Friday, July 25, 2014

Bruschetta of courgettes and mozzarella

The best thing about Italian food is its simplicity, its willingness to put just a few good ingredients centre stage and do as little as possible to them.

I'm not sure whether an Italian would recognise this dish, but it feels very Italian to me in both ingredients and spirit.

This dish was inspired by some excellent bread (bought at Herne Hill farmers' market). The toppings are deliberately chosen to let the taste of the bread show through - I didn't want any flavours that would dominate, like roasted tomatoes or olives or garlic. I was using a walnut sourdough bread, and courgettes also go really well with walnuts, but you could make this dish with any quality loaf.

Courgettes are in abundance at this time of year. This dish seems just right for a summer's day or evening - as a starter, a light lunch, or even a more substantial meal if you have a couple of slices and maybe a salad on the side.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cauliflower couscous

Cauliflower. It's never been a favourite of mine. But I'm really feeling the love for it at the moment. Maybe my taste buds have changed (matured or faded?) as I've got a little older. Maybe it's just trying some interesting new dishes - see also the cauliflower based "pizza" from last week. Not so long ago my cauliflower repertoire didn't extend much beyond cauliflower cheese, cauliflower soup, and cauliflower curry, so I've really enjoyed trying some new dishes.

One of the great things about cauliflower is that British-grown cauliflower is available almost all year round. Prices vary, but it's usually a good-value veg. I take great delight in buying two large caulis for a pound at Brixton farmers' market on a Sunday, and always pick the heftiest specimens I can find. Two large cauliflowers does tend to mean I spend most of the following week eating cauliflower - so don't be surprised to see some more cauliflower recipes on here soon.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Amazing gluten-free pizza with a secret ingredient

No-one could have been more surprised than me that this recipe turned out so well. Gluten-free pizza? Sounds a slightly strange dish to make gluten-free. Gluten-free pizza where the base is actually made from vegetables? It sounds like some kind of crazy health freak dish. But it's actually incredibly delicious.

The vegetable in question is cauliflower. Not even one of my favourite vegetables. But I'd challenge you to realise that it's cauliflower you're eating if you didn't already know. I'm not saying you'll never spot the difference from your usual favourite pizza - the texture and flavour of the base are a bit different from normal. But still delicious.