Food & DrinkRecipes

It’s nearly the last of the summer dine

It’s nearly the last of the summer dine

I AM trying to squeeze in my last few salads and summer lunches/sup­pers before we head into the more warming autumnal flavours, so this week it’s a couple of nice, easy lunch or supper recipes for a little al-fresco dining.

Firstly there’s my roasted tomato and mozzarella salad. I have used some toma­toes from the garden tunnel, there’s not so many this year as previously, but still plen­ty to make some lovely salads and enough to keep my larder stocked with homemade tomato relish.

The roasted tomatoes are beautiful served on brushetta too.

I like to serve this salad with some super-healthy quinoa. This cooks very quickly and is a great alternative to rice. Use a good, flavoursome stock when cook­ing the quinoa.

My crab spaghetti is a dish that’s packed with flavour. If using fresh crabmeat, use the white meat, and make sure that you go through the crab thoroughly as the shell can be very sharp if not removed.

Serve with spaghetti or linguine, with shavings of parmesan, a lovely strong flavour to complement the dish. Perfect served with a glass of wine or two.

Roasted tomato and mozzarella quinoa salad

Serves 4

4 ripe tomatoes

1 tbsp honey

3 tbsp olive oil

400g quinoa

1 litre vegetable stock

1 red onion, finely sliced

2 tbsp fresh peas

4 tbsp fresh herbs leaves

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 ball fresh mozzarella

Salt & black pepper

Chilli oil to serve

1 Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Cut the tomatoes in half length­ways and place them, cut side up, on the tray. Drizzle with a table­spoon of olive oil and balsamic vinegar then the honey and season generously with salt and pepper. Put in the oven for two hours until lightly oven-dried.

2 In the meantime, pour the stock into a saucepan and add the quinoa. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

3 Fluff up the quinoa with a fork to separate the grains and stir through the onions and peas. Add in the slow-cooked tomatoes and the herbs and season with the extra virgin olive oil and balsamic. Tear off bite-size pieces of mozzarella, scatter it around the tomatoes and quinoa. Serve on a large serving dish or divide into individual

Crab spaghetti

Serves 4

400g crabmeat, shell removed

1 tbsp butter

2 shallots

1 tbsp cornflour

50 ml white wine

150 ml fish stock

50 ml fresh cream

1 tsp mustard

½ lemon, juice and zest

1 tbsp chives

400g ready-to-cook spaghetti

Cherry tomatoes to serve

1 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. In a pan, over medium heat, melt the butter and add the shallots. Cook for a minute until translucent.

2 Add the cornflour and cook a further minute. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. As the sauce thickens, add the fish stock, cream and mustard.

3 Once the sauce returns to a simmer, add in the crab meat and stir through. Remove from the heat and season with lemon juice and zest and with chives, some salt and pepper.

4 In the meantime, cook the pasta as per package instruction. When the pasta is al-dente, fold in the crabmeat mixture. Add a few cherry tomatoes and serve with fresh crusty bread.