This vegetarian salad is simply bursting with the fresh flavours of spring, the perfect meal for a sun soaked day.
For the spring salad
- 12 Jersey Royal potatoes
- 10 green asparagus spears, sliced on an angle
- 150g/5½oz young broad beans, podded
- 150g/5½oz peas, podded
- 150g/5½oz fresh or frozen soy beans
- 3 spring onions, sliced on an angle
- drizzle of olive oil
- 4 purple asparagus spears, sliced using a peeler
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 2 shallots, cut into rings
- 15 mint leaves, 10 torn, 5 shredded
- small bunch of chervil
- handful watercress
- punnet of pea shoots
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the dressing
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 5 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp walnut oil
- 300ml/10½oz extra virgin olive oil
Bring a large pot of water to the boil and blanch the potatoes, drain and carefully slice in half.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Drop in the green asparagus, broad beans, peas, soy beans and spring onions and cook for a couple of minutes. Drain and run under cold water to stop them cooking but not to cool them.
Spread on a tray with the potatoes. Sprinkle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Put the purple asparagus in a bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice and salt to cure and soften.
For the dressing, whisk together the mustard and vinegar in a bowl, slowly adding the oils. It should have a thick consistency, like a sauce. Season with a good amount of salt and black pepper.
Mix all of the vegetables with the shallots, mint, chervil, watercress and pea shoots and pour over the dressing.
Divide between four plates and dig in.
Harissa lamb with chickpeas
This Moroccan-inspired, slow-cooked lamb dish is low in calories and only uses six ingredients. If you want to make it five, leave out the apricots – you’ll save on sugar too. If you’re on a low-calorie diet, pair it with a low-calorie breakfast and/or lunch as it’s a little over 500 calories.
Each serving provides 522 kcal, 50g protein, 32g carbohydrates (of which 20g sugars), 19g fat (of which 7g saturates), 9g fibre and 0.5g salt. With a GI of 45 this meal is high protein, low GI.
- 600g/1lb 5oz lean lamb leg steaks, cut into bite-size cubes
- 1–2 level tbsp harissa paste
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes with herbs
- 2 x 410g tins chickpeas, drained
- 12 dried apricots (optional)
- small bunch (about 30g/1oz) fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Provençal picnic sandwich (Pan bagnat)
This is a speciality of Nice and is filled with Niçoise salad ingredients. A great way to use up slightly stale bread, the recipe contains tuna and anchovies but if you are vegetarian, you could substitute with cheese (such as mozzarella or slices of goats’ cheese) or roasted peppers, aubergines, courgettes and mushrooms. Make this a day ahead and keep weighted down in the fridge so all the juices seep into the bread.
- 1 pain de campagne or round sourdough loaf (about 400g/14oz)
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or grated
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 or 3 large ripe tomatoes, sliced
- 15cm/6in piece of cucumber, sliced
- 225g tin tuna in olive oil, drained
- 6 anchovies in olive oil, drained
- 3 hard-boiled free-range eggs, peeled and sliced
- 20 Niçoise or Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
- 1 tsp fresh oregano or marjoram leaves, chopped
- 10 fresh basil leaves, torn
- 1 handful rocket leaves
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lemon Swiss roll and amaretti trifle
Celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II with this impressive trifle, winner of the Platinum Pudding competition. For this recipe you will need 2 Swiss roll tins, measuring approximately 24cmx34cm/9½inx13½in and a trifle dish with capacity of approximately 3.5 litres/6 pints. However, you could always halve the recipe to serve 10. For shortcuts to this recipe, see our handy tips below.
