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Entries in lemon (67)


almost mitch martini

when i’m thinking about the ingredients that are almost guaranteed to make a cocktail taste delicious, apricot brand is right up at the top of my list, as is fresh passion fruit. this take on a mitch martini (which uses peach liqueur in place of the apricot brandy and passion fruit syrup instead of the fresh fruit) ticks both boxes and is very lovely as a result.

shake, with ice, 1 ½ shot vodka, 1 ½ shot pressed/cloudy apple juice, the flesh of ½ a ripe passion fruit, ¼ shot of apricot brandy and ½ shot of lemon juice. strain into a martini glass and garnish with a twist of lemon zest.


ziti with roasted fennel, lemon and basil

i continue to be inspired by anna hansen’s lemon, fennel and halloumi bruschetta – i’ve already used it as the basis for a salad, using potatoes in place of the bread, and now i’m swapping in pasta, instead.

i also decided to use a different cheese –fresh ricotta. this obviously didn’t need cooking so i followed the original recipe, just omitting the halloumi from the roasting tray. when it was ready i added my cooked ziti, some ricotta, purple and green basil plus a scattering of fresh fennel leaves from the garden.

it was delicious and i’ll definitely make this again – you do need quite large pasta shapes though, given the size of the fennel pieces; conchiglioni rigati would also work well. i think olives would be a good addition and will no doubt also try it with different cheeses – feta or goat’s cheese would both be nice.


fennel and burrata salad


fennel and burrata is a combination i’ve made before, usually combining them with orange or grapefruit segments, toasted coriander seeds and watercress plus a drizzle of really nice fruity olive oil. this is based on a dish from yotam ottolenghi’s nopi restaurant and was an obsession of mine a few years ago.

this version was different, using lemon in place of the orange - just finely cut strips of zest and some juice which combines with the olive oil (again, choose something nice and fruity) to make a dressing for the thinly sliced fennel - plus mint, (purple) basil and some fennel leaves from the garden. it is much fresher tasting and definitely something i will alternate with nopi version.

i served it with some savoury muffins, flavoured with courgette, sundried tomato and cheese (feta and parmesan), that i had made to use up a few leftovers.


elderflower and almond cake

i’m a sucker for cakes which have ground nuts as the main ingredient rather than flour – two of my favourites are nigel slater’s pistachio and orange cake with lemon rosewater icing and diana henry’s rose-drenched lime and yoghurt cake.

i love the slightly dense moist texture of these cakes as well as the way that you can load them with fragrant syrups so the flavours really sing. the way that the nuts carry the citrus and floral flavours is also something special.

this version with lemon, elderflower and almonds is very similar to the two mentioned above and just as good - i expect i’ll make time and again. the icing is something new though – both rich and light it’s a nice way to add an extra layer of elderflower flavour. and it looks ever so pretty when sprinkled with pistachios and rose petals.

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baked ricotta with bee pollen

i was admonished by a friend recently – she came for supper "aaaages ago" and i promised i’d blog the starter we had – anna hansen’s baked ricotta and bee pollen cakes with honey and lemon dressing – but haven’t. so this post comes with an air of guilt, both for making julia wait but also because it’s an interesting and delicious dish and well worth trying if, like me, you’re curious about bee pollen.

the only trickiness with this recipe was tracking down bee pollen – a couple health food shops seem to sell a powdered version but the granules i saw in the picture in the modern pantry cookery book were more elusive. in the end i managed to get them from wholefoods (the piccadilly store in london).

i’d never had bee pollen before and it’s an interesting flavour – much greater depth than honey, an initial sweetness but then a floral and slightly spicy flavour. the jar recommends sprinkling it on muesli or honey on toast. apparently there are also great health benefits associated with bee pollen.

as for anna hansen’s recipe, it was delicious - creamy and light, slightly crunchy from the pollen, and lifted by the dressing and contrasting bitterness of the chicory and olives. it also kept well – i had a few leftover portions which i baked a couple of days later and they were just as good.

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