A Skeleton of Ice Creams

The 100th  of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is a selection of my favourite, and oh-so-easy ice creams. Why a skeleton not selection? Down to adventuring girl, Maddie x

When Maddie was really little and just getting the hang of the old reading lark, she insisted on perusing a restaurant menu to consider her dessert options (rather than the traditional approach of one of us reading the options out to her).

After much deliberation, she announced that she would like a skeleton of ice creams and from that day forward….well a selection is somewhat boring in comparison, isn’t it?!

So, here we have my own personal favourite ‘skeleton of ice creams’, most of which are created from the simple base combination that is condensed milk and double cream. In every case, there’s no churning involved and no popping backwards and forwards from the freezer to stir out the crystals (who has time?!) Instead, these are a joy to make, taking just minutes to knock up and are simply wonderful to indulge in.

The key for the condensed milk/double cream flavours is to mix together 600ml double cream with a full 397g tin of condensed milk; and then divide the total mixture into two smaller bowls to create a goodly but not gigantic amount of  two separate ice cream flavours, e.g. mint and chocolate chip with one half and coffee and kahlua with the other half.  It can get quite addictive and you may end up with a freezer full of different pots of ice cream ….no problem there though!

Black Forest Gateau Ice Cream

Spectacular! I dreamed up this combination in that lovely time of the morning that is the dawning of the mind as well as the sun in the sky….and this is the type of stuff I come up with!!!! What can I tell you – it’s absolutely bloody gorgeous – the Kirsch-steeped cherries work so well with the sweetness of the base ice cream and the dark chocolate rippling through it. Mount this lovely deliciousness atop shortbread, sprinkle some grated dark chocolate over the top and it becomes quite the elegant dessert!

What you need…

300ml double cream

½ of a 397g tin of condensed milk (see tip)

150ml black cherries, pitted and roughly torn up

3 tablespoons Kirsch (cherry liqueur)

40g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)

What to do…

The day before you want to make your ice cream, tip the torn cherries into a bowl, pour over the Kirsch, cover with cling film and pop into the fridge overnight to let the flavours develop.

When you’re ready to make your ice cream, roughly break up the chocolate and pop it into a heatproof bowl. Put the bowl over a steamer, sitting in a saucepan of simmering water and melt. Remove from the steamer and set aside to cool slightly (to touch).

Meanwhile, use an electric hand held whisk to beat the double cream to form soft peaks. Pour in the condensed milk and use a balloon whisk to gently fold it in so that it is evenly incorporated.

Use a spatula to scrape the ‘marinated’ cherries and liquid into the bowl and gently but thoroughly mix together. Pour over the chocolate and use a skewer to swirl the chocolate throughout the ice cream, creating a chocolate ‘ripple’ effect.

Cover with cling film and pop into the freezer for at least 6 hours.

Be very excited when it’s ready because it really is spectactular! Salivating as I type!

Tip…

If you want to present the ice cream as per the picture, wrap foil around the bottom of some chef’s rings or cookie cutters and plop the ice cream inside the moulds before freezing, pressing it in to make sure there are no gaps. Use a ring/cutter of the same size to cut out the shortbread bases from the recipe, ‘Proper Old-Fashioned Shortbread’.

Sensationally Sinful Coffee and Kahlua Ice Cream

Having experimented with three ice cream flavours last week, I went back and quadrupled the recipe for this one – seriously it falls under the heading of ‘stratospherically stupendous and sinfully good!’ I’m not joking – it’s also REALLY addictive (I can practically hear it whispering from the freezer, ‘have some more, you know you want to!’ Moving on to the practicalities, it’s also so easy and quick to make and the result is luscious, decadent, silky smooth and tantalisingly tempting! Make it once and you’ll be hooked!!!

What you need…

300ml double cream

½ a 397g (1 tin) condensed milk

2 espresso coffees/100ml VERY strong coffee (cold)

1 tablespoon camp coffee

2 tablespoons Kahlua/coffee liqueur

What to do….

Use an electric hand held whisk to beat the double cream to form soft peaks. Pour in the condensed milk and use a balloon whisk to gently fold it in so that it is evenly incorporated.

Pour in the cold espresso, Camp coffee and Kahlua and stir to incorporate. Pour into a plastic container, pop the lid on and stick it in the freezer for at least 6 hours. Indulge, enjoy, immerse yourself in the sheer gorgeousness of it! You’ve probably worked out that it’s a favourite of mine.

