#9 FOOD NEWS: Hybrid Nutella, Gino’s salad & Calabria in Norbiton


Gino’s chicken & chorizo salad


Gino’s mix of Italian flavours and my need-for-speed most days has got me going back to his latest book, Pronto, time and time again, here’s one of my favourites – a quick and tasty salad that’s perfect for lunch or a light supper.

final salad

Serves 4

100g cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
100g borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
20 cherry tomatoes quartered
1 medium hot red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely
2tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
8tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 medium skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1cm strips
100g hot chorizo sausage cut into thin round slices
60g rocket leaves

1 Put all the beans in a large bowl with the tomatoes, chilli and garlic. Pour over the lemon juice with half the olive oil, season with salt, toss altogether and set aside.

2 Place a large frying pan over a high heat and pour in the remaining oil, Add the chicken strips and fry for 5 mins, stirring occasionally.

3 Season with salt, add the chorizo and continue to fry for a further 2 mins over a high heat.

step strip

4 Toss the rocket leaves through the bean salad and transfer to a large serving plate. Top with crispy chicken and chorizo and serve immediately (or mix everything together, as I did-even speedier, and serve).


Sign of a great dish. Circular fork motions from an Italian.

Britalian Tip

This is great for a sophisticated summer picnic, toss everything together except the rocket (take it in a separate container), then toss it through just before serving. Take some crusty bread for the chorizo juices – perfect for ‘scarpetta’ (or ‘mopping up’ – think I’ll stick to ‘scarpetta’).

Calabria on my doorstep!

banner calabria 1

My tripadvisor.co.uk loving friend spotted the great reviews about this slice of Italy in sunny suburbia, so we packed our handbags, left the suncream at home and took the Misters out for a night in Norbiton! The stylish but familiar shabby-chic decor gives this quirky little restaurant a lovely welcoming vibe.

calabria 2

The antipasti-style starters reminded me of agritourismo restaurants in Italy and the mozzarella was some of the best I’ve tasted. Go for the gigantic and generously-filled calzone for the ‘wow’ factor and satisfaction guaranteed. Keep it authentic all the way and order the delicious Calabrian Merlot but for those who can’t resist mixing it up a bit they offer a cheeky banoffee pie amongst their selection of traditional Italian desserts. Did they know I was coming?


A Britalian welcome

When the Italians come to stay, apart from treating them to a legendary English breakfast, I like to have a couple home-comforts at the ready as well as some Britalian surprises!

Nutella: CHECK!


The 1940s creation of Mr Pietro Ferrero is a must in any Italian househould. When cocoa was scarce due to World War II rationing, the bountiful hazelnuts of Piedmont jumped out to Mr Ferrero and this iconic spread was born.


Tiger-stripe spread

Homemade peanut butter and hazelnut chocolate spread


Makes 1 large, or 2 small jars

50g blanched hazelnuts
300g salted roasted peanuts
80ml vegetable oil
225g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
40g icing sugar, sieved
½tsp vanilla extract

1 Preheat oven to 190°C, 170°C fan, gas mark 5. Spread the hazelnuts out on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 5-10 mins until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

2 Meanwhile, to make the peanut butter layer, place the peanuts in a food processor with 20ml of the vegetable oil, process until almost completely smooth apart from a few ‘crunchy bits’. Remove and set aside.

3 Melt the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Alternatively, microwave in 30 second bursts at full power until melted. Set aside to cool slightly.

4 Transfer the cooled hazelnuts to the food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the icing sugar and process again for 10 seconds. Add the melted chocolate, remaining oil and the vanilla extract and process until fully combined. Use a funnel or spoon to fill sterilised jars (see Britalian Tip) in alternate layers with the peanut butter. Allow to settle for 24 hours, then enjoy on warm toast. Heck! This salty, sweet, addictive combo – you won’t be able to resist eating it straight from the jar!

peanut toast

Britalian tip

See https://britaliankitchen.com/recipe-index-2/cherry-vanilla-jam/ for info on sterilisng jars


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