We're about to have our house refurbished (floors, carpets, bathrooms, kitchen - yey! etc), and have to move out to do so, so spent the whole weekend packing, boxing things up, trying to work out what should go to recycling, and getting the house as empty as possible (again, I'm less than helpful with a broken hand, but I did try!)

Lifting might not be my forte for another few weeks, but I am now able to whip up a few basics in the kitchen as the strength of my thumb/finger grip is getting better. I therefore decided to do my part to help with the weekend move by keeping everyone well fed. The move also forced me to empty the freezer, which is what inspired the first dish I cooked, as I found half a side of salmon in the freezer which I'd got when it was on special offer at Ocado.

It still feels like summer to me, so I made a huge, healthy salad to keep everyone going on Saturday.


Makes enough for 6-8 people

1 half side of Scottish salmon
2 lemons
Handful basil leaves
Tablespoon of capers
Couple of anchovy fillets
Olive oil

300g puy lentils
1 cube vegetable stock
1 tsp garlic granules
Basil stalks
3 carrots
2 spring onions
Handful of tomatoes
1 cucumber
Salt and pepper

1 part lemon juice
2 parts olive oil
Large pinch sea salt
1 crushed clove of garlic

I actually made this in 2 parts - I cooked the salmon on Friday evening and cut off a fillet each for me and the boy, which we had warm with green beans, new potatoes and homemade hollandaise sauce. Then on Saturday I made this salad.

To cook the salmon, preheat the oven to 220C (200C fan).

Slice 2 lemons thinly to create discs. Put the lemon discs onto some tin foil on a baking tray. Sprinkle the capers over the lemons, and add the basil and anchovy fillets. Drizzle with oil and a good grind of pepper. Place the side of salmon skin side up on top of the sliced lemons. Rub the salmon fillet on both sides with olive oil and another good grind of pepper. Put the salmon in the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes (I did ours for just over 10 minutes and it was perfect). Gently peel off the skin when you take the fish out of the oven.

I left the remainder of what we didn't eat to cool, and then made this wonderful salad the next day.

Rinse the lentils, then put in a saucepan and cover with 3 times the amount of water. Crumble the stock cube in, add the garlic granules and basil stalks, bring to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes, or until the lentils are softening but still with a firm bite.

While the lentils are cooking prepare the rest of the salad. I did all my chopping in my Magimix, partly lazy, partly I can't grip that well yet with my broken hand! So put the tomatoes, spring onions, carrots and cucumber (sliced in half lengthways) through the 2mm slicer on the magimix, or cut very finely by hand.

In a jam jar, mix the oil, lemon, salt and garlic, and shake well.

Once the lentils are cooked, drain and allow to cool slightly. Tip the sliced vegetables into the lentils and stir. Now pour over a generous helping of your homemade dressing and mix it all up.

Plate up by putting the salad on a large plate and flaking chunks of salmon on top. Squeeze with lemon, and tuck in!

By Sunday we were all exhausted! We popped out for breakfast at our local Italian sandwich shop. It was really, really busy in there as there were loads of people using our local tube to get to Mela Festival in Gunnersbury Park. We had toasted paninis (that were a bit dry) and some of their great coffee, and bought some gorgonzola, salami, parma ham and goats cheese to take away with us for a late lunch/early supper picnic.


I made a really easy loaf of bread - I've actually posted the recipe here before, but this time I added a handful of poppy seeds that gave the bread a really nice crunch , and omitted the apricots as I didn't have any at home! I sliced the goats cheese in half and drizzled with maple honey, crushed walnuts (leftover from the bread) and a few sprigs of fresh thyme, and served with the bread, LOTS of butter (!!), meats and cheeses, and a tomato salad on the side.

We finished our meal with a slice of my banana bread, which is the boy's favorite (and lots of yours - it's still one of my most popular recipe posts!), hence the many references to it!

What did you cook at the weekend? Please do let me know if you have any tips on easy food to cook in a nearly empty kitchen!




    ...this sounds like my idea of heaven!!

    Caroline x
    Cocktails and Caroline

    1. It tasted soooo good! And the boy doesn't really like goats cheese either so I got to eat most of it!!

      R xx

  2. I have been making a Salmon and Lentil salad at least once a week for the past few weeks too! Think I need to try your one next time-your ingredients look more interesting than mine!
    And that bread looks delish too...
    Lulu x

    1. Do give it a try! It's a lovely fresh salad, and so quick and easy to make - just like the bread!

      R xx


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