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,…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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.…

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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…

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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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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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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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