Chef Kevin Ashton

Sharing my passion for cooking

Duck Breast with Black Beluga Lentils




Like many vegetable growers in the UK, this summer has not been filled with sunshine and so I have lots of green tomatoes hanging on the vine.  I didn't want to make chutney with all of them and hate throwing food away so I decided to experiment with soup. Choose fully developed green tomatoes to avoid the chance of a tummy ache.

Ingredients for 4-6 portions

800 grams green tomatoes

1 green chilli

1 red chilli

150grams diced onion

750ml chicken  or vegetable stock

2 Tbsp soft brown sugar

1 small green pepper

2 Tbsp oil from sundried tomatoes

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 large garlic cloves peeled

6 sundried tomato halves finely diced

25g fresh coriander chopped

  1. Use a small sharp knife and make a criss-cross on the bottom of each tomato, then use the knife to core out the top of the stork.
  2. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for a couple of minutes until the skin begins to come away, then chill in cold water.  Please note taking off the skins of green tomatoes is harder than red ripe ones.
  3. When cool use a very sharp speed peeler to peel the skin from the tomatoes (don't worry if it's not perfect just remove as much of the skin as you can). Then cut the tomatoes into even sized wedges and reserve.
  4. In a heavy stainless saucepan, gently cook the diced onion and green pepper in the sundried tomato oil, stirring from time to time until the onion is cooked.
  5. Now add the brown sugar, garlic and stir well.   Gradually add the stock and simmer on a low heat for 40 minutes, stirring often.
  6. Add the chopped coriander and puree until mostly smooth in a food processor.
  7. Deseed the red and green chillies and fry gently using the olive oil until cooked without browning. Slice into tiny pieces and reserve.
  8. Season the soup with salt and pepper pour into heated cups/bowls sprinkle with the chopped chilli/sundried tomatoes and serve with crusty bread.

Eating Green Tomatoes
Eating green tomatoes is perfectly safe as long as the tomatoes are thoroughly cooked.  Cooking the tomatoes removes the alkaloids which can give you tummy upset. Alkaloids are the tomatoes natural defense against insects and green tomatoes have more alkaloids than ripe red tomatoes.

Green tomatoes are actually quite healthy for you, as they give some of the same, and even more benefits as red tomatoes. Green tomatoes contain about 30 calories, 1 to 1.5 grams of protein, and 1.3 grams of fat. Though red tomatoes may contain more folate (Vitamin B12) and potassium, green tomatoes are richer in calcium. In fact, they contain about three times as much as red tomatoes. Green tomatoes also contain more vitamin C than red ones. Whether you’re eating red or green tomatoes, both are beneficial to your health.

A very special thanks to John Miles CEO of Steelite International for his very generous gift of plates.
John and I met whilst judging a cooking contest in Spain a while back.
Steelite is recognised throughout the world as a top creator of professional tableware.

My Media Wall

This post is a collection of articles and interviews about me, photos of famous people I have met and or cooked for and a few sample articles I have written myself.  Just click on each photo for more information.  


Podcast2  Interview by Foodies 100   vall1 lartdustjacket

Picnic Article page1small   Picnic Article page2small  Me and JC edited

Brian Turner  YesChef-FrontCover    logoCMP165

 bocuse d'Or tatue  2008 Good Food Badgesmall  Good Food Show Guide Good Food Schedule2008b  Hotline Magazine

Good food show 2004 articlesmall  Good Food Show logo  Paul Rankin  KEVIN ASHTON @ THE BBC GOOD FOOD SHOW, NEC. PHOTO: ADRIAN PEARMAN. 27/11/04  2004 Good Food Badge

All the presidents.small 2 Sunday Mer-curryedited  Salad article in the Sunday Mercury Express and Star

Mercury feature    Taste Magazine  Celia Brooks-Brown  turkey tips 2004  Cooking at the Royal Showedited

 lynda-carter-wonder-woman   Vice president Walter Mondale   hay-adams-front  Edward Kennedy

