The Gourmet Farmer Deli Book by Matthew Evans [epub | 16,80 Mb] ISBN: B0094BQIXE

  • Full Title: The Gourmet Farmer Deli Book: Dairy
  • Autor: Matthew Evans
  • Print Length: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Murdoch Books
  • Publication Date: September 1, 2012
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: B0094BQIXE
  • ISBN-13: 
  • Download File Format | Size: epub | 16,80 Mb
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Gourmet Farmer Matthew Evans and producers Nick Haddow and Ross O’Meara share their favourite deli recipes. Enjoy food as it used to taste.

Why would you go to the effort of make your own cheese, clotted cream or yoghurt? It’s quite simple, really – because it tastes better.

This collection of recipes celebrates the artisan process in making items you’d typically find in your local deli and provides simple, delicious recipes where those ingredients are the stars of simple, flavoursome dishes.

From a classic butter cake to baked feta with preserved tomato, olives and oregano and samosas, The Gourmet Farmer Deli Book: Dairy celebrates the way we used to cook and the way food used to taste.

Recipes include: Vegetable bisteeya, clotted cream fudge, ricotta cheese and paneer, smoked ricotta, shanklish and more.

All titles in this series: The Gourmet Farmer Deli Book: Dairy
The Gourmet Farmer Deli Book: Smallgoods
The Gourmet Farmer Deli Book: Vegetables and Condiments
The Gourmet Farmer Deli Book: The Collection

 

Editorial Reviews

 

Keywords

Foreword by John Green

Introduction

PART 1

KITCHEN BASICS

How to Make the Most of What You’ve Got

THE HARTWICH

CAN BAKE

LATKE SHOTKES

LAYZAGNA

COMPOUND BUTTERS! (COOKING WITH INMATES!)

FRUIT COCKTAIL

PB&J&PC

THINGS IN A BLANKET

SCOTCH EGG

10 Things Alcohol Does to Your Body

PART 2

ADULTOLESCENCE

Savor the Cooking as Much as the Meal

TINY SANDWICHES

SALTINE NACHOS

FRITO TAQUITOS

JEWISH TAQUITOS?

PIZZA PIE CHART

PIZZA CAKE

HOT RODS

CRUNCHY ROLL

DICK-TATERS

MACARONI AND PEACE

SWEET DIP

HASHTAG

THE SADDEST CAKE EVER

PASTAFARIAN

SLOPPY JANE

PIZZADILLA

FORTUNE ROLLS

NAAN OF YOUR BUSINESS

ENCURRYGEMENT CURRY

ADULT LUNCHABLES

Eating Alone: ?? Why Am I Always ??

PART 3

SO THIS IS LOVE

Recipes for Relationships

CRUDE-ITÉS

STRING (CHEESE) THEORY

BREAKFAST PIZZA

QUICHES IN SCOOPS

CHOCOLATE CHIPZ

HEART-BEET SALAD

CA-PRAY-ZAY

CORN STAR

BROTHEL SPROUTS

ROLLPLAY

HOT-CROSSED BUNZ

TEAR … AH MISS YOU

SAD THAI

COLLARD BACK NOW

Call-Her-Flower

PART 4

FAMILY AND THE HOLIDAYS

You Are Your Own Tradition

STIR FRIES

PATTYCAKE

TRIFLE TROUBLES

PANSTEAK

MACARONI … PRETZEL … HAND?

LET’S GET GRILLED

ENMESHED POTATOES

THANKSGIVING PIE

OLIVE-STUFFED BRIE

Bananas Are Good for Lowering Anxiety!!!

Tell Your Friends!

Follow Your Harto

Acknowledgments

About the Author

Credits

Copyright

About the Publisher

FOREWORD

BY JOHN GREEN

All the great food writers—from MFK Fisher to Julia Child—have understood that cooking and eating are not just about sustenance. We bring to our food all that is inside of us—the joy and the grief, and at times the intoxication—and the food is changed by the spirit in which we prepare it. I still remember the saddest peanut butter and jelly sandwich I ever made: I was twenty-two. My longtime girlfriend had dumped me. I had no career prospects and no money. I was living in a walk-in closet in a basement apartment in Chicago. A few days earlier, I’d reached for my box of Cheerios and the box jumped, because it contained a mouse.

