While the weather is nice (ish), I'm trying to make as many summery meals for us at home as I can before it seems dark outside and we revert back to eating stews, soups and other meals that warm the soul as well as the toes.
When the weather's fine, we eat one main dish, like frittata or homemade burgers with lots of salad and antipasti to make the meal go further. For pudding, we might induldge in a small cake or a little ice cream; but generally just slurp on ripe fruit and the occassional milkshake.
The trees are starting to shed their leaves in the park around the corner from us and a kind neighbour reminded us that this time next year, we will be busy making piles of them for M to jump in, over and over again. L wants to buy her some little green Hunter Wellington boots (to match ours) and the image I have in my head of this little picture is one that I am treasuring as if it has already happened. In the meantime, and until it becomes too cold and wet to do so, we take M to the playground round the corner as often as we can and she spends a lively half an hour smiling madly at the other children and trying to go head first on her tummy down the baby slide. The little dare devil. Needless to say, she never wants to leave and we see a few tears as we walk away from the bright red swings.
At this time of year, the stalls at the farmers market begin to reflect the change in seasons, and while the glassy redcurrants and crimson cherries are long gone; a few berries remain to tempt the palette, and varieties of apple, pear and quince remind me that there are still plenty of delicious orchard fruits to come.
Once a week, an email comes from Carey, strictly the restaurants organic supplier, but we reap the benefits too and order whatever they have in season. This time, L ordered a bag of rainbow chard and challenged me to do something with it other than steam it and serve the leaves with something other than olive oil and lemon.
Will this do?
Rainbow chard, artichoke and blue cheese filo pie
270g (approx. 12 sheets) filo pastry
25g melted butter
200g rainbow chard
3 large eggs
150g creme fraiche
400g can artichoke hearts
100g gorgonzola dolce
Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200C and line a baking tray with shallow sides with greaseproof paper.
Cook the rainbow chard for 3 minutes in salted water until just soft. Drain and set aside.
Carefully lay one sheet of filo pastry onto the lined baking tray so that the pastry forms a case and brush with some of the melted butter. Lay another sheet of filo on top and repeat the process until all the filo is used up.
In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs and creme fraiche with some salt and pepper.
Cover the pastry base with the chard and ripped up artichoke hearts. Do the same with the gorgonzola.
Pour over the egg mixture.
Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes until the filling is set and the pastry is golden.