For an exotic alternative…

Simply add 12 – 15 cardamom seeds at the same time as the coffee and Kahlua- it adds an extra dimension that is a wonderful aromatic, slightly spicy and exotic Middle-Eastern flavour that somehow intensifies the coffee – fabulous! The only problem we now have is which version we prefer the most – with or without the cardamoms!!!

Lemon Curd and Limoncello Ice Cream

Wow! Lemon Curd and Limoncello Ice Cream – where to start?! This glorious ice cream is rich and creamy whilst also lemon-tangy and refreshing. It’s sweet but not too sweet and then we have the not insubstantial quantity of the fabulous Limoncello Italian liqueur running through it – this element tips the ice cream into the realms of grown up and quite sensational. Enjoy on a hot summers day or to conclude a lovely dinner. Or – in the name of the blog – at just after midday on a Monday!!!! Any excuse! It truly is scrumptious though and dead easy to make!

What you need…

300ml double cream

½ a 397g (1 tin) condensed milk

170g (normally half a jar) lemon curd – homemade or shop-bought

90ml Limoncello Italian lemon liqueur

What to do…

Use an electric hand held whisk to beat the double cream to form soft peaks. Pour in the condensed milk, lemon curd and Limoncello and use a balloon whisk to gently fold them in so that they are all evenly incorporated. Taste. Add in a little more Limoncello if required (!)

Pour into a plastic container, pop the lid on and stick it in the freezer for at least 6 hours.

Mango and Passion Fruit Ice Cream with Rum

Wow-oh-wow! What a fabulous naughty ice cream for a sizzling summer’s day: cooling mango and oh-so fresh passion fruit combined with a soft creaminess and then a lovely little kick of rum at the end. It tastes like a cocktail and immediately transports you to the beach. Incredibly easy – stock the freezer up now!

What you need…

4 passion fruit

300g mango, roughly chopped

300g double cream

½ a 397g can of condensed milk

40ml dark rum

What to do…

Start by halving the passion fruit and scooping out the juice and flesh into a sieve over your blender. Use a spoon to push through as much of the juice as you can. Discard the remaining pips. Chuck in the mango and whizz to purée the whole lot together.

In a large bowl, use an electric handheld whisk to beat the cream into soft peaks. Pour in the condensed milk, fruit purée and rum and use a balloon whisk to gently fold everything together so the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Pour into a plastic container and whop into your freezer for 6 hours/overnight.

Mint and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

What you need…

300ml double cream

½ of a 397g tin of condensed milk

Green food colouring (I use icing colouring which comes as a thick gel)

1 ½ teaspoons peppermint extract

60g dark chocolate chips

What to do…

Use an electric hand held whisk to beat the double cream to form soft peaks. Pour in the condensed milk and use a balloon whisk to gently fold it in so that it is evenly incorporated.

Tip in the peppermint extract. Insert a cocktail stick into the icing colouring and then dip it into the ice cream mixture – a little goes a really long way. Use a balloon whisk to gently but thoroughly mix together and add more colouring until you achieve the colour you like. (If you are using liquid food colouring, add ¼ teaspoon at a time until you achieve the colour you like).

Chuck in the chocolate chips and stir in thoroughly.  Pour your ice cream into a bowl or tub,  cover with cling film and pop into the freezer for at least 6 hours.

Inspired by…

The base mixture of double cream and condensed milk is courtesy of the wonderful Mary Berry. From there, I experiment with flavours by chucking in all sorts of combinations.

And for something slightly different in the making…

Cinnamon Ice Cream

Quite simply, one of my favourite ice creams, best served with poached pears, carmamelised apples or just on it’s own with a spoon, somewhere private!

What you need…

300ml double cream

4 large, happy eggs, separated

100g caster sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

What to do…

The day before you want to indulge in your ice cream, use an electric handheld whisk to beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Rinse the whisks and then in a second bowl, whip the cream until thickened. Rinse whisks again and then in a third bowl, beat together the egg yolks and sugar until thickened and creamy in colour. Add the cinnamon and whisk again to combine.

Use a balloon whisk to fold the cream into the eggs and sugar and then gently fold in the egg whites. Pour your ice cream into a plastic container with a lid and pop into your freezer overnight. Et voilà – it’s done!

