I hope you will join me on a culinary grand tour around one of Europe’s most glamorous destinations: the French and Italian Riviera; bursting with produce and steeped in the traditions of French and Italian cooking. I found the towns and villages of the Riviera to be a cook’s paradise. From the olive groves of Liguria, to the crystalline waters of Monaco and St Tropez, my journey into the heart of Riviera food reveals the traditions, people and signature ingredients that have made this the cradle of Mediterranean cuisine.
One of my favourite ingredients I got to cook with while filming ‘Jenny Morris Cooks The Riviera’ was anchovies. I learnt so much about these tiny fishies. Anchovies work really well to flavour tomato sauces for pasta or a tomato Bredie, fish sauces and salad dressings. A Caesar Salad would not be the same without anchovies in the dressing. They are fabulous chopped into vegetables like boiled potatoes, are great with beef and chicken, and they work really well with roast lamb. Just remember: a little goes a long way.
Capers and olives are particularly good partners with anchovies on top of a pizza covered with yummy melted cheese. A little anchovy tip I learnt from Luigi in Monter Rosso was if a recipe called for anchovy paste and you don’t have any then use 1 anchovy fillet for every 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste called for in the recipe.
I would love you to join me exclusively on Food Network this April for a mouth-watering Mediterranean adventure on DStv channel 175 from Monday, April 28, weekdays at 12.15pm and 4.25pm.
- 2 large onions, peeled and halved horizontally
- 2 large heads of garlic cut in half horizontally
- 1 garlic clove, sliced
- Olive oil
- Freshly ground white pepper
- 6 large sprigs of fresh thyme
- 3 stems of bay leaves
- 5 stems of rosemary
- 2 kg free-range lamb, a nice-sized leg or shoulder
- 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Centigrade. Place the onions and garlic on the base of a large roasting pan, arrange the thyme, bay leaves and rosemary on top and drizzle with olive oil. Make five small slits into the skin of the lamb to create some pockets, put a pinch of herbs and a slice of garlic into each pocket. Drizzle over some olive oil and rub it in, making sure it is coated all over. Season it with salt and pepper. Put a large frying pan, or a large roasting tray onto a medium heat and gently brown the lamb on all sides. Then place the lamb onto the bed of onions and herbs, juice the lemon over the lamb and then add the juice lemon halves into the tray. Roast it for 2 ½ hours at 160 degrees Centigrade or until the lamb is juicy and tender.
Serve with roasted vegetables and crushed roasted New Potatoes.
Tip: if you would like to add anchovies to the Lamb chop up 2 anchovies and push them into the slits with the Rosemary!
* Copyright, 2013, Jenny Morris, All rights reserved