Sharing a little dappled lunch in amongst the trees by Flora Shedden, owner of the renowned Aran Bakery in Scotland. It's a joy to see her outdoor table set with our beautiful plates and bowls. Such a lovely colour combination - our pottery seen here in Milk and Sunrise. Thank you to Flora for the recipes below!
At the table: An alfresco lunch by Flora Shedden
POTATO, FENNEL AND PICKLED CUCUMBER SALAD
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp caster
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
400g baby potatoes
1/2 bulb of fennel
15g olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
small bunch of parsley
small bunch of dill sesame seeds, optional
Begin with the cucumber pickle.
Peel the skin from the cucumber and very finely slice it into discs. I used a food processor but this is fine done by hand too.
Place in a bowl and cover with the vinegar, salt and sugar. Finely crush the coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar and add to the pickle. Season with a generous amount of black pepper, mix everything together well, and set aside for 30 minutes to soften.
Place the potatoes in boiling water and cook for 15 minutes or until just cooked. Drain and set aside to cool down.
Finely slice the fennel lengthways removing the tough core. finely slice any fronds attached to the fennel too. Place in a large mixing bowl with the oil and lemon juice to prevent it from colouring.
Finely chop the herbs.
When ready to serve, cut the potatoes in half then add to the fennel.
Strain the cucumbers but keep the pickling juice.
Add the cucumbers, herbs and a little sesame seeds (if using) to the mix and toss together well. Season to taste and add some of the pickling juice if required. Enjoy!
ROAST BEEF WITH BEETROOTS AND AIOLI
500g fillet of beef
1 tbsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper
50g butter small bunch of thyme
1 candied beetroot
2 red beetroot
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dijon
1/2 clove of garlic
50g olive oil
75g sunflower oil
spring onions to serve
marjoram or parsley to garnish
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Place a heavy based frying pan on a high heat.
Rub the mustard all over the beef and season generously with salt and pepper. Sear in the very hot pan making sure you get a good colour over the whole fillet. Add the butter and the thyme to the pan then place in the preheated oven for 5 minute bursts checking the internal temp each time. You are looking for 50C for rare or 60C for medium. Baste the meat each time you check it. Once at the desired temp, remove from the pan to stop any further cooking and set aside to rest. Spoon any juices over the top. Once cool place in the fridge to firm up (this will make it easier for slicing).
For the beetroot use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin of the candied beetroot. Then use the vegetable peeler to shave off thin slices until all is used up. Place the slices, submerged in a bowl of water and set aside until ready to use. Boil the red beetroot whole until softened (20 minutes roughly or until a knife can be inserted easily). Drain and allow to cool.
Once cool enough to touch, peel the skin of the beetroot off (you should be able to do this with your hands). Cut in half then slice into wedges.
To make the aioli, place all the ingredients bar the oils into a food processor. Blitz on a high speed then begin to slowly trickle in the oils whilst the mixer is still running. Once all the oil is added you should have a thick emulsion. Season to taste.
When ready to serve, finely slice the spring onions and finely slice the chilled beef.
Arrange half of the candied and red beetroot on a large serving plate and arrange half of the beef slices in amongst it. Sprinkle a little spring onion and some aioli on top. Repeat this process with the beetroot and the beef. Finish with the rest of the spring onions, some more aioli and then some picked marjoram leaves.