Under the Tuscan Sun

Buongiorno tutti! The title of this post seems to have sprung from the part of my brain designed for storing the names of bad 90s films, but we’ll go with it for now…
We return from shooting our summer chapter in glorious Tuscany a few pounds heavier, ever so slightly browner and full of the joys of summer kitchen behaviour. As expected, we were thoroughly spoiled with an abundance of beautiful, fresh ingredients everywhere we turned. From the roadside grocers to the aisles of the cavernous Esselunga, we were like hyper children in a sweet shop–filling our baskets with the ripest melons, the greenest spinach, the softest cheese and the freshest anchovies to inspire three long days of hardcore chopping, kneading, steaming, blanching, drizzling, writing, shooting and eating high up in the hills.

As we’ve learned from buying our vegetables from British farmers recently, quality produce needs very little done to it. Simplicity was key with these recipes and with a few clever combinations, kicks and spices here and there, our food was soon ready to face the camera. And the camera loved it! Sadly we can’t unveil any of the recipes just yet–you’ll have to keep banging your knives and forks on the table until April, 2012.

Laura Edwards works her magic while El looks on

With the news yesterday that food inflation has risen to almost 6% in the UK, it was a relief to be paying much fairer prices for food and drink during our stay in Italy. Obviously, the Tuscans are blessed with a temperate climate, thus a long season of abundant crops, but if you shop carefully and seasonally in the UK at the moment you can avoid being stung quite so hard. While we wouldn’t dare preach about seasonality and understand that your mood and what’s at hand are likely to be the biggest influences on what you eat, in pricey times it makes more sense than ever to buy what’s abundant, fresh and fair to both the customer and the producer.

Take British tomatoes, for example. They’re overflowing at the moment and prices in your local supermarket should reflect that. Check out The Tomato Stall for amazing mixed boxes of Isle of Wight toms in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours. I know this somewhat defeats the object, but, if you manage to save a few pennies on tomatoes next time you shop, perhaps you could consider investing in a tub of buffalo mozarella? Once through the tills at Esselunga, Ellie and I proceeded to devour a tub of these *impossible to avoid testicular sounding description* with the greedy abandon of Brits abroad. If you can manage to make it home with yours, picking up some basil along the way, then we would suggest whipping up a capresé with your loot. Don’t put your tomatoes in the fridge if you’re using them the same day–they lose their flavour and wonderful greenhouse scent when they’re cold.

Capresé for 6-8
400g mixed tomatoes
200g buffalo mozarella
10-12 basil leaves
Quality olive oil
Salt and pepper

I know this is child’s play but for the sake of consistency… Roughly slice and season your tomatoes, tear over large chunks of mozarella and plenty of basil, drizzle with quality olive oil, grind over some pepper and serve with pretty much anything on a summer’s table.

In other Salad Club news, it’s feeding time at Zoo Lates this Friday, and again on Friday 22nd, where we’ll be serving up our delicious chorizo and halloumi flatbreads. Keep your eyes peeled for future dates and arrivederci.


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Hot Chorizo

There’s nothing we love more than a hunk of hot chorizo.Vegetarians aside, who can resist the punchy scent of paprika and garlic smoking in the air and the tantalising ooze of bright, rusty-red oil in the pan? Chorizo features consistently in our cooking because it’s such an easy treat – added to soups and stews in the winter, then scattered over salads for the remainder of the year, it’s so versatile that it’s a welcome addition to many a simple table. The fact that it appears month after month in our kitchens (see our forthcoming book, out next spring!) means we’re a pair of jolly loyal customers to Spain’s most famous sausage. And that’s exactly why we decided to showcase it this summer on our new street food stall–its colour, vibrancy and all-round popularity is the perfect match to a hearty homemade hummus and secret Salad Club slaw.

Introducing hot chorizo wraps with butter bean and rosemary hummus, Salad Club slaw and spicy herb gremolata! Our first outing with these beautifully juicy, colourful flatbreads was at Sunday’s West Norwood Feast, where the crowds braved the threat from dark grey skies and even continued to turn up and queue through the rain. There’s nothing like a sizzling paella pan of hot chorizo to pull in the punters, clearly! And if the photos are scintillating your taste buds, you can find us through the summer here:

*This Friday 10th June, Zoo Lates, London Zoo
*Sunday 7th August, West Norwood Feast
*Friday 9th – Monday 12th September, Alex James Presents Harvest at Jimmy’s,  Oxfordshire
*Saturday 17th – Sunday 18th September, Abergavenny Food Festival, Monmouthshire

Plus, we’ve started to take bookings of the stall at parties and weddings–get in touch if you want to jump on the bandwagon. And for the vegetarians amongst you, we’re working on getting together some more equipment to be able to serve a paprika-spiced halloumi version of the wrap–watch this space.


