Try Bill Granger’s healthy Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate recipe for starters, followed by his cheeky Crisp Pork Belly with Apple Sauce recipe for main and devilish Plum Jam Tart recipe for dessert. Try these three Bill Granger’s recipes below and this weekend’s three-course dinner = sorted.
Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate recipe by Bill Granger
‘This pseudo-grain (it’s actually a seed) has been a staple in South America for centuries, but more recently it has become a favourite on California-style health-food cafe menus,’ says Bill. ‘Don’t let that put you off though! It has a lovely nutty flavour and texture and, like couscous and bulgar wheat, makes a perfect starchy ‘canvas’ for gutsy salads like this. It’s also great for the wheat intolerant, so seems destined to become ever more fashionable.’
150g green beans, topped and cut into short lengths
a handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 Lebanses cucumbers, cut into chunks
1 green pepper, deseeded, cut into strips
1 small red onion, very finely sliced
100g green olives, pitted
seeds from 1 pomegranate
extra-virgin olive oil
Method- serves 4
Rinse the quinoa and put in a large pan with 500ml cold water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for 12-15 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed.
Meanwhile, blanch the beans in a pan of lightly salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes until they are bright green and tender yet crisp. Rinse under cold running water and drain well.
Put the quinoa in a bowl and stir in the parsley, lemon juice and olive oil. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Spoon into serving dishes and top with the cucumber, green pepper, onion, olives and pomegranate seeds. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice to serve.
‘Who doesn’t love pork crackling? (Sorry, vegetarians!),’ says Bill. ‘This has become a very fashionable dish in restaurants, with the slow cooking producing the most wonderfully succulent meat under that crunchy skin and melting crackling layer. I like this as a classic Sunday lunch with apple sauce, roast spuds and a salad of bitter leaves like chicory and radicchio with a mustard dressing. Or break up the crisp pork belly over the bitter leaves and add a thin slice of apple or pear for a lighter meal.’
900g pork belly
3 bay leaves
4 garlic cloves, squashed with the back of a knife
3 strips of orange peel
Bitter salad leaves
Method – serves 4-6
Preheat the oven to 140 degrees C/gas mark 1 and score the pork belly lengthways witha sharp knife (a craft knife is useful for this). Rub the pork belly with lots of sea salt, making sure you get the score marks. Pul, uncovered, in the fridge for 30 minutes to dry out.
Put the bay leaves, garlic and orange peel in a roasting tin and place the pork belly on top. Pour 1cm cold water into the tin and raost the pork, uncovered, for 3 hours.
Increase the oven to 220degreesC/gas mark 8 and roast the pork for 20-30 minutes, or until the skin crackles. (If the skin won’t crackle, put under a hot grill for 1-2 minutes). Remove from the oven, cover the foil and leave to rest for 15 minutes. Serve with apple sauce and salad leaves.
Apple sauce recipe
Peel, core and cut 4 apples into quarters. Put in a saucepan with 60ml water. Cover the pan and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes until the apple is soft.
Add 2 tablespoons caster sugar, a knob of butter, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and a pinch of mixed spice. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and the butter melted, then remove from the heat and cool a little before serving.
‘This was inspired by two things: those lovely, cake-like Italian fruit tarts that make the perfect pick-me-up with a cuppa; and memories of childhood jam tarts and the nursery rhyme ‘Queen of Hearts’. This is my modern-day version – a very delicious fruit-laden crostata.’
100g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
90 caster sugar
175g plain flour
25g ground almonds
Plum Jam Topping
800g plums, pitted and quartered
100g caster sugar
2 teaspoons cornflour
1 tablespoon orange juice
Method – serves 8-10
Preheat the oven to 180degrees C/gas mark 4 and grease and line a 24cm springform cake tin. To make the pastry, stir together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour and a pinch of sea salt and stir to make a soft dough.
Press the dough evenly into the base of the tin with your fingertips. Put the tin on a baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is slightly puffy and golden. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the ground almonds over the pastry base.
Meanwhile, to make the topping, toss together the plums, sugar, cornflour and orange juice. Arrange over the pastry base and return to the oven for 30-40 minutes until cooked through. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before serving. Delicious warm or at room temperature.
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Recipes taken from Bill’s Basics by Bill Granger (Quadrille, £25)
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