It’s been a particularly good week in food – lots of outings and not much cooking from me! Here’s how it went:
Tuesday – Country Pub Lunch
Tuesday saw me heading out of town along the M4 to Holyport, near Maidenhead, where my oldest friend, Nina – as in the friend I’ve know longest; not her age! – lives. We crossed the village green from her house to eat lunch at The George pub. I chose a burger with fries and coleslaw – and very good it was too.
Wednesday – A Taste of Summer
Summer seemed to have arrived and with it my tastebuds craved summery food. I grilled a fillet of organic salmon, dusting a coat of sumac over it with some olive oil before it went under the grill. I love the spicy lemony flavour of the sumac with fish. And I made a freekeh salad, dressing it simply with and olive oil and lemon juice, roasted hazelnuts and a good amount of freshly chopped parsley. Summer tasted good! For freekeh recipes click here, and here, and here.
Thursday – An Easy Lunch and Favourite Pizza for Supper
I turned the remaining portion of the freekeh from the night before into a quick and easy lunch, adding some extra ingredients: halved cherry tomatoes, avocado and some crumbled feta.
A fellow food blogger friend, Susannah, suggested coming over from north London to see me and go to Ruben’s Refettorio together. Having been inspired to try my favourite pizza through reading my blog, I’m happy to report that it lived up to her expectations! I chose my ‘regular’ capricciosa. Take a look at Susannah’s lovely blog: Susannah’s Kitchen.
Friday – Costa del Twickenham
Another friend – and another Kay! – was down in London from the Lake District and suggested meeting up on Friday evening. I booked a table at another local favourite: Masaniello. It was a wonderfully warm evening and so the gorgeous fish stew we both chose, with its Mediterranean touch, was perfect. We had some garlic bread with it which came in the form of a Napoli-style pizza with just oil and garlic (Head Chef Livio’s family runs a pizzeria in Naples, home of pizza) and it was perfect for mopping up the glorious, slightly spicy, sauce. Masaniello is in Church Street, one of the prettiest parts of Twickenham. After supper we cut down a side road to the river so I could point out Eel Pie Island, having told Kay all about its music history over supper. It was still very warm despite being dark by now and there were plenty of people around enjoying this taste of summer. Kay later wrote on Facebook about the ‘magical evening in Costa del Twickenham’s Italian quarters’.
Saturday – Aperitivo with the Italians
Whenever I go to one of the Italian Language Meetup Group’s events, I tell my family that I’m ‘meeting up with the Italians’. I wrote about this great aperitivo evening on the blog – click here.
Sunday – First Barbecue of the Year
This time the car and I headed up the M40 to Redditch, near Birmingham to see my daughter Nicola and her wife Rachael. Summer seemed to have arrived (though being UK it is only forecast to last until the end of the week!). Seeing Nicola is always an excuse to open a bottle of champagne as we’re both such big fans. She got out her lovely vintage champagne glasses and we sat in the sun enjoying it while the barbecue coals heated. Maybe sharing a bottle of champagne between the three of us before eating can be my excuse for forgetting to photograph the actual food! Which is a pity because there were some pretty vegetable kebabs with brightly coloured peppers and tomatoes, baby courgettes, mushrooms and shallots, as well as marinated chicken and halloumi. The sun was hot, it was a wonderfully lazy day, the meal eaten slowly and thoroughly enjoyed. For dessert I’d bought cakes from Your Bakery Whitton en route. I’d stopped there for coffee and to buy bread before starting my journey, but tell me, could you resist some of these!
Monday – Easy Italian
I drove back from Birmingham this morning. There were lots of chestnut mushrooms and large vine tomatoes in the fridge, which made supper an obvious choice: Polenta alla Cacciatora. I say ‘easy Italian’ as I cook it quite often. Also polenta is becoming a real favourite of mine for its great taste with all kinds of dishes, flavoured with plenty of butter, freshly ground black pepper and Parmesan. I use the ‘quick’ variety as really, it’s very quick indeed.