Stratta blog

Winter Fruit Salad

A tasty way to end a meal in mid-winter when Jack Frost is about and the snow lays crisp and even.DSC_0044

  • 4 firm pears – conference or concord
  • 2 eating apples
  • 150g dried apricots
  • 50g dried figs
  • 4 plums
  • glass of port or red wine (if using red wine add a tablespoon of soft brown sugar)
  • 125ml stratta mulled fruit vinegar


Peel and cut the pears and apples into chunks.

Place all the ingredients in a pan, bring to the boil and then simmer very gently for about 20 minutes.

Leave to cool and allow the flavours to develop for at least a few hours before serving. This dish is best prepared the day before and served slightly warm with a good quality vanilla ice-cream.




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Baked Aubergine

As promised last week, here is the recipe for the baked aubergines we cooked to accompany the lamb in the last blog.  This is one of our winter favorites and we always make sure we cook far too much so we have some left-overs to eat on the run in between bottling and looking after the grandchildren!

Five oils 250ml

  • 2 large Aubergine
  • Small tin of chopped plum tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 50ml stratta smoky Moroccan infused olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons stratta redcurrant balsamic vinegar
  • Cracked Black Pepper
  • Sea Salt
  • Optional – 2 teaspoons harissa paste


Split the aubergines length-ways

Criss-cross the flesh in diamond slashes 1 cm apart making sure not to pierce the skin.

Place in an oven proof dish skin side down and use the 100 ml of olive oil to cover all the cut surfaces.

Pop into a preheated oven at 170º for 20 minutes

Whilst the cooking gets underway,  finely chop the onion and garlic and mix with all the remaining ingredients.  If you like your food a little spicy, now it the time to add in the harissa paste.

When the 20 minutes is up, spread this mixture onto the aubergines making sure to cover all the cut surfaces.  Bake for a further 20-30 minutes until the aubergines are soft and unctuous.

Serve immediately with a dollop of plain yoghurt or crème fraiche.




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Slow roast smoky Moroccan lamb with couscous

On a cold wet January evening this dish warmed the cockles of our friends’ hearts.  We added oven baked aubergines as an accompaniment (more of this in the next blog) and included a dish of plain yoghurt to soften the edge of the chilli for those who prefer less heat.


Warming lamb with friends

For the lamb

  • 1 leg of lamb on the bone
  • 1 kilo red onions, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons stratta smoky Moroccan oil
  • 1 fresh chilli
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • Sea salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons stratta redcurrant balsamic vinegar


For the couscous

  • 400g couscous
  • 2 tablespoons stratta lemon olive oil
  • 600ml water plus 2 chicken stock cubes (or your own chicken stock)
  • Handful fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • Handful fresh mint leaves
  • Handful fresh coriander leaves
  • 100g black olives, pitted and halved
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly milled black pepper



Preheat oven to 140°C.

Crush the garlic and finely chop the chilli, mix them into the smoky Moroccan oil along with the redcurrant balsamic vinegar.

Scoring the surface of the lamb will help the flavours be absorbed into the meat.

Place all of the red onions in a large roasting tin and put the leg of lamb on top.  Pour the Moroccan mixture over the lamb and rub in well.  Finish with some sea salt and freshly milled black pepper.

Roast for 4-5 hours, uncovered, basting occasionally.  Gently lift the lamb out onto a serving dish and cover with foil to rest.

Use the chicken stock to de-glaze the roasting pan so that you end up with a rich onion sauce.



Dissolve the chicken stock cubes in the boiling water.

Stir the lemon oil into the couscous along with salt and pepper.  Add the hot chicken stock, stir, cover and leave for 5 minutes.  Use a fork to fluff up the couscous before finally adding in the remaining ingredients.   Serve immediately.

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Jack Monroe’s vinegar and tonic

Our daughter popped round earlier to help us with some recipe ideas for the blog this year.  She suggested that we look at Jack Monroe’s website for inspiration… and what did we find but an ingenious use for our sweet fruit vinegars.

Never one to miss the opportunity, we immediately reached for the black mulberry vinegar and a dash of tonic and are now itching to experiment some more.  In the past we have diluted with water or added a splash into prosecco, but the tonic gives it a fabulous edge.  In fact, the supreme judging panel at the 2011 Great Taste Awards used our raspberry vinegar (diluted in spring water) as a palate cleanser between tastings!  The raspberry went on to win best ambient product in the UK that year!

Jack Monroe Inspired Vinegar and tonic

Thank you so much Jack Monroe for creating, and to Vicci for leading us to, this delicious drink.

Cheers, John and Mary