I also remember the happiest PBJ of my life: Days after getting engaged, my now wife and I were in her apartment, drinking way too much wine, looking through her fridge for something we could make together.

Precisely the same ingredients resulted, of course, in vastly different sandwiches. The saddest PBJ superglued my tongue to the roof of my mouth with peanut butter, and the bread had all the flavor of construction paper. The happiest PBJ tasted like rainbows and roses. And this is the wonder of Hannah Hart’s drunk kitchen: Whether you are deep in sadness or the happiest you’ve ever been, Hannah Hart knows how to make it better. She makes you feel less alone in the dark night of the soul, and even more joyful in the good times.

Hannah’s YouTube channel rocketed to popularity not merely because she is punnily hilarious and knows how to make a fine drunken meal, but because like all the best food writers, in the process of teaching us how to cook she teaches us something about how to live. Hannah’s fans are motivated by their love for her and for each other to raise money for charity and to volunteer in food kitchens around the world. We feel better about being ourselves because of her.

Food, when wielded properly, can make us more caring and generous. And no one understands this better than Hannah Hart. So yes, this book is hilarious, and you will enjoy every page of it. But make no mistake: Beneath it all lies the message that we must love ourselves and one another, and that together we can make it through.

INTRODUCTION

You’re a narcissist, right?

Good. Because this book is about you.

Well, it’s really about me. But it’s about me and you. So does that work the same way? I hope so, because this book is about self-improvement and maybe it can improve itself as it goes along. Has a cookbook ever been self-aware? If not, this may be one of the first occasions for it.

This book is also about self-preservation. Or self-preservatives. Or preservatives. Like jam. You think that a delicious jelly snack is ever crippled by self-doubt? Nope. And you shouldn’t be either.

But defeating self-doubt isn’t the only thing you’ll learn in this catalog of delights! Here you will find out how to encourage your guests to get creative with their libations (Latke Shotkes), how to achieve your goals with the resources at hand (Saltine Nachos), and even the importance of communication during experimental bedroom escapades (Hot-Crossed Bunz), but above all you will learn that it’s in your best interest to be patient with your spouse during the holidays (Trifle Troubles).

This book will open up your eyes to strengths within you and around you that you may have never seen. For example, have you ever re
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directed me to a plant-based focus and I worked toward an M.S. degree in horticulture. I think the value of this book is that a hands-on amateur turned “expert” is dispensing the advice. When I advise others I am quick to tell them that they will learn far more from my mistakes than my successes. This might be my definition of gardening.

As a horticulturist, I will forever be in debt to my father for teaching me about native vegetation. It was an integral part of our lives that instilled deep love and appreciation for nature and would eventually change my career. I doubt I will ever feel at home without the proximity of trees and the scent of dried leaves.

Growing up on a small dairy farm near Coopers-town, New York, I remember my father lamenting that the property bordering our farm contained black locust (which produced the best fence posts), but it missed our land entirely. In contrast, we were the only farm with mature, fruit-bearing butternuts (oh, how I miss Mom’s butternut cake!). We didn’t think consciously about it as youngsters but we had already learned that plants prefer specific environments and what flourished in one area didn’t thrive in others. When I took dendrology (a fancy name for the botanical, versus horticultural, study of trees), we learned how site specific tree species can be. I returned home after that class and took a reminiscent walk through the “back forty.” I noticed that musclewood and ironwood grew only in the wooded border, sugar maple and beech populated the eastern hillside, and eastern hemlock dominated the north. Black alder and American sycamore were happy along stream banks but only smaller shrubs effectively established roots in swampy muck. Tamarack and white oak defied the challenges of wet feet until they eventually reached a size where roots forced shallow due to excess water could no longer sustain their weight. They had toppled with giant circular plates of root-bound soil jutting skyward. This exposed more sunlight for shrubby willows and arrowwood viburnum; Davids to fallen Goliaths.

