Church Lunch 21/12

Three salads

  1. Chickpea and herb
  2. Risoni Salad with Tomato, Basil & Rocket
  3. Roast Pumpkin with Green Beans and Basalmic Dressing

I spent a frustrating morning trying to find the recipe I had made some months ago with chorizo and capsicum baked in Pedro Ximenez, but couldn’t find it. I’m going for this recipe with the sweet Muscato instead of red wine vinegar fort tonight for Kate.

The salads from Hildegard’s baptism were

Couscous salad for leftover roast meat from number 4 in this Guardian post (in this case I did roast pork leg especially for it)

This has to be one of my favourite lunchbox salads – it is pretty forgiving and will last well for a couple of days in the fridge. It works with just about every roast meat, but on this occasion I used roast chicken.

Serves 4

220g instant couscous
about 350ml hot vegetable (or chicken) stock
zest and juice of 1 fresh lemon
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
100g baby plum or cherry tomatoes, quartered
½ red pepper, chopped
10cm piece of cucumber, deseeded and chopped
3 spring onions, finely chopped
25g dried fruit, such as apricots and dried cherries, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh mint, finely chopped
olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
200g roast chicken, torn into strips
Prepare the couscous by putting the dry couscous in a medium-sized bowl and adding the hot stock, lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir well. Cover with a clean tea towel and set aside, to allow the couscous to absorb the stock. This will take about 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the drained chickpeas, chopped tomatoes, red pepper, cucumber, spring onions, dried fruit and chopped herbs. Stir well to combine.

Add a little olive oil if the couscous seems too dry.

Check the seasoning (you probably won’t need much salt if the stock has been salted).

Top with the strips of roast lamb and a generous dollop of hummus.

Sprinkle a little of the smoked paprika over the hummus and serve.

Tips: Sprinkle over a little diced feta or Wensleydale cheese, instead of the roast chicken.

Any leftover roast meat will work very well, especially chicken or beef.

Smoked fish is also good with couscous, especially smoked mackerel.

Delicious with a dollop of houmous and a sprinkling of smoked paprika.


For future reference, other salads and meals for Church in the past have included:


Quinoa salad with Jamie Oliver’s best roast leg of lamb.

Cauliflower korma – with the frozen khorma paste which basically has garlic through cloves 

Chilli and prosciutto cauliflower (don’t remember)
Penne, pesto, ricotta and green beans (OK but not great from memory)
Roast pumpkin and garlic soup (awesome)




50g unsalted butter
60g (1/3 cup, lightly packed) brown sugar
60ml (1/4 cup) treacle
1 egg
265g (1 3/4 cups) plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Large pinch of ground cloves
Large pinch of ground nutmeg
1 egg white
230g (1 1/2 cups) pure icing sugar

Step 1
Place butter, sugar and treacle in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir for 3-5 minutes or until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Transfer to a large bowl.
Step 2
Add the egg to butter mixture and stir to combine. Sift in the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Stir until well combined. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until smooth. Shape into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in fridge for 1 hour to rest.
Step 3
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Divide dough into 2 even portions. Roll out 1 portion on a lightly floured surface until 5mm thick. Use a 7cm star-shaped cutter to cut stars from the dough. Place on prepared trays. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until golden. Set aside on trays for 5 minutes to cool before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
Step 4
Place the egg white in a bowl. Use a fork to whisk until foamy. Sift over the icing sugar and stir until smooth. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 2-3mm plain nozzle. Pipe onto biscuits to decorate. Set aside to set.

Lebkuchen Herzen
60g butter
1/3 cup (80ml) honey
1/3 cup (70g) brown sugar
1 1/2 cups (225g) plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1/4 cup (50g) mixed peel, finely chopped
1/4 cup (25g) flaked almonds
1 egg
1/4 cup (60g) marmalade or raspberry jam
100g dark chocolate, melted

Step 1
Place the butter, honey and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until butter melts and mixture comes to the boil. Remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly.
Step 2
Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cloves, allspice, nutmeg and cardamom into a large bowl. Add the lemon rind, mixed peel and almonds and stir to combine. Add the egg and the honey mixture and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 1/2 hours to rest.
Step 3
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until smooth. Roll out to a 5mm-thick disc. Use a 6cm-diameter heart-shaped pastry cutter to cut out shapes from dough and place on the lined trays, leaving 3cm for spreading. Use a floured fingertip to push a dent into the middle of each biscuit. Spoon a little marmalade or jam into each indentation. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until biscuits are lightly golden. Remove from oven and set aside on trays to cool completely.
Step 4
Use a round-bladed knife to spread a little of the melted chocolate on the base of each biscuit and allow to set.