Thursday, March 30, 2017

Gluten free almond shortbread biscuits - Biscottini al burro e mandorla senza glutine

100 g ground almonds
100 g sugar
100 g butter (at room temperature)
50 g rice flour plus some for dusting
candied cherries (optional)

Mix all the ingredients and make into a dough, then make some small balls, walnut size, roll them in rice flour (otherwise you will get some flat biscuits when they bake in the oven) and place them on a oven tray lined with baking paper. If you like add a piece of candied cherry on top. Bake at 160° for about 20 minutes, but check the oven often as they can bake quickly (depending on size). Let them cool down completely and then enjoy. They keep well in a container, but if you want to store them for longer bake them a few minutes more.

And now the flowers from my garden (old photos, most of these flowers have gone now...)

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Schiacciata con pomodorini - cherry tomato schiacciata, and a meal from the garden

I had a great summer of red and yellow cherry tomatoes, the reds are always the best for flavour, but the yellow are pretty to look at and I like a contrast of colour on my plate, so why not! This schiacciata is easy as it doesn't need muck kneading.

For the schiacciata:
Place 300 ml warm water in a large mixing bowl, add 2 tsp active yeast granules and 1/4 tsp raw sugar. Wait 5 minutes then add 500 g high grade flour and 1 tbsp wheat gluten flour, plus a good pinch of salt. Mix well then dust with four, cover with cling film and let it rise for 2 hours. After 2 hours place a little olive oil on your hands and then gently mix the dough, pick it up and place it on a baking sheet cut so that it will fit you over tray (I have a 90cm oven so one long tray is good for me, for a standard oven divide the dough into two pieces). Roll the dough to cover the baking paper and then place on the baking tray. Brush with more oil if you like, then cut the cherry tomatoes into halves and place over the down, pressing them down lightly. Sprinkle with salt and oregano (chopped garlic too if you like).

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200° C for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until you can see that the bread is baked on top and on the bottom (lift to check). Eaten warm is fantastic, but it keeps well for a couple of days, or at least, it would, but we tend to eat it pretty quickly! 

We had it for dinner with a Caprese salad (cherry tomatoes again, mozzarelline, basil and borage flowers) dressed with olive oil and salt, plus flat beans from the garden (teghe) boiled and dressed with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt (my daughter loves these!) and a simple guacamole (avocado, garlic, salt and lemon juice, made in the nutribullet!).

This is a perfect meal for me!

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Monday, March 13, 2017

Eat your colours in a minestrone

Lovely colourful vegetables from the garden (except the red onions), all ready for a minestrone. From the bottom: red onions, rainbow chard, carrots, yellow beans, silverbeet stalks, celery, green beans, flat beans, kale. Just add water and salt.

Wishing you all a colourful week!

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Friday, March 10, 2017

Two variations on Caprese Salad

Caprese with edible flowers and Caprese with tree tomatoes and two basils

Caprese is probably one of the world best known salads (and antipasto), and there are many variations, so here a couple more:

Caprese with edible flowers

I used red and yellow cherry tomatoes, and mozzarelline (the cherry size), plus added some edible flowers (borage and dianthus from my garden, organic of course). Add small basil leaves too before serving, if you like. Suitable also for a cocktail party, and ever so pretty!

Caprese with tree tomatoes and two basils

I used a mixture of vine tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and semi-dried tomatoes, mozzarelline (but you can use regular mozzarella cut into slices or pieces) and green basil and purple basil leaves. Dress with olive oil and salt. A filling salad or light lunch.

And now some pictures from my garden!

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©


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