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Entries in mozzarella (12)


crispy garlic chicken


this isn’t a particularly elegant looking dish but it was very delicious. the heart of it is nigel’s slater’s recipe for garlic-crumbed chicken which is inspired by a chicken kiev but adds cheese and bacon, whilst removing the risk factor that comes with needing to create a sealed pocket for all the garlic butter goodness. it’s also a great way of really packing flavour around chicken breasts, which can sometimes be a bit dull.

skinless chicken breasts are slashed and then stuffed with cheese that has been rolled in chopped parsley (the recipe calls for taleggio but i used mozzarella as that was what needed using up) then topped with a mix of breadcrumbs, garlic and pancetta that have been fried in butter, before baking through.

the end result is both fresh (from the parsley, which really does retain its flavour) and savoury (the garlic and bacon flavours really stand out) whilst also being fairly forgiving – assembling the dish is quick and easy and the topping of breadcrumbs hides any messiness in your preparation. i also think it would be a good standby option if you make a bigger batch of the fried breadcrumbs which could then be used from frozen. the other thing i’d think about for next time is adding some chopped rosemary to the breadcrumb mix.

we ate this with some tagliatelle which was tossed with mushrooms that had been sautéed in a little butter and then finished with some double cream and extra parsley. the contrast of the crispy breadcrumbs with the creamy pasta was particularly nice.

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roasted aubergine and lentil salad with pomegranate and mint

this salad was the perfect thing to eat on a warm summer’s evening.

i griddled aubergine slices which had been brushed with olive oil and seasoned; while they were cooking i fried a sliced red onion and some garlic in a little olive oil and when this softened i added a couple of handfuls of green lentils (puy would also have been nice), added a little red wine. when the wine had simmered away i added vegetable stock and a bay leaf,  cooking the lentils until soft and adding extra stock as necessary (add it slowly as you want it all to absorbed by the lentils).

the cooked lentils were mixed with a little pomegranate molasses and a drizzle of olive oil, so they absorbed the flavours. the cooled lentils were layered with the aubergine and some cherry tomatoes which i had roasted earlier in the week. a scattering of torn mozzarella (feta, goat's curd or grilled halloumi would also be good) and fresh mint were the finishing touches to this wonderful summer salad. we ate this with roasted spatchcocked poussin, which i’d rubbed with olive oil, sweet smoked paprika and lemon juice,and cooked for 40 minutes on a bed of spring onions.

leftovers were still delicious two days later.


new season tomatoes

i’m loving the change of season – it’s taking place slowly and feels like it is arriving very late but the fact the sun is shining, it’s feeling warm enough to open some windows and i’m able to walk around the house barefoot rather than cosied up in fluffy slippers, are all signs of good things to come.

so too is decent-tasting tomatoes. these beauties were a sneak preview of some of the deliciousness that foodari will is getting into stock, having been grown down the road from london, in kent. we had them as part of a simple salad with some wonderful croutons, buffalo mozzarella, shallots and a thyme, balsamic and red wine vinegar dressing. delicious. and, to add to the excitement, apparently the kentish asparagus harvest should be kicking off in the next week or so too…


melting mozzarella and greens

london has become quite chilly over the past few days and stodge with gentle flavours is what i have been craving. in fact, this dish started off as an idea about stuffing cabbage leaves with a creamy leek and mushroom mix, but soon shifted towards pasta when i realised my cabbage was past its best.

it was also a great way to use up a random mix of other green vegetables that needed a bit of tlc. leeks and fennel were softened in melted butter with lots of garlic. i then added some reconstituted wild mushrooms and shredded sundried tomatoes plus a handful of marinated roasted artichokes and some leftover wilted spinach. a spoonful of flour was added and cooked for a minute and then i poured in the water from the mushrooms plus a couple of spoons of double cream (the dregs of a pot from the previous week) and some crème fraiche to lighten it all up. this was mixed with almost cooked pasta, chunks of mozzarella and then topped with breadcrumbs and grated cheese (a lurid red leicester!) before being heated through in the oven.

the greens made everything taste healthy whereas the stringy pockets of melted mozzarella made it taste decadent. perfect for a chilly sunday evening.


a special mozzarella and tomato salad

the buffalo mozzarella and vine tomato salad that i had at the little gloster has been on my mind a lot. thankfully a version of it has also been on my table a lot over the past week.

at the heart of this dish are three things:

  • rich, creamy buffalo mozzarella - or you could use burrata for a double-dose of indulgence.
  • delicious tomatoes - not so easy to find with the dreadful weather we’ve had (my tomato bushes have barely got going this year) but i’ve been using isle of wight oak-roasted tomatoes to bump the flavour of the dish as  whole (slow-roasted or sunblush would also do the trick).
  • a dressing of lemon zest, chopped fresh mint, chopped red chilli, a little garlic (i’ve used smoked garlic or black garlic to soften the flavour) plus good olive oil

sometimes i’ve added a few dressed salad leaves and other times i’ve left it just as tomatoes and mozzarella. if you can manage it, don’t use all the mozzarella or dressing as these, left overnight to marinate, make a wonderful toast topping.

and if you want another recipe for tomato and mozzarella salad, try this version, which is oomphed up with  parmesan, mint, basil and tomato jam.