Pickled cherries with ricotta and bresaola

Makes two 500ml/17 fl oz jars

The good grain guide: Why stick to rice and pasta when there are so many other versatile varieties?

Alice-Azania Jarvis finds out why quinoa and millet are not just for health nuts

Beetroot and feta salad

Serves 1

Around the world in 80 dishes No. 47: Hot smoked trout salad

Ingredients to serve 4

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Ricotta with honey and balsamico

Years ago in Sicily I experienced freshly made ricotta and I have remembered its unique flavour ever since. So during our recent trip to Modena, we made time to visit Matteo Panini who produces 12 wheels of cheese a day from his organic herd of cattle, and were lucky enough to try his ricotta, which is made from the whey after the Parmesan has been made – and it evoked the buttery, creamy memory of that fresh ricotta all those years ago.

Buon appetito: A trip to Modena inspires Mark Hix to create simple yet sensational dinner party dishes

A few weeks ago I went on a trip to the Emilia-Romagna region with George Bennell from the Fresh Olive Company (fresholive.com), in order to check out his balsamic-vinegar producer Marina Spaggiari. Marina makes the most delicious traditional Modena balsamic vinegar for the company Nero Modena (neromodena.it). Their Tondo balsamic has a dark and even colour, thanks to extended ageing in the cask, and is ideal with grilled meats and fish dishes, as well as strawberries, pears and figs.

Root vegetable and winter savoury salad

Serves 4

Cold comfort: Mark Hix's makes the most of root vegetables with his seasonal salads

Winter doesn't have to be about exclusively eating warming stews, braises and heavy stuff. Salads with seasonal wintry ingredients can be enjoyed equally as much as lighter, summery salads. And although I admit that it sounds unlikely, roots and tubers, either raw or slightly cooked, make delicious salads, especially with a few winter leaves thrown in.

Roasted onions with cured beef and pickled walnuts

Serves 4

Pickled red cabbage

Serves 6
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