Soggy sandwiches are so last term. Bid boring breaktimes farewell with these mouth-watering ideas from some of Britain's top chefs
Salads can so often be deadly dull without any thought being put into them. But having a few simple, well thought out salads on the table for people to share is always welcome and means that you can help yourself to as much or as little as you like. So this week I am giving you recipes for delicious, simple, late-summer salads that you can get ready in advance and then assemble with the dressing just before serving. The key is to make sure you have really good-quality ingredients. A long, relaxed, drawn-out summery lunch is hard to beat, especially when the weather behaves and you can sit outside in the sunshine.
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It's always refreshing to see fresh British green vegetables popping up in the shops and food markets at this time of year, although I confess that I wish that our short asparagus season lasted for another month or so.
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Before the TV shows, the bestselling books, the school-food campaigns and the browbeating of obese Americans, Jamie Oliver's approach to cooking was that of an experienced brickie – grab this brick, mix this cement, trowel the cement on here, plonk the mixture down there and bish, bosh, zing, zing, hey presto it's done. He convinced the nation that simplicity, rather than complexity, could deliver big flavours. Through the unveiling of his 15 restaurant, and his immensely popular Jamie's Italian chain, he has kept faith with the basic, the tasty, the honest-to-God. Devotees will be relieved to hear that his newest incarnation mostly maintains the tradition, at least when it comes to food. If only everything else about it were so simple.
I think of this comforting little egg dish as something to be eaten for a light, late-night supper. Its simplicity is appealing: if the spinach is prepared beforehand there is very little to do except crack the eggs.