Sunday, 25 March 2007
Today was the first day I can confidently say that the sunshine is on it's way back. I've just bought a house, I've spent most of the day scrubbing the kitchen and moving all of my kitchen gadgets into their places and I am already dreaming of happy cooking days ahead. The sun beams into my new kitchen, and a clear view of the seasons whilst I'm cooking or writing recipes is a massive inspiration to me. All in all, I had a happy smile for most of the afternoon whilst I donned my Marigolds.
I'm looking forward to spending a few evenings after work sitting in the garden with a simple creation and of course a nice glass of wine. The perfect wind down for me after a hard day is to cook, nothing too strenuous. Of course, during the winter months I do tend to slave over a hot and filling meal rather than a light one, but now that the summer is approaching simplicity is the key. Especially if you want to catch the final rays of sunshine.
This meal is unashamedly adapted from the glorious Moro, probably my favourite restaurant in London and an amazing pair of books to boot. I love the Clark's approach to food, their vision all of those years back when they first set out on a food journey. Researching Mediterranean food of the people, proper food with flavour and simplicity, and taking it back to their restaurant to cook up a storm. I've only visited Moro twice and each time Mr Clark was there cooking. Each time I was starstruck and sad enough to get his signature on their daily changing menu. I look forward to doing it again.
So, onto the dish which to me is summer on a plate and the kind of easy but flavour packed food that makes you happy to be alive. I served this to six hungry women on Friday night as part of my BookTheCook dining service and they loved it. I knew they would as it is a winner each time. The combination of cold beans, raw onions, tomatoes, fresh parsley and a sharp dressing with the heat of freshly seared crisp chorizo is a beautiful combination. All you need is some bread, a glass of your favourite tipple and some good company. Here comes the summer!
Hot Chorizo, Bean and Tomato Salad
1 tin of butter, flageolet or cannellini beans, drained and washed (or if you prefer, 100g of your choice of bean soaked for 8 hours and boiled to instruction)
4 large tomatoes cubed or a small punnet of cherry tomatoes halved
1 handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, leaves picked
Half a red onion, sliced finely
150g chorizo, cut into 1cm cubes
Red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
Juice of half a lemon
1 garlic clove
Freshly ground salt and pepper
1 - Tip the beans, tomatoes, onion and parsley into a bowl and combine with your fingers.
2 - Make the dressing by crushing the garlic clove, preferably in a pestle and mortar. Mix with 1 tbs of the vinegar, 3 tbs of olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Dress the salad in the bowl then pile into 2 bowls.
3 - In a hot frying pan, fry the chorizo in a little olive oil until crisp. Scatter over the salad.