Posts

Frittata? That’d be lovely, ta…

Onion, potato and tomato frittata

“Frittata, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Free-ta-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Free. Ta. Ta.”*

A long time ago I was deeply influenced by the writing of Marcella Hazan. She was, and remains, one of my favourite food writers; not just for her playful tone and homely style, but also for her authoritative standing on all things Italian-American. Our family used to holiday regularly in Italy when we were growing up, so the palates of Miss South and myself were honed through years of exposure to appreciate in simple yet perfect Mediterranean staples and delicacies. A Marcella cookbook or two always stood, well thumbed, on the kitchen bookshelf, and I’ve upheld this tradition since living here in England. I was given “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking” many moons ago, and almost immediately alighted on the chapter on frittate. I fell in love and I’ve not looked back since.

Read more

Home grown goodness

Spring is finally in the air and my thought are turning to what I will grow in my little garden this year. I have a small patio that is a perfect sun trap for pots and taking inspiration from Landshare and London’s Guerrilla Gardeners, I have commandeered the flowerbed outside my flat since the council has given up tending it. This gives me a manageable amount of space to grow my own fruit, veg and herbs each summer in a attempt to cut food miles, save money and eat fresh produce that actually tastes of something! Read more

The spud & the scallion gets me champing at the bit

Thank you for tuning in to Champ TV…

Happy happy joy joy… it’s been far too long since I had a big portion of champ. This is my nod to St Patrick’s Day and Irish cuisine, and a firm family favourite when we were kids.

Champ, or brúitín in the Irish, is mashed potato with scallions and butter. Over the last decade or so I’ve seen increasing references to ‘champed mashed potato’ on menus (alongside colcannon mash, also delicious) and it’s nice to see such a homely favourite crop up in eating places. Back home it was just ‘champ’, but it was often a meal in itself, not just a side order. Indeed it became more a participatory sport than a meal in our household. Not bad for a humble plate of green-flecked mash…

Read more

Pumpkin gnocchi

Who doesn’t love gnocchi? Little morsels of potato-ey heaven dressed in butter and just made for parmesan…I figured gnocchi could only be improved by a hint of sweetness when I found this recipe for pumpkin gnocchi with sage butter a few months back. It may not quite be pumpkin season but my local Portuguese deli almost always has delicious looking slices of this under-rated ingredient, so when I invited my friend J round for dinner on one of the first longer nights of the year, it seemed perfect to serve something lighter, yet still substantial in these early days of spring. Read more