This is a versatile dish, starter, main, picnic or snack. It's smart enough for entertaining and easy enough for everyday
- 2 x 250g packs Portabellini mushroom, stalks removed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp thyme
- 1 sheet puff pastry, from a 425g pack
- 2 tbsp pine nut
- 6 kalamata or green olives, chopped
- 2 heaped tbsp vegetarian tapenade
- 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- few toasted pine nut and chopped olives
- handful rocket leaves
MethodSpread the mushrooms, stalk side up, on 2 baking trays. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with thyme, then season well. Roast for 12 mins until juicy.
- 4 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 400g beef rump steak, thinly sliced across the grain into ½cm thick pieces
- finger-tip length chunk fresh root ginger, chopped
- 300g spring greens, sliced
- 150g pack chestnut mushroom, sliced
- Mix the sauces together and set aside. Heat a wok until smoking hot, add 1 tsp oil, then stir-fry the meat until browned all over. You may need to do this in 2 batches, adding a little more oil. Remove the meat, then wipe the wok clean.
- Add a little more oil. Stir-fry the ginger until golden, then add the spring greens and mushrooms. Cook for 3 mins, stirring often, then add the steak and soy sauce mixture. Cook for 3-4 more mins until the sauce has thickened a little and everything is warmed through. Serve over rice or noodles.
- 100ml olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- 250g asparagus spears, each cut into 3 pieces
- 200g self-raising flour
- 1 tbsp thyme leaves
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 100ml milk
- handful pitted black olives
- 100g sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 100g Gruyère or Beaufort, grated
- Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Oil and line the base of a loaf tin (approx 22 x 10 x 5cm) with baking paper. Cook the asparagus in boiling, salted water for 2 mins, drain, then cool quickly under cold running water. Pat dry.
- Mix the flour and thyme with seasoning in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, then add the eggs, milk and oil, stirring all the time to draw the flour into the centre. Beat for 1 min to make a smooth batter.
- Reserve 5 asparagus tips and a few olives. Add the remaining asparagus, tomatoes, olives and two-thirds of the cheese to the batter. Pour into the tin, then put the reserved asparagus and olives on top. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 35-40 mins until the cake feels firm to the touch and is golden and crusty on top. Cool in the tin for 5 mins, then turn out and cool on a wire rack.
- 2 large fennel bulbs
- 6 ripe tomatoes
- zest and juice 1 lemon
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
- 100g black olives, pitted
- 1 tbsp capers, drained
- 600g piece salmon fillet, skin on and scaled (ask your fishmonger to do this)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 x 20g packs flat-leaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped
- If you are lucky enough to get a fennel bulb with fronds, pick them off and keep them. Trim the fennel; then, using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, slice it as thinly as possible. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, and have a bowl of iced water ready. Tip the fennel into the pan, leave for 30 secs, then lift into the iced water with a slotted spoon.
- Roughly chop the tomatoes. Put a sieve over a large bowl and squeeze the seeds and juice from the tomatoes with your hands. Get rid of the seeds but keep the juices ready to make the dressing. Add the lemon zest and juice, olive oil and a good pinch of salt to the tomato juices and stir well. Drain the fennel well and add to the bowl along with the olives, capers and the tomato flesh. Mix well, then set aside.
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Cut the salmon into 4 fillets, rub well with the vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a griddle or frying pan with an ovenproof handle, then cook the salmon, skin-side down, over a medium heat for 7 mins. There may be some smoke, but what is important is that the salmon is well charred so it has a bitter, crisp bottom and the flesh is sweet, soft and almost translucent inside. Now pop the salmon into the oven, still skin-side down in the pan, then roast for 3 mins until just cooked through.
- Roughly chop the parsley and mix through the salad. Serve the salad on plates, then carefully lift the salmon from the pan and sit it on top, skin-side up. Drizzle with a little more extra virgin olive oil and tuck in.