This is a riff on a dish that was served for years in Le Caprice in London. Was there ever a more glamorous restaurant? I nervously bogtrotted through its doors on a few occasions back in the day, a young and innocent fish out of water. I was a long way from home. I like this with a good old rocket and Parmesan salad. I’ve left the whole garlic in its skins – prise them open and savour.80ml olive oil
8 banana (large) shallots, halved (if you can’t find large shallots, either double the number of small ones or use 3 red onions, peeled and cut into 6)
1 bulb of garlic, pulled apart and the cloves left whole and unpeeled
1 generous sprig of fresh thyme
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 large balls of mozzarella, torn
8 slices of Parma ham
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Put the oil, shallots, garlic, thyme and some salt and pepper in a baking dish. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, turning once or twice, then add the balsamic vinegar. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes or so, until the shallots are soft, sticky and tender. This will all depend on the size of your shallots.
Serve the shallots warm or at room temperature with the torn mozzarella and the Parma ham draped over the top.
From Butter Boy by Paul Flynn
Photo by Harry Weir