ArchiveAugust 6, 2014

Morito Cookbook


It’s a long while since I came across a cook book where I wanted to cook virtually everything in the book and it didn’t even belong to me, I  borrowed the new Morito cookbook from my daughter’s kitchen three weeks ago and I still haven’t given it back, I even ordered my very own copy. Morita is the baby sister of Moro, Sam & Samantha’s Clarke’s restaurant in Exmouth Market in London. If you haven’t eaten at Moro put it on your London list right away.

Sam and his lovely wife spent several years cooking in the kitchens at the River Café. In 1997 they opened Moro to cook the food they loved  and to introduce their guests to the lesser known flavours of the Mediterranean.  They were newly married and had returned from a camper van research trip through Spain, Morocco and the Sahara, – an enthusiastic young couple on a mission to discover the tiny details that make food taste authentic and not appear to be cooked by an Anglo Saxon.

They also wanted to demonstrate  how the different combination of spices one chooses can add the magical flavours of different continents. They installed a wood burning oven, made their own sour dough bread and yoghurt, set up an allotment, forged links with farmers and producers and built up a super loyal following. They continue to explore,  experiment and play.  In 2010  Morito was opened next door, Sam and Sam describe it as the little noisier more rebellious sibling of Moro, it was greeted with joy and anticipation by their many devotees.

Morito serves a wide selection of tapas and mezze and little plates to nibble and share. The secrets are in Morita cookbook published by Ebury Press. Here is a tantalizing taste of some of their summer salads.



Radish and Pomegranate Salad


This pretty, peppery salad gives sweetness to your table and is excellent alongside fish, chicken or a rich vegetable dish. We slice the vegetables on a mandoline, the thinner they are, the better they absorb the dressing.


Serves 4


Pomegranate Dressing

Freshly squeezed juice of 1 large pomegranate

1 tablespoon Forum Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar or a good quality aged red wine vinegar with a pinch of sugar

2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses



150-200g long white daikon (mooli) or black radish, thinly sliced

5 red radishes, sliced into very thin rounds

1 golden beetroot, peeled and very thinly sliced (optional)

1 small kohlrabi, peeled, cut in half and thinly sliced

1 bunch of mint, finely shredded

3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds


The make the fresh pomegranate juice, cut the pomegranate in half and take out the seeds, discarding any bitter skin or white pith. Put the seeds in a sieve and press them with the back of spoon to extract all the juice, discarding any skin or hard seeds. Put all the dressing ingredients into a jam jar with a lid, season with salt and pepper and shake well.

To make the salad, put the radishes, beetroot, if using, and kohlrabi in a bowl, add the mint and pomegranate seeds and pour over the dressing. Mix everything together and serve immediately.


From Morito, Sam & Sam Clarke



Cauliflower, Pine Nuts, Raisins and Saffron


The cauliflower becomes soft and rich from absorbing the flavoursome oil.


Serves 4


4 tablespoons olive oil

1 Spanish onion, sliced

1 small cauliflower, leaves and stalk discarded, separated into florets

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

A large pinch of ground turmeric

½ teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and roughly ground

½ teaspoon coriander seeds, roughly ground

4 tablespoons pine nuts

3 tablespoons raisins, soaked in hot water till plump, drained

15 threads of saffron, steeped in 100ml hot water

1 small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped


Heat the oil in a large, wide saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft, golden and sweet.  Add the cauliflower florets, garlic, spices and another pinch of salt. Cook over a medium heat for 10 -1 5 minutes, stirring often.

Now add the pine nuts, raisins and the saffron-infused water. Cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. Stir in half of the chopped coriander and remove from the heat. Serve with the remaining coriander scattered on top.


From Morito, Sam & Sam Clarke


Grilled Onion Salad, Pomegranates and Mint


If we are proud of anything in our books, it is making people think about vegetables in different ways and all their possibilities. This recipe is a good example of that. Charred onions have a beautifully smoky taste and a wonderful velvety texture. Please do try this dish.


Serves 4


4-6 red or white onions

12 quantity of Pomegranate Dressing

Seeds of 1 large pomegranate

2 tablespoons shredded mint


Grill the onions whole and unpeeled over a hot barbecue for 20-30 minutes, until black and charred all over. This method will impart an aromatic smokiness to the dish. Cook slightly, peel and cut into halves or quarters.

Alternatively, if roasting in the oven, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6. Place the whole onions on a baking ray and cook for 35-40 minutes or until  they have some give but are still slightly firm. You don’t want them to become mushy and lose their colour. Remove from the oven and cool a little. Peel and cut the onions as before and place on a baking tray under a hot grill or on a hot griddle pan and leave until lightly charred.

To serve, transfer the onions whilst still warm to a bowl, pour over the dressing, season with a little salt and pepper and mix gently but make sure the onions are well coated. Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and mint.

From Morito – Sam & Sam Clarke


Beetroot, Almonds and Mint


At Morito we often serve this salad with a few think slices of cecina (Spainish cured beef) or Pastirma. However, it’s so delicious on its own that it is difficult to stop eating.


Serves 4


3 tablespoons blanched almonds or roasted Marcona

700g raw bunched beetroot, peeled and coarsely grated

1 quantity of Pomegranate dressing

2 tablespoons shredded mint

2 tablespoons fresh pomegranate seeds


If using blanched almonds, roast them in the oven at 150C/300F/gas 2, until golden brown. Cool and roughly chop.

Place the grated beetroot in a bowl. Pour the dressing over, then add the almonds, mint and pomegranate seeds. Mix well, taste and serve.


From Morito – Sam & Sam Clarke


Steamed Aubergines with a Peanut Dressing



Serves 4-6


Madhur Jaffrey introduced us to this delectable aubergine recipe from Northern China. It can be served as a starter or as an accompanying vegetable or as a salad. It goes particularly well with cold meats. Madhur urged us to seek out long slim variety of aubergines rather than the larger seedy ones.  We’ve been growing them ever since – the variety is Slim Jim – Look out for them at the Midleton Farmers Market.


560g (1¼ lb) aubergines

50g (2oz) raw peanuts, roasted and ground to a paste in a clean coffee-grinder or 3 tablespoons freshly made peanut butter from a health food shop

50 ml (2fl oz) Chinese light soy sauce

25 ml (1fl oz) Chinese red vinegar (use red wine vinegar as a substitute

15 ml (1fl oz) sugar (use a bit more, if needed)

¼ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine

15 ml (1fl oz) sesame oil

15 ml (1fl oz) garlic, peeled and very finely chopped

15 ml (1fl oz) fresh ginger, peeled and very finely chopped

2 tablespoons green coriander, very finely chopped, both leaves and stems, plus a few extra green coriander sprigs for garnishing


If the aubergines are the long, slim variety, quarter them lengthways, and then cut them into 7.5cm (3inch) long fingers.  If using the more common, fat aubergine, cut it into fingers that are 7.5 x 2.5cm (3inch x 1inch).  Steam over a high heat for 15-20 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, combine all the remaining ingredients except the green coriander in a bowl and mix well.  This is the sauce.

When the aubergine pieces are tender, lift them out carefully and arrange them neatly in a single layer in a large platter.  Stir the sauce.  Add the green coriander to it and mix again.  Pour the sauce evenly over the aubergines.  Serve at room temperature or chilled.  This dish may be prepared ahead of time, covered and refrigerated.  Garnish with the green coriander sprigs just before serving.



Rachel’s Raspberry Upside-Down Cake


Rachel makes this upside-down cake at least every couple of weeks. I love the way the dish starts off as a delicious dessert, ideal for rounding off a family meal. Then the next day (if there’s any leftover!) it turns into the perfect coffee-time treat, to be enjoyed in company or just on your own.


Serves 6–8

50g (2oz/1/2 stick) butter

125g (4 1/2oz/generous 1/2 cup) caster sugar

250g (9oz) fresh or frozen raspberries


For the sponge

150g (5oz/1 1/4 sticks) butter, softened

150g (5oz/generous 1/2 cup) caster sugar

3 eggs

200g (7oz/scant 2 cups) self-raising flour, sifted


25cm (10 inch) diameter ovenproof frying pan (diameter measured at the top)


Preheat oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.


Place the butter in the frying pan and melt over a medium–high heat. Add the caster sugar, stirring to mix, and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, then scatter the raspberries into the pan so that they cover the base in a single layer. Leave to sit while you make the sponge.