Trees may have been the most obvious evidence of plants evolving and adapting to specific, culture-influenced sites, but there were plenty of examples of perennial plant acclimatization as well. Foam flower wasn’t a popular garden plant when I was a farm boy, but by the time I was gardening as an adult it had become a favorite. I discovered it abundantly in two forms in the glen growing between stream and dry upland woodland. Fortuitously, it was spring and the plant was in bloom; I was delighted to see clumping Tiarella cordifolia intermixed with running T. cordifolia var. cordifolia.

A view from the “back forty” on the New York family farm.

My woodland traipsing is a lesson in culture for gardeners. It is when we see how specific these plants site themselves in their natural environment that we better understand their cultural needs in cultivation. The fact that foam flower populations ended before reaching the upper woodland explains why that plant fails to thrive in dry shade gardens. Home gardens are contrived versions of what we find in nature and it is necessary to understand the conditions each species needs replicated to grow well. Breeding cultivars of naturally occurring species improves traits; however, plants have taken centuries to evolve and adapt to specific sites and a few generations of breeding isn’t going to dramatically change basic cultural needs.

My mother’s influence was the calming effect of growing vegetables. She had a vegetable garden close to an acre in size that provided a bounty of fresh produce all summer: two freezers packed full, jars of preserved fruits, and vegetables that were visual delights lining shelves in the basement. I was a typical boy who loved animals—I had my own flock of bantam chickens—but didn’t think I liked vegetables. However, I did show some interest in Mom’s planting activities at about age twelve. She recognized the curiosity, ordered a Gurney Seed Company one-cent seed packet for kids, and encouraged me to plant the seeds in a plot adjacent to my chicken shed.

White beech to the left and eastern hemlock to the right, creating segregated populations on the farm.

The foam flower I found growing in its native environment on the farm.

Flowers were few and far between on my first nasturtium plants, but the plants were huge.

A boy on a dairy farm knows all about manure as fertilizer, so I amended my little plot with rich, aged chicken dung. My seed packet contained a number of large, round nasturtium seeds. I had no idea what this pea-like seed would produce and wouldn’t know until researching it later that nasturtium prefers lean soils for ideal flowering. Mine grew like a proverbial weed, producing massive, waist-high “shrubs” (I was twelve, remember). They didn’t flower much at all; it would be years befor
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or at least 30 minutes.

If you want to cook large roasts, brown them under the oven broiler or in a skillet on top of the stove over direct heat before you place them into the slow cooker. This will help the chilled meat heat up faster as well as produce a dish that is more visually appealing. Also begin with liquid that is boiling.

Getting a jump-start on dinner while you’re preparing breakfast may seem like a Herculean task, and it is possible to prep the ingredients destined for the slow cooker the night before—with some limitations. If you cut meat or vegetables in advance, store them separately in the refrigerator and layer them in the slow cooker in the morning. However, do not store the cooker insert in the refrigerator because that will also increase the amount of time it takes to heat the food to a temperature that kills bacteria.

Concern about food safety extends to after a meal is cooked and the leftovers are ready for storage. As long as the temperature remains 140°F or higher, food will stay safe for many hours in the slow cooker. Leftovers, however, should never be refrigerated in the crockery insert because it will take them too long to go through the “danger zone” in the other direction—from hot to cold.

Freeze or refrigerate leftovers in shallow containers within two hours after a dish has finished cooking. Also, food should never be reheated in the slow cooker because it takes too long for chilled food to reheat. Bacteria are a problem on cooked food as well as raw ingredients. The slow cooker can be used to keep food warm—and without the fear of burning it—once it has been reheated on the stove or in the oven.

One of the other concerns about food safety and the slow cooker is if there is a loss of power in the house—especially if you don’t know when it occurred in the cooking process. If you’re home, and the amount of time was minimal, add it back into your end time. If the time without power increases to more than 30 minutes, finish the food by conventional cooking, adding more liquid, if necessary.

