Who is our food expert?
Nina, who can often be found travelling the world in search of the most delicious cuisine, is an expert in all things food. A culinary writer, Nina draws much of her inspiration from the Mediterranean, having spent a large part of the childhood growing up in the South of France.
A fan of unfussy, rustic, delicious yet modern food, Nina’s passion for the edible side of life took off when she left university and began working at L’anima, a contemporary Italian restaurant in Liverpool Street, London.
Nina says: “The minute I walked into the kitchen I fell in love with their food where everything was fresh, good quality and prepared simply with a rustic touch. I became obsessed with learning about food after those first few months.”
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Now a Director of her own food company, suitably titled Nina, the twenty-something has served up a delight at some of London’s most prestigious eateries. Her restaurant accolades include the likes of as L’anima in Liverpool Street, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester and Bocca Di Lupo’s Gelupo, where she won the Time Out award for best Gelateria.
But when it comes to cooking for herself she’s quite simplistic.
“I love a quick tomato pasta or if I am very lazy then I will go super simple and eat broccoli, avocado, rocket and a poached egg. I am sometimes extremely lazy cooking for myself so go quite boring.”
- 2 handfuls of kale, very finely chopped
- 100g green beans, blanched
- 50g salad leaves, mixed variety
- 1/2 a ripe avocado
- 1-2 red chicory
- 50g walnuts, lightly roasted
- 2 tbsp chopped chives
- Handful of dill
- 1/2 fennel, thinly sliced
- zest of a whole blood orange and the juice of 2/3
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- sea salt and black pepper
Mix together a variety of salad leaves in a bowl. Finley chop the kale and chicory and add in. Nina says: “Rub the Kale together in your hands to make it a lot softer to eat and adds flavour.
Thinly slice the raw fennel with a knife to make it super thin and add it in to the bowl.
Cut the avocado in half, removing the stone and carefully scooping out the flesh. Nina says: “This is one of my favourite things top put in salads. It just adds a nice creamy texture.”
Add chunks of dill and chopped chives to add flavour.
Boil a pan of water over a hob until simmering. Then put in the green beans and ‘blanche’ them for 3 to 4 minutes. *To ‘blanche’ means to scold in boiling water for a short time before running under cold water* Once cooled, place in to the salad.
Toast walnuts in the oven for around 5 – 10 minutes at 175C. Once cooled, crumble them over the top of the salad.
To make the dressing begin by zesting the blood orange. Then squeeze out the juice of the orange in to a small bowl. Nina says: “Blood oranges are in season at the moment and are filled with Vitamin C so they’re very good for this time of year.”
Then add 3 tbslp of extra virgin olive oil, 3 tbsp of white wine vinegar and 1 tsp maple syrup along with a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper. “The maple syrup works really well, adding a little sweetness and balancing all of the flavours.”
Finally, drizzle the dressing all over the finished salad with a large tbslp.
To discover more about Nina and her recipes, visit her website www.ninafood.com or Instagram page @antoninaparker
If you enjoyed this video, don’t forget to come back next week when our next expert, Celebrity Facialist, Su-Man Hsu will be unveiling her night time skincare routine. A routine that has been dubbed ‘the natural alternative to botox’ by beauty moguls everywhere, it’s a must-see for those wanting to learn how to be their own skincare expert.
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