In Rome, fried courgette flower is the mother of fried battered vegetables — quite possibly as popular as bruschetta with tomatoes. You would eat it in a casual trattoria or pizzeria as a quick starter before dinner. It is often prepared in a thick batter, but I prefer it in a lighter one of egg and flour. That way you get a better taste of the courgette flower, as well as the filling of mozzarella and anchovies.
The complex, heady perfume of muscatel grapes combined with a hint of fresh lemon zest make elderflower a taste of an English summer unlike any other. Harvesting your own is fun and easy. Pick the flowers away from busy roads when the tiny pale green flowers have turned to creamy white — their gorgeous heady perfume is a sign they are at their peak. Place your sprigs in a tightly-closed container or zipper-lock plastic bag.
If hedge-picking is not for you, buy some organic elderflower cordial. Mix it with a dash of white wine and sparkling water for an unusual spritzer.
When it comes to dressing, getting it right is not always as simple as it looks, even for a Princess. Knowing what to choose for each occasion can be confusing, whether to be dressed up, dressed down, or even spiced up a bit.
If you think that making fish soup is a long and complicated affair, then think again. This recipe is simple and delicious. I use only the head and bones of the fish to make a tasty and delicate consommé, to which I add a little pasta at the end to make it more Italian. You can also mix different fish to give it a richer taste.
Use the head and the bones to make the fish consommé and the fillets for your main course. If you prefer to make a chunky and rich fish soup, ask your fishmonger to skin the fillets and cook them in the consommé for 10 minutes just before serving it.
The crisp herb pastry is a delightful foil for the creamy, delicate filling in this delicious savoury tarte — perfect for Shavuot. The pastry is quick and easy to make in the food processor and freezes well.
Serve the same day. Leftovers keep 2 days.
● 125g brown (not granary) plain flour
● 125g white plain flour
● 2 teasp icing sugar
● Generous tbsp chopped fresh dill or chives
● 1 teasp dry mustard
● 150g cold butter or cooking margarine, cut into small chunks
● 1 large egg
● l teasp wine vinegar
As summer approaches, it is good to have some tasty, light meals like this delicious salad with a Japanese style dressing. This is quick and easy to prepare and the crunchy texture of the cucumber and sweet pepper complements the moist salmon and rice. Oily fish is the best source of omega 3, which is good for boosting brain power if your children, like my three, are sitting exams over the next few weeks.
Nowadays you might not be able to rely on a bank but in May at least you can rely on bank holidays. We all profit when the sun makes an appearance so that everybody can enjoy this double bonus. There are endless possibilities to enjoy, using your time and maybe your flexible friend to add interest to the holiday.
What better way to spend the bank holiday Monday than Princess Picnicking? You can even do this in your own back garden if you are worried about getting caught in bank holiday traffic.
It’s the lamb season. For the next couple of months, this meat is at its most tender and delicate. So why not cook some succulent lamb? The recipe I propose here is cotolette d’abbacchio con patate. Abbacchio is the Roman term for spring lamb and there are endless ways of cooking it. I suggest a simple roast rack of lamb with garlic, rosemary and white wine. Quintessentially Italian of course, and by keeping it simple the full flavour of the lamb comes out.
A Jibn is a Sephardi savoury bake made with eggs, cheese and vegetables, somewhere between a Spanish omelette and a creamy quiche. I recently served these delicious little squares for brunch as the guest chef at a gourmet food and kitchen shop in Manhattan, where they were a spectacular success.
Serves 6-8, 12-16 as nibbles.
Leftovers: keep 2 days under refrigeration. Do not freeze.