ERBAZZONE O SCARPAZZONE REGGIANO – dough: flour O, mineral sparkling water, oilve oil and milk in about the same quantities, salt. The filling: bietoline da taglio (chards), parmigiano reggiano, garlic, parsley, rice or ricotta, salt. – Make the dough and let in rest in a bowl while you cook the cards, then squeeze all the water out of them. Slightly fry the garlic ( at least three cloves for this quantity) and the parsley, add the chopped up cards, rice (or ricotta) and the parmigiano and mix them all together. Stretch the dough, put thevcompound on it – cook in pre-heated oven for about 20 min. It could be covered with dough or not. If you don’t cover it with dough sprinkle some parmigiano reggiano on top.

Marina’s Best Fig Chutney in the World……ever! Via “A Mother in France”

Fig Chutney

1.5kg Black figs quartered ( or any figs can be used)
1 kg sugar
3 onions chopped roughly
500g mixed raisins and sultanas
1 lt good quality red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons Ground ginger
2 teaspoons all spice
2 tablespoons chilli sauce (sweet or not up to you!)
6 garlic cloves crushed
salt and pepper
Place all ingredients together and bring to the boil, then simmer for 2 hours till good chutney consistency (whatever that is).
Jar…. This chutney gets better with age (although we have never had it long enough to find out!).

Crispy baked butternut squash chips from Gina Matsoukas

A healthy, fall snack to curb that salty craving.

Author: Gina Matsoukas
Recipe type: chips

Serves: 2


  • 1 small and skinny butternut squash
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
  • kosher salt
  • pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  3. Peel squash and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out any seeds in the base of the squash.Using a very sharp knife (or a mandolin if you have it) thinly slice the squash. The thinner, the better. Mine were probably about ⅛ of an inch thick.
  4. Once sliced, boil (in batches) for 1-2 minutes. Remove from water and lay flat in a single layer on a paper towel to dry.
  5. Pat completely dry and then transfer to baking sheet, making sure the slices don’t overlap at all.
  6. Brush with olive oil to coat and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
  7. Sprinkle chopped rosemary on top and bake for 20 minutes, checking frequently after 10 minutes to make sure they don’t burn. If your slices are thinner than ⅛ of an inch, they won’t need to bake as long.
  8. Remove from oven once they start to brown and crisp up and immediately sprinkle with more salt.
  9. Serve immediately.

Sarah’s Delicious Stuffed Potato Shells with Cheese and Bacon.

Great for a party, buffet or even as a meal accompaniment or evening snack.

Make as many as you like!

Small to Medium Potatoes
Salt & Pepper
Bacon or Pancetta
Olive Oli

Take a tray of small to medium size potatoes (depending on how many you are cooking for but we usually allow 2 per person), wash, remove any eyes, prick with a fork, drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt, cover with tin foil and bake for around 45 mins to 1 hour at 190oC until soft.

Once cooked, remove from the oven, cool slightly and cut each potato in half.

Gently scoop out the cooked potato flesh and place in a bowl. Leave a small amount of potato in the shell all round, so that it doesn’t fall apart.

Gently fry 1 pack of pancetta or 4 rashers of chopped bacon until brown.

Mash the potato in the bowl with a little milk and add salt, pepper, a handful of grated cheddar cheese (or other strongish cheese) and the cooked bacon.

At this stage you can add any other ingredients you fancy or even make the shells vegetarian by using chopped peppers, sweet corn, etc etc.

Place some oil into a frying pan and once hot, fry the empty potato shells until crispy. Drain on kitchen paper.

Fill the browned, crispy shells with your potato mixture and top with more grated cheese.

Place on a baking sheet and bake until bubbly and golden for around 30 mins at 180oC.


Tina’s Porcini and salsiccia empanadas.

For the dough, assembly and baking instructions follow my recipe:

For the filling:
About 2 cups of porcini, sliced
1 large onion

salsiccia (cut into small bits) (as much or as little as you’d like – it depends on how dominant you would like the porcini to be vs. the sausage)
salt and pepper to taste
OPTIONAL: mozzarella

Sauté it all together until everything is cooked through

When assembling the empanadas, you may add a small piece of fresh mozzarella before closing the empanadas. Bake 25 minutes at 180C or until golden brown. Enjoy! 🙂

Note: I have NEVER used my empanadas recipe as a submission before and I thought that porcini were the perfect ingredient with which to do so.

