Food & drink

James St Recipes: Putting side dishes centre stage - Niall McKenna's scallions with pesto and dauphinoise potatoes

Scallions with pesto - a delicious side dish bursting with flavour.
Niall McKenna

Scallions with pesto - a delicious side dish bursting with flavour.

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.

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(Serves 4)

4 bunches of scallions, trimmed top and bottom

2 lemons, cut into wedges

Sea salt to serve


2 cloves garlic

150g parsley

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.

Niall McKenna's dauphinoise potatoes - a great accompaniment to a traditional Sunday lunch.


600g potatoes

350ml milk

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.

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