The schools are about to reopen after the long summer holidays and people are returning from holiday with suntans and happy memories. But that doesn't mean summer has to be over for customers.
Mediterranean food has become a firm favourite in Britain, not only for its health benefits, but also because of the holiday memories it brings back.
Celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver have accelerated the trend towards "peasant-style" Mediterranean cooking such as pasta. Which is good news for pubs because it brings excellent profit margins as well as making sure there are tasty alternatives on the menu for vegetarians.
There are Mediterranean dishes to suit almost every taste and fish, meat and vegetables feature equally.
With British tastes growing in sophistication, customers expect more adventurous choices than the ever-present lasagne.
Why not experiment with Mediterranean main courses matched with French and Italian wine, or add a new dessert such as tiramisu or panna cotta to the menu?
Poached Cauliflower Buds with Cheese Sauce
Preparation: five minsCooking: 20 minsServes: 12
- 1.5kg cauliflower florets
- 300g cherry tomatoes
- 1ltr Knorr Garde d'Or cheese sauce
- 100g parmesan cheese
Blanch the cauliflower then cook al-dente.
Blanch and skin the tomatoes.
Mix and place in a lightly buttered/oiled gratin dish.
Heat and mask with the hot cheese sauce, sprinkle with cheese.
Place under a pre-heated grill and gently grill until the surface turns an even dark and bubbly golden brown.
Recipe supplied by Knorr
Sinfonia Di Misto Dell'Adriatico
Preparation: 30 minsCooking: 30 minsServes: four
- 120g each of red mullet, monkfish and sea bass - all filleted
- Four large langoustines
- 150ml dry white wine
- One shallot, finely chopped
- Pinch of saffron thread
- 150ml fish stock
- Salt and pepper
- 100ml extra virgin olive oil
- 50ml double cream
Carefully trim the fish fillets, ensuring they are nicely shaped and free of bones. Cut the fillets into the appropriate size, save the trimmings and bones to infuse in the sauce.
Bring the wine to a simmer in a small pan with the shallot, saffron and fish trimmings and simmer until the liquid has reduced to about three tbsp.
Add the fish stock until you have approximately 200ml to 230ml remaining. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve and season with salt and pepper.
Brush the red mullet, seabass, monkfish and langoustines with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and grill for two minutes on each side.
Arrange the fish on a plate and spoon over the sauce.
Garnish with the langoustines and fresh chervil.
Recipe supplied by Brakes Grocery
Breaded Lamb Cutlets with a Garlic and Coriander Tomato Sauce
Preparation: 15 minsCooking: 30 minsServes: 12
- 24 prepared and trimmed cutlets of lamb with 2.5cm (1 inch) clean cut and scraped bone showing
- 100ml sunflower oil
- 100g butter
- 150g finely chopped onions and shallots
- 1tbsp garlic herb paste
- 100ml white wine
- 100ml lamb bouillon
- 1tbsp fresh chopped coriander
- 1ltr Knorr Garde D'or Provençale Sauce
Using a suitable sauté pan, add the oil and butter and heat. Place cutlets in pan and lightly brown for one or two minutes either side.
Place cutlets on a suitable tray, place in hot oven, and cook thoroughly to order. Remove and keep hot for service.
Lightly sauté the garlic paste and onion in a sauté pan, add the stock and wine, reduce by half.
Add the sauce, bring to the boil and simmer for two minutes.
Pour over or serve separately, garnish with fresh chopped coriander.
Serve with sautéd new potatoes (skin on) and braised cabbage.
Recipe supplied by Knorr
Tortelloni Ricotta and Italian Meatballs
Preparation: 10 minsCooking: 25 minsServes: 25
- One jar of Dolmio arrabbiata sauce
- 1.1kg lean minced beef
- 1.4kg Dolmio tortelloni ricotta (uncooked weight)
- Four garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 100g parmesan cheese, finely grated
- Six large eggs, lightly beaten
- 125g fresh breadcrumbs
- Salt and pepper
- 50g chopped flat-leaf parsley to garnish
To make the meatballs, combine the mince, garlic, parmesan cheese, eggs, breadcrumbs and mix well. Roll into 75 meatballs (three per person).
Place the meatballs on a lightly greased oven tray and cook in a pre-heated oven (200°C, 400°F, gas mark six) until lightly browned. Drain well of fat.
Add frozen pasta to boiling water, simmer for six minutes, stirring gently.
Simmer the arrabbiata sauce and add meatballs and simmer gently together for five minutes. Drain the tortelloni and arrange on a serving dish with meatballs. Finish with chopped parsley.
(The meatballs can be steamed until cooked instead of cooking in an oven.)
Recipe supplied by MasterFoodServices
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