Bring the A La Carte to Your Kitchen with These Summer Recipes
Fine dining doesn’t have to be completely confined to the restaurant experience!
Our chefs have come up with some seriously good recipes you can try to bring the a la carte experience into your home. With everything from summery soup classics to tempting desserts to try, you can create a whole three course meal that will impress your friends and family and make you a superstar of the kitchen.
While these recipes might sound tricky, they are completely within your reach! Some dishes may need a little more prep time than others, so make sure to block out a good amount of time to make things just the way you want them.
Remember, cooking is an art and it doesn’t have to be perfect! You can always make substitutions where necessary. Just keep the main components the same and you’ll still be well on your way to being a cooking extraordinaire.
Split Pea Soup – Summer Style
A favourite here in the SbN kitchen, split pea soup is a refreshing starter that provides the perfect complement to a summer dinner party. This variation incorporates lemon curd goat’s cheese and buttered almonds to add a little more flourish to a seriously tasty affair. (Serves 6)
Step 1: Prepare the Soup
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- 1 white of leek thinly sliced
- 1 stick of celery thinly sliced
- 500g of petit pois
- 500ml of vegetable stock
- 150ml of double cream
- 50g of butter
- 1. Melt the butter in a pot and lightly cook the vegetables for 4-5 mins till softened and translucent
- 2. Add the stock and simmer till vegetables are cooked, add the peas and the cream.
- 3. Bring to boil for 2 minutes then puree, pass through a strainer then chill
Step 2: Prepare the Lemon Curd
- 4 lemons, zest and juice
- 200g/7oz caster sugar
- 100g/3½oz unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 3 free-range eggs, plus 1 free-range egg yolk
- 1. Put the lemon zest and juice, the sugar and the butter into a heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl. Stir the mixture every now and again until all of the butter has melted.
2. Lightly whisk the eggs and egg yolk and stir them into the lemon mixture. Whisk until all of the ingredients are well combined, then leave to cook for 10-13 minutes, stirring every now and again, until the mixture is creamy and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
3. Remove the lemon curd from the heat and set aside to cool, stirring occasionally as it cools. Once cooled, spoon the lemon curd into sterilised jars and seal. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
Step 3: Prepare the Lemon Curd Goat's Cheese
- 100g goats cheese free of rind
- 15g of lemon curd
- Blitz the goats cheese in a food processor then fold in the curd, chill till required
Step 4: Prepare the Crispy Peas
4 tablespoons of green split peas
- 1. Place 4 tablespoons of green split peas into soak for 4 hours
2. Rinse peas then place in pan with enough water to cover, bring to boil, and refresh under cold running water.
3. Drain well and pat dry
4. Fry in hot oil till crispy, remove on to kitchen roll lined tray
Step 5: Prepare the Buttered Almonds
- 3 tablespoons of flaked almonds
- Salted butter
- Take 3 tablespoons of flaked almonds and cook in salted butter over a medium heat till golden, drain and pat dry.
Step 6: To Serve
Use a piping bag to place the lemon curd goat’s cheese in the bowl. Dress thew pea shoots with a little of the almond butter and place the buttered almonds in the bowl with the shoots. Serve the soup hot or cold in a jug.
Asparagus with Spice Yoghurt, Pears, Almond Granola
Inspired by Turkish/Eurasian flavours such as cardamon, fennel, and sumac, this fried asparagus dish is perfect as a starter or a side to a fish or chicken main. The addition of spiced yoghurt gives it a summery kick that your guests will absolutely adore. If you want to add some extra flair you could even drizzle over smoked oil to finish it off! (Serves 6)
Step 1: Prepare the Asparagus
36 spears asparagus
- 1. Trim the asparagus
- 2. Blanch in a large pan of boiling salted water for 2 minutes then plunge into iced water to chill, then drain. Cut off the spears and finely slice the middle part of the stem, chill till required.
Step 2: Prepare the Yoghurt
- 500g of set yoghurt
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tbsp ras el hanout
- ½ tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp sumac or lemon zest
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 pinch chilli flakes
- Salt to taste
- 1. Toss the spices in a frying pan over a medium heat for approximately 2 minutes, then allow to cool.
- 2. Combine with the yoghurt and leave to chill till required. I recommend about 6 hours as it gives the flavours time to mix.
Step 3: Prepare the Pears
- 2 pears (Conference work well)
- 200ml water
- 100ml Aspall’s Cyder
- 50ml Aspall’s Cyder Vinegar
- 75g caster sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1. Place all ingredients apart from the pear into a pan and simmer
- 2. Peel and half the pears, remove the core and place in the liquor. Cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes then allow to cool, then chill.
