Menu for Cook and Eat: Cook Well, Eat Well

11th May 2022


Buffalo mozzarella with courgettes, candied lemon and marjoram


Lamb Koftas

Salad of fresh figs, goat’s cheese and mint

Rustic roast potatoes with balsamic butter


Rhubarb and blood orange open tart with grenadine cream


courgettes  Buffalo mozzarella with courgettes, candied lemon and marjoram

This menu is adapted from the book Cook Well, Eat Well by Irish chef, Rory O’ Connell. The recipes are taken from the late Spring/ Summer sections of the book. For the starter, Rory uses mozzarella from Macroom in County Cork, but obviously, we will use one that is a bit more local, and of very good quality, or perhaps a creamy burrata.  If I can find courgette flowers, these may be a welcome addition to the dish.  And I will try to source a variety of courgettes.


  • 1 large unwaxed lemon
  • 35g caster sugar
  • 3/4 small courgettes
  • 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 x 125g of buffalo mozzarella
  • 1 tablespoon sweet marjoram leaves


  • Peel the lemon rind into thin strips and cut the strips lengthways into a fine julienne. Place in a small saucepan of cold water, and bring to a simmer, then strain and cool under cold running water. Put back in the saucepan with the caster sugar. Squeeze the peeled lemon and add enough water to the lemon juice so that you have about 100ml of liquid. Simmer very gently for 10-15 minutes, until the lemon appears candied and translucent and the syrup has slightly thickened. Allow to cool.
  • To assemble the salad, cut the courgettes lengthways into very thin (3mm) slices and place in a bowl.  Dress immediately with the olive oil and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and taste to correct seasoning.
  • Divide the courgettes between the plates and place in a flat layer. Spread out a little so that you can see their lovely colour under the mozzarella. Tear the mozzarella and place a piece on top of the courgettes.  Place a pinch of candied lemon on top of the mozzarella and a few strands around the courgettes. Drizzle a little syrup/dressing if any remaining. Sprinkle the marjoram leaves over everything. Add a final pinch of sea salt and serve immediately.    



MAIN COURSE fig salad

Lamb koftas

Salad of fresh figs, goat’s cheese and mint

Rustic roast potatoes with balsamic butter

The recipe for the lamb koftas and the salad come from the same summer menu in Rory’s book while the potato recipe is from one of the other summer meus. The basis for the lamb kofta recipe is sweet minced lamb and it is important that the lamb is freshly minced and that it has a good proportion of fat (about 10%) to ensure you get tender, juicy koftas. The hyssop can be replaced with za’atar which is more readily available and adds a deeply authentic flavour to the dish. 


For the koftas:

  • 450 g minced lamb shoulder
  • 100 g raw onion, peeled and grated on a box grater to a paste
  • 1 medium hot fresh red chilli deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed to a paste
  • 2 tbsps chopped fresh or dried hyssop, or 2 pinches of za’atar
  • 1 dessertspoon of date syrup
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin oil for frying
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon


  1. Mix together all the ingredients for the koftas except the olive oil and lemon zest. Fry a tiny bit to check the seasoning and flavour and adjust if necessary. Form into balls and store on a lined baking tray in the fridge until 20mins before cooking.
  2. To cook, heat a little oil in a heavy based frying pan set over a medium heat. Cook the koftas for about 15mins, turning regularly, until they feel slightly firm to the touch.
  3. Transfer to a hot serving plate, and sprinkle with finely grated lemon zest. Serve immediately with salad and potatoes.

For the salad:


  • 1 medium bag of washed and dried rocket leaves
  • 6 ripe figs
  • 6/8 slices of a soft creamy goat’s cheese
  • 16-20 small fresh mint leaves
  • Fresh edible flower petals and/or fresh pomegranate seeds
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the potatoes:


  • 900g potatoes
  • 2/3 garlic cloves, skin on and lightly bashed
  • 2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 50g butter
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Scrub potatoes until clean. Cut the potatoes in half length ways and then into wedges. Put in a bowl with the oil, garlic and rosemary and toss to coat the potatoes. Do not season until cooked.
  3. Place the potatoes on a roasting tray in a single layer, skin side down and scatter the garlic and rosemary between the wedges. Roast for about 35mins, until the skins are crispy.
  4. When cooked, remove from the oven and immediately add the butter and vinegar to the roasting tray and season with salt and pepper. Toss the potatoes to glaze them in melting butter and vinegar and serve immediately.



 Tarte orange Rhubarb and blood orange open tart with grenadine cream.

These two beautifully coloured fruits when paired together are exquisite and borne out in this tart. The rustic appearance of the tart, I think, just adds to its beauty.


For the pastry 

  • 200g chilled butter
  • 250g plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 155g sour cream

For the filling

  • 450g Rhubarb, thinly sliced
  • 150g sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod halved lengthways and very finely chopped
  • 2 blood oranges, peeled and cut into 5mm Slices
  • A little beaten egg
  • A little extra caster sugar

Grenadine Cream

  • Softly whipped cream
  • Grenadine syrup


  1. To make the pastry, chop the chilled butter and place in a food processor with the flour and a pinch of salt. Pulse the butter and flour until the texture is similar to coarse breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the sour cream and pulse again until the pastry barely comes together. Remove to a floured work surface and gently bring the pastry together with your hands and form into a flat disc.
  3. The pastry may appear a little streaky and that if fine as it comes together beautifully in the cooking. Do not be tempted to knead the pastry as you will just toughen it.
  4. Wrap the pastry and allow to chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 200°C / 400f / gas 6
  6. When ready to assemble the tart, flour your work surface and roll out the chilled pastry to a 36cm circle. If the edges of the pastry are a little uneven looking, that is fine, though the neater it is the better the cooked tart will look.
  7. Now place the pastry circle on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place the sliced rhubarb on the pastry to within 5cm of the edge.
  8. Mix the chopped vanilla pod with the sugar and sprinkle ¾ of it over the rhubarb.
  9. Cover the rhubarb with slightly overlapping slices of blood orange and sprinkle on the remaining sugar.
  10. Fold in the rim of uncovered pastry to hold the rhubarb and oranges in place. Brush the surface of the pastry edge with a little beaten egg and sprinkle a little caster sugar over the egg.
  11. Place the tart in the preheated oven and cook for c 40 minutes or until the fruit is cooked and the pastry edge has a rich hazelnut colour. During the cooking, some syrupy juice will escape from the tart and at intervals, spoon these juices back over the fruit to create a rich and delicious glaze. Remove the cooked tart from the oven and allow to cool a bit before serving. It is best while still warm but not red hot from the oven.

Serve softly whipped cream or grenadine flavoured cream on the side.