This traditional Neapolitan savoury bread or cake is simply delicious. Easy to make, especially for people who don't enjoy chopping and slow cooking things. It tastes even better a couple of days after you make it, and it freezes perfectly.
100g light olive oil
200g plain flour
1 packet of yeast for pizza
200g of black pitted olives
200g diced smoked bacon
200g cheese (Caciocavallo or cheddar)
50g roughly chopped pistachios
1. Beat the eggs with a whisk, add the flour, the olive oil and everything else. Mixing everything together well. In an electric mixer or by hand.
2. Butter a plum cake tin and add a bit of flour, shaking the sides so that it spreads evenly.
3. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes.
Whilst on holiday in Greece, I was fortunate enough to assist a cooking lesson by the local chef, Vassilis. During the lesson he showed us how to make five traditional Cretan dishes, including the famous rice-stuffed tomatoes, known as 'Gemista'.
20 large tomatoes
2 potatoes (peeled)
1 large onion
2 small aubergines
3 handfuls of parboiled rice
1 bunch of mint
1. Wash the tomatoes and cut the top off almost completely, so it forms a lid. Using a spoon remove the tomato pulp and place it in a large bowl. Repeat for all 20 tomatoes.
2. Using the large holes of a cheese grater, grate the tomato pulp, leaving it in the bowl.
3. Grate the potatoes, courgettes, carrots and aubergines in the same way, all in the bowl.
4. Grate the onion and add it to the mix.
5. Add salt, pepper and olive oil and mix, using your hands. Add the mint, roughly chopped.
6. Add the rice to the bowl and mix everything well, the mix should appear quite liquid. Cover and place to rest for 30 mins.
7. Fill each tomato to the top with the mix and close them. Place them in a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and cover with tin foil.
8. Roast in the over for 40 minutes.
These mouth-watering bruschette were just one of the many Portuguese delicacies I had the pleasure of discovering during my recent road trip through Porto, Coimbra and Lisbon. They're quick and easy to make, and trust me, everyone loves them.
1 can of sardines
3 garlic cloves
1 handful of parsley
2 sun dried tomatoes
3 cherry tomatoes
3 slices of large bread
1. Cut the slices of large bread into 2 or 3 (depending on the size of the bread) and place onto a baking tray. Turn the oven onto 180 degrees and add the bread. Remove from the oven after 3 minutes and rub each slice with a peeled garlic clove. Flip the bread and place back in the oven for 3 more minutes.
2. Turn off the oven and rub the garlic over the remaining side of the bread. Set aside.
3. Chop the parsley finely and place it in a bowl, add two tablespoons of olive oil.
4. Cut the sun dried tomatoes finely and do the same with the fresh tomatoes. Add them to the bowl with the parsley.
5. Peel the two remaining garlic cloves and dice them very finely, alternatively you can puree them. Add to the bowl.
6. Add a pinch of salt and mix all the ingredients together, making sure they are well combined, adding more olive oil if necessary.
7. Open the can of sardines, and start removing the scales and the head.
8. Place a teaspoon of mixture on each slice of bread, top with one or two chunks of sardine on each. Add a drop of olive oil on each slice and serve.
Behold the perfect finger food to accompany the hundreds of summer barbecues and garden parties (or just plain parties). Super simple, they require a few mundane ingredients, so very little effort is required!
Serves 5 people
8 slices of bread (whichever kind you prefer)
1. Place the eggs in a deep pot and cover them with cold water. Bring the water to boil. When it boils, turn off the gas and let sit for 10 minutes. Then, remove from the pot and run them under cold water.
2. Peel the eggs and place them in a bowl. Cut the crusts off the slices of bread.
3. Add some mayo to the bowl with the boiled eggs and smash them using a potato smasher.
4. Add salt and pepper, to form a thick mix.
5. Spread the mix onto a slice of bread and add a second one on top, to make a sandwich. Do the same for all the mix.
6. Using a sharp knife cut the sandwiches into three, making them thin and long.
I'm not the biggest fan of stuffed vegetables, but these tomatoes are honestly so delicious! Furthermore, this is my great grandmother's recipe, so you know its good!
Time needed: 10 minutes
5 ripe round large tomatoes (with seeds and juices removed)
a bunch of parsley
1 hard boiled egg
120g canned tuna
anchvoies or anchovy paste
stale bread softened in vinegar and squeezed
1. Cut the tomatoes in half, remove the seeds and juices and place face down on a sheet of kitchen roll to dry for 5 minutes.
2. Add all the ingredients except the tomatoes to a blender and blend to form a thick paste.
3. Season the paste with salt, pepper and olive oil.
4. Place roughly one tablespoon of paste in each tomato and smoothen.
Yes, this recipe has caramelised tomatoes in it. But you don't have to caramelise them, you can roast them or simply have them raw, if you prefer. The reason why I eat this dish so often is because I LOVE all the main ingredients, and combining them this way is just so delicious.
120g cherry tomatoes
1 garlic clove
1. Slice the aubergine into ½ a centimetre slices and place on a grill on high heat. Grill the aubergines, turning them every 4 minutes so they don't burn.
2. Dice the garlic and add to a pan with a drop of olive oil. Slice the tomatoes in half and add to the pan.
3. After 5 minutes sprinkle the tomatoes with sugar, add a drop of water and cover with a lid.
4. Cut the mozzarella into slices and wash the basil.
5. Once the aubergines are grilled you can start assembling the dish. Remove the lid from the tomatoes and let the water evaporate, after which turn off the gas.
