Home   What's On   News   Article

How to make TV chef Rachel Koo's summer salad with feta and pickled cherries

Rachel Khoo barely pauses for breath, as she lists off the reasons why the tiny Parisian flat in which she found fame wasn't as romantic as it seemed.

"Everybody has this rose-tinted vision of The Little Paris Kitchen, but there was mould growing on the ceiling, the windows didn't shut, it was wired from the 1960s," says the TV chef.

"So you could have electrocuted yourself, it was drafty, you could hear the neighbour snoring - and doing other things..."

The Croydon-born foodie, who recently revealed that she once took a cookery course at Leiths School of Food and Wine with the Duchess of Cambridge, moved to the French capital in 2006 and studied at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu.

Rachel Khoo
Rachel Khoo

She was later snapped up by the BBC to front The Little Paris Kitchen: Cooking With Rachel Khoo, a show demystifying French food, in which Khoo whipped up impressive meals inside her quirky and cramped studio apartment.

As more TV series, books and newspaper columns followed, Rachel continued to wizard up everything from Quiche Lorraine to molten lava cake in her tiny toaster oven. But the time for change finally came...

"I was recipe-tasting a cake, it rose and the top got stuck to the oven so it burnt and I was there scraping it," she recalls.

"I thought, 'You know what? I have done a TV show on the BBC, I've published three books, I am over this small kitchen!'"

The 33-year-old has kept on her place in Paris, but is now based primarily in the UK ("All the work is coming out of London, so it just makes sense," she notes), where she has invested in a decent-sized oven and a proper bed.

"For eight years, I slept on a futon bed, so every time I get into bed now I'm like, 'Ahhh'," she says with a sigh of pleasure. "It's a real bed, and I don't have to fold it up!"

In addition to travelling to foodie destinations around the world for her Kitchen Notebook show on the Good Food Channel, busy Rachel has been working on recipes with British Cherries, the industry body that represents more than 70% of growers.

Food lovers will love Rachel's summery British Cherries recipes and here are two to try at home. For more information, visit www.seasonalberries.co.uk or follow @BritishBerries on Twitter.

Rachel Khoo's summer salad with feta and pickled cherries
Rachel Khoo's summer salad with feta and pickled cherries


(Serves 4 as a starter)

1 medium courgette, stalk removed

1/2 firm cantaloupe melon, skin and seeds removed

2tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of sea salt

Small handful mint leaves

100g feta (a creamy burrata or mozzarella will also work)

For the pickled cherries:

50ml red wine vinegar

1tbsp sea salt

150ml water

100g caster sugar

200g cherries, halved and stones removed

Here's how you do it

First make the cherries: Place the red wine vinegar, salt, water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil for two minutes, stirring to make sure all the salt and sugar has dissolved.

Take off the heat, pour into a bowl or container and leave to cool for five minutes.

Add the cherries and leave to cool to room temperature. If making ahead of time, place in the fridge to chill.

Next make the rest of the salad: Use a speed peeler or mandolin to make courgette ribbons the length of the courgette.

With a knife or a mandoline, thinly slice the melon into long strips. Toss the melon and courgette in a bowl with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spread on a large platter. Sprinkle on the mint, crumble on the feta and scatter over the cherries.

Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of the pickling liquid over the top.

Rachel Khoo's roasted cherry and vanilla mousse millefeuille
Rachel Khoo's roasted cherry and vanilla mousse millefeuille


(Makes 4)

320g ready rolled all butter puff pastry

1 egg, beaten

2tbsp golden caster sugar

300g cherries, halved and stones removed

2tbsp caster sugar

110g soft curd cheese

110ml whipping cream

Seeds from half a vanilla pod

1tbsp icing sugar

Here's how you do it

Preheat the oven to 180C (fan-assisted). Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Cut the pre-rolled puff pastry into 12 rectangles (10x4cm each) and place on the baking tray.

Use a pastry brush to brush the top of the pastry with the beaten egg. Sprinkle lightly with the sugar.

Place another piece of baking paper on top covering the pastry rectangles, and a wire rack or lightweight baking tray on top (this is to stop the pastry rising too much). Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

In the meantime, toss the cherries in the sugar and place in a baking dish. Cover with aluminium foil loosely and roast for 10-15 minutes, or until soft but holding their shape.

Remove the cherries and pastry from the oven and set aside to cool.

Split the vanilla pod in half along the length. Use the back of the knife to scrape out the grains. Add this to the cream in a large bowl and whip up the cream to soft peaks with the sugar.

Beat the soft curd to remove any lumps. Fold the whipped cream in the curd. Place in a piping bag fitted with a star-shaped nozzle.

To assemble, place a small blob of mousse on the plate to stick the first pastry rectangle down. Line the cherries up along one side of the rectangle and pipe small dollops of cream along the other side. Repeat the process with the next rectangle. Dust with a little icing sugar.

Repeat the whole process another three times to make four in total.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More