• 1 banana
• 2 ripe mangoes
• 400ml can coconut milk
• zest and juice of 1 lime
• a pinch of cardamom seeds, pods and husks removed, seeds pounded
a handful of ice cubes
• a little lime zest
• freshly ground black pepper
Peel the banana and roughly chop it. Skin the mangoes, remove the stones and roughly chop the flesh. Put the fruit in a food processor or liquidizer and blend together with the rest of the ingredients. Make sure you blend the mixture really well, then pour the fruit smoothie into a tall, chilled glass. Sprinkle over a bit of lime zest and some freshly ground black pepper. Drink straight away.
at 6:46 AM
• 700g red mullet and/or sardines, scaled, filleted and pinboned
• olive oil
• 2 red onions, peeled and finely chopped
• 1 bulb of fennel, herby tops removed and reserved and bulb finely chopped
• 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
• 1 bay leaf
• 400g couscous
• 500g mixed ripe tomatoes
• 2 anchovy fillets, chopped
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 lemons, zested and halved
• 8 tablespoons natural yoghurt
• a small handful of fresh mint, torn
First of all, lay your fish out in one layer on your worktop to give you an idea of how much you are dealing with. Next get yourself a pan with a lid – ideally one that’s the right size for the fish to be spread out in one layer. This is so that it can all cook at the same time. Put your pan on the heat, add 4 or 5 tablespoons of olive oil, and slowly fry your onions, fennel, chilli, fennel seeds and bay leaf with the lid on until nice and softened. This should take about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile put your couscous in a bowl and just cover it with salted, boiling water. Put to one side to soak for about 5 minutes. When the onions are sweet and soft, add the tomatoes and anchovies, stir together and carefully season to taste. Shake the pan so that the onions and tomatoes cover the bottom of the pan evenly. Dress the couscous lightly with a little olive oil and the juice and zest of one of the lemons. Sprinkle the couscous over the top of the onions and tomatoes in one even layer. Then place the fish over the top of that and finish off with a drizzle of olive oil. Place the lid on top and simmer slowly on the hob for about 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, season the yoghurt with salt, pepper and the remaining lemon juice and sprinkle over the reserved fennel tops and mint. Serve the pan of fish in the middle of the table with a bowl of yoghurt and let everyone help themselves. Lightly stir the fish up, check the seasoning and eat straight away.
at 6:44 AM
• 800g asparagus, woody ends removed
• 2 medium white onions, peeled and chopped
• 2 sticks of celery, trimmed and copped
• 2 leeks, trimmed and chopped
• 2 litres good-quality chicken or vegetable stock, preferably organic
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 10 small very fresh free-range or organic eggs
• 8 slices of ciabatta bread
• a knob of butter
• extra virgin olive oil
Chop the tips off your asparagus and put these to one side for later. Roughly chop the asparagus stalks. Get a large, deep pan on the heat and add a good lug of olive oil. Gently fry the onions, celery and leeks for around 10 minutes, until soft and sweet, without colouring. Add the chopped asparagus stalks and stock and simmer for 20 minutes with a lid on. Remove from the heat and blitz with a hand-held blender or in a liquidizer. Season the soup bit by bit (this is important) with salt and pepper until just right. Put the soup back on the heat, stir in the asparagus tips, bring back to the boil and simmer for a few more minutes until the tips have softened.
Just before I’m ready to serve the soup, I get a wide casserole-type pan on the heat with 8 to 10cm of boiling water. Using really fresh eggs, I very quickly crack all 10 into the water. Don’t worry about poaching so many at the same time. They don’t have to look perfect. A couple of minutes and they’ll be done, as you want them to be a bit runny. Toast your ciabatta slices. Using a slotted spoon, remove all the poached eggs to a plate and add a knob of butter to them. To serve, divide the soup between eight warmed bowls and place a piece of toast into each. Put a poached egg on top, cut into it to make it runny, season and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
at 6:41 AM