1 Peel, core and roughly chop 2 apples. Place in a saucepan with butter and cook over moderate heat for 20 minutes or until soft and of a puréed consistency. Allow to cool.
2 Peel, core and quarter remaining apples, then cut into thin slices.
3 Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Roll pastry out to 3mm thick then, using a large dinner plate as a guide, cut out a 30cm-diameter circle. Place on lightly greased baking tray and score an inner circle 1½cm from the pastry edge to prevent rising. Spread the purée over the inner circle of the base and place the remaining apple slices in a tight concentric circle. Beat the egg with 1 tbsp water and brush the pastry edge with the egg wash. Sprinkle the tart with 1 tbsp sugar, then bake for 20 minutes.
4 While tart is cooking, heat 3 tbsp sugar and 3 tbsp water over a medium heat in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves and mixture reduces a little and becomes syrupy.
5 For lavender cream, combine honey and crème fraîche in a bowl. Just before serving, sprinkle with lavender flowers.
6 Remove tart from oven, brush with sugar syrup, then turn up oven to 220C/gas 7 and cook for a further 10 minutes or until top begins to caramelise. Remove from oven and leave to cool. Dust with icing sugar and serve with lavender cream.
at 11:47 PM
To make your oregano oil, pound the oregano with a good pinch of sea salt in a pestle and mortar until you have a paste. Add the lemon juice and 8 tablespoons of olive oil and stir until you have a good drizzling consistency.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add your peas and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, then remove them with a slotted spoon or sieve. Add the broad beans to the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, depending on their size. Drain and leave to cool, then pinch the skins off any big beans (you can leave the skin on any small or medium ones).
To dress the peas and beans you want the same balance of acid and oil as you would have in a salad dressing. So, put the olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper into a large bowl. Chop up most of the mint and throw it in, add the peas and beans and mix everything around. Add lemon juice to taste. You can serve the dressed peas and beans hot or at room temperature.
Heat a griddle pan or barbecue until hot, season your tuna steaks with salt and pepper and pat with some of the oregano oil. Place in the pan and sear for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Personally I like to keep my tuna a little pink in the middle as this tastes much nicer, but if you’re going to cook it through please don’t nuke it.
Tear the tuna into 2 or 3 pieces and toss in a large bowl with the rest of the oregano oil. This will give you a lovely combination of flavours. Serve the fish immediately, with the peas and broad beans, scattered with the rest of the mint leaves.
PS Sometimes I love to throw random delicate greens like baby spinach, watercress, even rocket, in with the broad beans for 30 seconds before you drain them. The combination of peppery irony greens, creamy broad beans and sweet little peas makes the veg taste even better.
at 11:44 PM
1 Put the sliced cabbages, carrot and spring onion in a large bowl and if you’re lucky enough to have any other interesting winter cabbages leaves, you can add those into the mix too.
2 Put your milk in a pan on a medium heat with the garlic and anchovies and bring to simmer. Let it cook for 10 minutes until the garlic cloves are soft, then pour everything into a liquidiser. Add the vinegar, olive oil and mustard and blend for a few minutes then stop and have a taste. You want it to be quite acidic but if it’s too acidic add a bit of oil for balance. Add good pinches of sea salt and freshly ground pepper then pour over the sliced veg.
3 Use your hands to toss and dress everything and get everyone around the table. Heat the seeds in a dry pan for a few minutes until warm then scatter them over the salad. Sprinkle over your mint leaves, then eat it immediately.
at 11:40 PM
Skewers are useful for this recipe. They hold the four fillets together, making it easier to turn over when on the barbecue or under the grill. It also makes serving slightly easier because when you come to slice the fillets up, you can do it between the skewers, giving you pork 'lollipops' of blackened meat, which is quite fun. But if you don't have them, you can just use your tongs.
When you've made this once, I guarantee you'll make it at least once a year as it's so damn good. Great with salad, spiced beans, corn on the cob or rice.
To make your marinade, crush up the cumin, fennel seeds and cloves in a pestle and mortar and mix with the paprika, orange zest and juice, thyme, garlic, ketchup and balsamic vinegar. Season the pork fillets with salt and pepper, then toss them in most of the marinade until completely coated. Feel free to marinate for half a day, but at least an hour. If you have metal or wooden skewers, lay the fillets side by side and skewer them together about 2.5cm/1 inch apart.
When you're ready to cook, simply put the meat on to a barbecue or under a hot grill for 15 to 20 minutes or until nicely charred. Every time you turn the meat, brush it generously with the leftover marinade so you build up a sticky, blackened glaze. When they're done, put the fillets on a big platter and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice the meat between the skewers, or just slice each fillet in half, and sprinkle over some chopped coriander or squeeze over some lemon juice if you fancy.
at 11:36 PM