On 14 May 2016, Cambridge Eat Up! (exclamation mark intended) held its first ever Pot Luck Lunch, a fringe event for Eat Cambridge. The lovely and talented Karen Harvey had the foresight to create the Cambridge Eat Up! group on Facebook (you can read about its origins in her blog post here) and it has grown organically since then. It’s become a great virtual “meeting point” for food enthusiasts of all types (not just bloggers) to share good foodie news and plan get-togethers.
Photo by Karen Harvey
Photo by Lisa Durbin
So when Eat Cambridge organiser Heidi White thought the group would be ideal for a fringe event, Karen and I jumped at the chance to create something. In the spirit of Cambridge Eat Up!, we wanted to hold an event that reflected foodies coming together, sharing and supporting each other. The result was a Pot Luck Lunch where everyone would bring a dish and we would gather around a table in an informal setting to enjoy each other’s company and good food/drink. We planned this back in December and the next thing we knew, the application was submitted, the entry fee paid (courtesy of Paulo at P A Safety Management Limited) and my home was confirmed as the location. Everyone jumped at the chance to be included and the places filled up very quickly, as soon as the Eat Cambridge programme was released. I even increased the numbers from 15 to 20 but there was still a long waiting list. However, this indicated that the pot luck format appealed to a great number of people, so the group is discussing hosting more of them.
This Greek-inspired sauce looks vibrant, tastes delicious and is easy to make. You can spoon it over pasta (I used fusilli here, but any pasta will do), rice or even couscous. It’s a great way to incorporate courgettes into your diet, if you don’t like them on their own.
This sauce includes some of my favourite Greek ingredients, such as Kalamata olives, feta cheese and Olive Branch’s Red Wine Vinegar with Cretan Thyme Honey. You can use any red wine vinegar but the one from Olive Branch is my secret ingredient. It is made with the juices of Liatiko and Kotsifali grapes, which are then aged in oak barrels for 4 years.
But here’s the secret… the grapes are mixed with Cretan thyme honey. The bees feed on the thyme plants so the honey picks up their aroma, which gives the red wine vinegar a tangy, sweet taste.
The result is a succulent sauce, packed with freshness and flavour! Here’s how:
Who says tomatoes are a vital to a good pizza? Red pepper paste, particularly the one from Olive Branch, is the new tomato sauce. There are no tomatoes on this pizza, just lots of delicious red peppers (red pepper paste, roasted red peppers from a jar and fresh red peppers) as well as mushrooms, green and black olives, onions and mozzarella. Many of these ingredients are leftovers from the Cheese and Mushroom Frittata recipe so it’s an ideal dish to make in the same week.
I make fresh pizza dough in my breadmaker (it only takes 45 minutes) but ready-made dough or store-bought (pizza crust mix) could do. My trick is to leave the dough to rise in the breadmaker for about an hour then not knead, flour or roll the dough after I remove it. This results in a fluffy and thick crust ideal for a deep dish pizza. Remember to coat your hands with some olive oil so the dough doesn’t stick when you handle it.
A frittata is an omelette of Italian origin that is thick, almost like a crustless quiche. It’s perfect for brunch, lunch or dinner. You can put almost anything in a frittata and it’s a great way to use up any leftovers. My favourite ingredients are mushrooms, onions, red peppers, cheese and parsley. These ingredients not only go very well together, they lend a beautiful vibrant colour to the dish!
It looks like a lot more work than it actually is. Here’s how to make this colourful and tasty frittata.
Love Food, Burwash Manor‘s “fabulous festival of foodiness” was held on 15-16 February, 2014 at Burwash Food Hall and The Larder. I love events like this as they’re perfect for discovering a variety of new products.
It’s always exciting to see what independent food producers are concocting in their kitchens and how they bring their ideas and products to fruition for the enjoyment of food enthusiasts like me.
It’s also a rare opportunity to interact with the producers and for me, the best part is hearing them talk passionately about their products. I can’t help but admire people who have the strength, drive and determination to set up their own food business… and they all do it because they love food and want to share their products with the world.