japanese radish and cucumber salad

I love the salads in Japanese restaurants and this salad is super healthy and refreshing and works well with fish and sushi. I’ve even eaten it on a Ryvita with a sliced boiled egg. It’s crunchy, creamy, very tasty and looks gorgeous. If you prepare it in advance, keep it in the fridge and put the dressing and sesame seeds on just before you serve it.

Perfect combo with my previous recipe for japanese aubergines.

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roasted japanese aubergines with fried ginger matchsticks

I love the way the Japanese cook aubergines and I wanted to create a recipe which reminds me of eating it in their restaurants. This recipe is a delicious way to cook them and has lovely textures and is a bit crunchy with the ginger matchsticks. They are packed with flavour so they would be great with baked fish, salads and rice. Perfect as a little starter or a side dish.

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italian mussels steamed in beer with gremolada and breadcrumbs

This recipe is inspired by my father’s range of beers called Paolozzi made by The Edinburgh Beer Factory.

It is really Italian in all its flavours and I’m sure he would have loved it. Beer and mussels go really well together and so does crusty bread so I combined them all together. Mussels are cheap and sustainable, plus they cook in minutes. This recipe is perfect as a starter or light supper. And of course it’s perfect with beer.

If you fancy it with chips there are a couple of recipes on my blog for for easy fries too: healthy matchstick fries and the perfect roasted fries.

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warm spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce

This spaghetti is a proper Tuscan summery delight and my Italian family favourite. It not only is fresh and simple but it has very few ingredients too. It reminds me of summer evenings sitting in our garden as children with a glass of fizzy apple juice pretending it was champagne. This spaghetti can be served with Parmesan, but it traditionally is served without. I love this with a plain salad with my vinaigrette.
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quick pear sorbet

This really smooth and easy sorbet is a really refreshing end to a meal. You don’t need an ice cream maker to make it, as the technique I use makes it silky smooth. It tastes very french and delicately peary which reminds me of my holidays in France. You can eat it straight away or it freezes really well and stays soft enough to scoop. Like all ice creams and sorbets, it is better if you take it out of the freezer about 10 minutes before serving. Brilliant for using up a glut of ripe pears too.

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refried beans

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.

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pickled cucumber

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.

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quick pickled red cabbage

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.

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spaghetti al pesto

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.

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