Cannellini Bean Dip with Crispy Chorizo

The contrast between the hot, crisp chorizo and the smooth, lemony dip is delicious. Perfect for a warm evening with friends. If you’re feeding vegetarians, my cannellini crostini is an easily adaptable alternative. Feeds 4 as a nibble Ingredients 1 tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed 1 large clove of garlic, minced 1 tbsp oliveContinue reading “Cannellini Bean Dip with Crispy Chorizo”

Asparagus and Goat’s Cheese Tart

Asparagus season is a very special time of year. As it’s so fleeting, it’s nice to make the most of it by cooking things that show off this beautiful vegetable. Later in season you find thicker asparagus; these will work too. Slice in half lengthways to preserve the delicacy of the tart and to ensureContinue reading “Asparagus and Goat’s Cheese Tart”

Spicy Tomato and Bean Stew

This stew makes a delicious light lunch or dinner. If you want something a little heartier, add a pan-fried fillet of white fish or chicken. I specify flat beans below, but any green beans with an edible pod will work with this: green beans / French beans, flat beans, runner beans, sugar snap peas –Continue reading “Spicy Tomato and Bean Stew”

Proper Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding

Roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, crispy potatoes, rich gravy, spiky horseradish and classic vegetables is one of the great meals of the world. The joy of sitting with the ones you love, slowly devouring the feast (alongside several glasses of red wine) truly can’t be beaten. And while of course you can find terrific iterationsContinue reading “Proper Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding”

Easy Berry Compote

A no-notice dessert loved by children and adults, alike. Feeds 4 – 6 Ingredients 250g frozen mixed berries 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 2 tbsp water 1 tsp cornstarch (corn flour) dissolved in a little water Method: Chop any large fruit in halves or quarters, then combine all the ingredients except the dissolvedContinue reading “Easy Berry Compote”

Cheesy Potato, Leek and Bacon Gratin

A cosy, warming dish that would be a perfect side with a baked ham or some white fish. It also makes a very satisfying main meal just in itself, though you won’t win many points toward your 5-a-day. (Not that this would stop me.) Slice the potatoes either by hand or using a processor withContinue reading “Cheesy Potato, Leek and Bacon Gratin”

Chorizo, Onion & Cavolo Nero Hash

This is a gorgeous brunch dish that’s quick enough to prepare even if you’re a little the worse for wear, but sophisticated enough to serve for a brunch party. With a sparkling glass of cava, some thickly sliced avocado with lemon and salt, and some really good crusty bread, you’ve got a spectacular late-morning feast.Continue reading “Chorizo, Onion & Cavolo Nero Hash”

Crispy Baked Mussels on the Half Shell

I have written previously on the merits of mussels. This is a fun party dish that combines the elegance of steaming in white wine with the fun of a crisp canapé. It works best with large mussels because you are cooking them twice, thereby reducing the risk of overcooking. But of course, you don’t alwaysContinue reading “Crispy Baked Mussels on the Half Shell”

An Italian Easter Feast Outdoors

After a year of cancellations I am only too thrilled at the prospect of a government-sanctioned holiday, albeit an outdoor one. Of course, dining al fresco in early April is always going to be a gamble. Apart from the obvious practical steps (advise guests to dress warmly, come up with a rain plan), a menuContinue reading “An Italian Easter Feast Outdoors”

Basil Salt

If you’re looking for a hostess gift, a small batch of basil salt is a surprising and useful foodie present. Show up with a small, attractive jar of the salt, some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes procured from your local farmer’s market or specialty shop, and a bottle of really good olive oil. I, for one, wouldContinue reading “Basil Salt”