Alexandra’s Tricolore Salad with Buffalo Mozzarella, Cherry Tomatoes and Tarragon
– Buffalo mozzarella
– Cherry tomatoes
– Tarragon (fresh leaves)
– Extra Virgin Olive Oil (we always use Golden Nectar of course!)
– Salt (I tend to use Pink Himalayan Salt)
– Pepper (Preferably white)
Wash and cut your cherry tomatoes in half, cut the buffalo mozzarella in small pieces and carefully chop some tarragon leaves. Put everything together, add extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Enjoy!
(I enjoy it with artisan, or may be home-made, brown bread like in Puglia!)
Alexandra’s Spaghetti with Sun-blushed Tomatoes and Chilli
– Spaghetti (I like the thin spaghetti- n12)
– Sun-blushed tomatoes*
– 1 chilli
– Olive oil
While your pasta is cooking, wash the chilli and cut it in half, open you sun-blushed tomatoes and tip all (including the oil*) into the frying pan. Add the chilli and some salt to taste and fry on a low heat for a few minutes. Add a little fresh olive oil at the end.
When “al dente”, strain your pasta and serve with the sun-blushed tomato sauce. Sprinkle the parmesan on top.
Enjoy with a light chianti!
Tip: Add some fresh basil if you like.
* (Try the Isle of White tomatoes, I think the brand is called “The Tomato Stall”. Their sun-blushed tomatoes are not salty at all, you can even use the some of the tomato’s mixed with Golden Nectar Oil for this recipe.)
Alexandra’s Asian-style Salmon Tartare – a favourite with the kids
– 500 gr sushi grade salmon
– 1-2 fresh spring onions finely chopped
– A slice of fresh ginger
– Golden Nectar Extra virgin olive oil infused with fresh chilli*
– Juice of 1 lime (some limes are not very juicy, try for taste and add more if needed)
– A couple of pinches of salt.
– Herbs: you choose, I like dill, thai basil and chives
* Use Golden Nectar Extra Virgin Olive Oil and chop a little fresh chilli or add a few drops of tabasco.
Start by finely cutting your onions and ginger, put the onions into a small bowl and cover with fresh water. Then take the fish out of the fridge, wash it well and mince it with a big, sharp kitchen knife. It’s up to you how finely minced you like the tartare. Transfer the salmon mince into the mixing bowl and straight away wash board and knife well. Into the mixing bowl, add a splash of chilli oil, the ginger, the two pinches of salt and the lime juice. Mix well and taste, you might need more salt or lime. Add the finely cut herbs, the amount will depend on your taste, I like to add quite a lot, but a little can go a long way, if you are not a big fan of herbs!
Mix again and serve with cream cheese, bread and salad.
Enjoy with a bodied white wine such as a white burgundy.
Alexandra’s Salade Folle – be creative, this is a good one to use up some ingredients from your fridge!
We love to prepare a salade folle (crazy salad) for the weekend, we all prepare something to put inside. The idea is that you take various ingredients and vary your salad to your liking. I will give you one version, but you can go crazy, anything works. I will give some tips about how to vary but most of all I will give you the Swiss salad sauce recipe (the kids fight over the left-over salad sauce at the end of the meal)!
Ingredients (for 4)
For the Salade Folle:
– One oak leaf salad (any leaf salad will do of course)
– 1 pack of king oyster mushrooms (or simply oyster mushrooms which you can find in most supermarkets)
– Golden Nectar Extra Virgin Olive Oil and butter
– A couple of hands full of frozen garden peas (the amount is up to your liking)
– 2-3 hard boiled eggs
– Frankfurter sausage (good quality please, alternatively you can use the Italian cubed pancetta). Leave completely out or replace with fried Halloumi for a vegetarian version.
– Herbs such as dill, chive, basil, we have also used tarragon
– Toasted bread
For the salad sauce:
– 3 tbsp of the one and only Golden Nectar Extra Virgin Olive Oil (see tip)
– 3 tbsp of white balsamic condiment (essentially a lightly sweeter type of vinegar)
– 1/2 tbsp of Maggi (often found in convenient stores)**
– 1 tsp of mustard***
Boil 3 eggs first and let them cool. In the mean time cut the oyster mushrooms into small-ish pieces and fry them in a butter and olive oil mix until golden, add a few pinches of salt, always tasting to make sure the mushrooms acquire the taste you like (it’s difficult to say how much salt this requires, some mushrooms will require more, others less, start by adding two pinches, stir and try). To use less fat, I suggest you put a lid onto your frying pan at the beginning, the mushrooms will shed more water and you will need less fat. Then remove the lid to let the water evaporate and fry more while stirring regularly to give the mushrooms a “golden look”. Take off the heat but leave in the pan to cool a little. Take the frozen peas and cook them shortly in boiling water (or how ever you are used to preparing your peas). They should stay slightly crunchy. Transfer the peas into the big salad bowl, you don’t need to season them. Check your eggs, they should be ready by now, if they are cool enough, peel and cut them into little cubes before adding them to the salad bowl. Take the frankfurter and dip them into the boiling water for a few minutes before cutting them into rondelles, you can also fry them in a little oil (if you are using the pancetta cubes, you can fry them until they start to become crunchy and they will need no fat, use some of the fat in the salad sauce). Add the meat or halloumi to the salad bowl.
Now prepare and wash the salad leaves, dry them and leave to the side. Prepare the salad sauce by adding all ingredients together in a mixing bowl and whisk. Add the leaves to the big salad bowl, and all other ingredients, cut the herbs to your liking on top and add the salad sauce. Mix all together and serve with toasted bread.
Wine: Try to find a bottle of Italian “Fiano”, it is a lovely light and crisp white wine, generally good value, that goes perfectly with this dish.
* You decide the amounts, the important thing is to have enough salad for the amount of people, the rest will be added according to your liking and to what you have at home.
** If I don’t have access to Maggi, I replace it with Lea&Perrins’ Worcestershire Sauce
*** I tend to use quite mild mustard, I found one that comes quite close to the Swiss Thomy mustard I like, it is the American mustard from Sainsbury’s.
Tip: You can use other types of tasty oils to mix with our Golden Nectar Oil. I love pumpkin seed oil which I use half and half with the extra virgin olive oil. Peanut or walnut oil is also lovely (use 1/3).
Tip: As mentioned previously the salade folle is exactly that: crazy! You can add whatever you like and it will taste good. Try raw veggies (lovely with peppers, cherry tomatoes), fried onions, fried Italian bacon instead of the frankfurter, boiled meat if you have some left over, fried halloumi cheese, Swiss cheese (but don’t fry), goat’s cheese, left over pasta (without the sauce)… The French typically add liver paté!
– Two aubergines
– 1 tbsp of white miso (brown miso will also do)
– 1 tbsp of soya sauce
– 1/2 tbsp of mirin
– 1 tsp of toasted sesame oil
– 1/2 tbsp of Golden Nectar Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Wash the aubergine well and cut into thick slices (about 2 inches) and lay on baking sheet on an oven tray. Carefully cut in little stripes on the top and bottom to form squares (for the sauce to penetrate better). Mix white miso, soya sauce, mirin, sesame oil and the extra virgin olive oil together, spread it thinly on the top of the aubergines, lightly move them to soak up some more sauce on the bottom.
Put in the pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C and grill until golden. Serve with meat of fish dishes.