Tim Anderson’s Pickled Watermelon, Mint and Coriander Salad

An avid user of fresh herbs, Masterchef alumni Tim Anderson has developed this zingy Pickled Watermelon, Feta, Mint and Coriander Salad to celebrate the benefits that fresh herbs bring to a meal.

Tim said: “Fresh herbs are a chef’s best friend, they instantly transform and lift a meal. From a simple stir fry with coriander through to a tomato salad with fresh basil, they make even the simplest ingredients taste special. I particularly love using herbs in salads, they have such a big, delicious and fresh flavour. This Pickled Watermelon, Feta, Mint and Coriander salad makes a great lunch or evening meal and it is fantastic with a BBQ or pulled pork. It’s really easy to make but looks and tastes impressive.”

Serves 1-2 as a main course or 4-6 as a side

 

Ingredients

  • ½ tsp hot red chilli (such as bird’s eye, habanero, or Scotch bonnet), or more or less, to taste, minced
  • 4 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 4 tbsp rice, cider, or white wine vinegar
  • 150 ml apple juice
  • 4 tbsp agave nectar or honey
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ small seedless watermelon, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1 cucumber, cut in half, deseeded, and sliced into 1cm chunks
  • 200g mild feta or similar cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • About 15 leaves fresh mint
  • About 15 sprigs fresh coriander

Method

Combine the chilli, lime juice, vinegar, apple juice, agave nectar or honey, and sea salt in a large bowl or container and stir until the salt dissolves. Taste and add more minced chilli if you like.

Add the watermelon and cucumber and toss through the liquid, then cover and refrigerate for 1-4 hours, tossing at least once during that time.

To serve, place the watermelon and cucumbers along with their brine in a wide bowl and sprinkle over the cheese, pine nuts, and sesame seeds. Slap the mint leaves between your palms to release their aroma, then tear directly over the salad along with the coriander. Enjoy!

Tabbouleh

Developed by Kerstin Rodgers, Ms Marmite Lover www.msmarmitelover.com

Kerstin says: “Bulgar wheat comes in different grades: coarse, medium, fine and extra fine. We aren’t using water to cook the bulgar wheat, which I find makes the salad soggy and heavy. The juices of the tomato, vegetables and herbs will plump up the wheat, so no cooking is required. For this method, the bulgar must be fine. Tabbouleh is traditionally served on lettuce or cabbage leaves, and these are used as scoops. When picking the leaves from the parsley, finer stems can be included while thick stems should be discarded.”

Serves 2 – 4

Ingredients

  • 30g (2 tbsps) bulgar wheat, fine or extra fine, washed
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 3 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 60g (2 packets or pots) flat leaf parsley, picked, finely chopped
  • 30g (1 pack or pots) mint leaves, picked, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4 tsp all spice, ground
  • 1/4 tsp sweet paprika, ground
  • 1/4 tsp of black pepper, ground
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Method

The bulgar can be washed in a sieve where it will soak up the water.

Chopping by hand very finely is key to this salad; take your time preparing it.

Put the tomatoes, spring onions, parsley and mint into a large bowl. Mix the lemon with the olive oil, salt and spices in another small bowl.

Add the bulgar wheat to the bowl of vegetables, then pour over the dressing.

Leave in the fridge for at least half an hour so that the flavours can be absorbed. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Strawberry, Pistachio & Mint Salad with Rose Water Cream & Meringue

Serves 6

Taken from Around the World in Salads 120 Ways to Love Your Leaves by Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi, published by Kyle Books, priced at £16.99. Photography by Helen Cathcart.

Katie says: “This stunning party piece is sure to delight – summer strawberries are piled onto whipped rose water cream and broken meringues. It’s easy to assemble and you can decorate it with edible fresh rose petals, pistachios and mint. It will also work in individual glasses. We use Welsh rose water, which is absolutely lovely and available online. Rose water is also available from Middle Eastern stores  and supermarkets but they do vary. Expect to pay more for a good one and it will make all the difference. There are various methods of making meringue but we find the one below the most useful. It follows the Swiss method and is more robust than others when making flavoured meringues or using in a semifreddo.”

Ingredients

Makes 50 small meringues 4cm across and 2–3cm tall

 

For the meringues

  • 150g egg white (about 5 egg whites)
  • 300g caster sugar
  • for the coulis
  • 250–350g strawberries, hulled and cut in half
  • 2–3 tablespoons caster sugar

For the cream

  • 60g icing sugar
  • 600ml whipping cream
  • 4–5 tablespoons rose water

To serve

  • 300g strawberries
  • a handful of small mint leaves
  • 25g pistachios, peeled
  • a handful of pink edible rose petals, from organic roses
  • or wild dog roses