In a large bowl, beat the butter until soft, then add the sugar and beat until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the flour. Alternatively, place all the ingredients in a food processor and whiz together briefly until they come together.

Spoon the sponge mixture over the raspberries in blobs, then carefully spread it out to cover the fruit in the pan.


Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes or until the sponge feels set in the centre – a skewer inserted into the middle will come out clean. Allow to sit for 2 minutes, then place a serving plate on top of the pan and, clasping the plate firmly against the pan, carefully flip it over. Lift off the pan to reveal the pudding – now upside down on the plate, with the raspberries on top. Serve warm or at room temperature with perhaps a little cream.



Any leftover cake will keep (covered with a cake cover or an upturned bowl so as not to squash the raspberries) for up to two days






Hot Tips


Clotilde’s Fruit Compotes –

fruit purees in tiny pots from Ballyhoura are worth knowing about – my little grand-daughter Tilly Bird ate a whole pot with her fingers recently. You can buy them at Douglas Farmers Market and some supermarkets


Seek  out the Rocket Man HQ.

Jack Crottys many fans from Mahon Point, Douglas and Wilton Farmers Markets will be delighted to know about his new enterprise – a salad and juice bar in Princes Street, Cork (alongside the English Market) .


Kids in the kitchen –

there was a terrific response to last year’s classes so we are offering another whole series of hands-on cooking courses for kids. They have brilliant fun rustling the pots and pots while they learn a whole repertoire of yummy dishes. For dates and details see –

Oxford Food Symposium

The Oxford Food Symposium is a weekend long conference held as one would expect in Oxford. It brings together over 200 international scholars, journalists, chefs, scientists, sociologists, anthropologists and enthusiastic amateurs for serious discussions on food, its culture and its history. This year the theme was Food and Markets, papers presented were asked to examine “the historical, sociological and practical aspects of the economic exchange between producer and consumer through which food arrives on our tables. Not forgetting the pleasure of marketing: the excitement of discovering new ingredients, watching the skill of a market cook preparing a dish to order; the sheer enjoyment to be found in the peace, charm and sunshine of wandering around an open air market in an unfamiliar (or familiar) part of the world and learning how people live”.

The first Oxford Symposium  was held in 1981, the brainchild of Alan Davidson and Theodore Zeldin, chaired by food writer and journalist Paul Levy and Claudia Roden.

34 years later Paul and Claudia and many of the original symposiasts are still in the helm, I hadn’t been for many years because the dates clashed with exams here at the Ballymaloe Cookery School but this year, I was invited to give the Jane Grigson Memorial lecture – for me who so loved and admired Jane Grigson, a joyful honour. I spoke on the revival of the markets in Ireland from the original farmers market in the Cork Quay started in 1996 to the 160+ farmers markets around the country today.

The latest Farmers Market to open to queues on the first day is held at Wilton Shopping Centre in Cork on Tuesdays from 10am to 2.30pm.

The whole weekend was wonderfully convivial with a variety of intriguing presentations on markets and market related issues including a fascinating insight into the behind the scenes in food markets in Russia, by Anya von Bremzen, author of six books including her latest one “Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing.

Other papers explored World Street market food in India and Mexico, San Francisco and Southern Vietnam.  Doug Duda, from the US explored Why markets are booming while cooking crashes.

At the market was Renee Martous subject What does ‘fresh’ mean at the market was Noehal Bursa painted a vivid picture of the powerful scents at The Egyptian Bazaar in Istabul, the pilgrimage to El Balour. Others explored left overs and waste from the markets while Janet Beizer gave a fascinating insight into The Emperors Plate: Marketing leftovers in 19th century Paris.

Sadly I missed Samantha Martin McAuliffe’s from Wicklow presentation on Feeding Dublin but this  paper and all the others will be up on the Oxford Food Symposium website ( for everyone to access before too long.

The weekend was hugely enjoyable, informative and convivial, the food completely delicious. Gastronomic dynamo, Allegra McEvedy cooked a Market Dinner on Friday – the starter was a celebration of the fresh produce from the market, peas and broad peas in the pod, radishes, sweet and delicious tomatoes,  cured black olives, sheep’s cheese, fresh herbs, dukkah and manaqush flatbreads. The main course was porchetta rolls with salsa verde with crispy pig ears and crackling and dessert was summer strawberry, nut and hibiscus jelly cups.

