I love cherries in anything, and this delicious sorbet is all raw. I buy a bag of frozen stoned dark cherries from the freezer department in my local Sainsbury’s (they are only £2.00 for 500g which is a bargain)
The sorbet is beyond easy to make, no churn and I like to serve it with biscotti and or some shaved dark chocolate on top… or just garnished with fresh cherries.
Makes about 3/4 pint
2 tbs cups of stoned cherries plus a few fresh ones for optional garnish
2 tbs of lemon juice
1/3 cup of maple syrup
2 tbs Vodka, Kirsch or fruit juice
1/2 tsp of almond extract (optional)
A bar of dark chocolate (optional)
A lidded freezer container on standby to put it in
Place the lemon juice, maple syrup, cherries and kirsch (or vodka or fruit juice) and optional almond extract into the bowl of your food processor. Working as fast as you can, blitz it all up till it’s silky smooth and there are no visible skin bits. Tip it into the freezer container to firm up unless you want it straight away, it will be quite soft but delicious nevertheless. It’s at its best texture wise after a couple of hours in the freezer and eaten that day.
If it’s been in the freezer for ages you might want to take it out ten minutes before serving to soften it slightly. If I’m serving it with chocolate on, I put the chocolate in the fridge to harden up and then shave it with a vegetable peeler.
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.
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.
Slice the pears into thin slices. On a medium heat melt a tablespoon of the butter and gently sauté the pear slices till tender, how long will depend on how ripe they are, transfer to a plate.
Pour the honey, vanilla and a tablespoon of butter into the pan and gently cook till the honey is frothing for a few minutes. Meanwhile toast the bread and butter it. Spread the ricotta on the bread (about quarter of an inch thick) and lay the pears on top. Spoon the hot honey over the top and sprinkle with the toasted walnuts. Serve straight away.
This aubergine recipe is absolutely one of my favourite things ever. It’s an ancient Middle Eastern recipe that is so delicious I could eat it every day. I serve it with warm flat breads, Greek yogurt (or Oatly crème fraîche if you are dairy free) and salad and it’s the perfect lunch or starter. It’s brilliant with my Baked Falafel too. Sometimes I add toasted pine nuts on top with the mint and parsley leaves. My friend Giada and I had it for lunch on toast with hummus and it was delicious.
2 aubergine sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices lengthwise
1 small onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
1/4 tsp of red chilli flakes
1 tablespoon of cinnamon (I think it needs quite a lot)
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
Small bunch of mint
Small bunch of parsley
1 tsp of maple syrup (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 180c or 350f.
The cut aubergines can be salted and left to drain for twenty minutes then washed before use, however they have bred the bitterness out of some of them so I generally find it unnecessary.
Fry the aubergine slices in a big glug of olive oil, on both sides till golden. Set aside. Fry the onion in a tablespoon of olive oil till it’s starting to go golden and add the garlic, cinnamon and a pinch of salt and cook for a further minute. Tip in the chopped tomatoes and gently cook till the sauce, about 5 minutes.
Place the aubergines in an oven proof dish or pan and pour over the tomato sauce. Cover with a lid or tightly with foil and bake for about for about one and a half hours or until the aubergines are tender. Sprinkle over the chopped parsley and leaves of the mint and serve. They are even better the next day after a night in the fridge.
My serving suggestion below is with warm pita bread, salad, Oatly crème fraîche and lots of the herbs.
This is the classic delicious Sicilian aubergine Pasta Alla Norma recipe, which from everything I have read, was first created in the 1700’s in Catania in Sicily and was so delicious that it was compared to the beautiful opera Norma and thus named. Its a good store cupboard supper, and I’ve also served it up at dinner parties with a crisp green salad.
2 small aubergines (eggplant)
2 cloves of garlic minced
400g of boccole, rigatoni or macaroni
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
A big bunch of basil
Ricotta Salata to garnish (which is not ricotta and I couldn’t get it) or lots if grated parmesan or a vegetarian hard cheese
Chilli oil (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Make the tomato sauce by sautéing the minced garlic in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil for half a minute, but don’t let it colour. Add the tin of tomatoes and simmer gently for 15 minutes, or until it’s slightly thicker. I add a teaspoon of optional maple syrup to mine to bring out the flavour of the tomatoes.
Slice the aubergines (eggplant) into any shape you like… I like mine in slices lengthwise but coins are fine too. Fry them in about quarter of an inch of olive oil until golden on both sides and drain on a clean tea towel or kitchen paper.
Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet in salty water. Drain and add to the tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add a little chilli oil if using(I love it)then mix in the fried aubergine.
Grate the Ricotta Salata over the top (or Parmesan) and finish with basil leaves.
This cake is a version of my apple cake only made with cherries and almonds. It’s a very moist puddingy cake and it goes marzipany in the centre and has a pie like crust on the outside. The cherries I use are hassle free frozen ones from the supermarket which have been stoned and are cheap and easy.
This Italian recipe is a fantastic meatless version of meatballs, they are absolutely amazing and packed with flavour and perfect if you love aubergines, like me. Also they are great if you are having a dinner party or date night (just halve the quantities for two) I absolutely adore them.
For the pistachio lovers, these biscuits are Middle Eastern in their inspiration and really easy to make. They are chewy, nutty and macaron like and perfect served with an espresso. They are also dairy and gluten free.