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  • Crowd Pleasing Recipes

    Exclusive end of summer seasonal recipes, which are ideal for feeding a crowd, from our foodie friends Alice Hart and Georgina Fuggle... 

    "The trick to effortless Bank Holiday weekend cooking is to keep flavours fresh and vibrant and methods simple. These seasonal, crowd-pleaser recipes should fit the bill if you want to enjoy downtime with friends and family rather than slaving in the kitchen."

    Bruschetta Platter: Peach, Tomato & Mozzarella Bruschetta with basil oil and Crab, Chilli & Fennel Bruschetta

    A laidback platter featuring two easy bruschetta flavours to make the most of late summer’s ingredients. Peaches, tomatoes and basil are at their very best right now and the chilli, fennel and crab combination is about as fresh as it gets. Do feel free to stick to one bruschetta flavour rather than making both variations though, in which case you might wish to double the topping ingredients to feed at least six people generously.

    Serves 6-8 as a starter/makes 20-24 bruschetta (10-12 of each flavour)

    I N G R E D I E N T S 

    12 medium slices rustic/sourdough bread
    Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
    1-2 ripe peaches or nectarines
    200g ripe, heirloom tomatoes
    2 handfuls basil leaves
    1 small garlic clove, peeled and halved
    2 rounds mozzarella, drained and torn
    150g fresh white crab meat
    ½ lemon, finely grated zest and juice
    1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and very finely sliced (any herby fronds reserved)
    ½ small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
    A small handful fennel fronds or dill, chopped

    M E T H O D 

    Preheat the oven to 180°C, 160°C fan, gas mark 4. To make the bruschetta bases, space the sliced bread out on baking trays and brush lightly with olive oil. Season and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, turning at least once, until pale golden and crisp. Rub one surface very lightly with the cut side of half a garlic clove and set aside.

    To make the peach and tomato bruschetta, start with the basil oil.

    Put two-thirds of the basil leaves in a mini food processor or pestle and mortar with the remaining half garlic clove, a generous pour of oil and a good pinch of sea salt. Blitz or pound to form a rough, sludgy puree, adding more oil if it needs loosening further. Stir in a few drops of lemon juice to brighten, taste and adjust the seasoning. If you like, strain the oil to remove the large pieces of basil leaves or just leave it rustic.

    Halve and stone the nectarines or peaches, cutting them into thin slices. Slice the tomatoes or cut into wedges according to size; you want all the pieces to be easy to eat, but not so small they lose their identity.  

    Toss the nectarines or peaches and tomatoes with the torn mozzarella and remaining basil (tearing the larger leaves). Divide between half the bruschetta. Spoon more basil oil over and season with salt and pepper to finish.  

    To make the crab, chilli and fennel bruschetta, combine the crab, lemon zest and juice, fennel and its fronds (or dill), 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. 

    Pile the fennel and crab mixture onto the warm bruschetta toasts and serve soon. 

    Summery Sea Trout, New Potato and Cherry Tomato Roast

    The easiest of summery main courses for a crowd, all cooked in one tray after a quick spot of potato-boiling. You can vary the fish, using sea bass or sea bream fillets (remembering they will need a little less cooking time if the fillets are thin) and use your favourite herb in place of the thyme.

    Serves 6

    I N G R E D I E N T S

    1kg small new potatoes
    400g cherry tomatoes on the vine, snipped into 6 ‘sprigs’
    A handful green olives, pitted
    6 thyme sprigs, leaves stripped
    6-8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, to taste
    50ml dry white wine
    75g green olives, pitted
    6 x 150g sea trout or salmon fillets, skinless
    Peppery salad leaves, to serve

    M E T H O D

    Preheat the oven to 220°C, 200°C fan, gas mark 8.

    Put the potatoes in a large saucepan with water to cover generously. Add a fat pinch of salt and bring up to the boil. Simmer for 8 minutes until the potatoes are not-quite-cooked (use the point of a knife to check the centres). Drain and refresh under cool water then slice thinly.

    Spread the potatoes out in the base of a large roasting tin. Arrange the cherry tomato sprigs, still on their vines, on top and scatter with the olives and half the thyme leaves. Drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil and the white wine to coat. Season well. Slide into the oven to roast for 10 minutes.

    Rub the sea trout or salmon fillets with a generous amount of the remaining olive oil (you may not need it all) and a good seasoning of salt and pepper. Sit on top of the potatoes and return to the oven for 10 minutes, until the skin is crisp, if present, and the fillets are almost cooked through. Set aside for 5 minutes before serving to allow the fish to continue cooking. Scatter with the remaining thyme leaves.

    Serve with peppery leaves on the side, such as watercress or rocket, making sure everyone gets a portion of the ready-made dressing in the base of the tray.

    Recipes created exclusively for hush by Georgina Fuggle & Alice Hart, photography by Georgina Fuggle.