Chilled watercress soup

The heatwave continues. It was around 30C yesterday so I took the day off and went to Brockwell Lido, a massive open air pool in Brockwell Park, Herne Hill (aka ‘Brixton Beach’). I love the lido – in this kind of heat I just want access to an outdoor pool and to feel like I’m…

Asparagus frittata

I made this frittata for brunch last Sunday during the April heatwave. That week we had enjoyed several days of heavy heat and bright sunshine and the supermarkets were full of people in shorts and T shirts buying up barbecue food. This frittata seemed to me the perfect al fresco, late breakfast option for a…

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…

Spicy pea dip with smoked paprika vegetables

This is a quick supper dish which is great for using up veg from the fridge before it goes off. I cooked it yesterday because I was getting low on food and too lazy to go shopping (and I’m trying to save money so resisted the temptation to order a takeaway). I love the flavour…

Pasta bake

With the temperature plummeting it’s time to roll out some comfort, carb heavy recipes. As pasta bakes are cheap, tasty and very easy to make they can be top of your list. I say easy but I have just remembered an occasion years ago when I was cooking with my then teenage niece and we…

Pea and mint soup with Parmesan crisp

This soup ticks all the ‘cheap, fresh and easy’ boxes. It’s also incredibly quick and can be made in less than 10 minutes. I always have a bag of frozen peas in the freezer and a mass of mint growing in a pot in the garden – so I have everything I need to rustle up…

Griddled chicory with Gorgonzola dressing

This was a recipe I planned to use as a first course but with sourdough bread it was really substantial and I was too full to eat anything else. It’s based on a Jamie Oliver recipe which uses radicchio (which I couldn’t find so I used chicory instead) and raisins (which I didn’t have in…

Twice baked cheese soufflés on mushroom steaks

There is so much mystique around soufflés and how hard they are to make that it is only last year that I made my first soufflé. It was so easy I couldn’t believe I hadn’t made them  before. The key thing is to be very careful about folding the whisked egg whites into the mixture…

Roasted beetroot, orange and feta salad

Beetroot is one of those vegetables people either love or hate. Roasting beetroot in olive oil and sea salt is completely different to eating tiny balls of vacuum packed beetroot soaked in vinegar. So if you have negative experiences of beetroot please give this roasted recipe a go. Beetroot provides a big flash of colour…

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 whole celeriac

This is my version of a Jamie Oliver’s ‘Zombie’ brain recipe – a whole roasted celeriac. I served it with courgettes and Cavolo Nero, instead of pearl barely. It’s a perfect vegetarian alternative to a traditional roast dinner and is very quick and easy to prepare.   I have kept the garlic whole because I wanted…

Cheap and cheesy vegetable bake

I popped into Sainsbury’s on my way back from a trip to Somerset on Sunday and found a packet of Brussels sprouts in the  bargain section – 300g reduced from 80p to 19p – so I decided to use them in a vegetable bake. Added to a few florets of cauliflower (taken from a cauliflower…