SueJamesAugust 2016
August has seafood galore. Think: crab, cod, salmon, tuna or sea bream. Try it with heat-loving aubergines, courgettes, tomatoes, plump seasonal tomatoes or fennel. Sophisticated salads, like Peach and Parma Ham, or Halloumi and Pea are just the thing for when it’s too hot to cook, while a simple, yet luxurious pasta of courgettes and chilli is the perfect laidback weeknight dinner. Succulent peaches and juicy apricots are ripe for the picking, and it’s time to make the most of summer berries before they’re gone – add them to a pavlova or sprinkle over ice cream, and don’t forget that you can always freeze berries and use them later if you have a surplus.

Suzanne James Salad Nicoise

Serves: 2
Prep Time: 25 minutes



  • 1 ½ Cups Double Cream
  • 250g Small New Potatoes
  • 150g Green Beans
  • 1 Caramelised Onion
  • 10 Quails Eggs Hard Boiled Eggs (peeled)
  • 200g Rocket
  • 5 Tbsp Filippo Berio Olive Oil
  • 150g Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 350g Fresh Tuna
  • Juice ½ Lemon
  • Garden Radishes are optional

Dressing (can be adjusted to taste)

  • 50g Black Olives
  • 5 Anchovy Fillets
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • Juice ½ Lemon
  • 4 Tbsp Filipo Berio Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar


  1. Put the dish(es) you plan to use into the fridge for about an hour before you start so they will be nice and cold.
  2. Make the dressing. Tip the olives, anchovies and garlic into a large mortar and mash with a pestle until you have a very rough paste. Scrape into a bowl, if you like, stir in the lemon juice, olive oil and vinegar, then set aside. (This can be adjusted according to your own taste).
  3. Cut the onions into quarters and the tomatoes in half and cook them in the oven on a low heat – around 1300C for 20minutes. Cut the potatoes in half and part boil them. Cook the beans in boiling salted water until tender – they should have a slight crunch. Drain, tip into iced water, then drain again and set aside.
  4. Halve the potatoes and heat 2 tablespoons oil into a grill pan. Place the potatoes cut-side down in the pan and sizzle for about 4 minutes until the potatoes gain grooves.
  5. To cook the tuna, place a non-stick frying pan over a high heat, then turn the heat down to medium and add 1 tablespoon of Filippo Berio olive oil. Season the tuna generously, then sear for 4 minutes, leaving it undisturbed in the pan to brown. Turn over and continue to cook for 4 minutes on the other side. This will give you very rare tuna. For well done Tuna cook for an additional 4minutes on each side. Make sure you let the tuna rest for a few minutes before serving.
  6. To serve, whisk the remaining oil and vinegar with the lemon juice in a small bowl and toss in the remaining ingredients apart from the tuna which should be thinly sliced and placed on top of the salad.
  7. The salad from the photo is from our July Supper Club.


In season this month

Fruits & Nuts
Apples, Apricot, Aubergine, Blackberries, Blackcurrants, Blueberries, Loganberries, Peaches, Plums, Raspberries, Redcurrants, Strawberries, Whitecurrants, Cobnuts, Hazelnuts,

Vegetables & Herbs
Artichokes, Aubergines, Beetroot, Broccoli, Cabbages, Carrots, Cauliflower, Chard, Courgettes, Cucumber, Fennel, French Beans, Garlic, Kohlrabi, Lamb’s Lettuce, Onions, Pak Choi, Peas (inc. Sugar Snaps) Potatoes, Radishes, Rocket, Runner Beans, Salsify, Scorzonera, Samphire, Sorrel, Spinach, Sweetcorn, Tomatoes, Watercress.

Meat & Game
Lamb, Rabbit, Venison, Wood Pigeon.

Fish & Shellfish
Black Bream, Crab (brown, hen & Spider), Signal Crayfish, Grey Mullet, Lobster, Mackerel, Pollack, Prawns, Scallops, Sea Bass, Squid, Trout (river – brown and rainbow).

Going out of season
Blackberries, Blueberries, Cherry, Mangetout, Peach, Redcurrant, Strawberries (many of these towards the end of the month).

Suzanne is a professional chef, wife and mother who has lived in South East London all her life.

You can email Suzanne with any comments or questions at

This article first appeared in the August 2016 issue of SE22 magazine