Tender summer greens with warm roasted chicken & St Tola Goat Cheese

serves six

200g fresh mixed greens (we used Devil’s Bit Greens from Co Tipperary)

2 large skin-on chicken breasts, preferably on the bone (or use six skin-on chicken thighs)

100g pumpkin seeds

150g St Tola goat cheese

100g seeded sliced cucumbers

100g red onion, thinly sliced

100g cherry tomatoes, halved

Rapeseed oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

For the maple vinaigrette:

100ml rapeseed oil

80ml maple syrup

2 tsp Dijon grainy mustard

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp dried oregano

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 Roast the chicken: preheat the oven to 190°C and place the chicken breasts in a roasting tray. Drizzle a bit of oil and season with salt and pepper, then roast for 20 to 30 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken breasts and whether they’re on the bone as it takes a bit longer to roast on the bone). The skin should be golden brown and crisp.

2 When the chicken is done, gently wrap it in cooking foil and let rest until ready to use.

3 Make the vinaigrette: place all of the ingredients in a blender and give it a good blitz to combine. The Dijon and maple syrup should create the perfect emulsification, making a thick but pourable vinaigrette. Place the vinaigrette in a jar and keep in the fridge for several weeks, if not using right away.

4 Roast the pumpkin seeds in the same oven as the chicken by placing them on a parchment-lined baking tray. Drizzle a bit of oil and add some salt to the seeds then mix lightly with your hands. Roast until dark; about 10 minutes (set a timer so they don’t burn). Let cool completely.

5 Prepare your vegetables: slice the red onion, cucumber, and cherry tomatoes. Wash and spin the salad greens. Slice the chicken (keeping the crispy skin) into thick pieces.

6 Arrange the greens on a large platter or on six separate plates. Gently arrange the chicken, cucumber, red onion and tomatoes all around the greens, then add generous dollops of St Tola goat cheese. Sprinkle on the pumpkin seeds and drizzle with the maple vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Chargrilled corn salad with coriander, Hegarty’s chedday & lime crema dressing

serves six to eight

Summer Food Mag -Corn Salad, cheddar, coriander nachos, green onion, bacon

6-8 ears of corn (on the cob)

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

1 bunch white onions, thinly sliced

1 large bunch coriander, finely chopped

1 green jalapeno chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped (optional)

2 tbsp pickled jalapenos, finely chopped

200g Hegarty’s cheddar, roughly torn into small chunks

Salt and pepper, to taste

For the lime crema dressing:

200g sour cream

Juice and zest from two limes

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 tbsp finely chopped coriander

To serve:

Tortilla chips

Grilled steak or pulled pork

Lime wedges

1 Place the corn cobs in a large bowl and drizzle with the oil. Mix well so each piece of corn is well coated.

2 Turn on the barbecue to a medium-high heat. Add the corn and grill until each piece is well charred on all sides. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

3 Prepare the white onion, pickled jalapenos, fresh chillies and coriander. Place all of these in a large salad bowl.

4 Once the corn has cooled, place each cob on one end and carefully, using a sawing motion with a sharp knife, cut all of the corn kernels off the cob. They might fall off in clumps or individually but either way is fine. Add the kernels to the bowl with the other veggies and give everything a good toss.

5 Add half the cheddar to the salad and mix. Make the lime crema dressing by whisking all of the ingredients together. Season with salt to taste and pour over the salad. Toss until everything is well coated. Sprinkle on the rest of the cheddar and more sliced white onion and chopped coriander, for garnish.

6 Serve with grilled meats, tortilla chips and lime wedges. This salad will keep well for up to two days in the fridge but don’t add the dressing until you’re ready to serve.

Steak, quinoa & cashel blue power bowls

makes two large bowls

Steak Power Bowls, blue cheese, tomatoes, arugula, red onion, boiled egg

150g quinoa (if you don’t like quinoa, cook the same amount of brown rice)

400g piece sirloin or striploin steak (approximately 2 inches in thickness)

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper, to taste

100g Cashel Blue cheese, crumbled

100g cherry tomatoes, halved

100g fresh rocket

2 large eggs, boiled for six minutes and then cooled in cold water

80g cucumber, sliced

1tbsp butter

For the dressing:

50g creme fraiche

50g buttermilk

2 tbsp finely chopped chives, mint and parsley (mixed)

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Juice and rind from one lemon

1 small clove garlic, pureed or finely grated

1 Make the quinoa. There are a few ways to do this, but my favourite and by far the simplest method is to simply boil the quiona as you would pasta. Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil, season it with a good pinch of salt and add the quinoa directly to the boiling water. Boil for about 15 minutes or until the white quinoa looks like it has “uncoiled” (it will look a bit springy) and tastes tender. If cooking tricolour quinoa, the white will be the only colour to give an indication of doneness.

2 Strain the quinoa and leave in the pot, off the heat and covered, for another 10 minutes to absorb any excess liquid. Then, transfer it to a small mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the rapeseed oil and red wine vinegar and allow to cool completely at room temperature.

