Friday, 25 June 2010

sorta insalata

Fickleness, thy name is ANA! After yesterday's disastrous non-replenishment of ingredients, ana's crimes get even blacker as not only does she not replace the halloumi, when she's not waiting in for her new iPhone to be delivered, she buggers off to the paddling pool for the day.

All this means after eight hours spent at the editorial grindstone, carving words from the living internet itself, I have to make the first of this weekend's four (4) trips to Waitrose. It's not entirely successful as they still don't have any halloumi, so instead we have a combination of Mediterranean salad and insalata tricolore.

sorta insalata

It's not too bad - you can't go wrong really with two fairly excellent dishes as a base can you? However some of us - let's call this demographic "the ones who eat all the halloumi but rather than replace it go to the paddling pool and hang about the house waiting for their new iPhones" - decide the combination of mozzarella, peppers, avocado, tomatoes and basil is texturally too similar and it really needs halloumi. Gah!

Food of the Milos
Okay, the blond one's day is pretty mapped out, but how did he fuel this iPhone-paddling pool-packed day? How indeed... The full Caligula for breakfast (apple, cheerios, baby bel, apricots), followed by fish fingers, beans for lunch and then we finally managed to get hold of some MiniScoff meals! Brenda and Daviss have them, and they've been total winners but it's taken us ages to track them down. Tonight he has Ali Baba's Shepherd's pie, and it all goes. Blimey.

No sources today as I made the salad up but there has been a request - oh yes! This time Miss Angela "A-Dog" Hazel White from work wanted the recipe for the gazpacho.

Well, it's by the Fino boys, from their book Modern Spanish Cooking:

serves 4

1 kg ripe tomatoes, quartered
4 spring onions, roughly chopped
3 garlic gloves
1/2 cucumber
75ml olive oil
15ml sherry vinegar

1. Put the tomatoes, spring onions, garlic and cucumber in a blender and puree. Pass it through a fine sieve 2-3 times to remove the seeds.
2. Return to the blender and with it running slowly, add the olive oil. Add the sherry vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill for at least 2 hours.

Now, I made this first thing in the morning so I didn't bother sieving it, and as it went straight into my thermos I didn't make the garnish, but there are some if you're interested:

For the garnish:
2 spring onions trimmed
1/2 red pepper halved and deseeded
1/2 green pepper, halved and deseeded
1/4 cucumber
1 hard-boiled egg
1-2 slices of bread, crusts removed

1. Dice all the veg and the egg, and chill until needed
2. Make croutons from the bread by cutting into 1cm cubes, and frying in a thin film of olive oil until golden over a medium heat. Drain on kitchen paper.
3. Serve on the side OR lob them all in the thermos, cycle to work and cross your fingers.


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