George Bush menu   President George H.W. Bush  Roberto Donna  Reagansmall copy

Larry King  Jefferson Hotel   Richard_M._Nixon

braised-sweetbreads-wrapped-in-black-truffles  palladin-at-watergate  51SBA0DWTYL  michelle pfeiffer

Paul-Newman   Middleburg writeup  Ethel Kennedy  Metro Newspaper


Chef_Mial_Parkersmall   rainbowwarrior   Amsterdam writeup

  Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky   Omar Sharif

Queensvisit1975     Queen's Menu

Chocolate and Walnut Tart with Toffee Sauce


When I wrote this recipe for my newspaper column the correct photo did not appear, due to an intern who had been out celebrating his birthday late the night before. So reposting it here is a chance for me to share with you the recipe as it was meant to appear.

If you're a follower of this blog you will know I love contrasts, whether that is sweet and sour or a contrast of textures like soft and crunchy.

With this tart, I've added cocoa powder to the pastry for maximum chocolate flavour.The dark richness of the chocolate is contrasted well with the walnuts and the moreish mellow toffee sauce.

Ingredients: (serves eight)
120g (4 ½ oz) softened butter
1 medium egg
9Og (3 ½ oz) caster sugar
200g (8oz) plain flour
5og (2oz) cocoa powder

2 tsp seedless raspberry jam
150g (6oz) walnuts roughly chopped
200g (8oz) good plain chocolate
60g (2 ½ oz) softened butter
100g (4oz) caster sugar
4 eggs

1. To make the pastry, rub the flour, cocoa powder and butter together until it is a fine crumb consistency.
2. Break the egg into a separate bowl, add the sugar and beat the for several minutes.
3. Gradually add the egg mix to the pastry, working it gently just until it comes together, then cling wrap it and place in your fridge for 15 minutes to rest.
4. In the meantime lightly butter a 10-inch quiche dish (use a ceramic one if possible).
5. Gently roll out the chocolate pastry to a thickness of 4mm on a lightly floured surface, then line the quiche dish with the pastry. Trim off any excess pastry and keep*.
6. Chill the pastry shell down in the fridge for 30 minutes, then gently brush the base with the seedless raspberry jam. Now gently lay the walnuts on top of the jam and refrigerate again.
7. Preheat your oven to 180 C/350F gas mark 4
8. Separate the eggs you have saved for the filling, yolks in one bowl and whites in another.
9. Add the 100g (4oz) caster sugar to the yolks and whisk with an electric whisk until the yolks have turned pale and fluffy.
10. Whisk the egg whites until very stiff.
11. Melt the chocolate over a pan of hot water, then remove from the heat as soon as it's fully melted.
12. Allow the melted chocolate to cool for just 1-2 minutes then slowly fold the yolk mixture in. Then fold the egg whites in and then pour the filling evenly over the walnuts and smooth with a palette knife if necessary.
13. Use your saved pastry scraps to make a lattice pastry top.
14. Bake in the middle shelf for 35-40 minutes moving the tart to a lower shelf if needed.
15. Taste the tart with a toothpick and when it comes out clean remove the tart from the oven.

Toffee Sauce
Making toffee sauce is easier than most people think just keep an eye on it and be sure to use a heavy based stainless steel saucepan. Have a pastry brush on hand in a cup cold water.

200g (8oz) granulated sugar
½ vanilla pod
142ml (1/4 pint of double cream/heavy cream
150ml (1/4 pint + 1 Tbsp) of water
50g (2oz) butter, cold chilled pieces

1. Combine the sugar the water into a heavy-bottomed stainless steel saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer on a         medium heat.  If you see any sugar crystals forming on the insides of the pan then use the wet pastry brush and         "paint" the inside of the pan to dissolve the crystals back into the liquid.
2. Simmer on a medium heat until the syrup becomes a light golden brown then take the saucepan off the heat and         add the cream slowly being careful because the syrup reacts violently when the cold cream is added.
3. Now stir in the butter and scrap and add the vanilla seeds to enrich the flavour.

