Tapanade - let's pretend there's a lot more summer


200g whole black olives, preferably niçoise or kalamata, I use pitted
3 tbsp capers, well rinsed if packed in salt
2 anchovies, well rinsed, roughly chopped
1 fat clove of garlic, crushed
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
Juice of ½ lemon
5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Put the olives in a food processor with the capers, anchovies, garlic and thyme, and whizz to a rough puree. Squeeze in the lemon juice and, with the motor still running, add the oil. 

Alternatively, pound the garlic, anchovies, capers and thyme together in a pestle and mortar until smooth, followed by the olives, leaving these slightly more chunky, then gradually add the oil and lemon juice, pounding between pours.

Taste, and add pepper and more lemon juice if necessary.

I double the recipe as it keeps for ages in the fridge.






Rainy day summer pudding

We have had a fantastic crop of currants this year.  Red, black and white. Red and black ones are perfect in a summer pudding and it tastes of summer.  It's pretty easy to make.

Line a bowl with stale, crustless, white bread, cutting triangular pieces to fill the cracks and semi circles for the lid.

In a saucepan, slowly bring to simmer about 3lbs of mixed berries including strawberries, blackberries, currants and raspberries.  When hot, sprinkle with about 6oz of golden caster sugar and cook for a further few minutes to melt sugar, stirring a bit, not much, preserving the shape of the fruit.  Sieve the fruit and keep the juice.

Fill the bread lined bowl with the fruit and cover with the bread lid.

Reduce the remaining juice a bit, boiling for a few minutes until it's a thicker. Pour a little over the lid to give it colour.  I keep the remaining for serving or covering any lighter spots that  appear after turning the pudding out.

Cover the pudding with cling film and then a plate. Then weight it all down as heavily as you can, I use a doorstop.

Put the whole thing into the refridgerator and leave it for at least 6 hours, 12 or 24 is much better.

An hour or so before serving turn the pudding out onto a dish that will hold a bit of juice and then pour over some extra juice to cover lighter spots.  Top the pudding with some extra berries and a spring of mint and there it is.

Quickly, while the flowers last

The hedgerow surrounding the Polo Field is a cornucopia of delicious things to harvest throughout the year and at the moment the scent of elderflower is intoxicating.  My friend Bendi has a fantastic recipe for Elderflower Cordial.  Quickly, while the flowers last.


50 large elderflower heads

2 lemons, cut in half

1 grapefruit, cut in half

2 oranges, cut in half

80g citric acid, dissolved in a little warm water

3 kg sugar

3 litres water

Make the syrup with sugar and water.

Pour over the rest of the ingredients and leave for several days.

Strain and bottle.