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Asparagus and baby broad beans, spinach, peas and spring greens

KING PRAWN STIR-FRY WITH BROCCOLI AND ROASTED RED PEPPER DRESSING

Serves 4

For the roasted red pepper dressing 

  • 1 large roasted red pepper, from a jar, finely chopped¬†
  • 1 level tsp smoked paprika¬†
  • 10 sweet, ripe cherry tomatoes, finely chopped¬†
  • 2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil¬†
  • 1-2tsp balsamic or sherry vinegar

For the prawns

  • 2tbsp olive oil¬†
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced¬†
  • 16 king prawns, peeled¬†
  • 350g (12oz) green or purple sprouting broccoli, woody ends trimmed and florets sliced in half¬†
  • A handful of almonds, toasted and chopped¬†
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper¬†

COOK’S TIP¬†

The flavours of this dish also work really well with chicken or feta instead of prawns. 

In a bowl, mix the red pepper dressing ingredients together. Set aside. 

In a wok or frying pan, heat 1tbsp oil until hot. Add the garlic and prawns and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the prawns are charred in places and just cooked through. 

The garlic should be pale golden, not burnt. Remove to a plate. 

Heat the remaining oil in the pan. Add the broccoli and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, until softened and slightly charred.

 Return the prawns and garlic to the pan with the almonds. Stir and cook for 2 minutes, then pour the dressing over. Season and serve immediately.

Matthew Jukes’ wine pairing: Perfect with prawns

2021 Mirabeau, Classic Ros√©, C√ītes de Provence, France ¬£12.99, Waitrose¬†

Mirabeau is a star winery, and this brand-new 2021 vintage has stunning pink melon tones countered with cleansing, brisk acidity. There are few styles of wine as delicious with stir-fried king prawns as this.

SPRING VEGETABLE SOUP WITH MINT & DILL

Asparagus and baby broad beans, spinach, peas and spring greens

Serves 4 

  • 2¬†tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small leeks, trimmed and sliced¬†
  • 1 fennel bulb, core removed, roughly chopped¬†
  • 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped¬†
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped¬†
  • 1 large floury potato, peeled and cubed¬†
  • 1ltr (1¬ĺpt) vegetable stock¬†
  • A bunch of asparagus, woody ends removed, roughly chopped¬†
  • 200g (7oz) frozen peas¬†
  • A large bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped¬†
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper¬†
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped¬†
  • A handful of sugar snap peas, sliced
  • A handful of chopped fresh mint and dill, to garnish¬†
  • Crusty bread, to serve¬†

COOK’S TIP¬†

You can use any green vegetables, such as green beans and courgette. Add a tin of cannellini beans for a heartier meal.

Heat 1¬Ĺtbsp of the oil in a large pan. Add the leeks, fennel, celery and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened.¬†

Add the potato, stir, then pour in the vegetable stock. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potato is just tender. 

Add the asparagus and peas and cook for 5 minutes, then stir in the parsley and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to a blender (or use a hand blender) and blitz the soup to your desired consistency. 

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a pan, add the chilli and sugar snaps, and sauté for 1-2 minutes, until softened. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the sugar snaps. 

Finish with mint and dill and a drizzle of chilli oil from the pan. Serve with crusty bread.,

Matthew Jukes’ wine pairing: Heavenly with herbs

2021 M&S Found Furmint, Hungary £8 

Made by Ch√Ęteau Dereszla, this is an impressive and inexpensive interpretation of the unusual Furmint grape. While the veg-packed soup may sound relatively innocent, the herbs and leeks, in particular, require a firm, characterful white with citrus and pear notes to intertwine with the layered vegetable flavours.

POACHED EGG, GRILLED ASPARAGUS AND TOMATOES ON SOURDOUGH

Asparagus and baby broad beans, spinach, peas and spring greens

Serves 2

  • A bunch of asparagus, trimmed¬†
  • 2 vines of cherry tomatoes¬†
  • 1-2tbsp olive oil¬†
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper¬†
  • 2 slices of sourdough¬†
  • A splash of white wine vinegar¬†
  • 2 large free-range eggs (ensure they are very fresh)¬†
  • A handful of watercress A pinch of chilli flakes (optional)¬†

Place the asparagus and tomatoes in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and season well. Heat a griddle pan, add the asparagus and tomatoes and cook for 6-8 minutes, turning the asparagus halfway, until the asparagus is lightly charred and the tomatoes are charred and a little wilted. Remove to a plate. 

COOK’S TIP¬†

Eggs need to be super fresh to poach or they will fall apart in the water. If they’re not, boil or fry them instead. 

Drizzle a little more oil over the bread, and toast in the griddle pan, turning once, until browned on both sides. Remove and keep warm. 

Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil. Add a splash of vinegar and swirl vigorously with a balloon whisk. 

Crack an egg into a bowl, then carefully slip it into the centre of the whirling water, taming any stray bits of egg with a spoon. It should spiral in the water to form a ball. 

Cook for 3 minutes, or to your liking, then remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm. Repeat with the other egg. 

Place a slice of sourdough on each plate. Add half the asparagus and a vine of tomatoes. 

Top with a poached egg, some watercress and a sprinkle of chilli flakes, if using.

Matthew Jukes’ wine pairing: Gorgeous with greens

2021 Irresistible Leyda Valley Sauvignon Blanc, Chile £8, Co-op

Eggs and tomatoes are not always wine’s best friend, but my selected Chilean sauvignon is a lifelong ally of asparagus and watercress. And with pea-shoot, greenbean and lime-pith notes of its own, it’s a flavour bonanza. 

CHARGRILLED CHICKEN WITH WILTED SPINACH, PINE NUTS AND RICE

Asparagus and baby broad beans, spinach, peas and spring greens

Serves 2

  • 150g (5¬Ĺoz) basmati rice, well rinsed¬†
  • 2tsp ras el hanout (a Moroccan spice blend, available from supermarkets)¬†
  • 2tsp + 1tbsp olive oil¬†
  • 2¬†chicken breasts¬†
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced¬†
  • 200g (7oz) baby spinach¬†
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper¬†
  • 1 lemon, zest pared into strips, then cut into wedges, to serve¬†
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to garnish

For the salsa

  • 1tbsp olive oil¬†
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped¬†
  • 25g (1oz) pine nuts¬†
  • 50g (1¬ĺoz) currants or raisins, soaked in boiling water¬†
  • 1tbsp capers¬†
  • 6 large green olives, de-stoned and finely chopped¬†
  • A large pinch of saffron, soaked in 2tbsp boiling water¬†

To make the salsa, heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the celery and pine nuts for 2 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to a bowl. 

COOK’S TIP

Keep any leftover salsa in the fridge in a jar with a tablespoon of oil poured over to seal. It works well with lamb and fish too. 

Drain the currants or raisins and add to the bowl with the capers, chopped olives, and the saffron and its soaking liquid. Mix together thoroughly and set aside. 

Cook the rice in a pan of boiling water according to the packet instructions, until just cooked. Drain and fluff up with a fork. 

Meanwhile, heat a griddle pan until hot. Rub the ras el hanout and 2tsp olive oil into the chicken until coated. 

Griddle, skin-side down, for 4 minutes, or until nicely charred. Turn and cook for 4 minutes, or until just cooked through.

Turn off the heat, cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes. The residual heat will cook the chicken perfectly. 

Heat 1tbsp olive oil in a pan. Add the garlic and sizzle for 1 minute, then add the spinach and stir-fry for 2 minutes, or until just wilted. 

Slice the chicken and arrange on top of the rice. Season and serve with the spinach, salsa and lemon wedges, garnished with the parsley and lemon zest strips.

Matthew Jukes’ wine pairing: Classic for chicken

2020 Silene, Chardonnay, Limoux, France £10, Co-op 

Bold, soothing and ripe, this eye-catching chardonnay is made by the mercurial wine expert Jean-Claude Mas. While it is lipsmackingly full and luxurious, little oak has been used here, just nuttiness, so it is a perfect partner for this charry chicken with its pine-nut detail.  

PEA, BABY BROAD BEAN AND WHITE WINE RISOTTO

Asparagus and baby broad beans, spinach, peas and spring greens

Serves 4

  • 1.5ltr (2¬ĺpt) vegetable stock¬†
  • 2tbsp olive oil¬†
  • 2 knobs of butter¬†
  • 3 banana shallots, finely chopped¬†
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped¬†
  • 300g (10¬Ĺoz) risotto rice¬†
  • 175ml (6fl oz) white wine¬†
  • 200g (7oz) frozen petit pois¬†
  • 200g (7oz) baby broad beans, tough outer shells removed¬†
  • 1tbsp fresh thyme leaves¬†
  • 75g (2¬ĺoz) Parmesan, grated¬†
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

COOK’S TIP

Look out for Carnaroli risotto rice, which gives a slightly firmer and creamier result, and holds its shape better. 

Bring the stock to the boil in a pan and keep warm. Heat the oil and a knob of butter in a shallow pan. 

Add the shallots and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until softened. Add the rice, stir to coat, then add the wine. 

Bubble for a minute, then add three-quarters of the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring every so often to stop the rice sticking. This will take 10-12 minutes, and the rice should still be a little al dente. 

Stir in the peas and beans. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until the rice is just cooked. 

