Summer is finally here and it’s time to eat little bits and pieces of everything you fancy. There are no rules, except – get some great fresh bread to eat it all with.
Invest in a wooden board to display your tasty bites – you won’t regret it. It’s a guaranteed way to make everything look super special.
Mix and match your china – the brighter the better and dot your food around in heaps using the ‘rule of 3’.
This feast includes thinly sliced seared fillet of beef with a crust heavily seasoned with salt, peppercorns and a few chilli flakes. Cook it the day before, keep overnight in the fridge and slice the next day. Sprinkle with fat caper berries for an acid tang.
Hit the deli-counter and pick up some ready-made treats – my favourites are grilled artichoke hearts.
The Seared Beef Fillet, Red Peppers, Pesto and Ktipiti can all be made in advance.
Pop your Aabelard Apron on to keep clean and help make an entrance. Whip it off, sit down and enjoy.
Dips include homemade Basil Pesto and spicy Greek Ktipiti dip served alongside a super fresh Baby Kale, Walnut, Apple and Golden Raisin Salad.
For incredible summer brightness serve that perennial favourite, Delia Smith’s Roasted Red Peppers with tomatoes, chopped garlic and anchovy fillets. Deliah writes that this recipe was first discovered by Elizabeth David and she first ate Simon Hopkinson’s version at Bibendum.
In my version I prefer to use the long, wiggly red peppers rather than the fat round ones. I think its even more delicious served chilled.
This ridiculously easy-to-make Feta and Red Pepper Greek dip can be spiced up or down, according to your personal preferences. There are hundreds of recipes out there; this is mine.
- 200g Feta, including liquid from packet (using the liquid from the packet avoids the addition of olive oil)
- 1 roasted red Bell pepper
- 2 red chillis or 1 roasted hot red chilli
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1 tbsp Greek yoghurt
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano, or mint if you prefer.
- Roast the pepper in the oven (and chilli too if you wish). 120C for about 30 minutes. Put it in an ovenproof dish as it will fill with liquid as it cooks. Allow to cool and then remove the seeds. I leave the skin on, but that’s a personal preference.
- Add the pepper, chilli and all the other ingredients to a blender and blitz. The final texture is up to you – I like texture so leave it quite rough.
- Season and sprinkle with a bit more paprika and chopped herbs to serve.
Prep time: 40 minutes
Serves: 6-8 as a dip
Baby Kale, Walnut, Apple and Golden Raisin Salad
This is a really fresh, zingy salad, very pretty to look at and is served with a sharp white wine vinegar vinaigrette.
- 200g curly Kale – you want a bit of curl to it, not the anaemic baby salad leaves.
- 1 crisp, sharp-tasting apple. Granny Smiths are good.
- 1 handful chopped walnuts
- 1 handful golden raisins
For the Vinaigrette
- ¼ tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Zest 1 lemon
- Salt & Pepper
- Blanch the kale in boiling water for 2-3 seconds, remove and plunge into iced water. Pick it over carefully, you don’t want any woody stalks. Drain well and place on dry tea-towels to remove excess water.
- Make your dressing. Put all the ingredients into an old jam jar (minus the jam) and shake vigorously.
- Cut the apple into fine matchsticks, place in a bowl with the raisins and pour over the dressing. The dressing stops the apples browning and the raisins swell up nicely.
- Just before serving, toss the kale, walnuts and dressing soaked apples and raisins together.
Prep time: 25 mins