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These little piggies went to market

Hello. Hello. And apologies for abandoning you and your rumbling bellies for quite this long. If it’s any consolation, we haven’t been sitting around watching Loose Women and twiddling our thumbs. Since last we wrote, Rosie got hitched, the next chapter of our book neared completion and our brand spanking new market stall was unleashed onto the streets of south London.  Thanks to everyone who came to sample the fruits (and vegetables) of our labours on Sunday at Brixton Farmer’s Market–many of you braving freakishly high winds and one colossal downpour to sample the first of many seasonal Salad Club boxes, crammed with:

New potatoes with lemon, capers, rosemary and garlic
Beets, lentils and thyme with Bath Blue cheese
SC slaw
Radish, cucumber and dill salad
Fresh pea pods
Caramelised onion and butter bean hummus

Be sure to get yourself some of this season’s muddy new potatoes, gently scrub away the mud with your thumbs (never peel them) and give them some love:

New potatoes with lemon, capers, rosemary and garlic

Serves 8-10
1kg new potatoes
Leaves of 1 rosemary spring, finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and chopped
3 spring onions, finely sliced
The juice of 1 lemon
A large pinch of salt
A long glug of olive oil

Boil the potatoes until tender and cooked through (usually about 10 minutes but cut one open to check).  Mix all the other ingredients together in a large bowl. Once cooked, drain the potatoes and, while they’re still hot and steaming, add to the bowl and toss gently. Serve hot or cold with pretty much anything.

Oh, and in case you were feeling too worthy after that lot, we also baked these rhubarb and cassis frangipane tartlets for the more sweet toothed. Yes, we did burn one and, yes, we did eat one.

No lie-ins for us this weekend as we were up at 7am on Saturday heading to Pimlico in time to meet Ted Dawson of Ted’s Veg who harvested most of our ingredients early that morning. Loyal as we are to Brixton market and its unashamedly unseasonal yams, avocados and citrus on the other side of the tracks, the quality and flavour of this super-fresh British produce is pretty hard to beat. Aren’t we lucky to have access to such a huge variety of food on our doorsteps? Ahhh… Brixton.

We sold out on Sunday but we’ll be sure to pile our plates even higher on June 12th and every fortnight thereafter. Come and say hello and get yourselves some lunch if you’re in the area.

Rosie & Ellie x

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The great outdoors

What a beautiful Easter weekend we had here at Salad Club. From beach hut breakfasts in Calshot to picnics in Brockwell park, we managed to spend almost every mealtime outside, only venturing indoors for loo breaks and sleeps. There’s quite an art to eating outside and avoiding the uniquely British pitfalls of burnt barbequed sausages and tired potato salads. Whatever you do, there are a few key items you always need: a big rug, a little bottle of olive oil, plenty of cold beer, a bottle opener, fresh herbs, a lemon and a sharp knife.  There’s no need to stop being inventive and colourful once you leave the kitchen, you just need to plan ahead a little more.

Rosie’s al fresco weekend kicked off on Good Friday with lunch for two tired gardeners on the allotment: tomato, bulgar and crunchy pitta salad, Ottolenghi’s hummus (in my view, still far from perfect) and chargrilled harissa halloumi with chorizo.

A couple of wheat beers later, the sun still beating down, we decided to cancel a restaurant reservation for six and invite the family over for a barbeque instead. The lunch menu was bulked up to make enough for supper and guests arrived with rib eye steak that was swiftly coated with olive oil, garlic, chilli and pepper; chicken that was smothered with harissa and wine that was eagerly poured. Rare, smokey barbequed steak is hard to beat, as is a crisped chicken thigh or drumstick coated with something sweet and spicy–both so much better for being cooked over white-hot coals.

