Sunday, 12 June 2011

Sunshine salads on a rainy day

It has not stopped raining today, well needed rain OK, but still, it's not the sunshine filled weekends we have been spoilt with recently is it. Puts a bit of a downer on your day doesn't it and also what you feel like eating. This is why we decided a Summer-y feel lunch was needed today for my Mum and Sister who came round to visit.

We tend to do a typical Sunday roast quite a lot, which don't get me wrong we do love, but we wanted a bit more of a healthy menu today. We've been on holiday recently to Portugal (post to follow!) ...and it rained - a lot - so we had a lot of reading time and spotted a Summer Roast Chicken in the May/June issue of Jamie Oliver magazine we wanted to try. It's basically using the usual technique of mashing up some butter, herbs and garlic to rub over the chicken but in this recipe Jamie suggests just using basil in the butter & garlic combination then to scatter lemon slices over the chicken to add to the Summer feel. Works really well, delicious. 
I would highly recommend this magazine by the way if you are a foodie. A subscription was bought as a gift for my husband and we got a bit hooked and renewed it. It's a good read and has some great recipe ideas (and we need more recipes in our life!!! ha ha - have you seen our cook book shelf?!). 
Watercress & Aubergine Salad
To accompany the chicken we wanted to go light with some salads rather than roasted veg etc. I have been wanting to try some new salads for a while too and went through a few cookery books for inspiration. I looked through Ottolenghi: The Cookbook and also Recipes from an Italian Summer which is by the same team as the brilliant and classic The Silver Spoon cookbook. All have amazing salad recipes but the recipes in Italian Summer seemed a bit more simple to put together and stood out to me today and so we picked two, Baby Courgette Salad (pictured below) and Watercress and Aubergine salad (pictured above). 
Courgette salad
The aubergine salad recipe is on the link above. The courgette salad was basically raw courgettes thinly sliced (the recipe says to use baby courgettes but I used normal size, works fine), with shaved Parmesan cheese, olive oil, pinch of dried oregano and then leave for the flavours to mix for a minimum of 30 minutes. Then add some sliced tomatoes before serving. It was tasty, I wasn't sure about raw courgettes initially when I first read it but glad we went for it as they were much nicer than I imagined. 
Finally there was a couscous recipe I had spotted on a recipe card that came through with one of our Abel & Cole deliveries recently. It was really simple, just raisins, spinach and pinenuts with a lemon dressing. You can see the recipe here - Catalan Couscous

Catalan Couscous
Dessert was a Pear Crumble from Antony Worrall Thompson's GI Diet book just to keep on the healthy theme! And it was really tasty. His recipe for apple crumble can be found here which is exactly the same as his Pear crumble in the book, just swap the fruit. I used about 4 large pears although his recipe says 8 ripe Conference pears. Please note it tastes so much better than this photo looks! You can really taste the subtle taste of nutmeg too that is added. We cooked down some strawberries to drizzle over the top, and of course, you can't have crumble without custard.
Pear Crumble
Pear crumble, custard and strawberry drizzle!


  1. Wow, that's an impressive lunch. Certainly puts us to utter shame!!!
    Looks yummy!

  2. I love your Sunday roast. I like the idea of making it healthier Sunday roast.

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  3. I love cooking soup when it's raining. It makes me feel good.

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  4. I like what you did there. I think this dish is great for my diet. I would really try it sometime.

    -Lobster Tails Cooking Tips & Recipe