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Tomato and Ricotta Tarts

Now that the days are closing in and that last bit of sun is squinting through the trees, it’s time to get ready for some hearty soups and stews.  But  just before I get the big heavy pots and casserole dishes out, I thought I would make one last, light, and simple tomato tart. The tomatoes at the end of summer are always intensely sweet, as if they’ve soaked up every last drop of sunshine. More …

Pepper, Tomato and Feta Lattice Tarts

I love anything lattice, lattice bakewell tart, lattice apple pie. There is something about lattice pastry that really appeals to me. It’s like knitted pastry…what’s not to like? I bought a lattice cutter on my honeymoon in Madeira – yeah, I know, I am a real blast to bring on holidays. We found this crazy little shop that sold kitchen gadgets among other things (they also sold giant baby Jesus statues, and a saucepan that would hold a large human – but that’s a different story). More …

A Trio of Scallops

This dish looks a picture, but it’s actually an easy meal to make. Scallops are so delicious and take absolute minimum effort to prepare and cook. When I cook scallops, I like to pair them with simple flavours to accentuate them rather than drown them out. A quick flash on the pan is enough to release their delicious sweet juicy flavour. They are a little more expensive than most fish, but they’re worth it for their exquisite taste and texture. Minted pea puree and scallops are a tried and tested flavour combination, but still my favourite out of all. The creamy mashed potatoes make a meal out of this sumptuous starter. I love to use the scallop shells as little serving dishes for these sweet and creamy morsels. This dish is really easy to make but feels like restaurant food. No crazy cheffy techniques or trickery necessary, just simple and tasty food….wait a minute isn’t that my tagline! More …

Cheesy Courgette Fritters

Unlike me, my other half doesn’t love courgettes. He claims they squeak – like green beans and aubergines – they’re on his “I’ll only eat those if there’s another famine'” list. So I spend a lot of time trying to create recipes which make these vegetables more appetising and less….squeaky. These fritters have been the greatest success so far, though it may be due to the fact that they are completely, cheesy, crispy and delicious. You could probably create these fritters with other squeaky vegetables like aubergines and they also work great with leeks. My Dad has a glut of courgettes in the garden, so these fritters are great to use them up. The fritters are accompanied by my other half’s special recipe for tomato and chilli jam which is rich and sweet and a perfect match for them. This dish makes a great tea-time snack or a scrummy starter. More …

Endive Au Gratin

There are some vegetables that I just never buy or cook with. The unpopular vegetables, the ones you rarely see on regular restaurant menus or in your local supermarket. The kind of vegetable which you have to hunt down, which are only ever available in season and are usually organic. Vegetables with funny names and funny tastes that rarely make it onto our plates: Kohlrabi, Samphire, Black salsify, Jerusalem artichokes and Swedes. These vegetables may have lots of flavour, but have little or no reputation. The kind of vegetable that you excitedly pick up and think ‘Hmm what would I do with that’, then promptly put it back as you don’t have the time to contemplate a new recipe with an unusual looking vegetable. These are the forgotten vegetables.

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Spring Rolls In

I used to think that all spring rolls were just crispy deep fried parcels. However, when I went to Vietnam  I discovered a whole array of healthier and tastier fresh spring rolls filled with beautiful green herbs and delicious morsels of crispy fish or meat.  Spring rolls are like a mini wrap sandwich and what you put in them is entirely up to you.  I adapted this recipe from a restuarant in Hanoi called Highway 4 who are famous for their catfish spring rolls. I think this is a pretty great combination – Crispy Cod and Dill Spingrolls with Wasabi and Lime dipping sauce. More …

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