A quick seasonal plea: please don’t boil your brussels. It’s bad and wrong. Imagine how much happier everyone will be if you can cook your sprouts in a way that doesn’t have the sulphurous tang of a tramp’s arse.
I posted a recipe for mashed brussels with chestnuts a couple of years ago, but this is easier, cheaper (no chestnuts) and is my new favourite way of cooking sprouts.
Continue reading Roasted brussels sprouts
So your son/daughter has a new special friend. Anxious to impress, you issue an invite for Sunday lunch, but when the day arrives you discover at the very last moment that said friend is – gasp! – vegetarian.
Don’t panic. Honestly, any vegetarian will be happy with a standard roast dinner minus the meat. Chuck on an extra potato, assuming you didn’t do something crazy like cook them in the juice of a slaughtered animal (why would you do that?).
But plain veg can be a little dry, and no, sieving out the giblets doesn’t mean the gravy you’ve made counts as vegetarian. Here’s how to make an impressive veggie gravy that can be cooked in the 10 minutes between finding out your guest won’t eat meat and having to dish up.
Continue reading Emergency vegetarian gravy
Because I’ve never had a clue about what to do with orzo pasta – and because I barely have time to think of new recipes at the moment – I pinched this from Yotam Ottolenghi’s latest book. Orzo pasta is the one that looks like grains of rice, and that’s pretty much how you use it. I should have known. My contribution to this recipe is to swap the specified hard processed mozzarella, which they don’t seem to sell anywhere near me, for the real thing. Also, I swapped the original celery for green beens because, you know, celery.
Continue reading Orzo pasta bake with aubergine
I’ve used a couple of moderately unusual ingredients in this salad. Camargue rice comes from a beautiful mosquito-infested region of France, and I’ve heard it’s technically not really ‘rice’ but that’s what they call it. It has a brilliant nutty taste and can be found in supermarkets (well, Waitrose in Bath at any rate).
Dukkah spice is something I’d never heard of until I saw it on a menu in a swanky pub restaurant a couple of months ago. Then I went in Sainsbury’s and it turns out they actually have their own brand version of it, so it’s either the latest trendy ingredient or something really common that completely passed me by. Anyway, it’s sort of crunchy, with a taste of coriander seeds and dried garlic, and works well in all sorts of salads. Including this one.
Continue reading Camargue red rice salad
Peaches cooked on a griddle pan are fantastic. They develop a sweeter caramelised flavour that complements the bitterness of the blackened bits where they catch against the ridges of the pan. Perfect in this unusual and delicious starter.
Continue reading Grilled peach, rocket and parmesan salad
Salty feta cheese and sweet juicy watermelon has always been a winning combination. This salad also includes fresh chilli pepper, which helps cut through the creaminess of the cheese without overpowering the whole dish, and a tasty orange dressing.
Continue reading Feta, watermelon and chilli salad
Although it doesn’t have the most appealing title, fatteh is a pretty special dish. The Arabic name comes from the crumbled bits of pitta bread that form the middle part of this multi-textured layered concoction. Warm spicy chickpeas beneath crispy bread and cold tangy yoghurt. It’s basically the delicious Middle Eastern chickpea dish balila with a yoghurt dip and some croutons, all in one, but there are many variations. This one adds aubergine to the chickpeas and tahini to the yoghurt. Anything goes, really.
Continue reading Fatteh with aubergines and tahini yoghurt sauce
I like the way the beetroot bleeds purple into the creamy cheese and egg mixture of this light and tasty quiche. Beetroot and horseradish go brilliantly together, too.
Continue reading Roasted beetroot, horseradish and goat’s cheese tart
A giant falafel in the shape of a burger. How excellent is that? What I like about this recipe is that none of the ingredients have to be cooked before adding to the mix – most potato/lentil-based veggie burgers I make need at least a bit of boiling, roasting or wilting. This one is raw and super healthy (until you drop it in oil and fry it).
Continue reading Falafel veggie burgers
Here’s a basic vegetarian curry that doesn’t require a great deal of effort. Roasting the vegetables separately means they’re guaranteed to be cooked through when you’re ready to serve – there’s nothing worse than preparing to dish up a curry only to find that the spuds still haven’t started to break up properly in the sauce. The mild bitterness of celeriac is excellent with a nice sweet and sour chutney, but you could make this with just potatoes if you’re not convinced.
Continue reading Roasted celeriac and potato curry