BBQ STARTERS & DESSERT KIT for 2

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(RICOTTA & GRILLED AUBERGINE, PEPPERS & BURRATA, BREAD, TIRAMISÙ)

Smoked ricotta with grilled marinated aubergine, tomato, chilli & mint

Ricotta mustia, from Sassari, the second city of Sardinia, is the most esteemed of smoked ricottas, aromatic with the smoke of the wild Sardinian herbs used to flavour and preserve it. Here, it is married with grilled aubergines marinated with roasted tomatoes and spiked with chopped chilli, garlic & fresh mint, and it is wonderful.

Roast marinated peppers with burrata

Peppers, blackened over an open flame, then left to soften and stew in their own steam, must be one of life’s greatest pleasures. We scorch them, and rest them, clean and peel them, then dress them with fine oil, a little vinegar, garlic, chilli & wild herbs. We send them to you alongside a whole burrata, mozzarella’s rather less virtuous cousin. You nestle them snugly on a plate, and feast.

Tiramisù

There is something insanely satisfying about retro foods, and tiramisù is no exception. It is almost the definition of a cliché dessert – very safe… and very vanilla, to couch it in a bedroom term. It is hard to describe my delight when I learned its origins are not so salubrious as one might imagine. Tira-mi-sù means ‘pick me up’ – a rather charming name for a cheery pudding, spiked as it is with espresso. The academy of tiramisù (yes, there is such a thing – Italy treats its culinary heritage with due import, and every dish of note has its own guild or knighthood or foundation) tells a different story: ‘… this dessert was invented by a clever “maitresse” of a house of pleasure in the centre of Treviso. The “Siora” who ran the premises developed this aphrodisiac dessert to offer to customers at the end of the evening in order to reinvigorate them and solve the problems they may have had with their conjugal duties on their return to their wives.’ Not such a frumpy dessert after all...