Fig, raspberry and ginger cake

A great fig should look like it’s just about to burst its skin. When squeezed lightly it should give a little and not spring back. It must be almost unctuously sweet, soft and wet. Yotam Ottolenghi I was rewarded for a chilly early morning visit to the markets this weekend with a bounty of fresh…

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Wilted greens on sourdough

I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a…

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Patatas puttanesca: a series of fortunate events

‘Puttanesca.’ It’s an Italian sauce for pasta. All we need to do is sauté olives, capers, anchovies, garlic, chopped parsley, and tomatoes together in a pot, and prepare spaghetti to go with it.” Klaus Baudelaire When my children were younger we read Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, relishing every page, enthralled by the Baudelaire…

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Get stuffed: mushrooms, that is

I am a late comer to goat’s cheese, having been scarred by my first experience, which was an intensely smelly, fiercely flavoured french variety. However, I have been educating my palate to milder versions and now love a subtle, creamy, ash covered chevre. Mushrooms pair beautifully with it, as the cheese seems to enhance their…

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Holy guacamole, Batman!

A perennial favourite, everyone has their preferred recipe for guacamole. and this is mine – smooth and creamy avocado contrasting with tomatoes, chilli, onion and herbs. There’s a tang of lemon, and the earthy notes of coriander in the dukkah I sprinkle on top, as well as a good seasoning of salt and black pepper.…

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Huevos rancheros – for Sunday breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner

Huevos rancheros, or “ranch eggs” are Mexican in origin, and a simple and quite humble dish. But they taste terrific, especially with lots of delicious accompaniments such as dollops of sour cream, sprinklings of fresh coriander, chunks of smooth avocado and rounds of soft tortillas. They are also, we decided at our place, the perfect…

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Summer rice salad

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is a nobler art of leaving things undone. Lin Yutang A week’s holiday in the middle of summer has been an opportunity to rest and relax before the busy year really begins in earnest. It’s been stiflingly hot in my part of the world, so hot…

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Sunday morning avocado

A lazy Sunday morning is not a regular feature of my week, but today was all that could be hoped for in that regard. After a gym workout I joined my husband and daughter at a local cafe for breakfast before discovering a treasure trove of new season fruits and vegetables at the Greengrocer’s Pantry next…

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Heritage tomatoes – no recipe required

Sometimes, the food we put on our table does not need to be cooked, or prepared in a special way, or even garnished. On its own it speaks to us; with beauty, astonishing flavour, and a certain joy that’s inherent with the feeding of the soul as well as the body. That’s how I felt…

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Cherry tomato tarts with mascarpone and herbs

It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato. Lewis Grizzard For my friends in the northern hemisphere winter is ended and spring is bringing with it the promise of picnics, long sunshine filled days and new season fruits and vegetables – asparagus, baby peas, tiny new potatoes and strawberries. I’m…

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