An invitation to my son Luca’s place is not to be ignored. He’s the kitchen-sink type of guy. Why hold back when you can add more? I love it! Generous platters of food with so many different and tasty elements that anyone and everyone eating at his table will have their desires satisfied. Meat? Rub it with spice, grill, roast, slow-cook or barbecue. Vegetables? Why have one or two when you can have a riot of colour with a baker’s dozen. Side dishes? Bring them on. Salad? Yep. Condiments? Out they come …
It was a long lunch, last Sunday, starting with Goat’s Cheese & Charred Pepper Crostini. Then came the PLATTER. Luca dished lunch for everyone, including my plate. At first I thought ‘no way’, but oh yeah, I ate it all! Delicious.
Here’s a rough guide to make a feast like Luca.
Sleep in. Start late. Shop on the day. Rope your sister into chopping and stirring. Chill bubbly in the freezer 10 minutes before guests arrive. Distract everyone with crostini and artisan beer (which IS chilled!). Then cook your heart out while they yabber on, and serve up a feast they’ll remember for a long time.
*Boned leg of lamb rubbed with cinnamon, cumin, black pepper, smoked paprika, lemon zest and crushed garlic, and olive oil, then marinated. Browned in a hot pan and finished in a hot oven for 15-20 minutes, then sprinkled with salt and rested before slicing.
*Moroccan condiment of caramelised onions but Luca swapped out the raisins for pine nuts and added a few extras. Sliced onions cooked down with lots of butter and ½ cup water to steam, turmeric, cumin and cayenne, added lemons zest, onions caramelised at the end and pine nuts added somewhere along the line.
*Roasted peppers with olive oil finished with balsamic vinegar. Halved tomatoes with a dollop of Balls Peach Chutney, garlic and smoked paprika, then roasted (delicious!). Broccoli florets tossed with EVOO then roasted until crispy. Shallots added as well, but taken out as soon as they were browned. Butternut pumpkin rubbed with EVOO and roasted until golden, then sprinkled with dukkah.
*Whip up a quick cucumber raita with diced cucumber, yoghurt, garlic and lemon juice – and there’s your sauce.
*Couscous and preserved lemon. Takes 2 minutes. There’s more than enough going on, but you need a bit of starch, he says. Luca’s Luscious Lunch.