Summery Italian feast

There’s something about Italian food that makes me (and probably a lot of other people, not to forget a whole nation) absurdly happy. My theory is it’s all in the tomatoes. Apparently they’re packed full of natural anti-depressants. So a feast of Italian dishes, coupled with long summer nights, is my idea of heaven!

Check out my Italian feast feature for Farmison below. Click each link to get the recipe.

Pizza Pilgrims pan-fried Margherita pizza 

You remember when I introduced my friends, the Pizza Pilgrims boys? You won’t believe how far they’ve come, having set up their street food stall, hosted their own TV show, penned a recipe book and opened pizzeria in Soho – all in the space of two years. Wow! This is a brilliant recipe I borrowed from their book and the pan-fried base is a great technique for getting your dough crispy on the bottom.

Italian one pot whole roast chicken 

A simple, shareable one pot solution for when you’d rather be chilling out with a glass of vino than slaving away in a hot kitchen. So, most of the time.

Summer asparagus risotto

Take advantage of summer’s glut of asparagus with this simple supper idea.

Summer rose veal meatballs

Serve these with a raw courgette ‘spaghetti’ salad and you’re still good for that bikini bod!

Balsamic strawberry tiramisu

I’ve only just discovered that you can roast summer fruits in balsamic vinegar. Try it served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or in this rather more decadent tiramisu. Just don’t look at the calories in mascarpone…

Baby turnip fried rice with Chinese sausage

As you know I’m writing some recipes for Farmison at the moment, in exchange for my free pick of their amazing product selection. Sometimes they include lovely surprises in my weekly box and it brings a fun ‘Ready, Steady, Cook!’ element into my recipes. I think spontaneity and surprise often lead to the most creative results.

Last week they chucked in some baby turnips. I’ve only ever eaten turnip in a Chinese context – one of my favourite dim sum dishes is fried turnip / radish cake, which is also a traditional New Year dish (slightly disastrously attempted here). I took inspiration from the classic flavour turnip cake combination of chinese sausage / mushroom / shredded turnip to create an easy and filling fried rice.

Get the recipe for baby turnip fried rice with Chinese sausage at Farmison.com

 

Three ways with asparagus

Asparagus is in glorious abundance in May, so I was asked to create three asparagus recipes for Farmison the other week. Their asparagus is from the Wye Valley – thick stemmed, crunchy and 100% British.

Beef, asparagus and mango rolls

A super easy and fun finger food idea, inspired by Vietnamese summer rolls. You can experiment with different colourful fillings like prawn, tofu, red peppers and so on.

Asparagus, bacon and goat’s cheese tart

Asparagus and goat’s cheese tart is a classic combo which I spiced up with a caramelized apricot and balsamic glaze that really complimented the smoky bacon.

Miso chicken and asparagus salad

I wanted an easy idea for a low carb, protein packed lunch or light dinner. Asparagus works so well in a green salad, tossed with sesame seeds and courgette ribbons – I could just eat it by itself!

What are your favourite asparagus recipes?