I’m writing this post and feeling quite bleary eyed. Buzzing from the adrenaline of the last few days, emotional because of what it is all for and overwhelmed by how much love is in our hearts. When I first started planning Feast for Archie a few months ago I never dreamed it would end up the way it did, such a momentous and incredible day, and that we would raise over £3000 for two incredible charities (Sands and Tommy’s) just from a supper club! It blows me away and makes me feel pretty tearful that all of this is in memory of our little boy, and that so many people know about him and want to help… It means so much to both of us.
May has been a tough month, and in my head this week was going to be the hardest, and I know it probably still will be, but doing this has definitely helped make a difficult time less so. His legacy lives on and that is all a mother can ask for. So, thank you all, for helping me create a legacy for my baby and for helping these charities do what they do. If you would like to donate, you can still do so here.
Here are some highlights from our wonderful day, with a list of ‘thank you’s’ to everyone who helped! And a recipe for the starter – roasted ricotta with figs and honey roasted walnut kataifi.
SHOUT OUTS! THANK YOU’S!
We cannot thank everyone enough for all their contributions, so we wanted to list everyone who helped in someway and give them a special shout out!
- Rebel Rebel for the stunning flowers, they totally made the space.
- Tom Calver of Westcombe Dairy, who makes the best cheddar in the country! For all the delicious ricotta, cheddar and Caerphilly.
- Claire Ptak of Violet Bakery, for the heavenly flourless chocolate cakes, her bakery is insanely good, and the pudding was a massive hit!
- Frances Cottrell-Duffield of Tonic Communications, for all the wine, thank you lovely!
- Laura aka The Canesmith for donating so many wonderful caramels, her grown up sweets are highly addictive.
- Maunika Gowardhan for making us delicious Indian sweets, my total Achilles heal.
- Hannah Galvin-Horne for our Archie napkins, we could not love them more Hannah, you are incredible.
- Gill from Sytch Farm Studio for the stunning ceramics and boards for our raffle, their work is beautiful and we were lucky enough to use it for the meal too.
- Lauren from The Empty Box Company for the gorgeous boxes, such wonderful gifts.
- Itamar from the wonderful Honey and Co, for donating their signed (award winning!) cookbooks for our raffle.
- Annie Rigg, for also donating her fantastic new book ‘Summer Berries & Autumn Fruits’.
- My wonderful editor Rowan for donating a tonne of books from Random House.
- Robyn from Ozone Coffee (hands down, best coffee house in London) for donating a voucher for brunch and drinks vouchers.
- Lima O’Donnell for the insanely generous styling prize, and for the loan of my fabulous dress!
And to Kim, for all his hard work, you are amazing we cannot thank you enough! Claire Gray for making the trip just to help us, it was so wonderful to work with you Claire. Tom and Alex our lovely Fifteen apprentices for the day, for working hard and making me laugh with their love of the Nigella books (pictures!). Sophia for being the best waitress I’ve ever known. My mum for being patient, hard working and always wonderful. And Pete, for putting up with me, especially when I got in a strop about his table papering techniques!
ROAST RICOTTA ON FIG LEAVES AND OREGANO, WITH FIGS AND HONEY ROASTED WALNUT KATAIFI
- A large round of fresh ricotta, around 1-1.2kg
- A few sprigs of oregano
- 1 large fig leaf (optional)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 10 figs
- 1 lemon, sliced
- Red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons runny honey, plus extra to serve
- Handful of walnuts, finely chopped
- 250g kataifi pastry
- 2 tablespoons dukkha, finely ground
- 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
Preheat the oven to 180. Pop the fig leaf in a small roasting tray, a little bigger than the cheese, then gently place the ricotta on top of it. Drizzle generously with olive oil and season well. Scatter the lemon slices around it and sprinkle with the fresh oregano leaves and sprigs. Place the tray in the oven and roast for around 45 – 50 minutes until the cheese is golden all over (baste it occasionally during cooking).
Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and drizzle with a little oil. Stretch the kataifi out onto the tray, creating 10 ‘nests’ which will go on top of the cheese when plated up. Drizzle with a little more oil, a good pinch of sea salt and pop in the oven for 10 minutes until lightly golden. Drizzle with the honey, scatter over the walnuts and most of the dukkha and then return the tray to the oven for a further 5 – 10 minutes, until golden and toasted.
Cut the figs in half, or into quarters depending on their size, and dress with a little red wine vinegar.
I like to serve this starter at room temperature, so its a perfect one to make ahead, but you can serve it hot if you like. Slice the ricotta into wedges and place a slice on each plate. Top with a nest of kataifi and a few of the fig pieces on the side. Finish with a little more honey, a pinch of dukkha and the sliced green chilli.