Sunday, 29 April 2012

Springtime themed Sunday lunch

We had a couple of friends over for Sunday lunch, last Sunday when the weather was actually nice, and decided that we were filled enough with the joys of spring to have a spring themed lunch. 

We had Ottolenghi's stuffed onions to start, then Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's macaroni and peas with tomato, mozzarella and basil salad, and Delia's Eton mess to finish. Am slightly uncomfortable about plagiarising recipes but you can get to all of them through the links.

The stuffed onions are probably the fiddliest dish that we make regularly basically because it is so delicious that I kind of don't care that it's fiddly. It involves making stuffing of: parsley, feta, spring onions, garlic, breadcrumbs, grated tomato, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then boiling the halved outer layers of the onion in stock and white wine for five minutes. Then stuffing them and baking for around 45 minutes. The resulting onions look a bit like little missiles but who cares?

Stuffing for onions
Stuffing mixture for onions
Pretty onion shells
More pretty onion shells

Little onion missiles

Cooked onion shells

More little onion missiles
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's recipes - by contrast - are much, much simpler.  But still really good.  I love the macaroni and peas recipe - so easy, just mashing some peas (and keeping some whole) with butter and garlic and parmesan.  What could possibly be bad about that?  What I love about it is that it really tastes of peas. I know that sounds silly but peas are such an underrated vegetable and they deserve their time in the spotlight.  Poor peas. Best known for stealing a princess's night's sleep. 

The humble pea - photo from

Tomato and mozzarella salad - like most Italian food is as good as the quality of its ingredients.  We had tasty tomatoes so it was delicious.  

Tomato, mozzarella, and basil salad
Eton Mess - I went for Delia's recipe, which was a nice way to round off the meal but, I think, next time, I might not puree the strawberries for the sauce but just mash them a little.  I really like strawberries and I think I'd rather keep more of their texture.  I failed to take a photo of it but plan to remake it soon and will take photographs then.

Overall verdict:  thought this meal worked well, was well balanced, and I might make it again for (different) guests.

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