BACON-WRAPPED HALLOUMI Halloumi is the national cheese of Cyprus. Usually made from a mixture of goat's and ewe's milk, it is far lower in both fat and calories than our own national staple, cheddar. The name derives from an ancient Greek word meaning salty, and it is indeed a fairly salty mouthful, but not excessively so, provided that you don't add extra seasoning to recipes. Serves two to three
• 250g halloumi, cut into 6 cubes • 6 slices of smoked back bacon • olive oil • salsa verde, to serve
Lay each rasher of bacon on a board and then, starting with the narrow end, wrap it round a piece of cheese. Secure the end with a cocktail stick.
Heat two tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and brown the bacon parcels on all sides for a couple of minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and place it in a preheated oven (220°C/425°F/gas 7) for about ten minutes - this heats the cheese right through. Serve with pan juices, salsa verde and good bread.
CHICKEN WITH CREAMY HERB-AND-MUSTARD SAUCE Mashed potatoes and garlicky sautéed spinach make a great accompaniment.
Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large ovenproof pan. Once hot, add the chicken, then season and brown all over. Transfer the pan to a preheated oven (200°C/ 400°F/gas 6) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the chicken is just cooked.
To make the sauce, heat the cream until bubbles appear and then cook it over a medium heat until reduced by about a third and slightly thickened. Watch the pan carefully in case it boils over.
Add the parsley and tip everything into a food processor with the mustard. Whizz until smooth, then add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the chicken. (You can make the sauce in advance and reheat it gently).
DUCK-EGG FRITATTA Linda Dick duck eggs are available from delicatessens and butchers throughout central Scotland.
Serves two to three
• 4 duck eggs • 200ml crème fraîche • 4-5 spring onions, finely chopped • 50g rocket • 25g butter • 4-6 slices smoked salmon • juice of 1 lime
Lightly whisk the eggs and crème fraîche with a little seasoning. Heat some butter in a frying pan and lightly sauté the onions and half of the rocket (torn) for a minute or so, until just softened.
Then, over a medium heat, tip in the eggs. Leave the pan for a couple of minutes and then push the mixture in from the sides with a spatula. Cook for seven to eight minutes, or until almost set, and then lay the smoked salmon slices over the top.
Place the pan under a hot grill for two to three minutes, until just set, then squeeze the lime juice over the fritatta. Pile the remaining rocket on top, then cut into wedges to serve.