crushed peas on toast with parmesan

this is a recipe I created for a bread company that combines the sweetness of the creamy peas with the savoury crunchy sourdough and lots of parmesan, lemon and a dash of balsamic..brilliant as a snack or light lunch


Ingredients

Serves 2 or one hungry person

  • 2 slices sourdough
  • 2 cups of defrosted frozen petit pois (they don’t need cooking) 
  • Half a medium lemon, juice and zest
  • Parmesan block
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Small sprig of chives (chopped)
  • Pea shoots (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste and balsamic vinegar (I always use Belazu)

How:

Place the peas, one tablespoon of the olive oil, the chopped chives, lemon juice and zest with salt and pepper in a food processor or you can use a stick blender and pulse till it’s a rough purée, but if you prefer it smooth continue to purée till smooth. Set aside.

Heat a large frying pan, drizzle the bread with the rest olive oil and toast on either side till brown and crisp and sprinkle with a little salt. 

Spread the pea mixture onto the bread, then shave parmesan over the top, sprinkle with pea shoots and finish with drips of balsamic vinegar and serve.

I shop at:
Waitrose
Sainsbury’s
Tesco
Lidl

pignoli breakfast biscuits

These soft nutty lemony Sicilian biscuits are served at breakfast in Italy with an espresso and are really popular at special holidays like Christmas and Easter. I like them all year round for breakfast with my coffee or after dinner when I fancy something sweet.


Ingredients

Makes about 16

  • 75g sugar
  • 200g plain flour 
  • 75g of mild olive oil or butter (or Naturli vegan spread for a dairy free version) 
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 200g pine nuts 
  • the zest of one lemon 
  • 1 tsp of baking powder 
  • a shallow baking tray lined with parchment 
  • Icing sugar to dust (optional) 

How:

Preheat the oven to 180c. 

Put the sugar, flour, lemon zest and baking powder into a food processor. Whizz up and then add the egg yolk and vanilla and pulse till you have a dough. If it’s still dry and bread crumby add a tablespoon or two of cold water. Tip onto a board and knead most of the pine nuts in, leaving some to put on top.

Roll into 1 inch balls and place on the baking tray with lots of space between for when they spread out during baking. Squish the rest of the pine nuts on top of the biscuit balls. 

Bake for about 10 minutes or until the pine nuts are golden. Don’t over bake as they become too dry.

Leave to cool on the tray. Dust with icing sugar and serve. They can be stored in an airtight container for a week in the fridge. 

I shop at:
Waitrose
Sainsbury’s
Tesco
Lidl

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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italian octopus and white bean salad

This salad is very simple and takes moments to prepare…it’s got all the classic Italian flavours of fresh lemon, parsley, olive oil and balsamic vinegar with tender octopus, which I buy ready cooked from my Spanish deli in Portobello Road or my local fish monger in Primrose Hill but you can also use the jars of it in olive oil that some supermarkets and delis stock. It’s a perfect starter to a pescatarian dinner, or just as a light supper with crusty bread to mop up the dressing.

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broad bean and artichoke salad with lemon and herbs

This fresh summery Greek salad is a great way to eat broad beans and the artichokes make it extra delicious. If you can’t be bothered to skin the broad beans you can use defrosted peas instead. I serve it with other salads, flatbreads and a block of feta for that alfresco summery feel. It is best served at room temperature with an extra sprinkle of herbs. It’s also great with roast fish or meat.

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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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braised squid in red wine with olives

This recipe is Turkish in origin and from a cookbook by Ghillie Basan. It’s the perfect winter stew as it has lots of spicy flavours and the red wine turns the squid a lovely dark aubergine colour. I have replaced the sugar with maple syrup so it’s a bit healthier. You can cook it in advance and reheat it later, if you want to do hassle free entertaining. I serve mine with roasted sourdough bread or basmati rice and a salad and pretend I’m on holiday.

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Venetian carrot and almond cake

This delicious traditional Italian cake was the precursor to the carrot cake we know now and love but this is kind of marzipany without the bitterness. Don’t be fooled by its simplicity as it’s fantastic with coffee, for breakfast or with a glass of vin santo after dinner. Like a lot of Italian recipes it’s dairy free and it also has no oil or butter. It is mostly carrots, egg and almond.

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