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Recipes: Pimp your picnic with Bury's Gastrono-me




Planning an alfresco meal with friends? Gemma Simmonite, chef and co-founder of Gastrono-me, the all-day restaurant in Bury St Edmunds, creates a pair of summery burrata dishes ideal for sharing

Griddled Nectarines with Prosciutto and Burrata

Serves 2

Gastrono-me recipe for Velvet June 2021 - Griddled Nectarines & Burrata (46676460)
Gastrono-me recipe for Velvet June 2021 - Griddled Nectarines & Burrata (46676460)

“Good weather means only one thing to me, and that’s the joy of eating alfresco. Whether it’s a full-blown picnic, an impromptu barbeque with friends or simply a supper on your lap on a warm(ish) evening, it just fills me with hope and heralds the beginning of the delicious freedom of late spring and summer. Even though in the UK we may have a wee while longer to wait until it’s constantly warm, just by planning my meals to enjoy outside it makes it feel like the sun is on its way a little sooner,” says Gemma. “This is a simple beauty of a dish that I first saw a version of on holiday in Parma. The sweetness of the nectarines is accentuated by grilling their juicy flesh, which completely compliments the salty silky prosciutto, and then the creamy burrata takes this light summery dish to another level.”

Ingredients:

4 nectarines, halved and de-stoned

1 tablespoon olive oil

6 slices prosciutto ham

1 burrata ball

Selection of baby leaves

Few chicory leaves

To serve:

Few slices toasted sourdough

Extra virgin olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Pinch dried red chilli flakes

Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste

Method:

Heat a griddle pan until hot. Rub a little of the plain olive oil onto the halved nectarine flesh and grill them until charred and just starting to caramelise.

Arrange the baby leaves and chicory on the plates, then divide the ham and burrata decoratively, finish with the grilled nectarines. Drizzle a little of the extra virgin olive oil over and season to taste with the chilli flakes and salt and pepper.

Small dishes of extra virgin olive oil and an aged balsamic will make the perfect accompaniment as will a few slices of toasted sourdough for scooping up the delicious summery flavours.

Burrata Bruschetta

Gastrono-me recipe for Velvet June 2021 - Burrata Bruschetta (46676459)
Gastrono-me recipe for Velvet June 2021 - Burrata Bruschetta (46676459)

Says Gemma: “These delicious toasted Italian breads drenched in olive oil and topped with the creamiest burrata, roasted and spring vegetables make the perfect picnic bite. Far more exciting and flavoursome than a soggy sandwich! By toasting the rustic bread ahead, and taking your prepared toppings in your hamper, you will have the tastiest Italian snack in the park, guaranteed.”

Ingredients:

Slices of rustic bread – 2 per person

Burrata ball - 1 ball will serve approximately 4

Selection roasted vegetables – I used a variety of vine tomatoes and colourful peppers

Pinch dried oregano

Pinch dried red chilli flakes

Extra virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper and salt

Few asparagus stalks, trimmed and chopped

Handful frozen petit pois peas

Fresh basil Leaves

Fresh parsley leaves

Method:

To prepare the roasted vegetables, pour the olive oil into a roasting tin and heat in a very hot oven for approximately 3-4 minutes. When the oil is hot, carefully remove from the oven and add the tomatoes and peppers, grind over a little rock salt, sprinkle with the oregano and the chilli flakes and roast for 5-8 minutes until the tomatoes are just starting to burst and the vegetables are just starting to char.

Next bring a small pan of salted water vigorously to the boil, add the asparagus stalks and petit pois peas and blanch for 2 mins. Drain immediately and refresh in cold water to retain the vegetables’ bite and colour. When all the vegetables are ready, pack them in jars and chill until you are ready to transfer to your hamper.

For the toasts, rub them with olive oil and grill in a griddle pan on both sides until just starting to char. Allow to cool and then wrap in greaseproof paper and transfer to the hamper along with the fresh herbs and a jar of extra virgin olive oil.

When ready to dress at your picnic, top the bruschetta toasts with torn burrata, next the roasted peppers and tomatoes, then finish with the peas and asparagus. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and season to taste.

Gastrono-me is at 22 Abbeygate Street, Bury St Edmunds. See gastrono-me.co.uk and follow @gastrono_me


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