Sunday, 18 March 2012

PEAR, WALNUT AND CHEESE SALAD IN PARMESAN NESTS


Today we had friends for lunch, and as they are a vegetarian family, I decided to make this salad as a starter. I served it in Parmesan nests, but it is delicious also on its own. I love it, this is one of my favourite starters.

Ingredients for 4 people:

70 g lambs lettuce
100 g Gorgonzola cheese ( I used the Gorgonzola piccante DOP from Waitrose but you can use Roquefort, Goat's cheese or Brie or whatever cheese you like)
50 g organic walnut pieces
1 and 1/2 pear ( I've used Rocha pears)
Extra Virgin olive Oil
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Wash the lettuce, then put it in a bowl. Peel and cut the pear in small chunks and add it to the salad. Then cut the cheese into small pieces and add it to the rest together with the walnut pieces. Now add some salt and pepper, a few drops of Balsamic vinegar (if you don't like it you can use lemon juice) and a few spoons of olive oil. Serve in Parmesan nests ( you can find the step by step recipe on this blog)or on its own accompanied by some bread.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

COCONUT AND CHOCOLATE BISCUITS


Outside it is cold and windy... a sad winter day...so I need something warm and sweet to cheer me up...it took me not more 10 minutes to make these biscuits and I've already eaten half of them...they literally melt in your mouth! So if you are particularly hungry...or sad...double the quantities!!!! With the egg yolks I made a Creme brulee....recipe will follow shortly!


Ingredients for about 25 small biscuits:

2 medium egg whites
120 g dessicated coconut
100 g sugar
30 g grated chocolate ( or small chocolate chunks, or drops)

Turn on the oven to 200 degrees.

Put all the ingredients in a  bowl and mix them well until the egg whites are well absorbed, then shape a few small balls with your hands. The mixture will be a bit sticky, so your hands will be completely dirty...but believe me, it is worth it!!!

Now put the tray in the oven for 10 minutes and serve cold.


Sunday, 4 March 2012

MUSHROOM RISOTTO


This is something I cook quite often, as I LOVE mushrooms. But I'll be honest: my children don't like them very much, so I spend a lot of time to take out all the mushrooms from their risotto...but when I have guest, expecially vegetarian ones, this is always a very appreciated dish. The Gongorzola gives it a very special taste. Try it!!

Ingredients for 4 people:

250 gr chestnut or Portabella mushrooms
1 tbsp dried Porcini mushrooms (optional)
200 gr Carnaroli rice
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic
1/2 l vegetable stock
30 gr Gongorzola cheese
Salt and pepper


Soak the porcini mushrooms in hot water for 1/2 hour and drain well. Heat some olive oil (2 tbsp) in a large, heavy based saucepan and add the garlic. Fry over a gentle heat for 2-3 minutes, until softened. Add the chestnut mushrooms and fry for a further 5/10 minutes, until browned, then take out the garlic.

Stir in the rice and after a few minutes, pour in the a ladful of stock and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding the stock in this way, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is plump and tender (it usually takes no more than 20 minutes).


After 10 minutes, roughly chop the soaked porcini mushrooms and stir into the risotto; after 15 minutes add the Gongorzola cheese stirring well; and 1 minute before it's ready, add the chopped parsley. Remember to check if it is salty enough, then add also the pepper.