Ireland (for the most part) has been enjoying a great summer so far but even though we're loving all the sunshine we should remember that it's all our lovely rain that provides us with an abundance of amazing home-grown produce. Irish food tends to be associated with stews, soups and more wintry fare so below we put together some more summery recipes.
Although our summer temperatures rarely tend to surpass 70F, the Irish do tend to change up their menus during the summer months and opt for lighter, fresher meals. From old-fashioned salads, to fresh seafood IrishCentral has put together some choice recipes, with help from Bord Bia, Ireland’s food board.
Some of these might make you nostalgic and some are a nice twist on the traditional.
Old-fashioned salad recipe
1 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
6 slices pickled beetroot, recipe follows
2 tiny scallions or spring onions
2 to 4 tomatoes, quartered
8 slices cucumber
2 sliced radishes
Spring onion, watercress, chopped parsley, for garnish
AND the pièce de résistance a cream salad dressing.
Just like your Grandmas!
Prep time: 25 minutes
Serves 5 / 6 people (as a side)
500g/1 lb small new potatoes
1 tbsp butter
0.5 cup mayonnaise
Salt and a little freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives to garnish
Put the potatoes on the boil for 20 to 25 minutes. Until they fall off the knife when you stab them
Strain them and cut them into bite-sized pieces if needed. Pour into bowl
Add butter and stir until melted
Add mayo, and salt and pepper and stir until potatoes are coated
Garnish with chives
Clean off the side of the bowl and add a spoon to serve
An Irish cheeseboard
The wide variety of farmhouse cheeses available from Ireland means that there is one to suit every palate, each capturing the true flavor of the countryside. There’s cashel blue, many different cheddars, goats cheese, all sorts. The problem is what to choose. Click here for a long list of cheeses for you to select from.
Here are a couple of points to consider when making the selection for your cheese board:
- Avoid too much choice, better to have two or three good size pieces of cheese than a lot of smaller bits. It looks better and the cheese will keep better.
- A semi-soft, a hard and a blue are guides but there are no rules – have what you like yourself.
- Leave the cheese at room temperature (70F) for approximately two to three hours before serving.
Try some farmhouse cheeses with traditional white soda bread.
(This one’s a little hot to cook in REAL summer weather but the ham is just great for salads, sandwiches or just a snack in your hand from the fridge.)
3lb loin of bacon
1 tsp peppercorns
1 tbsp butter
Place the joint in a large saucepan
Cover with cold water
Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for approximately 20 minutes per pound
Set oven to Gas Mark 6, 400F (200C)
Remove the joint from the saucepan
Remove the rind and score the fat
Place the joint on a roasting dish
Spread with mustard and breadcrumbs, sugar and a knob of butter.
Place in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
Moules mariniere recipe
1.8 - 2.25kg (4 - 5 lb) mussels
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pint / 150 ml dry white wine
150 ml (5oz) cream
25g (1oz) chopped parsley
Clean mussels and remove the beards by giving a sideways chuck – a downwards one will tear the mussel
Remove any barnacles also as they will fall off and ruin the sauce. NB: Discard any open mussels
Cook the onion in a little oil until, soft
Add the wine and the mussels, cover and shake occasionally until the mussels are open
Now add some pepper from the mill, then the cream. Bring to the boil, shaking again, and transfer to a tureen
Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately. NB: It is very important to discard any unopened mussels – do not overcook in an attempt to open them
Burgers with melted cheese and tomato salsa recipe
(This one isn’t exactly traditional but we had to add in a little Irish beef somewhere right?!)
450g (1lb) lean minced beef or lamb
1 large onion, finely chopped, sautéed in oil until golden and cooled
1 tbsp scallions, chopped
1 tbsp chilli oil, optional but nice (see recipe)
Salt and black pepper
16 approx. cherry tomatoes, chopped
1-2 red onions, finely chopped
Handful chopped coriander
1 tablesp. chilli oil
Lemon juice to taste
Salt and black pepper
Mix the mince, onion, scallions, chili oil and seasoning well together
With wet hands shape into four burgers
Flatten each one down with the palm of your hand until you have a nice even shape. This way they will cook more quickly and evenly
Keep in the fridge until ready to cook
Grill, barbecue or cook on a black ridge pan, until fully cooked, approximately 4-5 minutes on each side.
Meanwhile mix all the salsa ingredients together. Then place a spoonful of salsa on top of each burger and top with a slice of cheese.
Grill, or cover the barbecue or pan and continue to cook for another minute until the cheese has melted.
Serve on a bap with some salad leaves and the remaining salsa.
4 slices cheddar or blue cheese
This is a really useful dressing to have on hand, it will spice up lots of meals – lamb cutlets, steaks, pasta sauces etc.
Blend two to three chilies, chopped, including seeds; 1 red pepper, chopped; 2-3 cloves garlic; handful coriander; 250ml (8oz) oil; and seasoning in the processor. Store in the fridge for up to a week.
Meringues with summer fruits
8 egg whites
500g caster sugar
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g caster sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
500g mascarpone cheese
250g Greek-style yoghurt
Grated rind of one lemon
For the meringues
Set the oven to 210F (100C) and line two baking sheets with parchment
Combine the egg whites, sugar, vinegar and vanilla extract
In the electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the whites into stiff shiny peaks
Using a piping bag, pie mounds of meringue 7cm in diameter and 7 cm high onto the baking sheets.
Bake for about 2 hours. Cool to room temperature.
Prepare the fruit and add half the berries to a medium saucepan, add the sugar and lemon juice and simmer gently for five minutes.
Process the fruit mixture. Set aside.
Whisk the mascarpone, yogurt and lemon rind together.
Tap the center of each meringue to form a nest.
Warm the coulis in a saucepan.
Turn off the heat and add the remaining whole berries.
Spoon the cream filling into the center of each meringue, followed by several spoonfuls of the fruit.
H/T: Bord Bia.