As the Easter holidays approach, we’re all starting to think of what we need to make the most of our trips away. Always high on our agenda is what delicious recipes we can look forward to - and if we can buy our ingredients fresh and locally. There is nothing better than visiting a local fishmonger’s for the daily catch or taking a trip to a pick your own fruit farm and making something exceptional.
At Ventura, we like to think just because you don’t have your home kitchen doesn’t mean you need to suffer when it comes to meal times, so we’ve come up with a few quick and easy recipes that are perfect for the Easter break.
Chickpea, Chorizo and Spinach Stew.
3-4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, finely diced
1 celery stick, finely diced
few thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
200g chorizo, diced
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
2 x 410g/14oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1-2 tbsp sherry vinegar
400g bag spinach leaves, washed and drained
Heat the oil in a large pan, then gently fry the onion for 3-4 mins until it begins to soften. Stir in the carrot, celery, thyme and bay leaves. Season, then cook for 2-3 mins, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, chorizo, cinnamon and smoked paprika. Gently fry until the vegetables soften and the chorizo starts to release its oils and crisp up.
Stir in the chickpeas, vinegar and 150ml water, then bring to a simmer for 1-2 mins until the chickpeas have heated up. Add the spinach, then stir through the chickpeas until it wilts a little. Remove from the heat, season to taste, then serve warm with crusty bread.
Salmon with Herbs and Lemon.
4 salmon filets
8 slices of lemon
4 tbsp. dijon mustard
4 sprigs of dill
4 sprigs of tarragon
4 tbsp. butter
2 garlic gloves, minced
1 shallot, sliced
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Season salmon fillets liberally with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Spread 1 tbsp. of dijon mustard on the tops of each salmon filets.
Layer 2 lemon slices, a sprig of tarragon and dill, a few slices of shallot, 1 tbsp. of butter, and some garlic on each salmon filet. Splash the tops of the filets with a big gulp of olive oil.
Wrap salmon filets individually in tin foil.
Put tin foil wrapped salmon directly in fire of campfire or BBQ.
Cook for 6-8 minutes, or until fish is cooked.
Sea Bass with Wilted Spinach and Mushrooms.
50g unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
4 x 180g sea bass fillets, skin on and scored
150g button mushrooms, sliced
50–100ml fresh fish stock
250g baby spinach leaves
4–5 tbsp crème fraiche
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Heat a large frying pan and put in 30g butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil.
Add the shallots and cook over a low/medium heat for 3 minutes until softened,
Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
In another large frying pan and add the remaining oil and butter.
Once the oil is hot put in the sea bass fillets and cook over a medium heat for 2–3 minutes on each side, skin-side down first.
Add the mushrooms to the pan of shallots and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add the fish stock and allow to reduce for 1 minute before adding the baby spinach.
Once the spinach has wilted, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the crème fraîche.
Season to taste.
Place the wilted spinach and mushrooms in the centre of each plate and put the sea bass fillets on top.