I spent January in London this year. There was a baby on the Horizon, and I was there to see his transition into this life. It was a beautiful thing. He is a beautiful thing.
I was chief cook and bottle washer during the month I was there. And best of all, it was so luxurious to cook from (mainly) one cookbook. The book was a Xmas present to my daughter from a good friend. The author is an Australian, but the book itself is full of recipes so very suited to the Street and Farmers’ Markets in London. Despite a baby in the house we ate so well that month.
Returning to Australia, I bought a copy of the book with me as a memento of that month and the Imp’s birth. Today I finally opened it up to find something just right for this weather coming out of deep winter, looking so very slightly like Spring, promising Summer with lots of cold white wine and the sort of food grazing we do so well in Australia in Summer.
Mind you it is still cold here, but, well, the roses are out, the days are longer, leaves are starting to appear. There is Promise in the air.
The book is Growers Market – Cooking with Seasonal Produce, by Leanne Kitchen. I think it is now called The Produce Bible.
Today’s recipe is adapted from one in the book. It is quick and easy, and delightfully delicious. Serve with crusty bread such as Pane de Prato, chargrilled eggplant and other vegetables, and/or a range of antipasto or grazing dishes.
Warm Olives with Lemon and Spices
(adapted from Grower’s Market)
2 cups black kalamata olives
50ml – 60ml excellent olive oil
1 bay leaf or stem of curry leaves
1 tspn fennel seeds
1 garlic cloved, chopped finely
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 sprig rosemary – remove the leaves and discard the stem
zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
juice of 0.5 – 1 lemon
2 Tbspn chopped parsley
Rinse the olives, drain and place in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to the boil and boil for 5 minutes, then drain.
Pour the olive oil into the saucepan and add the fennel seeds and bay or curry leaves. Heat until fragrant. Add the garlic and quickly swirl in the pan.
Add the drained olives, cayenne pepper, rosemary leaves, zest and lemon juice. Toss for a minute until the olives are heated through.
Toss with the parsley and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve while hot with crusty bread and other antipasti. YUM!