Friday, October 14, 2011


Over the past week my flat has been turned upside down. Once resembling a relatively tidy place of calm, it has now car-crashed into a cave of creative chaos.
Sitting room has transformed into slap-dash studio - canvases half or unpainted on the floor, paintbrushes in jam jars and a faint sniff of white spirit. Kitchen surfaces are a-clutter with fruit and vegetables aside tubes of heavy autumnal oils. The sewing machine has taken up most of my dining room table as napkins sit in a pile waiting to be hemmed.

An eager start to the stitching season.

With very little room for wooden spoons and chopping boards, cooking has become a four-flavour affair. Simple salads, quick porridge and warmed up soups. And the leftovers of my patient paintees.

This recipe was made for me by Clara - our wonderfully talented cook at Books For Cooks. With just a few, perfectly formed ingredients she threw together a plateful of pure goodness - ideal for clutterists like me.


SERVES 2 as a main


3 large cavolo nero leaves, shredded

1 small radicchio, shredded

2 tbsps olive oil

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 large ball of good buffalo mozzarella

3 black figs, quartered

handful basil leaves


Bring a pan of salted water with the cavolo nero and radicchio to the boil. Blanche for 4 minutes. Drain. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan and add the white wine vinegar. Follow with the veg. Season well with salt and pepper and fry for a further 3 minutes.

Arrange the cavolo nero and radicchio on a large serving dish, tear over the mozarella and throw on the figs. Drizzle with a little more olive oil, scatter with the basil leaves and a sprinkling of salt.


  1. looks delicious! have never put figs and mozzarella together, but such an obvious combination now you say it - thanks for the inspiration xx

  2. This looks delicious. I am hooked on cavolo nero leaves and can't get enough of them. Thanks for sharing.