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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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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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 breakfast – vanilla spiced yoghurt

It’s the last day of my holiday today and I wanted to make something especially nice for my breakfast. Summer’s bounty has been particularly rich and beautiful this year. Stunning mangoes, peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries and blueberries are available in abundance and typify the flavours of summer in my part of the world. This recipe is…

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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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