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Peach and burrata salad

I know. I know. I feel a bit sheepish coming back, but I really really would like to explain where I’ve been. And also make my comeback along with a killer summer peach and burrata salad that you are going to want to make. Juicy ripe peaches, soft creamy cheese, crunchy buttered almonds, clean fresh mint and tangy pomegranate molasses to marry the seasonal medley together.  A gorgeous starting point or accompaniment for any seasonal gathering.

Ok. Let’s get to the point. Why was my last post back in November? Um, because I’m making a tiny human and the last 14 or so weeks have been all about sleeping, eating more citrus fruit that is necessary and copious amounts of tomatoes sprinkled with sea salt and olive oil, and generally just getting through the day. It does seem so unfair that pregnancy make you feel like half the person you once were. Sick, tired, cranky, constantly hungry. But as I write this, a small person is growing inside of me, apparently currently the size of a peach (you see what I did there).

Not only have I been feeling exhausted though. If I’m very honest, which is easy on paper, I’m scared. I am just so scared. I know the absolute joy that comes with bringing a child into the world now, and I also know the anguish that comes with bringing a very tiny premature baby into the world, so I’d just like this time to be a smooth ride. A lazy, uninteresting, routine journey to 40 weeks. With a big party at the 30 week mark as I enter unknown territory.

To instil some positivity, which I know can only come from inside myself, I have made a pregnancy vision board, full of beautiful round bellies and cherub like newborns. I bought some new onesies. Unisex ones. And no we’re not finding out this time around. Every night I now read Thea a book all about how she’s going to become a big sister. And you know, I feel a little more carefree.

So with my new outlook (and hopefully second trimester renewed energy) comes new vigour to return to this space and share some beautiful recipes with you, starting with this rather special peach and burrata salad, as well as share this crazy, miraculous and wonderful journey.

Peach and burrata salad

For 2. 1 ball of burrata will serve 2 people so you can adjust this recipe according to how many people you are feeding

  • 1 ball burrata
  • 2 ripe yellow peaches
  • handful fresh mint leaves, roughly sliced
  • small handful of whole almonds
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • pomegranate molasses

This peach and burrata salad is the kind of dish that needs to be made at the last-minute, but don’t let that deter you as it’s extremely simple and quick to prepare.

Begin by toasting the almonds in a pan with a teaspoonful of butter and then roughly chop them.

Depending on how rustic you’d like the salad to look, tear or cut the peaches into  walnut size chunks. Now take the ball of burrata and gently tear it and scatter it over the peach pieces.

Over the cheese and the fruit, sprinkle the mint leaves, the almonds, a frugal dousing of pomegranate molasses and enjoy.

Enjoy this peach and burrata salad recipe? Then you might like this marinated mozzarella salad

Three cheese quesadillas

I was craving cheese. Not just any cheese, but molten, runny, stringy cheese. In snack form, to be eaten with fingers and no need for a table. Being Friday, I knew exactly what I would make. Three cheese quesadillas. White corn tortillas, hot and crisp, glued together with melted cheese, spiked with pickled jalapeños. A lazy dinner requiring little effort or preplanning, that we could graze on throughout the evening while chatting about the week’s events.


The weekends seem to have been very busy lately, but Friday’s are still exciting, signalling a change of pace. Activities done on a Saturday and Sunday are usually carried out at in a much more leisurely manner and unrelated to Monday to Friday’s work. To mark the change in tempo, Friday dinners are fun. They involve less formality or forethought and in our house, a lot of the time, they are eaten with fingers around the kitchen bench. Sticky pork ribs, pancakes with crispy lamb and hoi sin sauce, garlic prawn pots with crusty bread, home made pizza and often, these three cheese quesadillas.


I’m not sure what it is about grated cheese, but I have always been one to steal little handfuls of this ingredient when it is sitting in a pile on a chopping board, prepared and ready for a recipe. It could be because it’s naughty. As I child I knew my mum needed all the cheese that she’d grated for a dish, but I couldn’t help sneaking some to stuff into my mouth while she wash’t looking. It could be textural, the way you can compress the individual strands together in your mouth. It could also be because you get the impression that you are being completely overindulgent, the air between the yellow strands tricking you, making you think you are eating more that you really are. Whatever the reason, grate lots of cheese for this dish. More that you think that you will reasonably need to sandwich together two corn tortillas. It will melt into a comforting, salty, savoury, moorish snack that you just won’t be able to resist.