Karina Baldry and Katrina Kollegaeva, Russian Street Food,  was equally intriquing, they shared their cold beetroot soup recipe. On Saturday night Trine Hahnemann cooked a Nordic Summer Banquet of Danish home cooking yet another feast of Danish home cooking – loved the lamb stew with fennel and fennel seed, white wine and elderflower cordial.

I’ve already popped the dates for next years, July 3rd-5th 2015 Oxford Food Symposium in my diary.

Hope I’ve whetted your appetite. Had to rush to catch my plane so I sadly missed Joseph Pepe Patricio Market Leftovers Lunch on Sunday.


Katrina & Karina’s Cold beetroot Okroshka soup


Serves 8-10 portions


Soups to Russians is like a good Sunday roast to Brits – part of our cultural dna. We wither away without a daily helping of a soup of some kind.  Mothers tell their offspring that without the soup they won’t grow healthy and strong!


In summer cold soups make appearance on tables across the whole of Eastern Europe. Okroshka (from a Russian verb kroshyt’, or chop finely) can be made with kefir (fermented, yoghurt like, dairy drink) or kvass (non-alcoholic beverage made with rye) with addition of potatoes, peas, and even ham. But I prefer this version – impossibly pretty and zingy. And converts those who don’t like either kefir or beetroot in an instant.


Note on kefir – we use organic kefir made by Bio-tiful dairy in the west of the country.  But you can buy kefir in many Eastern-European shops or substitute for natural yoghurt and add a little bit of sourcream.


3 small beetroots, each about the size of a tennis ball (around 400 gr)
4 eggs

2 tsp of Dijon mustard

2 tbsp grated horseradish (if using creamed variety,  use more)
about 80 gr mayonnaise

1 tsp of sugar

a good pinch of salt

1 small cucumber


500 ml of kefir

about 200 ml of ice-cold water (optional)

2 chopped spring onions

2-3 tbs of dill/parsley

lemon, to taste

salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

optional sumac  for serving
1. Wash the beets, boil for about 45 minutes, until cooked through (test for doneness by piercing with a sharp knife). Cool completely, then peel and puree.
2. In the meantime hard-boil the eggs, then cool under cold water and peel.


3. Mash the yolks of one half of the eggs with mustard and horseradish, then add mayo, sugar and salt. Mix well.


4. Dine finely the remaining yolks and egg whites and put aside for decoration.


3. Wash the cucumbers, cut into small dice. Chop spring onions and herbs (keep some dill aside for decoration).


4. Take a large bowl, slowly add kefir to the egg and mustard mixture, whisking. If you prefer to soup to be less thick, then add water and whisk until frothy.


5. Throw in the beets. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for diced eggs. Mix well.


6. Taste again for seasoning – you may want to add more salt or pepper, or lemon juice.


7. Chill for at least two hours but best overnight. Serve very cold in chilled bowls. Sprinkle a line of chopped egg whites, another line of chopped yolks,  a line of chopped dill and sumac over the top of each soup.



Trine Hahnemann’s Lamb stew with fennel, fennel seeds, white wine and elderflower cordial



Serves 6


1 kg lamb cut in cubes from lamb shoulder or leg

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

3 leeks

2 fennels

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp fennel seeds

2 bay leaves

10 sprigs of tarragon

50 ml elderflower cordial

500 ml white wine

salt and freshly ground pepper


2 tbsp fresh tarragon leaves


Heat butter and olive oil in a big sauté-pan and brown the meat on all sides. Do in two batches if necessary. So you make sure to brown the meat and not boil it.

Chop the leeks into slices in 2 centimeter, cut the fennel to slices of 1 centimeter.

Add the garlic, fennel seeds, bay leaves and tarragon to the sauté-pan and mix well, now add 2/3 of the leeks and fennel, leave the rest for later. Mix into the meat, let it sauté for a few minutes, then pour over the elderflower cordial and white wine, sprinkle with salt and pepper, stir well together and bring to a boil and skim any froth that rises to the surface, then turn down the heat and let it simmer for 45-55 minutes.

When the lamb is tender, add the rest of the leeks and fennel and let simmer for 5 minutes more, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Before serving sprinkle the fresh tarragon leaves over.

Serve with boiled pearl barley, boiled potatoes or mash.



