Summertime . . . . .

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Summertime . . . . . and the living is easy . . .  and what could be easier than a sandwich (although, obviously, as WE are cooks, they will be posh sarnies!) I don’t know about you but come the heat I definitely want to eat less – and what I do eat, I want to be tasty and full of flavour so I thought this week we could make ourselves a little picnic of nice sandwiches, fresh salad and fruit – and a quick recipe for gooseberry cordial to wash it all down with.

There are so many bread and wraps out there, I am leaving the hard bit of what to use up to you – I’m just going to give you the fillings,  a meat, fish and veggie one.

Meat and Pickled Cucumber

  • Meat of your choice – leftover roast, specially cut ham, even fish meat will do!
  •  1/4 cucumber, thinly sliced                     1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  •  1 dessertspoon olive oil                            1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  •  mayonnaise

Combine the cucumber, vinegar, olive oil, sugar and salt and pepper in a bowl then pile up the meat, cucumber mix and mayo on top.

Smoked Salmon and Salad Sandwich

  • 2 ounces cooked salmon                            2 ounces smoked salmon, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise                          1 tablespoon chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon chopped chives                        1 teaspoon chopped chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (you can zest the whole lemon, squeeze the juice and freeze separately – or you can make yourself a gin and tonic!)

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and pile up your bread with a dusting of black pepper!

Beets, Spinach and Goats Cheese

  • 1 small cooked beetroot                              1 dessertspoon olive oil
  •  good handful of spinach                            1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 ounce goats cheese

Cook the spinach in a tiny bit of water until wilted, stir in the vinegar and cool. Layer up the slice beetroot, spinach, cheese – and munch!

Gooseberry Cordial

  • 250g sugar (Remember, as with the rhubarb cordial, you are only going to use a tiny amount to dilute so don’t panic at the sugar mound!)
  • 3 large lemons, zested and juiced
  • 350g gooseberries                                        3 sprigs of mint leaves

In a large pan, gently melt the sugar in 250ml of water.  Add the zest, juice, gooseberries and mint leaves and bring to a simmer.  Cook until very soft.  Strain through a piece of muslin into a bowl.  To serve, dilute with water (still or sparkling), ice, more mint and lemon.                                                                                                                                                   PS if you can still find them, you could add a couple of elderflower heads whilst cooking

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