Hartford House

The Home of Good Conversation, Fine Wine and Classic Horses.

Award-winning hotel and restaurant situated at Summerhill Stud on the picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Meander, South Africa.


summer salad


Jackie Cameron Head Chef

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef

Summer in South Africa is hot! It renders my kitchen as steamy as any sauna; even with an industrial extractor fan working overtime. The team and I survive on large jugs of iced water with lots of fresh lemon and mint. The current heat wave inspires me to create light, summer dishes that can be served with a large, crisp, freshly-picked mixed salad of your choice.

I always “shotgun” the cleaning, deboning and portioning of fresh Norwegian salmon because there are always a few slivers that go begging. Nothing is more tantalising than this salmon drizzled with Kikkoman soya sauce. The combination will be remembered for its freshness and sheer simplicity. For the ideal light lunch I suggest preparing a few slices of fresh salmon, or any fresh fish of your choice, cured with soya sauce. Serve this with red onions, freshly-picked fennel, croutons and homemade mayonnaise. This satisfies the appetite leaving you feeling fulfilled not gorged.

Another favourite is what I call a beef salsa. Guests often refer to it as a ceviche because it’s citrus marinated. However, it’s actually a tartar as it’s finely-chopped, raw beef fillet. Some guests are apprehensive when hearing the word “tartar”. Fear not; this is a taste explosion! Crunchy, finely-sliced snap peas add texture and all the flavours are enhanced with a creamy homemade aioli. Every mouthful embraces a harmony of ginger, chilli, garlic, sesame seeds and snipped chives.  

Roasted vegetables are delicious. My particular preference is to roast Mediterranean veggies. Think courgettes (zucchini / baby marrow), aubergines (brinjals / eggplant), sundried tomatoes, olives and mushrooms. I include butternut and lots of rosemary to add a South Africa flavour. Place these vegetables on a crusty whole-wheat croute layered with gorgonzola, white caramelised onions, and finally a coriander crème. This offers a scrumptious savoury kick of note!

Every household should have a roll of phyllo pastry in the freezer at all times. Phyllo is so very versatile. It lends itself to sweet (apple strudel and baklava) and savoury (meat and /or vegetable fillings in the form of pies). In this instance, I suggest individual Parma ham, broccoli and country mushroom filled phyllo tulips. This “new-age” quiche looks great and tastes even better!

Here is to hot summer days and mouth-watering cuisine.

Take these recipes and try them.

south africa sun