Caprese Salad – Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil

Gavin WrenRecipes, Salads, Small Bites, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Traditional Caprese salad doesn’t have pesto, balsamic, loads of herbs or other ingredients, it’s just fantastic tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala campana, basil, extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper. That is all you need for the most amazing, light, bright, fresh mouthful of summer. When you see the tomatoes in season, it’s time to jump at this perfect vegetarian lunch dish and KISS! (Keep It Simple, Stupid!)
Today, I revisit the world of beautiful Italian simplicity, the Caprese Salad. Borne out of luscious hot summers that gift the Italian land with amazing tomatoes, they marry with thick wedges of traditional Mozzarella di Bufala Campana perfectly, creating a dish that deserves only the best ingredients, and nothing else will do. Along with it’s stablemate, the Tricolore Salad, the Caprese sits in the throne of elegant beauty amongst dishes, so often bastardised by those who don’t know better. On the other hand, you, my friend, do know better, or at least you will do, in about 730 words time. Last year I published a rant about how Italian food is debased by people’s interpretations of it. Italian dishes often require just a few ingredients, which makes them incredibly accessible and simple, but they should be the most amazing examples of the ingredients that you can find.

Rocket and Goat’s Cheese Pancakes with Pomegranate Dressing

Gavin WrenDairy free baking, Main Dishes, Recipes, Vegetarian

Whether it's shrove tuesday or any other tuesday, you can always eat pancakes! Topped with crumbled goat's cheese, rocket and a rich, sweet pomegranate olive oil dressing, these savoury pancakes need very little prep so make an easy dinner. You can use the maple syrup on the next one!
Today’s post is full of childhood reminiscences of gorging on piles of syrup soaked pancakes, and how despite this gorging, we never ate savoury pancakes. I’m redressing that balance in my life by creating simple, flavourful pancake recipes such as these rocket and goat’s cheese pancakes, topped with a rich, powerful pomegranate molasses and olive oil dressing. Once these goat’s cheese pancakes are taken care of, you can start the main job; sweet pancakes! Best Day of the Year. In every calendar year, there exists a small handful of very special days, which most children hold with a spectacular cachet, or at least, I did. Christmas day was the highlight of the year with it’s magical myths of reindeer drinking the saucers of milk left in the garden, and father Christmas having hastily consumed the mince pie and brandy left for him on the garden table. Alongside the abundant presents…

Baked honey feta dipping pots

Gavin WrenRecipes, Small Bites, Spreads & Dips, Starters

baked honey feta dipping pots
Beautiful, charming simplicity. There’s a lot to be said for it. Some of the worlds greatest and most prolific inventions are also the most simple, like the spectacularly simple paperclip, coat hanger or hula hoop. Apple products are also noted for their simplicity of approach and elegance of operation, hence their incredible commercial success. But behind that simplicity is a lot of careful thought and work, as Albert Einstein said “Any fool can make something more complicated”, however simplicity is where the genius lies. This is a great concept to carry into the kitchen with you, especially if you’re trying to devise some recipes, so that you err on the side of simplicity. I’ve always had a tendency to add extra flavours to try and resolve the taste of a dish, but that isn’t where the really good home cooking recipes come from, because simple, tasty, balanced dishes will always…