Riviera Pan Bagnat by Mary Leonardi-Cattolica Sansen

Riviera Pan Bagnat

Pan bagnat means wet bread in French and is a a fairly common sandwich found along the French and Italian riviera. Some people credit this as an Italian dish, but it actually comes from Nice, about 100 miles from here. This is an authentic version with a few Genovese additions. Or at least this Genovese’s additions;-) At one time Nice was part of the Republic of Genova, and later part of Italy. It’s where Garibaldi was born. OK, history lesson over, here’s the recipe;-)

Makes 4 4″x4″ sandwiches

1 1/4 sheet of fresh focaccia sliced in long quarters
1 clove garlic, peeled and halved

Filling – Salade Nicoise (Note: authentic salade nicoise never has cooked vegetables in it. No potatoes, no green beans, no fresh tuna)

1/2 cup pitted riviera olives, here I used nicoise and taggiasche, always black.
3-4 small tomatoes, cubed, salted and drained
2 marinated artichokes, cubed
1 cucumber, peeled cored and cubed
2 hard boiled eggs, quartered
2 Tbsp. salted capers, preferably Pantelleria, soaked, rinsed and drained
4 salted anchovies, cleaned, rinsed and quartered
OR (never both, what a sacrilege!)
1/2 cup canned or jarred tuna
1/4 cup small leaf basil, preferably from Pra.
1/2 cup fresh young fava beans, removed from the pods and peeled…or squeezed, as you prefer
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix ingredients together and liberally coat with a nicoise or taggiasche olive oil, or with 1/3 of the vinaigrette


1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup riviera olive oil
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper

Whisk vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper together. Slowly add the oil and whisk until emulsified. There will be plenty left over for another salad.


Split the focaccia in half down the middle. This is hard to do with the real thing, so I typically slice off the bottom crust and use two pieces together. Rub liberally with garlic. If you’ve only used olive oil on your salad nicoise (which is the way salade nicoise is eaten), splash about 2 tsps of red wine vinegar on the focaccia. Otherwise, splash some of the vinaigrette on the bread.

Add the filling, wrap tightly in paper, and allow to sit for about an hour so the bread soaks up all the juices. When ready to eat, cover yourself in plastic, unwrap the top half and enjoy. Failure to heed my final instructions will result in you wearing salade nicoise for the rest of the day.

Pork “Banh Mi” by Amber

Pork “Banh Mi” (inspired by it anyway!)

300 grams of sliced pork (labeled tagliata, pork loin or filet)
2 tablespoons Fish sauce
2 tablespoons Maple Syrup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 slice ginger, minced
1 green onion, sliced thinly

To assemble sandwich:
Slices of your favorite bread (baguette or sourdough work perfect)
Quick Pickled slaw
Sliced Cucumbers
Cilantro (optional)

Combine all in marinade ingredients, add pork and let marinate. The longer the better. (I did overnight.)

For pickled slaw
Thinly slice cabbage, carrots, red pepper and green onion. Let sit in sweetened rice vinegar or vinegar with a spoon or two of sugar.

When you are ready to eat, cook slices of pork over very high heat in a bit of vegetable oil until done. Assemble sandwich. Eat and enjoy or wrap in kitchen paper and take to the park!

Marinade ingredients and idea from:

Picnic Quiche by Sarah Topps

Here is our entry for the picnic competition. The recipe is for our quiche, which is just one of the great picnic foods and we always seem to fall back on. It travels well, is easy to make and you can use whatever leftovers you like from the fridge! Here we have used panchetta, asparagus, tomotoes, cheese and a red pepper.

For The Pastry:

175g plain flour
100g cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk
4 tsp cold water
pinch of salt

200g pack bacon or panchetta, unsmoked or smoked
150g Cheddar, Pecorino or similar
50g Gorgonzola (if you like it)
6 asparagus spears
1 small red pepper
6 cherry tomaotes, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
100ml milk
200ml double cream or panna da cuccina
5 eggs , well beaten
salt and ground pepper
pinch ground nutmeg
chopped parsley

For the Pastry:

1. Put the flour, butter, egg yolk and 4 tsp cold water into a food processor. Pulse until the mix binds together or if you don’t have a food processor, rub butter into flour with fingertips, then add egg yolk and water and bring into a ball. If you don’t have any fingertips, or are too lazy, buy ready made pastry as it is quite good these days.

