At present, London is certainly one of the most exciting food towns on the planet. Last time I was over, even with so much choice I happily queued for lunch outside a restaurant called Padella on the edge of Borough Market. They don’t take bookings, yet people are prepared to stand in line each day and have done so for several years because the food is so, so good, simple and delicious. The queue moves pretty quickly and there’s a jolly camaraderie between the expectant diners. The food was absolutely worth the wait, no twiddles or foams or skid marks across the plate, just gorgeous simple Italian food made from exquisite ingredients.
This restaurant is owned by Tim Siadatan and is a sister restaurant of the slighter posher Trullo on Paul’s Road in Highbury East.
The young people who cook in these restaurants are super passionate about seasonality, quality products and provenance and they are not just talking the talk, they absolutely walk the walk.
It’s the kind of food I love to eat, so can you imagine how delighted I was to discover that Tim Siadatan has just published a cook book, simply called Trullo. I’m certainly not the only person who’s excited about this book. Jamie Oliver, Fergus and Margot Henderson of St John and Canteen, Sam Clarke of Moro, Anna Jones and Nigel Slater have all added their names and quotes to the back cover and that’s not a given, I can tell you……
Tim Siadatan influences are obvious in the food he serves proudly and enthusiastically. He spent time honing his skills in many of the kitchens of the above mentioned chefs plus at the River Café. All these places have the same ethos. They fully understand the importance of cooking according to the seasons, being sustainable, and really understanding where the produce comes from.
As I flicked through the pages of Trullo, lots of recipes made me want to dash into the kitchen….
I’ve chosen chilled almond and Charentais melon soup a riff on the Spanish classic Ajo Blanco, is a divine summer starter, cool and fresh – go easy on the vinegar…..
We recently reared a batch of our own organic chickens for the table so I used the plump legs in Tim’s recipe for roast chicken thighs and nduja with rosemary potatoes and anchovy mayonnaise.
Even if you can’t find or source nduja (try Fingal Ferugson of Gubbeen products, www.gubeen.com), the combination of crispy chicken and anchovy mayo is particularly appealing.
I regularly try delicious new ways to enjoy the bounty of green beans we have throughout the summer season. Loved this recipe for stewed bobby beans – see what you think.
A big roasting tin of potatoes, red pepper, anchovy, olive, chilli and rosemary also drew gasps of admiration when I took it out of the oven – a supper dish on its own but also irresistible with a fine roast or grill.
Affogato (vanilla bean ice cream with a shot of espresso) is one of the best things in the world but you have to try this raisin and Marsala version. If that doesn’t appeal, the Trullo book has several other sublime ice creams. Anyone for honeycomb and stem ginger, hazelnut or salted caramel ice cream….. Trullo published by Square Peg
Grow your own Vegetables. During this intensive session Susan Turner, Ballymaloe Cookery School Head Gardener will cover compost making and soil management, crop rotations for weed control, disease prevention and soil management, vegetable varieties and successional crop production, saving your own vegetable seeds, harvest management -how to deal with gaps and gluts….
Monday August 14th 2017, www.cookingisfun.ie
Eatyard, the permanent street food yard on South Richmond Street in Dublin, will once again pop up at Beatyard in Dun Laoghaire on August 5th and 6th, with over 100 food vendors, demos, food competitions, cooks and stands. Craft beer fans can get in the carnival spirit at Brewtonic Carnivale, and 10 cocktail and wine bars will also roll into Tippletown for the weekend. www.the-beatyard.com
Richie Scott Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition is at Ballymaloe House until end of summer. Each Tuesday and Thursday Richie will give a complimentary tour and tell you all about the sculptures and artists displayed in the open air on the grounds of Ballymaloe House. Meet at 6pm from the terrace at the front door – all welcome. Tel: 021 4652531 for further information.
Ballymaloe Grainstore presents a screening of the documentary film, Food Evolution, which explores the controversy surrounding genetically modified food on Sunday August 6th at 8pm followed by Q & A with the director Scott Hamilton Kennedy and Darina Allen. Tel: 021 4652531 for further details.
Trullo’s Roseval Potato, Red Pepper, Anchovy, Olive, Chilli and Rosemary Al Forno
The potatoes won’t get crispy because they absorb all of the flavours they’re hanging out with, but they do get wonderfully gooey and sticky.
2 red peppers
6 Roseval red-skinned potatoes, skin-on and sliced 2cm thick
3 whole salted anchovies, washed and de-boned (or use 6 good-quality fillets)
24 green or purple olives, de-stoned
½ red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
3 sprigs of rosemary, leaves picked
200ml chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar
40g unsalted butter, cubed
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 190˚C/gas mark 5.
