Yes, we were on holiday, self-catering. So you never have al your store cupboard back ups with you, of course. This creates both panic and the need for imagination in equal measure.
- A nice vacuum pack of Parma Ham – popped in the basket for a starter really from the Co-op
- A really ripe Avocado
- Half a used packet of rocket
- 4 new spuds – but about large egg sized
- A shallot – old but serviceable (bit like me really…)
OK – it feels like a good start? I cleaned the spuds, then fully microwaved them in their skins – 8 minutes. After cooling a little, sliced into roundels to fry them off with the chopped (roughly) shallot – lost about a third of it to decay – but hey, lovely sweet flavoured bits left. That’s the science bit. As onions and other veg get older, the starch begins to break down. If this bit of the plant is to become another plant, which it is desperately trying to do, then that gives it the best start – it is beginning to get the ground ready and itself ready to become the next crop. So, the starch has become a simpler sugar. The only problem is you have to fry them slowly, and keep them moving, because they will catch and stick and burn very easily. Put the spuds in first, then shallots, and I chopped 3 tomatoes, turned the heat fully down, and just plonked them on top to heat through. I think they keep their flavour more that way. Also, you can sprinkle a few dried mixed herbs or fresh Basil if you have it (we didn’t…). I got a bit tarty then – cut the Avocado in half, peeled it, then sliced each half top to bottom, about 6 cuts. If you place it hole down on the plate, and press in the middle, the slices will fan out nicely. Drape the parma ham over the avocado. We put all the rocket on the plate, added a bit of dressing from a bottle with extra lemon juice and olive oil, added the fried spuds etc. You know what – I think I would repeat it – very light and summery, and a Pinot Grigio (already opened) added a lot of fun zestiness too. Try it!