Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 584

13 J ANUARY 202 2 21 First Bites FOOD&DRINK Photography: Parri Thomas LITTLE GEMS MASTER OF WINE PI ERPAOLO PETRASS I If you have some aubergines to hand, you’re not far from a delicious meal. Halve a couple of ärm aubergines lengthways, cut a criss-cross pattern deep into the åesh of each half, drizzle with oil, then roast in a hot oven for 30 minutes, or until the åesh is soft and becoming charred. When cool, scrape the pulp into a bowl, season well, and mash with olive oil and lemon juice. You can keep this paste covered in the fridge for three days, ready to be spread over sourdough for lunch or stirred through pasta for dinner. Nuggets of culinary wisdom that make life so much easier My memorable meal James Morrison The Brit Award-winning musician recalls the time he stepped in to save the family Sunday lunch It was about a year ago. Mymumhadn’t been well, so I went down to Cornwall to see her andmy brother and sister. When I visit, we normally go out for ameal, but on this Sunday we decided to cook a big roast dinner. Mumwas intending to cook. But then she said: “I can’t cook this, you boys are going to have to do it!”We looked at one another. I’d never cooked a roast before. I said to him: “This is going to taste horrible.” Mumwas always a good cook – she’dmade bags of roast dinners when we were kids. So we used our experience of watching her. Each of us had little tricks. My brother put butter under the skin of the chicken, so it stayed nice and juicy. I put a little bit of vinegar in the gravy to give it a bit of tartness. Wemade some crispy roast potatoes, flavoured with garlic and rosemary. We alsomade Yorkshire puddings from scratch, which were big and solid with a real crunch. We did some broccoli and carrots, a sweet potato and swede mash as well as stu ng – all the trimmings. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. It was one of the best roast chickenmeals I’ve ever had. EvenMumandmy sister, who had been writing us o the whole time, begrudgingly admitted it was really nice. Everyone was licking their lips, sucking the juice o their fingers and mopping up their plate. I made a jam roly poly for pudding, though I didn’t make the custard from scratch. I cheated on that. But jam roly poly is such an easy thing tomake and it tastes so good. It was one of those childhood puddingsMumwouldmake when I was a kid. So it was my way of bringing us together withmemories of the food we used to eat. My brother and I were talking about it for ages afterwards. We would say things like: “Remember that meal we cooked? It was really good, wasn’t it?” That’s themain thing I liked about it. It was the first time we cooked ameal together, as brothers, and we absolutely smashed it. JamesMorrison’s Greatest Hits is released on 11 February ‘My brother and I used our experience of watching Mum. Each of us had tricks’ FORCING THE PACE Forced rhubarb season is upon us. The recipe section at waitrose.com has a variety of ways to enjoy these perky pink stalks, including white chocolate and rhubarb triåes, and rhubarb and cardamom custard cake. WAITROSE BLANC DE BLANCS BRUT NV £25.99/75cl Produced entirely from Chardonnay grapes grown on the Côte des Blancs in Champagne, this is in a fresh, ripe, elegant style, with hazelnut notes and a creamy texture. Lovely as a chilled apéritif, and pairs perfectly with canapés, seafood, smoked salmon or light äsh dishes. LA UMBRA CHARDONNAY £5.99/75cl (selected stores) This great-value, deliciously dry white wine has citrus notes and a bright, refreshing character. There’s lovely balance and elegance with aromas of ripe melon and underlying notes of pineapple and peaches. Fantastic with äsh dishes or chicken in rich, creamy sauces. Say Chardonnay and most people might think of big, oaky New World wines, which were among the ärst to explicitly state the varietal name on labels – but there’s much more to this versatile grape variety. It originates in Burgundy – most white Burgundy is 100% Chardonnay, including Chablis – and it’s also one of the varieties used in Champagne, with Blanc de Blancs being made purely from Chardonnay. As Chardonnay is grown all over the world and invariably makes good wine, why not take a look at one of its other styles? Visit waitrosecellar.com for the full range of wines, offers and expert advice, including Pierpaolo’s recommendations. Use the Click & Collect service – free for orders over £100. CAVE DES VIGNERONS DE CHABLIS, PETIT CHABLIS £12.99/75cl A fresh and fruity, greatvalue example of what good Petit Chablis should be. The wine is unoaked so the citrus aromas and green apple åavours can shine through to a long, fresh änish. With its mineral complexity, this would be wonderful with shelläsh or äsh and chips with a crisp green salad. CLIMBING CHARDONNAY £20% off £7.99/75cl (was £9.99, offer ends 25 January) The cool-climate Aussie region from which this wine originates is inland and at higher altitude, causing the grapes to ripen slowly. Some 40% of the blend was fermented in French oak, adding complexity to the apple, peach, lemon and melon character. Ideal with a roast or äsh pie.