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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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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beetroot salad with pistachios

Apart from being very pretty, this beetroot salad tastes amazing. It’s from the fab cookbook Many Greek Kitchens by Tessa Kiros which is stuffed with brilliant recipes and pictures. I served this at a dinner party with other salads, fries and roast fish, but you could also serve it as part of a mezze. It’s fresh creamy sweet and crunchy, my favourite things.

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chicory salad with anchovy sauce and breadcrumbs

OMG this salad is so delicious, the recipe is a traditional Italian salad from the Rome area of Italy and its usually served with bread on the side but I’ve made a crunchy sourdough crumb to go on top of it instead. Chicory is a tad bitter, which Italians love hence our love of the aperitif Campari, so you can add a teaspoon of maple syrup or sugar to the sauce if you prefer it a little sweeter. This salad is fantastic with fish or cheese or if you eat meat it would work really well with roast chicken or lamb.

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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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smoked salmon tartines with pickled cucumber and wasabi cream

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.
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avocado, mint, and ricotta bruschetta

This super healthy easy recipe for avo bruschetta is great snack, starter or light supper. People have even told me they have it for breakfast because they like it so much. The combination of flavours is really fresh and delicious and it’s creamy crunchy minty and zesty, so it tastes really fresh. The ricotta can be replaced by vegan cream cheese or peanut butter if you don’t eat dairy.

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