For a great plate of pre-dinner treats put together Sophie Ellis Bextor's antipasti.
Figs are in season right now and taste delicious with the ham. Only three ingredients – aubergines, peppers and tomatoes – need cooking, but if you’re in real a rush, just pick up some good roasted peppers from your favourite deli.
3 red peppers, cored and quartered
15ml olive oil plus more to drizzle
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 aubergine, cut into 1cm-thick slices
200g mixed green and black olives
100g cured meats, such as speck,
Parma ham or prosciutto
100g vintage parmigiano reggiano
100g bocconcini (mozzarella balls)
3 figs, quartered
Thin crispy bread or grissini (breadsticks)
1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180ºC/ 350ºF. Coat the peppers in 15ml olive oil, place in a baking tray and roast for at least 30 minutes until the skins have turned brown. Then put them on a clean tray with some clingfilm over the top and leave to one side for at least 30 minutes. When the peppers have cooled, peel off the skins and cut the flesh into strips.
2. While the peppers are cooking, season the halved tomatoes with salt and -pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Place them on the bottom shelf of the oven and cook for between 45 minutes and 1 hour.
3. Prepare the aubergine by smearing oil on both sides of each slice. Griddle for 2-3 minutes on each side and season.
4. Arrange the peppers, tomatoes and -aubergines on a large plate together with the remaining ingredients. Serves eight