Back in April I ran the behind the scenes photos from the shoot for the May issue of Sainsbury’s Magazine with photographer Jonathan Gregson. Of course, I didn’t want to run the actual images, as the magazine was then on newsstand.
Now that it’s off sale, I am acceding to the many requests from overseas readers for a peek at the photos. I still find it quite odd that recipes I made up in my kitchen, are now in a magazine. Actually, I find it extraordinary. Especially as Sainsbury’s Magazine has 3,296,000 readers per issue, which makes it the UK’s most widely read fully paid-for monthly title. Eeek.
The brief was for a girls lunch in the spring accompanied by a cocktail, so the menu I developed was light, pretty seasonal, and easy to eat if you were shovelling food in your mouth whilst talking nineteen to the dozen. (Which is what it’s like round here when my girlfriends come over, as we always have so much to catch up on.) I also don’t think that food for friends should be overly complicated: one doesn’t want to be faffing around with moulding rings & precise timings when you have talking to do be doing.
We started off with a tangle of soft, olive oil-soaked red peppers with preserved lemons, pine nuts & mint, directly inspired by the trip lil’sis & I took to Marrakech at New Year. I stipulated that it should be served with little bowls of capers, olives & radishes, with pitta to scoop it all up. (Although flatbread would be as good.)
The cocktail was super simple: vodka & limoncello topped up with sparkling water, & garnished with mint. Lethally refreshing – & delicious!
The main course was one of my absolute favourite lunches – buffalo mozzarella served with stewed mushrooms and cannellini beans and lots of fresh herbs, served with rice cooked with sunflower seeds. (The seeds swell up and go all plump when you cook them.)
Pud couldn’t have been simple: lightly poached rhubarb compote with tendrils of orange zest and a big flump of marscapone.
As I mentioned back in April, all the recipes were cooked in the kitchen before being styled by Kate Titford, Sainsbury’s Magazine’s Food Editor, & photographed both during prep and after as still lives by Jonathan Gregson. (Who completely coincidentally photographed my mother cooking for another food magazine back in 2005.)
I wore Erdem, as per, although it turned out to be a SHOCKING dress to be photographed in, so I won’t be making that mistake again. (Hello matronly shelf!)