Last weekend it really seemed like spring was here - dainty little snowdrops, the first daffodils, and shoots appearing all over the garden ... and now the Beast of the East has arrived and it is all change. Until today we had got away with it here in Oxford but as I am writing this the snow has started to fall and everywhere is turning white. At times like this I can understand people asking me why we came back from Spain!

Despite plummeting temperatures outside all is good here at Fino HQ and the shed is pretty warm, but I can't deny that being in the kitchen, cooking on the Aga, is where I would prefer to be so that's where I am right now and these are a couple of the things I have created.

Chicken with Pomegranate Seeds and Walnuts
Serves 4

1 onion, finely chopped
1 aubergine, cubed
3 tbsp Fino olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
200g bulgar wheat
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
Large bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
250ml hot chicken stock (from a cube is fine)
8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
150g walnuts, roughly chopped
3 tbsp Fino arrope or pomegranate molasses
Pomegranate seeds, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.
Put the onion and aubergine in a bowl with the olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Add the bulgar wheat, orange zest and half the chopped parsley. Tip into a roasting dish, just big enough to hold the chicken pieces in a single layer.
3 Pour over the hot stock and the orange juice, then lay the chicken pieces over the top, skin-side up. Scatter the walnut pieces and drizzle the Arrope or pomegranate molasses on top.
4 Cover the dish with foil and cook for 30 min, then take the foil off and cook for a further 30 min. By this time the chicken should be cooked through and browned, and the bulgar wheat tender. Serve garnished with the remaining parsley and the pomegranate seeds.

Tip - you could use basmati rice instead of bulgar wheat

Spiced Cauliflower Soup

Serves 4 to 6

  • 2 tbsp Fino extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 large head of cauliflower cut into florets
  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Finely chopped Italian parsley, for garnish (optional)

Using a large saucepan warm the olive oil and saute the onion and garlic over a medium heat, until soft. Add cauliflower, stock, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, and salt to season. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heating simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes. Purée the soup until smooth and then stir in the coconut milk. 

Serve garnished with a handful of croutons, some parsley and a dash of olive oil to top.

Tip - if you like heat then add some chilli flakes at the same time as the spices


I'd love to have any delicious recipes from you lovely customers and they might even get on to the website - please do send anything to me.

Everything Fino is always available at www.finooliveoil.co.uk and to tempt you here's a little offer which might cheer you up in this mightily cold weather - order over £30 of Fino goodies by Wednesday 7th March and get free delivery - just enter KEEPWARM as the discount code - and you don't even have to venture outside your door!

Look forward to hearing from you


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