Jhere’s something particularly special about cooking with stone fruit. Eaten raw, they can sometimes be disappointing; catching an apricot or peach at its best is a moment to treasure, as it’s actually quite rare. Cooking with them then – teasing their sweetness on the grill, for example, or cooking them in a pan with sugar and spices – is a guaranteed way to find the wonderful. As for the cherries, well, it’s like a luxury to eat them after the pitting!
Roasted Apricot, Honey and Goat Cheese Dip (pictured above)
Sweet and sour, fragrant yet bold: a perfect apricot in season can really transform a dish. It will work wonders as a canapé, a light lunch for two on toast, or simply as an appetizer to share.
Preparation 10 minutes
To cook 45 minutes
Serves 4-6, as a starter, with good bread
½ tablespoon vegetable oil
4 apricots (160g)perfectly ripe, pitted and quartered
2 tablespoons runny honey
1 lemongrated zest, to make 1½ tsp, and squeezed, to make 2 tbsp
1 tablespoon olive oil
50g fresh or frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoons mint leavescoarsely chopped
2 tablespoons of dillcoarsely chopped
20g walnutsgrilled and mashed
⅛ teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes
For the goat cheese dip
150g goat cheeserind (120g)
flake salt and black pepper
First, marinate the apricots. Put a grill pan on medium-high heat and ventilate the kitchen. Lightly oil the pan, then add the apricots and grill for three minutes on each side, until softened and charred. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the honey, lemon juice and oil to make the marinade. Add the apricots and let cool completely.
To make the dip, crumble the goat cheese in a small food processor along with the lemon zest, ricotta and one-eighth teaspoon of flaked salt. Blitz for 45 seconds, scraping the sides as you go, until fully incorporated. Remove and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Add the peas, blanch them for 15 seconds, then drain them and plunge them into ice water to cool quickly. Once cooled, drain and set aside.
To serve, pour the dip into the center of a large bowl or shallow dish. Use the back of a spoon to make a large well in the center. Drain the apricots and reserve the marinade. Put the apricots in a large bowl along with the peas, herbs, nuts, chili, a quarter teaspoon of flaked salt and a good grind of black pepper, toss gently to coat, then pour into the well. Serve with a tablespoon of marinade drizzled on top.
Lamb rump with peach chutney and cumin oil
This slightly spicy, sweet and savory chutney is the perfect accompaniment to charcuterie or a cheese platter. If desired, make more and store in airtight jars for up to a week. Swap the rump for chops or any other cut you can easily grill or cook.
Preparation 25 minutes
Marinate 1 hour +
To cook 35 minutes
For the peach chutney
45g demerara sugar
60ml cider vinegar
1 red pepperfinely chopped (10g), deseeded if you like it less spicy
15g of gingerpeeled and finely grated
3 peachesstone removed, flesh cut into 1 cm pieces
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
Salt and black pepper
For the lamb
2 lamb legs (500g)
4 garlic clovespeeled and crushed
1 lemonzested, to get 1 tsp, and squeezed to get 1½ tbsp
2 ½ cupstbsp olive oil
1 ½ teaspoon cumin seedsslightly crushed
3 spring onionstrimmed and thinly sliced
10g chopped parsleyfinely chopped
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1 ttablespoon flaked salt
Put a small sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the sugar, vinegar, chilli and ginger. Stir and cook for four minutes until syrupy and bubbling. Add the peaches, black mustard and a quarter teaspoon of salt, and cook for another five minutes, until softened but not completely broken down. Let cool and thicken.
To marinate the lamb, put the lamb, garlic and lemon juice in a bowl with one and a half teaspoons of salt and a good ground pepper. Mix well and marinate for an hour or overnight.
Heat oven to 240 C (220 C fan)/465 F/Gas 9. Rub a tablespoon of oil into the lamb and put it in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Lay the lamb fat side down and cook for three to four minutes, until deeply browned. Now sear the lamb for two to three minutes on each side, then transfer to the oven for six minutes – this will cook the rump steaks to medium-rare, so give them more or less two minutes in the oven depending on desired doneness . Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and when hot, add the cumin and remove from the heat. Stir in a pinch of salt and let cool.
Combine chives, parsley and lemon zest in a small bowl and set aside.
Slice the lamb diagonally into 1½ cm thick slices and arrange them on a platter. Drizzle cumin oil on top, then sprinkle with Aleppo pepper and three-quarters teaspoon flaky salt. Spread the spring onion salsa on top and serve with the peach chutney on the side.
Tenderstem roasted broccoli with cherry and ancho ezme
Ezme is a spicy condiment from Turkey that goes perfectly with grilled meats. The rich sweetness of seasonal cherries pairs brilliantly with the bitter heat of ancho chiles in this non-traditional variation.
Preparation 30 minutes
To cook 55 minutes
Serves 2 as a side or 4 as part of a meze spread
1½ tbsp lemon juice
300 grams Offerbroccoli stalk
1 red pepper (10g)cut into thin rounds (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ red onion (90g)minced
1½ tablespoon cilantrocoarsely chopped
1½ tbsp parsleycoarsely chopped
½ tablespoon sesame seedsgate
For the cherry molasses
200g cherriesstems and pits removed (170 g net), quartered
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1½ tablespoon caster sugar
1 ancho pepper (15g), washed; stem, ribs and seeds removed
Start by preparing the cherry molasses. Put half of the cherries, vinegar, sugar, ancho pepper and three tablespoons of water in a small saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until cherries are shiny and soft and liquid is reduced to syrup. Pour into a medium bowl and let cool completely.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the tahini, half a tablespoon of lemon juice, 50ml of water and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt until smooth, then set aside. Turn the oven broiler to the broil position and place a griddle or ovenproof roasting pan on the top shelf. Cut up the broccoli, discard the wooden pieces, then toss in a bowl with the chili pepper, a tablespoon of oil and a quarter teaspoon of salt. Carefully place on the griddle and grill for two minutes on each side, until lightly charred and slightly softened.
Meanwhile, remove the ancho chile from the cherries, chop finely and return to the bowl with the remaining cherries and oil, red onion, herbs and a quarter teaspoon of salt. Mix well.
Arrange the broccoli in the center of a large plate, sprinkle the tahini all over, then place the ezme on top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.