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Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Squash and Pink Peppercorns

‘Wow—that looks delicious!’, exclaimed a friend as we unpacked our lunches yesterday. It was. The ribbons of orange squash soften in lime juice spiked with the sweet spiciness of pink peppercorns. (These are essential; substituting black pepper will not work.). You can make this well in advance if you like.

Anna Jones recommends serving with tofu crisped in a pan with honey and soy, and brown rice, to make a dinner.

Squash and Pink Peppercorn Salad
Serves 2

500g pumpkin or squash, peeled and deseeded
1 lime
1 tablespoon pink peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
Big handful of mint, dill, parsley or coriander, roughly chopped

Shave the squash into thin ribbons, using a vegetable peeler or whatever specialist gear you happen to have. Place the ribbons in a bowl.
Zest the lime over the ribbons, squeeze in the juice, and toss together with the salt.
Put the pink peppercorns in a mortar and crush them roughly before adding to the salad.
Stir in the herbs and serve.

Recipe adapted from Anna Jones, The Modern Cook’s Year (2017).

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: A Fish Dinner

Grilled mackerel with cucumber-fennel relish, boiled potatoes, and, perhaps some steamed fresh spinach: between two people you can have this on the table in 25 minutes from turning on the grill. It makes a lovely Saturday night supper. Grill the fish whole for 8-12 minutes per side.

The relish or salsa has a crisp, assertive sharpness that contrasts well with the rich oiliness of the mackerel. It would be good with grilled trout, as well. The recipe makes enough for four generous servings. The key is to cut the vegetable into very small pieces; it’s this that gives its charm. ‘Dicing’ is cutting into cubes—but you can also simply chop the cucumber and fennel very fine, if producing tiny cubes seems too fiddly.

Cucumber-Fennel Relish

1 cucumber, cut into 3mm dice
1 small fennel bulb, cut into 3mm dice
¾ cup chopped fresh dill
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
¾ teaspoon Demerara sugar
¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

Combine all the ingredients and taste for seasoning. Add more salt, pepper, sugar or vinegar/lemon juice if you wish—this should be quite sharp.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: A Very Quick Lunch

This is a satisfying and very quick lunch salad. At least it’s quick if you have a hard-cooked egg to hand. It doesn’t require much in the way of equipment either. This week, you can follow it with the strawberries for an indulgent lunch for one.

Grated Courgette and Egg Salad
Serves 1.


2 small courgettes (a mixture of yellow and green is pretty)
1 hard-cooked egg
a small handful of dill
2 teaspoons rapeseed oil
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste


Cut the end off the courgettes, and using the coarse side of a grater, grate the courgettes into a bowl. Gently grate hard-cooked egg into the same bowl. The egg might crumble a bit but that’s ok.

Remove the tough stems from the dill and chop the delicate fronds, coarse or fine, as you prefer. Add the dill to the bowl. Toss about to mix.

Drizzle the oil on top, and then squeeze the lemon over the salad. Season with salt and pepper to taste, toss again, and eat from the same bowl.

14th June 2018

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Salmon and Potatoes

Layers of sliced potatoes, onion, and salmon baked with egg, cream and fresh dill make a memorable meal. Serve with a green salad.

This is a classic Swedish recipe, invented to use up leftover salmon. I don’t think we suffer from this problem, but in fact you can use any sort of salmon you like—uncooked fresh salmon, leftover cooked salmon, smoked salmon, probably even tinned salmon—or a mixture. You can think of this as a Swedish lasagne, with potatoes instead of pasta.

Laxpudding (Salmon and Potato Pudding)

Serves 4-6.

For the Pudding
1kg potatoes
2 onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter
450g salmon, cut into bite-sized pieces (you can use a mixture of different types of salmon).
50g fresh dill, finely chopped
3 eggs
300ml milk
120ml double or whipping cream
½ tsp salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste (if you have white pepper here is a good opportunity to use it).

Decorations for the Top
100g butter (optional)
additional sprigs of fresh dill
thin slices of lemon


Put the potatoes in cold water and bring slowly to the boil. Simmer gently until they are just tender. Drain. When they are cool enough to handle peel them (unless you like the peel), and slice them thin. Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.

Heat the oven to 200C and butter an ovenproof dish. Something on the order of 25cm x 35cm is about right but there’s no need to be precise.

Sauté the onion in the butter until it softens, without browning. Set aside.

Mix the salmon with the dill and set aside as well.

Whisk the eggs, milk, cream, salt and pepper together.

Now assemble the pudding: put a third of the potatoes at the bottom of the pan. Spread half the onions over the potatoes, and top these with half the salmon and dill. Make another potato layer. Top this with the remaining onions, and then the remaining salmon and dill. Finish with a final layer of potatoes.

Pour the eggy mixture over the salmon pudding.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the pudding feels firm and the crust is nicely browned.

To serve, first decide if you wish to use the additional butter drizzle. If you do—and it’s traditional—melt the butter in a small pan until it starts to turn a hazelnut brown colour and smells nutty and tempting. Pour this over the baked pudding. Garnish artfully with sprigs of dill and slices of lemon. Serve cut into squares.

(Recipe courtesy of Ulrika Andersson, Swedish Collegium of Advanced Studies, Uppsala.)

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