Long weekends are for long lunches with family and friends. Recently, Andrew Blake of Blakes Feast invited us to share in a family meal (see the story here). His Mediterranean-inspired menu calls for spring's most sensational produce: juicy blood oranges, huge prawns, plump peas, and bursting raspberries. Designed to be shared among eight people, this is the perfect menu for slow eating, with vibrant colours sure to impress family and guests.
rocket, shaved fennel, blood orange & radish salad
2 handfuls rocket, washed and spun dry
2 small fennel bulbs, shaved
100ml extra virgin olive oil
30ml white wine vinegar
2 blood oranges, rind & pith removed & sliced into disks
4 radishes, shaved
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Mix rocket & shaved fennel in a large bowl and dress with oil & vinegar. Place a third of the mix in a wide salad bowl. Scatter a third of the blood orange slices and shaved radish over the leaves and season. Repeat the process twice more to achieve a perfectly layered salad.
bbq split king prawns with chermoula butter
2 tablespoons chermoula paste
150g unsalted butter, softened
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
16 very large green king prawns, head and shell on (ask for U5’s)
A handful of wild rocket
Mix chermoula & softened butter in a bowl. U5’s are a grade of prawns and simply mean that there are 5 prawns or less per pound. That means big! Butterfly the prawns along their backs and remove the alimentary tract. Rub some chermoula butter on the exposed tail meat of each prawn, then bbq cut side down, pressing firmly to keep flat. The butter will smoke as it melts and hits the coals. Melt the remaining chermoula butter. Spread the wild rocket on a serving platter and arrange the bbq prawns on top. Season lightly with sea salt and pepper grinds. Drizzle or brush with the melted chermoula butter.
1 small onion
1 stick celery
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon large capers
1 x 180g can tuna
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
250ml thick mayonnaise
Salt & pepper
1 veal nut (about 800 grams- 1kg)
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 green pepper
1 small bunch chives, finely chopped
2 tablespoons small capers
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Chop onion, carrot and celery into medium dice. Place in a pan or roasting tray along with garlic and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Roast in oven for 20-30 mins, tossing periodically. Allow to cool. Place roast vegetables in a food processor with anchovies, large capers, tuna and red wine vinegar. Process until smooth. Add mayonnaise, mix well and season to taste. Increase oven temperature to 220 degrees. Season veal nut and roast for 15 minutes. The veal should be medium-rare. Cooking times will vary according to the size of the veal so adjust the timing. Peel peppers and cut into 5mm dice. Place in a frying pan with 125ml olive oil and stew very slowly until tender. Drain and reserve the oil. Heat the reserved oil and fry the small capers until crisp. Slice the veal across the grain very thinly (2mm). Lay out on the plates in the manner of a carpaccio and drizzle the tuna mayonnaise across it. Sprinkle over the stewed pepper, chopped chives and fried capers. Season liberally with cracked back pepper.
Orecchiette, spring pea, chilli,
ricotta & chorizo salad
1 chorizo sausage
150ml extra virgin olive oil
40ml sherry vinegar
1 tsp micro-planed lemon rind
3 cups orecchiette, cooked
2 cups fresh peas, cooked
1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
250g ricotta, crumbled
2 tblsp chopped parsley
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Cut chorizo in half lengthways and then slice each half crossways into crescents. Cook over a medium-high heat in a heavy pan for a minute or two until slightly crisped. Drain the seeped oil from the chorizo into a small jar and add olive oil, vinegar & lemon rind. Screw on lid and shake well to mix. Put aside. In a large bowl combine the orrechiette, peas, chillis, chorizo, ricotta and chopped parsley. Toss to mix all ingredients well. Shake the dressing and add most to the salad. Toss well, season to taste, add more dressing if required and serve.
Buttermilk Panna Cotta, Raspberry Jelly,
Fresh Raspberries & Meringue Shards
Buttermilk panna cotta
Buttermilk panna cotta ingredients :
500ml thickened cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
4 sheets gelatine
Soak the sheets of gelatine in cold water. Bring the cream, sugar and vanilla bean to simmer point. Squeeze the water out of the gelatine and add it to the cream. Stir until dissolved. Pass the mix through a fine strainer and place in a bowl over ice. Stir occasionally until the cream reaches room temperature. Add the buttermilk and whisk through. (If you add the buttermilk while the cream is hot the mix will split.) Pour into glasses and place in the fridge until set (approx. 4 hours, or overnight if possible.)
Raspberry Jelly ingredients:
300ml raspberry juice
5 sheets gelatine
Soak the gelatine in cold water. Simmer the sugar and water together. Squeeze the water out of the gelatine and add it to the sugar syrup. Add the raspberry juice and allow to cool. Gently pour the jelly into a thin layer on top of the panna cottas.
Raspberry Compote ingredients:
250g frozen raspberries
Bring frozen raspberries, sugar and half the water to just before simmer point. Use the remaining water to wet the cornflour. Thicken the raspberries with the cornflour. Allow to just simmer but don’t boil as the raspberries will fall apart.
Meringue Shards ingredients:
100g egg white
½ vanilla bean
Whisk whites to soft peak. Slowly add sugar and whisk on high until glossy meringue is formed. Fold through vanilla. Spread in a thin layer on the tray and place in a low oven (90.c)until crispy, approx. 1-2 hours.
The panna cotta should be in the glass with the jelly already set on top. Spoon a layer of the raspberry compote on top spreading it right to the edges. Place 4 or 5 fresh raspberries on top. Break up the sheet of meringue with your hands into long shards and stick one up out of the panna cotta. Using scissors snip some of the micro mint and sprinkle over the top of the glass.