Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Summer’

Sorry for not being in touch lately – been hanging out and about in Nice.  Here’s my photo to prove it!

bluebeach

After a long, hot and frustrating trudge west along the Promenade des Anglais checking out various beachside establishments we descended on the Blue Beach Bar & Restaurant and were more than pleasantly surprised by the warm welcome.  Although our waiter resembled Peter Stringfellow‘s simple cousin he was adequately dressed (thank God) and brought us our reasonably priced, reasonably tasty food and wine in reasonable time: amazing, and in stark contrast to Lido Plage.  For me, the filets de rouget (red mullet) au thym:

rougets

et pour lui, les tagliatelles au basilic (do you really need a translation?), toothsome albeit tepid, which was actually ok on such a warm afternoon:

tagliatelle

plus, of course, the de rigeur bottle of Côtes de Provence rosé.  All at not-so-shocking-after-all prices, at least for the Côte d’Azur….

… and that old devil Nicolas Sarkozy lurking in the underground area only added to the charm of the afternoon.

sarkozyBlue Beach bar & restaurant, 31 Promenade des Anglais, Nice 06000 – opposite the Negresco

website

menu

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

tapas time

Aha! The sun’s back and that means it’s time for tapas.  Lovely summery little dishes: as I now have an enormous collection of the real deal terracotta, courtesy of Waitrose (again), plus a handy mini toaster oven, I make a batch, keep it in the fridge and portion it out in tapas or raciones as the mood and need arise. It’s not so hard with good ingredients on hand: 

Octopus and potato tapasA bag of frozen seafood, sliced potato and some garlic butter

 

tomatoes stuffed with rice and pesto

 

 home-made pesto and leftover rice stuffed inside Lidl’s bargain monster tomatoes

 

Hot spinach and artichoke dipfrozen artichokes and spinach baked with mozzarella, crême fraîche and a nugget of parmesan become a tasty hot dip 

 

 

 

Butterbean, tomato and anchovy tapabutterbeans, tomatoes and anchovies, all coaxed from their cans, make yet another another little snack

 

All that’s needed is a grating of garlic here and a pinch of pimentón there; parsley for greens, good bread and a jug of sangria.  Followed by a siesta – buen día!

a flask of sangria on a summer lawn

Read Full Post »

Nothing so good as pure old-style, old-school pesto.  Particularly when made in the old-fashioned way, with a mortar and pestle and while sitting outdoors with basil’s best friend – summer sunshine – for company.

Because the basil leaves are not cut as they would be in a food processor they preserve so much more of their aromatic oils; similarly the garlic eludes its usual sulphurous fate and the pine nuts retain their delightful savoury mealiness.

And as if that weren’t good enough news, considering the time and hassle it takes to assemble, dissemble, scoop-out-without-wasting, clean and finally put away a food processor, a mortar and pestle is downright quicker, greener, altogether simpler … and infinitely more satisfying.

I ♥ my mortar & pestle!

pesto recipe

  • a fistful of pine nuts
  • 3 or 4 or 5 small cloves of wet (young) garlic
  • a large bunch of fresh basil
  • about 50g fresh parmesan (or pecorino romano if you have it)
  • a few slugs of extra virgin olive oil

Pound the pine nuts and garlic together in your mortar until they form a paste, then strip the basil leaves from their stalks (chop or tie these together and use in a tomato sauce) and add them in small handfuls. Keep pounding and grinding, adding more leaves as they pulverize down.  When all the leaves are used and you have a rough paste, grate in the parmesan and then let down (thin) this now thick compound with olive oil, glug by glug and stirring the while, to your desired consistency.


Satisfying stirred into linguine or spaghetti: the coarse texture clings to the pasta, providing substance and savour

Delectable atop a slice of artisan bread – lovely rough consistency
Decant into a jar and keep in the fridge for a taste of summer, whatever the weather does

Read Full Post »