Summer flavours freshen our palates with their focus on light, bright, seasonal produce – but there’s more to the warmer months than just salad.
Historic Hotels of Europe represents almost 500 hotels across 18 countries. Each of the talented chefs creates their own gastronomic take on seasonal flavours, influenced by the ingredients available, the regional culture and their wider inspirations.
A few of our favourite hotels have been kind enough to share their favourites with us, for you to recreate at home.
Hotel Grimsel Hospiz’s veal in morel sauce
When you stay at the Grimsel Hospiz, you are surrounded by nature. From the rocky slopes of the Bernese Oberland to the turquoise waters of the Grimselsee beneath; no wonder chef Thomas Schaarschmidt finds inspiration in the seasonal produce and flavours all around him.
Thomas’s favourite summer recipe is slow-cooked breast of veal in morel brew. Here’s his legendary dish, with an adaptation below that you can recreate in your own home.
500g calf bones
100g celery root
150g frozen morels
2 sprigs thyme
Salt, pepper, laurel, juniper, clove
1 kg breast of veal
- Put 2 litres of water in a pot and add all the ingredients except the morels. Bring to the boil and skim the top.
- Let it simmer for around 3 – 4 hours and then add the morels. Allow to simmer for another 30 minutes, by which time it should have reduced by half. Pass it through a muslin.
- Cut the breast of veal against the grain in 1 cm strips, fold it up and close it with thread. Season with salt and pepper
- Vacuumize it with the morel stock and let it cook in 65 degree hot water for 36 hours.
BREAST OF VEAL IN MORE SAUCE
For the sauce (ingredients serves 4): 500g calf bones – 100 g leek – 100g celery root (the hard part at the base of the celery) – 1 onion – 150g frozen morels – 500ml Madeira – 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly – 2 sprigs thyme – Salt, pepper, laurel, juniper, clove, to taste – 125g butter
For the meat: 1kg fillet of veal – 50g butter
- To make the sauce, put 2 litres of water in a large pan and add all the stock ingredients, except the morels and the butter.
- Bring to the boil and skim the surface.
- Simmer for 3 – 4 hours until it has reduced to ¼ of its original volume.
- Add the morels and cook for another 30 minutes.
- Pass through a muslin or tea towel, giving you a clear liquid and set aside.
- Season your veal with salt and pepper and brown quickly in a frying pan.
- Rest the meat for five minutes
- Brush with butter and roll tightly in tin foil, creating a tight cigar shape.
- Heat a heavy frying pan, roll your tin foiled veal in it before transferring to a hot oven (gas mark 7 or 8, 220-230 C) for 20 – 25 minutes.
- Remove and set aside to rest.
- While the meat is resting, heat your sauce, whisking in the butter until the sauce is thick, rich and glossy.
- Slice the meat and pour over the sauce.
The Kyrimai Hotel’s Mpriam (Summer Baked Vegetables)
The Greek “Mpriam” is a favorite summer dish and an excellent option on a warm day. Containing only fresh vegetables, this dish is healthy, light, filling and delicious. Here’s a modern approach to the Greek traditional dish from Chef Theodore Mitsis of the Kyrimai Hotel in Mani:
Ingredients (serves 2):
3 baby potatoes cut into dices
1 medium courgette / zucchini cut into dices
1 fresh onion cut into slices
1 medium onion cut into small dices
1 leek cut into slices
1 small aubergine / eggplant cut into dices
1 tbs finely chopped Crithmum herb or samphire or sea fennel
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
3 tbs red beans boiled
2 tbs parsley finely chopped
2 tbs olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
½ tbs fresh thyme
½ tbs oregano
1 tbs fresh basil finely chopped
1 tbs fresh mint finely chopped
For Pepper sauce
150gr red peppers
½ garlic clove
1 tbs olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tsp parsley finely chopped
½ tsp white balsamic vinegar
1 pinch of brown sugar
Put all ingredients into the blender and blend until soft and the sauce has a smooth consistency. Season accordingly.
Wash and cut all vegetables. Place all vegetables in a bowl and marinate with olive oil, salt, pepper, the fresh herbs and the juice of 1 tomato. Add the other tomato cut into a fine dice. Mix the bowl and let rest for a while.
