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A summer supper with Jamie Oliver

Summer suppers are relaxed affairs where the cooking is as sociable as the eating. We are delighted to share with you two seasonal recipes from our favourite chef, Jamie Oliver.

Are you staying with us in the forest this summer? Our cabins are made for sociable living, with a fully equipped kitchen, open plan living area and space for everyone to gather and eat. But what you don’t want on your holiday is to slave away for hours in the kitchen, getting hot and bothered. 

That's why we have teamed up with our friends over at Jamie's Italian restaurants to bring you two of Jamie's easy, sociable summer recipes. You will find these dishes on the menu at Jamie's Italian and they are also ideal for summer nights in the forest when you want something that is bursting with seasonal flavours but easy to prepare. They are the perfect choice for a laid-back Forest Holidays feast.

Crab spaghetti

Serves 4

Crab Spaghetti

Ingredients:

1 fresh red chilli
2 cloves of garlic
olive oil
80g brown crabmeat
300ml organic fish stock
400g spaghetti
a few sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 lemon
160g white crab meat

1. Finely chop the chilli, peel and finely chop the garlic, then add to a large heavy-bottomed pan with a splash of oil. Fry for a few minutes, or until softened and golden.

2. Stir in the brown crab meat and add the stock, then bring to the boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened and reduced to a nice sauce.

3. Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions until almost al dente – it'll continue cooking in the sauce so it's important you don't overdo it. 

4. Reserving a cupful of the cooking water, drain and add the pasta to the sauce. Toss well and cook for a further 1 to 2 minutes.

5. Pick and roughly chop the parsley. 

6. Season the pasta with sea salt, black pepper and most of the lemon zest. Toss through the white crab meat and parsley leaves. 

7. Divide between your plates and serve with an extra grating of lemon zest.

Veggie Caesar salad

Serves 4

Caesar Salad

This is a delicious twist on the classic Caesar salad. Bella Lodi is very similar to Parmesan but it doesn't contain rennet – if you're not vegetarian, go with whatever you can find.

Ingredients:

80g ciabatta
olive oil
cauliflower
40g hazelnuts
1 romaine lettuce
1 red chicory
½ a small red onion

Caesar dressing

160g cauliflower
4 sprigs of fresh chervil  
4 sprigs of fresh red basil  
extra virgin olive oil

20g Bella Lodi cheese

CAESAR DRESSING

2 cloves of garlic
10g Bella Lodi cheese
250g natural yoghurt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6.

2. Tear the ciabatta into bite-sized pieces, place on a baking tray, then drizzle with olive oil. Place in the hot oven for 10 minutes, or until golden and crisp. 

3. Tip the hazelnuts onto another small baking tray, then place in the oven for 10 minutes, or until golden.

4. Make the Caesar dressing. Peel and crush the garlic into a bowl, finely grate in the cheese, then stir in the remaining ingredients. Set aside. 

5. Remove the ciabatta and hazelnuts from the oven. Bash the nuts in a pestle and mortar, then set aside.

6. Click off any tatty outer leaves from the romaine lettuce, then shred. Click off the chicory leaves.

7. Using a mandolin, peel and very finely slice the onion, then finely shave the cauliflower. 

8. Place the veg and ciabatta croutons into a bowl, stir in the Caesar dressing, then season to taste.

9. Transfer to a serving platter, scatter over the hazelnuts and pick the herb leaves on top. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and shavings of Bella Lodi.

Summer cooking in your cabin

External view of a Golden Oak Treehouse cabin at Forest Holidays Blackwood Forest

We still have a few cabins available over summer! Book today and bring your friends or family for a relaxed get-together where you can reconnect and wow them with your culinary skills.

Enjoy your meal and let us know how it went. Who did you share it with? Which location were you staying at and, most importantly, did your meal look like the one in the photo?

A final word from Jamie:

"At Jamie's Italian we're all about simply cooked food that makes you happy – all made with amazing, responsibly sourced ingredients. Enjoy! Jamie O. x"

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