Inspired by…

Rachel Allen

Affogato al Caffe e Disaronno

Wow! This is just Naughty with a massively capital ‘N’.  Ice cream, Disaronno, espresso and chocolate: it tastes like a combination of Italy’s boozy trifle, Tiramisu and my favourite cocktail, Espresso Martini.  Equally, we started off eating it with a sundae spoon and ended up drinking it! The biggest problem is that it makes you greedy to get the lot down as quickly as possible, so fantastically naughty, it is! Made in seconds, this could become a really wicked little habit! What can I say: you need to try it!

Serves 1 (but that would be sad: double up and share with your favourite person)

What you need…

1 scoop of ice cream (vanilla or coffee and Kahlua) work brilliantly

1 tablespoon Disaronno

1 shot freshly made espresso coffee

1 teaspoon good quality dark chocolate, finely grated

What to do…

Wodge ice cream into the bottom of a pretty glass or small cup.

Pour over the Disaronno, then the espresso and then, sprinkle over the chocolate.

Immediately dive in with your spoon, marvel at the wicked gorgeousness of it, plunge in the spoon a couple more times before discarding it to drink the rest of your affogato! There’s probably a more elegant way of enjoying this but….this level of naughtiness deserves some gusto!

Tips…

You are supposed to use cold espresso, but we like it hot, gradually melting the ice cream, as we indulge. Either way: Yum!

If you are not quite as partial to Disaronno as I am, you could always swap it for Baileys.

There’s nothing to stop you mucking about with the quantities of any of the ingredients in this pudding-cum-cocktail.

Inspired by…

Gino D’Acampo

How easy…

Dangerously so!

Tips for all the ice creams…

Once out of the freezer, these ice creams take about 10-15 minutes to reach the consistency whereby you can easily scoop it out.

How easy…

I have only used ice cream recipes that are quick and easy to knock up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watermelon, Feta and Olive Salad with Mint

The 99th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this salad is a wonderfully refreshing and sunshiny lunch – perfect with a glass of rosé – al fresco on a warm June day….unlike today!

A wonderful refreshing but satisfying salad that beautifully marries the earthiness of feta and olives with the bursting sunshine, juiciness and freshness of watermelon. A perfect light lunch or starter, the addition of aromatic, fresh mint just finishes it off. Very yummy and dare I say it, quite healthy too!!!!

What you need…

½ small watermelon, peeled deseeded and chunked

½ cucumber, peeled, halved lengthways, deseeded and sliced

200g feta cheese, chunked

90g pitted black olives

A small handful mint, chopped

for the dressing

4 tablespoons olive oil

Juice of ½ lemon

Sea salt and black pepper

What to do…

First, tip the dressing ingredients into a screw top jar, pop on the lid and shake like mad.

Tip all the salad ingredients, except the feta, into a pretty salad bowl, pour in the dressing and thoroughly mix together. Gently stir in the feta – too energetic an approach and the feta will crumble. Job done! Serve and enjoy this very moreish, rather gorgeous salad!

Inspired by…

Mary Berry

How easy…

Ridiculously!

 

 

Light and Lovely Lemon Mousse

The 98th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is the most gorgeous lemon mousse, that I HAD to re-make today to take a better photograph than my last one…the things I do for this blog…spoon now in mousse…

What can I tell you – light, fresh, yummy, yummy, yummy, zesty, sweet, heavenly springs to mind. This is just a lovely, lovely lemon mousse that takes a bit of effort but is soooooo worth it. Try it and I guarantee you’ll add it to your favourites list!

Serves 4

What you need…

1 x 1 pint mould, filled with cold water

1½ dessertspoons gelatine powder

45ml cold water

1½ eggs (I know! See tip!)

1 egg yolk

50g caster sugar

65ml lemon juice

Grated zest of 1½ lemons

125ml double cream, lightly whisked to soft peaks

What to do…

Take a large bowl (bigger than the one that you are going to whisk the eggs and sugar in), tip in a load of ice, top up with water and set aside.

Put a large saucepan over the heat with a steamer and bring to a simmer.

Tip the gelatine into the water to soften. Set aside.

Put the eggs and yolk with the sugar into a large heatproof bowl and pop into the steamer. Use a handheld electric whisk and beat for between 5 and 10 minutes until the mixture is pale and fluffy and the whisk leaves a distinct trail.

Remove from the heat, setting onto a tea towel on your worktop to prevent slipping. Add the lemon juice and zest and continue to whisk until the mixture is cool.

