Last year, same time, Ilaria and I had a bit of a Salad Caprese crush. It’s happened again, organically. She fired in some copy and some pics just as I was fiddling around with a bunch of the cutest little bubby buffalo milk mozzarella balls and some homegrown tiny tomatoes and basil. Tomatoes are at their best towards the end of summer, and if you grow basil you will be looking for ways to use it. Look no further: Salad Caprese awaits you. Get some excellent New Zealand olive oil, and I reckon you should get your hands on some squidgily soft buffalo mozz as well. The buffalo herd reside in Clevedon, just south of Auckland, on Richard and Helen Dorresteyn’s farm, and produce A2 milk – milk higher in protein and calcium than cow’s milk, with roughly half the cholesterol. Those with dairy intolerance find it more digestible, too.
Everyone needs a good standard tomato sauce recipe. Why on earth would you buy a ready-made sauce full of god knows what, tasting over-seasoned with added sugar when you can whistle one up for a song from three basic ingredients: tomatoes, oil and garlic. Get to it, and load some into the freezer so you can whip up fast meals when you need to.
Last week’s eggplant gratin was a huge hit, so I have left it on the Home page of Shared Kitchen in case you missed it. You’ll be needing to make a batch of tomato sauce, so there you go, double up and have some on hand for pizza the next night. Will you look at that pic! Seriously good, buffalo mozzarella spreading its white lusciousness over a good tomato sauce, a few olives, oh, and, ta-da! Sliced black garlic. Best combo I’ve had in a long time.
I’ve also put in an end of summer potato salad that you can tizzy up with fresh herbs, and add eggs or hot-smoked salmon, or leftover roast chicken, that sort of thing. It’s great for a picnic or to transport when you are asked to contribute to a meal.
Finally, my life is not all hard work. Tuesday saw me ensconced at a table stuffing myself with the most gorgeous titbits imaginable as I enjoyed a sumptuous High Tea at the newly refurbished Cordis Hotel (formerly The Langham). Read all about it, and get yourself there and indulge in the finer things in life for a day you won’t forget.
And tune in to Radio New Zealand tomorrow at 3.05pm if you are a radio fan as I talk food with Jesse Mulligan. I might even talk tonka beans if Jesse will entertain the idea.
Have a great week, eat healthy and well.