Alfresco dining is here!
Finally, the weather we’ve all been waiting for. And according to the forecasters, the sun is here to stay for at least a week, so we’re thinking about what we need to enjoy a gorgeous bank holiday weekend in the garden with family and friends.
Lawn mown, pots planted, Chic teak tables and chairs and parasol in position, BBQ woken up for the season and charcoal purchased, a bottle or two of Provençal rosé chilling in the fridge. Now what to cook?
We asked Hampshire and London Queen of the cooking demonstration, Gee Cartwright what she’d serve up to family and friends when enjoying a summer lunch in the garden.
Below is her recipe for Green Tikka Lamb, perfect for the BBQ, together with an orzo vegetable salad and sticky new potatoes. A simple green salad completes this seriously tasty meal - trust us, we’ve tried it.
4 lamb chump chops
For the Marinade For the sauce
30g coriander, leaves and stalks 10g mint leaves
15g mint leaves 1 tsp. caster sugar
10g ginger, peeled and chopped 150ml natural yoghurt
2 large garlic cloves, chopped Freshly ground pepper
1 green chilli, deseeded 2 tbsp. coriander leave, chopped
1 lime, juiced Squeeze of lime
200ml Greek Yoghurt
1½ tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. salt
- To make the marinade put the coriander, mint, ginger, garlic, chilli and lime juice in food processor with a few generous glugs of olive oil. Blend to a thick paste, add more oil if needed. Put the yoghurt into a large mixing bowl and stir in the green paste. Mix in the spices and salt and taste. You want some chili heat but it needs to be well seasoned.
- Place the lamb in the marinade, cover and chill and leave ideally overnight or for at least 3-4 hours in the fridge.
- Blitz the mint leaves, sugar and yoghurt in the blender with some freshly ground black pepper, blend until you have a smooth green sauce. Just before serving pour into a bowl and stir in the chopped coriander leaves and a squeeze of lime, set aside.
- Put a little oil in a frying pan and when hot seal the chop on both sides so tinged brown, remove from the pan and put into a shallow roasting tin. Season and leave somewhere cool until you are ready to cook them. Preheat the oven 200°C / 180°C/ Gas 6 (or use your grill).
- When you are ready, place in the preheated oven or put in the top right oven of the AGA. Roast for 8-10 minutes for pinkish chops depending on thickness. They might need a little less cooking time the thinner they are.
- Remove from the oven and rest the lamb for 5-10 minutes in a warm place before serving.
- When ready to serve, cut each chop into 4-5 thick slices and lay on a platter. Spoon over a few spoons of sauce and serve the remaining sauce on the side.
- Chump chops are firm chops taken from the rump of the lamb at the point where the top of the leg meets the loin. These chops are plump and generally lean and can be thought of as the same as a beef rump steak. I particularly like these chops for entertaining as they are tender, you can slice them easily (if you get chump chops off the bone) and you can make them go further than a chop per person. This recipe is very good with chicken thigh as well.
- If you make the mint sauce ahead make sure you cover with cling touching the surface of the sauce and then cover tightly so the sauce doesn’t discolour. I like to make it on the day and stir the coriander and lime in just before serving as it tastes fresher.
Courgette, Charred Spring Onion and Herb Orzo Salad
2 tbsp. olive oil
200g spring onions, peeled and trimmed
1 large courgette, cut into thick slices on the diagonal
3 tbsp. non pareille capers
2 lemons, juiced
4 tbsp. fresh pesto
100g blanched almonds, toasted, roughly chopped
15g flat leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
100g semi-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
50g rocket, roughly chopped
½ tsp. chilli flakes
- Peel and trim the spring onions. Halve any large ones and chop them into three. Take a large frying pan, add 1 tbsp. of the oil and place on a high heat. When the pan is hot add the spring onions and cook for 4-5 minutes until starting to turn golden.
- Place the courgette slices in a large bowl, add 1 tbsp. of olive oil, season and mix to coat.
- Cook the orzo according to the packet instructions adding a good pinch of salt to the water and stir to prevent it from sticking. Normally it takes around 8-10 minutes and will need to be tender with a little bit of a bite. Drain and set aside.
- Once the spring onions are ready, remove from the pan and keep warm. Using the same pan, return it to the heat and fry the courgette over a high heat for approx. 3-4 minutes either side until lightly charred. Once ready, remove from the pan and keep warm.
- Using the same pan, place on a high heat with a dash of olive oil, pat the capers dry and fry until they burst and become crispy. Remove from the pan onto a plate, set aside.
- Squeeze the lemon juice into a large bowl and stir in the cooked orzo. Add the pesto and mix to combine. Add the spring onion, courgettes, nuts, parsley, tomatoes and rocket. Toss, add the chilli flakes, season and taste. Add more lemon juice if needed.
- Place on a large serving plate, top with the crispy capers and a drizzle of your best olive oil to finish.
- You can prepare and cook the veggies well ahead and reheat on the day. I tend to cook the Orzo on the day as it is so quick. Get all the elements prepared and put together 30 minutes before serving.
- Try not to overcook your orzo as it turns very soft and looses its texture.
- Keep tasting the dish and add seasoning, lemon and chilli to your liking.
Sticky Herbed New Potatoes With Radish & Dill Raita
For the Potatoes
800g small, waxy new potatoes, halved e.g. Charlotte
2 unwaxed lemons, zest and juice
4 tbsp. good olive oil
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. coriander seeds, roughly cracked
Small handful mint leaves, roughly chopped
Small handful flat-leaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
For the Radish and Dill Raita
1 small bunch radishes, grated
4 spring onions, very finely sliced
200ml natural yogurt
½ lemon, zested
½ bunch mint, leaved picked and chopped
1 bunch dill, finely chopped
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 180°C fan / gas mark 6
- Take a large, lined roasting tin and place the potatoes in a single layer in the tin.
- In a small bowl mix the lemon juice with the olive oil, garlic, oregano and cracked coriander seeds plus 80ml water. Whisk to combine.
- Pour the lemon mixture over the potatoes, toss together well, season and toss again.
- Cover the dish with foil and pop into the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove the foil and return to the oven uncovered for 10-15 minutes until tender and caramelised.
- While the potatoes are cooking make the raita. Remove the tops of the radishes, rinse and grate them coarsely into a bowl. Trim the spring onions and slice them very thinly. Add the onions along with the yoghurt, lemon zest, mint, half the dill and the olive oil to the radish bowl and give it a good stir. Season to taste and set aside.
- Once the potatoes are cooked, remove from the oven and toss through the mint, parsley and spring onions. Mix to combine and place into a serving dish scraping all the herbs and sticky bits out of the pan.
- Spoon over the half the raita and sprinkle with the remaining dill. Serve immediately with the remaining raita served alongside.
- The potatoes are best cooked on the day but you can toss them in the lemon mixture in advance so they are ready to roast and prep all other ingredients. Make the raita well ahead.
- These potatoes go beautifully with all roasted meat, fish and veggies and are a fabulous way of sprucing up new potatoes. Use the radish and dill raita as a dip / sauce for BBQs,