Cook with Jamie: Take Sunday lunch outside with a simple pasta, a tasty fish dish and a crunchy salad
23:05 GMT, 29 June 2012
Jamie Oliver says the British garden is on of life's great joys
This week I’m all about encouraging you to enjoy one of life’s great joys: the British garden.
Admittedly our weather has been a bit touch and go so far this summer, but at every opportunity when the sun’s been out, so have I.
These recipes are some of the snappy weekend lunches I’ve been making during my downtime.
My girls love the simple pasta, and the summer fish pie is also a winner. It has all the elements of a comforting fish pie but is less rich so, like the other recipes, it’s perfect for outdoor eating on a breezy summer afternoon.
I’m also giving you one of my favourite-ever ways with sardines – turning them into fresh, beautiful ‘sandwiches’.
The other recipe I had to share was my matchstick beet salad. Every year I fall a little bit in love with beets. You can eat the leaves, stalks and roots, and they’re really easy to grow. My garden produces loads, so I often have to store them.
If you have a veg patch, I’ll let you in on a secret: clamping is the best thing in the world. It’s an old-fashioned way of preserving summer veg. Just pull up your ripe beets, spuds, squash or whatever, and dry them for an hour or so. Dig up the area you pulled them from, lay down some straw, pile the veg back in a pyramid shape, then cover with straw and a few inches of soil or sand.
This will preserve them for months and keep most of their nutritional value. I tried this last year and made a pretty big mess – but it was worth it because we were all eating my summer crop of candy-coloured beets on Christmas Day, and they were perfect.
CREAMED AUBERGINE, TOMATO & BASIL LINGUINE
1 aubergine Olive oil 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced 2 anchovy fillets 400g (14oz) dried linguine A big handful of fresh basil 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes 1tbsp balsamic vinegar 60g (2oz) freshly grated Parmesan
Quarter your aubergine lengthways: if it’s lovely, dense flesh – happy days; but if it’s fluffy and seedy, remove the seeds. Dice it into 1cm (in) chunks, then add to a large, hot frying pan with a few good lugs of olive oil. Fry the aubergine over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes until it starts to colour, then add your garlic and anchovy fillets. Get your pasta started. Put a pot of salted water on to boil and, once boiling, cook the linguine according to packet instructions until al dente. Meanwhile, pick the basil leaves and put the small ones in water for later. Roughly chop the larger ones. Add the tomatoes to the aubergine with a few splashes of water. Stir and break the tomatoes up. Season and add the balsamic vinegar and chopped basil. Carefully pour into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Have another taste, season, then return to the pan and set aside. Drain your pasta, reserving some cooking water. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss together, adding splashes of reserved cooking water to help the sauce stick to the pasta. Sprinkle in most of the Parmesan, toss again quickly, then get everyone around the table, ready to eat. Bang the pasta onto a platter, sprinkle over the reserved basil leaves and the rest of the Parmesan, then tuck in.
SUMMER FISH PIE
A bunch of fresh mint 1.5kg (3lb 5oz) new potatoes, scrubbed clean 2 fennel bulbs, finely sliced, tops reserved Olive oil 3 leeks, trimmed, washed and finely sliced a red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced a glass of white wine 2tsp English mustard 2 fresh bay leaves 600g (1lb 5oz) salmon fillet, skinned and pinboned 400g (14oz) smoked haddock, skinned and pinboned 300g (10oz) frozen prawns 200ml (7fl oz) single cream Juice and zest of 1 lemon 75g (2oz) freshly grated Parmesan Ketchup, asparagus, peas or beans
Pick the mint leaves and put to one side. Add the stalks to a large pan of salted boiling water with the potatoes and cook for 10 minutes or until tender. Pop the leafy fennel tops on a plate and put them in the fridge with your mint leaves until later. Preheat your oven to 200C/gas 6. Add a good lug of olive oil to an appropriately sized casserole pan, add your sliced leek, fennel and chilli, then season. Cook for 10 minutes or until the veg has softened, then add the wine, mustard and bay leaves. Cook the wine away then take the pan off the heat. Slice the fish into 2.5cm (1in) pieces and sprinkle them into the pan with your prawns. Stir in the cream, lemon juice and Parmesan, then season. Drain the potatoes, discarding the mint stalks, then pop them back in the pan with a little olive oil and seasoning. Finely chop the mint leaves, add to the potato pan, then use a masher to crush the potatoes to a chunky mash. Spread over the pie for a rough covering, then place in the oven for 35 minutes, or until golden-brown, bubbling and looking delicious. Once cooked, let the pie cool slightly then serve with the reserved fennel leaves on top, a bottle of ketchup and asparagus, peas or beans. Lovely.
Olive oil A large handful of breadcrumbs 16 fresh sardines, filleted 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped Zest of 1 lemon, grated A large handful of fennel tops or flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped 1-2tbsp capers in brine, drained and finely chopped Rocket leaves dressed with lemon and olive oil
Preheat oven to 220C/gas 7. Cover 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper rubbed with olive oil. Spread a quarter of the breadcrumbs over the trays, lay 4 fillets skin-side down on each tray and sprinkle over half the chilli. Do the same with half the zest, herbs and capers and a quarter of the breadcrumbs, then season. Lay the remaining fillets on top of the others, skin-side up. Sprinkle over the remaining ingredients. Drizzle with oil and bake for 10-15 minutes until the skin is crisp and golden. Serve with a rocket salad.
MATCHSTICK BEET SALAD
70g (2oz) feta cheese Handfuls of fresh mint, flat-leaf parsley, fennel tops or dill, and green or purple basil 300g (10oz) beets, washed and scrubbed 1 Granny Smith apple 1 fresh chilli (optional), finely sliced 4tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 1 juicy lemon
Crumble the feta into a bowl. Finely slice your herbs and add them to the bowl, too. Thinly slice your beets and apple (core and all), then finely slice into matchsticks (or a food processor will do a fine job). Put these in the bowl along with your feta and herbs, then add the chilli, if using. Just before you serve it, pour on the olive oil, add the juice from your lemon and a good pinch of pepper. Toss everything together with your hands and have a taste. The salt from the feta should be enough to season it but if not, add a pinch of salt, toss again then tuck in right away while it’s fresh and crunchy.
If this column has got you in the mood for outdoor eating, look out for Jamie’s Summer Food Rave Up at 8.30pm on Monday (and then on 9 and 16 July) on Channel 4. It’s full of fantastic festival-style food to get you inspired. Also check out jamie oliver.com/thebigfeastival – we’ll be back at Alex James’ farm in Oxfordshire on 1 and 2 September. Subscribe to Jamie: Magazine for just 29.99 a year and get 40 to spend at Naked Wines. Call 0844 249 0478 or log on to jamiemagazine.com/dmnw (over 18s; limited to first 500 new UK subscribers; valid against first order of 40 or more, 4.99 p&p).