I was working with brilliant, award-winning Eco Chef Arthur Potts Dawson of Acorn House yesterday. I tried not to follow him around asking stalker-style questions or just tapping him on the back or tugging his sleeve going, "Arthur, Arthur?" too much but didn't do so well. And now I've nicked one of his recipes for you. This is Arthur's version of the Tuscan classic Ribollita and as I am off to Tuscany for a long weekend tomorrow, it was a great taster of what I hope is to come. Arthur's new restaurant Water House has just opened and he says the all day drop-in weekend brunch is really worth trying. Landcroft House will be going there next weekend.
1 head celery, cut in 1cm dice
2 red onions, cut into 1cm dice
4 carrots, cut into 1 cm dice
100ml light olive oil
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 x 400g cans plum tomatoes
1 head of cavolo Nero cabbage (about 600g) blanched and roughly chopped
400g can chickpeas, drained
lots of extra virgin olive oil
1 loaf ciabatta
Cook the soffrito (celery, onions and carrots)in the light olive oil in a large pan until deep golden brown and caramelised - about 30 - 40 minutes.
Add the finely chopped parsley stalks and garlic, then rinse the juice from the tomatoes and them to the pan. Cook gently for 20 minutes.
Add the cabbage, chickpeas and some of the water the cabbage was cooked in along with plenty of olive oil. Tear out the centre of the bread and add to the pan along with some salt and pepper and cook for another 20 minutes. Check seasoning and finish with more olive oil.