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Chilled-out recipes for summer

Summer eating, should be easy-going and relaxed – food you can cook in advance, then eat at room temperature. But it can still be special. Sear a few duck breasts ahead of time, freeze some watermelon and whiz it into creamy ice-cream, and you have a dinner that's as chilled out as you are.

Crisp-skinned duck with lentil, broccoli and walnut salad

Seared duck breast is sliced and served – pink and tender – with a chilled-out salad of lentils, broccoli, radish and walnuts speckled with poppy seeds.

INGREDIENTS

4 duck breasts

sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

300g raw lentils, rinsed

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1 red onion, halved and finely sliced

150g broccoli florets

2 or 3 pink radishes, finely sliced

lebanese cucumber, cut into small chunks

2 tbsp walnuts, toasted

handful wild rocket or baby spinach leaves

1 tsp poppy seeds

For the dressing

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp red wine or sherry vinegar

1 tbsp honey

METHOD

1. Combine lentils, half the sliced onion and one litre water in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 25 to 30 minutes, until lentils are tender, and drain.

2. Using a sharp knife, score the skin of the duck in a criss-cross pattern. Rub sea salt and pepper into the skin and set aside.

3. In a dry pan, sear the duck skin-side down over gentle heat for 10 minutes, until the fat melts and the skin is crisp. Pour off the fat (cool and refrigerate for future use), turn the breasts and cook for five minutes or until just firm to the touch. Set aside to rest.

4. Pulse the broccoli florets once or twice in a food processor to break them up. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a bowl. Add the rocket leaves, broccoli, cucumber, radish, walnuts and remaining sliced onion and toss well. Serve with the sliced duck and scatter with poppy seeds.

Serves 4

Chill-out tip: Skip cooking your own lentils if it's too hot, and open a can.

Jill Dupleix's creamy watermelon ice-cream slice recipe for Good Food summer 2018.

Photo: William Meppem

Creamy watermelon ice-cream slices

Let the freezer do the work: first, freeze watermelon overnight, then turn it into a creamy two-ingredient ice-cream on a biscuit base. Refreeze it and it's ready to go.

INGREDIENTS

1kg watermelon flesh (seedless), chopped

300g sweetened condensed milk

For the base

250g sweet biscuits (I used Chocolate Ripple)

150g butter, melted

METHOD

1. Arrange the chopped watermelon on a baking tray lined with baking paper, and freeze overnight.

2. To make the biscuit base, whiz the biscuits in a food processor, then add the melted butter and whiz until fine-crumbed. Press into the base of a straight-sided lamington tin lined with baking paper, and place in the freezer to firm up.

3. Remove the watermelon from the freezer, soften at room temperature for five minutes, then whiz in a food processor with the sweetened condensed milk for two minutes until smooth.

4. Pour the watermelon mixture over the biscuit base and freeze overnight. Remove from the tin, cut into slices or squares and serve immediately.

Serves 4

Chill-out tip: Serve with a small, chilled wedge of watermelon or a spoonful of berries.