Normally served with game and soaked with butter, these potatoes are of Swedish origin: crispy golden stacks of delicious potatoes cooked in the oven with a zing of lemon and herbs are perfect with whatever main dish you like, be it meat or not. As an Italian, I normally go for extravirgin olive oil, but if you fancy using butter, feel absolutely free to do so.
- 1,5 kg potatoes, peeled
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- zest and juice of 2 lemons
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 100 ml extravirgin olive oil (or butter) + extra for the oven dish
Slice the potatoes about 0,25 cm thick using a mandoline or the food processor and place in a bowl with cold water.
Finely chop the zest of the lemons, add to the garlic and combine everything with the oil (or melted butter)and herbs.
Drain the potatoes, pat dry and stack the slices around the edges of an oven dish, previously greased with oil or butter, alligning them tightly so that each stack supports the other. Drizzle over the sauce, add some sea salt and pepper to your taste and bake in the oven at 180° C with fan.
Bake for 75 minutes, until crisp and golden: if the potatoes are going too brown, cover with aluminum foil. Test the potatoes with a skewer to make sure they are properly cooked through, then remove from the oven and serve hot.
As I would simply put it, this pudding is my signature dish. The pudding in itself is delicate yet savory, while the pesto sauce features a real triumph of aromas. Please notice that the real zing to the pesto comes from the olives, so take care of choosing the best possible quality.
- 800 gr cauliflower, florets removed and washed
- 150 ml milk
- 3 free range eggs
- 80 gr pecorino cheese, grated
- 3 tbsp extravirgin olive oil
for the pesto:
- 100 gr black olives, deseeded: if you are lucky enough to find the Taggiasche sort that will be the best! Otherwise, a good alternative is Greek black olives, which are surely easier to locate.
- 100 ml top quality Italian extravirgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp salted capers, accurately washed and drained
- 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
- 3 anchovies in oil
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder (or chilli flakes, if you prefer it less spicy)
- rind and juice of 1 organic orange
Boil the cauliflower in hot salted water, drain and sautéè in a large pan with the oil until golden. Reduce to a purée using the back of a spoon. Let it cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl whisk the eggs with the pecorino cheese and milk and add a little black pepper powder. Add the cauliflower and mix thoroughly.
Grease the inside of a plain bundt cake tin with some olive oil and pour in the batter. Bake in the oven, still, at 190°C, bainmarie, for 50 minutes.
Prepare the pesto by putting all the ingredients in a food processor until creamy and blended.
Leave the pudding to cool a little before turning out, garnish with the pesto and serve. You can make the pudding a day ahead and warm it in the microwave just before serving: cover with the pesto only after warmed up, so that the sauce won’t cook.
This recipe is from Alain, the loving husband of my best friend, whose French family has Algerian origines.
- 1 kg carrots (better if organic)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 spoon spicy paprika
- 4 spoons extravirgin olive oil of very good quality
- half a glass white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
Steam the carrots and finely crush the cumin seeds with a mortar and pestel.
In a large, heavy based pan sautee the garlic until golden, paprika and cumin. Add the carrots, sliced not too thin, pour in the vinegar and let evaporate.
Before serving, let rest for 12 hours at room temperature, add salt to taste and eliminate the garlic.
Ezme is a Turkish word which can be translated as “mashed”, so this is a kind of a mashed salad, very delicious and easy to prepare. Serve with a plain pita or whole crackers.
- 4 tomatos
- 1 large pepper (red or yellow)
- 1 bunch of parseley
- 1 small onion
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 spoons extravirgin olive oil
- 1 spoon pomegranate molasses (if you don’t have it, a simple honey can easily work)
Dice the vegetables into very small cubes (concassé) and place in a bowl.
In another little bowl prepare the seasoning: emulsify the oil with the molasses and lemon juice, add salt to your taste and season the vegetables. Stir well and serve.
The secret of a perfectly tasty and creamy pepperonata is the breadcrumbs. Enjoy this wonderful recipe, whose results stay perfect even in the days to come.
- 2 yellow pepper
- red pepper
- 1 fresh chilly pepper
- 1 medium onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 spoon capers,
- 3 spoons extravirgin olive oil
- 2 spoons vinegar
- 1 spoon breadcrumbs
- pine nuts to garnish
Chop the onion and garlic and place in a large pan with the oil and red chilly pepper; let it golden, then add the pepper, previously sliced and cubed. Cook for 20 minuts, stirring every now and then. Pop also the capers into the pan.
Bring to the boil and add the vinegar; let it reduce and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs. Add some salt to taste and serve lukewarm or at a room temperature, even better the day after. Garnish with some toasted pine nuts.