Kitty's Vibrant Early Summer Menu For Long Lunching With Friends - The Gloss Magazine

Kitty’s Vibrant Early Summer Menu For Long Lunching With Friends

Kitty Coles celebrates the Spanish tradition of sobremesa – relaxing at the table after a meal, “the longer we linger at the table, the better we know eachother.” Here are the perfect recipes to try for a long lunch with friends or to make midweek. Read more about Kitty’s thoughts in THE GLOSS May Issue out today…


Layers of spring flavours on a plate. On a warm early summer day, there’s little that will taste better than this. I eat a lot of variations of this salad depending on the season and can’t wait to swap the greens for big summer tomatoes. You’ll make more dressing than you need but it lasts up to a month so it’s great to have on hand. I love to cube up blocks of feta and pour this dressing over to marinade. Or drizzle it over a simple tuna salad for instant flavour. The list is endless and  it brings life to something simple. @kittycoles

For 2

For the spiced oil dressing
• 100ml of extra virgin olive oil
• 2 garlic cloves, peeled and very finely sliced
• a small pinch of chilli flakes (I like aleppo)
• a pinch of fennel seeds
• peel and juice from 1 lemon

For the crispy breadcrumbs
• 100g (about 2 slices) of stale white or wholemeal bread
• 3 tbsps of olive oil
• salt and pepper

For the salad
• 1 ball of good quality mozzarella
• 100g garden peas
• 100g green beans, trimmed
• a small handful of mint, leaves picked
• a small handful of basil, leaves picked

For the spiced oil dressing
1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel 3 strips from the lemon.
2. Add this to a small saucepan with the oil, garlic, chilli flakes, and fennel seeds.
3. Gently warm the mixture over a medium heat making sure not to let the oil bubble. We just want to infuse the oil with the flavours and soften the garlic. This should take around 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool.

For the crispy breadcrumbs
1. Blend the bread in a food processor until you have breadcrumbs, then add them to a frying pan with the oil and salt.
2. Gently fry for 6-8 minutes on medium, high heat, stirring often until golden and crisp.

For the salad
1. Bring a pot of water to boil with a pinch of salt and boil the green beans for 1 minute before adding the peas for another minute so they are both just cooked. Drain, then rinse in cold water.
2. Tear the mozzarella open and place onto a plate.
3. In a separate bowl toss the green vegetables with the mint, basil, the juice and zest of half a lemon and salt and pepper.
4. Mound the lemon dressed salad on top of the mozzarella then spoon over 2 tablespoons of the warm oil. Finish with a handful of the breadcrumbs then eat immediately.


I think over complicating things is common in food these days, and I’m always so hard on myself about coming up with new things. I’m a basic cook, with basic ingredients in the house and this is what I cook at home. It’s something comforting, but also fresh, simple to cook and special enough to impress friends and family. A simple early summer roast chicken that I know you’ll cook again and again. This is a great pairing with my spring mozzarella salad and I’d highly recommend adding the beans at the end. @kittycoles

For 4

• 1.5-1.8kg a whole free-range chicken
• 2 medium brown onions, peeled, halved and finely sliced
• 1 whole garlic bulb
• 700g cherry tomatoes
• 1 tsp dried oregano
• 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• salt and pepper
• 1/2 lemon
• Optional: 1 jar or tin of butter beans, chickpeas or cannellini beans, drained

For the salsa verde
• a large handful of parsley, finely chopped
• a small handful of basil, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tbsp capers
• juice of 1/2 lemon
• salt and pepper

