500 g red-skinned potatoes, skin on
2 sprig of fresh thyme
a small bunch of fresh dill
1 100 g bag of prewashed watercress
400 g good-quality smoked salmon
3 heaped teaspoons creamed horseradish
1 punnet of cress
300 mL double cream
1 250 g pack of cooked vac-packed beetroots
a small handful of fresh Greek basil or basil
1 250 g tub of cottage cheese
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & black pepper
a loaf of rye bread
a bottle of chilled white wine
1. Get all your ingredients and equipment ready. Fill and boil the kettle. Put a saucepan with a lid on a medium heat. Put the rye bread on a board and take to the table with a bread knife. Put the beater attachment into the food processor.
2. Wash the potatoes, then roughly quarter them and cut into 3cm chunks, removing any gnarly bits. Pour boiled water into the saucepan and add a pinch of salt. Add the potatoes, then speed-peel in a few strips of lemon zest and add the thyme. Put a lid on and cook for around 10 minutes, or until soft when stabbed with a knife.
3. Tip the watercress on to a serving board. Lay the salmon slices over the leaves in rustic waves. Quarter the lemon. Smear 3 heaped teaspoonfuls of creamed horseradish on one end of the board, season with salt & pepper, squeeze over 2 of the lemon wedges and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Take to the table.
4. Pour the double cream into the food processor. Leave to beat away – the whole point is to over-beat it.
5. Put the beets on a board and cut into erratic chunks. Move them to a serving platter and add 2 splashes of good balsamic vinegar, a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt & pepper. Quickly pick the Greek basil leaves and sprinkle most of them over. Toss and mix to dress, tasting and tweaking as necessary.
6. By now the cream should be thick and coming together into one big clump. When ready, it will look like butter and the sound coming from the food processor will change. Put it into a sieve over the sink, then use your clean hands to quickly scrunch and shape it so that any excess water drains away. Put it on some greaseproof paper; try not to handle it too much or it will melt. Sprinkle over a pinch of salt, then put it beside the bread.
7. Open the cottage cheese and drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil straight into the tub. Rip over the thyme tips and add a pinch of salt & pepper. Finely grate in the zest of ½ your lemon and stir. Arrange the beets on a platter, dollop over the flavoured cottage cheese, sprinkle over some
8. Drain the potatoes and leave them to steam dry for 2 minutes while you finely chop the dill. Tip the potatoes into a bowl and add the dill and a knob of your homemade butter, plus a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt & pepper and the juice of½a lemon. Toss and take to the table.
9. Snip the cress on top of the salmon. Serve with chilled white wine or bitter and any leftover wedges of lemon.