From scallops to cherry drizzle cake: Nigel Slater’s easy summer time recipes | Life and elegance


This is the time of yr I prefer to put a number of dishes on the desk on the similar time, a mixture of recipes substantial sufficient to be predominant programs and others that can be utilized as an accompaniment or principal dish, because the temper takes you. This strategy – considerate however relaxed – fits the extra casual angle I’ve to consuming in summer time, when programs turn into interchangeable and dishes are usually served at cool room temperature, quite than direct from the oven or grill.

Scallops with lime and mint

I say scallops as a result of that’s what caught my eye on the fishmongers, however uncooked, gray prawns work right here, too, peeled and sliced in 1/2. I wouldn’t depart any fish or shellfish within the marinade for greater than an hour, as the feel will change over time.

Serves 4 as a lightweight predominant dish
scallops 8
lime juice 75ml
limes zest of two
olive oil 3 tbsp

For the tomato salad
cucumber 250g (1 medium)
assorted tomatoes 250g, inexperienced, orange, cherry
spring onions 2
massive tomatoes 2
sherry vinegar 3 tbsp
garlic 2 cloves
olive oil 3 tbsp
basil about 6 stems and leaves

Trim the scallops, then take away and reserve the corals. Slice every scallop into 3 horizontally, then place each white and corals in a single layer in a shallow dish. Mix collectively the lime juice, zest and olive oil, add a grind or 2 of black pepper, then pour over the scallops, cowl and refrigerate for at the very least 25 minutes.

For the tomato salad, evenly peel the cucumber, slice in 1/2 lengthways, then scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon and discard. Cut the cucumber into skinny strips, about ½cm vast, then into small cube. Transfer 1/2 to a mixing bowl. Reserve the remaining cucumber. Dice the 250g of various tomatoes and add them to the bowl, then trim and finely chop the spring onions, folding them into the tomato and cucumber.

Put the kettle on to boil. Place the 2 massive tomatoes in a heatproof basin, pour over the freshly boiled water, and depart them for two or 3 minutes. Remove from the water and peel off the skins. Halve the peeled tomatoes, discard the seeds then put the flesh in a blender with the sherry vinegar, peeled garlic, olive oil, basil leaves and their stems, a bit salt and the reserved chopped cucumber. Process to a thick puree then fold into the chopped cucumber and tomato, cowl and chill completely.

To serve, spoon the tomato salad and its dressing onto a shallow bowl or serving plate. Place the marinated scallops on prime, spoon over the marinade and serve.

Trout with three-herb potato salad

Gentle flavours for a summer time lunch.

Trout with three herb potato salad.

Trout with 3 herb potato salad. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin for the Observer

Serves 4
trout 2 massive, filleted
onion 1 medium
lemon 1
black peppercorns 8
dill 4 sprigs
parsley 6 stalks
white wine or vermouth similar to Noilly Prat 150ml
water 200ml
new potatoes 400g

For the mayonnaise
egg yolks 3
dijon mustard 1 tsp
lemon juice a bit
groundnut oil 250ml
olive oil 100ml
mint 12 leaves
parsley the leaves of about 6 sprigs
dill fronds 2 tbsp, chopped

To serve
salad leaves a few beneficiant handfuls, washed and dried

Set the oven at 200C/gasoline mark 6. Place the trout fillets in a roasting tin or baking dish. Peel and finely slice the onion and add to the trout, along with 3 skinny slices of lemon, the black peppercorns and ½ tsp of sea salt, the dill and the parsley stalks, the white wine or vermouth and the water. Cover with foil and slide into the oven. Leave to bake for 20 minutes, then take away and depart the fish, lined and nonetheless within the inventory, to chill.

Boil the brand new potatoes in deep, salted water, for about 20 minutes until tender.

While the potatoes are cooking make the mayonnaise. Put the egg yolks right into a mixing bowl, add the mustard and a superb squeeze of lemon juice, and really slowly whisk within the groundnut and olive oils till you could have a thick mayonnaise that may stand in delicate peaks.

Finely chop the mint, parsley and dill and fold into the mayonnaise, seasoning with a bit salt as you would like.

When the potatoes are tender to the purpose of a knife, drain them, slice them into thick cash and toss them gently with the mayonnaise.

Remove the trout from the cooking liquor and pat dry, then break it into massive items. Serve with the salad leaves and potato mayonnaise.

Quinoa with peas and sprouted seeds

Quinoa with peas and sprouted seeds.

Quinoa with peas and sprouted seeds. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin for the Observer

A salad of a number of textures, with delicate younger leaves, crunchy, evenly cooked peas and the pleasing knubbly high quality of quinoa. Once made, it’s a helpful base for leftover roast rooster or chilly pork torn into juicy items, or just to placed on the desk with different dishes. I ought to add that it makes a sound addition to a lunch field, and will probably be fantastic within the fridge for a few days.

