Scones are a weakness of mine. A plain, British-style scone spread with difficult to justify quantities of clotted cream and strawberry jam is a vice tricky to control. But because scones are such a blank canvas, without any added flavour, they are real fun to experiment with. The result? Coffee and Chocolate Scones.
Ribollita is a well-known Tuscan soup, entwined with the history of Italian peasants of the Middle Ages. Literally ‘reboiled’, original ribollita recipes would have consisted of a reheated minestrone, imbued with stale bread for sustenance and bulk. What you’re looking at is frugal Italian cuisine at its origins.
Everyone purports to have, in their possession, the recipe for the perfect chocolate cake. This is, of course, nonsense. There is always something better, if only because variety is something we crave. Having said all that, I’ll now dismount my high horse to admit that my recipe for Chocolate Prune Cake is among the most enjoyable and moist chocolate cakes you’re likely to find.
Green beans. Not exactly a staple of my youth. But over the past couple of years I’ve developed something of a muted appreciation of beans and peas of all varieties. Broad beans, green beans and sugar snaps in particular. This Garden Bean Salad brings them all together into one fresh and crunchy side dish.
There is no more simple joy in the world of food than a thick slice of expertly crafted sourdough bread, toasted and topped with a few choice ingredients perfectly in harmony with one another. Quick, comforting and densely flavoured, my Smoked Mackerel on Sourdough Toast recipe is everything a good brunch should be.