Place the bowl ingredients evenly into a medium-deep pan and place the red beans on top. Place in the oven and bake at 190 oC for 35-40 minutes. Add water / vegetable broth if needed during cooking.
For best results, cover the pan with a baking paper during the first fifteen minutes of cooking.
Serve with a chilled glass of white dry wine.
Villa Le Barone’s Gnudi
Supreme local ingredients and a love of cooking regional Tuscan recipes are what makes Villa le Barone so special. At the hotel, meals can be eaten outside under the Tuscan sun, surrounded by boxwood hedges and hydrangeas on the terrace. To recreate the atmosphere at home, here is their recipe for “Gnudi” or “naked” ravioli. Quite simply this is heavenly ricotta ravioli without the pasta.
1 lb ricotta cheese
1 lb ricotta cheese
1 lb cooked spinach, squeezed dry and chopped
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
Salt and nutmeg to taste
Pull all the ingredients together and mix well. Shape into balls and dip in flour, then put into a large pan of boiling water. When they rise to the surface after couple of minutes, remove from boiling water and dress with butter and tomatoes
Chateau Gbel’any’s rhubarb cake
The elegant Chateau Gbel’any – and the area surrounding it – has a rich and varied history, dating back to 1434.
Today, while the Baroque exterior has been perfectly preserved, the interiors are bright and modern, blending contemporary luxury with the historic surroundings. This rhubarb cake is made for indulging:
Rhubarb cake – Ingredients:
Dough:200g plain flour – 100g butter – 100g icing sugar – 1 egg
Filling: 500g rhubarb – 100g cane sugar – Fresh ginger juice – 3 eggs – 70g honey – 1 tbsp cornflour – 250g sour cream
Crumble: 50g flour – 50g butter – 50g sugar
Redcurrant syrup: 300g fresh redcurrants – 100g sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180C, gas mark 4.
- Make the dough by mixing all ingredients in a large bowl. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for an hour.
- Remove from fridge, roll out and put into a tart mould.
- Next, make the filling by mixing the chopped rhubarb and sugar in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix the ginger juice, eggs, honey, cornflour and sour cream.
- Combine the ingredients from both bowls and pour them onto the prepared dough.
- To make the crumble, rub the flour and butter together with your fingers until you have a soft mixture. Then add the sugar and mix it again with your fingers.
- Spread the mixture onto the top of the cake and bake it for 40 minutes.
- Make the redcurrant syrup by boiling the water, sugar and fresh redcurrants. Sieve and pour generously over the cake slices.
Young fresh rhubarb can be just sliced. If the rhubarb is older, it needs to be peeled and then sliced.
Manor House Mojmírovce’s mackerel fillet with octopus tentacles and black root, saffron and dandelion sauce
Head chef Ivan Čurgali of the Manor House Mojmirovce was awarded with the prize of “Gurman best 20 chefs” in Slovakia. Ivan has a dazzling CV (Ludwigshof in Rosenheim, the 5 star Sofitel and Asian restaurant Mangostin). Here he shares his recipe for mackerel fillet with octopus tentacles and black root, saffron and dandelion sauce.
Ingredients:400g mackerel fillet – 4 octopus tentacles – 500g black root – 50g butter – 100g cream – 100g/1dcl olive oil – 4 dandelion (flowers) – 1g saffron – 1dcl white wine – Salt, black pepper
Cook the octopus tentacles until they are soft (a culinary trick to shorten cooking time – put a cork into the pot). Wash, clean and debone the mackerel fillet. Cut the skin to avoid pulling it off. Wash, clean and dry the black root, (black peels could be fried and used as a decoration) – cut it and boil in salted water for 20 minutes until tender. Drain and put it into the blender. Add a bit of butter and cream and mix it to a smooth puree.
To prepare the sauce, pour white wine into a warm mug. Add a pinch of salt, pepper and let it reduce in a half. Now add the dandelion flowers with some saffron. Soften the sauce with a bit of cold butter.
Meanwhile, heat some oil in another pan. Season the dried mackerel fillet with salt and fry it from both sides (start with the skin on the down side). After a while, add the cooked octopus tentacles with a piece of butter. Serve with the wine sauce.