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Posts Tagged ‘Lunch’

Marinated Figs with Mozzarella & Prosciutto

A fig salad for lunch; tasty indeed. It’s fig season, so they shouldn’t cost the earth and this is a great combination.

Marinated figs with mozzarella & prosciutto – serves 2

  • 4-6 figs, quartered
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp runny honey
  • 50g rocket
  • 1 ball mozzarella, torn into pieces
  • 6 slices prosciutto
  • a small handful of basil leaves

Whisk the vinegar with the mustard, then gradually whisk in the olive oil, honey and seasoning. Put the figs on a plate and spoon over the dressing, then leave aside for 20 minutes.

Spread the rocket, mozzarella and prosciutto over a platter. Spoon over the figs and the dressing and finish with the basil leaves.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in Olive Magazine, September 2018)

 

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Melon, Tomato, Prosciutto & mint Salad

This makes a great summer lunch with some bread or an easy starter. The mint is a lovely addition.

Melon, tomato, prosciutto & mint salad – serves 4 to 6

  • 500g tomatoes, chopped into chunks or halved if small (heirloom tomatoes would be good if you can get them)
  • 1 melon, cut into chunks
  • 12 slices prosciutto
  • a handful of mint, leaves picked & shredded
  • crusty bread, to serve

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • 1½ tbsp Sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey

Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.

Put the tomatoes and melon into a large bowl, then toss with a little of the dressing and some salt and pepper.

Lay the prosciutto slices over a large dish, then spoon over the tomatoes & melon. Pour over another bit of dressing and scatter over the mint.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Marinated Tomato & Feta Salad

There are endless tomato salads for lunch at our house. We loved this marinated version with feta cheese and olives. Serve with warm pittas.

Marinated tomato & feta salad – serves 2

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 vine tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 100g feta, crumbled
  • 10 kalamata olives
  • a few mint leaves, torn
  • 2 pitta breads, warmed

Whisk the oil, vinegar and caster sugar together in a bowl, then add the onion and season.

Divide the tomato slices between two plates, then spoon over the onions and dressing. Leave to mingle for 10 minutes.

Scatter over the feta, olives and mint, then serve with the warm pittas.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in Olive Magazine, August 2016.)

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Caprese pasta salad

We regularly have a caprese salad (tomatoes, mozzarella & basil) for lunch in the summer months. This pasta version is a good one and makes it a bit more substantial.

Caprese pasta salad – serves 4

  • 200g orecchiette, cooked and rinsed under cold water, then drained again
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 150g baby plum or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 150g bocconcini (mini mozzarella) or a ball of mozzarella, torn into small pieces
  • a bunch of basil, shredded

Put the cooked pasta into a serving bowl with the olive oil, red wine vinegar and tomatoes, then season and toss.

Add the avocado, bocconcini and basil. Toss again gently and serve.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in Olive Magazine, July 2018.)

 

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Croque Madame

This is a cheat’s version of the French classic and makes a great brunch/lunch.

Croque Madame – serves 2

  • 4 large slices of sourdough
  • Dijon mustard
  • 100g grated gruyère
  • 4 slices thick-cut ham
  • butter
  • 4 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 2 eggs

Spread the sourdough with a thin layer of mustard on one side, then fill the sandwiches with half the gruyère and the ham. Spread the outside of the sandwiches with butter.

Heat a non-stick frying pan and fry the sandwiches on both sides until golden.

Mix the crème fraîche with the rest of the gruyère and spread over the top of the sandwiches. Put under a hot grill until the cheese bubbles and starts to brown.

Serve with a fried or poached egg on the top.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in Olive Magazine, May 2015)

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Spring Onion Quesadillas with Guacamole SaladWe really miss cooking for friends and family which is what we do almost every weekend (and some other nights too!). So instead of prepping for the evening we’ve been making more of an effort at lunch. Last week we had these unusual quesadillas outside in the sunshine, sure beats lunch at the desk!

Spring onion quesadillas with guacamole salsa – serves 2

  • 10 scallions, trimmed
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp
  • 2 soft flour tortillas
  • 10 slices of jalapeño chilli (from a jar)
  • 85g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 avocado, halved, and peeled
  • small pack of coriander, plus extra leaves to serve
  • ½ cucumber, peeled, halved lengthways and sliced on the diagonal
  • 2 Little Gem lettuces, cut into thin wedges (we used a bag of peppery salad leaves as that’s what we had)

Bring a pot of water to the boil and add the scallions. Cook for 2-3 minutes until just tender, then drain and run under cold water. Set aside to dry on kitchen paper.

