Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up a deliciously light and summery Sunday lunch
As an Australian, Bill is not your man for a traditional Sunday roast, but his version is homely and refreshing
Sunday 10 August 2014
If you want someone to talk you through how to create an amazing traditional Sunday lunch with roast chicken, gravy, bread sauce and so on, it's not me. As an Australian, it would be foolish of me to engage in a debate on what makes a meal worthy of the title "Sunday lunch".
For starters, unlike the British, we have no specific tradition on this topic, and even if we did, I've never been one to follow rules when it comes to deciding what to put on the table. So instead here is a lovely summery menu: homely, light, refreshing and, for me at least, ideal for a sunny Sunday.
Easily doubled or even trebled, it caters perfectly to the open-house comings and goings of the holiday period. I don't know about you, but I never know how many I'll be feeding at any one meal. The kids are the main culprits; it seems that in the time it takes to send a text, we can go from three to anything between zero and six kids for lunch. "That's OK, isn't it, Dad?"
Rosemary chicken 'under a brick' with almond and red-pepper relish
In Italy they have this wonderful technique for cooking chicken in a wood-burning oven under the weight of a hot brick. My humble variation is a bit more practical but still gets the skin beautifully crisp. Although I have to admit that it's not half as romantic…
4 chicken legs
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large rosemary sprigs, torn
For the relish
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 red chilli, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
4 thyme sprigs, chopped
Handful toasted almonds, chopped
2 large roasted red peppers, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
Using a sharp knife, cut 3 or 4 slashes through the skin and flesh of the chicken legs. Take a large, heavy-based saucepan and fill it with water. Rub the chicken with the oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a large, heavy-based frying pan over a high heat and lay in the chicken, skin-side down.
Sit the pan full of water on the chicken, to weigh it down and flatten it. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes, turn the chicken over, weigh it down again with the pan of water and cook for a further 15 minutes.
Set the pan with water aside, scatter rosemary all over the chicken then turn it over, skin-side down. Sit the pan of water on it once more and cook for a further 10 to 15 minutes, until cooked through, with no signs of pink.
For the almond and red-pepper relish, toast the fennel k seeds in a small pan over a medium heat for 1 minute, until they release their aroma. Place in a mortar, add the chilli, garlic, thyme and a pinch of sea salt, and pound with a pestle until the garlic is crushed to a smooth paste. Tip into a bowl and stir in the chopped almonds and peppers. Stir in the olive oil.
Serve with the rosemary chicken, lemon wedges and an extra drizzle of olive oil if you like.
Fennel, pea, mozzarella, mint and lemon salad
I love the juxtaposition of the warm fennel with the cold mozzarella in this salad. There are also enough different textures and flavours here to make sure that no two mouthfuls will taste the same. The chunks of lemon are a bit unusual, but really do work, adding a bit of zing to what is already a light and refreshing salad.
1 large fennel bulb, cut into wedges
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
½ tsp crushed chillies
1 lemon, peeled and chopped
75g frozen peas, defrosted
1 garlic clove
2 slices crusty bread, toasted
2 x 125g balls buffalo mozzarella, each torn into four
Handful mint leaves
Fennel, pea, mozzarella, mint and lemon salad (Kristin Perers)
Drizzle the fennel wedges with oil and season with salt. Cook on a griddle pan over a high heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until charred and softened. Place 2 tbsp of oil in a large bowl and stir in the chillies, lemon and peas. Season with salt and toss through the grilled fennel. Rub the garlic clove over one side of the toasted bread then chop the bread roughly. Stir into the bowl.
Place the salad on a serving platter and top with the torn mozzarella and the mint leaves.
Berry, granola and mascarpone pots
On a beautiful day I might check whether people want a dessert or would rather go out and grab an ice cream later. If there are enough takers, these little pots are perfect for last-minute assembly. You'll need to have made the granola already, of course.
200g crème fraîche
1 tbsp icing sugar
5-6 strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered if very large
Good handful blueberries
For the granola
100g porridge oats
100g mixed whole nuts (we used almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios)
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp light-flavoured oil
Bill's granola and mascarpone pots (Kristin Perers)
For the granola, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Combine the oats, nuts, honey and oil in a large bowl. Tip out on to a lined baking sheet and spread out to form an even layer. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring a couple of times, until golden-brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Store in an air-tight container if not using within a couple of hours.
Crush the raspberries and divide between four glasses. Combine the crème fraîche and mascarpone. Sweeten with the icing sugar and spoon into the glasses. Top with the strawberries, blueberries and granola and serve. Save any leftover granola for breakfast.
Bill's restaurant, Granger & Co, is at 175 Westbourne Grove, London W11, tel: 020 7229 9111, and 50 Sekforde Street, London EC1, tel: 020 7251 9032, grangerandco.com. Follow Bill on Instagram at bill.granger
Food preparation: Marina Filippelli; Props merchandising: Rachel Jukes
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