Allegra’s Orange Blossom, cashew and semolina cake



I have to say this is my favourite: a truly stunning cake with the most incredible,

crumbly texture. All the ingredients bring something to the party – semolina

for colour and consistency, cashews for moistness and all their good oils, and

orange flower water to keep the whole thing fragrant and light. Really stunning

on its own, or makes a fab pud with a bit of fruit and a blob of crème fraîche.

Yellow cake like you’ve never had it before.


serves 6+


for the cake

200g butter (at room temperature)

250g golden demerara sugar

250g ground cashew nuts,

raw and unsalted

3 eggs

zest and juice of 2 oranges

110g fine semolina

1 level teaspoon baking powder

a good splash of orange

blossom water (about 2 tablespoons)


for the rosemary syrup

15g rosemary, in little sprigs

2 tablespoons caster sugar


Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F/gas 3.

Cream the butter and the sugar together with a mixer until light and pale. Mix in

the ground cashews. Add the eggs, one by one, waiting until each is fully incorporated

before adding the next. Stir in the orange zest and juice, followed by the semolina,

baking powder and a pinch of salt.

Grease a 25cm cake tin with a little butter, then dust lightly with flour. Shake the

flour all round the inside so that there is a fine dusting, and then tip out the excess.

Spoon the cake mix into the tin and then put into the oven on a tray to bake for

around 11/2 hours. (The reason for the tray is that when I did it some of the mixture

oozed out of the bottom of the tin – it could just be that my tin was broken, though it

didn’t look it, but it’s better to be safe than on your knees scrubbing the oven.)

When the time is up, do the skewer test to check it’s cooked through. If a little bit of

the cake mixture sticks to the skewer, pop the cake back in for another 10–15 minutes.

When it is done, cool in the tin while you get on with the rosemary syrup.

Put the rosemary sprigs in a small pan with the sugar and 5 tablespoons of water.

Cook over a very low flame for 5–10 minutes until the rosemary has softened and the

sugar has turned into a thick, clear syrup.

Now sprinkle the orange blossom water over the cake. Then loosen it around the

edges of the tin with a knife and transfer it to a wire rack. Wait 5 minutes and then brush the rosemary syrup over the cake and dot the candied rosemary sprigs across the top.

Shelf Life: Up to a week and, believe me, it just keeps on getting better.

Best Kept: Uncovered, at room temperature.


From Allegra Mc Evedy’s Colour Cookbook


Allegra’s strawberry VESUVIUS


A gorgeous summer drink.


To drink the right thing at the right time is just as important as the eating side

of things. Here are three tastes of summer, all swirling around together with

the express mission of making you feel lovely and drunk. Just a little

something to liven up your party – sunshine in a glass.


serves 6


300g strawberries, hulled

70g caster sugar

300ml Pimms N°1

1 bottle chilled Prosecco/


sparkling wine


Triple Sec (optional)


Put the strawberries, sugar and 300ml water in a saucepan and gently cook down to a compote for about 10–15 minutes.

Once the strawberries have cooled, pour into a blender, add the Pimms and blitz. Pour the thin purée into the bottom of your champagne flutes – about 60ml in each.

Gently top up with the fizz of whatever kind, going nice and slow to avoid a messy pink eruption, or fast if you want to see how this cocktail got it’s name. I recommend Prosecco, but of course Champagne is the winner, but a little redundant with all that other gear in it; Cava is fine too; and then there’s always good old sparkling wine to fall back on.

Serve with a swizzle stick.

Shelf Life: Purée in the fridge 5 days; freezer 1 month. Best Kept: Purée in

the fridge, or freeze in ice-cube trays…


From Allegra Mc Evedy’s Colour Cookbook


Hot Tips

Have fun in the kitchen – We’ve some brilliant short courses coming up at the Ballymaloe Cookery School  during the Summer, 1 day, 2 1/5 days, week-long … The afternoon cookery demonstrations are open to the public every day – check out a Weeks Worth of Menus, a super course from 28th – 30th July.


Burrata, a beautifully tender Mozzarella infused with cream – used to be impossible to get it in Ireland but IAGO in Paul Street in Cork now imports it freshly every week. Sublime with some heirloom tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil leaves or baby broad beans and rocket leaves.


