Scorching weekend ahead - June 2017

I was amazed when I realized that it has been nearly three months since I last sent a mailshot, but I seem to have been very busy one way or another.

Our building project at home has finally finished and it is so great – I am loving the new kitchen, and my Aga  - I thought I'd share a pic!

When I last wrote we were just heading off to Cuba, the land of music, salsa and mangoes.  Then in May we had Lizi’s 21st, and a surprise trip to Morocco.  So spoiling!  High points of Cuba – salsa dancing, mojitos, American cars and the millions of mangoes hanging off the trees (and occasionally dropping on our heads!).  High points of Morocco – the beautiful riad, the souks, delicious food, the Atlas mountains.

With a scorcher of a weekend ahead here are two recipes – one with a Cuban connection (I know it’s a pun, but it was the best I could do as real Cuban food doesn’t have much to recommend it), and one with a Moroccan feel, but also giving me a chance to test out my Aga cake baking skills! – Salsa Verde, and Almond Fig and Honey Cake

Salsa Verde

Whatever you are BBQing this weekend why not try some of this on the side – the colour is amazing, it tastes great and it takes less than 5 minutes to make.

Grab a couple of handfuls of herbs (mint, basil, coriander, parsley – whatever you want, or whatever you can lay your hands on) and chuck them into a whizzer with a clove of garlic, a tbsp of capers if you have them, zest and juice of a lemon or lime and a really good glug of delicious Fino olive oil – whizz into a delicious herby sauce which will work on your meat, fish or even on just your new potatoes – or use it as a dressing for salad

Almond, Fig and Honey Cake

4 tbsp runny honey, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 8 dried figs (whole)

125ml olive oil, 300g ground almonds, 2tsp baking powder. 3 large eggs, 125ml runny honey

Stir the honey into 4 tbsp boiling water and add lemon juice and figs – leave to soak for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 160C and line a 20cm cake tin. Put almonds, baking powder and a pinch of salt in to a large mixing bowl and stir, Whisk together the eggs, honey and olive oil in a separate bowl, then stir into the dry ingredients.

Pour into the tin and arrange the figs on top, reserving the soaking liquid. Bake for 40-50 minutes until golden brown.  Use a cocktail stick to poke a few small holes in the top of the cake and slowly pour over the liquid allowing it to absorb into the cake. Allow to cool.

And whatever salads you are having remember to liberally dress with Fino olive and balsamic, and if you need any more just order online and I will send it straight out – www.finooliveoil.co.uk

Have a great weekend in the sun!


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