Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Can't give too much away to you oinkers, but seeing as last night's take over of the Ramsden Secret Larder was a blast, we'll bare this wee feasty nugget.

Slipped in between a creamy crab bisque and a groaning plate of lamb and samphire, Pigs in Pinnies present:


Serves 4-6

1 large bunch of sorrel (about 6 leaves) washed, drained, chopped
8 large beetroot leaves, stalk-free, washed, drained, chopped
200g broad beans, double-podded:
(a bore but worth it to avoid memories of chewy grey school beans)
5 pink, round radishes, thinly sliced
100g pancetta, very thinly sliced, cut to 1x1in

1/4 tsp hot English mustard
1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
good pinch sugar
40ml white wine vinegar
100ml extra virgin olive oil
3 tarragon leaves, finely chopped
juice of 1/4 lemon or to taste(optional)

Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the beans until heated through. Drain and remove the shell. (It'll be easier to take the beans from their shell when they have been cooked). Place back in the warm pan and set aside.

Mix the prepared beetroot leaves with the sorrel and a little salt and olive oil, then lay in equal bunches on the plate. In a medium-size bowl combine the radishes and shelled broad beans.

Put a lightly oiled frying pan on a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the sliced pancetta. This should hiss as it hits the pan, the fat melting slightly so the meat won't stick. Cook until crispy.

Meanwhile, measure out the mustard, sugar and vinegar straight into a jar and stir well so the sugar dissolves. Add the olive oil, tarragon, and lemon, if using. The tarragon will leave a very faint hint - you don't want it to overpower the other punchy flavours on the plate. Whisk the dressing until blended. Season to taste. You want a smooth, sweet dressing with a sharp kick to complement the velvety broad beans and lemony sorrel.

Pour the dressing into the bean bowl, and gently toss through.

Lay the beans and radishes on top of the leaves. Scatter over the salty, crisp pancetta and serve.

An early summer salad with veggies a plenty,
Worthy of quadrupling for a supper o' 20.

Pigs in Pinnies'll be back soon,
With - we hope - another corker
to make you all swoon!

Monday, June 6, 2011




200g linguine
75ml olive oil
2 shallots
1 clove garlic
2 heaped tsp chilli flakes
1 large courgette, julienned or cut into long thin strands
100g squid, thinly sliced into rings
6 leaves sage
salt and pepper
2 lemon wedges

Put a large saucepan of salted water on a high heat and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan. When hot, add the shallots and soften. Follow with the garlic, chilli and courgette and stir through. Cook the courgettes for 5 minutes until light brown and soft. Season and set aside in a bowl. Keep the pan on the heat and add more olive oil and one teaspoon of chilli.

Put the pasta in the pan of boiling water and turn down the heat to a simmer. Follow the packet instructions for cooking time.

When the oil in the pan is hot and sizzling and the squid. The oil should fizz as you throw in the squid. Add the sage and the rest of the chilli. Turn down the heat slightly and brown the squid for approximately 1-2 minutes. It should be tender, not chewy, so you want to avoid over cooking it. The sage should be crisp.

Drain the pasta when al dente. Evenly fold in the courgette to the linguine.

Serve on warm plates, placing the squid and sage on top of the pasta. Squeeze over the lemon.

There you have it. A beautiful, hassle-free, summer lunch. Lovely with a cold glass o' white.