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A real treat at this time of year are the beautiful sweet and juicy blood oranges grown in Spain and Italy. Lovely to eat alone they are also good in winter salads, especially when paired with any combination of fennel, watercress, chicory and beetroot. An unusually colourful and refreshing dish for the colder months. Serve with a bone dry, Vouvray Sec from Jean-Claude & Didier Aubert.

Everybody loves a pie, especially my boys, so it was good to discover a new recipe in an old Sarah Raven cookbook for Ithaca pie. This involves copious quantities of green veg (I used spinach & spring greens), herbs (flat leaf parsley, dill & mint) and alliums (leeks, onion, spring onions & garlic) combined with feta and long grain rice which absorbs water from the veg thereby avoiding the dreaded soggy bottomed pie. I served it with waxy potatoes and slow cooked cherry tomatoes, and a glass of Paul & Fredrick Filliatreau's Saumur Champigny: La Grande Vignolle 2012.

I have to confess that I’m a little addicted to lemons and find myself drawn to recipes that use them. I particularly like the italian tradition of serving pan fried meat meat with a generous squeeze of lemon juice. Straccetti, thin strips of steak, are served this way with rocket and pork chops are delicious like this with green beans. No need for carbs as a true italian would have eaten a primo piatto of pasta. You might want to skip them all together but you could treat yourself to a glass of Lirac: Domaine Maby La Fermade Rouge 2013.

By: Pippa Goldfinger.