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James St Cookery School: Pistou soup, Asparagus salad with herb mayonnaise

James St Cookery School: Pistou soup, Asparagus salad with herb mayonnaise

James St Cookery School: Pistou soup, Asparagus salad with herb mayonnaise

 

WE ARE delighted to be able to open our doors this weekend at our Hadskis restaurant in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. With the little outdoor space we have, we are hoping to achieve a lot – especially with the great local produce available to us on our doorstep. It’s been a while, but we can’t wait to get back to doing what we do best.

This year, I was introduced to Conway Farm, based in Loughgall, Armagh. A fantastic family business and a local grower of asparagus – the first of its kind here in Northern Ireland. Now, more so than ever, it’s time to support local growers so be sure to have a look for Conway Farm’s asparagus in your local greengrocer.

My first recipe this week is a delicious asparagus salad with herb mayonnaise – definitely a dish for al fresco dining in the warmer evenings, so here’s hoping the weather is good to us.

You can’t go wrong with a nutritious soup packed with seasonal vegetables. The second dish is a tasty and warming pistou soup, a classic French soup served best with fine local produce. A hearty dish for those colder evenings. I hope you enjoy.

ASPARAGUS SALAD WITH HERB MAYONNAISE

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(Serves 4)

200g asparagus spears

300g broad beans, shelled

200g fresh peas

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper

For the herb mayonnaise:

6 tbsp mayonnaise

3 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp chives, chopped

2 tbsp dill, chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

Method:

Steam the asparagus for three minutes until tender and refresh under running cold water.

Do the same with the broad beans and the peas.

Slice the asparagus at an angle and add to a bowl with the beans and peas. Pour in the olive oil, season and toss. For the herb mayonnaise, mix all the ingredients together and season to taste. Serve your salad on a plate with the dressing on top.

PISTOU SOUP

(Serves 4)

150g green beans

2 courgettes, diced

150g spring onions, chopped

100g potatoes, washed, peeled and diced

150g carrots, washed, peeled and diced

150g celery, chopped

Salt and pepper

2 tomatoes, chopped

100g orzo pasta

150g beans, haricot or flageolet

4 basil leaves

For the Pistou sauce:

Bunch of basil leaves

3 large garlic cloves

75g Parmesan, grated

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Method:

Peeling, chop and wash all the vegetable ingredients. Put them in a saucepan and cover with water. Add in the basil leaves; simmer for 30 minutes. Add the pasta and the beans and cook until al dente.

For the Pistou sauce:

Blend basil, garlic and Parmesan together. Add the olive oil until you have a nice consistency, that isn’t too gloopy. Season with salt and pepper. Leave to sit for 15 minutes. When serving the soup, add a dollop of the pistou sauce on top.

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D.O.B