Planning to cook this weekend? Don’t do a thing until you’ve read our extract from the hottest cookbook of the moment, Morito by Sam & Sam Clark….
This week’s been a busy week. Missed deadlines, feverish children and husband starting a new job have meant that I’ve felt like the world is spinning a little too fast under my feet. Which means that this weekend, I am all about taking it easy (well, easy-ish, my last deadline is hanging over my head and I have 101 things on my to-do list), but yes, easy would be good. Now, while I’m not the world’s most natural cook (stop laughing at the back there mum), I do like food and am particularly drawn to tapas and mezzo, little dishes that you can share with someone over a glass or two of wine on a warm summer’s evening (this weekend hopefully! Weather high-five!).
One of the most popular little restaurants in London, Morito, from husband and wife chef duo Sam and Sam Clark, is a tapas and mezze bar situated next to the more famous Moro in London’s Exmouth Market. Which is all well and good if you live in London, but what if you don’t? Well, now there’s a cookbook full of delicious – and surprisingly straightforward (good for me) recipes that all look lip-smackingly delicious. In our extract from Morito, we have three recipes that if all goes to plan, I might try sampling this weekend…
PINK FIR APPLE AND FETA SALAD (pictured above)
The real star potato variety for this salad is Pink Fir Apple. A crazy name and a very particular potato, its characteristics are dense, earthy and dry. Pink Firs are available at posh veg shops, supermarkets and farmers’ markets during the summer and autumn. If you can’t get hold of them, use a variety of new potato instead.
400-500g potatoes, such as Pink Fir Apple, Charlotte or Ratte
4 large sprigs of mint
100g feta cheese, thinly sliced
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
a pinch of dried oregano (optional)
3 spring onions, including the green part, sliced into thin rounds
Simmer the potatoes in well-salted water with 1 sprig of mint for 20-25 minutes or until tender. (Other varieties of potato may take less time to cook as they are less dense.) Drain the potatoes and discard the mint.
While the potatoes are cooling, pick the leaves off the remaining sprigs of mint and shred them finely. When the potatoes are just cool enough to handle, slice them into 8mm-thick rounds. Toss all the ingredients gently in a bowl. Have a quick taste to see if the seasoning needs adjusting. This salad can be eaten either hot or at room temperature. Delicious with Lamb Chops Mechoui and chopped olives.
THE FOUR SEASONS OF TABBOULEH
The classic tabbouleh is a summery salad, but there are also seasonal variations for spring, autumn and winter.
150g fresh peas, podded and blanched briefly
150g fresh small broad beans, podded and blanched (page 130)
5 asparagus spears, cut into 1cm pieces and blanched briefly
4 sour plums (page 27), diced (optional)
3 spring onions, sliced into thin rounds
1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely shredded
1 bunch of mint, finely shredded
1 bunch of dill, roughly chopped
½ garlic clove, crushed to a paste with a little salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
TO ASSEMBLE THE TABBOULEH
Put the bulgur in a bowl, add enough cold water just to cover and let it sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, put all the dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid, season with salt and pepper and shake well. When the bulgur has absorbed the water and is soft, gently rub it between the palms of your hands to fluff it up. Place the remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl and pour over the dressing. Add the bulgur to the salad and mix well. Check the seasoning and serve.
SCALLOPS, TOMATO AND CHORIZO
3½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Forum Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar or a good-quality aged red wine vinegar with a pinch of sugar
150g cooking chorizo, diced small
6 medium scallops, cut in half horizontally
12-15 cherry tomatoes, quartered
½ small red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely shredded flat-leaf parsley
First make the dressing. Whisk 2½ tablespoons of the olive oil with the vinegar and some salt and pepper. Check the seasoning and set aside.
Heat a wide frying pan over a high heat, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and, when hot, add the chorizo. Cook until crisp, then transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon and keep warm. With the pan still over a high heat, quickly season the scallops with salt and pepper and sear briefly on both sides until golden.
Transfer to a bowl and mix in the tomatoes, onion, chorizo and dressing. Sprinkle over the parsley and serve immediately.
IMAGES from Morito by Sam and Sam Clark (Ebury Press, £26)