I adore sweet and savoury flavours together and this recipe from The Complete Book of Turkish Cooking nails this perfectly. I have tweaked it a bit because the first time I cooked them the cooking apples burst and so I had to start again even though they tasted amazing, so I went with Braeburn apples instead. I have also added more pine nuts and currants as I thought the recipe needed it and replaced the sugar with maple syrup as it’s low GI and used basmati rice. They are perfect as a side to a roast instead of stuffing or cold with a salad.
I cooked this for a friend of mine the other day and she loved it so much she told me I had to put it on the blog. The combination of flavours is fab with the mushrooms, parmesan and truffle oil… they are a marriage made in heaven.
It’s also really easy as most of the work is in the prep, so once you have done that it’s a doddle. You can get little bottles of truffle oil in supermarkets or online and of course in Italian delis, and before you think it’s too expensive, you can get them from as little as £3.50 and remember a little goes a long way, so it will last you for ages.
This is a perfect dinner party or date night supper and works really well with a crispy salad with my vinaigrette recipe which is also on the blog.
This risotto was put on Twitter by David Beckham when he cooked it for his family. I looked at the pictures of him proudly cooking it, and I checked out the ingredients and worked out it was a risotto Milanese. I have recreated it so you can try a bit of the Beckham. It’s a really rich, creamy risotto that would work well with a crisp lettuce salad dressed with my vinaigrette to counterbalance the richness of the risotto which would be a delicious dinner for two on a date night.
Kedgeree is one of those quintessentially British dishes, dating back to the 1800’s, that’s easier to make than you think plus I’ve made it even easier. It’s a lovely mixture of creamy eggs, fish and rice with the gentle perfume of Indian spices. My version is inspired by a recipe by the cook Roxy Beaujolais which uses salmon instead of smoked haddock. It’s perfect for a light Christmas Eve supper, or as a New Years Eve supper bearing in mind it only takes about twenty minutes to cook. It’s also perfect for dinner for two. Continue reading
Perfect for a vegetarian dinner party, this risotto can be made with any squash instead, so if pumpkins are not in season you can use what it’s available. It’s not only perfect for a Halloween dinner, but it’s delicious all year round too. It’s baked, so there is no need to stand over a hot stove stirring for half an hour unless you want to make it the traditional way (which is fine too). The crispy sage leaves and the caramelised pumpkin taste amazing together and I like it with a little dribble of balsamic reduction over the top as well.
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
12 sage leaves, chopped
12 sage leaves, fried till crispy
400g risotto rice
800g pumpkin peeled, cored and cubed
1 litre hot chicken or vegetable stock
40g of finely grated Parmesan
More Parmesan to grate on top
This is my version of mujaddara which is a delicious spicy dish of lentils, rice and caramelised onions with parsley which dates all the way back to a recipe book written in 1226 from Iraq. It is served in restaurants from Egypt to Isreal and is delicious served with a salad, chopped cucumbers and with plain yogurt or labneh. It is served at room temperature so it’s perfect for preparing in advance for a dinner or picnic. You can serve it with a green salad and or with meat or fish. It’s a staple round mine.
Serves 4-6 depending on what you serve it with.
2 x 250g bags of cooked brown basmati rice (supermarket)
1 x 400g tin or carton of green or brown lentils
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground coriander
¼ -½ teaspoon of chilli powder
2 minced garlic cloves
2-3 finely sliced large red onions
4 tablespoons of olive oil
2 lemons zested and cut into wedges for squeezing
big bunch of roughly chopped parsley
Salt to taste
This rice salad is taken from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem cookbook, only I have made it simpler. My friends all complain that his recipes are too complicated so they don’t bother to make them. Perfect with meat and chicken or just vegetarian dishes.
400 g can of chickpeas, drained
1 bag of cooked basmati rice (about 2-3 cups)
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoon of curry powder
100 g currants
Crispy onions from supermarket (in a plastic tub)
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
1 tablespoon of chopped coriander
1 tablespoon of chopped dill
Salt and pepper