As England gears up for their first World Cup game on Saturday night against Italy, Phil Vickery serves up an Italian-inspired feast that is perfect for a family or group of friends who want to dig in while watching the game.
2 x 240g cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 tbsp olive oil
1 x 410g can cannellini beans, rinsed and well drained
5 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
Freshly milled black pepper
150g Tallegio cheese, cut into small pieces
150g jarred roasted red peppers, cut into thick strips
200g sun blush tomatoes, cut into 2 or 3 pieces
Preheat the oven to 220°C gas 7
Toss the chickpeas and olive oil together well, then add a little salt and pepper, mix well
Spoon into a baking tray, then roast in the hot oven for 15 -20 minutes to brown nicely. Stir occasionally.
Meanwhile, roughly puree the beans in a processor with the 5 tbsp of olive oil, tomato puree, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. You may need to add a little more oil.
Once the peas are cooked spoon into a bowl and pour over the puree mixture, mix well and cool to room temperature
Once cooled add the cheese, peppers and tomatoes, mix well, but carefully
Serve as a starter or as an accompaniment to grilled bread, meats or fish, nice with a barbecue.
4 medium chicken breasts, skin on scored with 3-4 large slashes
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Juice 2 large lemons
2 tbsp runny honey
1 tsp dried oregano
Freshly milled black pepper
Place the balsamic, honey, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper into a small bowl, mix well
Place the chicken breasts in and thoroughly coat in the mixture and leave to marinate for 20 minutes
Preheat the grill to the hottest setting
Pop the chicken breasts onto a tray or dish then under the grill and grill for 5-6 minutes on each side
Once cooked, remove and cover with foil and leave to rest for 15 minutes
Brucheta with chilli, parsley and shallots
Serves: 4 persons
I first used Orzo about five years ago, it really is very nice indeed, and a pleasant change from the norm. Sometimes called ‘bird's tongue pasta’, (as it does resemble the real thing), it not only cooks very quickly, but it’s great in pasta bakes, salads and even soups.
Here it works very well with chilli, parsley and a touch of mayonnaise as a cold starter.
8 slices of char grilled bread
25g parsley, washed and roughly chopped, stalks and all
1 small red chilli, de seeded and chopped very finely
4 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
1 1/2 tbspns Good quality mayonnaise
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
A little olive oil
Place a pan of cold water on the stove, add a little salt and bring to a rapid boil. Add the orzo and boil rapidly until they are cooked but not overcooked, drain well and refresh under cold water. Drain well.
Heat the oil in a saucepan add the shallots, red chilli, and cook until soft, about 10 minutes
When soft add the parsley and stir until slightly wilted, add a little salt and pepper
Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Spoon into a bowl and stir in the mayonnaise, just enough to bind everything together, you can omit the mayonnaise completely if you want to, and just use a little dressing or olive oil.
The secret is to keep all the colours as fresh and as bright as possible. Keep covered and at room temperature
6 .Stir the cooked orzo into the chilli mixture and stir well
Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan, and grill the bread on both sides until lightly browned, don’t bother about the bread being fully browned, just slightly coloured.
To serve, cut the slices of bread in two, and pile on the orzo mixture, serve at room temperature, with a squeeze of lemon.