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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Roasted almonds with thyme and sea salt

Almonds are native to the Middle East, from Syria and Turkey and the regions  towards Pakistan. Spread by human settlement  along the shores of the Mediterranean into northern Africa and southern Europe, it is a prominent part of the food culture of both the Middle East and Europe – think tagines, marzipan, macarons and amaretti, and used in both sweet and savoury dishes.…

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Oat, date and ginger slice

This slice is a little bit like a muesli bar for grown-ups. The sweetness of the dates and subtle heat of the ginger are a great combination. It made a delicious morning tea after an early morning visit to the markets to shop for fruit and vegetables for the week. There is a charming camaraderie…

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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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Hot cross buns: perfect is the enemy of good.

Miss 16 and I made hot cross buns on Easter Sunday, and they were deliciously light, spicy, soft and sticky – a triumph. They were also enormous, the result of inaccurate yeast measuring, or making them too big. We called them mutant hot cross buns, but wolfed them down anyway, fresh from the oven and…

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Almond and vanilla cake

There are many appalling things that were done with and to food in the 1970s – for a comprehensive overview I recommend following the 70s Dinner Party on Twitter, but for a sampling consider salad in aspic and grapefruit prawn cocktail as two examples that had plenty of traction in the era of tight, tight…

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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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Raspberry and hazelnut brownies

“Reader, I married him.”  Jane Eyre My husband and I are soon to mark 25 years of marriage and one of the things I appreciate most about him is his unfailing support of my dreams and goals. He photographs most of the recipes for this blog in his spare time, and helps bring to life…

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Sticky Asian lamb

Sticky, sweet and spicy lamb cutlets, with a slightly astringent dipping sauce is a perfect starter for a dinner with friends – good friends, who don’t mind slurping and eating with their fingers to get every last morsel off the bone. It tastes best if the lamb can be marinated for several hours, or even…

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