Stick the gelatine into a microwave for a few seconds to melt and then tip into the mixture. Whisk to incorporate.

Put your mixture bowl into the iced water bowl and pop in a balloon whisk. For 15 – 20 minutes (whilst you clear up) keep coming back to the mixture and give it a gentle little whisk, also scraping down the side of the bowl until the mixture is just starting to set.  Fold in the cream so that it is evenly incorporated.

Empty the water from your mould and then tip your mixture in. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. To ‘unmould’, fill your sink with hot water to a height just below that of your mould. Pop the mould into the water and remove when you see the sides of the mousse just coming away from the mould. Invert onto a pretty plate (remember to breathe – it will plop out – I promise!!!) and serve to a very appreciative audience! Enjoy – it is simply heavenly!

Tip…

This is half the original recipe – works perfectly for us when we’re on our own but obviously, you can’t really have half an egg. For the half, chuck an egg in a measuring jug, beat it with a fork just to mix it all together, see how much liquid there is and the chuck half down the sink. Sorry, but there it is: either this or double up and invite friends around or eat a lot of lemon mousse (not necessarily a problem!!!)

Inspired by…

No idea! Another once clipped from a magazine years ago that I have made and enjoyed successfully over at least 2 decades!

How easy…

It is easy, but it does take time and there’s quite a lot of clearing up. That said, it can be prepared 24 hours in advance so hey, job done if you have friends coming around!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fabulous Fish Thermidor

The 97th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is a shocking picture (will re-do for the cookbook) but a stunning dish!

I have my wonderful friend, Helen, to thank for this dish. She produced it at a girls’ lunch and we all demanded copies of the recipe! It is really luscious and spectacularly easy to make. It can also be made in advance and re-heated. It tastes like a treat but is inexpensive to make – what’s not to like? Recreated at home, this is now on the list of ‘regular supper dishes’.

Serves 6

What you need…

1 x baking dish (mine is 30cm x 20cm x 7cm deep)

800g hake, skinned, filleted and cut into 3cm-ish chunks

45g butter

45g flour, sieved

750ml milk/Oatly alternative (to reduce dairy content)

Sea salt and black pepper

Splash rapeseed/olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

300g white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

100ml tomato purée

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

125g Manchego/Cheddar cheese, grated

4 teaspoons brandy

225g raw jumbo king prawns (optional)

What to do…

Preheat oven to 170°c / 325°f / gas 3

Tip the milk into a medium saucepan and, on a medium heat, gently poach the fish chunks for five minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the fish from the milk and set aside.

In a separate saucepan, melt the butter. Tip in the flour and quickly stir it in. Remove the pan from the heat and, using a ladle, slowly add your hot milk, stirring in each ladleful before adding the next.

Return the white sauce to the heat and cook until smooth and thickened. Season and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan and add the onion and mushrooms, frying gently until soft. Then, increase the heat to remove any moisture. Add the white sauce together with the tomato purée, mustard, cheese, brandy and the fish. Season with salt and pepper.

Turn the mixture into your baking dish, cover and pop in the oven to heat through for about 30 minutes. Wash up your three pans and relax. A delectably delicious dish awaits!

Fabulous fish thermidor is, as the name suggests, fabulous as it is, but if you wanted to add a little luxurious dimension, open the oven after 15 minutes and stir in your raw prawns. Cook for a further 15 minutes or until the prawns are pink.

Serving suggestion…

Steamed cabbage and leek work really well with a baked potato or basmati and wild rice (a current favourite!)

Tip…

Manchego cheese has recently been recommended to me by my lovely friend, Jean. It is a cheesemade in the La Mancharegion of Spainfrom the milkof the manchegasheep breed. Official manchegocheese is to be aged for between 60 days and two years, hence it is a little expensive. However, it is soooooooo worth it – absolutely delicious. Having grated enough for the recipe, there was then quite a lot of cheese-snacking to be done whilst preparing the dish.The cheese has a distinctive flavour, well developed but not too strong, creamy with a slight piquancy. I would urge you to try it!

Inspired by…

Lynn Bedford Hall, The Creative Cuisine (thank you again Helen for introducing me to this old but genuinely inspirational book).

How easy…

Wonderfully! I love these dishes that finish themselves off in the oven, while I quickly tidy up the pots and pans and treat myself to a glass of red!

 

Perfik Parkin!

The 96th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, these unassuming little ‘poppable’ ginger treats are at once both light and deliciously sticky as well as…..very, very moreish.

