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Forget the rest - Use the season's best!

It’s nearly summer!

Now well into June, you can get some great fresh products at great prices! By the middle of the month, there is a wealth of fruit and vegetables to choose from. New potatoes are more plentiful and  asparagus continues to be readily available. New carrots come in at the end of month as do soft fruits including blackcurrants, strawberries, gooseberries and  cherries too. Tomatoes are in, broccoli is beginning, cauliflower comes back at the end of the month. Lettuce gets into full flow as do fennel, peppers,  spring onions, broad beans, Chinese leaves and herbs coming in.

Recipes - by Mattias Karlsson of Karlsson Catering

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MOZZARELLA
WITH VINE TOMATOES, PESTO AND BLACK OLIVES

A classic and quick starter with tremendous flavours of the summer.
Serve with plenty of warm Foccacia bread and some good balsamic vinegar.
Serves 4 as a starter

2 Mozzarella di Bufala or another good quality mozzarella
4 Vine tomatoes
30g Basil leaves
150 ml olive oil
1 garlic clove
pinch of salt
50g roughly chopped Kalamata olives
Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt

1. Blend together basil, olive oil, garlic and salt to a smooth green purée for roughly 1 minute
    with help of a hand-blender.
2. Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella and arrange on four plates.
3. Sprinkle with the olives and spoon the basil purée over the tomatoes and the mozzarella.
4. Season with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt.

 

 

SPICED CAULIFLOWER RISOTTO
WITH BROAD BEANS

Spiced Cauliflower Risotto

A rather unusual combination with cauliflower, sherry and spices togheter with risotto, but it works very well. Fresh broad beans and Parmesan completes the dish.
Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main dish

600ml vegetable stock, hot
200g risotto rice, Arborio or Carnaroli
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
150ml dry white wine
50g butter
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
100g podded fresh broadbeans or frozen ones
1 medium cauliflower, cut into small florets
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon caster sugar
Pinch of chilli powder
200 ml dry sherry
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon crème fraiche

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C
2. Toss cauliflower, olive oil, spices, sugar and seasoning together.
    Roast for around 15 minutes in a baking tray, shake and stir every 5 minutes.
    Add the sherry and continue to roast in the oven for 10 minutes or until all liquid have evaporate
    and the cauliflower is soft and slightly caramelised.
3. Meanwhile the cauliflower is roasting in the oven start with the risotto.
4. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the chopped shallot, garlic and cook for 5 minutes 
    until softened but not coloured, then add the rice and cook for a minute, stirring.
5. Pour in the wine and cook until it has reduced away, then laddle in a quarter
    of the stock. Bring to the boil, stirring, then turn down to a medium heat and continue bubbling
    gently until the liquid has been absorbed. Repeat until all stock is gone, stir often. When the rice     is plumb and just tender ( al dente ) but not soft is ready. This should take about 15 minutes.
6. Meanwhile the risotto is cooking cook the broad beans in salted water for 2-3 minutes.
7. Fold in the roasted cauliflower and the broad beans into the risotto rice. Stir in the parmesan and
    last the crème fraiche. Serve immediately.

 

 

RED PEPPER AND TOMATO SOUP
WITH PRAWNS AND CRUSHED AVOCADOS

Avocados and prawns go very well to this light and flavoursome cold  broth. Choose ripe, plum tomatoes and soft avocados for this recipe.
Serves 4 as a starter

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large red peppers
1 small red chilli, chopped, remove all the seeds
6 large, ripe plum tomatoes
4 shallots, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
15g chopped coriander
800ml tomato juice
2 tablespoons of full fat Greek yougurt
1/2 lime, juice of
Few drops of Tabasco sauce
1 avocados
200g cooked coldwater prawns, shell on
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, then add the peppers, tomatoes, shallots, garlic and coriander.
    Sauté gently for 5 minutes, cover and then gently cook for 10 minutes
2. Uncover, and stir in the tomato juice and yogurt, season well and allow to cool.
     Whiz in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy. Chill the soup for a good 2 hours.
3. Meanwhile, peeled the prawns and roughly chop them. Crush the avocado with help of a fork.
     Mix gently togheter, add the lime juice, Tabasco and check the seasoning.
4. Arrange the avocado/prawn mixture in the middle of the soup bowls with help of a plain scone
    cutter, 5cm in diameter.
5. Pour the cold soup around and drizzle with little olive oil.

 

 

MOROCCAN CHICKEN BREAST
WITH NEW POTATO AND FENNEL SALAD




Full flavoured chicken dish with a blend of North African spices goes well with this aromatic potato salad, great dish for your BBQ. Serve with some ripe cherry vine tomatoes
Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main dish

FOR THE CHICKEN

2 chicken breasts, cut into 8 strips
80ml olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika powder
pinch of saffron threads, soaked in a little water
juice of 1 lemon
1 small red chilli, seeded and chopped
pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
20g fresh coriander, finely chopped

1. Place the garlic, cumin, saffron, olive oil, lemon juice, chilli, salt and pepper in a mortar and pound with a pestle. Alternative process briefly in a food processor. Add the chopped coriander and stir to combine. Toss the marinade and the chicken strips together.
2. Leave in the fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour.

FOR THE POTATO AND FENNEL SALAD

500g Baby new potatoes, boiled in salted water
1 fennel
1 small bunch of spring onions, finely sliced
100ml olive oil
1 tablesppon clear honey
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon or English mustard
1 teaspoon creamed horseradish
1 teaspoon crushed mustard seeds
juice from ½ lemon
1 tablespoon of chives, finely chopped
10 mint leaves, cut into fine strips
seasoning

1. Combine olive oil, honey, vinegar, mustard, horseradish, mustard seeds and lemon juice together
    in a large mixing bowl.
2. Cut the fennel in half and remove the hard stalk in middle. Slice it very finely and mix
    with the olive oil and vinegar dressing.
3. Cut the new potatoes into quarters. 
4. Combine the fennel, new potatoes, spring onion, chives and mint. Check the seasoning.
5. Leave to marinate for 2 hours.
6. BBQ your chicken strips for 2-3 minutes on each side or roast them in hot oven for 10 minutes.