- 3. Remove from the stock then slice, set aside.
Step 4: To Serve
- Spoon the yoghurt into a circle, dress with the asparagus, finish with the almonds and soft herbs. Drizzle on smoked oil to finish (optional).
Apple Cured Salmon
This recipe takes a couple of days to complete because of the curing, but if you’re patient it is really worth the wait! Bramley apples work well in this dish as they lend just the right amount of sweetness and tartness to complement the fish. Pair with a good white wine and your selection of fresh vegetables to really seal the deal. (Serves 4-6)
- 500g piece of boneless salmon (ask your fishmonger to remove pin bones)
- 160g of coarse sea salt (e.g. Maldon Salt)
- 280g of caster sugar
- 3 juniper berries
- 4 black peppercorns
- 2 Bramley apples
- Splash of brandy
- 750ml of good apple juice
1. Lightly crush the juniper and pepper, grate the apple then combine with the rest of the ingredients.
2. Line a tray with clingfilm, lay the salmon on top (skin-side down).
3. In one even layer, add your apple mix to the surface of the salmon.
4. Cover with clingfilm and leave for 24 hours.
5. The next day, scrape away all the apple mix and discard the liquor that has come from the salmon.
6. In a fresh tray, lay the salmon skin-side up and add the apple juice to cover – ensure the dish used is just big enough to take the salmon and the juice.
7. Leave for another 24 hours.
8. The salmon can now be thinly sliced and eaten as it, or sliced thicker and pan fried.
Beetroot and Potato Terrine with a Ginger Dressing
For a vegetarian alternative main, this twist on a classic terrine will go down a treat. Using beetroot and potatoes as a base, this creative dish combines flavourful spices and a sweet and sour dressing to be a meat-free showstopper all of its own. Pair with crisp salad and prepare for the dinner table talk to turn to your tasty terrine! (Serves 6)
Step 1: Create the Spice Mix
- 2 tsp horseradish powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp celery salt
Mix together the ingredients and toast.
Step 2: Make the Terrine
- 4 large potatoes thinly sliced tossed in turmeric and salt
- 1-2 large beetroot
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 white onion
- 1. Thinly slice the beetroot, onion and sweet potato and mix with the spice mix.
- Make a fresh vegetable stock or use a vegetable bouillon paste (make up half a litre, not too salty).
- 2. Line the base of a rectangular dish with parchment.
- 3. Layer up your potato on the bottom of the dish, making sure the potato overlaps. Bring it up the sides of the dish, just enough so that when it is full they will touch when folded over.
- 4. After layering your normal potato add layers of sweet potato, then spread out the onion and finally the beetroot on top.
- 5. Fold over the potato from the sides to encase the terrine and cover with half the stock.
- 6. Allow to soak for 15 minutes, then add more if needed just until you can see the stock from the surface.
- 7. Parchment and tinfoil the terrine, then cook for about 1 hour 15 minutes at 150°C / Gas Mark 2.
- 8. Stab the terrine with a knife to check it is cooked all the way through. If so take it out, press it with a heavy weight and leave refrigerated until set.
- 9. Once cooled, turn it out onto a chopping board and cut slices about 2 inches thick.
Step 3: Make the Aubergine and Red Pepper Puree
- 1½ aubergines skin on
- 1½ red peppers skin on
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1. Mix all ingredients together and roast at 180°C / Gas Mark 4 for approximately 30 minutes.
- Leave to cool.
- 2. Peel the skin off both peppers and aubergine.
- 3. Puree in a blender, re-season and then pass through a fine sieve to get it really smooth.
- Chill and store.
Step 4: Make the Sweet & Sour Ginger Cherry Dressing
- 100g fresh cherries
- 25ml cherry brandy
- 2 tbsp ginger syrup
- 100g balsamic vinegar
- A pinch of finely chopped ginger
- 1 tbsp of dark brown sugar
- 100ml of water
- 1. Mix the ingredients in a pan, bring to the boil and reduce by half.
- 2. Chill and store.
Step 5: Prepare Your Vegetables
- ½ bunch of baby carrots
- ½ bunch of baby turnips
- ½ bunch of baby beetroot
- 50g of peas
- 1. Blanch the carrots, turnips and peas.
- 2. Roast the beetroot. Chill, then peel and cut into wedges.
Step 6: Serve
- Pan sear both sides of the terrine, heat up the puree and baby vegetables in separate pans, drizzle the dressing around the dish, and garnish with pea shoots.