6. Place a slice of aubergine on a dish, and a mozzarella slice on top of it. Add a second slice of aubergine followed by another one of mozzarella. Add a third aubergine slice and a third mozzarella slice. Do the same for the entire aubergine.
7. Top each aubergine tower with the caramelised tomatoes, basil leaves and any extra mozzarella you might have.
8. Sprinkle salt, pepper and olive oil over the dish and enjoy.
This amazingly-delicious bruschetta recipe is also super easy to make! You can make a large quantity of Tzatziki and what you don't use for the bruschette you can store in the fridge and enjoy it for a whole week! As always, try and buy the freshest ingredients as they make a huge difference taste-wise!
Makes 6 bruschette
6 slices of wholemeal bread, toasted
150g cherry tomatoes, washed
1 bunch of basil leaves
500g greek yoghurt
½ a cucumber
1 garlic clove
sun dried tomatoes
1. Wash the cucumber and grate it using the large holes on a cheese grater. Place the grated cucumber in a colander and press it, to remove the excess water.
2. After having removed the water add the cucumber to the greek yoghurt and mix well. Add salt and pepper and mix, taste to see how much needs to be added. Pour in olive oil gradually, tasting to make sure you don't add too much.
3. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and add them to a non-stick pan with a drop of olive oil and the garlic. Sauté them for 4 minutes, then add 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar. Add enough water to just about cover the base of the pan, cover with a lid. After 5 minutes remove the lid and let the water evaporate almost completely. Cook for further 2 minutes to let the tomatoes caramelise and turn off the heat.
4. Place 1 tablespoon of tzatziki on each slice of bread (or more if you want) and add a couple of caramelised tomatoes per slice.
5. Roughly chop the basil and sun dried tomatoes, scattering them on the bruschette. Sprinkle some pepper over everything and serve.
This is one of those recipes which I struggled to make, as I was trying to recreate the ones my mother always makes at home, I love arancini, especially the ones you eat in Sicily, huge and oozing with ragù and melted cheese. These are much simpler and also a little 'healthier' as they don't have cheese or ragù. But you can always add them if you feel like being naughty.
NOTE: you have to make risotto with saffron the night before. For the basic risotto recipe click here.
Makes roughly 12 small arancini
300g of risotto made the day before and chilled
1. Break 1 egg into the bowl with the risotto and combine it well.
2. Place the flour and breadcrumbs in two separate bowls. Crack the remaining eggs into a third bowl and whisk till they are combined.
3. Dampen your hands and take roughly one teaspoon of risotto. Make it into a ball by squishing the sides.
4. Roll the risotto ball in the flower, making sure to coat it completely. Then in the egg and finally in the breadcrumbs. Set aside.
5. Repeat this for the entire bowl of risotto.
6. Heat 2 fingers of vegetable oil in a non stick pan. Drop a tiny bit of mix to see when the oil is hot enough. Place the arancini in the pan, four at the time.
7. Using tongs, turn them almost constantly, making sure that each side browns nicely. When the oil is very hot, they only need to cook for 2 minutes each.
8. Remove the browed ones from the pan and place on a dish with kitchen roll on it, so that the excess oil gets absorbed. Sprinkle with salt and eat hot!
This recipe comes from the cookbook 'Fricandò' by Mina Novello, a lovely chef from Biella, in Piedmont (north of Italy). She released her latest book in which she published 100 traditional and exquisite recipes, this being one of them.
Things You'll Need
180g red lentils
2 garlic cloves
½ a litre of vegetable stock
30g of butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 bunch of parsley
1. Heat oil in a deep pan or pot, add chopped onion and garlic, let brown.
2. When browed add parsley, lentils and pepper to taste. Pour in the vegetable stock, cover with a lid and bring to boil.
3. Once boiled, blend directly in the pot (or place into a blender) adding the butter. The pâté needs to be of a thick consistency.
4. Place in a bowl or Tupperware lined with cling film and let rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Flatbreads are a great alternative to pasta, or any main dish. The great thing about them is that you can top them with almost anything, even sweet things! This combination is for the cheese lovers, but can also be made cheese-less by not putting the Stilton.
For the topping
1 ripe pear
4 slices of prosciutto crudo
½ a cup of walnuts
1 small red onion
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 cup of baby spinach leaves
20g of Stilton or blue cheese
for the flatbread
½ cup flour
1. To make the flatbread, click here. Alternatively, you can use a store-bought flatbread or tortilla.
2. Chop the onion into rings. Heat some olive oil in a small pan and add the onion. After 2 minutes add 1 tablespoon of granulated or dark sugar and enough water to cover the base of the pan. Cook until the water absorbs itself.
3. Place the flatbread onto a pan on high heat. Heat one side and flip.
4. Lower the heat and start adding the ingredients. Start with the spinach, spreading it evenly over the bread. Then add the caramelised onion. Break the stilton or blue cheese into small chunks and sprinkle it over.
5. Twirl each slice of prosciutto around a fork and place onto the flatbread, like shown in the picture. Roughly chop the walnuts and add them too.
6.Turn off the heat, peel the pear, cut it into quarters length wise and place it onto the flatbread. Sprinkle all with pepper.