For the Swiss rolls
- 4 large free-range eggs
- 100g/3½oz caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 100g/3½oz self-raising flour, sieved
- butter, for greasing
For the lemon curd
- 4 large free-range egg yolks
- 135g/4¾oz granulated sugar
- 85g/3oz salted butter, softened
- 1 lemon, zest only
- 80ml/2½fl oz fresh lemon juice
For the St Clement’s jelly
- 6 gelatine leaves
- 4 unwaxed lemons
- 3 oranges
- 150g/5½oz golden caster sugar
For the custard
- 425ml/15fl oz double cream
- 3 large free-range egg yolks
- 25g/1oz golden caster sugar
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tsp lemon extract
For the amaretti biscuits
- 2 free-range egg whites
- 170g/6oz caster sugar
- 170g/6oz ground almonds
- 1 tbsp amaretto
- butter or oil, for greasing
For the chunky mandarin coulis
- 4x tins mandarins, around 300g each
- 45g/1¾oz caster sugar
- 16g/½oz arrowroot (2 sachets)
- ½ lemon, juice only
For the jewelled chocolate bark
- 50g/1¾oz mixed peel
- 1 tbsp caster sugar (optional)
- 200g/7oz white chocolate, broken into pieces
- 600ml/20fl oz double cream
To make the Swiss rolls, preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease and line the 2 Swiss roll tins with baking paper. In a large bowl, beat the egg and sugar together with an electric hand whisk for approximately 5 minutes or until light and pale. Using a metal spoon, gently fold in the flour. Divide between the two tins and bake for 10–12 minutes or until the sponges are lightly golden and cooked through.
Sprinkle some extra caster sugar on two sheets of baking paper then turn the sponges out onto the sugared paper. Peel off the paper from the underside and, while still warm, roll them both up from the short end into a tight spiral using the paper to help. Leave to cool.
To make the lemon curd, place the egg yolks, granulated sugar, butter, lemon zest and lemon juice in a glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water). Whisk until combined and whisk continuously as the curd cooks until thickened. This should take about 15 minutes. Pour into a clean bowl and set aside to cool.
To make the St Clement’s jelly, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes to soften. Using a vegetable peeler, peel 6 strips from a lemon and 6 strips from an orange and put these into a saucepan with the sugar and 400ml/14fl oz water. Bring to a simmer over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and discard the peel. Squeeze the water out of the gelatine and stir into the pan until dissolved then leave to cool. Squeeze the lemons and oranges, so you have 150ml/5fl oz of both lemon and orange juice. Stir into the pan then strain the jelly through a fine sieve into a jug and chill until cool but not set.
To make the custard, place the cream in a saucepan over a gentle heat and bring it up to simmer, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and lemon extract, then gradually pour the hot cream into the bowl whilst whisking continuously. Immediately return the whole lot back to the saucepan and continue whisking over a gentle heat until the custard is thick and smooth. Pour the custard into a jug or bowl, cover the surface with greaseproof paper and leave to cool.
To make the amaretti biscuits, preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until firm. Mix the sugar and almonds gently into it. Add the amaretto and fold in gently until you have a smooth paste.
Place some baking paper on a baking tray and lightly brush with butter or oil. Using a teaspoon, place small heaps of the mixture approximately 2cm/¾in apart, as they will expand during cooking. Bake for approximately 15–20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
To make the chunky mandarin coulis, strain two tins of mandarins. Discard the juice and put the fruit into a saucepan with the sugar and heat gently until broken down. Remove from the heat. In a small bowl, slake the arrowroot with 2 tablespoons cold water then add to the warm mandarins. Add the lemon juice and mix well before pouring into a large bowl. Strain the remaining two tins of mandarins and add the fruit to the bowl then leave to cool completely.
To make the jewelled chocolate bark, if the peel feels wet or sticky, roll in the caster sugar to absorb any moisture. Melt the white chocolate in a bowl sitting over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Pour the white chocolate onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and scatter over the mixed peel. Leave to set then break into shards.
To assemble, unroll the cooled Swiss rolls and spread with the lemon curd. Roll back up again and slice one into 2.5cm/1in slices and place upright around the bottom edge of the trifle dish so the swirl is visible. Slice the other Swiss roll into thicker pieces and use these to fill the bottom of the dish, ensuring the top is roughly the same level as the slices that line the edge. Use off-cuts of sponge to fill any gaps.
Pour the St Clement’s jelly over the Swiss roll layer and set aside in the fridge to completely set. This will take approximately 3 hours. Once set, pour over the custard then arrange a single layer of amaretti biscuits, keeping a few back for the top. Pour over the mandarin coulis. In a large bowl, whip the double cream until soft peaks form then spoon this over the coulis. Crumble over the reserved amaretti biscuits and decorate with the chocolate bark shards.
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