Method

  • Put the egg whites and three-quarters of the sugar into a mixing bowl and stir together. Put this over a pan of boiling water making sure that the water does not touch the bowl. Whisk using an electric mixer until the mixture comes up to 45°C on a thermometer or until it starts to become glossy and very thick. Remove from the heat and put into a food mixer with a whisk attachment or use an electric mixer and whisk until it doubles in size. While it is running, add the remaining sugar little by little.
  • Preheat the oven to 110°C/gas mark. Line two baking trays with baking parchment.
  • Pipe or spoon the meringues 4cm across and 2–3cm tall onto the lined trays. Cook for 30–40 minutes or until they are light to the touch, lift off easily and are crisp on the outside and slightly soft on the inside. If you like your meringues brittle, leave them in the oven for a further 15 minutes. Leave to cool.
  • To make the coulis, boil the strawberries and sugar for 15 minutes until the fruit has softened and reduced in volume. Strain through a sieve and cool.
  • For the cream, whip the icing sugar and cream together until stiff and beat in the rose water to taste.
  • To serve, pile the meringues, cream and strawberries onto a serving plate (or into individual glasses) and top with the mint, pistachios,rose petals and coulis.

Fruity Salad & Vietnamese Roasted Duck with Five-Spice Marinade

Taken from Around the World in Salads 120 Ways to Love Your Leaves by Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi, published by Kyle Books, priced at £16.99. Photography by Helen Cathcart.

Katie says: “We ate this tender spicy duck salad at the beautiful Y Thao Garden Restaurant in Hue, Vietnam, and begged the owner for her recipe. I couldn’t believe how easy it was but she did say to take care to balance the sweet and sour fruits. If you can’t get apricots, use another medium-sweet fruit, such as grapes, peach or plum. Serve with wedges of lime, ready to squeeze into a small dish containing black pepper and salt, and another small dish of pieces of cut pineapple and chilli powder.”

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless and skin-on duck breasts
  • for the spice rub
  • 1 tablespoon five-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 small or 1 fat garlic clove, finely chopped

For the dressing

  • 1/2 quantity of Sesame Ginger Soy Dressing (see method)

For the fruit salad

  • Seeds of 1/2 pomegranate
  • 1 firm, unripe kiwi or green mango, peeled and cut into
  • 0.5cm slices
  • 2 apricots, skin on and thinly sliced
  • 1 hard, unripe avocado, thinly sliced
  • A large handful of mint leaves, stalks removed, roughly torn
  • A small handful of tarragon, stalks removed, roughly torn
  • A small handful of coriander, tough stalks removed, roughly torn
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, very thinly sliced

Method

  • Put the duck breasts in a shallow dish. Combine the rub ingredients in a small bowl and rub into the duck pieces. Cover and set aside to marinate for up to 1 hour in the fridge.
  • Remove the duck from the fridge and put into a cold, dry non-stick frying pan, skin-side down. Put over a medium heat and cook for 10 minutes or until the skin has become crispy, turn the breasts over and cook on the other side for 3–5 minutes until firm to the touch.
  • Remove the breasts from the pan and leave to rest on a warm (but not hot) plate in a warm place for 10 minutes.
  • Mix the fruit salad ingredients together gently, in a large bowl, with the dressing* and arrange on a serving plate. Cut the duck into slices, about 5mm thick, leaving the skin on. Serve warm, straight away, on top of the salad.

* To make the dressing:

  • Whisk together 2 tablespoons of oil (grapeseed, groundnut or olive), 4 tablespoons lime juice or rice vinegar, 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1-2 tablespoons of raw mild honey, 2 teaspoons grated fresh root of ginger, 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil and 1 finely grated garlic clove in a small bowl or jug and season to taste.  (The dressing will keep in a lidded jar in the fridge for up to 3 days.)

Sloe Gin & Mint Fuzz

  • Serves: 2
  • Preparation time: 5m

Ingredients

  • Crushed ice
  • 6 tbsp sloe gin
  • 4 sprigs mint, roughly torn
  • Tonic or soda water

Method

  • Half fill 2 long glasses with crushed ice, add the mint and mix well with a spoon to help release the mint flavour.
  • Pour over the sloe gin and top up with tonic or soda.

Minted Grain Salad

  • Serves: 2
  • Preparation time: 10m
  • Cooking time: 25-30m

Ingredients

  • 50g quinoa
  • 50g buckwheat
  • 50g quick cook farro dicocco
  • 750ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 120g cucumber, diced
  • 100g pomegranate seeds
  • 1 pot mint, leaves roughly torn
  • 3 tbsp natural yogurt

Method

  • Cook the grains in the stock for 12-15 minutes until tender, drain well and cool.
  • Mix in the tomatoes, cucumber, pomegranate seeds and mint and season. Place on a serving platter and drizzle over the yogurt.

