscous salad

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This couscous salad is divine. I know, the recipe sounds too simple to create a divine dish but trust me, and my friend Gaby, when we say it is delicious.

I whipped this up one night when I was tired, hot and bothered and had no energy to cook and it turned out great. I just served it with some fried halloumi and a glass of white wine and it turned out to the an amazing supper.

Couscous salad with chilli and mint, serves 2

2 portions coucous

olive oil

1/2 lemon

1 tomato

3 spring onions 

1/2 red chilli

a handful mint

sea salt

Cook the couscous according to the packet, but add some stock to the water. Takes max 5 mins. Meanwhile chop/slice the chilli, tomato, spring onion and mint.

Use a fork to puff up the couscous and add some olive oil. Heat up some more oil in a non-stick pan and fry the chilli for a minute or two without browning. Mix the chilli and hot oil into the couscous and add the tomato and spring onions. Add some lemon juice and salt. Adjust the seasoning and add the mint. Serve with fried halloumi, barbecues chicken or what else you fancy. 

Pancetta salad with blue cheese dressing

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I love a good salad in the summer but I want it quite substantial. Just vegetables usually doesn’t cut it for me. I saw Lotta at Två små kök present a similar salad on Instagram and craved a similar version immediately.

Instead of Lotta’s bacon I used pancetta that I prefer to bacon in general cooking. But for breakfast bacon is always the winner.

Pancetta salad with blue cheese dressing, serves 1

1-2 handfuls mixed salad leaves

5-6 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 avocado, cut into pieces

4-5 thin slices pancetta

a good chunk of mild blue cheese, such as gorgonzola

100 ml creme fraiche or soured cream

1 tbsp mayo

Fry the pancetta in the oven until crisp; 10 minuted at 200C.

Mush up the cheese with a fork in a bowl and stir in the soured cream or creme fraiche. Add the mayo and try to get rid of any lumps. Season. 

Place lettuce, tomato and avocado on a plate. Chop the pancetta and scatter over the salad and drizzle with plenty of dressing. 

Halloumi salad with new potatoes, watercress, tomatoes and lime vinaigrette

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I can really crave certain foods, like sushi for example. Or a blue sirloin with bearnaise sauce. And most recently; fried halloumi. There is something utterly satisfying with the chewy, salty Cypriot cheese.

Last time I craved halloumi I also wanted a salad and potatoes and it resulted in this great salad based on this delicious Delia recipe for a starter with halloumi. I really loved this salad and although I was (very) happy to eat it on its own it would also work really well with say barbecued chicken skewers.

Halloumi salas with new potatoes, watercress, tomatoes and lime vinaigrette, serves 2

250 g new potatoes, cooked and cut in half

1 bag watercress

1 halloumi

a handful cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1/2 red onion, sliced and marinated in lime juice

Vinaigrette:

1 lime, zest and juice

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 garlic clove, pressed

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

1 tbsp chopped coriander

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and black pepper

Mix the vinaigrette. Slice the halloumi and dry each piece with kitchen roll. Fry on high heat in a little oil until golden brown on both sides. 

Distribute water cress, new potatoes and cherry tomatoes on two plates. Remove the onion from the lime juice and divide between the plates. Drizzle with vinaigrette and place the fried halloumi on top.

Bean salad with leek, dijon and feta

bean salad

On Monday we met with the book club to discuss this book; our summer read. Although it is a book club we care a lot about the food too. We each bring a few things each time and the hostess sets the theme, if any. This time I brought along this bean salad I prepared the day before. It went really well with Anna’s couscous salad with chickpeas and sun-dried tomatoes, garlic bread and celery sticks and dip and to finish we had apple crumble and custard. Such a nice meal! And I will definitely be making this salad again soon.

