Silvena Rowe's chilled sweet pea and watercress soup with rose petal cream
For the soup
fresh watercress leaves 150g
small onion 1, grated
fresh peas 900g
fresh parsley 50g, finely chopped
fresh thyme 50g, finely chopped (leaves only)
fresh chervil 50g, finely chopped
ice cubes 1 large bowl
For the cream
large red or pink roses 2, washed
double cream 150ml
ground pink peppercorns a pinch
To make the soup, place the watercress and onion in a saucepan and add 150ml of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for just 1 minute. Now add the peas, parsley, thyme and chervil. Pour in a further 800ml of water, season and bring back to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
To stop the soup overcooking, pour it straight into a bowl and sit this in a bowl of ice cubes. Allow to cool completely, then purée in a food processor and pass through a fine sieve.
To make the cream, pick the rose petals, wash them and put half a dozen or so to one side for the garnish. Place the rest of the petals in a food processor and purée. Whisk the cream until thickened and add to the rose purée, season with salt and add a pinch of pink peppercorns.
Serve the soup with a dollop of the rose petal cream, scattered with the reserved rose petals.
Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume by Silvena Rowe (Hutchinson, RRP £25). To order a copy for £18.49 with free UK p&p, click here
★ Wine match(all wines chosen by David Williams)
Stonehaven Sauvignon Blanc, Western Cape, South Africa 2012 (£7.99, The Co-operative)
With its vibrant mix of the verdant, citrus and tropical, this is one of the best-value sauvignon blancs. It also has a vivid, cut-grass and nettle character that's very much in keeping with the green refreshment of the soup.
April Bloomfield's summer ribollita
I learnt this recipe at the River Café. Rose Gray taught me how to make this rustic soup two ways - an autumn/winter ribollita and a summer ribollita.
fresh cannellini beans 225g
garlic 2 cloves, peeled and finely chopped
head of celery 1 whole, cleaned and finely diced (reserve the bright yellow leaves)
carrot 1 medium, peeled and finely diced
red onions 2 medium, peeled, finely diced
pequin chillis 4 dry, crushed (or 2 standard dried red chillis)
olive oil 55ml
heirloom tomatoes 450g, blanched, peeled
flat leaf parsley 2 handfuls or marjoram loosely packed and then roughly chopped
Swiss chard 575g, stems removed and roughly chopped
stale Italian bread enough to cover the cooking pot in one even layer when sliced about 1cm thick
good olive oil to finish
Place the fresh, uncooked beans in a pot and add just enough water to cover them. Then add half as much water again. Bring the water to the boil and turn down to a low simmer and cook until tender, but not mushy. Allow the beans to cool in their liquid.
If using dried beans, add water to cover and then add the same amount again. Cook as you would fresh beans but be aware that dried beans will take significantly longer to cook.
To make the soup, in a wide saucepan, fry the garlic, celery, carrot, onion and chillis in the olive oil over a medium heat.
While the vegetables are cooking, squeeze the tomatoes over a bowl to release their seeds and juice. Make sure to get all of the seeds out. Strain the seeds from the tomato liquid and reserve the juice. Discard the seeds.
After cooking the vegetables for about 30 minutes, until they are soft and lightly caramelised, add the parsley (or marjoram) and fry for another 5 minutes. Next, add the tomatoes with their liquid, and beat the tomatoes with a whisk. Continue cooking for another 30 minutes over a low heat. The tomato liquid should be absorbed by the other vegetables and your soup should be, once again, fairly dry. Now add the beans along with their cooking liquid and cook over a low heat, simmering for 20-25 minutes, or until the soup comes together: the various components should move together when stirred, but the soup should still be moist from the beans' cooking liquid. Add the chard and fold it into the soup. Cover the surface of the pot with the bread and pour just enough hot water over it all to moisten the bread. Give the bread a generous drizzle of good olive oil and remove the pot from the heat. Let the soup sit unattended for 10 minutes, then stir to combine. It should be thick and delicious. Season with salt and pepper.