Morello Cherry Panna Cotta
Cherries are the epitome of summer, so it stands to reason that you’d have them as a part of your summer fine dining experience! This dessert combines the sweet and succulent drupe with a rich, creamy and very indulgent panna cotta base. A perfect pairing if ever we saw one! For an adult addition, splash some mouth-watering cherry brandy in to your compote. (Serves 6)
Step 1: Prepare the Compote
- 500-600g Ripe Morello Cherries, Pitted
- 100ml Water
- 150g Sugar
- 100ml Cherry Brandy (optional)
- 1. Put the cherries in a pan with sugar and water, add the cherry brandy if you are using it. Leave uncovered and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. The cherries should be tender and glossy but still whole, and the juice should be syrupy.
- 2. Remove the cherries with a slotted spoon, and take out 132ml juice for the panna cotta.
- 3 . Bring the remaining juice back to a simmer, and thicken slightly with corn flour. Simmer for 3 minutes.
- 4. Pour over the cherries and store in the fridge where it will keep for a couple of weeks.
- 540ml double cream
- 132ml semi-skimmed milk
- 132ml cherry juice (made in step 1)
- 120g caster sugar
- 9g of sheet gelatine
- 1. Soften the gelatine in a little cold water
- 2. In a pan, gently heat the cream, milk and cherry juice. Be careful not to bring it to the boil. Add the sugar and stir until it’s dissolved.
- 3. Squeeze the gelatine to remove the water, and stir it into the pan to dissolve.
- 4. Pass the mixture through a fine strainer into a jug and leave it to cool.
- 5. Divide the mix into 6 serving glasses, and refrigerate for 4-6 hours.
Step 3: Serve
Spoon some cherry compote onto the panna cotta. For extra texture, you could try crumbling some delicious chocolate cookies over the top!
Strawberry and Pistachio Tart with Glazed Marzipan
What is more evocative of a lovely summer’s day than strawberries and cream? This delicious recipe takes those basic ingredients and turns them into an elaborate yet surprising simple dessert. The combination of strawberries and pistachios creates a sweet and salty flavour that is just too tasty to resist! You’ll need approximately two punnets of strawberries and some clotted cream to serve. (Serves 10)
Step 1: Prepare the Frangipane
- 225g unsalted butter
- 225g caster sugar
- 175g ground almonds
- 50g plain flour
- 4 large free-range eggs
- 4 tablespoons of peeled pistachios
- 1. Cream butter and sugar till almost white
- 2. Mix almonds and 3 tbsp of the pistachios together with the flour
- 3. Add 1 egg at a time to butter with a handful of flour till all incorporated
- 4. Refrigerate for 1 hour
Step 2: Prepare the Pastry
- 300gm plain flour
- 150gm cold unsalted butter diced
- 100gm icing sugar
- 1 eggs
- 1 egg yolks plus one extra for brushing
(This will be enough for a 10” tart ring with some leftover)
- 1. Place all ingredients except eggs in food processor and pulse till breadcrumb texture
- 2. Add eggs and pulse till mix comes together
- 3. On a lightly floured surface knead lightly to form a ball and flatten slightly, wrap in cling film and chill for 3 hours
- 4. Grease ring, roll out pastry, line ring, press in gently, cut off excess leaving a 1cm overhang
- 5. Line with silicone and baking beans, chill for 20 mins
- 6. Bake at 170o/c for 10-12 mins, cut off the overhang and return to oven for 7 mins
- 7. When out of oven brush with egg yolk to seal
Step 3: Make the Tart
- 1. Place the cooked pastry case – still in its ring on a lined baking sheet.
- 2. Brush the base of the cooked pastry with strawberry jam – mix up the jam a little to make it more spreadable.
- 3. Pipe in the frangipane starting in the middle and going round in an ever-increasing circle till the tart case is full. Take care not to over fill the tart as it will expand during cooking. Ideally, you want the filling to come just below the level of the pastry.
- 4. Sprinkle over the remaining pistachios over the filling, place the ¾ of the strawberries cut side down into the filling.
- 5. Place the tart in the oven at 165 o/c for approx 25 – 35 minutes till it is golden brown and springs to the touch.
- 6. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
Step 4: To Serve
Place the marzipan on a baking tray and lightly caramelise with a blowtorch.
Cut the tart into portions and place on the plates, garnish the plates with fresh cut strawberries, a scoop of sorbet, a scoop of clotted cream and the marzipan.