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Adam Newell's seared squid, fig and bacon salad recipes - 19 February

Fresh fig, smoked bacon, blue cheese and walnut salad

Seared squid with Lebanese cucumber and beef steak tomatoes

Seared Squid with Lebanese Cucumber and Beef Steak Tomatoes

I love summer when salads are at their best, with lots of vibrant colours and flavours which make it very easy to throw a dish together. Just like the recipe today, you don't need to use expensive ingredients, and the dish doesn't have to be boring either.  Put that condensed milk dressing away for a while and definitely no grated carrot or beetroot - although I do like the good Kiwi classic sometimes!

The only thing I would say is that you should always use a good quality olive oil and always use NZ produce - far better than the Euro stuff. Lebanese cucumbers are the shorter variety and are widely available in supermarkets. If you cannot get beef steak tomatoes, then ripe juicy vine tomatoes will be OK.

Use smallish squid, which will be tenderer when you cook it, the big ones are like the monsters from 20,000 leagues under the sea and can be tough.

Also get your fishmonger to clean it all up for you ready for slicing into rings. I will be prepping one on the show just in case he or she cannot do it for you, very easy.

Serves: 6
Price per Serving: $ 3.00
Time to Prepare: 30 minutes

3 fresh squid
2 lebanese cucumbers
3 beef steak tomatoes
1 lemon
1 tablespoon of capers
2 spring onions
1/2 thinly sliced red onions
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 chopped anchovy fillets
1/2 loaf of old bread for croutons (not mouldy) I am using sour dough
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

- Slice the clean squid into nice thin rings and also cut the tentacles up to the head - these are nice and tasty.
- Squeeze the lemon juice over the top with the grated zest.
- Peel and cut the cucumber in half and cut into finger length batons, season with salt and leave for a few minutes to allow the cucumber to soften.
- Slice the sour dough into chunky slices and toast in a conventional toaster allow to cool and then cut into medium sized dice. I prefer to cook croutons this way instead of frying them, it is a much healthier option.
- For the dressing place the vinegar, anchovies, parsley, red onions and capers in a bowl and allow to infuse for a couple of minutes add a good splash of extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat a non stick pan on a medium to high heat and add a little oil to the pan and sear the squid very quickly 1 to 2 minutes maximum remove from the heat and add to the dressing along with the croutons.

To serve
Slice the tomatoes very thinly and arrange in a fan shape around your platter. Spoon on the squid and dressing salad and sprinkle with the cucumbers and garnish with lemons.

Fresh Fig, Smoked Bacon, Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad

You always know when we have a good summer the figs are about, one of the most luscious fruits around, they're very special and only in season for a short time so get them quick!

We have a special supplier to Zibibbo, Lyndia Woods who has a wonderful property in Otaki where the figs are grown. This year has been a bit later than usual but as soon as she has them she pops in with top quality just-picked figs.

Figs grow so well in NZ so you may have a tree yourself or know of someone who has one. I am not condoning jumping over a fence to grab some but will leave that up to you.

Figs like a lot of fresh in season foods need very little done to them, I am keeping these raw but making a cooked dressing with the bacon and walnuts and lots of herbs.

Serves: 6
Price per Serving: $ 4.00
Time to Prepare: 30 minutes

9 fresh figs
1 cup of roasted walnuts
120 grams crumbly blue cheese
120 grams smoked streaky bacon
1/2 clove chopped garlic
1 chopped red onion
1 teaspoon seed mustard
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Good dash of olive oil
3 pita breads
Butter to spread on pitas
12 basil leaves
2 chopped spring onions

- In a non stick pan, saute the onions and garlic without colour until soft, add the seed mustard and remove from the heat, add a good dash of olive oil and the walnuts.
- Fry the chopped streaky bacon until nice and crispy and add to the dressing mixture.
- Slice the pita breads open and spread with butter, sprinkle with blue cheese and basil leaves and toast in a toastie pie machine.
- Remove and cut into wedges.

To Serve
Sprinkle the bacon and onion dressing all over the platter, which has been tossed with rocket salad and cut the fresh figs into halves, and arrange on top. Garnish with the Blue cheese pitas.