Tag Archives: quick lunch

Slutty lunch/Simple lunch

Some time ago I wrote about the fridge slut, a dish concocted from the odds and ends in the fridge. It’s a dish that, I reckon, has a 50/50 chance of going well. There is always the very real possibility that your speculative marriage of maple syrup and spring onions is going to end in tears. But then it’s just as possible that your fridge sluttery will end in triumph.

Yesterday, buried under an avalanche of deadlines, I couldn’t face going to the shops. I boiled a potato. I fried some bacon and onion with a little thyme. I made an eye-watering dressing with English mustard and cider vinegar, then put my face in the fridge. Chives! Radishes! Salad leaves! All the above made a happy union on my plate.

But something was missing. I fried an egg. I bunged it on top then ate the whole slutty mess in one go. While watching Made In Chelsea. Ha!

*****

Today’s lunch was more civilised. Fat English asparagus boiled for a couple of minutes, tossed in melted butter and served on garlicky toast with hot smoked trout and horseradish. Somehow the slut was better.

If you were to make a fridge slut now, what would it consist of?

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Recipe | Fried goose egg with asparagus

Well, hardly a recipe. The title just about gives it away and I’m sure you could work out the rest. But the first asparagus of the year needs celebrating and celebrate I shall. Peruvian imposters had long been hogging the shelves, but as soon as that little union jack appeared on the green shoots I pounced.

Joy upon joys, I had a perfect goose egg sitting at home; rich as Mark Zuckerberg but not nearly as emetic, it just so happened that fried in butter over a medium heat it took exactly the same length of time to cook as the asparagus – about two minutes, that is, in boiling salted water. I put a lid over the frying pan for all of 30 seconds at the end, just to nudge the yolk along, and finished the asparagus with a little EVOO, salt and pepper, but this was a simple lunch that was ready in less than 5 minutes.

Serve with crusty bread, maybe a few shavings of parmesan if you fancy.

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Recipe | Chicken liver, broad bean and parsley salad

As asparagus season ends, broad bean season begins. It’s rather neat, isn’t it? The little pale green nuggets work well enough quickly blanched and served with some shaved Parmesan, tarted up in a salad like this one, or pureed with mint, pine nuts and yet more Parmesan for a sort of late spring pesto. Stevie Parle does them with morcilla (Spanish black pudding) and smoked paprika; as good a broad bean dish as I’ve found. If feeling industrious it’s worth double-podding them – particularly later in the season when the leathery pods within can be quite tough.

Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a starter
500g broad beans
400g chicken livers
A handful of flat leaf parsley
Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
Half a clove of garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper

– Pod (or double pod if you can be arsed – I couldn’t) the beans and set aside. Cut the livers into chunks and trim the chicken livers of any bile and connective tissue and wash. Dry thoroughly.

– Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add the beans. Simmer for 2 minutes, drain and run under a cold tap for a minute or so. Heat a little oil in a frying pan. Cut the livers into chunks and fry for a couple of minutes on each side, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go.

– Remove from pan to rest. Whisk together the mustard, honey and vinegar, then slowly add the oil. Finally whisk in the garlic, and season with salt and pepper.

– Serve the livers with the broad beans and parsley leaves, spoon over some dressing and grate over a little Parmesan.

PS. It could be argued that this would be better with a sharper vinegar like sherry. You could deglaze the pan with the vinegar, scraping up all the lovely little caramelized bits of liver, before pouring into a small mixing bowl and continuing with dressing as before. Your call. My sister is a slut for balsamic vinegar – in fact she licked her plate clean. Seriously.


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Recipe | Boiled duck egg with asparagus soldiers

Have we all had enough of asparagus yet? I certainly haven’t. For me it’s the king of spring vegetables, transformer of the banal into the beatific. Throw a duck egg into the mix and you have either a deeply indulgent lunch or a simple dinner party starter.

Serves 1

1 duck egg
A handful of asparagus, trimmed and washed
Salt and pepper
A little melted butter (optional)

– Bring two pans of water to the boil. To the first carefully add the duck egg and simmer for 5 minutes. (If using a hen’s egg boil for 3-4).

– After the egg has been simmering for 2 minutes add the asparagus to the other pan along with a pinch of salt. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, removing the duck egg when appropriate. Drain the asparagus and serve immediately, with a few twists of pepper and a pinch of sea salt and, if feeling particularly self-indulgent, a pot of melted butter.

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Recipe | Jerusalem artichoke and chorizo salad with anchovy dressing

This is a great winter/spring crossover salad. The red onion and chorizo sausage give the dish a punchy, sunny kick, while the heavenly Jerusalem artichokes remind us that the reign of the root vegetable isn’t over quite yet.

Serves 2

4 Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed

2 small chorizo sossidges, chopped into chunks

Half a red onion, peeled and finely sliced

Salad leaves – a mixture of crunch and leaf

For the dressing

4 anchovies

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 small clove garlic, peeled and crushed

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

3 tablespoons good olive oil

Salt and pepper

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– Slice the Jerusalem artichokes into rounds. Bring to a boil in a pan of salted water and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Drain and leave for a couple of minutes

– Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the artichokes until golden. Meanwhile make the dressing by mashing the anchovies with the garlic, then whisking in the mustard, then vinegar, then finally olive oil. Season with pepper.

– Remove the artichokes from the pan and add the chorizo, frying until crisp. You might be tempted to this the other way round, frying the artichoke in the chorizo oil. You can of course, but I didn’t want to overwhelm the vegetable with the flavour of the sausage.

– Arrange the salad leaves on a plate and top with slices of artichoke, chorizo and red onion, before spooning over the dressing.

What’s your favourite spring time lunch? How might you improve this recipe?

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