To Serve
Serve the tart warm with the toffee sauce a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Chef's Tip
To maximise the contrasts in this dish, scoop the vanilla ice cream into ice cold ramekins ahead of time and put back in the freezer.  Then serve your slice of tart on a warm plate with the toffee sauce and place the ramekin on the side of the plate at the last moment.

©Kevin Aston 2006-2015

In the Kitchen with Kevin Ashton


This is an interview by Foodies 100 was published on July 1st 2015.



L'art de la Table-Cookbook review


Besides the recipes, Gintare shows another creative side with her wonderful atmospheric photography that sets the scene and draws you in, as do her little vignettes spreading sunshine to the pages.   レビューに行くために写真をクリック        :)

Tian of Avocado and Crab with Gazpacho


Gazpacho Andaluz is one of my earliest childhood memories of Spain. At the tender age of eleven on my first package holiday to the quaint seaside resort of Tossa de Mar. It didn't matter that the Costa Brava was nowhere near Andalusia, just that I was on my first foreign holiday and my parents encouraged us to try the more Spanish dishes on offer. I also remember other British holidaymakers in the dining room complaining that the food was too foreign.

Years later during the summer months I have tried putting Gazpacho on the menu, which has met with mix results. The British pubic haven't quite got their heads around the idea of a cold summer soup, a light refreshing beginning to a meal….so I guess I'm on a mission. To try and encourage more people to try a cold soup I've created this variation on a Spanish classic. The combination of crab, avocado and the cold, refreshing soup should paint a picture of long Mediterranean lunches dining alfresco, wishing your summer holiday could go on for another couple of weeks.

Gazpacho Ingredients (serves 4)

400g vine ripe tomatoes

1-2 slices of stale white bread

2 dessertspoons of red-wine vinegar

1 clove fresh garlic, peeled and crushed

1 medium-grilled red pepper (or use tinned)

1/2 cucumber, peeled and the seeds removed

75ml olive oil

1/2-pint tomato juice or passata

1 dessertspoon tomato puree

125ml ice water

Tian Ingredients (serves 4)

2 small ripe avocados, peeled and sliced

240g white crab meat

Cajun spices

1.Blanch tomatoes in boiling water for 10-15 seconds to remove the skin.

2.Place the stale bread in food processor and chop until it is fine crumbs.

3.Add garlic then stir in red-wine vinegar. Chargrill red pepper on hob, turning

frequently until all sides are charred, and then cling wrap.

4.After five minutes, unwrap pepper and rinse away charred skin under cold water.

5.Cut the pepper in half, then quarters, carefully removing seeds and membrane. 6.Gradually add olive oil to crumbs until fully absorbed, then add the tomatoes, cucumber and red pepper and process until fine.

7.Add tomato juice and tomato puree, then season with salt and pepper.

8.Pass the soup through a fine sieve to make it very smooth, then refrigerate. 9.Remember, the soup should be served very cold and can be thinned down with ice water if it is too thick.

10.To make the tian, place a medium-sized round pastry cutter in a shallow rimmed soup bowl. Neatly place 1/4 of the avocado slices into the ring, then top with 60g of crab meat.  Press down lightly with a teaspoon and sprinkle lightly with Cajun spices.

To Serve *Use 9inch (23cm) small rimmed soup bowls, like these.

Gently ladle the gazpacho around the ring, being careful not to drip onto the tian (fill each soup bowl approximately half full). Slowly and carefully remove pastry cutter, leaving your tian intact. Decorate with tiny dice of tomato, cucumber and black olives (see photo).

CHEFS TIPS Although we in the UK drink a lot of red Rioja, the Spanish value much more their white Rioja. A warm rustic bread such as olive bread and perhaps a chilled glass of white Rioja would work well with this dish. The crabmeat in my photo is from the Brown Cornish Crab, but you could also use white Backfin crabmeat from the Blue Crab that these days is sold in most supermarkets.