Tag Archives: Mayonnaise

Sweltering Summers Day Lunch

27 Jun

Salmon with Asparagus and Spinach

In years gone by, the asparagus season would have been long over by now. I am sure that British Asparagus will be running out soon, but I am enjoying it while I am around. I prepared this dish with the assistance of my friend Matt, who conveniently is a chef, and his wife Helen.

This happened to be my birthday lunch, and as I was anticipating a delicious restaurant dinner with my husband, I wanted an easy, quick and healthy lunch.


  • 1 fillet of salmon per person
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus per person
  • 1 bag of spinach (will serve 2/3)
  • chopped garlic
  • butter
  • pesto or lemon and mayo to serve


Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.While it is heating up, place the salmon fillets in a ovenproof dish. You want to poach them, so fill the dish with some water (or white wine if you are feeling extravagant), to about 1 cm depth and cover with foil.Trim the ends from the asparagus, place in a ovenproof dish, drizzle with oil, adding a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. Leave uncovered.Both dishes will take 8/10 minutes. The trick with salmon is not to overcook it, or it becomes dry. You want the fish to still be slightly pink in the middle. Check after 8 minutes, and if it’s not quite there stick it back in the oven. My advice is to use a timer for those last couple of minutes, as its so easy to be distracted and overcook the fish by accident.

While the fish and asparagus are cooking, grab a jar of good quality mayo, decant some into a dish and mix in the zest of a lemon. Alternatively, put some fresh pesto out to serve on the fish. Melt 50/50 butter and oil (about 1 tbsp) in a pan then add garlic on a gently heat for 1/2 minutes until it starts to soften. Add fresh spinach and allow it to wilt (keep turning). Turn heat off once wilted. If I serve this with lemon mayo, I cut the zested lemon into wedges to serve on the side.

Lay the table and pour yourself a glass of chilled rose (or whatever tipple takes your fancy). By now the fish should be done, so all you need to do, is serve, then relax and enjoy.

Lazy laid-back lunch

14 May

Two of my favourite foods are now in season. British asparagus and Jersey Royals.  Add some steamed salmon and preserved lemon mayo, and you have a no fuss easy to make lunch that cannot fail to please.

Salmon, Roasted Asparagus and Preserved Lemon Mayo

I was lucky enough to have a lunchtime visit from one of my former housemates today. We don’t get to see each other anywhere nearly often enough, so when we do, the last thing I want to be doing is fussing with food in the kitchen.  As usual we had to fit it in around the demands of school runs (mine and hers), and me trying to restore some sort of order to our out of control washing mountain.

This lunch was assembled in moments, and the preparation time was perhaps as long as it takes to boil the kettle and make a couple of tea.  You need to allow about half an hour for the total cooking time, but there is no real supervision required.

INGREDIENTS (feeds two)

2 fresh salmon fillets

handful of jersey royals per person

bunch of asparagus

preserved lemons (if you don’t have these try the zest of a lemon instead)

good quality shop bought mayo

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees

First I rinsed the potatoes then put them on to steam (about 20 mins once it comes to the boil). Once cooked, place in a bowl with a few dots of butter and some chives and cover to keep warm.

Season the fish. Make a foil package and just douse with a little oil and a sprinkle of whatever herbs you have to hand – I used garlic and chives from the freezer). Seal the salmon in the package.

Remove ends from asparagus. Place on foil (to save washing up) and drizzle with a little olive oil and crushed salt.

Put the salmon in the oven on a baking tray. After 5 minutes add the asparagus and cook both for a further ten minutes.

Put a generous ‘dollop’ (a very technical term, in this case meaning 2 dessert spoons full) of mayo in a bowl. Finely chop the rind of 3 small preserved lemons. Mix. If you have yet to discover preserved lemons then I would really recommend them. They are the laid back relative of fresh lemons, with a gentler, less tart flavour than fresh lemons. Still lemony, but with a delicious, salty, mellow taste, and the marriage with the creamy mayonnaise is just heavenly.


Jersey Royals with chives and butter

This can be served ‘hot’ fresh from the oven, or warm, and still tastes delicious.  I quite often cook fish this way and at the same time cook an extra fillet or two, as a get-ahead shortcut to the preparation of another meal.

If you are too pressed for time to try this, then nip down to M&S, and treat yourself to their unrivalled dine in for £10 offer, which is on until Tuesday. And this month they have included my favourite the crème brûlée in the dessert list. I may just be tempted!