Morning! Today’s recipes go from a virtuous salad, packed with fresh, crunchy veg and a juicy dressing – to a rich, darkly tempting chocolate tart. Come over to the dark side…
This chickpea salad is a delicious lunch dish or light dinner. Simon deep-fries the chickpeas to add a deliciously crunchy texture, complementing the juicy baby tomatoes and fresh watercress leaves. He marinates the feta cubes in lime juice for an extra zingy flavor that cuts through the rich saltiness of the cheese.
- Serves 2-4
- Preparation time: 5 mins + 20 mins for marinating
- Cooking time: 2-5 mins
- 1 can chickpeas, washed
- 125g seasoned flour
- 150g yoghurt
- 175g polenta, mixed with 1 tbsp chili flakes
- Oil to deep fry
- 200g feta cheese
- 100ml extra virgin olive oil
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- 1 cucumber, cut into deseeded half moons
- 200g baby tomatoes
- Handful of watercress
- About 20 mint leaves
- Mix the olive oil with the lime juice and zest in a bowl. Cut the feta into 20mm cubes, drop into the oil and leave to marinate for 20 mins.
- Dredge the chickpeas in flour and shake off the excess in a sieve. Cover the chickpeas in yoghurt, and then dredge in polenta.
- Deep-fry the chickpeas for 1-2 minutes until crisp, then drain.
- Toss the watercress with the cucumber, tomatoes and mint. Dress with the marinated feta and crunchy chickpeas, spooning the feta oil over the salad.
- Serve with warm pittas, extra yoghurt for dipping and lime wedges.
This chocolate tart is an indulgent and sophisticated dinner party dessert, with rich almond frangipane and fresh pears. Simon is making the most of seasonal pears, which are available throughout the winter. The main British variety is Conference pears, but Comice, Concorde and Williams are also good local options.
- Serves 6-8
- Preparation time: 15-20 mins + 20 mins chilling time
- Cooking time: 30-35 mins
- 225g plain flour
- 100g butter
- 25g sugar
- 1 egg
- A little milk to bind
- 225g butter
- 225g caster sugar
- 150g ground almonds
- 25g flour
- 50g cocoa powder
- 4 eggs
- Finely grated zest of one lemon
- 4 pears
- 100g butter
- 75g sugar
- To make the pastry, pulse all the ingredients together, then wrap and chill for 20 mins.
- Roll out the pastry and use to line a 9in (22cm) tart tin.
- Fill the case with baking beans and then bake blind at 200˚C for 15 mins. Remove the beans, brush the pastry with egg-wash and cook for a further 10 mins until golden.
- For the filling, first cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition.
- Then stir in the lemon zest, flour, cocoa and ground almonds.
- Peel and halve the pears, then fry in the butter and sugar until just soft.
- Spoon the almond mixture into the case and press the pears into the surface.
- Cook the tart for 30 mins at 180˚C.
- Serve a slice of the tart with chocolate sauce and cream.
All the recipes so far are in the Recipes section at ocado.com
Naomi, PR and Social Media Executive