Food Worth Celebrating

Asparagus and Almond Salad with Chicken – Serves 6

18 Asparagus spears (trimmed)
1 handful whole almonds (skinned)
6 skinless boneless chicken breasts
Salt and black pepper to taste
100g of rocket salad
50ml of extra virgin olive oil
For the dressing:
2 shallots, finely diced
4 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 handfuls of chopped parsley
Salt and black pepper
75ml of extra virgin olive oil

1. Place asparagus in simmering water and cook for 5 minutes until the spears are just cooked. They must be a little “al dente” as we say in Italy, so ‘no’ to soft. Once cooked, drain and set aside to cool down.
2. Meanwhile, place the almonds in a roasting pan, drizzle over a little olive oil and roast for about 15 minutes until they are lightly golden. Set aside to cool down.
3. Now take the chicken breasts, I really like them grilled so I usually cook in a pan for 10-15 minutes until they are cooked through or if you prefer, you can fry them. In case you want to fry, use 3 eggs, break into a mixing bowl, place the chicken breasts into the egg mix and then prepare another mixing bowl with breadcrumbs and do the same. Fry them in oil or butter to achieve a lovely golden crust and a crispy texture.
4. Cut the asparagus spears into 3-4 cm pieces, slice the chicken breasts diagonally into 4-5 pieces. Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well, add olive oil at the end.
5. Carefully fold the chicken, asparagus and almonds into the dressing. Divide the salad between 6 plates and garnish each plate with a small handful of rocket salad leaves. Enjoy your healthy and delicious salad.

Suggested Wine: Cotes de Provence Rose (France)

Mediterranean Roasted Salmon – Serves 4

4 fresh salmon fillet (around 800-900 g)
400g fresh cherry tomato
80g black olives(pitted)
1 stick of oregano
1 small bunch of parsley
2 cloves of garlic
10g of cappers
1 stick of thyme
100ml white wine (optional)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Olive oil

1. Prepare the tomatoes, by washing and cutting each tomato into 4 pieces and place in a medium size mixing bowl. Once they are all cut, marinate in olive oil, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper. Remember to cut the garlic into 2 halves and remove the small stalk inside! Cover the mixing bowl with cling film and let it marinate for 2 hours at room temperature.
2. After 2 hours, prepare a medium size baking tray by placing 3/4 of the tomatoes in the base of the tray. Secondly, place the salmon fillets on top of tomatoes. Remember to salt the salmon fillets! Cover the salmon with the 1/4 of the tomatoes left over, adding capers, black olives and just a sprinkle of olive oil.
3. Pre-heat the oven to180c or mark 7. Then place the salmon in the oven for 15 minutes. After this short time, our Mediterranean Salmon is ready to serve.

Suggested Wine: Alberino (Spain)

Gluten-Free Potato Cake – Serves 4

This is a very easy recipe and great for people who are coeliac or gluten intolerant.

700g potatoes
150g sugar
70g of any gluten-free flour (ideally Almond flour is great)
5 eggs
30g butter
Zest 1 lemon
Pinch of salt
Pinch of gluten-free breadcrumbs
Icing sugar

1. Start by washing the potatoes, place in a large boiling pan on a medium heat and boil for 30 minutes until well cooked. Use a fork to check they are cooked. Once potatoes are ready, drain and remove the skin, then allow to cool down for 10 minutes.
2. Once they are cool, mash in a large mixing bowl, make sure there are no chunks left. Start by adding flour and lemon zest, mixing with a wooden spoon, add the butter, sugar and pinch of salt and keep mixing with a wooden spoon. Now this is a very important part, start to add eggs but only one at the time! Make sure before you add each egg, that the dough has incorporated the previous egg. If you have an electric hand mixer, it will make the whole process easier!
3. Get an 8” or 10” baking tray, grease the base and sides with butter and sprinkle gluten-free breadcrumbs around the base and side. Now pour the mixture inside and make sure the top is nice and even. Place in pre-heated oven for 1 hour at 180c or mark 5-6.
4. Make sure the cake is well cooked by using a toothpick to pinch in the middle. If it comes out dry, the cake is ready! Allow to cool off for 20 minutes and then dust with icing sugar. The potato cake is now ready to serve. I will leave the decoration to your personal taste. I usually add fresh strawberries because my children love them!

Suggested Wine: Mateus Rose (Portugal)

Simone Conti

Enjoying these recipes? You can read more of Simone’s meals HERE.

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