★ Wine match
Cascina Fontana Dolcetto d'Alba, Piedmont, Italy 2011 (£13.50, Berry Bros & Rudd)
Dolcetto is the everyday drinking wine in Barolo country in northwest Italy, but this bottle is a cut above the usual in its graceful succulence of red and black cherry fruit.
Margot Henderson's crab, chilli and coriander
For the crab
celery 1 stick
fennel 1 bulb
fresh herbs eg, thyme and bay 1 small bunch
sea salt 2 tbsp
large live cock crab 1, about 1.5kg, or 2 smaller ones (though a larger one will be less fiddly to pick)
For the devilled bit
spring onions 2, trimmed
fresh ginger 50g
red chilli 1 tsp, finely chopped
mayonnaise 4 heaped tbsp
fresh coriander 1 bunch, leaves picked and chopped
For the mayonnaise (makes 550g)
egg yolks 3
Dijon mustard 1 tsp
lemon juice from 1 lemon
olive oil 450ml
little gem lettuce leaves 12 or toast 4 pieces
To make the mayonnaise, put the egg yolks, mustard and half the lemon juice into a bowl or a food processor (I prefer the processor). Whiz together, then with the machine running, slowly add the olive oil through the funnel. If you are using a bowl, place it on a damp tea towel to keep it grounded. Whisk the egg yolks, mustard and lemon juice together, then slowly, slowly add the olive oil, whisking all the time.
As the mixture thickens, you can add the oil a little faster. Add the rest of the lemon juice - this will thin it down, making it easier to add the oil. A tablespoon of boiling water will thin the mayo down a little further if you don't want it too thick. When it's ready, season it with salt and pepper. (If the mayonnaise splits, whisk up another egg yolk and whisk it into the split mixture at the slowest pace possible.)
To cook the crab, bring a very large pan of water to the boil. Roughly chop the onion, celery and fennel, and halve the lemon and lime. Add to the pan with the herbs and salt and turn down the heat slightly so that the boil is not too violent. Add the crab and boil gently for 12-15 minutes, depending on its size. Leave to cool in the water.
When the crab has cooled down, twist off the legs and the claws. Push the body section out, using your thumbs, and remove the dead men's fingers - these are the soft brown flaps on either side. Scoop the brown meat out of the large shell with a teaspoon. Remove the flap of shell from the body and cut the body in half. Remove the white meat as best you can, using picks, crackers and cleavers - the more the better. Put the brown and white crab meat into a bowl.
To make the devilled bit, cut the spring onions in half down the middle and slice thinly at an angle. Peel and finely grate the ginger, collecting the juice. Add the spring onions, grated ginger, ginger juice and chopped chilli to the crab meat and mix together, adding lime juice to taste and enough mayonnaise to bring the mixture together. Add the chopped coriander and season with salt and pepper.
Serve in little gem lettuce leaves or on toast fingers. Also good as a starter - three leaves per person.
You're All Invited by Margot Henderson (Fig Tree, RRP £25). To order a copy for £17.49 with free UK p&p, click here
★ Wine match
Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Riesling, Clare Valley, Australia (£9.99, The Co-operative)
A modern classic dish which always works well with that modern Aussie classic white, Clare Valley Riesling. Jim Barry's is a consistently good example: dry, steely, limey, but with a good dollop of tropical fruit flesh.
Sam & Sam Clark's chard with chickpeas and tahini
Chard is an excellent allotment vegetable to grow, as it keeps going throughout the year. We grow rainbow chard, which gets its name from the vibrant yellow, pink and white stalks.
