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Cook Dorset! Lesley Waters June 11

PUBLISHED: 12:41 23 May 2011 | UPDATED: 19:26 20 February 2013

Cook Dorset! Lesley Waters June 11

Cook Dorset! Lesley Waters June 11

Lesley Waters creates some delicious meze dishes, perfect for a summer barbecue

Cook Dorset!

Lesley Waters creates some delicious meze dishes, perfect for a summer barbecue

This month I have three dishes, two here and one on the Dorset magazine website at, which all sit together as a wonderful meze alongside a summer barbecue. There is a tasty broad bean and basil pesto, a delicious black lentil and artichoke salad and caramelised onion and spelt flat breads. All the dishes can be prepared ahead of time, just leaving the outdoor cooking to do. In my house, there are always plenty of volunteers to man the tongs, so when the dishes are prepared, I sit back and relax with a nice glass of something chilled! Whoever takes charge of the fire, when the coals are glowing nicely, I would recommend tossing on some chorizo-style sausages; my favourites are from Sydling Brook Organic Farm at Up Sydling near Dorchester (, which work brilliantly with all the flavours of this delicious spread. And when I serve it all up, I know that summer has well and truly arrived!

Broad Bean and Basil Pesto
Pod your broad beans unless they are very, very young beans.

Serves 8
300g baby broad beans
4tbsp capers, drained
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 anchovy fillets, torn
medium bunch (40g) basil
250ml extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground
black pepper

Cover the broad beans with boiling water and set aside for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water and drain thoroughly.
Put the broad beans, capers, garlic, anchovies and basil into a
food processor. Pulse in two-second bursts to form a coarse paste,
trickle in the oil, while pulsing for a
few bursts. Season to taste and
chill until required. This pesto will
keep in the fridge for two to
three days.

Black Lentil and Artichoke Antipasti Salad

Serves 8
225g black lentils, rinsed
jar pitted kalamata olives, halved
jar tomorosso tomatoes, drained
1 x 280g jar chargrilled artichokes, drained and halved
large bunch (80g) flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 unwaxed lemon, zest and juice
100ml extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the lentils in a pan with twice the volume of water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Put the drained lentils in a large bowl with the olives, tomatoes, artichokes, parsley and lemon zest. Mix together thoroughly. In a jug, mix the lemon juice and olive oil and season well. Drizzle over the salad and toss well. Serve at room temperature.


Makes 2 loaves

250g (9oz) spelt flour

450g (1lb) strong white flour

1x7g sachet easy blend yeast

2tsp salt

400ml (14fl oz) warm water

4tbsp olive oil + extra for brushing

2tsp runny honey

for the caramelised onions

2tbsp olive oil

2 large onions, finely sliced

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the flours, yeast and salt and make a well in the centre. In a jug mix together the water, oil and honey. Pour the liquid into the flour and bring together to form a soft dough.

  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave in a warm place to prove until doubled in size.

  3. Meanwhile, make the caramelised onions. Heat the oil in a non -stick frying pan, add the onions, cover and soften over a very gentle heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid, turn up the heat and cook the onions for a further 5 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from pan and set to one side to cool.

  4. Tip the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knock back with a firm kneading.

  5. Flatten the dough out into a large oval and spoon over the cooled onions. Fold the dough over the onions and knead into the dough until evenly distributed.


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