We don’t hear about chardonnay as much as we used to. Good. In the 1980s, chardonnay was nearly synonymous with white wine. In restaurants and bars customers would ask for “a glass of chardonnay” as if it were a single product, like Coca Cola or Heineken.
Eight years ago, my parents, Frances and Bernard Platman, left their antique maps and lithographs stall on the Portobello Road for a gap year. “A good friend of Bernard’s passed away, which inspired us to take up the offer from a fellow market trader of a stay in his farm house in Carcassonne,” says Frances.
A recent report from the children’s charity 4Children painted an alarming picture of the overuse of alcohol (among other drugs) by parents, including a headline figure saying that 22 per cent of children grow up with parents who drink “hazardously”. I read the full report and couldn’t find a definition of “hazardous”, but am willing to give the report the benefit of the doubt.
100g butter, roughly chopped
300g dark chocolate, broken into squares
3 tbsp golden syrup
140g Rich Tea biscuits, roughly crushed
12 kosher pink marshmallows, quartered using scissors
2 x 55g either Maltesers, Milky Way or Crunchie
Gaeta is on the Italian coast south of the beautiful Val di Comino, where Manuela, proprietress of the Relais Chalons d’Orange gourmet hotel and restaurant, has developed this recipe which combines the blackcurranty piquancy of her local olive with the bitterness of sauteed escarole — a mildly flavoured endive. Use the curly endive variety if you cannot find escarole.
This is a seasonal, easy, and very tasty side dish to accompany fish and chicken. It is great for those on a low-salt diet as the ginger and turmeric already enhance the flavour of the pumpkin. Butternut squash also works very well, and if you don’t have fresh ginger, you can use ground ginger instead.
Are you sitting down? Good. Then you will not faint in horror when I tell you about someone who owned a house in south-western France and who took with her, every time she drove to stay there, cases of New Zealand sauvignon blanc.
English plums are in season at the moment, with Victoria plums being the best known and, in my view, the sweetest variety. These plum and almond muffins make a tasty after-school treat but are equally good served as individual puddings with warm custard or vanilla cream. They’ll keep well in a tin for up to three days — if they last that long.
In the past year, the number of kosher wine merchants in north London has almost doubled. Previously, the choice of kosher wine was limited to that sold in supermarkets and delicatessens or from the three existing stores — Sussers in Temple Fortune and The Grapevine’s two branches in Hendon and Stamford Hill.
This makes a smart dinner party dessert but is surprisingly quick to put together — especially with ready-made pastry. Use 375g of all-butter pastry if using ready-made. If you can’t find greengages, try plums or figs.
For the pastry:
170g plain flour
100g cold butter, diced
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 egg yolk
This salad is the result of a great friendship and the love of food that I share with my dear Israeli friend, Einav. The beauty of this wonderful dish, ideal for Succot, is that you can add and remove ingredients as you like. You can use dried figs or prunes instead of dates, for example. Orange and lemon zest is also a tangy and tasty addition.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Stuffed vegetables are traditional at Succot and these globe courgettes are lovely and sweet when roasted, and hold their shape well when filled. You could also use hollowed long courgettes or roasted peppers or tomatoes.
By Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, September 20, 2012
This dish depends on the figs being sweet and perfectly ripe. Save yourself work by looking out for products such as balsamic cream or glaze.
4 small sweet potatoes (1 kg)
5 tbsp olive oil
40ml balsamic vinegar ( commercial rather than premium grade)
20g caster sugar
12 spring onions, halved length-ways and cut into 4cm segments
1 red chilli, thinly sliced