Sweet potato salad


This simple healthy salad of baked potato chunks makes a great alternative to mayonnaise-based versions.

Ingredients

  • 1.2kg sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into biggish chunks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the dressing

  • 2 shallots (or half a small red onion), finely chopped
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • small bunch chives, snipped into quarters or use mini ones
  • 5 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey

Method

  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Toss the sweet potato chunks with the olive oil and some seasoning, and spread on a baking parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast for 30 - 35 mins until tender and golden. Cool at room temperature.
  2. When just about cool whisk together all the dressing ingredients with a little more seasoning and gently toss through the potato chunks – use your hands to avoid breaking them up.

BBQ pulled pork


An American classic, the meat is slow-cooked then shredded or ‘pulled’ and layered with BBQ sauce, pickles and slaw in a soft brioche bun.

Ingredients

  • 2½ kg boneless pork shoulder, skin removed
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp Spanish paprika (pimentón)
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp onion salt
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke (optional, see tip, below)

To serve

  • 16 brioche buns (see 'goes well with')
  • Tangy cabbage slaw, homemade chipotle molasses BBQ sauce (see recipes in 'goes well with') and sweet-and-sour pickled cucumbers from a jar, sliced

Method

  1. Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Rub the pork with 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Heat a large non-stick pan until very hot and sear the pork on all sides until golden brown.
  2. Place the meat on a wire rack in a roasting tin. Mix the paprika, mustard powder, garlic and onion salt, and some black pepper with the liquid smoke, if using. Brush all over the meat.
  3. Add 1 cup of water to the roasting tin, cover very tightly with foil and cook for 5 hrs or until almost falling apart.
  4. Drain the juices from the meat into a measuring jug. Shred the pork using 2 forks, discarding the fat.
  5. Skim off the fat from the juices. Mix 125ml of the juices with 4 tbsp BBQ sauce (see recipe in 'goes well with') and pour over the meat. Keep warm until serving, or reheat.
  6. To assemble, pile the meat into the halved brioche buns, spoon over the BBQ sauce, top with coleslaw and pickles, and sandwich together.

Lemon cheesecake


This classic lemon cheesecake is a no-bake, make-ahead wonder. Enjoy a zingy lemon dessert in less than 30 minutes.

Ingredients

For the biscuit base
  • 10 digestive biscuits
  • 75g/3oz butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp clear honey
For the filling
  • 700g/1½ lb mascarpone cheese
  • 2 lemon, juice and zest
  • 200g/7oz caster sugar, plus more to taste
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
  • mint, to garnish
For the sauce
  • 450g frozen summer fruits, defrosted
  • icing sugar, to taste

Preparation method

  1. Brush the bottom of a 23cm/9in springform cake tin with some of the melted butter and place a round of greaseproof paper in the base.
  2. Crush the biscuits and tip them into a bowl, add the melted butter and honey and stir until well combined.
  3. Tip the mixture into the bottom of the cake tin. Using the back of a spoon, gently push the crumbs from the centre outward, until smooth and level. This will form the base of the cheesecake. Chill in the fridge while making the filling.
  4. For the filling, mix the mascarpone cheese, lemon juice and zest and caster sugar together in a bowl until well combined. Do not mix the mixture too much as this will cause it to split. Taste the mixture and add more sugar, to taste.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the tin on top of the chilled biscuit mixture and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  6. When ready to serve, either run a hot cloth or blowtorch round the outside of the tin and ease out the cheesecake.
  7. For the sauce, blend most of the fruits with some icing sugar (to taste) in a food processor until smooth. Pass the sauce through a sieve.
  8. Place the cheesecake onto a plate, decorate the top with the sprigs of fresh mint and spoon the sauce around the side. Decorate with the remaining berries.