South Leigh Seasonal Recipes

A recent trip to Italy has inspired the following recipes which I hope will taste just as good in South Leigh as they did in Tuscany. I hope the weather will be good enough to eat al fresco and your meals will be sunny and warm.

Happy Cooking. EL

Bean Salad with Garlic & Mint ~ Serves 4

400g French beans topped and tailed, or young runner beans, trimmed and sliced
4 tblsps olive oil
juice and zest of half a small lemon
sea salt and black pepper
1 clove of garlic
a good handful of fresh mint leaves

In a suitable salad bowl, mix the oil, lemon juice and zest together with a good grind of black pepper and sea salt. Boil or steam the beans until they are tender.

Whilst the beans are cooking finely chop the garlic and mint. Drain the beans and stir into the oil and lemon mixture whilst they are still warm. Stir in the garlic and mint. Serve warm or cold.


Chickpeas with Anchovies, Garlic & Parsley ~ Serves 4

Combining the earthy flavour of the chickpeas with the robust saltiness of anchovies makes this a very special salad. It goes brilliantly with grilled meats.

1 x 400g can of chickpeas, drained
1 clove garlic, crushed
1-2 tblsps olive oil
juice of ½ lemon
salt and black pepper
4 anchovies, chopped
a generous handful of chopped parsley
To serve:
shaved Parmesan and rocket

Combine the chickpeas, garlic, oil, lemon juice, anchovies and parsley in a suitable salad bowl. Leave to marinate for half an hour or longer. To serve, arrange rocket leaves around the edge of the bowl and sprinkle over some shavings of Parmesan cheese.

Sea Bass with New Season Potatoes & Cherry Tomatoes ~ Serves 4

8 sea bass fillets (or 4 if they are large), skin scored
600g waxy new potatoes, such as charlotte, scrubbed
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 large clove garlic, peeled and chopped
4 - 8 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 - 8 anchovy fillets (optional)
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 glass white wine
1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 200º C / Fan 180º C / Gas 6.

Cut the potatoes lengthways into 5mm thick slices. Dry with a clean tea towel or kitchen paper then place them in a bowl and coat with a little olive oil.

Season with salt and pepper. Line the base of a baking tray with baking parchment then tip in the seasoned potatoes. Arrange them in one layer over the base of the tray. Bake in the oven for 18 minutes.

Scatter the garlic over the potatoes. Place the springs of rosemary on top of the potatoes and cover each sprig with a sea bass fillet, skin side up. Place an anchovy fillet on top of each piece of sea bass then drizzle with a little extra olive oil. Spread the tomatoes around the fish and return the tray to the oven for 6 minutes. Sprinkle over the white wine and bake for a further 6 - 9 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.

Serve with a wedge of lemon or with Salsa Verde -
see here.

Hugo Cocktails

When the sun is shining this Italian cocktail makes a beautifully refreshing summer aperativo. It's not too alcoholic, though if you want to pep it up you can add a measure of gin. For those who have made elderflower cordial this summer it is a perfect way to use some of it up, though shop bought cordial is also good.

  • half fill a large wine glass or tumbler with ice
  • add a good splash of elderflower cordial (about 30ml) and a measure of gin (if using)
  • pop in a sprig of fresh mint and a wedge of lime
  • then pour over a dash of soda water or fizzy mineral water and top up the glass with Prosecco.
  • give it a quick stir and enjoy!