The bulgar number from up there was popular. Inspired by fattoush, but making use of what I had in my fridge and cupboards, this salad is really satisfying and packed with colour and flavour. It went particularly well with the steak–the crunchy pitta soaking up the tasty juices from the tomatoes and the beef to delicious effect.

Tomato, bulgar and crunchy pitta salad

Serves 6-8
400g bulgar wheat
1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon
4 large vine tomatoes
Olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 large red chilli, sliced (seeds optional)
Salt & pepper
2 handfuls pine nuts
2 white pittas
3 large handfuls flat leaf parsley
2 large handful dill
More lemon wedges to serve

Put the bulgar in a bowl and pour over boiling water until the water level is about 1cm above the bulgar. Stir in the bouillon, cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave the wheat to soften and expand. Dice the tomatoes as small as you can and add them to your serving bowl with a long glug of olive oil (about 4 tablespoons), the lemon juice, chopped chilli and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.

Put the pittas in the toaster or under the grill and toast until just crisp but not brown then cut or break into roughly 1 inch squared pieces. Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan over a low heat until brown and finely chop the herbs. Once the bulgar is soft and has absorbed all the water, fluff it up with a fork and pour into the serving bowl with the tomatoes. Stir everything together then add the pitta, pine nuts and herbs and stir again very gently to combine. Serve with extra lemon wedges and a big spoon.

Now on with our weekend:

A busy Saturday morning of car booting and DIY was paused for leftover steak sandwiches with lashings of English mustard (and ketchup for Rosie).

*Insert Easter Sunday here: families, lamb shoulders, red wine, chocolate, champagne and slouching followed by beer and backgammon in Brockwell at sunset then onto pub gardens and friends’ barbeques*

Waking up on Monday to yet another clear blue sky and a gentle hangover, we may have taken the heatwave euphoria a step too far by cooking breakfast in the garden. Although it did make for a superior grill-up, with wonderfully moist and smoky mushrooms, crunchy bacon and classic barbequed bangers.

After a little lie down it was onto trial some book recipes in the park with the other half:

Here’s another recipe from Ellie for you and your next burst of sunshine (never know when it may be, but perhaps that pesky royal wedding will provide another opportunity to eat outdoors). See the plate of orange and white flecked with green up there on the top right? Well here it is:

Roasted Cumin Carrots with Halloumi, Pistachio and Honey
Serves 4 as part of a mezze picnic

4 lge carrots
2 generous pinches cumin seeds
Good glug of sesame oil
Little glug of olive oil
Handful of pistachios, roughly chopped
6 thin slices halloumi
A squeeze of lemon
A drizzle of honey

Preheat the oven to 210°C. Scrub and peel the carrots then use the vegetable peeler to shave them into wide ribbons. Toss with the sesame and olive oil and cumin seeds then roast in the oven til a little browned and crisped. Squeeze the lemon juice over the halloumi, heat a ridged pan and sear the cheese on both sides, making sure that it doesn’t run over from soft and melted to squeaky and rubbery. Arrange the carrot on a flat plate, top with the halloumi and finish with pistachios and drizzle of honey. Eat immediately.

Which just leaves us to wish you the best for this tiny working week. We hope everyone has fun waving union jacks, drinking Pimms, meeting the neighbours or moaning about the whole stupid business while enjoying yet another day off on Friday! Hooray for Spring.

Ellie & Rosie

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We are 2!

Would you believe it? Our little blog is two years old today! We’re amazed by how much our lives have changed since that first post in 2009 and, two gins down at the Hootenanny last night, we began to feel very nostalgic about our journey so far, and bubbling with anticipation of what’s to come.

Before ending up in a pub garden getting emotional and over excited, we were making delicious Salad Club canapés for 120 at Gallery Soho. We like to keep things simple and let quality ingredients speak for themselves on this kind of occasion. Last night’s menu of rare roast beef fillet on sourdough, mackerel paté on crispbreads and warm roasted beets with horseradish crème fraîche and dill vinaigrette went down a treat.

Good to see our loyalty to the beautiful purple root hasn’t faltered since that very first post. Today’s quick recipe, though, has to be the beef–our lovely waitresses fought hard to get plates of these past the predatory hoards circling outside the kitchen door! This beef is seriously rare which is how we like it, especially with fillet, but feel free to give it 10-20 minutes in a hot oven after searing if you’d prefer. You could also use topside as a cheaper alternative.