Blister the peppers, ideally on a charcoal grill to get a smoky flavour, but if not, over a naked flame on a wire rack or using metal tongs – keep rolling them around until they’re blackened all over. Put in a bowl and cover tightly with cling film: it will inflate like a hot-air balloon. Wait until it deflates, then peel the peppers while they’re still warm (this makes it much easier). Discard the seeds and thinly slice. Put a glug of olive oil in a small saucepan and cook the peppers for 20 minutes on a low to medium heat.
Line a large, high-sided roasting tray with a thin layer of olive oil, then with parchment paper (the olive oil makes it stick down). Add all the ingredients (including the peppers), except the butter. Season with a big glug of olive oil, salt and a good smack of pepper, mix together and roast in the oven for 35 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Add the butter and roast for a further 5 minutes. The potatoes should have absorbed most of the liquid but have a shimmering viscous sauce.
Taken from Tim Siadatan, Trullo The Cookbook
Trullo’s Roast Chicken Thighs and Nduja with Rosemary Potatoes and Anchovy Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons nduja
8 Maris Piper potatoes cut into wedges
4 sprigs of rosemary
6 garlic cloves, smashed
18 chicken thighs (3 per person)
For the Anchovy Mayonnaise
2 free range or organic egg yolks
3 salted anchovy fillets, finely chopped
400 ml groundnut oil or other neutral oil
1 teaspoon red vinegar
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.
Put the nduja in a bowl, add a splash of hot water and mix to loosen.
Put the potatoes, rosemary and a sprinkle of salt in a pan and cover with water. Bring up to the boil then drain immediately. Let the potatoes completely steam dry then coat generously with olive oil and mix together. Heat an empty roasting tray (large enough to hold the potato wedges in a single layer) in the oven for 5 minutes, then take it out and add olive oil so that is about 3 cm deep. Add the potatoes, rosemary and garlic and season with salt and pepper.
Roast the potatoes on the top shelf of the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until crispy, stirring from time to time.
While your potatoes are roasting, heat a large frying pan on a low to medium heat. Add a small amount of olive oil. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and , working in batches, colour them in the pan until golden then transfer to the roasting tray.
Put the chicken on the lower shelf of the oven and roast for the remaining time of the potatoes (roughly 30 minutes). Add the nduja for the last 15 minutes of cooking and muddle it all around.
To make the mayonnaise, put the egg yolks and anchovies in a bowl and whisk. Slowly start pouring in the groundnut oil in a thin stream while whisking, continue until it has emulsified (all come together in a single mass) at which point you can start pouring a little faster – not too quickly though, otherwise it will split! Add the red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
Serve the chicken and potatoes on platters in the middle of the table with a green salad.
Taken from Trullo The Cookbook by Tim Siadatan
Trullo’s Stewed Bobby Beans
Bobby beans are a fatter, more robust version of a fine green bean and grace us around the summer months. You could use fine green beans if you can’t get bobby beans.
A glug of olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ red chilli, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 anchovy fillets
2 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped and seeds discarded
2 kg bobby beans, stalks discarded
In a pan big enough to fit all the ingredients, heat a good glug of olive oil on a low heat. Add the garlic, chilli, oregano and anchovy and fry gently for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and continue frying for 15 minutes until everything is broken up into a happy mush.
Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil and season with salt. Add the beans, cook for 7 minutes and drain.
Add the beans to the mushy tomatoey goodness and stir. Cover with parchment paper or a lid and cook on a low heat for 35-40 minutes, stirring from time to time – add a splash of water to avoid it becoming too dry. Season with salt and pepper.
Taken from Trullo The Cookbook by Tim Siadatan
Trullo’s Marsala and Raisin Affogato
50 g raisins
100 ml Marsala, plus 50 ml for soaking the raisins, plus extra chilled in the freezer for serving (optional)
335 ml double cream
200 ml milk
1 vanilla pod, slit in half lengthways
8 free range or organic egg yolks
100 g caster sugar
6 espressos or strong filter coffee
Soak the raisins in 50 ml Marsala for at least 1 hour.
Put the cream, milk and vanilla pod in a pan and bring up to a simmer for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until pale and doubled in size (4-5 minutes). To temper the eggs, pour a small amount of the hot cream and milk mixture into the whisked eggs. Then pour this egg mixture back into the pan of hot milk and cream. Simmer on a low heat, stirring continuously for 5-6 minutes until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon without dripping off. Take care not to over heat the mixture and scramble the eggs. Add the Marsala and strain through a fine sieve into a chilled container (ideally set over ice) and cool and chill as quickly as possible.
Churn the ice cream in an ice cream maker, following the manufacturer’s guidelines. In the meantime, strain the raisins and squeeze out any excess liquid (this prevents the ice cream from going frosty) and fold them into the churned ice cream. This will keep in the freezer for 2 days.
Serve in ice cream bowls, with a shot of espresso poured over each portion – plus a little bit more chilled Marsala if you’re feeling fruity!
Taken from Trullo, The Cookbook by Tim Siadatan