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Dinner party ideas

I always serve a simple, classic first course to start.

York ham with quick celeriac remoulade

Ingredients:

Organic York ham
Celeriac
Hellmann’s Mayonnaise
Coleman’s Wholegrain Mustard

Method:

Peel the celeriac and cut it into ‘julienne’, i.e. fine matchsticks. Combine with a mixture of three parts mayonnaise to one part mustard so the celeriac is nicely coated with the sauce. Serve a dollop of the celeriac remoulade alongside a couple of generous slices of boiled York ham.

Potted shrimps

Ingredients:

Potted shrimps (from Baxter’s of Morecambe Bay)
Brown bread
Lemon
Butter

Method:

Remove the potted shrimp from their containers (with a knife or by holding them briefly under the hot tap so they drop out). Take the shrimp and butter out of the fridge up to an hour before you serve them so the butter has time to soften a little. Serve with triangles of buttered brown bread and wedges of lemon.

Parma ham and figs

Ingredients:

Parma ham
Fresh figs
Olive oil

Method:

This is a beautifully simple assembly of great ingredients. Remove the ham from the refrigerator before you serve it so it isn’t served too cold. Lay the slices on a large plate, decorated with halved or quartered fresh figs. Drizzle with olive oil.

Coppa with mostarda di frutta

Ingredients:

York ham with quick celeriac remoulade

Ingredients:

Organic York ham
Celeriac
Hellmann’s Mayonnaise
Coleman’s Wholegrain Mustard

Method:

Peel the celeriac and cut it into ‘julienne’, i.e. fine matchsticks. Combine with a mixture of three parts mayonnaise to one part mustard so the celeriac is nicely coated with the sauce. Serve a dollop of the celeriac remoulade alongside a couple of generous slices of boiled York ham.

Potted shrimps

Ingredients:

Potted shrimps (from Baxter’s of Morecambe Bay)
Brown bread
Lemon
Butter

Method:

Remove the potted shrimp from their containers (with a knife or by holding them briefly under the hot tap so they drop out). Take the shrimp and butter out of the fridge up to an hour before you serve them so the butter has time to soften a little. Serve with triangles of buttered brown bread and wedges of lemon.

Parma ham and figs

Ingredients:

Parma ham
Fresh figs
Olive oil

Method:

This is a beautifully simple assembly of great ingredients. Remove the ham from the refrigerator before you serve it so it isn’t served too cold. Lay the slices on a large plate, decorated with halved or quartered fresh figs. Drizzle with olive oil.

Coppa with mostarda di frutta

Ingredients:

Italian Coppa Ham
Mustard Fruits

Method:

Mustard fruits – called ‘mostarda di frutta’ in Italian – can be found in any good Italian delicatessen. They are a mixture of candied fruits, often pears, figs, peaches and apple, boldly spiced with mustard. They go very well with boiled and cured meats, and some cheeses too. Serve them on the side of a generous plate of ‘coppa’ ham (cured pork neck or shoulder).

Goat's cheese and beetroot salad

Ingredients:

Cooked beetroot
Goat's cheese
Walnut oil
White wine vinegar
Flat leaf parsley
Walnuts

Method:

You can buy your cooked beetroot for this salad at the supermarket to save valuable time. Cut the beetroot into quarters and place in a bowl. Dress with a splash of walnut oil and white wine vinegar. Crumble goat's cheese over the top then finish with chopped flat leaf parsley and pieces of walnut.

Classic smoked salmon

Ingredients:

Smoked salmon
Brown bread
Lemon

Method:

My preference is for cured wild salmon from Forman's in London. Serve thin slices (ideally cut to order from a whole side of salmon, rather than pre-sliced) with nothing more complicated than brown bread and a wedge of lemon.

Remember to get cold cuts and smoked fish out of the fridge an hour before you serve them so the flavour can develop.