Preperation 5 minutes
to cook 1 hour
1 whole head Garlic
500g large black eggplants (i.e. about 2), or 1 large purple
2 large or 4 small slices leaven
20g red miso – we use it to add a savory and umami touch to the procedure; if you prefer, use anchovy paste instead
1 tonion seeds
1 handle mixed sweet fresh herbs – basil, mint, dill, etc, torn just before serving
Wrap the head of garlic tightly in foil and roast in a 180C (160C fan)/350F/Gas 4 oven for 40 minutes to an hour, until tender. tender. Remove and, when cool enough to handle, squeeze the flesh from the paper skins into a small bowl.
Meanwhile, grill the eggplant(s), turning them regularly, over hot coals, over high heat or under a broiler for 10 minutes, until tender and charred all over. Transfer to a bowl, cover, steam for 10 minutes, then peel and discard the skin and put the flesh in a medium bowl. Stir in a teaspoon of roasted garlic (save the rest for another use – roasted garlic mash is brilliant mixed with mashed potatoes, pasta sauces or mayonnaise), then season with salt and lemon juice to taste.
Toast the sourdough slices, spread a thin layer of red miso on each, then pile the eggplant mixture on top. Sprinkle with onion seeds, top generously with picked and torn herbs and serve.
Pork stew with apples and white wine
Preperation 10 minutes
to cook 2h30+
1.2 kg braising pork roast – the best cut for this is the shoulder blade, on the bone and skinned
3 applessliced quarters and cores
3 shallotspeeled and thinly sliced
1 whole head of garliccut in half horizontally
1 large strand fresh thyme
750ml dry white winelike the trebbiano
Season the meat with salt and lay it fat side down in a large dry frying pan or casserole over low heat. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes so that the fat melts gently and the meat takes on a nice golden color, then turn over and sear the rest of the roast. Take the meat out of the pan and trim some, but not all, of the fat.
In the same skillet, sauté the apple wedges, minced shallots, garlic and thyme over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized. Add the wine, bring to a boil and reduce by half.
Heat the oven to 180 C (160 C fan)/350 F/Gas 4. Return the pork to the pan, cover with a tight-fitting lid and/or foil, and roast for two to three hours, until tender. the meat is very tender.
Take the meat out, rest for 10 minutes, then carve and serve with the shallot and applesauce, which should now have crumbled and reduced to a thick, chunky sauce.
Braised Borlotti with Grilled Radicchio
Preperation 10 minutes
to cook 1h+
250g dried borlotti beans
1 carrotpeeled and cut into very large pieces
1 shallotunpeeled, halved
1 large stick of celerycut in two
2 cloves garlicbroken
1 pinch of dried chili flakes
50ml olive oil
50ml extra virgin olive oil
1 splash Red wine vinegar
Soak the beans overnight in cold water, then drain them, put them in a large saucepan and cover with fresh, cold water. Bring to a boil, cook for two minutes, then drain again. Replace with fresh water to cover the beans and add the carrot, shallot, celery, garlic, chilli and olive oil to the pan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to very low and simmer for 45 minutes to two hours, until the beans and vegetables are tender (time varies depending on the age of the dried beans).
Drain, reserving half of the cooking liquor, then pour the bean mixture onto a platter and choose the carrot, onion, celery and garlic (don’t worry if a few beans join the party) . Puree the cooked vegetables, then fold them into the beans; if mixture seems a little dry, stir in some of the reserved cooking liquor to loosen it up. Salt to taste and set aside.
Cut the radicchio into quarters and separate the leaves. Broil, broil, or roast the leaves for two to three minutes, until wilted. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, prepare a vinaigrette by whisking together the extra virgin olive oil and vinegar, then pour over the cooked chicory and toss.
Place beans on a platter, garnish with toasted leaves and serve at room temperature.