Lunch Summer Food Table Arrangements

Rainy Day Summer Lunch, July 2012

Smoked Mackerel Pâté; Quick Cucumber Pickle; Rocket Salad; Brown Bread; Butter & Lemon Wedges to serve

A nice light lunch for not-so Mediterranean afternoons. Serve this in a rather rough-hewn way: just put out plates, cutlery and white napkins beside the pâté; pickle; salad; bread and cold butter.

Mackerel pâté:

3 smoked mackerel fillets, skin removed

1 lemon

1 tub cream cheese

1tbsp Greek yoghurt

1/2 cup dill, chives, parsley roughly chopped, plus more to serve

Lots of black pepper

– Using a fork, flake two of the mackerel fillets until they are reasonably smooth. Add this to the cream cheese and blend until combined (but not whipped, blended, homogenized etc!). Add the chopped herbs and mix in. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon in and season liberally, tasting all the while. If it’s too thick, add the yoghurt (it will thicken a little in the fridge). Keep on seasoning until you’re happy with it. Then roughly flake the third fillet and gently fold it in. Cover and refrigerate. Serve with more chopped herbs.

Quick Cucumber Pickle:

1 cucumber

Large handful coriander leaf

2/3 cup vinegar (white wine, apple cider, whichever)

Mustard seed

1tsp sugar

Fresh coriander seed

– In a small pan, warm vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, coriander seed and any other flavours you like. Peel cucumber and slice as thinly as you possibly can. Roughly chop coriander and layer over the thin cucumber slices. Pour warm vinegar mix over the cucumber & coriander and add a little water if it tastes too strong. Don’t worry, it will mellow a little. Cover and refrigerate for as long as you can – 1 hour perhaps. Serve with more chopped coriander.

I usually just buy the brown bread in Superquinn as it’s so good.

Flowers: Philadelphus ‘Belle Étoile’ & Rose ‘Ghislaine de Féligonde’

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