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Salmon with Sliced Fennel, Lemon and Dill

450 g fillet of wild or organically-reared salmon
1 medium fennel bulb, washed
1 small bunch radishes
1 small bunch dill, stems removed
Juice of 2 lemons
4 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges

Ask your fishmonger to pin-bone the salmon for you if you are unable to do this yourself. This is essential as you will be slicing the fish raw and cardboard (not paper) thin. Any stray hair bones will drag with the knife and the slices will rip as you cut, so it needs to be done correctly.

Freeze or chill the fish in a fridge for up to 20 minutes to make the slicing easier.

Trim the fronds from the fennel bulb and chop finely. Remove the outside leaves of the fennel and use for another recipe (soup, stock, stew).

Cut the fennel heart in half lengthwise and, with the cut surface face down, slice as finely as possible in long slices. Wash and trim the radishes and slice very finely from top to bottom.

Pick a few beautiful dill sprigs and roughly chop the rest.

Place both the fennel and radishes in a bowl with the chopped fennel tops and chopped dill and chill until ready to assemble.

With the skin of the salmon at on the cutting board, and with a very sharp long thin-bladed knife, slice the salmon thinly, slightly at an angle towards the skin. Do not allow the knife to cut through the skin; instead, angle the knife so that it just scrapes above it as the slice is released each time. Place the slices one by one onto a flat serving platter, either spread out fl
at or slightly overlapping.

This may now be covered tightly with clingwrap and left in the fridge for up to 2 hours, or finished immediately (which is preferable).

Toss the fennel and radishes with the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper until well coated. Do not worry if there seems to be too much dressing as this will act also as the marinade for the fish. (As the lemon juice and the acidity of the olive oil touch the fish, they will start to ‘cook’ it, thus tenderising it slightly.)

Scatter the vegetables over the fish lightly and evenly, then drizzle the remaining juices over and around.

Garnish with lemon wedges and reserved dill sprigs and serve with granary bread or rye toasts.

Leek, White Bean and Ham Soup

250 g dried cannellini or borlotti beans
600 g fresh ham hock
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered, root on
2 sticks celery, washed and sliced
A few springs rosemary, thyme, bay and parsley, tied together
2 cloves garlic, gently crushed
1 carrot, peeled and cut lengthwise
2 tbsp olive oil

To finish the broth:
3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp chopped thyme
2 large leeks, trimmed, washed well and sliced
1 tbsp chopped celery leaves
1 tbsp chopped parsley leaves

  1. Soak the dried beans overnight in lots of cold water.
  2. The following day bring the beans to the boil in fresh water, drain, rinse and place in a clean pan with the ham hock, onion, celery, herbs, garlic and carrot.
  3. Cover well with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer gently (adding extra water if the level diminishes) for up to an hour, or until the beans are tender throughout. Remove the pieces of vegetable and the herbs with tongs.
  4. Remove the hock piece and trim off excess fat, then dice the meat finely.
  5. In a large heavy-based pan heat the olive oil, crushed garlic and thyme until fragrant, add the leeks and cook until soft but not coloured. Add the ham and then the beans including the broth. Bring to the boil, taste and adjust seasoning. Add chopped celery and parsley leaves and serve drizzled with extra olive oil.

Black Olive Tapenade Toasts with Anchovy and Capers

450 g pitted black olives
6 anchovy fillets in oil
1 clove garlic, crushed to a cream
2 tsp capers, drained of brine or rinsed of salt
Zest of 2 lemons, finely grated
1 small chilli, finely chopped 90 ml olive oil
1 tbsp chopped parsley, chives and/or thyme
1?2 baguette
1 clove garlic, cut in half

  1. Chop the olives finely with the anchovy fillets, add the garlic and capers and continue chopping until it becomes a soft paste. Place in a small bowl, taste for seasoning, and add lemon zest, chilli and olive oil until it reaches the consistency you like (stiffer to use as a spread but looser if it is to become a sauce).
  2. Finally add either chopped parsley, chives or thyme – or all three.
  3. Slice a baguette (or similar country style bread) thinly and place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and bake in a medium-hot oven (approximately 180 ?c) until golden (this may also be done on a char grill – turning over to colour both sides). While still hot, rub each slice with a cut clove of garlic and serve topped with tapenade.

Pairs perfectly

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