Firstly, a salsa verde, a simple and fresh accompaniment to grilled meats. Put 2 anchovies, a tiny bit of garlic (no more than 1/4 of a clove) and 4 small gherkins in a food processor, and whiz until finely chopped (or of course, do it the old-fashioned way with a knife!). Then add in a small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, basil and mint, and pulse sparingly until just chopped. Doing the processing in two stages avoids the harder ingredients being under-chopped and the herbs dissolving into a nasty puree. Tip the mixture into a bowl, and bring together with a tablespoon of wine vinegar and some good glugs of olive oil. Season to taste. We ate last night with grilled lamb chops, a perfect spring evening meal.
Second, an idea picked up today from one of my favourite restaurants, Trattoria dei Cacciatori, just outside Milan. We ate a plate of culatello served with a pear poached it in water with white wine and just a little aniseed (no sugar, it wasn’t sweet). It would be delicious with prosciutto or speck too.