This Month's Recipe...
May - Cucumber Salad with Mustard
From page 94 of The New English Kitchen.
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tsp golden caster sugar
½ tsp soft crystal sea salt
2 tablespoons water
4 sprigs of dill, chopped
10 chives, chopped
freshly ground black pepper
To prepare the cucumber, peel it, halve it lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Slice thinly, then place in a colander in the sink and throw a little salt over it. Leave for an hour, during which time the water will seep out of the cucumber flesh. Pat dry with a towel, which will absorb the water and excess salt.
Combine the cucumber with all the remaining ingredients, scattering the herbs on top. Serve with fried sole (see page 298 of the New English Kitchen).
Main – Curried Lamb and Brown Lentil Broth
From page 229 of The New English Table.
An easy soup that is a meal in itself. Serve it with the Thin Breads on page 00 or simply buy pitta bread, brush with a little melted butter and toast in the oven.
Serves 4 generously
4–8 good-sized lamb chops
2 onions, chopped
200g/7oz small brown lentils
1 heaped tablespoon medium curry powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons passata (puréed tomatoes)
1 litre/13/4 pints lamb or other stock
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
mint leaves, whole-milk yoghurt and nigella seeds, to serve
Melt half the butter in a large casserole, add the chops and brown on both sides. Add the remaining butter and the onions, turn down the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened. Try not to let them burn. Add the lentils, then the curry powder and the cayenne pepper, if using, and stir to coat the contents of the pan. Add the passata and stock, bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes, until the lentils and lamb are tender. Season to taste. Serve with mint leaves, and yoghurt with a few nigella seeds scattered over the broth.
Dessert - Banana and Almond Cake
Photograph by Jason Wain
From page 298 of Kitchenella.
Perfect food to carry around; a slice of something to kill hunger and give a little energy along with sweetness. The joy for me is that this is made with ground almonds, so it never dries out and has a real cakey texture.
115g/4oz butter, plus extra for greasing
115g/4oz dark muscovado sugar
115g/4oz golden syrup
1 heaped teaspoon cinnamon
3 medium-ripe bananas, roughly mashed
250g/9oz ground almonds
Preheat the oven to150°C/300°F/Gas 2. Grease a loaf tin, about 20cm/8in long. Boil the butter, sugar and syrup in a pan together for 3 minutes. Cool for about 15 minutes, then stir in the cinnamon and banana. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and fold in the ground almonds. Bake for about 1 1/2–2 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Makes a soggy cake that lasts for about 5 days.