Lunch in the sun - recipes from Fallon & Byrne's executive chef
Fallon & Byrne's executive chef Tom Meenaghan rustles up a rustic al fresco feast packed with fresh flavours
Summer dining is all about fresh, delicious tastes, bursting with flavour and ideally savoured in the warm glow of the afternoon sun. This week's recipes take their inspiration from the menu at Fallon & Byrne's restaurant in the People's Park, Dún Laoghaire - a venue for lazy afternoons, set as it is in a restored Victorian pavilion.
Tom Meenaghan's recipes reflect the season. They are all light and sunny: from the classic combo of pea and mint to the hot and cold contrast in the prawn salad and, finally, to the unexpected appearance of basil and tomato in the dessert - a sweet and savoury match made in heaven.
Exciting times are ahead for Fallon & Byrne who, in addition to their Dún Laoghaire restaurant and gourmet food hall/restaurant/wine bar on Dublin's Exchequer Street, are opening a food hall and casual eatery in Rathmines in the coming months.
Basil panna cotta with tomato jam & berries
You can make a day ahead. To enhance the flavours, serve with a glass of SO Prosecco DOC
For the basil panna cotta:
1 ½ gelatine leaves
200ml double cream
55g caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence
15g basil leaves
For the moulds:
Use either 4 round dariole moulds, ramekins or even espresso cups
For the tomato jam:
1 beef tomato (roughly chopped, including skin)
45g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
4 sprigs of mint
6 raspberries, halved
6 blackberries, halved
1. To make the panna cotta, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water until soft, then squeeze off the excess water. Bring the cream, sugar and vanilla to the boil.
2. Using a stick blender, blend the basil with the milk until it is puréed. Sieve this mixture into the cream before bringing to the boil again.
3. When it has come to the boil, remove from the heat and whisk in the gelatine leaves.
4. Strain the mixture again and pour into 4 moulds; leave these to cool and then set overnight in the fridge.
5. For the tomato jam, mix all of the ingredients together and marinate overnight.
6. The following day, bring the tomato jam mixture to the boil, then turn down and cook over a low heat for about 20-30 minutes, ensuring that it doesn't burn, until most of the juices have evaporated and there is a thick consistency. Allow to cool.
7. To serve, turn out the panna cottas from the moulds straight out of the fridge and place in the centre of a plate. You will need to run a small knife along the inside of the moulds to release the panna cotta, or else dip the moulds into hot water for around 2-3 seconds. Spoon some of the tomato jam around the panna cotta on the plate. Garnish each one with a sprig of mint and 3 halves each of raspberries and blackberries.
Tiger Prawn Salad with mango, coriander, coconut & ginger yoghurt dressing
To enhance the flavours, serve with a glass of Guy Allion 2015 Gamay
For the yoghurt dressing:
100g Greek yoghurt
30g chopped pickled ginger
30g finely grated fresh ginger
Salt and pepper, to taste
For the house dressing:
5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
½ tsp wholegrain mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste
For the prawns:
24 tiger prawns, cut in half lengthwise
200g plain flour
3 free-range eggs, whisked
300g panko breadcrumbs
200-300ml rapeseed or vegetable oil, for frying
For the salad:
3 heads baby gem lettuce, washed
1 fresh mango, peeled and diced
40-50g grated fresh coconut or dried coconut flakes
40g fresh coriander leaves
2 mild red chillies, deseeded and sliced finely
4 scallions, sliced finely
1. To make the yoghurt dressing, whisk or blend all of the ingredients together and then place in the fridge.
2. To make the house dressing, whisk or blend all of the ingredients together and leave to one side.
3. Toss the prawns in flour to coat and shake off any excess. Then dip in the whisked egg and coat with the breadcrumbs.
4. Fry the coated prawns in hot oil for roughly 1 minute, until cooked through and golden.
5. Remove the prawns from the oil and place them on a dry piece of kitchen towel to absorb excess oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
6. For the salad, tear the baby gem leaves and toss in some house dressing. Place the dressed baby gem on a plate, top with dollops of the yoghurt dressing, then sprinkle on the mango, coconut and coriander. Finally, place on the prawns and garnish with the chilli and scallions.
Asparagus & courgette open sandwich with minted peas
Serve with a glass of Dr. Lippold Empress Josephine's Riesling 2014
2 courgettes (sliced at a slight angle)
12 asparagus spears
1 sourdough baguette
For the minted peas: 200g fresh or frozen peas
20g mint leaves (finely sliced)
30g extra-virgin olive oil
Zest of ½ lemon
1. First make the minted peas. Blanch the peas in boiling water for 1 minute. Then crush the peas roughly with a fork along with the sliced mint, olive oil and lemon zest.
2. Chargrill or roast the courgette slices and whole asparagus spears.
3. Slice the baguette at an angle to get 4 long slices. Lightly toast, then spread the crushed peas on the bread. Top with the grilled courgette slices and finish each sandwich with 3 asparagus spears. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4. Serve with a mixed leaf side salad garnished with house dressing (see recipe, top right).