chard, leaves and stalks 600g (you will need less if it is very young, more if the leaves and stalks are big)
extra virgin olive oil 4 tbsp
lemon 2 squeezes (optional)
good-quality cooked chickpeas a 400g jar, or 200g drained and seasoned cooked chickpeas
tahini sauce 1 quantity(see below)
red chilli 1 large, seeded and finely chopped
black onion seeds ½ tsp
For the tahini sauce (serves 4)
garlic clove ½, crushed to a smooth paste with a pinch of salt
extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp
tahini 2½ tbsp
lemon juice 1 tbsp
water 6-8 tbsp
First make the tahini sauce. Combine the garlic, olive oil and tahini in a small bowl. Add the lemon juice, then whisk in the water a tablespoonful at a time, stirring briskly between additions to ensure a smooth sauce. The consistency should be between single and double cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To prepare the chard, cut the leaves from the stalks and then cut the stalks into 5cm lengths. You need about 400g leaf and 100g stalk (you will probably have to discard some excess stalk). Bring a large pan of well-salted water to the boil and blanch the leaves in it for 1-2 minutes, until tender. Drain them, refresh under cold water and drain once more. Now blanch the stalks, which will take a few minutes longer than the leaves, then drain and refresh as before. Squeeze the chard dry.
When you are ready to serve, dress the chard with 2 tablespoons of the oil and a squeeze of lemon, plus some salt and pepper, and spread it out on a plate. Put the drained chickpeas in a saucepan with 4 tablespoons of water and the remaining oil and lemon and warm them gently. Stir the tahini sauce into the chickpeas and pour them over the chard. Sprinkle with the chopped chilli and black onion seeds (if using) before serving.
Moro East by Sam and Sam Clark (Ebury, RRP £17.50). To order a copy for £13 with free UK p&p, click here
★ Wine match
Hatzidakis Santorini, Greece 2012 (from £9.95, Tanners; The Wine Society; Vinoteca)
In the hands of Haridimos Hatzidakis, assyrtiko, a speciality of the Greek island of Santorini, has the mix of fragrant lemon and spice to hold its own with the tahini.
Yotam Ottolenghi's roasted chicken with clementines and arak
All the intense flavours lavished on the poor chicken - arak, mustard, fennel, clementines with their skins, brown sugar - somehow manage to come together in a sweetly comforting dish you will always want to come back to. Serve with plainly cooked rice or bulgar.
arak, ouzo or Pernod 100ml
olive oil 4 tbsp
freshly squeezed orange juice 3 tbsp
lemon juice 3 tbsp
grain mustard 2 tbsp
light brown sugar 3 tbsp
medium fennel bulbs 2, 500g in total
organic or free-range chicken 1 large, about 1.3kg, divided into 8 pieces, or the same weight in chicken thighs with the skin and on the bone
clementines 4, unpeeled, 400g in total, sliced horizontally into 0.5cm slices
thyme leaves 1 tbsp
fennel seeds 2.5 tsp, slightly crushed
chopped flat leaf parsley to garnish
Put the first six ingredients in a large mixing bowl and add 2½ teaspoons of salt and 1½ teaspoons of black pepper. Whisk well and set aside.
Trim the fennel and cut each bulb in half lengthways. Cut each half into 4 wedges. Add the fennel to the liquids, along with the chicken pieces, clementine slices, thyme and fennel seeds. Stir well with your hands then leave to marinate in the fridge for a few hours or overnight (skipping the marinating stage is also fine, if you are pressed for time).
Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7. Transfer the chicken and its marinade to a baking tray large enough to accommodate everything comfortably in a single layer (roughly a 30cm x 37cm tray); the chicken skin should be facing up. Once the oven is hot enough, put the tray in the oven and roast for 35-45 minutes, until the chicken is coloured and cooked through. Remove from the oven.
Lift the chicken, fennel and clementines from the tray and arrange on a serving plate; cover and keep warm. Pour the cooking liquids into a small saucepan, place on a medium-high heat, bring to the boil then simmer until the sauce is reduced by a third, so you are left with about 80ml. Pour the hot sauce over the chicken, garnish with some chopped parsley and serve.
Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (Ebury, RRP £27). To order a copy for £16 with free UK p&p, click here
★ Wine match
Conundrum White, California, USA 2011 (from £22.95, Harrods; Noel Young Wines; The Wine Treasury; Roberson Wine; Philglas & Swiggot)
There are almost as many grape varieties used to make this unique Californian white as there are ingredients in Ottolenghi's dish, and the resulting wine is equally complex and sweetly comforting.
Silvena Rowe's chilled sweet pea and watercress soup with rose petal cream. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin