Stratta blog

Heaysman’s Bolognaise sauce



Our guest blogger Victoria Heaysman with a family favourite… 

James cooking


This is a recipe that my husband or I cook up at least once every 2 weeks and is usually a ploy to use up any random vegetables I have wilting in the trug.  It is my husband’s favourite dish in the whole world and he would eat it every night if he could!

I always make this in bulk and freeze batches for later in the week to have with rice or baked potatoes.  It tastes even better after freezing and re-heating as all the flavours mature.  If I have no beef mince in then I substitute in quorn mince and add it along with the tinned tomatoes.

  • 400g good quality beef mince
  • 2 onions – chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic pealed and finely chopped
  • 3 carrots – finely diced
  • Any other vegetables that need using up – leeks, broccoli stems, green beans, peppers – finely chopped
  • 2 cans chopped plum tomatoes
  • 1 can mixed and cooked beans, rinsed
  • Splash of either stratta smoky Moroccan olive oil or aromatic olive oil
  • 50ml either stratta damson or redcurrant vinegar
  • 50ml red wine
  • Freshly ground black pepper and rock salt to taste
  • Handful of fresh herbs from the garden – usually a mix of marjoram and oregano


Put the oil in a heavy bottomed pan and gently sauté the onions until they are soft, make sure they do not burn.

Add the garlic and beef mince and cook for a few minutes until the beef is browned.

Add all other ingredients (and quorn mince if using) and bring the sauce to the boil.

Sit well and then turn down low and leave to simmer for at least 30 minutes.  Stir every now and again to prevent the sauce from sticking on the bottom of the pan.

Enjoy with spaghetti and lots of grated cheese.



Stratta blog

Stuffed aubergine rolls with ricotta, lemon and mint



stuffed aubergine rolls

Serves 6

  • 2-3 tbsp stratta lemon infused olive oil
  • 2 or 3 medium aubergines, sliced into 1cm thick lengths (to roll)
  • 250g ricotta
  • 25g mint leaves finely chopped
  • 25g chives, finely chopped
  • 10g parmigiano reggiano, finely grated

For the tomato sauce

  • 3tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 400g can chopped plum tomatoes


Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Brush a little stratta lemon oil over a large baking tray and lay the aubergines in a single layer. Brush the top with the remaining lemon oil, season and bake for 20-25 minutes until soft and lightly golden.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile make the tomato sauce:  Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a pan over a low heat and fry the onions and, after a couple of minutes, the garlic for around 10 minutes until softened.

Add the plum tomatoes, season and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Spoon about half of the sauce into the base of a baking dish.

Mix the ricotta, mint, chives and parmesan for the filling and season to taste. It should be minty and full of flavour so add more herbs if needed.

When the aubergines are at room temperature, put a spoonful of the stuffing into the thin end of each slice.  Roll up and place seam-side down in the baking dish.

Spoon the remaining tomato sauce over the rolls.

Bake until the sauce is bubbling and just starting to brown – around 20 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature with salad leaves and crusty bread.





Stratta blog

Steyning Market cookery demonstrations




Mary will be at Steyning Market as usual this Saturday (5th September) and is taking part in a cookery demonstration along with several other producers.  This is one of a number of events in the area to launch the Horsham District Food and Drink Festival

Please do pop along and say hello if you are in the area

Here are the recipes she will be doing on the day so you can “cook along” at home if you can’t join her at the market.



Sweet chilli and ginger sauce

  • 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 red chillies, roughly chopped
  • 2cm piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 dried kaffir lime leaves
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 50ml ginger and honey vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

To make the dipping sauce, blend the garlic, chillies, ginger and lime leaves in a food processor until very finely chopped. Tip the sugar into a small saucepan, add 3 tbsp water and heat gently to dissolve. Continue to cook for another min or so until the syrup starts to thicken slightly.

Add the chilli and ginger mixture, and continue to cook for a further 2-3 mins. Then stir in the ginger and honey vinegar, lime juice and soy sauce. Remove from the heat and leave to cool to room temperature.



Purple shiso and purple shiso vinegar
Purple shiso and purple shiso vinegar


Tomato Salsa

  • 2 red onions
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 2 small red chillis (with or without seeds!)
  • large red pepper
  • bunch of fresh shiso or basil
  • splash of purple shiso vinegar

Finely dice all the ingredients, stir in vinegar and serve with the crab cakes






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Summer Sunday lunch at the Heaysmans



Guest blogger this week is our daughter Victoria…


Mum and Dad are always inviting us over for the most amazing meals and its only very rarely that I get to return the favor… may have something to do with our two lively young sons taking up most of our ‘spare’ time!

