Aubergines roasted with Pesto (thank you Nigel Slater :) )

Aubergines pesto cuitRoasted Aubergines with Pesto

(adapted from the book by Nigel Slater, “Real Fast Food”)

An easy, healthy way to enjoy summer Aubergines.  I’m a big fan of Nigel Slaters books and would recommend any of them !  He has a great way of “slapping” it all together…  my style of cooking 🙂

  • 2 Aubergines (approx. 225g each)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 handfuls fresh basil leaves
  • 2 TBS pine nuts (or other  nuts such as hazelnuts)
  • 2 TBS parmesan or Pecorino (hard sheeps cheese and what I can get locally produced, just not called the same thing 😉 )
  • 4 TBS olive oil + 100ml for fryingAubergines pesto

Cut aubergines in half along the horizon, then cut lattice slits into the flesh of them without piercing the skin. Heat the frying oil in a shallow pan, and add the aubergines skin side up, and cook until golden for about 10 minutes. Turn and cook for a futher 2 minutes.

While this is going on, whizz the garlic, basil, nuts, cheese and 4 Tbsp of olive oil to make the pesto. Lift the aubergines out of the pan, and place them flesh side up under the grill pan, and spread the pesto over them, and cook under a fairly hot grill until the pesto starts to bubble. As Keep an eye on it, as overcooking will apparently make it bitter. Serve with a salad or bread or as a side dish to any meat.

Beetroot and Simplicity at its Best …

beetrootchevre

OK, I know what you are thinking….  Nothing new here !  Everyone knows the lovelyness you get when you pair Beetroot and Chèvre together.

But I just had one of those moments when its quite hard to speak due to moaning about how good the thing in your mouth is, so thought I would share.  I even had 11 yr old daughter begging me for more BEETROOT !

This evenings meal was just a pure example of what can be created with incredibly perfect ingredients …. and …  Simplicity.

The baby beetroot were plucked from the garden, scrubbed then “poached” in a small amount of water with salt and fresh herbs until knife tender.  Once cool enough to handle, their skins were slipped off.

On the plate…..  Slices of cooled beetroot, very very fresh goats cheese, and a lovely mixed salad with whatever you have at its best to put in it !  I had some gorgeous crunchy cucumber, tomatoes, spring onions and garlic and some toasted pumpkin, sunflower seeds and almonds.

LOTS of freshly ground pepper, fleur de sel (we have a producer just 15 minutes from us), fruity olive oil from Provence and a drizzle of good quality balsamic.   A slice of bread from our beloved baker (see previous post for a video about him)

MERCI to all of the wonderful farmers that make this type of meal possible ! AND to beautiful Eva (11 yr old beetroot lover) for taking these pics 😉

Not to forget, the “sulphite” free glass of chilled Jurançon wine…..

HEAVEN on a plate !

beetrootsalad

Bon Appetît !

The man that makes my “daily bread” . . .

How lucky am I to have easy access to an incredible quality of bread…. ?  I start my day with this nourishing loaf and ignore the calling of the “French Baguette” with every meal.  When I see my kids eating toast in the morning, I feel that I am giving them proper food for breakfast, to start their day off right.

Philippe works with his own natural “starter” instead of yeast, locally grown “old variety” wheat grown organically (low gluten content) and a traditional wood burning stove……  All of this takes place in a lovely village called Lantabat in the Basque Country.   Doesn’t get much better than that !  And what a smile 🙂

 

Tomato Sun Sauce

Spagetti with Tomato Sun Sauce

This simple sauce is the making of my absolute favourite pasta dish !  A perfect example of the importance of good quality ingredients used at their very best…  Don’t try to make this in the middle of winter with cardboard toms from the supermarket, save this recipe for the height of tomato season and use the juciest variety you can get your hands on…  Another must:  A hot sunny day !!

Spaghetti with Tomato Sun Sauce

  • Difficulty: very easy
  • Print

Good quality dried spaghetti (approx. 100g  per person)

ripe tomatoes

1 or 2 cloves of garlic (fresh if possible), chopped

handful of basil leaves

good quality olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Place chopped toms, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a glass bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and place outside in a nice sunny spot.  Leave it be for at least an hour, or all day if you like !  Add basil.  Cook your spaghetti and toss with the sun sauce.  Top with grated parmesan or pecorino …..

Bon Appetît !