Toast the pumpkin seeds in a hot dry pan until slightly golden, then tip into a bowl and leave to cool.

Heat a griddle pan over a high heat. Drizzle the scallions with a tsp of the olive oil and season. Griddle for a couple of minutes on each side until lightly charred.

We find it much easier to lay the ingredients over half of the tortilla then fold over the top and cook on either side but you can lay all the ingredients on one tortilla, then top with the other one, it will be trickier to turn though.

Lay the spring onions over each tortilla. Sprinkle over the jalapeños and the cheese, then fold the rest of the tortilla over and press together, brush the outside lightly with oil. Cook in the griddle pan for a minute or two on each side or until the cheese has melted and the outside is crisp.

Meanwhile, whizz 1 tbsp of oil, the avocado, lime juice, coriander and 1 tbsp of water together to make a dressing. Season, then toss with the cucumber and lettuce. Sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and the rest of the coriander leaves.  Serve with the quesadillas.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Fontina, Prosciutto & Sage French Toasts

One benefit from working at home is all the nice lunches we can make. Mostly using bits and bobs from the fridge. These French toast sambos are great and you can experiment with the filling, though we reckon cheese is a must.

Fontina, prosciutto and sage-stuffed French toast – serves 4

  • 8 slices of crusty bread
  • 300g fontina (we used Gruyere), sliced
  • 12 slices prosciutto
  • a few sage leaves
  • 2 eggs, beaten and seasoned
  • butter for frying

Put layers of the cheese, prosciutto and sage onto 4 slices of the bread. Cover with the rest of the bread to make sandwiches, then dip into the beaten egg, soaking on both sides.

Heat a knob of butter in a frying pan and fry the sandwiches. Press down on them as they cook until browned on both sides and the cheese has melted.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in Olive Magazine, May 2014.)

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Mozzarella with salami, cannellini beans & olives

If you can find a ball of buffalo mozzarella, then lucky you. There is none to be had in our vicinity at the moment, but it will return. This is a super simple idea from the River Café which makes a lovely lunch or a starter for sharing – for when we can share stuff again. We will share stuff again.

Salami with Cannellini Beans & Olives

  • 1 x 400 tin of cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • small black olives, we like the wrinkly ones, pitted
  • finely sliced fennel salami – of course any salami or other cured meat will do, and there are loads of brilliant Irish producers to choose from
  • a ball of buffalo mozzarella

Gently heat the beans with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and some olive oil. Season and purée – a stick blender does the job here.

Toss the olives in a little of your special bottle of olive oil.

Put the salami on a plate with the mozzarella and serve with the bean purée alongside and the olives scattered over.

Simple and delicious.

(Original idea from Italian Two Easy by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers, Clarkson Potter, 2006.)

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Smoked ham salad, with shaved Gruyere, Escarole & Walnuts

You know those fab salads that they serve in French bistros? Well this is one of those and it’s from Rick Stein’s French Odyssey – a book we never travel to France without.

Wine Suggestion: this wine reminded us of holidays in the Dordogne in France so we chose a white Bergerac from Chateau le Tap, a nearly even blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon with a touch of Muscadelle thrown in.

Smoked ham salad with shaved Gruyère, escarole and walnuts – serves 4

  • 1 escarole lettuce or 2 English curly lettuces
  • 100g piece of Gruyère cheese
  • 400g of good quality smoked cooked ham – about 12 very thin slice
  • 10 walnuts in the shell
  • 1 small bunch of chives, chopped

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp walnut oil (or use more olive oil if you haven’t got this)

Remove the outer lettuce leaves and discard, then break the rest into leaves. Wash and dry well in a salad spinner.

Cut the cheese into very thin strips using a cheese slicer or mandolin.

For the dressing, whisk together the mustard, lemon juice and vinegar. Add the crème fraîche, whisk until emulsified then gradually whisk in the olive and walnut oils. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Arrange the sliced ham, lettuce leaves and shaved cheese onto 4 plates and scatter over the shelled walnuts. Drizzle over the dressing and sprinkle with the chives.

(Original recipe from Rick Stein’s French Odyssey, BBC Books, 2005.)

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Fig & Gorgonzolha Tartines

September is when you start to find some juicy figs. These easy tartines show them off perfectly.