However, if you set the slow cooker before you left for work, and realize from electric clocks that power was off for more than an hour, it’s best to discard the food, even if it looks done. You have no idea if the power outage occurred before the food passed through the “danger zone.” Better safe than sorry.

Always thaw food before placing it in the slow cooker to ensure the trip from 40°F to 140°F is accomplished quickly and efficiently. While adding a package of frozen green beans will slow up the cooking, starting with a frozen pot roast or chicken breast will make it impossible for the Low temperature of the slow cooker to accomplish this task.

Slow Cooker Hints

Slow cookers can be perplexing if you’re not accustomed to using one. Here are some general tips to help you master slow cooker conundrums:

Remember that cooking times are wide approximations—within hours rather than minutes! That’s because the age or power of a slow cooker as well as the temperature of ingredients must be taken into account. Check the food at the beginning of the stated cooking time, and then gauge whether it needs more time and about how much time. If carrots or cubes of potato are still rock-hard, for example, turn the heat to High if cooking on Low, and realize that you’re looking at another hour or so.

Foods cook faster on the bottom of a slow cooker than at the top because there are more heat coils and they are totally immersed in the simmering liquid.

Appliance manufacturers say that slow cookers can be left on either High or Low unattended, but use your own judgment. If you’re going to be out of the house all day, it’s advisable to cook food on Low. If, on the other hand, you’re going to be gone for just a few hours, the food will be safe on High.

Use leaf versions of dried herbs such as thyme and rosemary rather than ground versions. Ground herbs tend to lose potency during many hours in the slow cooker.

If you want a sauce to have a more intense flavor, you can reduce the liquid in two ways. If cooking on Low, raise the heat to High, and remove the lid for the last hour of cooking. This will achieve some evaporation of the liquid. Or, remove the liquid either with a bulb baster or strain the liquid from the solids, and reduce them in a saucepan on the stove.

Slow Cooker Cautions

Slow cookers are benign, but they are electrical appliances with all the concomitant hazards of any machine plugged into a live wire. Be careful that the cord is not frayed in any way, and plug the slow cooker into an outlet that is not near the sink.

Here are some tips on how to handle them:

Never leave a slow cooker plugged in when not in use. It’s all too easy to accidentally turn it on and not notice until the crockery insert cracks from overheatin
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k area.

On a personal note, I’d like to thank Bonnie Slotnick, who commented on all my entries and pointed out foolish mistakes of grammar as well as of content. I also thank the writers who contributed entries and the associate editors for the time they spent designing and selecting entries, identifying and guiding authors, and reviewing and editing entries. It was a personal joy and professional pleasure to work with them all.

Finally, I thank the staff at Oxford University Press, especially Ben Keene, Katie Henderson, Christina Carroll, Dena Ratner, Martin Coleman, and Karen Horton. Without their effort, enthusiasm, and encouragement, this Companion would never have been completed.

Contributors

PAULINE ADEMA

Food Writer, Dallas, Texas

Foodways

GARY ALLEN

Food Writer, Kingston, New York

Armour, Philip Danforth; Chile; Crab Boils; Cream Cheese; Food Websites; Ginger Family; Mint Family; Mustard Family; Onion Family; Parsley Family; Prepared Herb and Spice Mixtures; Saint Patrick’s Day; Sarsaparilla and Wintergreen; Sinclair, Upton; Sweet Spices

JEAN ANDERSON

Cookbook Author and Journalist, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Food Processors

HEA-RAN L. ASHRAF

Department of Food and Nutrition, Southern Illinois University

Diets, Fad

JOSEPHINE BACON

Writer, Editor, and Translator, London

Chickpeas; Jennie June; Olives; Partridge; Passover; Pastrami; Salsify; Squash

VIRGINIA K. BARTLETT

Independent Scholar, Hingham, Massachusetts

Cooking Manuscripts; Food Periodicals; Leslie, Eliza; Periodicals; Radio/TV Food Shows