2. Tip the pastry onto a floured surface, then roll out to fit your flan tin. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.

3. Line a 23 x 2.5cm loose-bottomed, fluted flan tin, easing the pastry into the base. Trim the pastry edges so it sits slightly above the tin (if it shrinks, it shouldn’t now go below the level of the tin).

4. Press the pastry into the flutes, lightly prick the base with a fork, then chill for 10 mins. Put in the oven and bake blind for 15 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes.

For the Filling:

1. While the pastry cooks, heat a frying pan, tip in the bacon and fry for a couple of mins until they start to colour.

2. Add sliced onions and peppers and fry gently until the onion browns.

3. Crack eggs into a large bowl and add milk, cream, seasoning and then whisk.

4. Scatter 1/2 the grated cheeses over the bottom of the pastry case. Top with half the egg and milk mixture, then arrange the chopped asparagus, bacon, diced Gorgonzola, peppers, onions, sliced tomatoes and parsley.

5. Add the rest of the egg mixture and top with the remainder of the cheese.

6. Carefully put back in oven on baking sheet.

7. Lower the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Bake for about 25 mins, or until golden and softly set (the centre should not feel too firm).

8.Let the quiche settle for 4-5 mins, then remove from the tin. Cool.

9. Enjoy your picnic!

Chicken Curry Pies by Marina Brandt

Home made pies for our picnic competition!!! My mom-in-law always made these pies when we went on a trip. Can fill with anything savoury. I made chicken curry pies.

Sift 250gm flour, into bowl with 1 teaspoon baking powder. Add 200 gm butter and season with a teaspoon of salt. Chop butter into flour until like bread crumbs. Mix one egg and add milk till 5 oz liquid. Add 4 oz to flour and mix (save 1 oz for brushing pastry) Roll out pastry and cut into round discs and fill with your left over curry, veggie stew or savoury mince. Fold and seal with a fork. Brush with egg and bake in 200 oven for about 30 minutes till golden. Can eat hot or cold.

Temple’s Picnic by Temple Perrotta

Here’s my entry for this week’s challenge–or I should say, entries. I decided to make an entire menu. The picnic basket featured is actually a backpack, with shoulder straps so you can wear it on your bike in search of the perfect place. So I kept the menu to a minimum.

MENU for a picnic

Goat cheese and dried tomato tarte
Fried chicken goujons
Cucumber and sour cream salad
Fresh strawberries

Goat cheese and dried tomato tarte:
Ingredients: prepared puff pastry, slightly aged goat cheese (log type), softened dried tomatoes, eggs, milk, s&p
Preparation: lightly oil a small pie pan and fit the pastry to it, trimming off excess; prick the bottom of the pastry and blind bake for 8 minutes in a 200°C oven; meanwhile whisk together the eggs, milk and salt and pepper; remove the pastry from the oven and gently press down any puffing; cut 1 or 2 dried tomatoes (you can buy them soft but if you didn’t, soften them in hot water before using) and press them lightly into the bottom crust; pour over the egg/milk combination and set enough slices of goat cheese on top to fit; decorate with remaining tomato pieces; return to oven and bake for 15 minutes, until the egg mixture has puffed up and a toothpick comes out clean; cool before eating.

Fried chicken goujons
Ingredients: chicken breasts, milk, flour, cooking oil, s&p.
Preparation: cut the chicken into strips and soak in a bowl of milk for 10 minutes; dredge them in flour till well coated; fry in deepish oil until golden brown; remove to a paper towel to drain: salt and pepper to taste (serve with a wedge of lemon if desired).

Cucumber and sour cream salad
Ingredients: fresh, firm cucumber with glossy green skin, sour cream, dill.
Preparation: without removing the dark green skin, slice cukes as thinly as possible, using either a vegetable peeler or mandoline; place them in a colander and sprinkle lightly with table salt, leave to drain for about 30 minutes; squeeze the cukes by hand to remove excess water and place in a bowl; add sour cream and dill and stir gently until well mixed.

Serve the fresh strawberries exactly as they are.
Wine: Gavi