Springtime Garden Bites

 

Spring Dining

 

With the time fast approaching when we can sit outside in our gardens again (perhaps some of the hardier never stopped!) many people are starting to consider outdoor entertaining again.


With that in mind, we’ve put together some Mediterranean themed light snack ideas to get you started and hopefully whet your appetite.


Whatever you decide on we wish all of our customers a fantastic spring and summer ahead!


We always love to hear your ideas and feedback so get in touch!

 

For more al fresco dining ideas see part one of our summer fondue blog.

 

Traditional Olive Tapenade

Goes beautifully as a spread on toasted bread, baguette or crackers

Ingredients

Tapenade

1 table spoon of rinsed and drained capers

30g of drained anchovy fillets

50g of drained tuna in oil

1 small clove of garlic

1 cup (125g) of sliced pitted black olives

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

 

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1 ½ table spoons of cognac (optional!)

Method

Place all of the ingredients apart from the olive oil and cognac into a food blender or processor and process until finely chopped. Add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 1 ½ table spoons of cognac and continue mixing for another 30 seconds.

 

Season to taste with black pepper and transfer to a clean jar.

 

Seal and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

 

For some variety change black olives for green olives or combine the 2!

 

Sundried Tomato Bread

If you’re feeling adventurous you could make your own bread to go with the tapenade...

Ingredients

675g/ 6 cups of plain bread flower

2 teaspoons of salt

25g/ 2 teaspoons of superfine caster sugar

25g of fresh yeast

Approximately 450ml/ 2 cups of warm milk

15ml/ 1 tablespoon of tomato purée paste

75ml/ 5 tablespoons of oil from a sundried tomato jar

75ml/ 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

75g/ ¾ cup of drained and chopped sun dried tomatoes

1 large chopped onion

Method

Sift the flour salt and sugar into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Crumble the yeast, mix with 150ml/ 2/3 cup of warm milk and add to the flour.

 

Mix the tomato purée into the remaining milk, until evenly blended, then add to the flour with the tomato oil and olive oil. Gradually mix the flour into the liquid ingredients to form a dough.

 

Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Return to the cleaned bowl, cover with a dishtowel, and leave to rise in a warm place for about 2 hours.

 

Knock back the dough and add the tomatoes and onion. Knead until evenly distributed through the dough. Shape into four rounds and place on a greased baking sheet. Cover with a dishtowel and leave to rise again for about 45 minutes.

 

Preheat the oven to 190C/ 375F/ Gas 5. Bake the bread for 45 minutes or until the loaves sound hollow when tapped underneath. Leave to cool on a wire rack and then eat warm or toasted.

 

Roasted Peppers with Tomatoes and Anchovies

For something a bit more substantial

Ingredients

Patio Dining

1 red bell pepper

1 yellow bell pepper

4 ripe plum tomatoes, sliced

2 canned anchovies, drained and chopped

4 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and sliced

15mil/ 1 tablespoon of capers, drained

15ml/ 1 tablespoon of pine nuts

1 garlic clove, very thinly sliced

For the dressing

75ml/ 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

15ml/ 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

5ml/ 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Chopped fresh mixed herbs

Sand and ground black pepper

Method

Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds and stalks. Cut into quarters and then cook, skin side up, under a hot grill (broiler) until the skin chars. Transfer into a bowl and cover with a plate. Leave to cool. Peel the pepper and cut into strips.

 

Arrange the peppers and fresh tomatoes onto a serving dish. Scatter over the anchovies, sun dried tomatoes, capers, pine nuts and garlic.

 

To make the dressing, mix together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and chopped herbs in a small jug or pitcher and season with plenty of salt and ground black pepper. Pour over the salad just before serving.

 

Tapas of Almonds, Olives and Cheese

Something for everyone- serves 6-8

Ingredients

For the marinated olives

2.5mil/ ½ teaspoon of coriander seeds

2.5ml/ ½ teaspoon of fennel seeds

5ml/ 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary

10ml/ teaspoons of fresh parsley

2 garlic cloves, crushed

15ml/ 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar

30ml/ 2 tablespoons of olive oil

115g/ 2/3 cup of black olives

115g/ 2/3 cup of green olives

For the marinated cheese

150g of goats cheese, preferably Manchego

90ml/ 6 tablespoons of olive oil

15ml/ 1 tablespoon of white vinegar

5ml/ 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns

1 garlic clove, sliced

3 fresh tarragon or thyme sprigs

Tarragon sprigs to garnish

For the salted almonds

1.5ml/ ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper

30ml/ 2 tablespoons of sea salt

2.5g/ 2 tablespoons of butter

60ml/ 4 tablespoons of olive oil

200g/ 1 ¾ cups blanched almonds

Extra salt for sprinkling

Method

To make the marinated olives, crush the coriander and fennel seeds with a mortar and pestle. In a small bowl mix together with the rosemary, parsley, garlic, vinegar and olive oil and pour over the olives. Cover with cling film and keep chilled for up to 1 week.

 

To make the marinated cheese, cut the cheese into bite size pieces, leaving on the rind. In a small bowl mix together the olive oil, wine vinegar, peppercorns, garlic and tarragon or thyme sprigs and pour over the cheese. Cover with cling film and keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.

 

To make the salted almonds, mix together the cayenne pepper and salt in a bowl. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the almonds to the pan and fry, stirring for about 5 minutes, until the almonds are golden.

 

Tip the almonds out of the frying pan, into the salt mixture and toss them together until the almonds are well coated. Leave to cool, then store the nuts in a jar or airtight container for up to 1 week.

 

To serve the tapas, arrange the olives, cheese and nuts in small, shallow serving dishes. Use fresh sprigs of tarragon to garnish the marinated cheese and sprinkle the almonds with a little more salt to taste.

 

Provide cocktail sticks/ toothpicks for spearing the olives and cheese and a small dish for the olive pits.

 

Griddled Pineapple Rings with Coconut and Caramel

Something a little sweeter to finish

Ingredients

Pineapple on the griddle

75g of light brown Muscovado sugar

200ml of full-fat coconut oil

1 ripe medium sized pineapple, peeled and sliced into rounds

20g of unsweetened desiccated coconut, toasted

150g of fat-free Greek yogurt

Method

Put all but 1 tablespoon of the sugar into a small pan with the coconut milk. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat, cover the surface with cling film to prevent a skin forming and set aside.

 

Using a small round pastry cutter or a knife, cut the core from the pineapple slices. Rub with the reserved sugar. Heat a griddle pan until very hot and griddle the pineapple, in batches for 2 minutes on each side, until well marked by the pan.

 

Stir two thirds of the toasted coconut into the yogurt. Serve the pineapple with the yogurt and remaining toasted coconut and drizzle with the coconut caramel.

 

For more al fresco dining ideas see part one of our summer fondue blog.

 

 

Many thanks to Celia Thomas for her contributions to this Blog

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