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La Cortina Dinner Recipes

We recently hosted a dinner at Can Pep Rey’s headquarters with friends and colleagues to celebrate the new Spring Summer collection, ‘La Cortina’.

Once again, we had the privilege of enjoying a selection of beautifully delicious dishes prepared by our designer Lea Russ. She has graciously shared her recipes with us.

All hand-made ceramics sponsored by @prado.38, from an independent brand from Barcelona. Every moment captured by photographer @pilardevedia

You’ll find a selection of images of the dishes and the night as well as recipes below. Enjoy!


Cucumber with Stracciatella

Serves 4

  • 4 mini cucumbers (soft skin is important)
  • 150-200 g stracciatella di bufala
  • 3-4 radishes
  • 2 handfuls of basil
  • 150 ml good olive oil
  • 1 organic lemon
  • Salt and pepper

Steps:

  1. Cut the cucumbers in half. Use a teaspoon to scrape out the seeds and liquid part, creating a hollow in the cucumber. (If not eating immediately, place them in a bowl with water and ice cubes in the fridge to keep them fresh.)
  2. Slice the radishes as thinly as possible.
  3. Pick the basil leaves and blend them with the olive oil to create basil oil. Add a squeeze of lemon juice.
  4. Use a small spoon to fill the cucumbers with the stracciatella. Place the radishes on top for decoration. For the final touch, drizzle the basil oil on top and grate some lemon zest over it. Add salt and pepper (wash the lemon well before using the zest).

Caponata

Serves 4

  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 onion
  • 1 chili (or more, depending on desired spice level)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 can of sieved tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 small glass of dried tomatoes
  • 200 ml red wine
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 100-150 g almonds (ideally toasted)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Steps:

  1. Chop the aubergine into small cubes and place them in a bowl. Cover with enough salt so all cubes are slightly covered. Set aside for at least 1 hour to dehydrate them.
  2. Chop the onion and tomatoes into small cubes. Chop the dried tomatoes and save the oil. Use the dried tomato oil to start roasting the onions. Add the garlic (pressed), chili (finely chopped), and tomato paste. Roast briefly, then add the fresh and dried tomatoes until everything is nicely colored.
  3. Add the red wine and let it reduce for a moment, then add the sieved tomatoes and possibly a splash of water if it feels too dry. Let it simmer on low heat for 1-2 hours, checking occasionally if more water is needed. The longer it sits, the more flavour it develops, so it can even be made a night before.
  4. When ready to serve, press the water out of the aubergine cubes by hand to make them smaller and crunchier.
  5. Fry the aubergine cubes in olive oil until golden. Add them to the tomato sauce. To serve, sprinkle chopped almonds and parsley on top. Caponata can be eaten cold or warm as a tomato sauce for pasta. The traditional way is to eat it cold as a starter.

Artichoke Flowers

Serves 4

4 artichokes

1 lemon

1 medium-sized potato

1 handful of grated Parmesan

Olive oil

Salt and pepper)

Steps:

  1. Chop off the top third of the artichokes. Cut off the stems and set aside. Remove the first row of outer leaves. Use a small knife to cut out the little hairs above the heart of the artichoke.
  2. Place the prepared artichokes into a bowl of cold water with the halved lemon and let sit for at least 5 minutes. Boil water and add the artichokes and stems, and optionally the potato. Depending on the size of the artichoke, boil for 25-35 minutes.
  3. Rinse the artichokes under cold water and place the stems and potato in a separate bowl. Gently open the artichoke leaves like a flower. If the outer ring of leaves is too hard, remove enough to leave only the softer parts.
  4. Blend the stems and potato with salt, pepper, and Parmesan to make a purée. Place a spoonful of this on each plate.
  5. Heat olive oil in a pan until bubbles form when the artichoke touches the oil. Fry the artichokes face down until golden.
  6. Place them on top of the purée, add salt, pepper, and a bit of grated Parmesan. Serve!

Chicory with Gorgonzola Mousse

Serves 4

  • 2 chicories
  • 150 g gorgonzola
  • 100 ml milk
  • 185 ml cream (minimum 32% fat)
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • A little honey
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 handful of walnuts
  • (Cream syphon needed)

Steps:

  1. Blend the milk, oil, salt, pepper, and gorgonzola until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve to achieve a very smooth texture. Add the cream to the gorgonzola mix. Pour into the syphon and store in the fridge. (The syphon and mixture need to be cold to become a mousse. Also, add the gas for the syphon.)
  2. Roughly chop the walnuts and roast them in a pan without oil until golden.
  3. Chop off the ends of the chicory and remove the first layer of leaves. Take each leaf and place it on a plate.
  4. Use the cold syphon to add the mousse to the leaves. Sprinkle walnuts on top and drizzle a little honey over them. Add salt and pepper. Serve!

Homemade Gnocchi with Creamy Lemon Sauce

Serves 4

For the Gnocchi:

  • 1 kg potatoes (floury boiling)
  • 150 g flour
  • 100 g semolina
  • Salt

For the Lemon Sauce:

  • 2 organic lemons
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 100 g cold butter (optional)
  • 100 ml vegetable broth (homemade or from an organic supermarket)
  • 250 ml cream (oat cream for plant-based)
  • 200-250 g Parmesan (or nutritional yeast for plant-based)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Steps:

Gnocchi:

  1. Boil the potatoes whole. Once soft, rinse them and peel off the skins while still a little warm.
  2. Press them through a potato ricer, or use a potato masher or fork. Avoid using a blender as it releases starch, creating a gummy texture.
  3. Add the flour bit by bit while kneading the dough, along with the semolina and salt. Once it forms a cohesive mass without sticking to the bowl, the texture is correct. If necessary, add more flour.
  4. Spread some flour on your work surface, take a clementine-sized ball of dough, and roll it into long sausages. Cut into small cubes. Use them as they are or customize them with a fork.
  5. Place the gnocchi on a tray covered with flour and let them sit for a minimum of 1 hour, maximum of 24 hours (ideally use the same day).
  6. Add the gnocchi to boiling salted water and cook until they float to the surface. Once all are up, turn off the heat and let them sit for another 5-10 minutes, depending on the desired size and consistency. Then add them to the sauce.

Lemon Sauce:

  1. Chop the onion into small cubes and press the garlic. Grate the Parmesan and have the broth, lemons, and cream ready.
  2. Roast the onions and garlic in olive oil until golden. Add the vegetable broth and cream, and a small handful of Parmesan. Lower the heat and whisk. Squeeze the lemon juice into the sauce. Add the rest of the Parmesan while whisking (leave a bit for decoration). Add salt, pepper, and the zest of 1 lemon (wash before zesting).
  3. The sauce should become creamy. If thicker consistency is desired, add cold butter at the end while whisking (without heat).
  4. When draining the gnocchi, save some pasta water. Use this to adjust the sauce consistency if needed.
  5. Add the gnocchi to the sauce, along with basil, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and the zest of the second lemon. Enjoy!

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