Wine Suggestion: A young, fruity Pinot Noir often springs to mind when pairing with figs, but bringing in the Gorgonzola made us swing to a white variant of this grape: Pinot Gris. Our choice was from Forrest Estate in Marlborough, New Zealand and it was fresh and full of joyous fruit to match the mood of this dish.

Fig & Gorgonzola Tartines – serves 6

  • 6 thin slices sourdough
  • 2-3 tbsp of truffle or flower honey
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 6 slices gorgonzola
  • 5 ripe figs, sliced into 4

Toast the sourdough and spread each slice with a little of the honey and sprinkle with some thyme leaves. Lay a slice of gorgonzola on each and squash down a bit with knife so it reaches the edges of the toast.

Put the tartines under a hot grill for a few minutes until the cheese just starts to melt.

Arrange the fig slices on top, sprinkle with a little salt, some black pepper and more thyme, then grill again for a couple of minutes and drizzle with some more honey before serving.

(Original recipe by Lulu Grimes IN: Olive Magazine, September 2013.)

Figs

 

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Carrot & cumin soup

It seems to be getting more and more difficult to buy a carrot, with supermarkets in particular insisting that you buy a huge bag. Why can’t we be like France and just have troughs of veg for us to pick what we need from? This is a suitable end for almost a whole bag of carrots.

Carrot & Cumin Soup – serves 6

  • 35g butter
  • 600g carrots, chopped
  • 110g onion, chopped
  • 150g potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
  • 2 tsp freshly roasted and crushed cumin seeds
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1.2 litres light chicken or vegetable stock
  • a little creamy milk (optional)
  • crème fraîche or yoghurt (to garnish)
  • coriander leaves, chopped

Melt the butter until foaming, then add the chopped vegetables. Season with salt, pepper and sugar and add the crushed cumin. Cover with a butter paper and a tight fitting lid. Leave to sweat over a low heat for about 10 minutes.

Remove the lid, add the stock and boil until the vegetables or soft – about 5 to 8 minutes, then purée the soup until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Serve in warm bowls with a swirl of crème fraîche or yoghurt if you like and some freshly chopped coriander.

(Original recipe from Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course, Kyle Cathie Ltd., 2001.)

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New potato & Pecorino frittata

Not much to say about this. Easy, tasty, not too bad for you, cheap…

New Potato & Pecorino Frittata – serves 4

  • 600g new potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1  onion, finely sliced
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 tbsp snipped chives
  • 100g pecorino/Parmesan, finely grated

Cook the potatoes in boiling salty water for 15-20 minutes or until cooked. Allow to cool a bit, then slice.

Heat the oil in a heavy non-stick frying pan. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, they should be soft and starting to brown.

Meanwhile whisk the eggs and chives together in a bowl. Season generously then add the grated cheese and whisk again.

Get the grill on and let it come up to a moderate heat. Add the potato slices to the onions and pour over the egg mixture. Cook over a low heat until the edges start to firm up and the eggs are set lightly. This could take up to 10 minutes.

Put under the grill (not too close to the heat) and cook for a couple of minutes or until the eggs are set and the top is golden brown.

Works for lunch or weeknight dinner with some salad on the side.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Spinach omelette chapati wrap

This dish makes a really tasty lunch and is a great use for leftover chapatis. Kids will like them too!

Spinach Omelette Chapati Wraps – serves 4

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 50g mature cheddar, roughly grated
  • 2 thin ham slices, cut into strips
  • 100g baby spinach leaves
  • 4 chapatis

Heat a little of the oil in a non-stick 20cm frying pan. Add a quarter of the scallions and cook gently for a few minutes. Add ¼ tsp of the garam masala and cook for about 30 seconds.

Add a quarter of the beaten egg and tip the pan to cover the base – cook for 1 minute until the base is golden. Sprinkle over a quarter of the cheese, ham and spinach, cover with a lid and cook for another minute or until the spinach is just wilted and the cheese melted.

Meanwhile, heat a chapati in the microwave for 30 seconds or in a dry frying pan. Tip the omelette out on top of the warm chapati and roll up. Repeat with the rest of the ingredients to make 3 more wraps.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Charentais Melon Salad

We’re just back from a camping trip to the Loire Valley and this is one of the many delicious things we prepared at our tent. We brought Rick Stein’s French Odyssey along for inspiration and have him to thank for this fabulous summer salad. Make it for a starter or light lunch with some French bread to mop the plate.  A glass of white wine is also obligatory.

