Perhaps one of the most literary of foodstuffs, madeleines are surprisingly easy to make. These tiny scallop-shaped cakes are given a 21st century makeover with olive oil and pistachios – and a touch of yuzu if you have it. Dip into a steaming cup of tea and see what happens!
I didn’t grow up reading Marcel Proust. His novels, featuring vaguely identifiable characters (we see his aristocrats and preening middle classes even today), convey in handsome detail, through ribbon-like streams of consciousness, not just what is perceived, but also what is remembered. I know that now, but for a long time a “Proustian moment” was lost on me. The connection with madeleines wafted straight over my Ludlum-loving head. Continue reading
Cauliflower covered in bubbling, boozy rarebit cheese sauce is hard to resist, especially when the cauliflower is given a boost through a simple brining. Enjoy as a side dish, light lunch or supper. Easy cheesy goodness guaranteed!
Cauliflower is at its very best right now. This nutritious vegetable, its milky-hued curds cradled in a cap of pale sweet leaves, is so achingly on-trend I almost feel silly posting such an old-fashioned recipe. Dear old cheesy rarebit sauce, normally a simple bubbling topping for toast, is however made for cauliflower.
Although delicious as a plain mash or roasted, cauliflower adores strong flavours of aged good cheese, nose-stinging English mustard and deep amber ale. Continue reading
In partnership with Love Beetroot
Earthy, tangy beets married with smooth creamy ricotta in crunchy filo make a delightful and simple starter or light lunch. Add intriguing nigella seeds and you’ve got the wow factor. A colourful, lip-smacking vegetarian recipe for special occasions – and no occasion!
Beets – like cauliflower – have enjoyed something of a renaissance of late. After many years in the culinary wilderness, beetroot is back. Continue reading
In partnership with Waitrose.
An easy starter for Easter, or a simple lunch with crispbreads, this Scandinavian-style recipe of smoked fish, horseradish yogurt cream and quick pickled samphire and cucumber ribbons is an easy way to impress.
Today’s recipe is almost too simple to even call it a recipe. But I just have to share this idea: yes, let’s call it an idea rather than a recipe.
Many of you will be noodling around on Pinterest and Instagram, and poring over magazines and websites in search of that perfect menu for Easter. Even if we aren’t religious, Easter is a time to gather the family around and just celebrate being together; and food is a big, big part of getting together. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. 🙂
In partnership with Iceland
Moqueca is Brazil’s answer to France’s bouillabaisse and Portugal’s caldeirada. Filled with fish, prawns, peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic and leaf coriander, this easy, healthy fish stew is one of Brazil’s best dishes. What makes it amazing is coconut milk. You can make it without, but I promise that if you add just one tin of full-fat coconut milk your family will be wanting it every week. Mine does. Continue reading
This is a commissioned post.
A Scandinavian-influenced coffee cake marbled with a deliciously crunchy mixture of pecan nuts, warm spices and dark brown sugar, and kept soft with chestnut puree. This fairly healthy cake is easily gluten-free. Mums deserve homemade.
I have recently found out that I am a good bit Scandinavian; I rather suspected this. Not only am I blonde-haired and blue-eyed, I also have a love of being cosy, a liking for clean design, and a well-documented fondness for heady, strongly aromatic cardamom. Stereotypes, yes, but pretty true.
Even if you are not a scintilla Swedish or drop of Danish, most of us love the warmly spicy and citrussy flavour of cardamom. In fact it is extensively used in sweet and savoury East European, Southeast Asian and Indian subcontinental cooking. So, even if you haven’t knowingly had cardamom, chances are its been at least a haunting note in a curry you have eaten or a bun you have nibbled. Continue reading
A little taste of Turkey lurks in this deceptively simple, but deeply-flavoured vegetarian pasta dish. Make more onions than you need and add the remainder into dishes for days to come.
The aroma of slowly cooked sliced onions draws my family to the kitchen faster than a cake pulled from the oven. And I don’t think this is a reflection on my baking. Or at least I hope not. When a pan of onions is patiently evolving from crunchy-raw to slippery-sweet I will often hear a shout from up the stairs: “What’s that you’re making?” Or a head will lean over my shoulder urgently saying, “When is it ready?”
Although consistently overshadowed by “showier” vegetables, such as aubergines and cauliflower (the latter having a dramatic recent turnabout in the the food fashion stakes), onions are the backbone of many a dish. Nearly any savoury recipe will be enhanced by this most humble of vegetables.
Assertive when raw, deeply sweet when cooked, onions are a vegetable most definitely more than the sum of its parts.
I have become increasingly obsessed with breakfast, my favourite meal of the day. As soon as I wake, and sometimes before I go to sleep, my thoughts are of what to have for the first meal of the day. As I fill my old stovetop coffee maker with scoops of espresso (sadly now decaf) and cold, clear water from the tap; and mark time as I wait for the telltale hiss and splutter, I survey the innards of my fridge. Is today a plump berries and creamy yogurt day? Or, – more likely – that Instagram cliche, #avocadotoast, built to height with glowing, orange homemade kimchi and a flurry of sprouts?
There are so many ways to go with breakfast. Sweet or savoury. Simple or leisurely. Alone or shared. Virtuous or vice-ridden (avo toast v. cigarette and hair of the dog). I love all of the options that breakfast invites.
You might have to trust me on this, but white fish goes amazingly well with the minerality of the kale and sweetish tang of the seasonal blood oranges, while the rosemary and crispy capers tip it over into restaurant territory (at least we think so!). Prepping to plating up takes all of 20 minutes too. Easy, healthy, Mediterranean-inspired midweek supper sorted. Continue reading
Sumac, smoked paprika and dill are the the little extras that amp the flavour in this creamy-textured cauliflower and white bean soup. If you have time, roast the cauliflower for a beautifully nutty, rounded taste. This is a perfect vegan, whole food soup to serve family and friends alike. It even tastes good cold with shards of toasted pitta for dipping.
This past week has been a bit of a social whirl for me and Andrew. Normally ones to be very content in our own
boring quiet company, we have twice been out with friends (to the excellent Kenji for sushi; and to my current fave, New Chapter for seriously top-notch Scottish/European dishes – check the five star Trip Advisor ratings).
We have also had two lots of friends round for dinner. Well, tonight will make twice. I am in the midst of prepping a mini Middle Eastern feast (see below), as well as making food for my cancer and nutrition class.
But before I get immersed in dips, marinades and mandolining (for my pineapple carpaccio) wanted to take time to quickly post this soup while I remember. And before winter completely slips away and we can’t face any more cauliflower! It all feels a bit crazy-busy for this homebody, but exhilarating at the same time. If I start washing the walls and scrubbing the grout work, then I know full-blown spring fever has set in.