ITALIAN AT HOME: BELINDA JEFFERY

 In Bulletin

Cookbook author and cooking teacher Belinda Jeffery has turned heads in the Northern Rivers thanks to her simple approach to food. Among her easy entertaining suggestions lie plenty of potential to incorporate a little Salumi Australia.

Top tips for easy entertaining?

Experimentation and easy entertaining rarely go hand-in-hand. “To keep your cool (and potentially, your sanity!) by making the main dish something you know and love – you can always experiment with side dishes and accompaniments.”

You’re favourite Salumi Australia product?
“I feel a rising sense of panic if I don’t have a large chunk of pancetta affumicata in the fridge, as it’s my main go-to for enhancing flavour. I use it constantly – sauteed and sprinkled over salads; as part of an aromatic base for soups, pasta sauces, and casseroles; cooked with mushrooms and thyme then spooned over soft polenta; as the flavour base for a quiche. There is just so much you can do with it. “

Antipasti non-negotiable?
“I worked in an Italian restaurant for years and love antipasti. I tend to mix and match bought in and homemade things. Usually, I buy beautiful prosciutto and salami, then serve it with bits and pieces I’ve made…a little salad of roasted peppers and tomatoes; a platter of halved figs topped with gorgonzola; some warm olives.”

Your entertaining go-to?
Easy entertaining is about making things minimal says @belindajefferyfood “I love one dish meals which only need a big salad and something like really good bread, polenta, potatoes or rice to sop up the juices. In summer, I marinate chicken thigh cutlets in olive oil with loads of garlic, lemon, and herbs then roast them; in winter it’s more likely to be a huge casserole of lamb shanks served with soft polenta and a fennel and pecan salad.”