3 Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a bowl. Either blitz with a hand blender, or mix well with a whisk. Let sit in the fridge until ready to use (the flavour intenstifies with time).

4 Boil the eggs: bring a saucepan of cold water to a boil and add the two eggs. Time the eggs for six minutes, then immediately place them in cold water to stop the cooking process as quickly as possible. Leave to cool.

5 Preheat the oven to 135°C. Place the steak on a roasting rack. Season it on all sides with salt and pepper. We are going to reverse-sear this steak.

6 When the oven is preheated, place the steak inside for 20-25 minutes. The time in the oven is dependent on thickness. For a two-inch steak, it will likely take around 23 minutes. The outside will look brown and lightly cooked and the internal temperature should be approximately 45°C for a medium-rare steak. Obviously, cook it longer for well-done (up to 40 minutes) and not as long for rare (as little as 15 minutes).

7 While the steak is in the oven, prepare all of your other components for the salad: slice the tomatoes and cucumbers, crumble the cheese and divide the rocket evenly in two portions. Divide the cooled quinoa in two large bowls and arrange the other salad components around the top.

8 Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet or non-stick pan on the highest possible heat. Remove the steak from the oven and when the pan starts to smoke, add one tbsp oil and add the steak to the pan.

9 Sear the steak on all sides (approximate 90 seconds per side) until a dark brown crust has been established. Add 1 tbsp butter to the pan, if you like, and baste the steak with the browned butter for some extra flavour.

10 Remove the steak from the pan and let rest for 10 minutes. Then, divide the steak in two equal portions and slice against the grain of the meat. Place the sliced steak on top of the quinoa with the prepared vegetables.

11 Peel the eggs and slice in half. Place two halves on each bowl and drizzle the dressing over everything. Eat and enjoy.

Marinated courgette ribbon salad with mint, pine nuts & Cais na Tire

serves two

Grilled Courgette and aubergine salad.

1 large courgette, washed and sliced into thin ribbons (use a mandolin or peeler to do this)

100g pine nuts, lightly toasted

1/4 bunch fresh mint, finely chopped

1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

100g Cais na Tire sheep’s cheese, finely grated

Grilled pork tenderloin or grilled chicken to serve

For the marinade

Juice and rind from one lemon

60ml buttermilk

2 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus more for drizzling

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 Wash and slice the courgette. Arrange the ribbons in a bowl and sprinkle with a bit of salt. Set aside for 20 minutes (the salt will release excess water from the courgette).

2 Make the dressing/marinade by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

3 When you see the droplets of water on the courgette, you’ll know the salt has drawn out that excess water. Pat the courgette dry with some kitchen towel and pour over the dressing/marinade. Leave for 30 minutes.

4 Prepare the pine nuts, being very careful not to burn them (they get burnt very quickly). Chop the herbs and grate the Cais na Tire (any hard sheep’s or goat’s cheese will work here if you can’t find Cais na Tire).

5 To serve, divide the marinated courgette in two portions; one on each dinner plate. Add a generous amount of fresh herbs to the top, a handful of pine nuts and then a very generous layer of Cais na Tire. Drizzle some rapeseed oil over the top and enjoy right away, either on its own or with grilled pork tenderloin or chicken.

Summer cabbage slaw with Macroom buffalo mozzarella, dried cranberries & poppyseed dressing

serves eight

1 head sweetheart cabbage (you could also use napa or savoy cabbage for this), finely shredded, washed and spun dry

1 large red onion, finely diced

200g dried cranberries

200g streaky bacon, roasted until crisp and roughly chopped

2 large balls Macroom buffalo mozzarella, roughly torn

Good-quality rapeseed oil, for drizzling

Flaky sea salt, for garnish

Crusty bread or grilled chicken, to serve

For the poppy seed dressing:

100g mayonnaise

2 tbsp poppyseeds

50ml apple cider vinegar

50g caster sugar

1/4 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp salt (or season to taste)

1 Prepare the cabbage by coring and slicing it as thinly as possible. Wash the sliced cabbage and then use a salad spinner to spin it dry. Place the cabbage in a large bowl with a clean, damp tea towel over it and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to finish the salad.

2 Layer the streaky bacon on a parchment-lined baking tray and preheat the oven to 200°C. Roast the bacon in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until it’s dark (nearly burnt) and crispy. Remove from the oven and place the bacon over kitchen towel to absorb the excess grease. Let cool and then chop roughly into bite-sized pieces. Set aside until ready to use.

3 Make the poppy seed dressing: in a mixing bowl, combine all of the dressing ingredients and whisk until everything is well incorporated, with a creamy slightly thick texture. As this is a slaw, you shouldn’t be able to pour the poppyseed dressing. If it’s too runny, add a bit more mayonnaise.

4 Make the salad: place the prepared cabbage in a large bowl and add the bacon, diced red onion and dried cranberries. Add the dressing and mix the salad until everything is completely coated in the poppyseed dressing.

5 Place the torn Macroom mozzarella all over the top of the slaw and drizzle with a bit of good quality rapeseed oil. Sprinkle on some sea salt and serve with crusty bread or grilled chicken.

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