Oh how we love a Diana Henry cookbook. Her latest, From the Oven to
ROAST PEPPERS WITH BURRATA & ’NDUJA
You barely need a recipe for this, it’s just distinctive ingredients, melting together, each providing a contrast to its neighbour: chilli-hot ’nduja that falls apart in the heat of the oven, cold creamy burrata, and charred peppers. Most people, when you give them a plate of this and some ciabatta to mop up the juices, will just be quiet and eat.
Serves 4 as a starter
6 red peppers
a little extra virgin olive oil
sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
60g (2¼oz) ’nduja
about 400g (14oz) burrata
ciabatta, to serve
Preheat the oven to 190°C fan (400°F), Gas Mark 6.
Halve the peppers, deseed them and put them into a gratin dish, roasting tin or a baking sheet with a lip around it. Brush them with olive oil, season and roast for 20 minutes. Break the ’nduja into chunks and divide it among the peppers, putting it inside them. Roast for a final 10 minutes. When they’re cooked, the pepper skins should be slightly blistered and a little charred in places. Leave them until they’re cool enough to handle, then tear them or leave them whole – whichever you prefer – and divide them between 4 plates. Drain the burrata, tear it and serve it alongside the peppers and ’nduja. Offer some ciabatta on the side.
ROAST STONE FRUIT WITH ALMOND & ORANGE FLOWER CRUMBS
I like crumble – who doesn’t? – but it can be a bit stodgy, more about the crumble than the fruit. In this dish, the fruit shines more – it gets gorgeous caramelized edges – and the ‘crumble’ is rich with nuggets of marzipan and scented with flower water. This is a big pudding and I usually have left overs, but that means you can eat them for breakfast.
900g (2lb) stone fruit:
a mixture of peaches, nectarines, plums and apricots is good here
2 tablespoons caster sugar
finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon, plus juice of ½ lemon
65g (2½oz) good-quality marzipan
½ tablespoon orange flower water
50g (1¾oz) plain flour
30g (1oz) ground almonds
65g (2½oz) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
15g (½oz) flaked almonds
icing sugar, to dust (optional)
whipped cream or crème fraîche, to serve
Preheat the oven to 200°C fan (410°F), Gas Mark 6½.
Halve and pit all the fruit. Cut the larger fruits – peaches and nectarines – into 6 wedges (each half into 3). Put all the fruit into a dish, sprinkle it with the sugar, lemon zest and juice and turn it over with your hands. Take 30g (1oz) of the marzipan and put little nug gets of this in among the fruit. Break the rest of the marzipan into little balls, but reserve it for now. Sprinkle the flower water over the fruit. Put the flour, ground almonds and butter into a bowl and rub them together with your fingertips. You want to end up with a mixture that looks like small pebbles and gravel. Sprinkle this over the top of the fruit, then put the balls of marzipan on top, too, leaving patches of the fruit completely uncovered. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the fruit is completely tender and the crumbs are golden, scattering over the flaked almonds halfway through the cooking time. Leave to cool a bit (I like it at room temperature, but you might prefer it warm) and dust a little icing sugar over the top, if you want. Serve with whipped cream or crème fraîche.
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From the Oven to the Table: Simple dishes that look after themselves by Diana Henry is published by Mitchell Beazley, £25,www.octopusbooks.co.uk