For 20-25 canapés
500g beef fillet
Quality extra virgin olive oil
Handful thyme leaves
to serve:
1 sourdough baguette (or half a loaf), sliced
Dijon mustard

Rub the fillet all over with the oil, thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Get a frying pan hot then sear the fillet on all sides until well browned. Allow to cool then slice as thinly as possible with your sharpest knife, or better still a meat slicer if you happen to have the use of one! Drizzle the sourdough slices with olive oil, top with a slice of beef, a sprig of watercress and a drop of dijon.

So it’s bon anniversaire Salad Club and now bon voyage as Ellie and friends whisk me off to a mystery location for a weekend with my hens. Wish me luck.


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Cha cha changes

There’s no doubt about it, spring has finally arrived. The windows are open and the mood in our kitchens is more optimistic and light than just a few weeks ago when we found ourselves stranded on a culinary desert island with empty wallets, heavy moods and night after night of bland suppers. We both slightly lost the will to be inventive with our stocks and deprived ourselves of flavour and colour for what felt like an eternity (could just have been a few days we can’t be sure!) We’re pleased to report this distressing period of food writer’s block is over and we’re full of the joys and flavours of spring, eager to launch some fresh new recipes for these lighter nights.

Having said that, the first salad of spring isn’t actually our own but it’s so damn good it deserves its own post. Last Thursday, the lovely Miss Lovell got six of us ladies together to toast the sexy new refit at Rosie’s Deli Café with a collaborative, after-hours supper amidst the wet paint and sawdust. We all brought something to the table–beer, fizz, cheese, three salads, bread, brownies and some amazing salty chocolate balls. This feast couldn’t have come at a better time, in the midst of our poverty-ridden dry spell, and one salad in particular was our salvation–like being given a sip of cool water after weeks of drought.

Grace’s Cha Cha Chicken Salad

The key ingredient for this salad is the Toasted Sesame Dressing (formerly known as Cha Cha Chinese Chicken Salad Dressing), a Kosher-Chinese special made by American company Soy Vay. I tracked it down here but, looking at the ingredients, you could probably make something similar yourself with a blend of sesame oil, sugar, vinegar, toasted sesame seeds, mustard and ginger powder.

Serves 6
4 skinless chicken breasts (or you could use leftover roast chicken)
1 iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
100g flaked almonds, toasted
Large handful chopped coriander
Half a bottle of Toasted Sesame Dressing (or your own blend as above)
One fiery red chilli, finely chopped

Cut the chicken into strips and poach in simmering water or steam for 10 minutes until tender and cooked through. Allow to cool and then finely shred with your finger nails (clean ones obviously). This is quite time consuming, but the finer the shreds, the tastier the salad. Put in a bowl and pour on the dressing, being sure to coat and turn the chicken. Cover and leave in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight if you have the time. When you’re ready to serve the salad, put the chicken into a large salad bowl, add the lettuce, coriander, chilli and flaked almonds and toss delicately with your hands, being careful not to break up the lettuce too much. Serve with rice, noodles, bread or as part of a bigger feast and a cold beer is a must. Quite literally our saving grace.


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The last couple of months have been frugal for the pair of us. Since excitedly sitting down to write and shoot our book, as well as plan madcap adventures for the latter stages of the year, our money matters have been sorely neglected. Eking out meals from leftovers and packets of dried pasta has become a reliable and money-saving technique but one which, when faced with an empty fridge, has left us culinarily and imaginatively undernourished. The need to create tasty and filling food on a busy work schedule has been met by using reliable cupboard staples: pulses that can be cooked quickly and combined with spices, shredded vegetables and roughly chopped herbs. January and February’s meals have been characterised – and fuelled – by lentil stews, barley salads and rice pilafs, and all of them have been ultra cheap and delicious.

Last night I opened the fridge to a tub of lebneh and wanted to think around it as just a condiment. I decide on a Syrian fuul – a tomato-y lentil stew with mashed fava beans, aubergine, cumin, lemon juice and parsley, crowned with a thick dollop of yogurty lebneh and scooped up with olive oil and pitta breads. It’s elusively unlike the memorable fuul I ate out there last year and yet it doesn’t disappoint with its hot and tangy flavours.