Serves 6
quinoa 100g
peas 400g (weight with pods)
sprouted mung, sunflower and radish seeds 100g
cress a small punnet
micro leaves and petals 1 massive handful

For the dressing
pomegranate molasses 2 tbsp
lemon juice 2 tbsp
olive oil 2 tbsp

Put the quinoa right into a pan with 175ml of water and convey to the boil, cut back the warmth and simmer for six minutes earlier than turning off the warmth and leaving, lined, for 20 minutes.

Pod the peas and cook dinner them in deep, evenly salted boiling water for 4 minutes or till they’re nearly tender. (They are good when barely undercooked.) Drain and plunge them into iced water.

To make the dressing, combine collectively in a big mixing bowl the pomegranate molasses, lemon juice and olive oil, and season evenly. Wash the sprouted seeds in a sieve underneath operating chilly water and shake dry. Run a fork by the quinoa to separate the grains, then tip them into the dressing.

Mix the sprouted seeds, cress, and micro leaves and petals with the quinoa and its dressing, and serve.

Pork chop, gooseberry and parsley mash

Pork chop, gooseberry and parsley mash.

Pork chop, gooseberry and parsley mash. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin for the Observer

The want for one thing tart, a barely acidic accompaniment for the candy and fatty pork, is often stuffed by a pool of apple sauce. During their quick season, I’ll use gooseberries rather than Bramley apples, generally as a simple puree, the fruit cooked with a bit water and a splash of sugar then crushed with a fork, and at different occasions stirred right into a heap of fluffy mashed potato.

Serves 2
pork chops 2 massive
oil a bit
fennel seeds ½ tsp

For the gooseberry and parsley mash
potatoes 350g
gooseberries 250g
sugar 2 tsp
parsley a superb handful, chopped

Peel the potatoes, reduce them into massive, equal-size items and convey them to the boil in generously salted water. Lower the warmth a bit and allow them to simmer for 20 minutes or till tender.

Top and tail the gooseberries, discarding the little brown flowers. Put the fruit in a stainless-steel pan, add 2 tablespoons of water and the sugar and convey to the boil. Lower the warmth, and allow them to cook dinner for 3 or 4 minutes, till they’ve began to break down.

When the potatoes are tender, drain them and mash them with the gooseberries. Taste as you go, including the chopped parsley and a bit extra sugar if you want, however remembering that the mash must be tart. Cover and hold heat.

Get a grill or griddle sizzling. Rub the pork chops with a bit oil, season with salt, black pepper and the fennel seeds. Cook the chops on the grill or griddle, turning them as essential, letting the fats crisp. Serve with the gooseberry mash.

Cherry drizzle cake

Cherry drizzle cake.

Cherry drizzle cake. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin for the Observer

When the cake comes from the oven, I prefer to scatter a thick layer of sugar excessive (you’ll want about 3 tablespoons), pierce 20 or extra holes within the cake with a steel skewer, then spoon over the new cherry syrup.

I counsel fine-grade polenta for this straightforward cake.

Serves 8
butter 200g
caster sugar 220g
floor almonds 180g
fantastic polenta 220g
baking powder 1 tsp
lemon 1
eggs 3 massive

For the syrup
cherries 400g
honey 3 tbsp
elderflower cordial 160ml

Set the oven at 180C/gasoline mark 4. Line the bottom of an oblong cake tin, measuring 20cm in size, with baking parchment.

Dice the butter and put it into the bowl of a meals mixer along with the caster sugar and beat collectively until mild, pale and creamy.

Mix collectively the bottom almonds, fantastic polenta and the baking powder. Grate the zest from the lemon and stir into the polenta. Squeeze the juice from the lemon right into a small bowl. Break the eggs into one other bowl and beat them evenly.

Add the overwhelmed egg to the butter and sugar combination, beating constantly, including a bit of the polenta ought to the combination begin to curdle. Then fold within the polenta and the lemon juice.

Spoon the batter into the lined cake tin. Bake for 35 minutes, then decrease the warmth to 160C/gasoline mark 2 and bake for additional 35-40 minutes till the cake is evenly agency to the contact.

While the cake bakes, make the syrup. Halve and stone the cherries. Warm the honey and elderflower cordial in a small saucepan, then add the cherries and allow them to simmer for 5-7 minutes till the fruit has given up a few of its juice to the syrup.

When the cake is prepared, take away from the oven, then pierce throughout with a skewer or knitting needle. Spoon among the syrup from the cherries over the floor of the cake so it runs down by the holes into the crumb of the cake, then depart to chill.

Remove the cake from its tin, then serve with the cherry compote and, if you happen to like, some cream or creme fraiche and extra contemporary cherries.

Nigel Slater from

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