Cooking doesn’t have to be hard work. No one knows how long you’ve spent in the kitchen. All they are thinking is if they really liked the food or not.
If you like smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels, this tartine recipe is based on that but really ramped up flavour and texture wise. I made these last night for a dinner party, and they went down really well. They are a great combo of tangy sweet savoury crunchy and creamy. I replaced the smoked salmon with slices of avocado for one of my veggie friends who doesn’t eat fish and she really loved it. You need to make the pickled cucumber and pink pickled onions in advance, the methods are below and in my recipe archive, and they are beyond easy. I really can’t wait to make them again, I really love them and they are perfect for a date night.
Fancy a Mexican? I do… this recipe is really easy and delicious and perfect as a TV snack or a starter. I even like to serve it on tiny tortillas as a canapé. I like to serve refried beans (or Mexican hummus as I like to call it) on corn tortillas, or tacos with salad, but it also goes with anything you fancy…avocados, roasted veg, salsa, lettuce, sour cream, a squeeze of lime, cheddar or jalapeño peppers. You can pick n mix.
Perfect with a margarita or two.
This delicate pickled cucumber is sweet crunchy and savoury and simply flavoured with dill. It’s a simple classic recipe that is super easy. I have always love dill pickles and pickled veg and always have them in my fridge to add to tartines, sandwiches and with cold boiled eggs, with humus on rye, poached salmon, tinned tuna, smoked salmon and cream cheese and in a potato salad. Do try them..although I love shop bought sweet pickled cucumber… these are just that bit more delicious and you can’t beat home made.
This recipe makes the most of the crunchiness of a red cabbage and it’s natural pinky red colour that ends up a stunning and glamorous bright fuchsia. It really adds colour and crunch to salads, tortillas, tacos and sandwiches or with cheese. Perfect with humus on rye or in a burger. It can be made on the day you are going to use it and it is much much nicer than the shop bought version. Plus it’s super healthy as the vinegar is great for the digestion.
This pudding can be assembled in 5 minutes max, so zero stress. I’ve never met anybody who didn’t think it was really amazing. It has that great combo of creamy and crunchy mixed with sweet from the meringues and ice cream and tart from the berries. It’s a visual and sensual feast. The recipe uses any vanilla ice cream, but I use Swedish Glace or the newly launched coconut ice cream from Coconut Collaborative which are delicious if you are going down the dairy free route. None of your guests would guess it’s dairy free and it’s perfect if you are following kosher.
Home made pesto is so infinitely superior to the store-bought jars, it’s a totally different beast. This authentic Italian recipe is one of the easiest, quickest, and most delicious sauces for pasta. All you do is stick the pasta on and put the pesto ingredients in a food processor, although pesto is traditionally made in a mortar and pestle. The first time I had this wasn’t with my Italian family, it was in an Italian restaurant in Hamburg when I was a teenager and I vividly remember thinking it was the most delicious thing I had ever eaten and it’s perfect for a date night.
These slightly sweet falafels are soft and moist. They are perfect with humus, pita bread and salad, but I also like them warm with Apple sauce which I first had as a starter at the restaurant Caravan in Exmouth market and still remember it as a surprisingly brilliant combo. You can double or triple the amounts from the recipe and bake them in batches if you want to make more. My friends who I’ve tested this recipe on said that they’re the best falafels they’ve ever had!