LINDA BASSETT

Department of Culinary Arts, North Shore Community College, Massachusetts

Howard Johnson; Johnson, Howard

AMY BENTLEY

Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, New York University

Historical Overview: World War II; Stewart, Martha

JENNIFER SCHIFF BERG

Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, New York University

Egg Cream

RYNN BERRY

Author of

Food for the Gods: Vegetarianism and the World’s Religions Animal Rights; Fletcherism; North American Vegetarian Society; Rawfoodism; Veganism; Vegetarianism

LINDA MURRAY BERZOK

Independent Scholar, Tucson, Arizona, and Stephentown, New York

Dairy; Fusion Food; Jell-O Molds; Obesity; Southeast Asian Food

MARIAN BETANCOURT

Food Writer, Brooklyn, New York

Cheese, Moldy; Cuba Libre; Hearts of Palm; Moxie; Scandinavian and Finnish American Food, sidebar on Finnish Pulla; Snapple

CHARLOTTE Biltekoff

Ph.D. Candidate, American Civilization, Brown University

Quaker Oats Man

DANIEL BLOCK

Department of Geography, Sociology, Economics, and Anthropology, Chicago State University

Butter; Buttermilk; Dairy Industry; Milk

HENRY BONNER

Food Writer, St. Mary’s City, Maryland

Crab Cakes

ANNE L. BOWER

Department of English, Ohio State University

Community Cookbooks

BARRETT P. BRENTON

Department of Sociology and Anthropology, St. John’s University, Jamaica, New York

Food Stamps; Health Food; Hunger Programs; International Aid; Organic Food

ROBERT W. BROWER

Chef and Attorney, El Sobrante, California

Adulteration; Food and Drug Administration; Good Housekeeping Institute; Kellogg Company; Law; Molasses; North American Free Trade Agreement; Pasties; Pizza; Pizzerias; Saltwater Taffy; Valentine’s Day

THOMAS BURFORD

Orchard and Nursery Consultant, Monroe, Virginia

Apples; Cider; Johnny Appleseed; Myths and Folklore

JOSEPH M. CARLIN

Founder and Owner, Food Heritage Press, Ipswich, Massachusetts

Aseptic Packaging; Automats; Bars; Beatrice; Birdseye, Clarence; Birdseye Corporation; Borden; Clams; ConAgra; Concentrated Orange Juice; Culinary Historians of Boston; Food-Related Organizations; General Foods; General Mills; Historiography, sidebars on Food History Organizations and Culinary History Groups; Kraft Foods; Krispy Kreme; Meals on Wheels; Milk Packaging; Nestlé; Puddings; Punch; Saloons; Taverns; Waxed Paper; Wiley, Harvey

JOHN F. CASSENS

President, Cassens Consulting Company, Fort Lee, New Jersey

Flavorings

HUDSON CATTELL

Editor, Wine East, Lancaster, Pennsylvania Wine: Eastern U.S. Wines

ANN CHANDONNET

Independent Scholar, Juneau, Alaska

Alaska; Honey

SHIRLEY E. CHERKASKY

Founder, Culinary Historians of Washington, D.C.

Food-Related Museums

ANDREW COE

Food Writer, Brooklyn, New York

Lamb and Mutton; Phosphates; Seltzer; Soda Drinks

ALFREDO MANUEL DE JESUS OLIVEIRA COELHO

Agro-Montpellier, University of Montpellier, France

Water, Bottled; Water, Imported

STEVEN M. CRAIG

New York Epicurean

Gallo, Ernest and Julio; Mondavi, Robert; Robert Mondavi Co.; Wine: Later Developments; Wine Barrels; Wine Bottles; Wine Casks; Wine Cellars; Wine Glasses; Wine-Tasting Rooms

JAMES CRAWFORD

Curator,
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aw steak) confirmed these findings. When we eat chewier, less processed foods, it takes us more energy to digest them, so the number of calories our body receives is less. You will get more energy from a slow-cooked apple puree than a crunchy raw apple, even if the calories on paper are identical. Food labels, which still display nutritional information in crude terms of calories (according to the Atwater convention on nutrition developed in the late nineteenth century), have not yet caught up with this, but it is a stark example of how the technology of cooking really matters.

