It's a constant, if not full-time job to keep enough food in the house for the seemingly hollow children. And while bergamot curd may not be up on the list of household necessities, as the saying goes, when life gives you lemons...I had a box of bergamots hanging around as one does, and after trying palm them off here and there on unsuspecting family and friends, the remainder were destined for a slow and sad decline. I'd used some in a pasta dish with broccoli, garlic and Parmesan in place of lemon and I'd squeezed the juice into sparkling water for a touch of the bath bomb in my evening drink. I was considering using the rest for a lemon-style tart, but seeing as the children seem to have developed a new and mysterious love for lemon curd on toast I had my solution.And it's very nice. Perfumed but not like walking past a soap shop, it's citrussy and delicate. I know bergamots are not really the kind of thing you come across that often --it's almost exclusively grown in Calabria -- but if you do, this is a good use for it. And, as a bonus you can spoon it into little sweet pastry cases for a speedy little tart.This recipe works just as well with blood oranges, which is my next stop if I'm lost for curds.Makes: 2 jarsPrep time: 5 minutesCooking time: 10-15 minutesIngredients4 bergamots, juice and zest (giving up about 160ml juice)4 eggs1 egg yolk200g golden caster sugar100g unsalted butterMethodZest the bergamots into a heatproof bowl big enough to sit on top of a small saucepan. Halve the fruits and put them in a bowl. Microwave them for one minute. This will give you all the juice from them. An astonishing amount comes out. If you don't a microwave, roll them really hard on the bench before slicing open. It will help, but isn't as good as the micro.Put some water in the bottom of the pan and bring to the boil. Add the butter, sugar and juice to the bowl and stir well. Put on top of the pan, making sure it's not touching the water and reduce the heat to a simmer.Stir, dissolving the butter and melting the sugar.Lightly whisk the eggs and yolks and tip into the bowl. Whisk in well until incorporated and cook for about 10-15 minutes, very gently. Stir occasionally with a spatula until the whole thing is beautifully and gently set.Remove from the heat and put into jars. Leave to cool and store in the fridge.This weekWatched:Jiro dreams of sushi. I now want to retrain as a 90 year old Japanese sushi master, but I feel some ambitions are impossible.'Somebody feed Phil' on Netflix; another travel-food-ologue, but as usual, interesting and hosted by someone who seems genuinely enthusiastic and nice.Coco, from Pixar with the children. I didn't know where to look there was so much going on.Listened:Blind Melon: not listened to them for a long time. Uplifting in a melancholy way.Kodaline: thought I'd try them out, see what the youth of today are listening to. Or something like that. They probably aren't, it's more likely to be hairdressers in Newbury or somewhere that listen to this boring snorefest of a band. Ate:Dull Indian takeaway. Dull Italian food at Ecco, Clapham and a dull lunch at Franco Manca after the cinema. Followed by heavenly gelato from Odono's on Lordship Lane. Homemade spinach and ricotta ravioli with sage butter. Children hated it. Savages. Philistines. It's one of the world's finest dishes.A steak sandwich with anchovy, melted cheddar, watercress, salsa verde, chillies, radish, cucumber and gherkins. That was a sandwich alright. Nico dreams of sandwiches.Read:Death in Sardinia, '60s set Italian detective novel, lots of good food descriptions as well as the usual detective formulas.
In 2005 on honeymoon in South America I discovered Heuvos rancheros. To be fair, I didn’t actually discover them, they were on the menu. Corn tortillas with a spicy tomato sauce and soft fried eggs was a real treat. The chilli really gives you a little kick in the morning.I’ve taken that and added it to a classic mix of smoked salmon, avocado and egg and changed the tortilla for chickpea flatbreads to keep the carbs down. They also add a nuttiness to the dish and are quite a bit easier to make. Use as much or as little chilli as you like and make sure the avocados are nice and ripe.Serves: 2Preparation time: 10 minutesCooking time: 20 minutesIngredients4 slices smoked salmon2 eggsRapeseed oil and a little butter for frying1 shallot, finely sliced8 cherry tomatoes, halved1 avocado, chopped2 spring onions2 red chillies, finely sliced - I use birdseye, but feel free to use milderjuice of half a lemonSalt and pepper to seasonFor the flatbreads:100g chickpea flour2tbsp rapeseed oil75ml waterA large pinch of salt2tbsp poppy seeds2tbsp chopped coriander leafMethod1. Mix the flatbread ingredients together in a bowl until you have quite a loose paste.
- Heat a cast iron pan until very hot and add a large spoonful of the paste. When it starts to set, spread it out a little bit until you have a small, thick pancake like bread. Cook the rest of the bread like this and set aside. If you prefer, you can make large ones by adding more of the mix to the pan, gradually adding the paste bit by bit as you spread it out.
- Heat some rapeseed oil in a heavy based pan and add the tomatoes, shallots and chilli then season well. Heat for a few minutes until the shallot and tomato begins to soften. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.
- Heat the pan again, adding a little butter and gently fry the eggs on a low heat. Season well.
- Put a flatbread on each plate, top with the smoked salmon and avocado then add the tomato mixture. Scatter over the spring onion and coriander leaves and serve.
I tend to start every morning with a Nutribullet smoothie. I was never a great breakfast eater, but this has proven an easy way for me to get the day off to a good start. Some combinations have been less successful than others, but one thing I find is using frozen fruit makes even the greenest vegetable drink taste delicious. Just blitz all the ingredients together and drink immediately.This morning's ingredients:1 bananaA handful of kale1tbsp goji berries1 tsp vanilla extract3 tbsp porridge oats2 tbsp sunflower seeds2 tbsp chia seeds1tbsp raw cocoa nibs1 tbsp turmeric powderA large handful of frozen mango, melon and pineapple piecesAlmond milk