‘Paris, hours in the café, a certain spirit of rebellion, one side a bit too stubborn, the sea, the true, in Bretagne, the walking in Provence, the taste, the passion for literature, the libraries, the beautiful editions, remaking the world in a set of hours around a table and a bottle of wine. Talking without really saying nothing, just for the pleasure of talking. The museums, the theatres, the elegance, the delicacy, the heritage of the illustration, a humanistic philosophy. The balance we got between a nordic rigor and a latin savoir-vivre, the insolence and the freedom’ – Clémence Poésy, actress and fashion model. A rich sentiment for a cool day in England as summer gives way to autumn. How I miss the sun, the blue skies, the sound of the ocean and the true-to-the-heart latin pursuit of belonging. Researching, making and tasting dishes from the countries that surround the Mediterranean takes me back to sunny days and treasured memories of browsing farmer’s markets and seeking shade in grand bazaars, of picking lemons, tasting new wines and taking time to slowly explore unknown streets and alleyways, of sitting in churches and mosques quietly breathing in the scent of incense and spices. Listening to languages I will never ever grasp, smiling at my loved ones whose shrouds of daily responsibility are temporarily replaced with a sense of infinite possibility. Being in the moment and being aware that I am. Not many of us have been able to travel this year so here’s a little taste of the sun for you. It’s a classic poischichade, a super easy dip from Provence created by simply blending a few store cupboard ingredients. It’s great smothered over freshly-baked baguette and accompanied with a glass of a full bodied red wine.
x2 400g tins of chickpeas, drained
2 cloves of garlic
2 spring onions, roughly chopped
280g jar of sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
8-12 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, according to your taste
1-2 lemons, zested and juiced
1 tsp of dried wild oregano
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to your taste
Fresh oregano leaves, to garnish
How I make it
Remove the sun-dried tomatoes from the jars making sure to retain the olive oil.
Place the chickpeas, garlic, spring onions, sun-dried tomatoes, eight tbsp of the retained olive oil and the lemon juice in a food processor and blend to a nice chunky texture similar to a coarse pâté (add a little cold water to facilitate this process if necessary).
Stir in the oregano and season to your taste adding more of the olive oil and lemon juice to balance out the flavours. Turn out into a pretty bowl and garnish with the lemon zest and oregano leaves.
In the warmer months, try replacing the sun-dried tomatoes with jarred roasted red peppers.