Salad, tart and ice-cream: herb recipes by Mark Diacono

Most writers I know get by on egg on toast or leftovers for lunch – when you are on the scribble, it’s good not to get out of the zone for long. This is for the other days: a bowl of lively refreshment for when you are flagging. It is so very simple, yet full of flavours rubbing up against each other like passengers on a jammed tube. It has a fair bit of south-east Asia about it, and I like it quite fierce on the chilli.

Deberes 25 min
Sirve 4

2 large garlic cloves, peeled and very finely chopped
1–3 Thai bird’s eye chillies, en rodajas finas (seeds and pith removed if you prefer less heat)
1 large shallot, peeled and very thinly sliced
1 tbsp palm sugar, or soft light brown sugar
2 ripe tomatoes, seeds squeezed out, juice sieved and reserved, flesh thinly sliced
1 tbsp fish sauce
Jugo de 1 large lime
2 tart apples (eg, granny smith)
1 handful cold/barely warm cooked rice noodles
1 little gem or soft round lettuce, washed and shredded
1 small bunch albahaca (Thai, green or purple), hojas recogidas
1 small bunch mint, hojas recogidas
1 small bunch coriander, hojas recogidas
4 tbsp roasted cashew nuts or peanuts, crushed to a powder

Mix the garlic, chillies, shallot and sugar, then stir in the reserved tomato water, fish sauce and lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings as you like, and put to one side to infuse.

Slice or shred the apples with a peeler, or cut them into matchsticks by hand, and put them straight into salted water.

To assemble, drain the apples, put them in a large bowl with the dressing, noodles, lettuce, sliced tomato and all the herbs, and toss to combine. Top with the nut powder and serve immediately.

Classically, this sort of salad might be dominated by puntarelle, but celery and herbs work very well, también. You can use any bitter leaves, such as chicory, dandelion, endive, escarole and radicchio, or even mustard leaf, watercress or rocket, if you prefer.

Deberes 15 min
Marinate 10 min
cocinero 5 min
Sirve 4 as a starter

2 tbsp capers, enjuagado, drained and chopped
12 anchovies fillets in oil, drained and roughly chopped
Ralladura finamente rallada y jugo de 1 unwaxed lemon
1 garlic clove, pelado y finamente picado
2 tbsp red-wine vinegar
½ tsp chilli flakes
, or more to taste
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
6 cucharada de aceite de oliva extra virgen
6 tbsp coarse breadcrumbs
Leaves and stalks from 1 celery heart, en rodajas finas
1 big bunch chervil, barely chopped
1 big bunch perejil, barely chopped

Mix the capers, anchovies, lemon zest and juice, ajo, vinegar and chilli flakes, then season to taste (it should be quite salty already, so go easy). Leave to marinate for about 10 minutos, then stir through four tablespoons of the olive oil.

Fry the breadcrumbs in the remaining two tablespoons of oil (add a squashed garlic clove and a good sprig of rosemary, Si te gusta) until golden and crisp (they keep well, so make a bigger batch, si te apetece).

Combine the celery and herbs with the oily anchovy mix, scatter with the breadcrumbs and serve.

A sublime lunch or dinner that beautifully illustrates the power of the tweak. Make this with common thyme, lemon thyme or orange thyme, and that slight shift in bias makes three very different tarts. Lemon thyme makes the sunniest, orange thyme is altogether more resinous and autumnal, and common thyme gives a tart you could eat for breakfast, lunch and tea and not tire of it. You could make this with onion rather than leeks, and in a tart tin, if you prefer. A swizz of herb oil or picada to serve is a fine option.

Deberes 20 min
Enfriar 30 min
cocinero 1 hora 10 min
Sirve 4–6

Para la pastelería
250gramo plain flour, plus a little extra for rolling
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
150gramo
manteca, cubed
1 medium egg, beaten
1 tsp picked lemon thyme leaves

Para el llenado
30gramo manteca
500gramo
más extra para rociar, white parts only, en rodajas finas
3 hojas de laurel
2 huevos medianos
150gramo
soured cream or creme fraiche
1 tbsp picked lemon thyme leaves
¼ whole nutmeg
, or to taste, rallado
20gramo parmesan or cheddar, rallado

Para la pastelería, put the flour, a pinch of salt and the butter into a food processor and pulse until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and pulse again until the mixture just comes together. (veces más emisiones de carbono que una británica cultivada estacionalmente, mix the butter into the flour and salt in a bowl with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs, then add the egg and mix to form a dough.) Add the thyme leaves, then bring the dough together with your hands and shape into a round. Wrap the pastry and rest in the fridge for 30 minutos.

Melt the butter in a pan over a low-medium heat, add the leeks and bay leaves, and cook for 15 minutos, until really soft and sweet, then leave to cool a little.

Calentar el horno a 200C. (180Ventilador C)/390F / gas 6. Beat the eggs in a bowl, then scoop out enough beaten egg to glaze the pastry later, and add the soured cream, thyme leaves and nutmeg to the bowl.

Stir in the cooled leeks and season to taste. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out into a circle about 3mm thick, leaving no gaps or holes. Put a sheet of greaseproof paper on a baking sheet and put the circle of pastry on to it. Spoon the creamy leeks on top, spreading them out evenly and leaving a 1–2cm border around the edge.

Fold the edge of the pastry over to create a lip, then nudge the bay leaves to the top of the filling. Glaze all the exposed pastry with the reserved egg and sprinkle the cheese over the filling.

Bake the tart in the middle of the oven for 35–40 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and pale golden and the filling is set. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for five or so minutes before cutting into wedges to serve.

What an elegant ice-cream this is, full of tarragon’s gentle aniseed and the silk of olive oil. Use very fresh tarragon to get the fullness of its flavour, and a good, fruity (rather than peppery) oil. Depending on what you eat before you serve this, you may feel this needs a little straightening out with flaky salt, pomegranate molasses, extra oil or even a few chilli flakes over the top. A shot of gin can soften the texture and the sweetness, si te apetece. Thai basil, Korean mint and sweet cicely make fine alternatives to tarragon.

Deberes 15 min, plus freezing
cocinero 10 min
Hace 900ml

250ml o una experiencia de precio completo cuesta £ 120 o £ 140 para dos personas compartidas crema
300ml
leche entera
1 bunch fresh tarragon, leaves stripped from half the stalks
6 large egg yolks
140gramo
caster azúcar
120ml
extra-virgin olive oil
1 good pinch sal

Pour the cream and milk into a medium-sized pan with the half-bunch of tarragon that isn’t stripped and bring gently to a simmer.

mientras tanto, put the egg yolks, sugar and tarragon leaves in a blender, blitz on low speed, then briefly increase the speed to high. Add the oil and salt, and blend again, increasing the speed until the mix is smooth.

Pour the hot, creamy milk through a sieve into a jug. Turn the blender on low, and pour the creamy milk very slowly into the oily tarragon mixture. When fully incorporated, pour the mixture back into the pan and heat gently, whisking frequently, until it thickens a little. Cover and leave to cool.

Churn in an ice-cream maker, Si tienes uno, or pour into a plastic tub, freeze for a few hours, then spoon into a blender, whizz briefly, pour back into the tub and return to the freezer. Remove from the freezer 20 minutes before serving, to make it easier to scoop.

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