Tara's Food Blog


Seasonal Recipes, New & Kitchen Hacks 

Summer Cooking at Flavours of Fingal

Jul 04, 2023

I had a brilliant day at Flavour of Fingal! Thanks so much to everyone who came to watch my cookery demonstrations, it was lovely to chat to lots of you and here are the recipes as promised. In an unplanned turn of events, I did my second cookery demonstration in tandem with Edward Hayden who also cooks on Ireland AM which was a lot of fun!

As I mentioned during my demonstrations, I was led in my choice of recipes by the beautiful ingredients that are in abundance at this time of year. Gorgeous seasonal,fresh vegetables and fruit took centre stage with rainbow carrots, beets, tomatoes, cucumber, leeks, strawberries, herbs and edible flowers all featuring heavily in my dishes. Please do say hello if you were there and have tried any of the recipes!

Demo 1:

Leek & Gruyere Tart


2 Leeks, sliced thinly

4 Eggs, whisked

A drop of Cream

½ a sheet of shop bought Puff Pastry, you can freeze the other half if it hasn’t already been frozen

100g Gruyere Cheese, grated (you can use cheddar too)

Knob of Butter

Glug of Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

Optional: Fresh parsley, chives or fennel to garnish


Preheat the oven to 180℃. Melt the butter in a wide frying pan and then add the oil. Add the leeks with a pinch of salt and on a medium heat, soften gently while stirring regularly. 

Break the eggs into a large jug or bowl and whisk with salt and pepper .

Open out the sheet of pastry, slice in half  and place in a shallow oven proof dish or baking tray with high edges on the paper that came with it or on a fresh sheet of baking paper.

When the leeks are softened and slightly golden at the edges, spread them over the pastry, top with the cheese and finally pour the egg mixture over. 

Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until set at the centre. Top with the herbs.

Tomato & Chive Salad

This is really based on the availability of beautiful, ripe summer tomatoes. It is not really suitable for supermarket tomatoes in the depths of winter!


A selection of tomatoes-beef, cherry, vine the best you can find

Apple Cider or Red Wine Vinegar

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, best quality available

Sea salt


Slice the tomatoes and place them on a plate. Sprinkle a little sea salt on each slice and top with a drizzle of the olive oil and the vinegar. Leave to macerate for at least 10 minutes before adding the herbs on top to serve. Note: If you have a lot of tomatoes, layer them up but sprinkle the salt on each layer before adding the next.

BBQ Pineapple with Rum Hot Chocolate Sauce

Ingredients for the pineapple

 1 ripe pineapple approx. 

25 grams demerara sugar 

Ingredients for the chocolate sauce 

200 grams dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids) 

125 ml rum

120 ml double cream 


You will need 10 skewers soaked in cold water to stop them catching fire in the heat of the barbecue or grill or metal skewers

  1. Preheat the grill or barbecue. 
  2. Cut the top and bottom off the pineapple and, working vertically, slice the skin off the fruit. 
  3. Cut into quarters and then into about three pieces again lengthways so that you have wedges of pineapple. 
  4. Cut out the woody core and thread the wedges on to the soaked bamboo skewers lengthways and arrange these in a shallow dish. 
  1. Put the chocolate, broken up into pieces, into a thick bottomed pan along with the Rum and melt over a low heat. 
  2. Then, stirring, pour in the cream, plus any juice that has gathered from the fruit. When the sauce is thick, smooth and hot, pour into a bowl with a ladle, or enough little bowls to give one per person. 
  3. Lay the pineapple kebabs on either the grill or barbecue the pineapple, thickly coating it with demerara sugar first, until it caramelises and scorches in the heat. 
  4. Take off the barbecue and lay them on a large plate and let everyone take them as they want, dipping the pineapple skewers into the hot chocolate sauce as they eat

Demo 2:

Griddled or BBQ Spiced Chicken Skewers

Serves 4


8 Chicken Thigh Fillets, sliced into bitesize pieces

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Onion Powder

1 tsp Garlic Granules

1 tsp Chilli Lime seasoning

Olive Oil


Place the chicken into a large bowl and add all of the spices and oil and mix thoroughly. Marinate for as long as possible but at least an hour. When you are ready to cook, thread the chicken onto skewers. Heat a griddle pan or the BBQ until very hot and smoking, then add the skewers. Allow to caramelise on all sides then either reduce the heat or place in the oven at 180℃ for 10-15 minutes to finish cooking. 

Feta & Chickpea Salad

Serves 4 generously


Tin of Chickpeas, drained and rinsed

½ a Cucumber, diced

½ a Red Onion, thinly sliced (I used a mandolin to get a really nice, fine slice)

1 block of Feta

Red Wine Vinegar

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (best available)

Sea Salt

Optional to finish: Mint & Flat leaf Parsley, finely choped

At Flavours of Fingal, I added finely sliced rainbow carrots and beetroot to the salad as I had some beautiful produce available to me. I also used calendula petals and borage and thyme flowers in this salad. 


Add the chickpeas, cucumber and tomatoes to a large bowl. Add a pinch of sea salt, generous drizzle of olive oil and a scant amount of red wine vinegar. Taste and check for seasoning, you may want to adjust the vinegar. Crumble the feta on top and add the herbs to serve.

No Bake Mini Strawberry & Basil Mascarpone Tarts

Makes 4 


8 Savoiardi biscuits or “ladyfingers”, broked in half

1 large Orange or 2 small

About 10 Basil leaves

10 large Strawberries, hulled and sliced 

250g Mascarpone


Place 2 biscuits each in tall glasses or teacups and soak in the juice of the orange(s)

In a bowl, fold the mascarpone, about half the strawberries and half of the basil leaves (torn) together. Top the biscuits with this mixture. When you are ready to serve, finish with the rest of the strawberries and basil.


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