Wine Suggestion: We’d found a gem of a wine in the Chateau Moncontour Vouvray Sec which hit the spot with this dish. A lively and dry Chenin Blanc which had fresh appley fruit, and a crispness and minerality that worked with the Chèvre and sweetness of the melon. Summer in a glass as well as on the plate.

Charentais Melon Salad – serves 4

  • 1/2 a ripe, orange-fleshed melon (Charentais or Cantaloup)
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 225g vine ripened tomatoes (skinned if you like – we didn’t bother)
  • 100g firm, crumbly goat’s cheese
  • 1 tbsp finely shredded mint

For the dressing:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Pinch caster sugar

Whisk the oil, vinegar, sugar and some salt and pepper together to make the dressing (a fork in a mug will do the trick if you’re short on utensils).

Cut the melon into four wedges and scoop out the seeds. Remove the skin and slice each wedge into long thin slices.

Peel the cucumber and slice into 3mm thick wedges. Slice the tomatoes.

Arrange the sliced melon on a large serving platter and cover with the cucumber and tomatoes. Crumble the goat’s cheese over the top and scatter over the mint. Spoon over the dressing and serve.

(Original recipe from Rick Steins’s French Odyssey, BBC Books, 2005).

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Warm asparagus & new potato salad

We made this back in June when local asparagus was available, but have been very lax getting posts up on the blog (must do better!). We really enjoyed the combination here and  the addition of our own, home-grown mint, dill and chives really made the dish sing.

Warm Asparagus & New Potato Salad – serves 4

  • 350g small Jersey potatoes, scrubbed or peeled if you prefer
  • salt
  • 2 large mint sprigs
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 250g asparagus tips
  • hearts of 2 round lettuces, leaves separated, washed and dried
  • Maldon salt
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, shelled
  • handful of chervil sprigs – we used dill

FOR THE BUTTER SAUCE: 

  • juice of 1 lemon
  • pinch of caster sugar
  • 75g cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
  • freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 tbsp snipped chives

Simmer the potatoes in lightly salted water, with the mint, until tender. Drain over a bowl and reserve the cooking water. Return the potatoes to the pan with the butter, stir together and keep warm.

For the sauce, use a large shallow stainless steel or enamel saucepan and squeeze in the lemon juice. Add 6 tbsp of the potato cooking water and the sugar, then simmer until reduced by half. Slowly incorporate the butter, a chunk at a time, whisking over a very low heat until homogenous (you’re aiming for a light butter sauce). Season with white pepper and keep warm.

Peel the asparagus tips from just below the bud and slice in half lengthways. Add to a pan of boiling well-salted water and boil for about 1-2 minutes – you want them just tender but not raw, then drain.

Slice the warm potatoes and add them, along with the asparagus, to the butter sauce. Turn gently with the chives, until everything is nicely coated.

Arrange the lettuce on 4 plates and divide the asparagus and potatoes between them. Sprinkle with Maldon salt and grate over the egg. Generously scatter with the chervil or dill.

(Original recipe from The Vegetarian Option by Simon Hopkinson, Quadrille, 2009.)

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Celery and blue cheese are the type of things we often have lurking in the back of the fridge. Here’s one of our favourite recipes for using it up.

Enough soup for 4 people:

  • Chop a large head of celery, peel and roughly chop an onion and half a head of celeriac.
  • Melt a thick slice of butter in a big pot, add your chopped veg and cook for around 20 minutes, until soft.
  • Pour in 1 litre chicken stock and add a bay leaf. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for half an hour, stirring now and then.
  • Blend until smooth and check the seasoning (you probably won’t need much salt as you’ll be adding salty cheese). We like to pass through a sieve too for a smooth, silky consistency.
  • Serve with blue cheese crumbled over the top.

You could probably add a swirl of cream too if you’ve some of that.

Original recipe from one of our favourite cookbooks: Nigel Slater’s Tender Volume I.

 

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Dublin’s now officially cold and Wintery, so we thought we’d cook some soup for the week ahead 🙂

Winter cannellini bean soup

  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a big saucepan and tip in 4 finely chopped shallots, 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic, a finely chopped carrot, 2 finely chopped celery sticks, 2 finely chopped leeks and 140g finely chopped streaky bacon.
  • Cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, until softened but not browned.
  • Pour in 1.4 litres of vegetable or chicken stock (we use Marigold), then add 2 bay leaves and 1/2 tsp dried oregano or marjoram.
  • Season and bring to the boil, then cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
  • Add 2 tins of drained and rinsed cannellini beans and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Credit to BBC Good Food:

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1148/winter-cannellini-bean-soup

Jono

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