Most of what I cook includes some stratta addition and I have so many of their products that my husband had to build some special shelves in the kitchen to house them all.

We were lucky to choose a warm day for our get-together so managed to eat in the garden.

The starter was based on a recipe I found in Country Living magazine and was enjoyed by everyone.  I love the combination of sweet fruit and parma ham and this had the added bonus of using Mum and Dad’s newly 3-star-gold award winning elderflower vinegar in the dressing.

The Salmon dish has been a staple of mine for over 10 years and always ends up with our 7 year old Charlie eating his and everyone else’s salmon skins!  The charred potatoes were a surprisingly gorgeous addition and I will be repeating the happy accident of leaving the gas on under the dry cooked potatoes again in the future.

Mum insisted on bringing the desert and boy am I glad she did.  Dad had made the frozen yoghurt in advance and Mum knocked up the bananas and toffee sauce in little more time than it took everyone to lick their bowls clean.

This is a meal I could eat every week…


Peach mozzarella parma salad final

Starter:   Peach, mozzarella and Parma ham salad with elderflower dressing

  • 4 ripe peaches, stoned
  • 300g buffalo mozzarella
  • 12 slices Parma ham
  • 100g lamb’s lettuce

For the dressing

  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons stratta elderflower vinegar
  • squeeze of lemon
  • ½ teaspoon wholegrain mustard
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

To make the dressing place all ingredients into a bottle with a lid and shake well.

Slice the peaches and mozzarella.  Arrange with all the other ingredients on 6 plates, drizzle with the elderflower dressing and serve immediately.




Salmon roasted peppers

Main course:   Salmon fillets with roasted peppers, seasonal vegetables and charred new potatoes


  • 6 fresh sustainably sourced salmon fillets
  • 2 unwaxed lemons
  • few sprigs of lemon balm
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 30ml stratta lavender vinegar
  • splash of white wine
  • 750g new potatoes
  • Knob of butter
  • 5 red and yellow peppers
  • 1 curly courgette (from the garden)
  • 5/6 cloves garlic pealed and left whole
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Seasonal green vegetables (we had broccoli and green beans)


Heat the oven to 180ºC.

Core and de-seed the peppers, top and tail the courgette and roughly chop into a large baking tray.  Add in the garlic and toss it all with olive oil to coat the vegetables.

Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, turning over once.

Line a deep casserole dish with kitchen foil and lay the prepared salmon fillets along it on top of a bed of lemon balm.

Slice one of the lemons and lay the slices on top of each of the fillets.  Drizzle over the white wine and stratta lavender vinegar, juice from the remaining lemon and season with freshly ground black pepper.

Cover with another sheet of foil, sealing the edges.

Cook for 15-20 minutes.

Boil the new potatoes with a sprig of mint.  By accident I ended up putting the cooked potatoes back on the heat once drained of the water for about 4 minutes.  They ended up blackened on the bottoms and tasted delicious – just like the potatoes we used to have baked in a “Thomas kartoffelfeuer” clay pot.  Dress with butter.

Steam the green vegetables for a few minutes.

Place the salmon directly on plates and pour and remaining juices into a jug to serve at the table.  Take the vegetables out to the table in serving dishes for everyone to help themselves.




bananas with yoghurt icecream

Desert:   Caramelised bananas and toffee sauce with vanilla frozen yoghurt


For the frozen yoghurt (made in an ice-cream machine)

  • 280ml whole milk
  • 175g honey
  • 575g Greek organic yoghurt
  • 50ml double cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Place the milk and honey in a medium bowl, whisk together until combined.  Stir in the yoghurt, cream and vanilla.  Cover and chill for 2-3 hours

Place the mixture in an ice-cream machine as per the instructions and set the timer to 45-60 minutes.


For the bananas

  • 6 peeled and thickly sliced bananas
  • Knob of butter
  • 3 heaped tablespoons brown sugar
  • Slosh of rum
  • Small pot of single cream
  • Large pinch of cardamom if you like
  • Small squeeze of lime (or a dash of stratta vinegar if you prefer)


Fry the bananas in the butter, letting them colour on both sides.

In a separate pan mix the sugar, rum and cream together over a medium heat.

