burrata salad with heirloom tomatoes and Thai basil

This is the easiest most delicious salad which is so fresh and summery and perfect with a bbq or any alfresco eating. The Thai basil give it a slightly aniseedy flavour which works really well. I eat it for lunch with roasted sourdough or for dinners with any of my pasta recipes and the tomatoes taste even nicer if you mix them up with the vinaigrette and onions in advance and leave them in the fridge for a few hours before assembling the salad. If you press on the word vinaigrette in the list of ingredients below it will take you straight to the recipe.

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peperonata

Like the aubergine stew Caponata (in the blog menu) this Italian stew of sweet savoury peppers is a bit like a relish. It’s often served as antipasti with assorted cheeses, olives, breads and salad. This recipe reminds me of when I was a child, my Italian aunt Marie used to serve it in a bap, plain with no butter, just olive oil, I thought it was the most delicious thing I’d ever eaten and I still love it. Like a lot of stews, it gets better after a day or two in the fridge. It can be served hot or cold, as an anti-pasti, or with bread, pasta or meat. I love it with Parmesan on toasted sourdough with a sprinkling of shredded basil… do try it.

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goat’s cheese and beetroot tartines

I love beetroot and goat’s cheese as a combo. I always order it as a starter at the amazing  Austrian Fischers restaurant in Marylebone High Street in London. I love the salty flavour of the goat’s cheese with the slightly sweet beetroot and sweet balsamic vinegar. My idea is to put this salad on crunchy bread to add more texture. It’s a really perfect starter or light meal or a snack. Continue reading

caprese salad tartines

Caprese salad is summer personified, although I eat these all year round to remind me of summer…the flavours and the white, greens and reds of the salad are not only the national Italian flag colours, they are also the Mediterranean on a plate. You get the crunchiness of the bread with caprese salad in a simple olive oil and balsamic dressing with lots of basil.
I love these tartines because they are not only delicious but I can imagine myself by the sea in Italy on a hot summer day with a glass of wine having a two hour lunch in a pair of espadrilles and a floaty caftan and dipping a toe in the pool. These are perfect for brunch, lunch or for a light supper.

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caramelised roasted red onions

  • These onions are roasted until they are caramelised and sitting in an unctuous balsamic syrupy sauce. This recipe pays tribute to the humble onion as a vegetable in its own right. They are fab with a roast dinner or as a side dish and they are also great at room temperature along side salads and bread. But apart from being delicious, studies  have shown that rosemary has amazing anti ageing properties, ten percent of the population in the town of Acciaroli in Italy are over 100 years and scientists are putting it down to the rosemary in their diet and scientific studies have also shows that rosemary helps maintain and improve brain function and memory. So I’m adding Rosemary to my diet whenever I can, which is easy as I love the taste and smell.

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mashed pea bruschetta with parmesan

I love peas and always have, and will always be excited if I know they are on the menu, and I try and find any excuse to put them in a recipe. I have wanted to make a pea bruschetta type scenario for ages, and now I have knocked one up for the blog. It’s a delicious mix of crunchy bread with the delicate pea mash and the flavours of the Parmesan and balsamic vinegar. Bloody delish and great as a canapé or starter or as a snack.

Recipe

Serves 2-4.

Ingredients:
4 slices of sourdough bread
1/2 garlic clove
1 cup of defrosted frozen petit pois
2 tablespoons of good olive oil
Finely chopped parsley
A little dribble of balsamic vinegar
Zest of a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan shavings

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caponata

Like pesto, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I first tried caponata. It’s the most delicious Italian aubergine stew that’s served at room temperature. It’s great with antipasti, on bread or as part of a salad. You could even leave it hot and serve it on pasta with lots of Parmesan. Even nicer the next day after its cooked.

Serves 2-3.

Ingredients:

4 teaspoons maple syrup or sugar
5 tablespoons olive oil
A few aubergines cut into 1 inch chunks
1 medium onion finely cubed
4 garlic cloves minced
1 400g tin of chopped plum tomatoes
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
2 tablespoons of baby capers
A handful of pine nuts
A handful of chopped basil

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