In many ways, the history of food is the history of technology There is no cooking without fire. The discovery of how to harness fire and the consequent art of cooking was what enabled us to evolve from apes to Homo erectus. Early hunter-gatherers may not have had KitchenAids and “Lean, Mean Grilling Machines,” but they still had their own version of kitchen technology They had stones to pound with and sharpened stones to cut with. With dexterous hands, they would have known how to gather edible nuts and berries without getting poisoned or stung. They hunted for honey in lofty rock crevices and used mussel shells to catch the dripping fat from a roasting seal. Whatever else was lacking, it was not ingenuity.

This book tells the story of how we have tamed fire and ice, how we have wielded whisks, spoons, graters, mashers, mortars and pestles, how we have used our hands and our teeth, all in the name of putting food in our mouths. There is hidden intelligence in our kitchens, and the intelligence affects how we cook and eat. This is not a book about the technology of agriculture (there are other books about that). Nor is it very much about the technology of restaurant cooking, which has its own imperatives. It is about the everyday sustenance of domestic households: the benefits that different tools have brought to our cooking and the risks.

We easily forget that technology in the kitchen has remained a matter of life and death. The two basic mechanisms of cooking—slicing and heating—are fraught with danger. For most of human history, cooking has been a largely grim business, a form of dicing with danger in a sweaty, smoky, confined space. And it still is in much of the world. Smoke, chiefly from indoor cooking fires, kills 1.5 million people every year in the developing world, according to the World Health Organization. Open hearths were a major cause of death in Europe, too, for centuries. Women were particularly at risk, on account of the terrible combination of billowing skirts, trailing sleeves, and open fires with bubbling cauldrons hung over them. Professional chefs in rich households until the seventeenth century were almost universally men, and they often worked naked or just in undergarments on account of the scorching heat. Women were confined to the dairy and scullery, where their skirts didn’t pose such a problem.

One of the greatest revolutions to take place in the British kitchen came with the adoption of enclosed brick chimneys and cast-iron fire grates, over the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. A whole new set of kitchen implements emerged, in tandem with this new control of the heat source: suddenly, the kitchen was not such a foul and greasy place to be, and gleaming brass and pewter pots took over from the blackened old cast iron. The social consequences were huge, too. At last, women could cook food without setting fire to themselves. It is no coincidence that a generation or so after enclosed oven ranges became the norm, the first cookbooks written by women for women were published in Britain.

Kitchen tools do not emerge in isolation, but in clusters. One implement is invented and then further implements are needed to service the first one. The birth of the microwave gives rise to microwave-proof dishes and microwavable plastic wrap. Freezers create a sudden need for ice cube trays. Nonstick frying pans necessitate nonscratch spatulas. The old open-hearth cookery went along with a host of related technologies: andirons or brand-irons to stop logs from rolling forward; gridirons for toasting bread; hasteners—large metal hoods placed in front of the fire to speed up cooking; various spit-jacks for turning roasting meat; and extremely long-handled iron ladles, skimmers, and forks. With the end of open-hearth cookery, all of these associated tools vanished, too.

For every kitchen technology that has endured—like the mortar and pestle—there are countless others that have vanished. We no longer feel the need of cider owls and dangle spits, flesh-forks and galley pots, trammels, and muffineers, though in their day, these would have seemed no more superfluous than our oil drizzlers, electric herb choppers, and ice-cream scoops. Kitchen gizmos offer a fascinating glimpse into the preoccupation
pany of others with drinks, food and a gossip. It is a way of keeping the mind sane and nurturing the body. The following recipes are tapas or mezze in their simplest form, to accompany a glass of sherry, arak or raki.

