Mediterranean couscous salad
Cook 350g couscous according to package instructions. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the couscous with 1 chopped cucumber, 400g halved cherry tomatoes, ½ a sliced red onion, 20 sliced kalamata olives, a handful each of chopped fresh mint and fresh parsley, 350g crumbled Feta, the juice of 1 lemon and some salt and black pepper. Toss everything together to combine well and serve at room temperature.
Grilled peach Caprese salad
Halve and pit 3 peaches, then slice the peaches into ½cm rounds. Preheat a clean barbecue to a high heat. Brush both sides of the peach slices with olive oil. Cook the sliced peaches on the barbecue with the lid closed for two minutes per side until nicely charred. Remove to a cutting board and allow to cool. Slice 2 x 250g balls of fresh Mozzarella and 2 large, very ripe tomatoes into ½cm slices. Layer the slices of Mozzarella, tomato and grilled peaches onto a serving plate. Scatter with a handful of fresh basil leaves, season generously with salt and black pepper and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Asparagus and Ricotta tart
Preheat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/gas mark 4. Roll out 1 x 320g sheet of puff pastry to about 15 x 30cm and transfer to a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Use the tip of a knife to mark a 1cm border, making sure you don’t cut through the pastry. Prick the base all over with a fork, then brush the edges with beaten egg. Bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, blanch 14 asparagus spears in a pot of boiling water for two minutes, then transfer the spears to a bowl of ice water. Drain, pat dry, and set aside. In a bowl, combine 200g drained Ricotta, the zest of ½ a lemon, 2 tbsp chopped chives, 1 tbsp chopped thyme, 1 tbsp grated Parmesan, 1 tsp olive oil and some salt and black pepper. Spread the pastry with the Ricotta mixture within the border. Place the asparagus along the length of the tart, alternating the direction of the tips. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and bake for 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Aubergine caponata bruschetta
Heat 4 tbsp olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add 1 cubed aubergine, 1 deseeded and chopped red pepper, 2 tsp dried oregano and a pinch of chilli flakes. Season and cook for 6-8 minutes until the aubergine is beginning to brown. Add 4 sliced garlic cloves, 1 small, finely chopped onion and a large handful each of fresh basil and parsley. Cook for 4-5 minutes longer until the onion is soft and the herbs have wilted. Add 4 chopped tomatoes, 3 tbsp drained capers, 15 halved green olives and 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are soft and saucy. Season to taste. To serve, spread thickly sliced toasted sourdough with Ricotta and top each with some of the caponata.
In a food processor, combine 1l tomato juice, 1 chopped onion, 1 deseeded green pepper, 1 chopped cucumber, 3 ripe, chopped tomatoes, 2 chopped spring onions, 1 crushed garlic clove, 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tsp dried tarragon, a handful of fresh basil, 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, a pinch of sugar and some salt and black pepper. Whizz until well-combined but still slightly chunky. Chill for at least two hours before serving.