400g strawberries, hulled and halved, or quartered if very large
1½ tsp cornflour
50g white caster sugar
For the panna cotta, put the gelatine leaves in a small bowl of cold water to soften – this will take about 5 mins. Meanwhile, pour the cream, milk and sugar into a pan, split the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds and add, along with the pod, to the cream mixture. Heat gently until hot, but not bubbling. Remove the gelatine leaves from the water, squeeze out any excess liquid then add, one at a time, to the hot cream. Stir until dissolved. Leave to stand for 20-30 mins until cooled – the vanilla pods should be suspended in the liquid by this point. Strain the mixture through a sieve into 6 serving glasses, then chill for at least 3 hrs.
Toss the strawberries with the cornflour and sugar in a saucepan. Place over a medium heat and cook for 4-5 mins, until the released juices thicken and the strawberries soften. Set aside to cool. Once completely cooled, top the set panna cottas with the strawberry mixture. Chill until ready to serve.
300g red-skinned potatoes, thinly sliced into rounds
1 red pepper, cut into strips
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 rosemary sprig, leaves removed and very finely chopped
2 sea bass fillets
25g pitted black olives, halved
½ lemon, sliced thinly into rounds
handful basil leaves
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Arrange the potato and pepper slices on a large non-stick baking tray. Drizzle over 1 tbsp oil and scatter with the rosemary, a pinch of salt and a good grinding of pepper. Toss everything together well and roast for 25 mins, turning over halfway through, until the potatoes are golden and crisp at the edges.
Arrange the fish fillets on top and scatter over the olives. Place a couple of lemon slices on top of the fish and drizzle with the remaining oil. Roast for further 7-8 mins until the fish is cooked through. Serve scattered with basil leaves.
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized cubes
For the marinade
50ml low-fat natural yogurt
juice and zest ½ lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp finely chopped tarragon
For the herbed new potatoes
300g new potatoes
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
½ tbsp finely chopped parsley
½ tbsp finely chopped mint
½ tbsp snipped chives
For the apple coleslaw
100ml low-fat crème fraîche
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
juice 1 lemon
100g fennel, trimmed and roughly grated
100g small white cabbages, cored and finely shredded
1 carrot, roughly grated
1 sharp Green apple, such as Granny Smith, grated
If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 10 mins. Heat the grill to high and place a non-stick baking tray beneath it. In a large bowl, mix the marinade ingredients, then add the chicken, turning it to ensure it is thoroughly coated. Cover and set aside.
Put the potatoes in a large pan of boiling water and cook until a fork easily pierces them – about 12 mins. Meanwhile, mix the oil and herbs in a small bowl.
While the potatoes are cooking, make the dressing for the coleslaw. Mix together the crème fraiche, mustard and lemon in a large bowl. Add all the vegetables and the apple, and stir well.
Drain the potatoes and return them to the pan. Pour the herb mixture over them, stir gently to mix, cover to keep warm and set aside.
Finally, divide the chicken between 4 skewers and place on the hot baking tray, spooning excess marinade over the chicken. Put the tray under the grill and cook for 6-8 mins, turning the skewers every 2 mins or so to ensure even cooking. Cut open a piece of chicken to ensure it’s cooked through. Serve with the potatoes and coleslaw, reserving half the coleslaw for Smoked mackerel platter (see ‘goes well with’).
Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre with the back of a spoon then break in the egg and pour in half the milk. Whisk together, gradually incorporating the flour to make a smooth thick batter. Beat thoroughly to remove any lumps, then stir in the rest of the milk.
Heat a little oil or butter in a medium frying pan, then tip off the excess into a bowl. Pour about 2 tablespoons of batter into the pan, tilting the pan as you pour, until the batter thinly coats the base. Cook over a moderate heat for 30 seconds to one minute until golden brown on the underside.
Flip over the pancake with a palette knife, and cook the other side until it is golden brown. Slide the pancake out of the pan on to a plate, heat a little more oil or butter and cook the remaining pancakes one at a time in the same way.
25g Italian-style hard cheese (pecorino, Parmesan or vegetarian alternative), grated
juice and zest 1 lemon
2 slices leftover bread (a few days old is best)
2 frozen red chillies (deseeded if you don’t like it too hot), see tip, below left
small bunch mint, chopped
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and cook for 5 mins, then add the garlic. Stir in the rice for 1-2 mins, then add the stock, a little at a time, stirring continuously until the rice is nearly cooked and the stock has all been absorbed – this will take about 20 mins. Meanwhile, tip the peas into a colander and run under the hot water tap until defrosted. Drain well, tip into a bowl and roughly mash with a potato masher.
Remove the risotto from the heat, stir in the peas, cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice, then season well.
Grate the bread on a box grater into chunky crumbs. On the finer side of the grater, grate the chilli. Heat a drizzle of oil in a frying pan, add the chilli, lemon zest and crumbs and cook for 2 mins until crispy, then add the mint and sprinkle over the risotto before serving.
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Grease and line a large baking tray with baking parchment. Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan, then slowly pour in the polenta, whisking all the time. Bring it to the boil and bubble for 8 mins, whisking continuously. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese, butter, rosemary and plenty of seasoning. Spread the polenta over the lined tray and bake for 30 mins.
Meanwhile, mix the mushrooms with the thyme and some seasoning. Heat a splash of oil in a large frying pan and fry the mushrooms in a couple of batches until golden. Tear the mozzarella into pieces and pat dry with kitchen paper. Top the baked polenta with the mushrooms and mozzarella, then bake again for 10 mins or until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Scatter the rocket over the tart and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar.