• So basically my restaurant reviewing is a little on the slow side, mainly due to the fact it’s an expensive old hobby.  The intention is still there so stick with me, there’s definitely more to come. I thought I could write about other things that delight me also, and of course being a really keen rustic cook, recipes and wine deliriously tick the delighting boxes.  My plan is to post a few of my adored recipes which are so easy to produce and tasty and are normally influenced by the continent and Middle East.  I used to spend many a day with my  Italian Grandmother who I am so alike, watching her produce rustic dishes galore, and am reminiscent of her kitchen as a warm and happy place full if heavenly aromas.  I have never found or tasted a Ragu as good as hers in the time since she last cooked for me which is over 20 years ago. I have also been really fortunate to have spent a lot of time in France, a country that I adore and having a father who will not set foot on a plane, our Summers before I flew the nest comprised of 3 day journeys by car and boat down to Provence for which unraveled 3 weeks of idyllic.  What about the Middle East I hear you ask, well my Lebanese surname speaks for itself.  You do the math!
  • When my husband called to ask what was for Dinner last night, he did not sound overly impressed when I said soup.  I have made this recipe for years, the husband associates Saturdays with red meat but Ribollita is so easy to make, is undeniably delicious, filling, healthy and very low in fat. My recipe makes enough for six hearty bowls.  Ribollita itself stems from Tuscany and there are many versions and tweaks to it that one can make.  The most important ingredients to define it however are the chunks of stale country bread, Cannellini beans and Tomatoes.
  • Combine one diced onion 2 chopped celery sticks, two garlic cloves in a large pan in a good dollop of Olive oil.  Sweat gently for a minute before adding 2 tins of Cannellini beans 450 grams in total and cook for another minute. Add 200gms of greens or chard, 150grams of chopped french beans, 5 diced and peeled potatoes, 2 tins of tinned, chopped tomatoes, one and a half litres of chicken or vegetable stock, a sprinkle of Sage (fresh or dried) and simmer for 40 minutes. Finally add two generous handfuls of stale chopped bread and simmer for a further 10 minutes.  Finish with some ground salt, black pepper and Parmesan.     Dish up with some good bread, a glass of Chianti maybe some cheese to graze on and enjoy your Italian inspired supper or Lunch-Buon Appetito!