Grilled Peach and Cheddar Avocado Crostini

Grilled peach and cheddar avocado crostini

We've had a few nice sunny summer days in London recently and I couldn't be happier. Hot weather makes me crave fresh salads and simple recipes using seasonal produce. I'm generally happy with a plate of chilled watermelon or avocado toast on such days.

Last week I bought way too many peaches. I wanted to make something new so I revamped my usual avocado toast by adding a few slices of peach and my favourite Tickler cheddar. A few minutes under broiler to melt the cheese, a sprinkle of walnuts and cress on top. A quick summer lunch... sorted! Easy and delicious!

Grilled peach and cheddar avocado crostini Grilled peach and cheddar avocado crostini



Grilled Peach and Cheddar Avocado crostini
makes 6

1 large stonebaked ciabatta
1 avocado
2 ripe peaches, sliced
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
30g Castello Tickler Extra Mature Cheddar, shredded
40g walnuts
handful of fresh cress

Preheat oven broiler to high. Make 6 slices of ciabatta and place them on a baking sheet. Broil ciabatta about 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove from the oven.
In a small bowl mash avocado with a fork, add lemon juice and season with salt a pepper. Spread the avocado on top of each toasted ciabatta. Top with a few slices of peach and sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven and broil until cheese is melted 3-4 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle each ciabatta with walnuts and cress.


Disclaimer: this recipe was created in collaboration with Castello. All opinions are my own. 
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Quinoa Pudding & Casa Cook Hotel Rhodes


Sarka Babicka

A few week ago I went to the Greek island Rhodes to spend three days at a brand new Casa Cook boutique hotel by Thomas Cook. It was my second time in Greece, and just like the first time in Crete last year, I fell in love with Rhodes very quickly. It's a beautiful island with gorgeous nature, small villages, delicious food and lovely people.

The hotel felt like a little piece of paradise, featuring gorgeous modern interior design with urban flair. There was so much to do, see and taste and my three days flew away like a leaf in the wind.
However, it was the first morning at the hotel when I'd tasted a quinoa pudding for breakfast and couldn't get over how delicious and creamy it was. I knew immediately I needed the recipe and decided to ask the hotel's executive chef Giorgakis  Manoli if he would share his recipe. Luckily he kindly agreed!
To say I didn't want to go back to London would be an understatement. At least I brought back with me a recipe for the easiest and the most delicious quinoa pudding ever.

Sarka Babicka
Sarka Babicka
Sarka Babicka
Sarka Babicka
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Sarka Babicka
Sarka Babicka Sarka Babicka Sarka Babicka      Sarka Babicka
Sarka Babicka Sarka Babicka

Quinoa Pudding
Serves 2

1/4 cup quinoa
1 can (400ml) coconut milk
seeds from 1 vanilla bean or 1tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
2tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar

Rinse quinoa well under running water. Put all ingredients into a small pot and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring often until quinoa is soft. Add more syrup if you like your pudding sweeter.
Divide the pudding between two bowls and serve with your favourite fruit or jam and nuts.






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Taste Of Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem

Taste Of Waldorf Jerusalem

Tomorrow is a big day for five chef pairs. February 24th 2016 is the day when five James Beard Foundation Rising-Star chefs together with their Waldorf Astoria Master Chef partners will prepare and present their final dishes to a panel of judges in New York City as the final part of Taste of Waldorf Astoria competition.

Shortly before Christmas last year, I was honoured to travel to Jerusalem to spend a few days in a beautiful Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem hotel, following James Beard Foundation Rising-Star Chef JJ and Waldorf Astoria Master Chef Itzik Barak with my camera.
It was an unforgettable experience and a dream job to photograph and watch two great professionals working their magic in the kitchen and also exploring history and tasting flavours of the region.

After days of cooking, brainstorming, tasting and visiting local markets, the chefs have created their final Taste of Waldorf dish called "The Seven Species". It's Dorade fish cooked with aubergine puree and bread crust served over bulgur salad with homemade tahini and fresh vegetables and herbs.  All my favourite ingredients and flavours on one plate.

Needles to say, it was hard to say goodbye to the most comfortable home away from home, serving the best kosher version of the iconic Eggs Benedict (using smoked salmon instead of bacon) and the wonderful team of Taste of Waldorf Astoria. Btw I must have eaten my weight in Eggs Benedict there - this and this are just two of many more I've had! Also there's a short video of the Eggs Benedict by the super talented videographer Tara Sgroi.

Surely, all five chef teams deserve to win, but I truly hope that "The Seven Species" dish will be the new winner.

Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem
Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem
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Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem
Taste Of Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Taste Of Waldorf Jerusalem Taste Of Waldorf Jerusalem Taste Of Waldorf Jerusalem Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Taste Of Waldorf Jerusalem Taste Of Waldorf Jerusalem
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Taste Of Waldorf Jerusalem
Taste Of Waldorf Jerusalem Taste Of Waldorf Jerusalem
Taste Of Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem
Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem
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Taste Of Waldorf Jerusalem
Taste Of Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Taste Of Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Taste Of Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Taste Of Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Taste Of Waldorf Jerusalem Taste Of Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Taste Of Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem
Taste Of Waldorf Jerusalem
Taste Of Waldorf Jerusalem Taste Of Waldorf Jerusalem
Taste Of Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem
Taste Of Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Taste Of Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Taste Of Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Taste Of Waldorf Jerusalem Taste Of Waldorf Jerusalem Taste Of Waldorf Jerusalem
Taste Of Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Taste Of Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Taste Of Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Taste Of Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem