whole roast pumpkin stuffed with rice pistachios apricots and cranberries

This really delicious stuffed pumpkin tastes and looks amazing, it makes a fantastic center piece on the table for a vegetarian dinner, Sunday lunch, Christmas or Halloween. If pumpkin isn’t in season you can use any large squash or vegetable that you can stuff. It’s packed with nuts and fruit, is perfumed with saffron and based on a traditional Turkish recipe from a cookbook by Ghillie Basan but I’ve made it a bit easier. It’s great with roast potatoes and all the trimmings of a traditional roast dinner instead of turkey or even with turkey or you can stay traditional and serve it with other middle eastern dishes and salads, it’s also perfect with labneh with garlic in it.

Continue reading

freekeh salad with roasted vegetables

Freekah is fast becoming the new superfood. It’s a baby green wheat which has been roasted which gives it a slightly smoky flavour and it’s much higher in protein and fibre than quinoa and has a much better texture and flavour. It can be added to stir fries and salads. If you google its health benefits they are endless. You can use it as you would quinoa and I buy it ready cooked from the supermarket in a bag made by Merchant Gourmet(or you can cook it from scratch) This healthy salad recipe is middle eastern in its style of flavours with cinnamon and smoked paprika. It’s perfect with other salads, roasts or humus and bread. It’s also a perfect lunch with a dollop of garlicky yogurt.

Continue reading

roasted pears with Vermouth

I have been making this recipe for ever because not only is it the easiest pudding to make but it is one of the most delicious. Every one loves it and it’s got the lovely flavours of vanilla, the spicy vermouth and lemon peel. I initially got the recipe from an old Italian cookbook which had only a few ingredients in each recipe and no measurements. Every single recipe I did from that book was genius in its simplicity in the way Italians effortlessly get it right plus they all tasted amazing. This recipe requires virtually no work at all, you just bung the pears in a roasting dish with the rest of the ingredients, so it’s perfect for an easy dessert after dinner or when you want to create a simple pudding at the end of a dinner party. It can be served hot or cold and I serve it with dollops of Greek yogurt or sour cream. If you are vegan or dairy free you can serve it with {Swedish Glace } icecream or soya yogurt.

Continue reading

scorched or roasted sourdough toast

Toast is one of the best things ever. And this is one of the tastiest way of cooking bread and is so fantastic and crammed with flavour that when I gave it to Ralph to try he was as bowled over as I was. I like it even more than normal toast, which is, of course, a brilliant invention, but if you are going down the non-dairy route and you want your bread to be just as scrumptious as toast with butter, slices of bread roasted or scorched in a dry pan with a light spray of oil and a sprinkling of Maldon sea salt are ruddy marvellous.  If you roast it, it becomes like a giant crunchy crouton, which can be the basis for a tartine or any breakfast where you have toast. (I have also put fried mushrooms on it as a starter) This is also a great way to make bread tasty without adding butter or margarine. So it’s perfect for dairy free and vegan diets. Go on try it, you will still like toast, but not as much.

Continue reading

vegetarian gravy

This silky smooth gravy is super delicious for vegetarians and even non vegetarians. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the nut loaf on my blog. It can be made in advance and frozen, then defrosted the night before in the fridge..then reheated. This will lessen your work load when preparing your Christmas or Thanksgiving feast… but of course you might just want to make it for Sunday lunch too..it’s perfect if you are a gravy fan like me.

Continue reading

poussin

Poussin (Cornish hens) make a great and very easy alternative to turkey on Christmas Day or Thanksgiving. Instead of cooking a turkey for hours and hours they take about 45 minutes to an hour. The meat is much more delicate and juicy than turkey, which can be dry and tough, and the bay leaves give them an amazing flavour. The ancient Romans always flavoured their meat simply with bay leaves and I can see why, it’s the perfect flavour and the meat will be subtly perfumed by the bay. Also if you are new to cooking, this recipe is far less daunting and more manageable than a turkey which requires a lot more time and attending to. I really love this recipe and it’s great with my cranberry sauce, roast potatoes, maple roasted root vegetables, brussel sprouts, red cabbage and all the trimmings.

Recipe

Ingredients:
Poussin (1 per person)
A glug of olive oil
Fresh bay leaves (a few per bird)

DSCF0303 Continue reading

slow roasted tomato with runny eggs brunch

This recipe is my favourite brunch. I love the combo of crunchy and creamy and sweet and savoury. But more interestingly,  rosemary is, according to the centenarians in the Italian town of Acciaroli, the secret to a long life. They should know, they have 300 of them out of a population of 2000.

For 2.

Ingredients:
250g of baby plum tomatoes
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons maple syrup
A small sprig of Rosemary
A small sprig of parsley very finely chopped
3 eggs
2 slices of sourdough bread
Salt and pepper to taste

DSCF1507 Continue reading