Add the remaining stock and butter. Stir in the thyme and half the cheese. 

Season, cover and rest for 2-3 minutes. Serve sprinkled with the remaining Parmesan.

Matthew Jukes’ wine pairing: Relish it with risotto

2020 Torlonia, Gavi di Gavi, Piemonte, Italy £13, Sainsbury’s 

Sainsbury‚Äôs own-label Gavi at ¬£7.50 is fabulous, so you need a reason to trade up to this. Luckily, Torlonia possesses an extra level of grandeur, length and poise, and the complex flavours are perfect with the risotto ‚Äď just don‚Äôt cook with it!¬†

SALMON WITH SPRING CABBAGE AND SPICY THAI DRESSING

Asparagus and baby broad beans, spinach, peas and spring greens

Serves 4

For the thai dressing

  • A thumbnail-sized piece of fresh ginger, grated¬†
  • 1 garlic clove, grated¬†
  • 1tbsp fish sauce¬†
  • 1tsp Aleppo chilli flakes (mild Turkish chilli flakes, available from supermarkets)¬†
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped¬†
  • 1tbsp tamarind paste¬†
  • 1 heaped tsp brown sugar, plus extra if needed¬†
  • 50g (1¬ĺoz) cherry tomatoes, finely chopped¬†
  • Juice of 1 lime, plus extra if needed

For the noodles

  • 4 nests of wholemeal noodles¬†
  • 1 pointed spring cabbage, cut into wedges¬†
  • 1tbsp olive oil¬†
  • Sea salt¬†
  • 4 salmon fillets¬†

To serve 

  • Chopped fresh Thai basil and coriander¬†
  • Sliced red chilli¬†
  • 2 limes, halved¬†

In a bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients. Taste and add more sugar or lime juice as needed. 

Place the noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover and set aside. 

Heat a griddle pan. Rub the cabbage with the oil and salt. 

Griddle for 2-3 minutes on each side, until charred and softened. Remove to a plate. In the same pan, chargrill the salmon, skin-side down, for 3 minutes. 

Turn and cook for 3 minutes, or until cooked to your liking. Remove from the heat. 

Drain and separate the noodles. Arrange on plates and top with the salmon and cabbage. 

Spoon the dressing over, garnish with herbs and sliced chilli, and serve with halved limes.

Matthew Jukes’ wine pairing: Super with salmon

2021 Zephyr Wines, Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand £14.26, drinksandco.co.uk; £82 for 6, www.thefinewinecompany.co.uk 

Master craftsman Ben Glover from New Zealand’s Marlborough region has transformed his organic grapes into a model sauvignon loaded with citrus notes and pebble-fresh minerality. I can’t think of a finer match than the salmon dish.

PASTA CARBONARA WITH PANCETTA AND SHREDDED SPRING GREENS 

Asparagus and baby broad beans, spinach, peas and spring greens

Serves 4

  • Salt¬†
  • 300g (10¬Ĺoz) tagliatelle, or long pasta of your choice¬†
  • 3 free-range eggs¬†
  • 50g (1¬ĺoz) Parmesan, grated, plus extra for serving¬†
  • 50g (1¬ĺoz) Pecorino, grated¬†
  • Freshly ground black pepper¬†
  • 2tbsp olive oil¬†
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, peeled and crushed¬†
  • 200g (7oz) smoked pancetta, diced, or bacon lardons¬†
  • 1 head of spring greens, core removed and finely shredded¬†

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions until al dente. 

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the eggs and the Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses. Add a good grinding of black pepper and set aside. 

COOK’S TIP¬†

Make sure you take the frying pan off the heat when you add the egg and cheese mixture, or it will scramble. 

Heat 1tbsp of the olive oil in a large frying pan. Stir in the garlic and pancetta or bacon lardons and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until golden. Remove to a plate. 

Add the remaining olive oil to the same pan and stir in the shredded spring greens. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until just wilted. 

Return the cooked garlic and pancetta or lardons to the pan and keep the heat on low. 

Drain the pasta, reserving some of the water, and add to the spring greens mixture. Remove from the heat and quickly stir the egg and cheese mixture into the hot pasta, using the tongs to lift it all up a few times to make sure it is all coated. 

Add a couple of tablespoons of the pasta water to make it extra creamy. Serve with extra Parmesan and lots of black pepper.

Matthew Jukes’ wine pairing: Classy with carbonara¬†

2021 Rocca Alata, Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy £7.25, Tesco 

It doesn’t get more classic than a beautiful carbonara with fruity Valpolicella. On this occasion, I’d advise that you chill the red wine slightly as this heightens the cherry notes, and it will then cut through the greens and work wonders with the depth of flavour from the pancetta.

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