Baked side of salmon with lemon, fennel & spring herb crème fraîche

Put aside: five minutes for prep and 25 minutes for cooking.

What you’ll need

For the salmon

1 side of salmon (or fillets) skin on

50ml apple juice (or water if you’d rather a little less sweetness) pure and pressed, not from concentrate

3 lemons sliced 

3 glugs of olive oil

2 fennel bulbs sliced

1tsp sea salt flakes and cracked black pepper

For the crème fraîche

1 small bunch each of fresh dill, basil and flat leaf parsley finely chopped

1 lemon zested

A pinch of sea salt flakes and cracked black pepper

What to do

1 Preheat your oven to 200°C (180°C fan) or gas mark six.

2 Line a baking tray (one that has sides that are at least an inch high) with non-stick baking parchment. 

3 Roughly make a bed using half of the fennel and lemon slices on the tray. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top and then place your salmon onto the bed. Cover it with the rest of the lemon and fennel before adding a little more olive oil and a scattering of salt and pepper. 

4 Now pour in the apple juice or water (remember, for a little extra sweetness go for apple juice, but if you just want a soft texture and no added flavour, stick with water). Carefully place the baking tray in the oven and bake the salmon for 18–22 minutes. You want the thickest part of the salmon to be just about cooked because it’ll continue to cook while it’s resting.

5 Now onto the crème fraîche. Simply take all of your finely chopped herbs and lemon zest, combine them with the crème fraîche and stir. Add a little salt and pepper to taste, and you’re done.

6 Transfer the salmon to your serving plate and dress it with the roasted lemons and fennel, with the crème fraîche in a little pot to the side. 

 

Green beans with lemon and toasted pine nuts

Put aside: five minutes for prep and no more than three minutes for cooking.

What you’ll need

600g fine green beans fresh, not frozen

50g parmesan (or a vegan substitute like the Prosociano wedge by Violife) finely grated

50g pine nuts lightly toasted

1 lemon zested and juiced

A glug of olive oil

A pinch of cracked black pepper

What to do

1 Take a medium-sized pan and fill it with cold water and a generous pinch of salt. Put it on a high heat to bring it to the boil.

2 While the water comes to boiling point, trim your green beans by removing the woody ends. 

3 When the water is ready, blanch the green beans for three minutes. Make sure you’re strict here as you want them to crunch. As soon as the three minutes are up, drain them straight away and run them under cold water or they’ll continue to cook. This helps them to keep their lovely colour too. 

4 To toast the pine nuts, put a frying pan on a low-medium heat and keep them moving for a few minutes until they begin to catch.

5 Toss the cooled beans in olive oil (in the same pan that you cooked them to save washing up!) and add in the cheese, lemon zest, juice, pine nuts and seasoning. And they’re ready to serve. 

 

Smashed pea & mozzarella toasts 

Put aside: ten minutes for prep and less than ten minutes for cooking.

What you’ll need

1 loaf of fresh ciabatta griddled or toasted 

500g shelled peas fresh, not frozen

150g mascarpone

50g parmesan (or a vegan substitute) finely grated

25ml olive oil

3 balls of buffalo mozzarella (or a vegan substitute)  

1tsp lemon juice

A pinch of cracked black pepper

What to do

1 Again, start by getting a medium-sized pan, fill it with water, add a little salt and bring to the boil. 

2 Cook the shelled peas for four minutes, at which point they should be nice and tender. 

3 Drain them and add them to a food processer or blender along with the oil, mascarpone, lemon juice and seasoning. Pulse until you get a rough paste.

4 Heat a griddle pan and toast both sides of the ciabatta so they’re scored. Otherwise, toast them under the grill and then drizzle each slice with a little oil. 

5 Spread the blitzed pea mixture onto each piece of bread and then top with torn mozzarella and a sprinkling of parmesan, seasoning and few drops of oil for colour.  

 

New potato, garden pea and pesto salad

Put aside: 15 minutes for prep and 15–20 minutes for cooking.

What you’ll need

1kg new potatoes 

250g petit pois fresh or frozen

50g parmesan (or a vegan substitute) finely grated

25g pine nuts 

2 bunches of fresh basil finely chopped

1/2 garlic clove minced

1/2 lemon juiced

A pinch of sea salt flakes

A glug of olive oil 

What to do

1 Tip the potatoes into a pan and fill it with cold water so they’re all covered. Add a good pinch of salt and cook until just tender. Depending on the size of your potatoes, that should take no more than 20 minutes.

2 While the potatoes are cooking, mix all of the other ingredients – aside from the peas – together in a food processor or blender to make the pesto. Don’t blitz for too long or you’ll lose the texture. Add a touch extra oil if the mixture seems too thick. 

3 When the potatoes are cooked through, drain them in a colander and add the peas. If you’re using frozen ones, there’s no need to cook them as the heat of the potatoes will do that for you. You can cut the potatoes in half, keep them whole or have a mixture.

4 Add the pesto, peas and potatoes back into the pan and gently mix them so you don’t break up the potatoes. Taste, and add extra seasoning if needed, then tip the salad into a serving dish.