Three cheese quesadillas

  • 3 types of cheese – your choice. I used mozzarella for it’s stringy characteristic when melted, cheddar cheese for it’s punchy flavour and feta for it’s saltiness and creamy quality when hot.
  • corn tortillas. They must be corn. Flour tortillas just don’t crisp in the same way and are more prone to burning.
  • pickled jalapeños, finely chopped
  • oil for frying
  • optional Mexican beer

1. Lay out several corn tortillas and spread each with a teaspoonful of pickled jalapeños.

2. Take a handful of the first cheese and evenly distribute it over the tortilla.

3. Now do the same with the second and third cheeses.

4. Place another tortilla on top the cheese laden base tortilla and you are ready to start frying.

5. Set a frying pan over a moderate heat and let it become nice and hot.

6. Pour a little oil into the pan and add the quesadilla. Fry until cheese starts to pour from the sides of the tortilla and the base is crisp and brown.

7 .Flip the tortilla with a spatula and cook until the other side is also browned, then tip onto a chopping board, cut into slices and enjoy.

Enjoy this recipe? You might also like this cheesy recipe for gougeres

Gougeres-bite size balls of cheesy choux pastry

Always a sucker for a new food store, and a French one at that, I popped in to Le Petit Marche in Newport when I had a spare five minutes last week. Beautiful wooden shelves were filled with jars and canisters of imported French deliciousness. Of course the visit resulted in a purchase. I was able to talk myself out of any food, although the salted caramel spread that I was given a taste of did make me slightly weak at the knees and the ‘with the fairies’ strawberry and vanilla tea (who wouldn’t fall in love with a tea with that name) nearly had me reaching for my purse. But no. What I bought was a book. The Paris pastry club. I just can’t help myself when it comes to books, and if a cookbook can give you just one good recipe that you use again and agin, then it’s a winner in my eyes. This book’s a winner and the gougeres that I made from it on Sunday have firmly been wedged in to my repertoire.




But what are gougeres? They are moorish and delicious and far too easy to consume with very little effort. More technically, they are bite size balls of cheesy choux pastry, light and airy with a bit of crunch and a salty cheese hit. Even though the thought of making choux pastry intimidated me slightly, Fanny Zanotti’s  description of these savoury snacks won me over and I made a commitment to try the recipe out. With a side of red, as she suggested. The perfect opportunity arose when Ma and Pa came over on Sunday afternoon. Thea loooves Ma. I think it’s because she is such a calming presence and gives Thea her complete undivided attention. Ma doesn’t try to multi task like me, she’s simply in tune with Thea, and Thea knows it and relishes in it. Plus Ma always knows how to make her cackle. The biggest, heart melting, overwhelmed with love, tear in the eye type cackles you have ever heard. So when Ma and Pa took Thea out for a walk to the park, I set about making gougeres.

Having been concerned by the thought of choux pastry, my worries were unfounded. I mean, I know I have room for improvement in the technique department, but within half an hour of following some simple step I had several dozen bites of cheesy pastry in the oven. Plus taste wise, I was happy. Very happy. My main concern was that I wouldn’t be able to restrain myself from eating all the gougeres until Ma and Pa and Thea returned. For this attempt I made the gougeres with Parmesan through the choux mix and Cheddar grated over the top. Next time I think I’ll try with a gorgeous artisan French cheese from Le Petit Marche with a few poppy seeds sprinkled on top. And perhaps I’ll double the recipe. And choose my favourite wine glass. And a beautiful bottle of red. And my favourite movie… Now Im just dreaming. But sometimes that’s what one little recipe can do.







Gougeres

Adapted from a recipe by Fanny Zanotti

  • 125g whole milk
  • 50g butter
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 75g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 60g grated hard cheese, like Cheddar, Parmesan of Gruyere
  • 1 egg, beaten for egg wash

Preheat the oven to 250c.

Add the milk, butter and spices to a pot and set over a low heat until the butter melts, then increase the heat until the milk comes to a rolling boil.

Add the flour in one go and stir until completely combined. Keep stirring the mixture over heat until a crust forms on the bottom of the pan, which indicates that the mix is now dry enough for the next step.

Remove pot from the heat and transfer contents to a bowl. Add the eggs, beating well after each addition so that they are well incorporated. While the mix is still warm, fold in half of the grated cheese (30g) and then transfer the mix to a piping bag.

Pipe 3cm wide mounds of cheesy choux pastry onto a paper lined baking tray and then brush each mound with egg wash and sprinkle the remaining cheese.

Pop the tray in the oven and turn it OFF. Bake for 15 minutes and then turn the oven back on and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until the gougeres are golden.

Remove from the oven and enjoy.

NOTE. These get better and better as they cool down, so the more restraint you show will work in your favour. Promise.

Enjoy this recipe? You may also like chicken and cheese empanadas