Date Archives May 2019

Nectarine, Basil, Balsamic & Halloumi Salad (With a side of hummus)


his dish started how many of my ‘simple’ dishes start. A long day at work and getting home later than planned leaves me wanting something easy and quick and halloumi is a great satisfying win that helps add to my increasingly vegetarian dishes.

Grabbing salad ingredients from the fridge to use up before a summer holiday, I was happy to see my favourite combination just waiting to be thrown together. Nectarine, basil, balsamic. If you haven’t tried these yet then I thoroughly recommend making this salad. Or is time is short, just try adding these 3 delights together in a bowl…and eating on some toasted buttered sourdough..and top with slow cooked scambeled eggs…OK you may need more time if you get carried away like me.

The salad is an excellent on its own, but talking of getting carried away, a side dish of warm floury flatbreads and lemony homemade hummus is never a bad idea. So while my halloumi fried, I made a quick humus. And if you have a food processor, then making hummus at home is literally a very quick job. Its the unlucky pot washer that suffers.

Serves 2 (greedy people)

  • 2 ripe nectarines, chopped into 2cm cubes
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 small head broccoli, chopped in florets
  • 1 pack of halloumi, cubed
  • 1 little gem lettuce, chopped
  • 1 bag mixed salad – rocket, watercress, spinach etc
  • Handful basil leaves, torn
  • Handful flaked almonds, dry roasted
  • 1 lemon
  • Balsamic glaze (I like the one that Odysea sell). I’d avoid using the thinner vinegar as it doesn’t work as well here.
  • Flatbreads, homemade or shop bought, warmed
  1. Add the broccoli florets to a baking tray, season and drizzle very lightly with some sunflower oil. Roast the broccoli for 15 minutes at 200°C. Once roasted, remove from the oven and then leave to cool slightly.
  2. Add the nectarines, avocado, basil leaves, and almonds to a bowl. Season.
  3. Add the little gem leaves, salad leaves and roasted broccoli florets to a large serving bowl or platter. Add the nectarine combination and toss together.
  4. Squeeze over the juice of the lemon and then a generous amount of balsamic glaze. Toss to combine, taste and season.
  5. Fry the halloumi cubes in a little sunflower oil in a hot frying pan until golden brown. Drain on kitchen towel and add to the top of the salad.
  6. Serve with extra balsamic, warm flatbreads and some tasty hummus.


  • 1 x can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 large tbsp tahini
  • Juice 1 lemon
  • Handful of fresh coriander
  • 1/2 green or red chilli
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp spice mix
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sumac – to serve
  1. To make the hummus, add all ingredients to a food processor and season.
  2. Blend until smooth, adding as much extra virgin olive oil to loosen to your desired texture.
  3. Spoon into a serving dish, drizzle with oil and scatter with sumac.

Seasonal Spring – Asparagus & Jersey Royals


easonal eating for me is the sign of a cook that knows what they’re doing in the kitchen. Knowing what ingredients are in season and optimising their chance in the spotlight to get the best from them. We’re spoilt for choice in the UK. Asparagus when we want it, shipped from Peru. Avocados with so much pressure and expectation on their ripeness the moment we need them. No wonder sometimes they arrived a little bruised…they’re living up to millennial perfection!

That said, an evening in armed with hunger, but sadly not creativity, was the perfect Spring opportunity to cook seasonally. I try and only buy English asparagus but that doesn’t give me much chance to eat it. Not only does it taste delicious in season but it really is the best from our UK growers. Given its got such a small seasonal window (May!) I took the chance.

Note: You can either boil the potatoes OR roast them. You can also either steam the asparagus or pan fry. All cooking techniques are optional! 

Serves 2 

  • 2 seabass/seabream fillets
  • 1 large bunch asparagus
  • 1 bowl/bag mixed salad leaves to include watercress, rocket, spinach
  • Jersey royals – enough for 2 depending on hunger
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained
  • Knob of butter


  1. Boil the Jersey Royals in simmering water until just cooked but not soft. They should have a little bite to them. You can either have these boiled, buttered and seasoned when they’re hot OR roast them. I roasted mine with a splash of oil, salt and pepper at 200 for about 25 minutes or until golden and crisp. Keep an eye on them.
  2. Snap the end off the asparagus spears. They should have a natural break point when you snap them which is where you discard the end. You can by all means also eat the ends! just chop them up smaller. Pan fry them with a tiny drop of oil and some seasoning. You do not want to fry for too long, just until softening but still with bite. 
  3. Add the wilted spears to the salad leaves and toss. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice and some seasoning and toss again. Set aside.
  4. Heat a frying pan to a high heat and add a splash of oil. Score the fish fillets on the skin side and season. Fry for 3 minutes, skin side down until crisp and the flesh beginning to turn operate. Flip onto the other side for the final 30 seconds or so until cooked.
  5. At the very last minute add the capers and let them fry in the oil around the fish. Remove the pan from he heat and add a knob of butter. Toss the fish in the browning butter and capers.
  6. Serve immediately with the salad and the potatoes with a wedge of lemon.

This would also be amazing with a beautiful home-made mayonnaise or tartare sauce.