karedok

This is my version of the all raw peanutty salad that comes from Indonesia, the ingredients I put in it are readily available in the supermarket, but if you can get Thai aubergines, which I couldn’t get, then you can add chunks of those too if you want it to be even more authentic, but it is delicious either way(it’s also a good fridge clearer outer using up veg from the fridge) You can serve it with rice if you want, or just on it’s own as a tasty healthy salad. 

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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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baby aubergine salad with parmesan and basil

These Italian aubergines are so creamy and delicious, I love them. This recipe is fantastic as a side dish to pasta for dinner or just with or on crusty bread for lunch. Its got all the Italian flavours of basil, pine nuts and parmesan with lots of garlic and olive oil. It’s also best served at room temperature like a salad so you can prepare it in advance and eat it at your leisure…

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spaghetti al pesto

Home made pesto is so infinitely superior to the store-bought jars, it’s a totally different beast. This authentic Italian recipe is one of the easiest, quickest, and most delicious sauces for pasta. All you do is stick the pasta on and put the pesto ingredients in a food processor, although pesto is traditionally made in a mortar and pestle. The first time I had this wasn’t with my Italian family, it was in an Italian restaurant in Hamburg when I was a teenager and I vividly remember thinking it was the most delicious thing I had ever eaten and it’s perfect for a date night.

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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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melanzane parmigiana

I have never met anyone that doesn’t love Melanzane Parmigiana. This is pretty much the recipe my Italian grandmother passed on to her children and with nearly all of my recipes I look at loads of versions of them and take the best bits from each one to create what I think is the perfect hybrid, and that’s what I’ve done with this Sicilian recipe. I really love aubergine and this version of melanzane parmigiana that I have created is great because it’s spot on in the flavour department. It’s low carb and great with meat and/or salad because its really satisfying as well as delicious. You could also serve it with pasta. Tonight, I’m testing it on friends (cooked the night before and reheated in their oven) I’ll get back to you on what they think.
Yes! They really really loved it……

Serves 6 (but you can halve the ingredients)

Ingredients:
4 aubergines sliced into thinish slices , approx one pound coin thick which can be lengthwise or in discs
2 tablespoons of olive oil plus more for the aubergines
1 red onion finely sliced
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
2 400g tins of plum tomatoes
a sprig of oregano or a teaspoon of dried
3 cloves of minced garlic
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
200g of thinly sliced mozzarella
100g of freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper


How:
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Oil a baking tray, place the slices of aubergine on the tray in a single layer and make sure the upper side of the aubergine is sprayed or brushed with oil too.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until brown, you may have to do this in batches. Then set aside.
In a large saucepan, fry the onion gently in the olive oil for about five minutes.
Add the tomatoes, garlic, basil, oregano, maple syrup and red wine vinegar.
Gently bring to the boil and let it gently bubble for about 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Like a lasagna, in a deepish baking dish layer the aubergine in a single layer first and then sprinkle with some Parmesan and slices of mozzarella then a layer of tomato sauce, repeat until all the ingredients are used up.
To get a crispy top, finish with a layer of the aubergine topped with the Parmesan, bake at 180°C for 40-50 minutes or until getting brown, you might want to put tin foil over the top for the first 20 minutes if you don’t want it too crispy, however I like it a bit burnt as the cheese goes a bit Welsh rarebity. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: if you want it a bit less oily, you can boil the aubergines whole for 20 minutes, allow to cool and then slice and put them in the recipe.