One of my favourite parts of cooking and food is entertaining, both everyday entertaining and for special occasions! That's why I was so delighted to be sent a copy of the new Food For Family & Friends edited by Julia Charles. A book filled not only with great food and drink recipes suitable for entertaining but also tips and tricks on placing, matching wines and many more. I even showed it to my son home from University and he thought that it would be great for students, with plenty of recipes to cook and share with friends- he's already asked for a few to take back with him!
The book is filled with lovely pictures to accompany each recipe, many of which are full or half-page. I also particularly liked the introductions for each recipe, which include helpful ideas on both selecting and sourcing ingredients and how to include dishes in menus when entertaining. I thought that the brunch, nibbles and sharing plates recipes were particularly versatile, many would make great lunches! There is an interesting section on cheeseboards, paring different cheeses with the seasons, and accompanying wine ideas.
Every page has lovely bright photos!
I decided to make the garlic mushrooms and goats' cheese on sourdough toast from the brunch section of the book as a late lunch. They were really easy and quick, and I thought they would also make a great starter!
Roasting the mushrooms
Simply pop the roasted mushrooms on the toasted bread spread with goats' cheese
Garlic Mushrooms and Goats' Cheese on Sourdough Toast
Adapted from Food for Family & Friends, recipe by Tonia George
You want to use a soft, mild goats' cheese for this recipe, alternatively you could use ricotta. Instead of the sourdough, I used toasted ciabatta and swapped the tarragon for fresh rosemary.
8 field mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tablespoons olive oil
25g pine nuts
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 slices sourdough bread
150g fresh goats' cheese
Fresh tarragon to serve
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF) Gas 6.
Clean the mushrooms and put them onto a roasting tray lined with foil. In a small bowl, mix the crushed garlic and the olive oil, then dribble it over the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 8 minutes.
After 8 minutes, sprinkle over the pine nuts and balsamic vinegar, also the fresh rosemary leaves if using instead of the tarragon. Bake for another 8 minutes or so.
Just before the mushrooms are ready, toast the bread and spread with the goats' cheese.
Arrange the mushrooms, pine nuts and rosemary on top, or if using fresh tarragon, scatter it over the top. Add more seasoning if needed and serve immediately.
The book can be bought directly from Ryland Peters & Small, or from Amazon.
Food For Family & Friends
£19.99 / Hardback, 192 pages
Publisher: Ryland Peters & Small
With thanks to Sarah at Ryland Peters & Small
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