Bean salad with leek, dijon and feta, serves 4-5

1 tin (400 g) cannellini beans

1 tin (400 g) flageolet beans

1 leek, chopped

oil and butter for frying

1 garlic clove, grated

salt, pepper

2-3 tsp dijon mustard

1.5 tsp sherry vinegar

chopped parsley

100 g crumbled feta

olive oil to finish

Fry the leek until soft in butter and oil. Once it starts to brown transfer the leek to a large bowl. Rinse the beans and drain. Add more oil and butter to the frying pan and add the beans, cook until warmed through. Add the garlic and fry for another minute or so. Season. Transfer to the bowl and mix with the leek.Add dijon and vinegar and leave to cool. Once cool add the chopped parsley and crumbled feta. Adjust the seasoning if needed. Store covered in the fridge until serving. Keeps for 2-3 days.

My favourite slaw

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For reasons far too boring to explain here, I can’t eat some produce rich in fibre. One of those items is cabbage that I absolutely adore in coleslaw, but even if I eat as little as a teaspoon I get stomach cramps straight away so it’s not really worth it.

So it is very lucky that slaw made from celeriac and carrots taste very similar to coleslaw and works with my tummy. I got the inspiration for this slaw from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s book River Cottage Everyday but I have adapted it a bit from the original. And the last time I made it I adapted it even further using wholegrain French mustard instead of Coleman’s regular English mustard and that almost transformed it into a whole new dish. It just added a little va-va-voom I think I am done tweaking now – I’ve find the perfect slaw recipe! I hope you enjoy it too.

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Celeriac and carrot slaw with wholegrain mustard 

3 large carrots

1/2 celeriac (ca 400g)

5-6 tbsp mayonnaise (homemade or Hellman’s) 

2 tsp wholegrain French mustard 

1/2 lemon, juice only

salt and black pepper

Peel and grate the root veg. Mix the mayonnaise, mustard and lemon in a bowl and incorporate the grated vegetables. Season to taste. Eat immediately but keeps for a day or two in the fridge. 

Baked Jerusalem artichoke salad with Parma ham and parmesan

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Salads when the weather’s hot is a must, but despite the warmth I am still as hungry as usual, so for me a salad needs to be filling. I also like contrasting textures and temperatures. Something needs to happen in a salad for me to really enjoy it.

That’s why I like this salad, it has the warmth element of soft baked Jerusalem artichokes, pepperiness from the rocket, saltiness from the parmesan, umami from the ham and some zing and sweetness from the dressing with lemon and honey. Really tasty – and filling!

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Baked Jerusalem artichoke salad with Parma ham and parmesan, per portion

4-5 Jerusalem artichokes

3 slices Parma ham

2 handfuls rocket

Parmesan shavings

Dressing:

4 tbsp rapeseed oil

2 tsp honey

1/2 tsp lemon zest

1/2 lemon, the juice

salt, black pepper

Wash the Jerusalem artichokes and cut each into four wedges. Place in a roasting tray and drizzle with rapeseed oil and season. Bake in 180C until soft about 30-40 minutes depending on the size. Leave to cool slightly. 

Whisk together the dressing and season with salt and pepper. To plate the salad, start with the rocket, then the artichokes, Parma ham and drizzle with dressing. Finally top with plenty of Parmesan shavings.

Girolles on toast, meat scewers and new potato salad with pears and blue cheese

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My aunt Pavla picked the first girolles of the season the same week I came home to visit, so my sweet parents saved them for me. Girolles are in my opinion a pure delicacy, and especially witht the first ones I think a simple approach is the best. So we the same toast we usually make. Fry some nice bread in butter. Then fry the girolles in butter and garlic. Add seasoning and chopped parsley and top the bread with the ‘shrooms. Simple and absolutely delicious!

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Mother also made some wonderful meat scewers with chicken, pork tenderloin and bacon in a tasty marinade with soy and ginger.

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And with the barbecued scewers we had this lovely salad a friend of my mother’s found in a magazine this spring. It has the slightly strange combination of lettuce, tomatoes, new potatoes, grilled pears, crumbled blue cheese and walnuts and it really works. So yummy!

Our pudding was simple as can be; just vanilla icecream with freshly picked strawberries and wild strawberries from the garden. What a treat! I just love the luxury of having so much produce in the garden (and woods). I loved growing up here, snacking on all sorts of berries, plums and pears as the summer went on.

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Meat scewers with soy and ginger marinade, serves 4

From the April edition 2013 of Lantliv Magazine.

about 600 g meat (we had a mixture of chicken pieces, pork tenderloin in pieces and bacon, on scewers). 

50 ml soy sauce

2 tbsp honey

1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1/2 lime, zest and juice

salt och pepper

Mix all the ingredients until the honey has dissolved. Brush the marinade on to the meat and let it sit for an hour in room temperature before barbecuing. 

Salad with new potatoes, pears and blue cheese, serves 4

Adapted from the April edition 2013 of Lantliv Magazine.

50 ml dijon mustard

50 ml honey

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

100 ml olive oil

salt, black pepper

300 g boiled new potatoes 

10 cherry tomatoes (or 10 wedges or regular sized tomatoes)

100 g mixed lettuce leaves

60 g blue cheese, crumbled

100 ml walnuts

1/2 red onion, sliced thinly

2 pears

Beat together mustard, honey and vinegar, add the oil drop by drop while whisking. Season. 

Cube the potatoes and cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Plate the lettuce, potatoes and tomatoes, scatter with blue cheese, walnuts and red onions.

Remove the seeds from the pears and cut into wedges. Grill on medium heat for a minute on each side (using a frying pan works too). Add the pears to the salad and drizzle with dressing. 

Mexican corn salad

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We had gorgeous weather here last weekend. I made the most of it and sat outside bronzing up and reading, changing between that week’s Stylist, Jo Nesbo’s latest crime novel (read it!) and the latest issues of Bon Appetit and Delicious Magazine

At the same time I was contemplating the best way to jazz up some leftovers and then suddenly I literally saw the answer in front of me; this Mexican corn salad in Bon Appetit’s grilling issue. I had everything at home (not that it requires that many ingredients) and made it the same evening, warming up some left over pork to go with it. And OMG, the salad was amazing! The sweet and slightly smoky corn from the barbecue paired with salty cheese, fresh tangy lime juice, a hint of heat from cayenne and a little bit of mayonnaise for creaminess, this is the ultimate companion to any barbecued meats. 

Do try this at home!

Mexican corn salad, serves 4

Adapted from Bon Appetit

4 ears of corn

3 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tbsp fresh lime juice

1/8 tsp ground paprika

a pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

about 55 g grated parmesan

2 tbsp chopped coriander + more for serving

salt and black pepper

Preparation

Prepare grill for medium heat. Grill corn, turning occasionally, until tender and charred, 8–10 minutes; let cool slightly. Cut kernels from cobs and transfer to a medium bowl.
Whisk mayonnaise, lime juice, paprika, cayenne, cheese and coriander in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add corn and toss to combine. Top with more cheese and coriander.

Simple asparagus salad with Dijon vinaigrette and Parmesan

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This incredibly simple, yet very tasty, asparagus salad went down really well with the book club on Monday. I invaded Charlotte’s kitchen (sorry and thanks!) and made this at her house while chatting and making tea. We always have a potluck supper at our book club gatherings and the spread this time consisted of salad with feta and tomatoes, crusty bread and baked camembert, pizza and olives. And choccies for pudding.

Asparagus salad with dijon vinaigrette and parmesan, serves 4

3 bunches green asparagus

80 g rocket

1 lemon

1 tsp Dijon mustard

4 tbsp olive oil

salt, black pepper

oil for frying

Break off the wooden ends of the asparagus and wash them. Sauté in batches in oil on medium heat, it takes about 5-10 minutes. Season.

Mix the mustard with the juice from half the lemon and add the oil while whisking. Season. 

Spread the rocket onto a serving plate, add the asparagus, drizzle with the vinaigrette and scatter with parmesan shavings. Cut the rest of the lemon into wedges and serve with the asparagus.