We were celebrating the sunshine! Whenever the sun comes out we seize the moment, open all the windows and invite people around for food. This time we had about 10 guests. It was a really happy time, with children and family and friends all sitting together. We had drinks outside in the garden and then moved inside to eat.
What did you have to eat?
We started with a mixture of wild and English asparagus, with an ostrich-egg hollandaise and some monk's beard, blanched and dressed with olive oil and lemon. Ostrich eggs are surprisingly easy to get hold of – if you search online you're sure to find a local farmer selling them. For our main dish we had Cornish hake from our local fishmonger, baked en papillote with white wine, olive oil and bay leaves, served with anchovies, sliced green almonds and za'atar; a Lebanese-style salad of blanched chard with fried chickpeas and chopped lemon; and some fried, spiced cauliflower. For pudding we had small slices of a rich ginger cake, made with crystallised ginger and served with caramel and Seville orange marmalade ice-cream.
What did you have to drink?
We went to the Wines from Spain show recently and came back with a mixed box of interesting, lesser-known white wines from Galicia, Majorca and Menorca, which went well with the meal. A friend brought along some prosecco to accompany dessert.
How long did it take you to prepare?
The great thing is that there are two of us, so it really didn't take much time at all. In total, it probably took us a couple of hours, but that included pottering about in the garden, stopping children fighting and changing the odd nappy!
What did you talk about?
We were mostly just catching up with our friends, finding out what they've been up to. A friend has just opened a shop in Chapel Market in north London – she was born and bred in that part of the world – so we were talking about how interesting that little street is. It's a bit of an Islington gem that not many people seem to know about. There's a lovely market there. We also talked about our allotment in east London. The committee in charge of the Olympic legacy recently sent us a letter stating that they were going to reinstate our allotment closer to where it was originally, which is exciting news. And our photographer friend, Toby Glanville, was telling us about a shoot he'd just been on with the pope's shoemaker in northern Italy.
This "steamed" fish is actually baked as it goes into the oven at a high temperature, but it is the steam that cooks and perfumes the fish. It's a quick way to cater for larger numbers of people and you are left with delicious cooking juices to serve.
1.4kg white fish on the bone 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 4 tbsp white wine 1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced 2-3 bay leaves Salt and pepper
To serve Green almonds, sliced Anchovy fillets, sliced lengthways Za'atar
1 Preheat the oven to 230C/450F/gas mark 8. To prepare your fish, toss lightly with all the ingredients and season well with salt and pepper. Then you can either staple it in baking paper en papillote or simply place in a baking tray sealed tightly with foil.
2 Cook for about 15-20 minutes and serve with a scattering of almonds, anchovies and za'atar.
As a child, Samantha learned to cook with Constance Spry, and this is an adaptation of her Belvoir ginger cake, first published in The Constance Spry Cookery Book in 1956. We serve this with caramel and Seville orange marmalade ice-cream. The original recipe recommends making it a day or two in advance, as it improves with age.
500g plain flour 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 225g unsalted butter 225g soft dark brown sugar 225g sultanas 75g stem ginger, drained and sliced 550g black treacle 2 tsp ground ginger 4 eggs 4-6 tbsp milk A handful of blanched almonds, halved
1 Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 4. Sift the flour into a bowl with the bicarbonate of soda.
2 Cream the butter for 5-10 minutes, until pale, light and fluffy.
3 Add the sugar and cream again for a further 5-10 minutes before adding the sultanas, stem ginger, treacle and ground ginger. Then add the eggs, one at a time, and mix thoroughly.
4 Add the sifted flour with the bicarbonate of soda, followed by the milk. Fold it into the mixture.
5 Transfer the mixture to a greased 25cm-wide baking tin lined with baking paper. Scatter the chopped almonds on top and bake for about an hour or until cooked. Remove from the oven and cool properly before cutting.
• Sam and Sam Clark's Lebanese-inspired dishes and wine will feature in Moro's lunch and dinner menus from 7-31 May (moro.co.uk)