After a long winter of citrus, I am like a kid in a candy store when it comes to the new season’s array of fresh fruit options. At the moment apricots and nectarines are an endless source of joy and inspiration to me. They seem to find their way into everything I make – from the divine tart chutneys that accompany our venison dishes to the delightfully refreshing pomegranate, nectarine and rose sorbet.
My fabulous cheese man has also sourced the most luscious and soft goats’ cheese, which pairs like a dream with my celery and apricot salad. Another of my current favourites is a walnut crusted goats’ cheese parfait with sauteed apricots. The perfect blend of sweet and sour. Yum!
Summer brings with it more than just sunshine outdoors though, it also serves to brighten our plates and tantilise our taste buds. With the approach of Christmas, which is warm and lush for those of us in the southern hemisphere, this month’s recipe is sure to complement your festive meal with aplomb.
Smoked tomato salad with creamed ricotta and mozzarella, crispy pasta and a basil and sweet olive vinaigrette.
- 2 Teabags
- Handful of rice
- 1 Teaspoon sugar
- 250g Cherry tomatoes
- 1 Cup pasta (any shape you like)
- ½ Cup Ricotta cheese
- ½ Cup Mozzarella cheese
- 2 Tabelspoons cream
- One head garlic
- You will need a sturdy metal dish, a wire rack, and some foil.
- To create the smoke: mix the tea leaves (empty the bags) with the rice and sugar in the metal dish and place on the stove on low heat.
- Place tomatoes on the rack, cover with foil and place over the metal dish.
- Turn off heat the as soon as the smoke appears.
- Leave the tomatoes for another three minutes, and then remove from heat.
- Cook the pasta for half the normal time, drain and then deep fry.
- Mix the cheeses with fresh herbs, roast garlic and a touch of cream.
- Drizzle garlic in olive oil, wrap in foil, and then roast at 180º for about 15 mintues, or until fragrant.
Olive Jam Ingredients
- 2 Cloves garlic
- 1 Medium onion
- 1 Cup sugar
- 250ml Red wine vinegar
- 2 Cups olives
- Fry the finely chopped garlic and onions.
- Add the sugar and red wine vinegar and let it reduce to a syrup-like consistency.
- Add finely chopped olives.
- Mix 2 tablespoons basil pesto with olive jam.
- Loosen the dressing with some olive oil and check seasoning.
Assemble the salad in layers with crisp rocket.