Given how often we need onions to start a recipe, let’s not forget or discount how important they really are. So in this tart, I’ve made them the star of the show, sweet and lightly scented, in pride of place on a layer of light, puffy pastry and delicious crumbled blue cheese.
When I hear people say they don’t like buckwheat, I inevitably think, “That’s because you’ve never had my buckwheat pancake.” At Friends & Family, our baked buckwheat pancake is a fan favorite. We warn customers that their order will take up to 20 minutes, but the prospect of waiting doesn’t deter them. Thicker and more filling than a regular flapjack, one buckwheat pancake is enough for me. You could make these entirely with buckwheat flour, but I use some all-purpose flour for a more balanced flavor profile. The pancake is finished in the oven, which imparts a dreamy fluffiness and a crispy exterior. Starting the pancake on the stove allows for an evenly brown, crispy layer, while finishing it in the oven promotes the batter in the center to rise and gel into a light and airy pancake. Once you get the hang of this technique, it’s possible you won’t make pancakes any other way.
There’s so much to say about this cake, that I don’t think I can. It leads a double life. On the surface, plain; and beneath, anything but. It has a taste that can’t easily be defined - sweet, but savory, herbaceous, fragrant, and warm. Nostalgic, in a way too. It reminds me of my grandmother. It seems like an odd choice of words to describe it, but try it and you’ll know what I mean.
Makes one 9-inch / 23cm loaf
When I was living in Basque country, just outside San Sebastian, I became obsessed with several Spanish sweets. Torrija and Basque cheesecake, especially. There is a pintxos bar in the old town of San Sebastian called La Vina, where they specialise in one thing: tarta de queso, or cheesecake. This is literally the only thing I would go there to eat. They bake approximately ten to fourteen cheesecakes a day, all dark topped and paper ruffled, and they always sell out. This is my version. It works well with acidic fruits such as apricots and citrus. I’ve also made it with poached quince and topped with wild fennel seeds, which was a huge hit. You can either make one large cake or several small ones. If you are going for individual cakes, reduce the baking time to 15 minutes.
This light fish curry is almost a stew, but unlike many southern dishes that are fiery hot, it’s quite mild. Traditionally eaten with “appams” or fermented rice pancakes,
I love it best with plain boiled rice with a dash of lemon juice squeezed on top.
I use full-fat canned coconut milk as the reduced-fat one does not give this curry the creaminess it needs.
Makes about 8 Muffins
Makes 1 (9-inch) pie; serves 6 to 8
I love mixing textures of cooked and raw vegetables in salads. In this case, soft wilted spinach with shaved fennel and apple that add sweetness and crunch, while the pistachio butter adds nutty creaminess. I also throw a few crushed, deeply toasted fennel seeds in to add a bit more interest.
Makes one 9-inch (23 cm) tart or shallow pie