Fresh figs everyday. A Mediterranean dream or reality in the south of Sweden? The latter. I know people think we have polar bears walking the streets (not true!) but Sweden in the summer is often warmer (and less humid) than the UK, at least in the south where I’m from. And in my parents’ garden we have peach trees and fig trees bearing fruit each year.
The two weeks I was in Sweden earlier this month we had fresh figs every day. So many in face we had to come up with various ideas of how to eat them. This starter was one of the winners and it’s a simple assembly job with no actual cooking required. Perfect for a summer lunch or to start off a more casual dinner party. (Yes, it goes perfectly with rosé.).
Burrata with figs and prosciutto, serves 2-3 as a starter
4-6 fresh figs, washed and cut into quarters
6 slices prosciutto or other cured ham
2 handfuls rocket or mixed salad leaves
nice olive oil
salt & black pepper
Take the burrata out o the fridge a good hour before you need it so it’s not fridge cold. Take a serving plate and cover the base with rocket leaves. Place the burrata whole in the middle of the plate and arrange the ham sliced and fig quarters around it. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season well.
This favourite salad of mine doesn’t really require a recipe, but I wrote it down anyway, mainly as a reminder to myself. It’s the combination of some green leaves, fresh juicy tomatoes, salty ham and creamy burrata that makes it work, but you can add anything you like to this. I think it would be nice to add some olives and/or sunblush tomatoes, maybe some artichoke hearts, but it’s nice as it is. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Burrata salad with prosciutto, serves 2
1 small good quality burrata
4-6 slices prosciutto
150 g rocket
approx 12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
nice olive oil
crema di balsamico
Divide the rocket and cherry tomatoes on two plates. Place a few slices of ham in the middle of each plate. Cut the burrata in two and place half on each plate on top of the ham. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar all over, paying extra attention to the burrata. To finish, season and drizzle with crema di balsamico. Serve with some nice bread.
This wonderful potato salad is an old favourite. I saw a Swedish chef make it on TV many years ago and then made it myself a few times in Sweden and loved it. But moving to London girolles were no longer a staple mushroom in the supermarket so I forgot all about this dish until this summer when I cooked it for my parents. Luckily it was just as nice as I remembered it!
New potato salad with girolles and bacon, serves 4
Adapted from Gert Klötzke’s recipe.
10-12 baby new potatoes, cooked
1 packet rocket
1 litre girolles, cleaned
4 slices smoked bacon (at least)
1 chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
50 g thinly sliced cheddar
butter for frying
50 ml mustard vinaigrette (mix 1 tsp dijon mustard, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, 3 tbsp olive oil)
Dice the potatoes and add to a large bowl. Fry the bacon until crisp, dice and mix with the potato. Fry the onion and garlic in butter until softened, add the mushrooms and fry until golden. Season. Add the mushroom to the bowl and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Mix well and lastly add the rocket and cheese. Mix again and serve.
Since I moved to London five years ago I have developed my food skills a lot. I am a better cook and I think even more about food than I did before, which I actually thought was impossible.
And because I am older and also have adopted the British ways a little, I do what I can not to waste food.
I don’t rely on use-by-dates, I use my nose and eyes instead. I utilise the freezer a lot, and plan my meals according to what I have in my fridge that needs to be used up. In fact, I find it so satisfying to use up things I have at hand to create a nice meal, that I sometimes prefer that to trying new exciting recipes. It is hands on problem solving, and very gratifying.
This dish is all about using up leftovers but it is also a very tasty way of doing so.
Crispy gnocchi with lardons, rocket and pecorino, serves 1-2
1/2 batch left over gnocchi
100-125 g lardons, finely chopped
a decent knob of butter
1-2 handfuls rocket
grated pecorino for serving
Fry the lardons crispy on medium heat in a frying pan. Transfer to a plate and add the butter to the fat in the pan. Fry the gnocchi crispy on both sides and add the lardons back to the pan. Add the rocket and let it wilt. Season well. Plate and serve with grated pecorino.
Melted cheese. Is there anything more comforting? It cures (or at least helps) a hangover and tastes so so good.
Although this recipe contains a lot of cheese, it feels slightly healthy because they peppers fill you up so there is no need to add bread or pasta. And they’re delicious in their own simple way.
I used the lovely sweet romano peppers here, but use whatever peppers you like. I liked this dish so much that I first had it for supper one evening and then as lunch at the weekend. Yummy!
Cheese stuffed peppers, serves 1
1 romano pepper
3 tbsp philadelphia cheese
50 ml grated strong cheese (I used cheddar)
olive oil, salt, white pepper
To serve: rocket, olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Drizzle some oil in a roasting tray. Turn the oven on 200C. Cut the pepper in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds and membranes. Rinse and place hollow side up in the tray. Mix the cheese together and stuff the peppers with it. Add salt and pepper. Put in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the peppers are soft.
Place a bed of rocket salad on a plate. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic and place the peppers on top.