Originating from Northern England, particularly in Yorkshire and Lancashire, Parkin is traditionally eaten on Guy Fawkes Night but is also enjoyed throughout the Winter months, apparently. There are loads of different recipes and many of them – unlike this one – contain black treacle. Using 5thNovember as an excuse to bake a cake I’d never tried before, I decided to give it a go and lordy, lordy, it’s bloody lovely!

I took it out of the oven and thought, ‘That’s a damned fine looking cake and also it’s huge!” It had risen in the oven whilst filling the kitchen with a glorious sweet smell of golden syrup and ginger. And then the taste: the sponge is really very light and delicately infused with its lovely flavours and yet it has a sticky moistness: quite unlike anything I’ve ever tried and extremely good. I ate rather a lot to ensure that I could properly describe it to you but then enjoyed the added bonus that Parkin increases its moist stickiness whilst in the tin over a couple of days – just delectable! Have had to promise Connagh that this recipe will be on regular repeat!!!!

Makes around 50 bite-sized cheeky little poppables!

What you need…

1 x 20cm cake tin, lightly buttered and lined with parchment paper

225g self-raising flour

115g caster sugar

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

115g golden syrup

55g butter

1 happy egg

200ml milk

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 150°c / 300°f / gas 4.

Tip the flour, sugar, ginger and bicarbonate of soda into your food processor and whizz to mix together.

In a small saucepan, gently heat the syrup and butter, until melted.

Beat the egg into the milk.

With your processor still whizzing on slow, gradually pour in the syrup/butter mixture until thoroughly combined. Then do the same with the egg/milk mixture and combine until smooth.

Pour into the cake tin and pop into oven to bake for 1 hour.

Cool in the tin. Once cool, turn out and cut up into cheeky little cubes  that pop easily into the mouth: poppables!!!

Inspired by…

One of Yorkshire’s finest, the butter-mad James Martin

How easy…

Ridiculously!

 

 

 

Lemon Sole with Brown Shrimp and Caper Butter Sauce

The 95th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is an utterly delightful way to showcase the flavours of a lovely, fresh fish.

A tweaked version of a recipe demonstrated on telly, this lemon sole dish is fast, simple and absolutely lovely – something that I am convinced is to do with the minimal tinkering applied to the fish – its natural flavours are there to be enjoyed, enhanced by a lovely little simple sauce. Just yummy.

Serves 4

What you need…

A splash of rapeseed oil

800g lemon sole, cleaned and filleted to 4 portions

Sea salt and black pepper

100g unsalted butter

90g brown shrimp, cooked and peeled

2 teaspoons capers, drained and rinsed

Juice of two lemons

Small handful fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

What to do…

On a high heat, melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Bubble away until the butter turns a lovely golden brown colour. Remove from the heat and, standing as far away as is feasible, pour in the lemon juice – it will go crazy and spit – you don’t want this all over you! Set aside and then add the brown shrimp, capers and parsley. Put back on the heat and keep warm on a very low heat, whilst you cook the fish.

Season the sole fillets with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and once hot, add the fish and cook for 3 minutes on each side.

Serve the fish and then drizzle over some of the brown shrimp and caper butter sauce. It’s lovely. Once a again, a reminder that the simple things in life often provide the most pleasure! (Providing you first have good quality fish, in this case!) Enjoy your lemon sole with brown shrimp and caper butter sauce!

Serving suggestion…

Parmentier potatoes together with creamed leeks with chestnut and thyme crumble (both already blogged).

Inspired by…

Bryn Williams, Saturday Kitchen

How easy…

Ever so. All you need is great fish to start with and lemon sole is nothing like as expensive as Dover Sole, so…..no holding back!

Chocolate Amaretti Cake

The 94th of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, to make this in one’s PJs is a great start to any day…

A scrumptious moist cake that combines the sweetness of chocolate with the texture and bite of Amaretti biscuits and almonds and then delivers a hint of orange, delighting the taste buds! It keeps for days (in the unlikely event that every last divine morsel isn’t devoured in minutes) and is a cinch to make – created this morning in just a few minutes whilst still in PJs! Give it a whirl!

Serves 8 – 12

What you need…

1 x 20cm round spring-form cake tin, lightly buttered and the base lined with parchment paper

150g 70% dark chocolate

50g Amaretti biscuits

100g ground almonds

175g caster sugar

Zest of 1 orange, finely grated

100g room temperature butter, cut into cubes

4 eggs, beaten

Icing sugar, for dusting

What to do…

Preheat oven to 180°c / 350°f / gas 4.

