4 slices good country bread
1 large garlic clove, peeled
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
12 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 ball buffalo mozzarella, roughly torn
12 pitted black olives
pinch of dried oregano
8 Fresh Basil leaves
1 Grill the bread, then immediately rub the garlic over one side and drizzle with half the extra virgin olive oil.
2 Combine the tomatoes, mozzarella, olives, oregano and salt in a bowl.
3 Divide between the grilled bread, drizzle with the remaining olive oil and top with basil leaves. Serve. (www.foodrepublic.com)
2 large eggplants
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, and more to garnish
1 tbs Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon salt
parsley and cayenne pepper, to garnish
1 Halve the eggplants and rub them with a tablespoon of olive oil.
2 Broil the eggplants in the oven until soft and mushy. Be sure to turn them as needed so that they cook all over and don't burn.
3 Remove the eggplants from the broiler and put them directly onto the exposed flame on a stovetop. Keep your eye on the eggplant. A couple of minutes will do for a nice smoky char.
4 Allow to cool for a couple of minutes. Once cool enough to handle, cut open the eggplant and scoop out the flesh, while trying to get rid of as many seeds as you can. Don't worry if you end up with some seeds in the flesh.
5 Add the eggplant to a food processor or blender, and combine with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until almost smooth with a little bit of chunkiness.
6 Serve cool and garnish with parsley, olive oil and cayenne pepper.
200ml extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
A handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 Cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente.
2 Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a low heat, and fry the garlic for 1-2 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to spread the flavour through the oil. Add 2 tbsp cooking water to the pan and stir in the chilli and parsley. Season with salt and cook for 3 minutes, mixing occasionally.
3 When the spaghetti is ready, drain it quickly so it is still rather wet and add it to the sauce. Gently toss to coat, then leave for a minute over a low heat before serving on hot plates.
1 1/2 pounds skinless swordfish steaks, cut into small pieces
salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 tablespoons salt-packed capers
1/4 cup Nocellara or Cerignola olives, pitted
and roughly chopped
4 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 pound paccheri
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons chopped mint
fresh lemon juice
1 Season the fish with salt and pepper. In a very large skillet, warm 1/4 cup of the olive oil over high heat. Add the fish and cook, without moving, until browned on one side, about 2 minutes. (Cook in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan.) Transfer the fish to a platter and set aside.
2 In the same skillet, warm the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the capers and fry until they start to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the olives, garlic, fennel seeds and chili flakes and cook until everything is toasty and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the pan. Remove from the heat.
3 In a large pot of well-salted boiling water, cook the pasta according to the package instructions until 2 minutes shy of al dente; drain.
4 Toss the paccheri into the skillet with the caper mixture, along with the swordfish. Cook over medium heat until the pasta is al dente, 1 to 2 minutes, adding more water if the sauce seems dry. Stir in the parsley and mint and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
5 Divide the pasta among four individual serving plates or bowls and finish each with drizzle of olive oil.
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
1 red onion, very finely chopped
1 lemon, zest and juice
½ cucumber, de-seeded and finely diced
30g/1oz sunflower seeds, toasted
30g/1oz sesame seeds, toasted
4 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Cover the couscous with twice its volume of hot water and leave to soak for 10 minutes.
2 Mix together with the remaining ingredients and leave to stand for 30 minutes to let the flavours develop.
3 Serve at room temperature
4 long, thin-skinned purple aubergines
1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
handful parsley leaves, finely chopped
5-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
a little sea salt and black pepper
150g/5oz feta cheese
lemons, for serving
1 Preheat the grill to high.
2 Run a small, sharp knife round the top of the aubergine, 1cm/½in or so below the stalk and only just cutting through the skin; then make four evenly spaced, similarly shallow cuts, along the length of the aubergine right down to the end.
3 Grill the aubergines for about 20 minutes, turning every 5-7 minutes or so, until evenly cooked with charred skin, and until the aubergine feels soft, but not too collapsed within. In the case of the purple aubergines, the skin will also have turned a dull brown colour. Transfer to a large, oval, white plate and allow to cool for two minutes.
4 Peel away the aubergine skin in four long, narrow sheets using a small knife. Without cutting right through the stalk end, cut the aubergines in half lengthways and gently prise apart until you have two horizontal halves remaining attached at the top end
5 Mix the garlic and parsley with the olive oil until well combined and spoon the mixture over the aubergine. Season lightly with salt (not too much - the cheese is salty anyway) and pepper, and crumble the feta cheese over the top. If liked, trickle over more olive oil to finish.
6 Serve warm, or at room temperature with lemon squeezed over.
6 Little Gem lettuces
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
250g/9oz goats' cheese, or taleggio
1 Cut the lettuces in half leaving the base of the stem intact to hold the leaves together. Brush the lettuces with the olive oil, well-seasoned with salt and pepper.
2 Then place cut side down on a preheated barbecue rack or one of those cast iron griddle pans with raised ridges. Cook for 3-5 minutes. They are ready when the outer leaves are well-charred, striped from the grill and the thick stems are just becoming tender.
3 Arrange the 12 lettuce halves in a dish and lay over thin slices of the cheese. Add a few more twists of pepper and a drizzle of leftover olive oil. Throw in a hot oven or under a grill until the cheese starts to bubble.
4 Serve at once. Two lettuce halves, smothered in bubbling cheese, per person.
1 In a medium-size saucepan stir together the sugar, water, milk, and salt and heat until bubbles form around the edge of the pan.
2 In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks until frothy. Continue beating whilst pouring in the combined liquids in a thin stream, then return the mixture to the pan. Carry on stirring with the pan over a low to moderate heat until the custard thickens to a loose custard sauce consistency or reaches 185 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
3 Immediately pour the custard into a bowl and set the bowl in an ice water bath. Stir until the mixture is cool. Transfer to a lidded container, and refrigerate overnight.
4 Whisk in 1/4 cup olive oil in a thin steady stream -- the mixture should thicken and turn smooth. Taste the mixture and decide if you want to add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil -- the oil flavor will become more prominent as the ice cream ages, so keep this in mind.
5 Churn in an ice cream maker following manufacturer's instructions. Eat right away, or transfer to a container and freeze until ready to eat.