The next stop was at Neal’s Yard. It is a small alley in Covent Garden between Shorts Gardens and Monmouth Street which opens into a courtyard. It is named after the 17th century developer, Thomas Neale. It now contains several health food cafes and new age retailers such as Neal’s Yard Dairy. It is easy to find the shop because you can smell the cheese from distance. The company buys cheese from about seventy cheesemakers on farms around Britain and Ireland and they sell the cheese in their two shops in London and to shops and restaurants all over the world.
We ended the day in Nopi at Ottolenghi’s newest fancy restaurant in Soho. Seven food bloggers (Nando, Giulia, Beth, Sarka, Mowie, Mayssam and myself) plus Bruce got together and shared the delicious but small meals. According to the menu the dishes are designed for sharing. That was what we exactly did. And we laughed. A lot.
By the way… the recipe I’m sharing with you is from the book, Plenty.
Sweetcorn Polenta with Tomato Aubergine Sauce
Ingredients (serves 2)
For the polenta
- 3 corn cobs
- 300 ml water
- 20 g butter
- 150 g feta, crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the aubergine sauce
- 1 medium aubergine, cut into 2 cm dice
- 1 canned tomatoes (peeled)
- 3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 30 ml dry white wine
- 50 ml water
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped oregano
- salt, pepper
- pinch of cane sugar
- olive oil
Place kernels in a saucepan and cover them with water. Cook for 10-12 minutes on low simmer. With a hand blender puree the kernels with water (break as much of the kernel case as possible).
Return the corn paste pan to the stove and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Fold in the butter, feta cheese, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Meanwhile heat up 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan and saute the onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes. Add the aubergine and 2 more tablespoons olive oil and fry on medium heat for about 5-8 minutes. Add the tomatoes (can + fresh) and stir with the aubergin. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the white wine and water. Season with salt and pepper, add the pinch of cane sugar and oregano. Cook for another 10 minutes to get a deep flavoured sauce.
Divide the polenta among bowls and spoon some warm aubergine sauce on the top.