Pumpkin soup with crunchy walnuts and pepitas

To feel safe and warm on a cold wet night, all you really need is soup. Laurie Colwin In my part of the world pumpkin soup is synonymous with winter. Everyone has a favourite recipe and there are almost endless variations that enhance the rich, buttery flavour of pumpkin. My preferred pumpkin variety to use…

Read More

Roasted pumpkin with fennel and thyme

Pumpkin is probably my most favourite vegetable, for its natural nutty sweetness and capacity to absorb flavour. I love it in soups, curries, as part of a traditional baked dinner slathered with gravy, and roasted with spices and garlic and herbs as in this recipe. In my part of the world there are a number…

Read More

Charred eggplant with capers

“Gleaming skin; a plump elongated shape: the eggplant is a vegetable you’d want to caress with your eyes and fingers, even if you didn’t know its luscious flavor.” ~ Roger Verge I cannot praise the delights of beautifully cooked eggplant more highly. The flesh is creamy and soft, and slightly smoky in flavour. And in…

Read More

Tomato salad with sumac

As a lover of tomatoes I am always looking for different ways to prepare and serve them that will enhance their already beautiful flavour. This recipe is based on one I read in an Ottolenghi cookbook – it used sumac as an ingredient – a spice I have been experimenting with for some time. Sumac…

Read More

Pannacotta with finger lime

I am something of a pannacotta afficionado, and often choose it for dessert when I eat at Italian restaurants. It is quite simple to make, but it takes a delicate touch to get the gelatine to liquid ratio just right, so that the pannacotta is set but quite wobbly when turned out from its mould,…

Read More

Super seeds

Seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients and have many benefits to our health. They contain healthy monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and many important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and they also taste delicious! I like to use seeds (and also some nuts) to make a treat to sprinkle over salads, or to serve with hummus and…

Read More

Golden beetroot salad with honeyed walnuts

The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent, not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious. Tom Robbins Serves 4 4 small purple…

Read More

Eggplant curry: the miracle meal

A few weeks ago I was catering for a retreat for 150 young adults. They needed to be fed for the whole weekend, which involved some serious cooking and quantities of food that were quite staggering. The friends who helped in the kitchen with me laughed and cried (onions, lots of onions), chopped, peeled, roasted,…

Read More

Carrots and beets and all the good things

It’s a lot harder to get people to ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over beets and carrots than it is to get them to ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over artichokes or asparagus, and I enjoy being able to take these humble, ‘lowbrow’ foodstuffs up a few notches and serve them with great exuberance. Charlie Trotter Hear, hear, Mr.…

Read More

Warm potato salad with dill and almonds

It is always wise to make too much potato salad. Even if you are cooking for two, make enough for five. Potato salad improves with age – that is, if you are lucky enough to have any left over. Laurie Colwin My mother was  a proponent of the ‘you can’t have too much’ school of…

Read More