lost in france: my salade lyonnaise

salade lyonnaise (bacon and egg salad)
After walking around a small town in southern France for what seemed like hours, we still hadn't found either our friends we were meeting for lunch. We are lost in France and not in a big-haired, floaty chiffon 1970s soft focus kind of way; no birds singing, bands playing or people dancing (just the rumble of traffic and me scowling). I am hot, dusty, and footsore and, possibly more importantly, I haven't eaten for more than three hours. Quelle horreur! 

nigel slater's roasted courgettes with thai-style minced chilli and lime pork

 nigel slater's roasted courgettes with thai-style minced chilli and lime pork
Apart from charcuterie, pork doesn't have much of a place in my kitchen, for no other reason that I just don't think it tastes of an awful lot. However, occasionally pork mince gets a workout in meatballs and recently in burgers for the barbecue. I had a little mince left over and was looking for an idea of how to use it up.

So when in doubt and looking for a little bit of inspiration, as ever I turn to Nigel Slater. This time to Tender, Volume 1, since I also have a glut of courgettes to use up. Since Tender is organised by vegetable, it was only a matter of minutes, page 290 and "baked marrow, minced pork" that I had my recipe.

roasted halibut with chermoula sauce

roasted halibut with chermoula marinade
One of my favourite marinades is from Morocco. There are hundreds of variations of chermoula, a marinade typically used with fish, which is essentially a mixture of oil, herbs and spices which can be used with whole, filleted or grilled fish.

What you need is a good balance between the sharpness of lemon and sweetness of the honey. The herbs and spices should be quite subtle and aromatic rather than punchy. But whichever way you cook the fish, roasted, steamed or fried, it will taste fabulous as it absorbs these flavours.

summery sausages and caramelised onions with crushed buttered peas

summery sausages and caramelised onions with crushed buttered peas
It's one of those days when the weather doesn't know whether it's Arthur or Martha; we've had three seasons in one day. The morning started bright and fresh as spring, before segueing into a drizzly autumn, returning to a splash of summer and now settling, halfway between the three, as if controlled by some malevolent weather swing-o-meter. Just a normal summer in England again.

smoky chargrilled aubergine salad

smoky chargrilled aubergine salad
There is a dish on the menus of Turkish restaurants called Hünkar Beğendi. I don't read Turkish, but I understand it to mean "the Sultan's Delight"; a simple lamb stew served on a bed of creamy aubergine puree. But whenever I see these words, I translate them in my head as "whole hunk of love on a plate" because this peasant adores the stuff.

what's in season: august

summer vine tomatoes
You to me
Are sweet as roses in the morning
And you to me
Are soft as summer rain at dawn, in love we share
That something rare

The sidewalks in the street
The concrete and the clay beneath my feet
Begins to crumble
But love will never die

Because we'll see the mountains tumble
Before we say goodbye

My love and I will be
In love eternally
That's the way
Mmm, that's the way it's meant to be

Concrete and Clay by Tommy and Brian Parker (Unit 4 + 2), 1965