Friday, 15 January 2016

Savour the Flavour

Restaurateur Laura Santtini's recipes are just bursting with umami, the 'fifth taste'

Written by Laura Santtini

Beef carpaccio (pictured above)

Serves 4

500g middle-cut beef fillet/ filet mignon or bresaola
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8-9 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch (around 100g) rocket leaves
50g Parmesan cheese shavings
extra virgin olive oil
Squeeze of lemon juice

If you're using beef fillet/filet mignon and not bresaola, wrap the beef in cling film and put it in the freezer for 1 hour to firm up.

Slice the firmed-up beef into thin rounds about 0.25cm thick. You can also cut slightly thicker pieces, then put them between two sheets of cling film and flatten with a rolling pin.

Cover a chilled plate with the beef or bresaola slices. If not serving immediately (it is much better if you do), cover each plate with cling film and refrigerate to avoid the meat discolouring.

To serve, season with salt and pepper (only pepper if using bresaola), and scatter the tomatoes and rocket on top of the beef.

Top with shavings of Parmesan cheese and drizzle over olive oil and lemon juice.

Peach and tomato tarte tatin

Serves 8-12


170g caster/granulated sugar (plus 2 tbsp extra, if needed)
50g butter
400g sweet cherry or baby plum tomatoes, halved
2 peaches, pitted and cut into 9 wedges each
1 small sprig of thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
1 sheet puff pastry, rolled out slightly bigger than your tarte tatin pan
Sour cream or a half-half mixture of soft goat's cheese and sour cream, to serve
Ovenproof 30cm tarte tatin pan

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/ gas mark 6.

Put the sugar into the tarte tatin pan and place on a medium heat. Allow the sugar to melt, but shake the pan occasionally to prevent it from burning. Once melted, let it bubble until it turns a light amber-brown colour, forming a caramel. Immediately take the pan off the heat and add the butter carefully.

Stir in until it has melted.

Arrange the tomatoes and the peaches in the pan, skin-side down, into a pattern. Fit as many tomatoes as you can – you might not need them all. If your peaches are quite sharp, sprinkle over the extra 2 tablespoons of sugar. Lay the thyme over the top of the fruit and season all over with some freshly ground black pepper.

Cover with the pastry. Tuck the edges of the pastry into the inside of the pan, including the overhang, which will create a delicious crust. Prick a few small holes into the pastry with a fork. Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes.

Allow to cool for about 10 minutes. If there seems to be a lot of excess juice, carefully drain some off before turning the tarte tatin out onto a serving plate. Let it cool a little, as this allows the hot caramel to set slightly. Serve warm with sour cream or a goat's cheese and sour cream mix.

Grilled lamb koftes

Serves 4


1 onion
1 green pepper, deseeded
1 extra-large handful of flat-leaf parsley
1 extra-large handful of mint, leaves only
2 tsp tomato purée
1½ tsp ground cumin
1½ tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
Fresh nutmeg
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
400g finely minced lamb, pork or turkey
50g minus 1 tbsp toasted pine nuts, chopped
25g raisins
1 egg yolk
250g cherry tomatoes
2 red onions, cut into skewerable wedges
2 yellow peppers cut into squares for skewering
6 rashers smoked bacon, cut into 2.5cm squares
Olive oil, for cooking
8-10 long wooden skewers, soaked in water

Pulse the onion and pepper in a food processor until finely chopped. Remove from the processor and squeeze out any liquid through a sieve/strainer. Chop the fresh herbs and place in a large bowl, add the onion and green pepper, tomato purée and spices. Mix thoroughly and season well with a good grating of nutmeg, salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

Add the minced meat, pine nuts, raisins and egg yolk to the paste and mix well. Shape into kofte balls using lightly oiled hands.

Thread the cherry tomatoes, onions, peppers and bacon onto the prepared skewers, making sure there is a square of bacon on either side of the kofte ball to keep it moist. Drizzle the koftes with a little olive oil and grill, bake or barbecue, until cooked through and nicely browned.

At Home With Umami: Home-Cooked Recipes Unlocking The Magic Of Super-Savoury Deliciousness, by Laura Santtini; photography by Con Poulos (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99).

Forgot your password?
Click to read our digital edition

Boarders Dormitory Master-Mistress
We are looking to appoint a Dormitory Mistress/Master for 5 nights per week, weekday evenings and nights only, term time. (35 weeks). [...]


Housekeeper to Headmaster
We have an opportunity for an experienced live-out housekeeper. You will provide a cleaning and hospitality service for the Headmaster and his guests and help to ensure the household runs efficiently. [...]


Full Time Housekeeper, Nanny
We are looking for a full time, live-out housekeeper/nanny. We are a relaxed young couple living in a large country house, and will have one newborn baby. [...]


Experienced Carer, Companion, Housekeeper needed
Our elderly mother needs a live in carer/companion on a part time basis. Must be warm hearted, calm & compassionate, with a good sense of humour. [...]


Live-in Housekeeper
Our client is looking for a very capable, experienced individual to become the new housekeeper at their 6 bedroom, rural home. [...]




What the stars have in store for you this week.2017

Capricorn Aquarius Pisces Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter