Easy Entertaining – Summer Sides with Urban Outfitters

This month I took time out with my sister Hannah, to chat to Urban Outfitters about all things baking, business, family and inspiration. You can read the full interview here.

Mixing business with family means life can get a little confusing from time to time. It becomes imperitive that you mark out dedicated ‘family time’ free from discussions on work, woes and worries. So below you’ll find a trio of recipes created in the spirit of long carefree summer days and family-style sharing sides, which were whipped up for a recent family get together.

These minimal fuss, quick mix and blitz recipes are simple and uncomplicated…pretty much everything we all want out of life. They all make for great vegan side options to any BBQ but will look equally elegant at al fresco summer dinner parties. 

Each recipe contains components that are incredibly versatile and can be used as part of other dishes. Try the sweet pea filling a top toasted sourdough with a poached egg for lazy brunching. Whip up the Avocado mousse and serve as cool contrast to your favourte chilli recipe. It also makes for a gret schmear on any bagel or burger bun. As for the candied cashews, they make for the perfect snack to have on hand as your party guests arrive or to snaffle at the open air summer cinema. 

Here’s to summer, sharing and family! 



Sweet Pea Endive

Candied Cashew Cooler

Avocado Whip

What you need –

For the Sweet Pea Endive

1 head of endive or chicory
200g frozen peas
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus a little to finish
2 tbsp finely chopped chives
2 tbsp finely chopped mint
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 preserved lemon, squeezed of excess brine and finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, rougly chopped
1/2 tsp flaky sea salt, plus more the finish
Freshly ground balck pepper
Pomegrante arils to finish

For the Candied Cashew Cooler

1 baby watermelon
28g fresh mint
Freshly ground black pepper
75g rocket 
150g cashews
35g water
55g caster sugar
1/2 tsp smoked sea salt
1/2 tsp sumac
1/8 tsp chilli flakes
1/8 tsp chipotle chilli powder

For the Avocado Whip

2 ripe avocadoes
200g coconut cream
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, (my favourite brand is Willy’s, available online through their website)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp finely chopped dill
2 tbsp finely chopped chives
1/2 tsp sea salt
zest of 1 lemon 
Crudités, sourdough bread or crackers to dip

What you do –

To make the Sweet Pea filling 

1. Place the frozen peas in a heatproof bowl and pour over boiling water from the kettle and allow them to thaw for 10 minutes.
2. Cut approximately one inch from the bottom of the endive, removing the root end. Unpeel the leaves to form little boats for the filling and set them aside.
2. Place roughly one third of the peas in the food processor and blitz until chunky in texture, do not puree completely. Scrape this into a bowl and set aside. 
3. Add the remaining peas and the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and process until completely smooth. 
4. Once completely smooth add the the bowl with the chunky pea mix and stir to thoroughly combine. Check the seasoning and add freshly ground black pepper and more salt to suit your taste. 
5. Fill each endive leaf with the sweet pea puree and set them on a platter for service. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and scatter over the pomegrate arils.

To Make the Candied Cashews
(This makes more than enough for the salad, extra can be served in small bowls as nibbles)

1. Pre-heat the oven to 150 degree celsius and toast the cashews until lightly golden brown, this may take 5-10 minutes, keep and eye on them to ensure they don’t burn.
2. Mix the sea salt and the spices togeher in a small bowl, set aside.
3. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. 
4. Place the sugar and water in a non-stick frying pan and place on a medium heat, bring to the boil, add the toasted cashews and stir frequently until the water evaporates and the sugar starts to crystalise around the nuts. This can take up to ten minutes. 
5. Once crystalisation starts add the salt and spice mixture and continue to cook, stirring constantly, the sugar will begin to melt and caramelise around the cashews. This can take a further 5 to 10 minutes. 
6. Once you have an even, caramelised sugar coating around the nuts scrape them from the pan onto the lined baking sheet. Allow to cool, as they cool they will become firm and crunchy, break up any large clumps that have formed. Set aside whilst you make the salad. 

To make the salad –

1. Halve the watermelon and chop into slices approximately 2 cm thick. Remove the outer rind and chop each chunk into rough 2 cm cubes. Place the chunks in a large bowl.
2. Remove the leaves from the mint sprigs and finely chop them. Add to the watermelon, along with around a 1/4tsp freshly ground black pepper. Add half of the rocket and toss together. 
3. Place the remaining rocket in a serving bowl or on a serving platter and top with the watermon salad.
4. Finely chop a handful of the candied cashews and scatter over the melon. Roughly crush a futher two handfuls of candied nuts and scatter over the salad before serving.

To make the Avocado Whip – 

1. Halve the avocados, take out the pit and remove the flesh from the skin. Place this in a food processor or blender along with the coconut cream, cider vinegar, olive oil, herbs, sea salt and lemon zest. Puree until super smooth with no lumps remaining. A high powered blender such as a Vitamix is brilliant for this and makes for an almost moussey like texture. Whilst this can be made in advance the beautiful green colour will fade to a less appealing shade so its best to make this just before serving.  
2. Check the seasonaing and add more salt or lemon zest to suit your taste. 
3. Scrape the mixture into a serving bowl, garnish with extra herbs or chilli flakes and serve alongside your crudités, bread and or crackers. 

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