As much as I enjoy experimentation with recipe development some days I love to be ‘dictated’ to and follow somebody else. It should come as little surprise that I’m fairly passionate about food and cooking but close friends are also aware that I’m obsessed by my ever growing cookery book collection. Quiet moments are spent browsing and favourite books tend to be those at my finger tips that I’m cooking from – each author sharing their own ideas and new twists on classics…

Today was The Divertimenti Cookbook, with its interesting introduction about their cookery school and cookware business and pages crammed full of tasty inspirations.

For no greater reason than I happened to have the ingredients plus tonight is boy’s tennis evening and cold dishes are useful, supper this evening from Divertimenti is:

Stuffed artichokes with goat cheese, parsley and capers

Green bean, pea and mint salad

Chickpea, cucumber and pepper salad with yogurt and dill dressing

Simplicity is often the best and the bean and pea salad is a fabulous example of this: haricot vert beans cooked to al dente, tender, peas simply defrosted and handfuls of chopped mint and parsley, bound together with fruity olive oil and seasoning.

The chickpea salad consists of diced vegetables with a little chilli, dressed with a yogurt and garlic sauce; and the artichoke bases resembling stuffed open-cap mushrooms – a filling of crisp breadcrumbs, garlic, herbs, anchovy, capers and goat cheese.

All prepared in advance, leaving time to sit back, relax, and enjoy a large glass of chilled white wine…