Last week we were lucky enough to speak to Pip McCormac about his new recipe book ‘The Herb & Flower Cookbook‘, if you’ve not had a chance to read the interview yet have a look! Pip has kindly given us three exclusive recipes from the new book for mouth-watering summer dining!
Lemon Balm and Parsley Spaghetti
PREPARATION TIME: 10 minutes
COOKING TIME: 15 minutes
Lemon balm adds a very pleasant zing – the citrus flavour you’d expect and a slight savoury undertone. Use it instead of lemon zest in cakes, to make lemon drinks or in this very peppy pasta.
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
Juice of 1 lemon
2 stalks of lemon balm, leaves only
1 tbsp chopped parsley
Grated Parmesan, for serving (optional)
1 Add a splash of olive oil to a large pan of water and bring to the boil. Once bubbling, add the spaghetti and cook according to the packet instructions.
2 Meanwhile, add a glug of oil to another saucepan with a lid, and set over a medium heat. Once warm, add the garlic and chilli and cover, letting them sweat for 2–3 minutes until the garlic is a golden brown. Trim and slice the courgette in half lengthways and then chop into slices about 1cm thick. Add the courgette to the pan of garlic, stir, cover and cook for around 5 minutes, until the courgette is soft and beginning to brown.
3 Remove the courgette pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice – it will splutter – and return to the heat to cook off some of the liquid. Once cooked, drain the pasta and add it to the courgette pan with the leaves from the lemon balm. Stir everything together; place the pan back on the heat if you feel it needs another minute to warm through. Divide the spaghetti mixture between two bowls, sprinkle over the parsley and some Parmesan if you like. Eat immediately.
Rainbow Chard Salad with a Jasmine Dressing
This very simple salad can be added to if you want to bulk it up, but the gentle flavour of the jasmine dressing will be overpowered if you go with anything too strong. Some crusty buttered bread to mop up any leftover sauce could certainly be encouraged.
COOKING TIME: 2-3 minutes
250g rainbow chard
200g pickled baby beetroot, roughly chopped
50g walnuts, chopped
For the dressing:
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp ricotta
1½ tbsp olive oil
1½ tbsp cider vinegar
6–9 jasmine flowers
1 Wash the chard well and steam it in a steamer or in a heatproof colander set over a pan of boiling water for 2–3 minutes or until the stalks are soft. Remove it from the pan, divide it between two plates and let cool.
2 Scatter the beetroot and walnuts over the top of the chard. Put all the dressing ingredients into a jar, tighten the lid and shake together well. Pour it over the salad and serve.
MINI BOX/Substitute the jasmine with…
lavender, mint, marjoram
Honeysuckle and blackberry cheesecake
PREPARATION TIME: 15 minutes plus chilling time
COOKING TIME: 15 minutes
This pudding’s big creamy filling provides a background for its high summer flavours. The taste of the honeysuckle flowers is quite specific, so if you’re substituting them for any of my suggestions, just fold the replacement into the cream with the cinnamon rather than making a syrup.
50g honeysuckle flowers, plus extra for decorating
1 tbsp caster sugar
A small pinch of cinnamon
150g digestive biscuits
100g butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
350g cream cheese
50g icing sugar
300ml double cream
Runny honey, for decorating
1 Put the honeysuckle flowers into a saucepan over a high heat with 100ml of water, the caster sugar and the cinnamon. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture and discard the flowers, you should be left with a couple of tablespoons of syrup – if you are left with lots of water, then bring it back to the boil and reduce it further. Set aside to cool.
2 Crush the digestive biscuits into crumbs and mix in the butter, combining the two thoroughly. Use a little extra butter to grease a 20cm loose bottomed cake tin and transfer the biscuits into it, pressing them down firmly with the back of a metal spoon so that it becomes one solid biscuit base. Leave it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up.
3 Beat together the cream cheese, icing sugar and 1–2 tablespoons of the honeysuckle nectar. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream until it forms big, soft peaks and fold it into the cream cheese mixture using a metal spoon. Pour all of this on top of the biscuit base and decorate the top with the blackberries, adding a drizzle of honey and some extra honeysuckle flowers to decorate. This will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.
MINI BOX/Substitute the honeysuckle with…
mint, lemon thyme, lemon balm