Stuffed peppers

A couple of weeks’ ago I watched an episode of Yottam Ottolenghi’s cookery series where he was in Crete. He visited a family restaurant where one of the specialities was stuffed vegetables. All the family got together on a vine clad, sun drenched terrace to stuff courgettes, tomatoes and peppers with a simple mixture of…

Beetroot burgers

Here’s a recipe inspired by a four day cookery and meditation retreat at Sharpham House I went on recently. This was the recipe I made as soon as I got home from the trip. It was for supper that same evening – I couldn’t wait to start trying out what I had learnt, even after…

Home made ‘baked’ beans

A couple of weeks’ ago I made a pot of home made baked beans which I froze in portions.  I say ‘baked’ but this a hob-based and very simple version of an old authentic recipe – Boston baked beans. The original version (dating back to the New England pilgrims) involved a large chunk of salt…

Minestrone

I’ve been working away for a few weeks recently, just coming home for long weekends. Before I started working away I tried to use up as much food as possible from the fridge, to avoid waste and save money on shopping. Like most people I know I often find myself throwing fresh food away and,…

Roasted cauliflower steaks with vierge sauce

This is a surprisingly substantial and filling dish and at about £1.50 a portion is incredible value. The cauliflower retains a firm texture and the vierge sauce is fresh, crunchy and colourful. Adding capers to the sauce gives the dish a sharp and piquant flavour. This is a  very easy meal to make and only takes about…

Hazelnut and pistachio crunch

This is an Antonio Carluccio recipe which sounds so much better in Italian – croccante di nocciole e pistacchi. I followed the recipe to the letter so head to the Antonio Carluccio website for the instructions. Now that it’s mid November it’s probably acceptable to start making something a bit Christmassy. The recipe is very…

Spicy pumpkin soup

This tasty seasonal soup uses small eating pumpkins/butternut squash, not the giant Jack o’Lanterns people use for Halloween. I used a pumpkin the size of a large grapefruit and half a butternut squash I had left over from another meal. I also bought a couple of adorable munchkin pumpkins but I struggled to chop them…

Spaghetti with minty aubergine and sun-dried tomato sauce

Aubergines are cheap and nutritious and make a great base for a spaghetti sauce. I watched Rick Stein make something similar to this recipe based on a Sicilian dish but he used tinned tomatoes which I didn’t have (very unusual for me) so I made it with a few sun-dried tomatoes and tomato puree instead….

Big batch vegetarian chilli

Batch cooking is one of the best ways to keep costs down and you don’t have to lose out on flavour just because you’re on a budget. I regularly make up a big pot of vegetarian chilli which I freeze and then cook with other ingredients to bulk out the meals. Using this recipe as…

Focaccia

I struggle a bit making my own bread as so often it doesn’t rise very well. It frequently ends up dense, heavy and a bit sad. But I still really love the whole process of baking bread because kneading dough is so relaxing and most shop bought loaves lack character and are full of additives….