To serve
• rocket or green salad
• fresh bread
• parmesan

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C Fan and take the chicken out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking.
2. Get a heavy based pot that will fit the chicken in, I like to use a cast iron pot, an ovenproof large frying pan or high-sided small roasting dish.
3. Peel, halve and finely slice the onions and add them to the pot or pan with all the cherry tomatoes, oregano, whole garlic bulb, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch salt and pepper. Toss so everything is coated.
4. Season the chicken generously before pouring 2 tablespoons of oil over and massaging it all over with your hands. The oil gives the chicken a little kickstart in the oven, so make sure you get it into every nook and cranny to achieve maximum crispiness. Add half the lemon to the cavity of the chicken then place on top of the tomatoes. It should fit snugly so when the chicken roasts, the tomatoes and onions will cook in the juices from the chicken creating a jam-like and delicious base.
5. Roast in the oven, legs at the back, for 30 minutes. Then rotate the chicken and roast it for a further 25 minutes (this will differ depending on the size of the chicken), until golden, crisp and the juices from the leg run clear. (You’re aiming for 70°C at the base of the breast, if you have a meat thermometer)
6. Lift the chicken from the pot using tongs and tilt it to allow the juices from the cavity to drip into the tomatoes. Transfer the chicken to a large bowl so all the resting juices collect at the bottom of the bowl while resting, instead of spreading all over the chopping board!
7. It’s essential to let the chicken rest for at least 20 minutes at this point so just set it aside while you make the salsa. Remove the whole garlic from the tomatoes.
8. At this point, you can add a drained jar or tin of good quality butter beans, chickpeas or cannellini beans to the pot for an easy one pot meal. Either way, return the tomatoes to the oven to blister a little for 10-15 minutes.
9. Squeeze out the roasted garlic from the skins into a small bowl and mash with the back of a fork. Mix in the chopped parsley, basil and capers then pour in 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and the juice of the other half of lemon with a small pinch of salt and pepper and mix.
10. Carve the chicken (see tips below).
11. Spoon the tomatoes on to a large lipped platter or bowl and top with the carved chicken. Serve alongside the salsa, a little grating of parmesan if you want, rocket salad and fresh crusty bread for mopping up the juices.

Notes on carving a chicken:

1. To carve the chicken, position it with the legs facing you.
2. Slice three-quarters of the way down between the leg and breast, releasing the skin but not going through the bone. Then, with your hands, simply grab one leg at a time and gently snap them off. They should naturally break off at the socket.
3. Transfer them to a warmed plate or platter.
4. Next, feel for the centre bone of the chicken and, using a sharp knife, slice down slightly to the left of the bone and slowly cut down while pulling away with your hands so that you’re able to neatly cut the breast meat away from the bone.
5. Turn the chicken around, then repeat with the other breast. Slice the breasts however you wish, then add to the platter.
6. You’ll now be left with the wings. Simply pull the wings away from the carcass, which will show you where the break in the bone is, then slice down the middle to easily release the wings. 


For 6-8
• 200g medjool dates (roughly chopped)
• 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
• 75g soft unsalted butter (plus more for greasing)
• 50g runny honey
• 50g light muscovado sugar
• 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
• 150g plain flour
• 2 tsps baking powder
• a small pinch of salt

For the apricots
• 6-8 apricots, halved and de-stoned
• 120g sugar
• 300ml water
• zest and juice of 2 lemons

1. Line a 23cm round or square tin with parchment paper then preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F.
2. Roughly chop the dates then add to a bowl with 200ml of boiling water and the bicarbonate of soda, then set aside for 10 minutes. Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl.
3. Cream the butter, honey and brown sugar in a stand mixer or with an electric hand whisk until light before whisking in the eggs one by one. Fold in the flour mix with a pinch of salt, making sure not to over-mix for a light sponge. Now add in the dates with their liquid, mixing until smooth before pouring into the prepared tin.
4. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and risen then allow to rest.
5. While the sponge is in the oven, make the apricots and syrup. Make the poaching liquid by putting the sugar in a pan with 300ml water plus the lemon and lemon zest. Heat until just steaming then add the halved apricots cut side down. Simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes, until the fruit softens and the skins start to come away from the flesh.
6. Carefully lift the apricots out of the poaching liquid onto a plate then continue to simmer for around 4-5 minutes until you have a loose syrup.
7. Serve the warm sponge with a few apricots, lemon syrup and plenty of fresh cream.



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