May 24th 2012

With a sniffle and a snuffle we’re slowly making our way into winter – one more week to go chaps! – with cold nights and misty mornings, and my scarf wardrobe getting a workout… we’ve been late-autumning it up a bit in the cottage: last week the classes made the hearty ribollita soup from Tuscany (cavolo nero, overnight-soaked cannellini beans, carrot, tomato, celery, onion, stale ciabatta) and warmed up with a hit of chilli oil in Sean’s Panaroma’s recipe of handmade lingine with rocket, chilli, lemon and parmesan… alas the children ate all the linguine and left little for the grown-up volunteers… not even the chilli held them back! There was a little rhubarb for some crumble (of course!) and a drizzle of crème Anglaise for a lovely and rare sweet treat 😉

So we’re continuing on this week with the dried bean obsession – cooking off soaked borlotti beans in water with lots of sage and garlic until soft, then dousing in some rosemary-infused olive oil and finishing with a sprinkle of parsley. So simple and sooo good. Only bettered by spreading over buttered Iggy’s country sourdough! And jazzing up a crunchy radish salad with poached eggs and tarragon sauce – and we’ve now finished off the olives we picked in March in some hand-punched olive and rosemary foccacia.

To finish: for those cold nights with the heater dusted off and turned up to 11, we heartily recommend the rocket and coriander soup we’ve been making this week. Recipe to follow!

Keep warm out there… Melissa

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