My simple Italian

Warm chicken liver salad

 
 

Prosciutto di Parma with marinated radicchio

20 minutes, serves 2.

1 small head of radicchio, leaves separated

1/2 lemon

1 tsp aged balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

8 slices prosciutto di Parma

1 piece of Parmesan cheese

1 tsp chopped marjoram

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Blanch the radicchio leaves in a pan of boiling salted water for 2 minutes until tender. Drain in a colander and cool down. When the radicchio is warm but not hot, gently squeeze it so it is not too wet.

2. Place the radicchio in a bowl and squeeze the lemon juice on top. Add the balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Toss together. The radiccio will go an amazing bright red colour at this point. Add the olive oil and toss again, then check if the seasoning is right.

3. Arrange the prosciutto slices on a large flat plate and scatter the radicchio on top. Using a small sharp knife, cut some pieces of Parmesan - as much as you like - and scatter them on the radicchio, along with the marjoram. Serve with bread.

35 minutes, serves 4 as a starter or 2 for supper.

100g Castelluccio or Puy lentils

250g fresh chicken livers

100g sliced pancetta

leaves from 1 sprig of sage

2 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon

250g mixed leaves, such as dandelion, radicchio, rocket or Castelfranco

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook the lentils in a pan of simmering water for 20-25 minutes until soft.

2. Meanwhile, trim off any greenish bits and visible sinew from the chicken livers, then set aside. Cook the pancetta in a frying pan until crisp. Remove with tongs and set aside to drain on kitchen paper. Add the chicken livers to the fat remaining in the pan and cook for about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown all over. Remove from the heat.

3. Return the pancetta to the pan (don't worry if the slices break up) along with the sage leaves. Add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Toss together, then set aside.

4. When the lentils are cooked, drain off the water. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and seasoning.

5. In a large bowl, toss the leaves with the remaining balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Add the lentils and mix gently together.

6. Pile the lentils and leaves on the plates and place the chicken livers and pancetta carefully on top.

 

Beef carpaccio with beetroot and horseradish

45 minutes, serves 4.

1 x 250g piece beef fillet (centre-cut)

extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp chopped thyme

300g small beetroots, with their leaves if available

lemon juice

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the horseradish sauce

150g fresh horseradish root

150ml crème fraîche

1 tsp red wine vinegar

1. Rub the beef fillet all over about 1 teaspoon olive oil ad sprinkle over the thyme. Heat a ridged grill pan until very hot, then sear the fillet for 30 seconds on each side. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.

2. Meanwhile, cook the beetroots in boiling water until yo can put a knife through - about 20 minutes for small beetroots and 30 minutes for larger ones. Drain and set aside to cool. In another pan, blanch the beetroot leaves for 5 minutes until tender; drain and refresh in cold water.

3. While the beetroots are cooking, make the sauce. Peel and grate the horseradish, then mix with the crème fraîche and vinegar. Season. Set aside.

4. Slice the fillet thinly. Lay the slices carefully, in one layer, between two sheets of grease proof paper. Roll over them using a rolling pin to flatten and make them as thing as possible without breaking the meat.

5. Divide the fillet slices among four plates, or place the slices on a platter, laying them flat. Season with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

6. Peel the beetroots, then slice them thinly. Toss the blanched leaves with olive oil, lemon juice and seasoning. Scatter the beetroot slices and leaves over the beef carpaccio and serve with the horseradish sauce.

Beef sirloin with deep-fried Jerusalem artichokes and butternut squash

 

45 minutes, serves 2.

2 thick sirloin or ribeye steaks, about 200g each

extra virgin olive oil 

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the chilli-parsley sauce

1 garlic clove, peeled

1 fresh red chilli, seeded and finely chopped

1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 tsp red wine vinegar

For the vegetables

sunflower oil, for deep-frying

6 Jerusalem artichokes

1/2 ripe butternut squash, deseeded

500ml full-fat milk

300g tipo 00 flour

1. First make the chilli-parsley sauce. Finely chop the garlic, then sprinkle with a small pinch of sea salt and crush the garlic to a paste. Mix this with the remaining sauce ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.

2. Put a deep pan of sunflower oil on to heat to 180°C (or use a deep-fat fryer). Peel the artichokes and squash, then cut into 5 mm slices. Put them in a bowl and pour over the milk. Leave to soak while you sear the steaks.

3. Heat a ridged grill pan until very hot, and preheat a warm oven. Season the steaks with salt and pepper and rub olive oil on to both sides. Place on the hot grill pan and press down with a fork so the fat starts to melt. Char grill for 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove the steaks from the pan to a warm plate and set aside to rest while you try the vegetables.

4. Put the flour into a large bowl. You'll need to fry the vegetables in batches so the pan of oil won't be crowded. Take some artichoke and squash slices out of the milk and drop into the flour, tossing to coat. Transfer to a sieve and shake off excess flour, then slip into the hot oil. Deep-fry for 2-3 minutes until golden brown all over and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and spread on kitchen paper to drain. Sprinkle with salt, then keep hot in the oven while you fry the rest of the vegetables.

5. Trim the fat from the steaks, then cut each into three slices at an angle. Place on warm plates, add the fried vegetables next to the steak and drizzle the chilli-parsley sauce over everything.

Theo Randall's Italian Kitchen

Badenerstrasse 420

8040 Zurich

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