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15th October 2012

15th October 2012

I love the way recipes are endlessly flexible: for me, real cooking is about the fiddling about one does at home to suit whatever ingredients are to hand.

Let me explain what I'm talking about.  In Nigellissima, I gave a recipe for my Italian Roast Chicken, in which a chicken is roasted in an oven tin lined with bell peppers, leeks and black olives. What's so great is the way the sweetness of the peppers and leeks are punctuated by the intense saltiness of the olives.  To me, this has provided much inspiration for similar forays: I am forever now clearing out whatever veg I have left in the fridge on a Monday, chopping them up and tipping them out into a roasting tray with some garlic oil and dry-packed black olives; crespo make is available at most supermarkets.

But pared down, the combo works, too: most recently, I cooked a chicken (when am I not cooking a chicken?) with some sweet potatoes and the dry-packed black olives in question and out of these three simple ingredients (and the usual drizzle of garlic oil) there emerged from my oven an absolute feast!