Nigel Slater’s fuss-free summer season recipes

by Lionel Casey

A summer season lunch has to feel carefree and handy. A collection of dishes served cold or at room temperature, possibly made in advance in the day. Perhaps the day earlier than, delivered to the table with little or no fuss. (There is little worse than a cook arriving at the desk warm and hassled.) I vote for one, and the simplest one, the dish that wishes closing-minute paintings. A plate of battered courgettes delivered rustling from the kitchen or a dish of prawns tossed with butter, peas, and dill. Even the dessert can be made the first aspect in the morning or the previous night time.
Prawns, peas, and pasta

A plate of warm, plump prawns with melted butter and dill is superb, if as a substitute high priced, summer season lunch. I bring it all the way down to earth with a little pasta to feature body, and peas honestly for his or her affinity with the shellfish. I suggest you forget about the big tiger prawns which are often tough and infrequently sustainable, and head rather for chubby, shelled raw prawns, although I actually have an elaborate to do this made with tiny brown shrimps, too.

Serves 2-3
cavatelli 250g, or other small pasta
peas 150g (podded weight)
uncooked prawns 400g big, shelled
butter 60g
olive oil 2 tbsp
dill a good handful, chopped

Bring a deep pan of water to the boil and salt it generously. Add the pasta, cook for about nine mins till al dente, then drain.

While the pasta is cooking, more or less chop the peas. Cut the prawns in half of down their backs. Melt the butter in a shallow pan, add the oil after which the prawns, allowing them to cook dinner for 2 mins until they curl and turn opaque.

Finely chop the dill fronds. Add the chopped peas, a seasoning of salt and black pepper then hold cooking for a minute or earlier than including the tired pasta and dill.
Chicken with sumac and couscous

A correct-natured bird salad that may be eaten warm or bloodless. I decide upon it half an hour or so after the meeting, eaten even as the grains of couscous are nonetheless comfortingly heat and the hen pores and skin retains a little of its crispness. Whatever your timing, the watercress and pea shoots are pleasantly brought simply earlier than serving, in order that they keep their vibrancy and freshness.

This is a legitimate recipe for a crowd or a picnic (it travels properly in a Tupperware container) and is easy to scale up or down. I even have counseled an aggregate of cuts but you could make it with just thighs or drumsticks if you decide upon. The factor is to make the most of the inexpensive, extra scrumptious brown meat and for the couscous to soak up its warm, spice-flecked roasting juices.

Serves four
hot paprika 2 tsp
candy paprika 1 tbsp
ground sumac 2 tbsp
olive oil 6 tbsp
hen wings 600g
chicken thighs 500g
chicken drumsticks 500g
shallots 6 big
smoked salt an excellent pinch
hen inventory 350ml
couscous 250g
watercress 100g
pea shoots 100g
chopped parsley 2 big handfuls

Mix the new and sweet paprika, floor sumac and olive oil in a huge blending bowl. Put within the bird pieces and flip them over within the pro-oil, lightly coating each piece, then set apart for half an hour. Set the oven at 200C/fuel mark 6.

Peel the shallots, halve them lengthways then upload to the chicken, sprinkling with the smoked salt. Tip the chook, shallots and their dressing right into a roasting tin then roast for 1 hour, turning the whole thing over 1/2 manner via cooking, until the pores and skin are golden and hen cooked thru.

Bring the inventory to the boil. Put the couscous in a heatproof bowl, pour over the bird inventory, cowl with a plate and leave for 10-15 mins until the couscous is swollen with stock. Run the tines of a fork via the couscous to fluff it up, then upload to the roasting tin, choosing up the roasting juices as you stir, together with the watercress, pea shoots, and parsley. Tumble all the substances together and transfer to a big serving dish.
Buttermilk courgettes and wide bean cream
A last-minute recipe, satisfactory finished whilst each person is seated. A fritter waits for no person. They are light and have the clean tang of buttermilk. You may want to use kefir. Either is at domestic with a courgette. The huge beans can be cooked and beaten as much as an hour or earlier than you wish to eat if kept cool and blanketed.

Serves 4
large beans 350g (shelled weight)
mint leaves 15
olive oil 150ml
white wine vinegar 1 tbsp
lemon juice of one
courgettes 1 massive or 2 medium
buttermilk 350ml
undeniable flour 6 tbsp
oil (vegetable or groundnut) for deep frying
lemons 2, halved

Bring a medium-sized saucepan of water to the boil, drop within the extensive beans and cook dinner for 4 or five minutes till soft, then drain and plunge into a bowl of iced water.

Pop the beans from their papery skins by way of pressing them along with your thumb and forefinger, then discard the skins.

Put the beans into the bowl of a food processor with the mint, olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice, and technique to a thick, clean cream. Scrape out into a bowl the usage of a rubber spatula, cowl and set aside.

Pour the buttermilk right into a shallow bowl and the flour right into a 2nd one. Thinly slice the courgette into rounds no thicker than a pound coin.

Warm the groundnut or vegetable oil to 180C in a deep pan. Dip the courgettes first inside the buttermilk after which within the flour, then lower cautiously into the new oil. Fry till golden and crisp, turning over once or twice all through the cooking.

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