Add the cardamom if using, bring to the boil and stir for a minute or two then stir in a small squeeze of lime juice.

Divide the bananas between bowls with vanilla frozen yoghurt and spoon over the warm sauce.





Stratta blog

Caramelised onion, fig and brie tart




A classic combination of ingredients using both fresh figs and our balsamic fig vinegar.  A perfect summer dish served with a delicate green salad.

  • 15g unsalted butter
  • 3-4 medium red onions, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves finely chopped
  • 30ml stratta fig balsamic vinegar
  • 215g sheet puff pastry
  • 6 fresh figs, quartered
  • 100g brie, sliced

How long till its ripe!

Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pan, add the onions and gently cook for around 5 minutes before adding the fig balsamic vinegar, garlic and rosemary.

Simmer very gently for a further 15 minutes making sure that the sauce does not catch or dry out.  Season and set aside.

Lay the pastry sheet onto a baking tray, score a 1cm border around the edge and prick the centre all over with a fork.

Bake for 10 minutes or until just starting to turn golden and puff up.

Press down the centre and then evenly spread the caramelised onions inside the border.  Scatter over the figs and brie.

Bake for 10 minutes and serve warm.






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Courgette and shiso soup with parmesan and ricotta

Koj (Andrew Kojima), the brilliant Cotswold chef, introduced us to shiso.

This extraordinary Japanese herb adds great interest to dishes as you roll through the flavours that open up – is that basil, or mint, or coriander or…….!  With courgettes in profusion at this time of year we are always looking for new ways to enjoy them.  Here is one of them…

Courgette and shiso soup 1

  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion finely sliced
  • 1kg courgettes, chopped into small chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Handful of basil leaves and handful of mint leaves roughly chopped (or if you can find it… small handful of shiso leaves)
  • 75g ricotta, plus 2tbsp extra to serve
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 30ml stratta shiso vinegar
  • 4 tbsp grated parmigiano reggiano

Heat the oil in a large pan; fry the onion and courgettes over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes until softened and slightly browned.

Add the garlic and basil or shiso stalks, season with salt and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the ricotta, stock, stratta shiso vinegar, most of the mint and basil leaves (or shiso leaves) and 250ml water.

Bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes until everything is tender.

Blitz with a hand blender until smooth.

Stir in the cheese and season.

Serve in bowls with the remaining ricotta and torn mint and basil (or shiso) leaves.

Stratta blog

Barbecued Garlic




This is one fine unctuous addition to your barbecue.  Open and spread onto French bread or barbecued chicken, or simply spoon into your mouth!

Garlic and stratta Smokey Moroccan infused extra virgin olive oil
Preparing to barbecue the garlic…



  • Whole garlic bulbs – preferably violet garlic as is very smooth with no bitterness or sharpness
  • stratta Smoky Moroccan olive oil


Chop the top 1cm of the garlic bulb off.

Drizzle with stratta Smoky Moroccan olive oil, wrap in tin foil and place on the BBQ for around 30 minutes.  You can also place them into the embers of a fire if you are camping.

Open and scoop out onto buttered French bread or toast or simply spoon into your mouth!





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Harissa chicken with bean and sweet medlar-pickled-onion couscous




Now here is a dish to awaken the taste-buds in a summer that stays somewhat reticent!  A little warmth from the harissa and chilli with a tang from the shallot pickle.

Medlar fruit in the stratta garden

  • 12 chicken thigh fillets
  • 2 tbsp rose harissa paste
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and finley chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g fresh broad beans, podded (or 175g frozen)
  • 200g couscous
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced
  • 60ml stratta sweet medlar vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 25g flat leaf parsley


Toss the chicken thighs with the harissa, chilli and garlic.  Season and ideally leave to marinade for an hour in the fridge.

Cook the broad beans for 2-3 minutes in salted water.  Drain and run under cold water then remove the outer pale green skins.  Set aside.

Put the couscous in a bowl, season and pour over 300ml boiling water.  Cover and set aside for 10 minutes.

Put the shallots in a bowl with the medlar vinegar; set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium high heat.  Fry for 15-18 minutes, turning often, until there is no pink meat and the juices run clear.  Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and leave to rest.

Fluff the couscous with a fork and add the remaining 1tbsp olive oil.  Finely chop the parsley stalks and most of the leaves and stir into the couscous with the shallots, their pickling liquor and broad beans.

Serve the chicken on the couscous with a sprinkling of parsley on top.





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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.