 

Nutritional Information

  Per Serving
Kcal 346
Sugar 12.2g
Fat 3.9g
Sat Fat 0.7g
Salt 2.4g

Minted Summer Pudding

  • Serves: 4-6
  • Preparation time: 20m plus chilling
  • Cooking time: 5m

Ingredients

  • 800g fresh red berries (strawberries, raspberries,blueberries, blackberries)
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 1 pot mint, chopped
  • 6 slices medium sliced white bread, crusts removed

Method

  • Place the fruit, sugar and 2tbsp water in a large saucepan and cook for 5 minutes. Drain, reserving the juice and allow to cool. Stir all the mint except 2 tbsp into the fruit.
  • Dip the bread quickly in the juice on 1 side, sprinkle with the reserved mint and line a 1 litre pudding bowl, reserving 1 slice for the lid. Reserve the leftover juice for a sauce when serving.
  • Fill the bowl with the fruit, top with the last bread slice and fold over the edges. Place a small saucer on top and weigh down with weights. Allow to chill for 4-5 hours or overnight.
  • Turn out of the bowl and serve with the reserved juice and fresh cream.

Nutritional Information

  Per Serving
Kcal 107
Sugar 11.5g
Fat 0.7g
Saturated Fat 0.1g
Salt 0.3g

Salmon & Mint Fishcakes with Dill Dip

  • Serves: 4
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes plus cooling
  • Cooking time: 12-14m

Ingredients

  • 700g King Edward potatoes, diced
  • 300g salmon fillets
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 20g fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 200ml tub half fat crème fraiche
  • 2 tbsp garlic mayonnaise (50g)
  • 1 tbsp oil

Method

  • Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 10 minutes until tender, drain and allow to cool.
    Meanwhile, poach the salmon and eggs in boiling water for 10 minutes, cool. Flake the salmon and chop the boiled eggs.
  • Mash the potato and stir in the salmon, egg, spring onions, half the dill and mint, season. Mould into 8 fishcakes and chill for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mix together the crème fraiche, mayonnaise and the remaining dill and set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the fishcakes in 2 batches for 3-4 minutes each side until golden. Serve with the dill dip and a green salad.

Nutritional Information

  Per Serving
Kcals 478
Sugar 2g
Fat 29g
Saturated Fat 7.9g
Salt 0.3g

Mint Topped Carrot Cake

  • Serves: 8-10
  • Preparation time: 1-1/4 hours

Ingredients

  • 225g butter, softened
  • 225g light soft brown sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 350g carrots, grated
  • 100g walnuts, chopped
  • 75g soft cheese
  • 50g icing sugar
  • Sprigs of fresh mint

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180oC, gas mark 4. Grease and base line a 20cm cake tin.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time.
  • Mix the flour and baking powder together and fold into the butter mixture. Stir in the carrots and walnuts, reserving 2 tbsp walnuts for decorating. Spoon into the cake tin and bake for 1-1¼ hours or until golden and a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the tin and allow to cool.
  • Mix the soft cheese with the icing sugar and spread over the top of the cake. Decorate with sprigs of fresh mint and sprinkle over the reserved walnuts. 

Nutritional Information

  Per Serving
Kcals 615
Sugar 37g
Fat 40g
Saturated Fat 20g
Salt Trace

Mint & Cranberry Smoothie

  • Serves: 2
  • Preparation time: 2 minutes
  • Cooking time: n/a

Ingredients

  • 600ml light cranberry juice
  • 100g fat free Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp clear honey

Method

  • Place all the ingredients in a large jug and blend with a hand blender.  Pour into 2 tall glasses.

Nutritional Information

  Per Serving
Kcals 91
Sugar 9g
Fat 0.1g
Saturated Fat -
Salt Trace

Herb Marinated Lemon Chicken with Tabbouleh

  • Serves: 4
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes plus cooling
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 25g chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, scored (500g)
  • 200g bulghar wheat
  • 4 tomatoes, diced (280g)
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6.
  • Mix together the zest and juice of 1 lemon, the oil and 1 tbsp parsley. Add the chicken and marinate for 10-15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook the bulghar wheat in a small saucepan with 200ml water, Simmer gently covered for 5 minutes. Cool with the lid on.
  • Place the chicken in a small roasting tin and roast for 25 minutes.
  • Mix the tomatoes, remaining parsley, mint and juice of the remaining lemon into the bulghar wheat and serve with the chicken, pouring over the left over juices.

Nutritional Information

  Per Serving
Kcals 295
Sugar 2g
Fat 10g
Saturated Fat 2g
Salt Trace

Thyme & Mint Poached Pears with Raspberry Sauce

  • Serves: 4
  • Preparation time: 10m
  • Cooking time: 25m

Ingredients

  • 150g caster sugar
  • 4 ripe Conference pears, peeled (620g)
  • 10g fresh thyme + 1 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 3 sprigs mint
  • 300g raspberries
  • Juice of ½ lemon

Method

  • Place the sugar and 500ml water in a medium saucepan and add bring to the boil, simmer for 2 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Trim the bases of the pears so they stand upright. Add the thyme, mint and pears to the syrup, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the pears and set aside, discard the herbs and boil the syrup until reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Add the raspberries and lemon juice and cook for 1-2 minutes, blend with a hand held blender, sprinkle reserved thyme leaves and serve with the pears.

Nutritional Information

  Per Serving
Kcals 249
Sugar 60g
Fat Trace
Saturated Fat Trace
Salt Trace