Recipes: Burrata salad, fish pie and strawberry sorbet by Richard Picard-Edwards of Ballyfin Demesne

The chef at the estate in Co Laois works closely with head gardener Kayleigh Keenan to devise his menus

Kayleigh Keenan, head gardener at Ballyfin, with executive chef Richard Picard-Edwards: the gardens provide ingredients for many of the dishes served at the Laois hotel

At the five-star Ballyfin Demesne country house hotel in Co Laois, Richard Picard-Edwards and his kitchen team have access to an eight-acre walled garden that produces many of the ingredients that end up on the plates of guests. Here, he shares three recipes for you to try at home.

This burrata salad will make a delicious light summer lunch

Burrata salad with grape chutney, walnuts, garden herbs and lemon oil

Ingredients, serves two

1 fresh burrata

A few fresh grapes

1 apple cut into sticks

Fennel top

Beetroot leaf



For the chutney

250g grapes, cut in half

70g onion, peeled and cut small

100ml white wine vinegar

100g caster sugar

50ml water

For the lemon oil

20ml lemon juice

60ml good quality olive oil

Small pinch sugar and salt

For the candied walnuts

20g caster sugar

10 walnuts


1. To make the chutney, place all the ingredients into a medium-sized pan, bring to the boil and simmer until all the liquid has gone. You will be left with a mix that has a wet, jam like-consistency

2. For the lemon oil, simply mix all the ingredients together

3. Make the candied walnuts by making a light caramel with the sugar, then add the nuts and a spoon of water. Allow the nuts to simmer in the caramel for two minutes, then remove from the pan.

4. To assemble the dish, put the burrata in a bowl with the lemon oil, salt and pepper, to season. Cut the burrata in half.

5. Put a nice spoon of the chutney on the bottom of each plate and top each with half a burrata.

6. Mix the apple pieces, grapes and all the herbs in the same bowl the cheese was in – the salt and lemon oil will start to break them down slightly and soften them a little. Place these on top and around the cheese, then add the nuts and dress with a little more lemon oil to serve.

This summer fish pie features prawns, cod, salmon and haddock

Summer fish pie

Ingredients, serves two to three

200ml milk

180ml double cream

20g butter

20g plain flour

80g raw peeled tiger prawns

80g skinless cod fillet, cut into 2.5cm dice

80g skinless salmon fillet, cut into 2.5cm dice

80g skinless haddock fillet, cut into 2.5cm dice

100g wild garlic

70g fresh peas cooked in boiling water for two minutes

10g capers

30g chopped chives

10g chervil, chopped.

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and wholegrain mustard

Good quality Irish cheese to taste

For the potato topping

500g mashing potatoes, peeled and quartered.

50ml double cream

20g butter

1 egg yolk, beaten

Pinch of salt

100g good quality Irish cheddar cheese


1. Preheat the oven to 175C fan.

2. Bring the potatoes up to a simmer in a pot of water and simmer until very soft, then drain and add the milk, cream and butter to the pan. Mash together, until smooth (a few lumps is fine!). Add the egg yolk and mix well, then add half the cheese and season to taste. Set side.

3. For the filling, put the milk and cream in a medium-sized pan and bring to a simmer. Add the fish, then poach for one minute to allow the fish firm up slightly – you don’t want cook the fish through at this point; that will come later. Remove the fish from the liquid and place to the side.

4. In another medium pan, melt the butter then add the flour. Reduce the heat and cook for five to eight minutes, whisking constantly.

5. Now add the reserved poaching liquid a bit at a time – adding it slowly will help the sauce be smooth and lump-free. Cook for 10 minutes on a low heat – it should be a nice, smooth and glossy sauce now.

6. Add the peas, chives, capers, chervil, mustard, and cheese, mix together, remove from the heat and gently fold in the wild garlic, then all the fish, taking care not to break up the fish.

7. Place the fish mixture into a dish and level out, spread the mash on top. Ruffle with a fork and scatter the remaining cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes, then serve piping hot.

A taste of summer: strawberry sorbet

Strawberry sorbet

Ingredients, serves two

200g sliced good quality strawberries

Squeeze of lemon juice

35g caster sugar

200g strawberry purée

60ml stock syrup: make this by bringing 30ml water and 30g caster sugar up to a simmer then allowing it to cool


1. Marinade the strawberries in the lemon juice and sugar for 30 minutes then add everything else, and blend well.

2. Churn in an ice cream maker, serve with fresh basil, and enjoy.

Overnight stays at Ballyfin, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, all soft drinks, one pre-dinner drink per guest and full access to the facilities of the house and grounds, start at €1,495 for a classic room. See