dark chocolate pannacotta

This recipe is a dairy free take on Black Forest gateau which is a favourite pudding of mine. It’s really silky smooth, rich and chocolatey and is great on its own or with whipped cream if you are not dairy free or with dairy free vanilla ice cream. The decorations are optional, or you can customise it with whatever you fancy like fresh berries.

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overnight gravadlax

Gravadlax is really easy to make and much much cheaper than buying it ready made. This recipe is adapted from a recipe in Esquire Magazine that I found online.

It’s brilliant if you want the gravadlax that or the next day. Instead of putting the salmon into dry ingredients, you make a sweet brine first and place it in that and it does its job much faster, and more efficiently. I have included my favourite recipe for the dill sauce too if you fancy making that too, or it’s fine with a squeeze of lemon and it’s great on canapés with pink pickled onions, capers or on rye bread with sliced boiled eggs and any of my pickled vegetables on the blog.

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whole roast squash with saffron rice

This recipe can be made with a pumpkin or any large squash or several smaller ones like the munchkin pumpkins. The rice recipe is from the Moro cookbook and they use the saffron rice to stuff a butterflied leg of lamb, because it is fragrant and deliciously flavours the meat, but as I don’t really eat meat I thought it would be fantastic as a stuffing for a squash or pumpkin. It also looks amazing as a centre piece on the dinner table, and would be delicious roast potatoes and a salad or any roast. I love it with garlicky yogurt and have just discovered Alpro are doing a vegan Greek yogurt in Morrison’s which is utterly delicious.

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mince pie cake

A dairy free alternative to a traditional Christmas Cake which can be made last minute, just make the mincemeat the day before as it needs to marinate and ruminate for 24 hours before you use it. You can use a jar of shop bought mincemeat if you want to save time, the cake is full of spices a bit of brandy and all the Christmassy flavours and is perfect if you are a mince pie fan, but fancy a lighter cake version and it’s perfect with dairy free vanilla ice cream.

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caramelised pumpkin salad with beetroot and goats cheese

I love warm salads and this one is particularly autumny but I could eat it all year round. It’s got the creamy goats cheese with the beetroot and pumpkin which are a marriage made in heaven, then you have the crunchy almonds with pea shoots. It’s perfect as a light supper with some crusty bread to mop up the vinaigrette, with my Manoushe or any of my Middle Eastern recipes on here. If you press on the word vinaigrette in the ingredients bit it takes you to the recipe.

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aubergine pizza

This pizza recipe looks great, and best of all it tastes great too. The aubergine works really well cooked this way and becomes creamy and slightly sweet. The flavour of the mozzarella is boosted with a bit of parmesan and the red onion… once prepped the pizza takes about 6 minutes to cook… so if you are entertaining you can prepare them in advance and bung them in the oven just before you want them. Brilliant with a green salad and a glass of Italian red wine.

For the links to my pizza dough and sugo just click on them and it will take you to the recipes.

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italian octopus and white bean salad

This salad is very simple and takes moments to prepare…it’s got all the classic Italian flavours of fresh lemon, parsley, olive oil and balsamic vinegar with tender octopus, which I buy ready cooked from my Spanish deli in Portobello Road or my local fish monger in Primrose Hill but you can also use the jars of it in olive oil that some supermarkets and delis stock. It’s a perfect starter to a pescatarian dinner, or just as a light supper with crusty bread to mop up the dressing.

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chilli prawns with a smashed cucumber salad

I have recently discovered Asian smashed cucumber salads and I’m hooked. It’s the combination of the cucumber with a creamy sesame dressing with coriander and ginger which is fantastic. I paired the salad with prawns fried in chilli and coconut oil and garnished it all with sesame seeds, fresh coriander and crispy onions… perfect for a summer dinner or date night, or in the winter when you miss the summer like me.

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quick pickled shallots

These pickled shallots go a pale rose colour from the pink outer bits of the shallot. They are ready in about half a day, so you can start using them fairly quickly. They are sweet savoury with a bit of acidity so they work really well with cheese, in sandwiches, salads, tacos, with burgers and delicious with barbecued food. The list is endless. They are super easy to make too and last in the fridge for several weeks.

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