Lazy weekend feasting

It’s late summer and the time for easy food with friends. When you’re gluten-free easy is a somewhat subjective thing. Anyway I had totally forgotten that one of my GF besties was coming for dinner and was feeling crazy-lazy after a hectic week, I threw this lot together in about 15 mins. It’s super easy and would work really well as a picnic if we get an Indian summer – we can always be a little wishful, right?

salmon pate 1.JPG

I have a big love for Marks and Spencer, who have an amazing GF range (and then go and spoil it all by doing things like putting flour on their readymade fries… WHY??!!). Anyway they have probably the best sliced gluten-free bread on the high street, though sadly not vegan for any of my plant-based GF friends out there. It is the closest thing to a regular seeded brown loaf that I have found AND they use this for their gluten-free sandwiches for grabbing to go, and feeling like a normal person – such luxury!!

It makes great gluten-free toasts to top with whatever you want, in this case hot smoked salmon pâté, although it would also be great with cheese or cut a little smaller for canapés! Add in a couple of salads that work well together and you’re done! Like I said, EASY!!

 

Gluten-free seeded toasts

(gluten-free and vegetarian)

I recommend using the M&S brown seeded sliced bread for this because it behaves exactly like normal bread and gives relatively robust mini toasts, I’m not sure that a lot of the gluten-free sliced bread I have tried would work quite so well for this! The bread as I have already mentioned is not vegan, like a lot of packaged GF breads it contains egg, I guess to get the lightness and rise that people expect from sliced bread.

  1. Put the slices of bread in the grill whole and toast on both sides
  2. Once they are the requisite golden-brown then take them out and slice in half on the diagonal, if you are doing this to make canapés or using a larger loaf of bread then you might like to make them smaller and cut into quarters.
  3. Then cut the pieces of toast down the middle so that they are thin, with toasted bread down one side and the inside on the other (some people might like to remove the crusts but I just let them be)
  4. Return the toasts to the grill and toast the inside, making sure they don’t burn – it will toast quite quickly!

 

salmon pate 2
Hot Smoked Salmon pate in about 3 minutes…

 

Hot Smoked Salmon pâté 

(pescetarian, gluten-free, lactose-free, dairy free if you follow the adaptation)

  • 200g Hot smoked salmon
  • 150g cream cheese (I used a lactose-free version but if you can eat it then go ahead and use regular, or if you have a dairy allergy or can’t find a lactose free option then you can substitute for soft silken tofu)
  • 1 unwaxed lemon – both the zest and the juice
  • a few fronds of dill torn up
  • black pepper to taste
  1. Mix together the cream cheese or tofu with the lemon juice and zest
  2. Stir through the salmon, there is no need to blend it – the hot smoked fish will break up nicely just mixing it up with a fork.
  3. Add the dill and Black pepper to taste, and stir it through again.

This takes a couple of minutes to make and is delicious, great for last minute get-togethers and picnics. All you need to to is whip together the ingredients with a fork!! If you have a dairy allergy then soft silken tofu makes a great switch for cream cheese, so you keep the rich creamy texture, although you may need a little bit less than if you are using cream cheese so keep a little in reserve and then add after the salmon, so you can judge the texture.

 

salmon pete whitebeansalad
Butter bean salad – also so delicious with chickpeas!

 

Butter bean salad

(vegan and gluten-free)

  • 1 400g tin of butter beans, drained
  • 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 a red onion diced
  • 5 or 6 fronds of dill
  • a handful of parsley
  • 2tsp of mustard powder
  • black pepper to taste
  1. Mix together the mustard, oil and lemon juice, with a fork in a bowl
  2. Add the diced red onion and leave in the dressing for a couple of minutes
  3. Roughly tear the dill and parsley and then add to the bowl along with the beans, and black pepper to taste.
  4. Sometimes the beans absorb a lot of the dressing, if they do then add a little bit more extra virgin olive oil just before serving

This is a really easy 1-bowl salad, and works really well with chickpeas too, and makes a great lunch with a handful of rocket leaves thrown in! I realise the herbs are a bit vague but in all honesty I grabbed a literal handful of parsley off the poor plant in my kitchen and tore it up onto the salad. Adjust the herbs as you like though!

 

salmon pate tomato salad
Tomato and gherkin salad… I love pickles!!

Tomato and gherkin salad 

(vegan and gluten-free)

  • 200g of ripe tomatoes, I used some vine cherry tomatoes this time around
  • 1/2 an enchalion shallot, sliced and opened out into rings
  • 3 medium sized gherkins sliced finely
  • 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2tsp wholegrain mustard
  • a handful parsley, roughly torn
  • a handful of watercress
  • black pepper to taste
  1. Mix together the dressing in the bottom of the bowl, the oil, vinegar and mustard.
  2. Slice the shallot and open it out into rings, add to the dressing and leave for a couple of minutes.
  3. Cut the tomatoes, I used cherry tomatoes so I quartered them, it really doesn’t matter what kind of tomatoes that you use for this salad as long as they are super ripe and full of flavour! Add these to the shallots and dressing.
  4. Thinly slice the gherkin, and add to the salad. Please use good, delicious crunchy tasty gherkins, not sad watery ones, the difference is HUGE!! Add black pepper to taste and stir everything together.
  5. Just before serving add the parsley and the watercress and then you are good to go!

This salad is a riff on a classic French style salad that my mother serves up with meat pâté, but with the added watercress it goes really well with salmon too! It’s a really nice salad in its own right and makes a great light lunch. I cannot stress enough though, you need really ripe and flavoursome tomatoes and punchy, crunchy gherkins, the best  ones come from the Polish deli! It is worth checking as with all pickled goods, that they haven’t used malt vinegar in the pickling process. Gherkins are a brilliant hangover cure too!!

 

So there you have it! I think this took about 8 times as long to type out and format as it took to make!! This made enough for 3 people who ate until they were way too full!

B.x

 

 

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