Summer Sharing Table

Fri, 24th July 2015

One of my favourite meals is to layer the centre of the table with lots of different dishes and have everyone help themselves. This is a tradition in many cultures: Italians have antipasti, the Moroccans have mezze and the Swedes have the smorgasbord. Not only does this mean there is probably something for everyone but it is also incredibly quick to put together and many items can be bought or prepared in advance. This meal can be as hands on or hands off as you wish. A really good olive oil and amazing bread are essential, after that use your imagination - cold meats, cheese, hummus, pesto, olives and salad. A perfect solution to summer entertaining.

Helen James

Fresh Summer Herb Pesto


  • 50g hazelnuts
  • 30g fresh basil leaves
  • 30g rocket leaves
  • 30g mint leaves
  • 50g parmesan
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 150ml olive oil
  • squeeze lemon juice (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. 1. Toast the hazelnuts in a 180ºC oven for 10 mins. Remove and rub off the skins
  2. 2. Place the leaves and hazelnuts into a food processor and pulse a several times.
  3. 3. Add the garlic and parmesan and pulse several times more. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a silicone spoon.
  4. 4. While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady small stream. Occasionally stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor.
  5. 5. Add some salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste (and lemon juice if you wish).

Helen James

Simple Salad with Amazing Fig Vinaigrette


Simple Salad

  • Mixed Leaves
  • Cherry tomatoes on the vine
  • Bunch of your favourite herbs- coriander, mint or basil
  • Add your favourite ingredients - fresh mulled peas, mangetout, peppers etc.
  • Edible Flowers (please make sure the flowers have not been sprayed with any chemicals)



  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup Considered Fig Vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¾ cup plain salad oil (tasteless)
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp fresh lime or lemon juice
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp dry english mustard
  • 1 small garlic clove finely chopped

  1. Place all your salad ingredients on a platter and toss.
  2. To make the vinaigrette
  3. 1. Combine all the ingredients in a clean jam jar and shake vigorously. Pour over the salad or serve on the side.
  4. 2. Use the vinaigrette immediately or store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Helen James

For some other ideas for your summer sharing table why not check out some of my other recipes too:

Let me know if you make this and how you get on #consideredbyhj

Considered by Helen James is available at selected stores

Products used: Hudson Dinner Plate3540133 Hudson Side Plate3540134 Hudson Pasta Bowl3540135 Hudson Cereal Bowl3540139 Hudson Sml Platter3541113 Hudson Lrg Platter3541114 Hudson Wine Cooler3541115 Hudson Jug3541116 Tomato Chutney3520105 Apricot Chutney3520106 Fig Vinegar3520118 Raspberry Vinegar3520119 Lavender Honey3520115 Whipped Honey3520116