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set in a steamer over simmering water.

Pop the Amaretti biscuits in a zip-lock food bag, seal and then crush the biscuits evenly using a rolling pin.

In a food processor, tip in the biscuits, ground almonds, caster sugar and orange zest and whizz until evenly blended.  Add the butter and whizz to blend. Add the eggs gradually, processing the whole time.  Then, add the melted chocolate and briefly whizz again until blended.

Tip the mixture into your cake tin and pop your chocolate Amaretti cake mixture into the oven, baking for 35 minutes or until the cake is puffed up and slightly cracked around the edges.

Remove from the oven and leave to sit for 15 minutes before carefully transferring to plate/cake stand. Dust the crisp top with icing sugar and serve, with an espresso, a glass of Disaronno liqueur or just on its own. Divine, but I might have already mentioned that!

Inspired by…

Rachel Allen

How easy…

Ever so!

Monkfish Roasted with Parma Ham and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

The 93rd of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this is a truly lovely way of serving monkfish.

A lovely dish that is simple to make, very easy on the eye and great tasting.

Serves 4

What you need…

1 small jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil

2 large handfuls of fresh basil

Olive oil

16-20 slices of Parma ham

4 x 200g monkfish tail fillets, trimmed

Sea salt and black pepper

Balsamic vinegar and rocket (optional, to serve)

What to do…

Pre-heat oven to 200c / 400f / gas 6. Place sun-dried tomatoes and half their flavoursome preserving oil in a food processor with all the basil and blend until smooth. While blending, add the remaining preserving oil to the paste until it’s nice and spreadable.

Take four A4-sized pieces of greaseproof paper. Rub some olive oil over each piece and lay about 4 slices of Parma ham snugly next to each other, on each piece of paper. Divide your paste into 4, smearing each quarter evenly over the ham. Then, place your monkfish fillets at one end, season, and, using the greaseproof paper as an aid to wrap the monkfish firmly in the Parma ham, fold and roll up. Slide the Parma ham-wrapped monkfish off the greaseproof paper onto an oiled baking tray (with sides as liquid will escape during cooking and make a right mess of the oven – been there, done that!). Roast for 15-20 minutes.

To serve your monkfish roasted with Parma ham and sun-dried tomatoes, either slice up or serve each portion whole, ideally with really buttery mashed potato. Garnish with drizzled balsamic vinegar over the fish and scattered rocket over the whole plate.

It’s quick, gorgeous and looks like it’s taken hours of slaving. Ideal for a dinner party as it can be prepared in advance, kept covered and refrigerated until you are ready to pop it in the oven; or for a family supper when you fancy something a little different.

Inspired by…

Jamie Oliver

How Easy…

Very easy and hardly any clearing up!

Insalata Burrata della Casa Kinnon

The 92nd of 100 recipes chosen from the blog to go into my cookbook, this was first tried with the lovely Jane and Dom Kinnon (thank you) and then recreated for a spontaneous birthday picnic. This gorgeous little number is being enjoyed today al fresco under a sparkling blue sky enjoying the best of British summer time.  A joy to assemble, this salad is manna from heaven: peppery rocket perfectly contrasting perfectly with the soft, rich, pillow of gorgeousness that is the burrata, the sweet delight of the figs and the gentle saltiness of the Parma ham. Now discovered, it is to be a near permanent summer fixture in the Duffield house.

Serves 2 for a summer lunch

What you need…

A couple of large handfuls of rocket

4 – 6 really ripe figs, halved or quartered

6 – 8 slices Parma ham

1 Burrata (only seen so far in Waitrose)

Aged balsamic vinegar

Olive oil

What to do…

Scatter the rocket all over a pretty plate.

Muck about with the Parma ham, rolling it up prettily and arranging over the rocket.

Arrange the figs and then place the Burrata in pride of place at the centre of the plate.

Drizzle over balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Consume with restrained fervour, ideally with a glass of cold white wine: utterly delicious.

What’s Burrata…?

A speciality of Italy’s Puglia region, rich and soft centred, filled with cream and ribbons of mozzarella.

Inspired by…

Jane and Dom Kinnon (no idea where they came across it).

How easy…

So little effort for something that is an absolute mouth-watering treat – you couldn’t ask for better!!!!

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