Taste of  Cavan – August 8 – 9th  in Cavan Town. Now, in its third year, the two-day festival of food has more than 60 exhibitors, from artisan cheesemakers to ice-cream producers. Visiting chefs include Neven Maguire and Richard Corrigan.


Date for your Diary:

East Cork Slow Food Event –  Have fun and learn how to Forage for Edible Wild Foods with Emer Fitzgerald at the Ballymaloe Cookery School on Wednesday July 30th at 7pm.

Slow Food Members €6.00

Non Slow Food Members €8.00

Enquiries to 021 4646785 or email


The ever more alarming obesity figures are spooking governments all over Europe, the US, India, China…..

As yet experts can’t seem to agree about the root cause or indeed the remedy. Meanwhile, the public are completely bamboozled by conflicting messages but even more serious is the situation that many busy people find themselves where they cannot access nourishing food easily. The Americans have long ago coined a phrase – food desserts, the definition of which is a geographic area where affordable and nutritious food is difficult to obtain, particularly for those without access to a car or local transport.

Desperation forces us to think outside the box and the results can be encouraging. When the bread in the US because so mass produced that it was virtually inedible,  artisan bakeries bubbled up . When food became so processed and ultra fresh nourishing food was virtually unavailable a few ‘desperately seeking’ souls started the first farmers market.

The same with beer and cider, as those drinks became increasingly chemical laden and mundane, a demand for craft beer and cider was created.

So what to do if you live in an area with no choice but to buy your food from a multinational discounter which offers no fresh produce?

Well faced with a crisis the human spirit tends to come up with a variety of mini solutions,  Guerrilla gardening allotments and urban farming are at an all-time high in cities from, LA to Shanghai.

There’s yet another initiative that has really caught peoples imagination particularly in the US, Grow Food not Lawns.

This movement was started in 1999 in Eugene, Oregon by a group of avant  – gardeners including Heather Flores who wrote “Grow food not lawns – how to turn your yard into a garden and your neighbourhood into a community” in 2006.  This initiative gradually inspired a global community

There are many related initiatives here in Ireland – GIY and OOBY  has caught the imagination and enhanced the life style not to mention the nourishment of many.

Growing some of our own food gives us an appreciation of the work that goes into producing beautiful nourishing  food and one rarely complains about the price of food again, not only is the food fresher but it tastes so much better when one has tended the garden for months on end – enough to savour every delicious mouthful.

The simple message from the Food Safety Promotions Board for children to drink water rather than juice is brilliant and empowers parents.


Radish Leaf Soup


Most people are unaware that radish leaves are edible and delicious. They need to be fresh or course.


Serves 4


11/2 ozs (45g/generous 1/4 stick) butter

5 ozs (140g/1 cup) peeled and chopped potatoes

4 ozs (110g/1 cup) peeled and chopped onion

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 pint (900ml/3 3/4 cups) water or homemade chicken stock or vegetable stock

1/2 pint (300ml/1 1/4 cups) creamy milk

5 ozs (150g/3 cups) fresh radish leaves, chopped


Melt the butter in heavy bottomed saucepan, when it foams, add the potatoes and onions and toss them until well coated. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover and sweat on a gentle heat for 10 minutes.


When the vegetables are almost soft but not coloured add the stock and milk, bring to the boil and cook until the potatoes and onions are fully cooked. Add the radish leaves and boil with the lid off for 4-5 minutes approx. until the radish leaves are cooked. Do not overcook or the soup will lose its fresh green colour. Puree the soup in a liquidiser or food processor. Taste and correct seasoning.



Radish Soup with Chervil Cream

Make the soup as above.  Serve with a blob of chervil cream on top of each bowl just before it goes to the table (see recipe below).



Chervil Cream


Serves 6


large bunch of chervil

250ml (9fl oz/generous 1 cup) full-fat crème fraîche

salt and freshly ground black pepper


Place the crème fraîche into a bowl.  Simply chop a large bunch of chervil very finely and mix with the crème fraîche. Season with some salt and a little freshly ground black pepper, to taste.


Smoked Mackerel Salad with Beetroot and Horseradish Sauce


Serves 8


4-6 fillets of smoked mackerel

a selection of baby salad leaves

pickled beetroot

horseradish sauce


sprigs of dill


Cut the smoked mackerel into 2.5cm (1 inch) pieces and the pickled beetroot into 1cm ( ½ inch) dice.


