What to feed a ravening artist

rav·en·ing – adjective: (of a ferocious wild animal) Extremely hungry and hunting for prey.
At the end  the first day of my Open Studio I was starving.  I’d nibbled on coffee cake all day, but didn’t have time for a proper lunch.  My wonderful husband saved the day (and prevented me from taking big bites out of him) with an elegant and quick Italian meal.

It started with an Aperol Spritz.  We discovered this Italian aperitivo at Sainsbury’s earlier this year when I did a double take as we passed the bottle of gorgeous orange liquid with a stylish Art Deco label. It was the combination of bright orange, yellow and dark blue that caught me.   Whatever it was I had to have it.  Turns out that it is the main ingredient in a spritz along with our favourite sparkling wine, Prosecco.  While Aperol was originally created in 1919, it did not become successful until after World War II.  Its ingredients are, among others, bitter orange, gentian, rhubarb, and cinchona.

Aperol Spritz

  • 2 parts Aperol
  • 3 parts Prosecco
  • A splash of soda
  • Ice
  • Orange slice

Mix everything in a tall glass.

An Aperol Spritz is like an astringent orange Fanta.  For grown ups.


I had my Spritz with a slice of whole wheat toast cut into quarters and spread with some very good tapenade from Provence that we had in our larder.  I absolutely adore my friends who bring us lovely and tasty offerings of food!

Thus fortified, I went downstairs to my herb pots in our courtyard garden and picked some fresh sage for dinner.

Sage, rosemary, thyme, tarragon and a Christmas tree

Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, Steve was skinning chicken thighs, thinly slicing garlic and separating prosciutto slices.  This recipe is very easy to scale up.

Prosciutto and Sage Wrapped Chicken Thighs

  • 2 chicken thighs, bone in or not
  • 4 slices prosciutto
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 12 sage leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 375°C/190°F.

Remove the skin from the chicken, spray on a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle with pepper.  Arrange the garlic and sage leaves on top.

Carefully wrap prosciutto around each thigh and tuck the ends underneath to make a parcel.

Bake for about 30 – 40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.  This depends on the size of the thighs and whether they are boned or not.  To accompany the chicken, Steve roasted some new potatoes and cooked some freshly shelled peas.

Buon Appetito!


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