Stratta blog

Smoky Spanish pot-roast chicken

  • 8 good quality chicken thighs (with their skin and bones intact)
  • 200g smoked bacon lardons or diced pancetta
  • stratta smokey Moroccan olive oil
  • 2 onions finely sliced
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained and washed
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 4 bay leaves
  • handful thyme sprigs
  • 250ml white wine
  • 230g roasted red peppers – a quick option is a jar of roasted piquillo peppers, drained and sliced
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 75ml single cream
  • 25g flat leaf parsley, chopped

Heat a large heavy bottomed saucepan or casserole, season the chicken and sear in a little stratta Smokey Moroccan oil for around 5 minutes skin side down until golden; set aside.

Add the bacon to the pan, cook for around 5 minutes then add the onion, chickpeas, garlic, bay leaves and thyme; sweat gently for 5 minutes.

Pour in the wine, add the peppers and return the chicken to the pan.  Cover, bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 15 minutes.  Uncover and cook for a further 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked.

Just before serving season, stir through the paprika, cream and parsley.

Stratta blog

Pork belly with quince, baby pumpkins and medlar vinegar

Digging deep into our freezer and finding a wonderful piece of pork belly from a Gloucester Old Spot, we then raided the vegetable rack for suitable items to roast alongside it.

It’s another way we can use up the immature pumpkins we gleaned while clearing the garden of the invasive mass of leaves and stalk!

  • Rare breed pork belly, boned and the fat scored (the thick end of the belly from the middle of the pig has more meat on and is great for this recipe)
  • stratta medlar vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Cornish sea salt
  • 4 small parsnip, pealed and cut lengthways
  • 6 thin carrots, pealed and chunked
  • 4 end-of-season immature pumpkins, topped and tailed and cut in half
  • Onion, chopped
  • Handful of small garlic cloves
  • 2 quince, cored and chopped
  • 1 pint chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Lay the pork skin side down in a dish and rub the meat with the medlar vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and black pepper.  Turn it over and rub the skin with salt and olive oil.  Place in the fridge while you prepare the vegetables.

Line a deep roasting tray with all of the vegetables, add the chicken stock and top with the pork, skin side up.  Add any of the marinade left to the dish.

Roast for 15 minutes; turn the heat down to 140°C and cook for at least a further 3 hours.  Check every hour and if the skin is browning too quickly, loosely cover with a sheet of tin foil.

Stratta blog

Is it imagination or just a figment?



One of our lovely customers, Nina, came up with some fabulous ideas for using our fig paste.  Have just completed our latest batch so we can now try them all out…

fig paste jars


Melba Toast with melon and prosciutto

Spread a little stratta fig paste onto melba toast and top with melon and prosciotto.  Alternatively top with a full flavoured cheese, especially good with goats cheese.


Ice cream

Finish a bowl of ice cream with a thin ginger snap delicately spread with fig paste.



Line your favourite trifle with langue de chat biscuits spread with fig paste.






Stratta blog

Grilled partridge with baked swede and blackcurrant sauce



Heading into the autumn we are all seeking a little depth of flavour to warm the cockles, and the sauce in this partridge recipe certainly does that.  A little greenery and roast potatoes are welcome additions to this classic combination.

blackcurrant vinegar aromatic oil swede


  • 4 oven-ready spatchcocked partridge (or 8 partridge breasts)
  • stratta aromatic oil for brushing
  • 1 large swede, peeled and chopped into chunks around 4cm

For the sauce

  • 2 shallots peeled and finely chopped
  • Knob of butter
  • 2tsp flour
  • ½ tsp tomato purée
  • 30ml stratta blackcurrant vinegar
  • 60ml port (and a glass for the chef)
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 40-50g fresh or frozen blackcurrants


Place the swede in an oven dish, season, brush with butter and bake in a 200ºC oven for around an hour.  Turn every so often and add more butter if needed.

To make the sauce melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pan and add the shallots, cook until lightly coloured.

Add the flour and tomato puree and stir over a low heat for a minute.

Gradually add the port while stirring to avoid lumps.  Then add the chicken stock and vinegar, bring to the boil and simmer gently for around 20 minutes until the sauce has reduced by about two-thirds.  Whisk occasionally.

Add the blackcurrants and keep warm.

Season and cook the partridge in a griddle pan with a little aromatic oil (or under a hot grill) for around 7-8 minutes on each side (slightly less for breasts) until cooked.

Serve and enjoy.





Stratta blog

Cucumber and kiwi salad



Still time in the September sun to enjoy the fresh flavours in this cucumber and kiwi salad.  Thank you to our Cumbrian contingent Paul and Katharine for passing this one on…


Cucumber and kiwi salad


  • Cucumber, sliced finely
  • stratta kiwi vinegar
  • 200ml sour cream
  • Garlic clove – crushed
  • Cucumber slices, smoked paprika and chives to garnish

Slice the cucumber finely and marinade in stratta kiwi vinegar for about an hour.

Crush the garlic into the sour cream.

Drain the cucumber and add into the sour cream.

Put back into the fridge until ready to use.

Sprinkle with smoked paprika and chives to serve.





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






Stratta blog

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.