Serves 4 as a March supper with pitta breads

1 small aubergine, diced
2 handfuls red lentils
Olive oil, for softening and drizzling
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium white onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 tin fava or butter beans, drained (tinned chick peas as well, or instead of, will also do nicely)
1 tin plum tomatoes
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
3 dried whole chillies
1 heaped tsp cumin powder
1 cinnamon stick
1 lemon
4 tbsp lebneh or thick Greek yogurt
Handful of parsley, roughly chopped

Place the aubergine in a colander, salt well and allow to drain over a sink. Turn occasionally. Add the lentils to a saucepan of boiling water and cook until tender. Drain and reserve. Heat a little olive oil in a casserole pan and soften 2 cloves of the garlic along with the onion. Stir until just pale gold, then add the beans and tinned tomatoes, crushing most of them under a fork. Stir to combine and add the lentils along with the juice of half of the lemon. Rinse and wring the aubergine and add to the pot as well. Add both types of chilli and the cumin and cinnamon, bring to the boil and then return the pot to a simmer with a lid on, until thickened, for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally and season if necessary. To serve, ladle into shallow bowls and top with yogurt. Finish with a little lemon zest, the remaining crushed garlic and lemon juice, parsley and your best olive oil. Stir everything together with toasted pitta breads.

Having said all this, I’m hoping this will be our last post on pot-cooked foods for a while as I know we’re ready to close the cupboard on winter and buy up spring’s greens and shoots for an altogether lighter, brighter kind of kitchen. Until then,


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Props, pancakes and professionalism

The dizzying heights of colour-coordinated prop house shelves were our backdrop on sunny Monday as we scoured for Salad Club-style crockery, cutlery and napiery for our first book shoot. Tempted by just about everything, and with no idea on how to scale back on the unnecessaries, we ended up whiling away a whole afternoon amongst rows of retro, vintage, ethnic, plastic, glass, wooden and enamel kitchen goods. It was like being in car boot heaven but without the crap.

The first Shrove Tuesday the two of us spent together was at university when a 40-strong mob of us took up arms with our ingredients. Rather than make any batter, we had an enormous food fight around campus that left us–and our dingy residences–caked in flour, eggs and Jif lemons. We do like to honour this tradition at Salad Club but there was no time for food fights yesterday as we were up at dawn to start shooting. We’re not allowed to let you in on any details but we can say that it’s looking bloody lovely and we’re very excited! Out of our long prop house search came images and tables that look just like they belong to us–a testament to all the clever people helping us to put each photograph together. And now that we’re edging out of winter, we’re looking forward to writing spring. We’ll keep you posted with our progress.

Because of our distractions, the business of batter had to wait until this morning. No groundbreaking new territory here: just a thin crispy pancake with freshly squeezed lemon and caster sugar. If I ever stray from this recipe things go wrong:

Makes about 8 pancakes:
4oz plain flour
1 egg
half a pint of milk
pinch of salt
pinch of baking powder
lemons and caster sugar to serve

Measure the flour into a mixing bowl with the salt and baking powder, make a well in the middle and crack in the egg. Add a dash of milk and, using a wooden spoon (or a whisk for a less dense pancake), start stirring in small circles from the centre of the bowl outwards, gradually pulling in more flour from the edges until you have a smooth, thick batter. Slowly add the rest of the milk and keep stirring. Pour the batter into a jug and leave it to sit for a bit if you have time.

Melt a knob of butter in a shallow sided pan until bubbling, pour in roughly a ladle full of batter and tilt the pan around to spread it to the edges. When the pancake has crisped and browned on one side, toss, brown the other side and serve immediately . The first one of the batch is always a bit of a scrawny runt but if given enough love is usually perfectly edible. Keep going until you’ve had enough or there’s no more batter.

Things have changed a bit since those hedonistic days of Jif lemon fights. Not only do we use real lemons but we’re incredibly lucky to be working together at something we love. So, thank you all once again for the support and encouragement and Happy (belated) Pancake Day!

Rosie & Ellie

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Year of the (crispy) Rabbit

While it may seem safe to remove one of those winter layers and turn the thermostat down, we’re still wrapping our food up tightly in blankets here at Salad Club. Like our tasty summer rolls from last week, hundreds of little devils on horseback for the School of Life on Monday evening and now, continuing the Asian theme with some crispy aromatic rabbit in pancakes to celebrate the Chinese year of the rabbit.

