Cape Town really is magnificent at this time of year, the mountain just about sparkles in the soft-lit blue skies- imploring you to put on some sensible shoes and come outside to “seize the day” : to be honest it’s all really a bit of a bother . Some of us would far prefer to be inside watching back-to-back episodes of Project Runway with a bit of Star Trek mixed in (for balance) than dirtying our hems outdoors. But when Cape Town is behaving in this way it’s difficult not to feel guilty about keeping the curtains drawn- even if you are having a perfectly lovely time in the dark.
The only real injustice of my childhood is that the two greatest sins in our home were also sources of great pleasure to me. We were (for reasons I still don’t quite understand) not to stand with the fridge door open and (most urgently) we were not to waste ” a perfectly good day”. These passionately enforced rules meant that the peaceful business of leisurely selecting some snacks from the fridge and settling down to watch an Asterix and Obelix film was always disrupted by violent reprimands and dramatic “storming-ins”. My mother and father would take it in turns to come into the TV room, just when the episode of Duck-tales had taken a thrilling plot twist, to fling open the curtains (letting the light and the guilt flood in) and then angrily send my brother and me outside to play half-heartedly in the muddy river (while, I hasten to add, the sun probably played mischievous havoc with our unprotected DNA).
The result is that now, in adulthood, I feel edified by any time spent outdoors. The attendance of a picnic, for example, is an important duty to be performed – a ritual that clears the rest of the week-end for some guilt-free slobbery. Of course, I also take great pleasure in a picnic. If you are going to be outdoors it might as well be to do something civilised.
I had a splendid picnic over the week-end (and have not felt obliged to open my curtains since then). This handsome thing is what I made:
Chorizo, Rye Brioche Tart / Pizza
What I did:
I Used a half of a savoury Brioche recipe, ( actually half sweet brioche recipe but with the sugar reduced to just two teaspoons) and subsituted half of the bread flour for Rye flour. I am certain that Dan Lepard will (as ever) serve you well here:
Roast some red pepper, onion and tomatoes. Chop some Chorizo, and Gruyère.
Use your fingers to spread some of the brioche dough into a tart or cake tin. Keep the layer quite thin, filling only 1/4 of the tin. Keep the dough a bit thicker around the edges. Let it sit to prove for about 5 minutes. Spread the cooled roasted vegetables, Chorizo and Gruyère around the top of the bread leaving a small border around the edges.
Heat the oven to about 180 Celsius
Bake for about 30 mins, until things are brown and irresistible.
Serve warm or room temperature with some greenery like watercress or rocket. Eat outdoors, if at all possible, then hurry home to get on with the true pleasure of living.