Oven-baked Jerusalem Artichoke and Spelt Risotto with Blue Cheese

jerusalem artichoke risottoMany of us make risottos, but how many of us throw convention to the wind and bake them?  Until recently I had not, but as I already bake rice I just thought, what the heck. What’s the worst that could happen?

I know it is no big deal to ‘feed’ a risotto its stock and stir constantly (!), but how much easier to cover the grains in stock and just slam it in the oven? Much easier. In fact, put on a load of washing, vacuum the downstairs, unpack the dishwasher when you could be stirring rice, kind of easier. Or, if you are so inclined, to sit and watch The Big Bang Theory (my usual), uninterrupted by the task of constant stirring.

So, this method allows one to do yet more work, (or watch the telly). Point in its favour. But you may wonder about the consistency. As rightly you should. Isn’t risotto supposed to be a little al dente and quite wet? How does one control that from the comfort of one’s sofa? The short answer is one doesn’t. But if you choose the ‘right’ grains – the risotto rices or spelt – they do the work for you. Basmati rice ain’t going to cut it.      Continue reading

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Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tagliatelle

butternut squash pastaThis simple pasta, black bean and butternut squash dish is something that I have been making off and on for over 25 years. I’m not sure where I first got the idea, but as it has stood the test of time I thought I might share it. There is little skill involved, just a willingness to chop a few things, roast one or two and toss them together. No sauces, no tricky timings – it is pretty easy. And really rather nice, as things involving pasta tend to be. Continue reading

Freekeh and Greens Soup

freekeh-and-cabbage-soupI hope you don’t mind this simple little soup popping into your inbox or feed. I realise that other food bloggers are posting elaborate year-end round ups of their best recipes, and laying out plans for improving blog and blogger. I wish I had got around to the former, to be honest. I will however be making some changes here on food to glow (and probably on myself too). But like most things with me – to paraphrase Loyd Grossman – they have to be deliberated, cogitated and finally digested before coming to fruition. Watch this space. But not too closely: you may be waiting awhile. Continue reading

Lemony Kale, Quinoa and Chickpea Salad with Homemade Vegan ‘Parmesan Cheese’

kalequinoasalad6Lemony Kale, Quinoa and Chickpea Salad with Vegan Parmesan Cheese: mouthful of a title, mouthful of a meal. Continue reading

Lebanese Freekeh and Fig Salad – Freekehing Fabulous

freekeh-fig-salad-imageMove over quinoa, there’s a ‘new’ ‘grain’ in town.

Well, actually it’s not new, and quinoa is not a grain. But you know what I mean. Of course I’m talking about freekeh. And just to confuse us further freekeh is not  a grain, but a process. Actually it sounds to me more like a dance from the 70s, but never mind.  Continue reading

Spicy Seaweed (or Kale!) Popcorn + A Happy Life Lesson

spicy-seaweed-popcornOnce upon a time, in a land far, far away, lived a girl. She was an ordinary girl. Not a wallflower, but not a high-flyer either. She was loved by her family, got on well(-ish) at school, had the requisite number of boyfriends and breakups, and battled the occasional outbreak of pimples with spot cream and floor gazing. In short, ordinary. But one day, empty of wallet and loathe to keep tapping a generous-to-a-fault father for yet more money, she decided to get a Saturday job. So, armed with a short resume consisting of kid’s movie reviewer for the town newspaper, church choir member, and zero retail experience, this girl left the house. More in hope than expectation. Continue reading

Greens and Grain Salad with Sorrel and Sunflower Seed Pesto

greens and grain saladIs it a bit chilly where you are? Have you pulled on a sweater yet? Here in Scotland the cautious flirtation with Autumn has ceased:  we are now in a committed relationship.  Continue reading

Summer’s End Caponata Pizza

caponata pizzaI know it sounds a bit gloomy to pop ‘summer’s end’ into the title, but it does seem appropriate. September is nigh, and unless you are of a southern hemisphere persuasion, autumn is here in all but name.

I may be a bit of a weirdo but I quite like autumn. I like its colours,  textures and tastes: bumpy, rough apples with their creamy sweet-sharp flesh; prickly brambles, daring you to pluck their dark treasures; kale – proud and tall – emerald leaves fanned like peacocks. Even the air is different – better – tinged as it is with illicit bonfires and hints of vegetal decay. All seasons have their plus points: who can’t say that spring, with its shyly peeking plants and lengthening days isn’t welcome? But, at least here in the UK, early autumn is the best of all seasons – fresh food in abundance, dry warm-ish days and nights finally cool enough to sleep through. Unless you wake up with loads of crazy ideas that is. Continue reading

Teriyaki Salmon Rice Bowl (+ vegan option)

teriyaki salmon rice bowlCan’t you just taste it? The sweet sticky-salty gingery flakes of salmon cosied up with crunchy veg and gloriously starchy brown sushi rice? Wow. I don’t think I have ever used that many y’s in one sentence. This is a dish that invites not only the y’s but also the hows. Continue reading

Smoky Double Corn Fritters with Guacamole – a savoury summery treat


smoky corn fritters with guacamole
“Hath Britain all the sun that shines? day? night? Are they not but in Britain?”

Cymbeline, Act 3, Scene 4, Lines 136-7. By William Shakespeare.

The three weeks of unalloyed golden heat have come to an abrupt end. And for some, not a moment too soon.

This was a most un-British of heatwaves: lasting, parching, predictable. We are used to our heatwaves coming in waves – crashing into the working week then rolling away by the week’s end, leaving only plant-shredding hailstones and blown over garden furniture. We are conditioned by years of experience  to never expect a day of unbroken sunshine, never mind weeks of the stuff. And so when it happens, we are unsettled and disoriented. You see us bumbling about in our hastily-bought tank tops and shorts, fretting about whether or not to tuck a brolly in our bag (is it tempting fate not to? Will the heaven’s open and it be all our fault?). We smile a lot too. Or is that squinting at the sight of the light that burns? Continue reading