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FT Festive 50_ Starters - FT

FT Festive 50_ Starters - FT

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Published by: buright on Apr 02, 2013
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02/03/2013FT Festive 50: Starters - FT.comwww.ft.com/cms/s/2/884d3416-1bcd-11e1-8b11-00144feabdc0.html1/21
M
December 2, 2011 10:00 pm
FT Festive 50: Starters
Set the tone for the meal with a sophisticated, classy pear tart or astunning salad with oranges and dates
ichel Roux Jr’s pear tart with stilton and pistachios
Pears are a well-known accompaniment to cheese but thisrecipe takes it to another level. Cooking pears in red wine andspices is a classic dessert that I love and only surpassed by serving them as a sophisticated, classy starter that is actually  very easy to achieve.Perfect with a blue cheese of your choice but equally as good with mature hard cheese such as pecorino, Cantal or evenCheddar. Most good delis will stock pistachio oil but if you can’tget your hands on some, then a drizzle of strong extra virginolive oil will work a treat. Choose a slightly firm Williams orCornice for this recipe and for a really deep red wine colour,cook the pears a couple of days in advance and keep in thefridge until needed.
Serves 4
120g puff pastry, plus flour for dusting2 pears, peeled500ml red wine80g caster sugar2 tbsp blackcurrant liqueur1 cinnamon stick 1 clove1 dried red chilli
 
02/03/2013FT Festive 50: Starters - FT.comwww.ft.com/cms/s/2/884d3416-1bcd-11e1-8b11-00144feabdc0.html2/21
150g Stilton cheese, crumbled60g pistachios, shelled and choppedBaby salad leavesOlive oilLemon juiceSalt and pepperPistachio oil● Preheat the oven to 180C. Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to 2mm thick and then prick all over with a fork. Place the pastry in between two non-stick baking sheetsand cook in the oven until golden and crisp. Leave to cool and then cut into four rectangles.● Put the pears in a saucepan with the wine, sugar, liqueur, spices and chilli. Quickly bring tothe boil and then cover with greaseproof paper and simmer until tender, turning over thepears several times during cooking. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.● Once cool, drain and reserve the cooking liquid. Cut the pears in half and core them, cutinto slices and place on the rectangles of puff pastry.● Return the saucepan to the heat and quickly boil the cooking liquid until syrupy.● Sprinkle the Stilton and pistachios over the pear. Garnish with a few salad leaves seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve with a drizzle of the syrupy red wine sauceand pistachio oil.
 Recipe from ‘Great British Food Revival: The Revolution Continues’ published byWeidenfeld & Nicolson (£20)
. . .Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s red cabbage, parsnip, orange and dates
This salad is a perfect for a winter starter or light lunch.It’s quick to prepare, looks stunning and it’s adaptabletoo: try using unsulphured dried apricots instead of dates, for instance; leave out the parsnip for a lightersalad, or substitute a large carrot if you like. Cherviland parsley both work well in place of thyme.
Serves 2
 
02/03/2013FT Festive 50: Starters - FT.comwww.ft.com/cms/s/2/884d3416-1bcd-11e1-8b11-00144feabdc0.html3/21
1 large (or 2 small) oranges¼ small red cabbage, core removed, finely shredded1 small-medium parsnip, peeled and coarsely grated orcut into julienne2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil2 Medjool dates, stones removed, sliced A couple of sprigs of thyme, leaves only, choppedSea salt and freshly ground black pepper● Slice the top and bottom from the orange. Stand itupright on a board and work your way around it with asharp knife, cutting off the skin and all the pith. Cut outthe segments from between the membranes, working over a bowl to save the juice, lettingthe segments fall into the bowl. When you’ve finished, squeeze the juice from the remainingmembrane into the bowl too.● Put the finely shredded cabbage and grated parsnip into another bowl, add most of theorange juice (not the segments yet) and trickle over the olive oil. Add a little salt and pepper,toss the lot together with your hands, then transfer to serving plates.● Scatter the orange segments and date slices over the red cabbage and parsnip, then finish with a scattering of thyme. Serve straight away.
 Extract from ‘River Cottage Veg Every Day!’ by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, published by Bloomsbury (£25)
. . .Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s chestnut and sage soup
This is a rich and elegant soup with a beguilingly velvety texture. A small portion makes alovely starter, while a larger serving, with some bread and perhaps a crisp green salad, is asatisfying lunch or supper. You can use vacuum-packed precooked chestnuts for this, orfresh, whole chestnuts, blanched, peeled and simmered until tender.
Serves 4-6
3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to trickle

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