Sweet and savoury recipes from the countryside.

In Orchard, cook and writer James Rich explores the huge variety of food that can be found in the English countryside, whether that is in the ancient orchards and hedgerows abundant with ingredients or the humble veg patch or kitchen garden verdant with home-grown staples.

Side of Salmon with Blueberry & Dill Sauce

A side of salmon is a great alternative to more traditional celebration meals, whether that is your weekly Sunday roast or something for a special occasion. And eating it with delicious blueberry and dill sauce is a treat!

Serves Six

You Will Need

  • 850g side of salmon
  • 1 lemon
  • 10g dill, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp rapeseed oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the blueberry sauce

  • 300g fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 10g dill
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

To serve

  • roughly chopped dill
  • lemon wedges
  • pea shoots


Preheat the fan oven to 160˚C (350˚F/gas 4). Line a large baking tin with baking parchment, add the salmon and season generously with salt and pepper.

Finely grate the zest of the lemon and combine in a small bowl with the juice of half of it, the dill, maple syrup and oil. Briefly whisk to combine before pouring over the seasoned salmon, ensuring all the flesh is coated in the marinade.

Bake the salmon for 20-25 minutes until the flesh is just firm to the touch and the marinade is starting to caramelise. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

In the meantime, make the blueberry sauce. Cook the blueberries in a heavy-bottomed saucepan with the dill, sugar and balsamic vinegar over a medium heat until the fruit starts to break down, stirring to ensure the fruit doesn’t catch. Then, simmer for 5-6 minutes until the sauce is a thick, jammy consistency. Pour into a serving dish.

Transfer the salmon onto a serving dish using the baking parchment. Discard the paper and garnish the salmon with more dill, lemon wedges and pea shoots. Serve with the blueberry sauce.

Apple, Plum & Walnut Cobbler

Perfectly sweet, tart and nutty, a cobbler is a crowd-pleaser. Simply served with some cream or delicious vanilla custard, this dessert is the ideal finale to a Sunday roast.

Serves Six

You Will Need

  • 700g firm plums, stoned and roughly chopped
  • 300g cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 100g dried cranberries, cherries and raisins or other dried berries of your choice
  • 60g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tbsp raspberry liqueur such as Chambord (optional)
  • cream, custard or ice
  • cream to serve

For the cobbler topping

  • 150g plain flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 100g walnuts
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 150g cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 egg
  • demerara sugar for the top


Preheat the oven to 180°C (400°F/gas 6).

Combine all the ingredients for the fruit filling in a large baking dish and stir together until the fruit is well coated with the other ingredients. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes until the fruit has started to soften and the juices are bubbling.

Meanwhile, to make the topping, put the flour, baking powder, walnuts and sugar into a food processor and pulse until evenly combined.

Add the butter to the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and continue to pulse until it comes together to make a thick, quite wet dough.

Remove the fruit from the oven and spoon dollops of the dough on top of the fruit mixture, creating a good covering, but leaving some gaps for the dough to spread into. Sprinkle with a little demerara sugar and bake in the oven for 40 minutes until golden. Serve hot with cream, custard or ice cream.

Cook’s Note

Any combination of fruit will generally work perfectly in this cobbler. If you use soft fruit, like currants or berries, then either reduce or skip the first bake. Likewise, hazelnuts also work well in the cobbler topping instead of walnuts.

Win a copy of Orchard

For your chance to win a copy of Orchard, please email your name, address and telephone number to:
Closing date: Monday, 28th November 2022

Orchard: sweet and savoury recipes from the countryside by James Rich out 15th September (Hardie Grant)
All images © Laura Edwards

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