The idea for this recipe evolved over a few weeks. I’d been planning to confit some rabbit for a while in an effort to use up the surplus goose fat that accumulates after Christmas and as a surefire way of keeping rabbit meat, too often served dry and flavourless, tender and rich. While this plan was brewing, a persistent craving for duck and pancakes got involved and stumbling across the new year celebrations in Chinatown inspired me to swap feathered game for furred in this classic Chinese recipe.

You need to plan ahead for this as it’s quite a labour of love but the results are amazingly succulent and warming–ideal for an impressive and cutlery free meal with friends.

Crispy Aromatic Rabbit in Pancakes (serves 4 as a main course, 6 as a starter)

2 farmed rabbits, jointed
1 large jar of goose fat
For the marinade:
Big handful of sea salt
4 star anise
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsps Szechuan peppercorns
1 tsp cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
6 spring onions
Thumb of root ginger, sliced
6 tbsp Chinese rice wine
To serve:
Chinese pancakes
Hoisin sauce
Long slices of spring onion and cucumber

Blend all the marinade ingredients together in a food processor until you have a coarse paste. Spread over the rabbit joints in a deep baking tray, cover, and leave in the fridge overnight.

Remove the tray from the fridge the next day and scrape off any excess marinade. Melt the goose fat in a saucepan and pour over the rabbit in the baking tray. Don’t worry if it doesn’t quite cover the rabbit. Cover the tray with foil and put in the oven at 150ºC for an hour and a half to confit. Turn the oven off and allow everything to completely cool down. Then put back in the fridge overnight for the fat to solidify or you can proceed straight to the next step.*

Max your oven and pull each joint from the fat with tongs or your fingers (leaving some fat on the joints to help them crisp).  Arrange them on a shallow baking tray and roast on the top shelf for 20 minutes until crispy. Follow the packet instructions for heating your pancakes, get the hoisin, spring onions and cucumber on the table and let everyone assemble themselves one pancake after another.


* You can keep rabbit confit in an airtight container, such as a kilner jar, for weeks.

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Diversion Tactics

Sometimes, the best away around getting on with work is just not to do any at all. So it was on Tuesday, when we sat down to write recipes together, that we found ourselves distracted by the thought of lunch, and a lunch that that would take a long, long time to put together so that through making it, we could fool ourselves into thinking we were working. Introducing the Vietnamese Summer Roll, from long-time procrastinators, Ellie Grace and Rosie French.

Having bought rice vermicelli noodles and rice paper circles on a recent visit to China Town’s New Year celebrations, we cycled down to the market for a bunch of herbs, some iceberg, rice vinegar and prawns from our local Chinese supermarket. Back at home, Rosie chopped while I peeled prawns and soaked the rice paper circles in warm water, ready for wrapping.

Makes about 10 summer rolls, with dipping sauce

For the rolls:
A pint of prawns, shelled
Half a head of iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
A small carrot, cut into matchsticks
A packet of rice paper circles (marked especially for Vietnamese summer rolls)
A packet of rice vermicelli noodles
A handful each of mint and coriander, finely chopped
A handful of unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped

For the dipping sauce:
1 large red chilli finely sliced, with seeds
2 tbsps fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp caster sugar

Measure and combine the dipping sauce ingredients into a small dish or ramekin and set aside. Break off a section of dried noodles 2 -3 inches in width and boil until tender. Refresh under the cold tap and set aside. Peel the prawns, rinse and place in a bowl. When the vegetables and herbs are cut and lined up, start by soaking 3 or 4 rice paper circles in a bowl of tepid water, one after another, for 2 seconds. This won’t soften them immediately but as you plate them up, you’ll find that they warp and soften very quickly. As you pull each one from the water, it’s best to plate them between layers of tin foil or greaseproof paper to stop them from sticking. You can soften more rice paper circles as you go.

Using your outspread hand or a clean plate as a base, line up a few prawns at the centre of the paper. Pile a little lettuce, carrot, noodles, herbs and peanuts in a row below and fold the paper circle upwards into a roll, tucking the edges in after the first roll to create sealed ends. Continue to roll as tightly as you can – their gelatinous skins are tougher than they first appear – and allow the rice paper to seal itself together. When you’ve made several, stack them up and dip them!


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