James St Recipes: Putting side dishes centre stage - Niall McKenna's scallions with pesto and dauphinoise potatoes
WHEN cooking at home I always tend to have a great selection of sides available to add variety to the meal. Whether it's to accompany a Sunday roast or to have alongside your summer barbecue, knowing how to make a great side salad, seasonal greens and potatoes is essential.
The first recipe is scallions with pesto. This dish is a great way to use up any left-over seasonal vegetables and when paired with a homemade pesto, you have a delicious side dish that is bursting with flavour.
The second of this week's recipes is a very popular side dish in the restaurant, dauphinoise potatoes. The creamy, indulgent potato recipe topped with Gruyère cheese is a great accompaniment to a traditional Sunday lunch.
For more information, or to book an experience at the Waterman Cookery School, visit cookinbelfast.co.uk.
SCALLIONS WITH PESTO
4 bunches of scallions, trimmed top and bottom
2 lemons, cut into wedges
Sea salt to serve
2 cloves garlic
1tbsp thyme leaves
75g smoked almonds
100ml olive oil
20g grated Parmesan
½ lemon, juiced
Place the garlic, parsley, thyme, almonds and salt into a blender and blitz. Once pulsed, add the oil and lemon and mix the Parmesan through when removing from the blender.
To cook the scallions place on the hottest part of the grill and cook for two to three minutes or until lightly charred. Next, turn the scallions and cook for a further two to three minutes on the other side
Spoon over the pesto and serve whilst hot with a lemon wedge on the side. Season with sea salt when serving.
300ml double cream
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
80g Gruyère cheese, grated
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Peel the potatoes and slice to the thickness of a £1 coin.
In a large saucepan, bring the milk and cream to the boil. Add in the garlic slices, thyme, and seasoning. Simmer for two minutes before adding the sliced the potatoes to the saucepan. Simmer for a further five minutes until the potatoes are soft but still whole.
Place a colander over a bowl and drain. Keep the creamy mixture but remove the herbs.
Mix two-thirds of the Gruyère cheese with the potatoes by folding it in gently so as not to break up the potatoes and place the mixture evenly into a gratin dish. Pour the creamy milk over the potatoes until it just reaches the top and finish it off with the remaining cheese.
Set the dish in the fridge to chill until you are ready to bake.
Pre-heat the oven to 200C and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.
Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.