Recipe List

Marinated Olives

Green Almonds with Salt

Iced Almonds with Salt

Roast Almonds with Paprika

Green Plums

Crispy Capers

Homemade Pickles

Morito Dukkah

Quail’s Eggs, Cumin and Salt

Cherry Chilli Peppers, Labneh and Pine Nuts

MARINATED OLIVES

This olive marinade has its origins in the souks of Morocco: first-rate olives of varying shades, textures and sizes fragrantly spiced with harissa, orange, coriander and preserved lemon and piled high in ornate enamel bowls.

Serves 4–6

350g mixed olives in brine, arbequina, niçoise, gordal, kalamata, petit lucques (see here)

5 pickled chillies (see here), sliced into 1cm pieces

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

5 black peppercorns

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

1 red chilli, seeds in and cut into 5mm slices

zest and juice of 1 orange

3 bay leaves, preferably fresh

1 tablespoon roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon Harissa (see here) (optional)

1 tablespoon preserved lemon rind, roughly chopped (see here)

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Drain the olives and rinse briefly under cold water. Drain thoroughly again. Place in a bowl with all the other ingredients, stir well and leave to marinate for at least a couple of hours, preferably longer. These olives will keep well in the fridge for 2–3 weeks, covered, without the parsley.

Marinated Olives

GREEN ALMONDS WITH SALT

In mid to late spring, Eastern Mediterranean grocers start to stock the much-loved green almonds, which are the immature nuts before the shell has developed. We use them for a few things at Morito: sliced thinly in salsas, pickled, or eaten in the classic way just with a little salt, as part of a mezze and perhaps with arak. Almond trees grow quite well in London, and I (Samuel) remember, aged ten, an Iranian friend picking a green almond off a tree and munching on it on the way to the swimming baths. He gave me one to try and it had a sour crunch like nothing I had ever tasted before. The almond tree is the most-loved tree in our garden, as we fill the house with its blossoming branches all through February and it still manages to produce lots of fruit in late spring. Luckily for us, the squirrels have not yet developed a taste for green almonds.

ICED ALMONDS WITH SALT

This mezze is crazy simple, yet a very useful way to introduce a wonderful crunch to the selection of food on the table. Soaking the almonds makes the texture similar to that of a green kernel eaten straight from the tree.

Serves 4

200g whole blanched almonds

4 ice cubes

Maldon salt or other flaky sea salt

Generously cover the almonds with cold water and place in the fridge overnight. When you’re ready to eat, refresh the water and put the ice in the bowl. We recommend a sprinkling of salt on each almond before eating. They keep for a day or two in water in the fridge.

ROAST ALMONDS WITH PAPRIKA

Mature almonds are given greater complexity and nuttiness by being roasted and doused with smoked paprika. However, for the first seven years of Moro we struggled with roasting our own almonds, as the quality went up and down like a yo-yo. Burning them was a far too common and soul-destroying occurrence. Years have been added to our lives by buying Spanish roasted and salted Marcona almonds. Delicious with fino or manzanilla sherry.

Serves 4

250g whole blanched almonds or roasted salted Marcona almonds (see here)

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon smoked sweet Spanish paprika (see here)

1½ teaspoons Maldon sea salt, ground as fine as icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas 2. If using blanched almonds, spread them out on a baking tray and dry-roast in the top of the oven for 20–25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and stir in the olive oil, paprika and salt. Return to the oven for another couple of minutes then leave to cool. If using roasted Marcona almonds, heat in the oven for 5 minutes before adding the oil and paprika, but no salt.

Roast Almonds with Paprika

GREEN PLUMS

At the same time as the green almonds start to emerge, so do the small, sour green plums adored by the Turkish and Lebanese. Like green almonds, they are dipped in a little salt with every bite and often adorn mezze tables in the springtime. If you have access to a plum tree of any type, why not pick some at this sour stage for this savoury experience.

Green Plums

CRISPY CAPERS

Capers are the unopened flower buds of the Mediterranean’s tough and spiky caper bush, or Capparis spinosa in Latin. At the restaurant we also

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