To serve

Strew the base of a white plate with a mixture of salad leaves.  Put 5 or 6 pieces of mackerel on top.  Scatter with some diced beetroot and top with a few little blobs of horseradish sauce.  A few sprigs of dill add to the deliciousness.

Serve with Ballymaloe Brown Yeast Bread.


Pickled Beetroot


Serves 5-6


1 lb (450 g) cooked beetroot

8 oz (225g/1 cup) sugar

16 fl oz (475 ml/2 cup) water

1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced (optional)

8 fl oz (250 ml/1 cup) white wine vinegar


Dissolve the sugar in water and bring to the boil.  Add the sliced onion and simmer for 3-4 minutes.  Add the vinegar, pour over the peeled beetroot and leave to cool.

Note: The onion may be omitted if desired.



Beetroot Tops

Young beetroot tops are full of flavour and are often unnecessarily discarded; but if you grow your own beetroots, remember to cook the stalks as well. When the leaves are tiny they make a really worthwhile addition to the salad bowl, both in terms of nutrition and flavour. This isn’t worth doing unless you have lovely young leaves. When they become old and slightly wilted, feed them to the hens or add them to the compost.


Serves 4


450g (1lb) fresh beetroot tops

salt and freshly ground pepper

butter or olive oil


Keeping them separate, cut the beetroot stalks and leaves into rough 5cm (2in) pieces. First cook the stalks in boiling salted water (1.8 litres/3 pints water to 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt) for 3–4 minutes or until tender. Then add the leaves and cook for a further 2–3 minutes. Drain, season and toss in a little butter or olive oil. Serve immediately.



Beetroot Tops with Cream

Substitute 75–125ml (3–4fl oz) cream for olive oil in the recipe above. A little freshly grated nutmeg is also delicious.


Strawberry Soup with Mint Chantilly


A simple and absolutely delicious Summer dessert.


Serves 8-10


Strawberry Soup

450g (1lb) ripe strawberries

225ml (8fl oz/1 cup) syrup (see recipe)

1 lemon

1 orange


Mint Chantilly

15 mint leaves approximate

1 tablespoon (1 American tablespoon + 1 teaspoon) lemon juice

150ml (5 fl ozs/generous 1/2 cup) cream

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

icing sugar to taste



mint leaves


Macaroons (optional)


Hull the strawberries, purée with the syrup, freshly squeezed orange juice and lemon juice. Put through a nylon sieve. Taste. Cover and chill well.


To serve divide the strawberry pureé between 6 soup plates or glass bowls.  Add a blob of mint Chantilly and some shredded mint leaves – serve immediately.


To make the mint chantilly.

Crush the mint leaves in a pestle and mortar with the granulated sugar and lemon juice, add the cream and stir, the lemon juice will thicken the cream.  If the cream becomes too thick, fluff a little with a whisk, taste and add a little more icing sugar if necessary.



Hot Tips

The Cottage Market, Ladysbridge, 10.30am – 12.30am – at the old cottage on the corner of Knockgloss Hill. Have a cup of tea or coffee while you chat and browse through the stalls – fruit, veg, salad, eggs, flowers, cakes and bread, jewellery, cards etc….   for details – Karen 086 2312899


Achill Island Festival of the Sea 18th – 20th July

While you are there on the Island check out Achill Island Lamb and Achill Island Sea Salt. The Atlantic Ocean’s rich harvest means fish has been a staple of the island’s  dining experience for thousands of years. Foraging sessions, boat trips, seafood tastings, seaweed safaris and a harbour market ensure a strong maritime theme.


Thai By Night  – what a delicious surprise – The West Cork Gourmet Store in Ballydehob turns into a Thai restaurant in the evenings from Wednesday – Saturday.  Joanne Cassidy cooks and her lovely daughter Sophia  brings the food to the table . Joanna loves Asian food and it shows she lived in Hong Kong and Bangkok and makes regular visits to catch up. We loved the Thai fish cakes with sambal oleck and cucumber pickle, Skewered prawn sate with lime, Fragrant Thai green curry and Creamy chicken massaman curry with coconut milk, potato, onion, cinnamon and bay and Pan fried , marinated pork chop with lemongrass and coriander pesto,  and much, much more…….   Telephone: Joanne  087 9263255


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