I have taken the flavours of a classic Spanish clam stew and rejigged it so it tastes great even though there is no meat in it. Normally it would have Chorizo in it, so I used smoked paprika which is the flavor of Chorizo instead and it tastes just as good. It’s a really easy recipe and great for a date night. Also, the frozen Clams were a bargain £3.59 for 500g in the freezer section of Waitrose. I always buy a few boxes and keep them in the freezer just in case. They are delicious with roasted sourdough or my homemade fries or roast potatoes.
While I was in Morocco recently I was hoping to learn to cook new amazing dishes but our food was cooked for us by a cook who didn’t speak any English so I didn’t learn much. Since I got back I wanted to put more Moroccan and moorish dishes on the blog, so along with my Moro cookbooks which I adore and a new book I bought, Orange Blossom and Honey by John Gregory-Smith from which I am learning new recipes that he bought back from Morocco I hope to enthuse you as much as possible with the fragrant flavours from the souks.
This potato tagine is delicious with couscous ,salad and roast meat if you eat meat.
I also like a dollop of garlic infused Greek yogurt on top, but you could use soya yogurt if you prefer. Continue reading
greek salad tartines
What could be nicer… an open salad sandwich always does it for me and my girlfriends. We love that combo of crunchy bread and salad. It’s healthy clean food and perfect for lunch or as a starter. This version of Greek salad is taken from all the most interesting recipes I could find for Greek salad and I mixed them up. I also cut the vegetables very small so it’s easier to stick the bread in your mouth if you want to eat them without a knife and fork, like I do. If you prefer it without bread just double the ingredients and make it as a salad.
italian beans on toast with poached eggs
Beans on toast with a fried or poached egg is up there as a great tasting breakfast or light meal. I have taken a traditional Italian recipe that ramps up the taste and textures and added my own tweaks, but mainly a poached egg, which you can leave out if you want the vegan version it’s still delicious.
vegan laksa bowl
I love this bowl of coconutty deliciousness. Laksa is a comforting Thai coconut broth with vegetables and noodles. It’s spicy, creamy and noodley. I find a lot of vegan recipes are trying to emulate meat dishes, which is not great because vegan ingredients can be fantastic and with imagination don’t need to pretend they are something they are not. There are a lot of sumptuous vegan dishes that don’t shout deprivation of any kind. Hopefully you will try my vegan recipes and agree that they are just as good as any recipe using animal products, I try to make them look delicious too, and full of colour and not just a load of beige-ness.
This recipe is my take on a Laksa I hope you like it. It’s healthy and delicious.
You can never have enough pasta in your life. When I was very young my father used to take me to a smart Italian restaurant in Chelsea called The Meridiana owned by his friend Enzo Apicella. Enzo sometimes sat with us while we ate and we would discuss our love of pasta. This is a simple recipe, which is incredibly delicious. It’s also called Aglio E Olio in Italian. There are a lot of versions of it, and you can customise it with whatever you have in the cupboard. It’s called midnight spaghetti because it’s a recipe used by tired, busy chefs after they come home late after long day at work. It’s also called ‘after the party’, so you get the drift…it’s quick, easy and very tasty, particularly after one too many drinks and you are ravenous. Check out midnight spaghetti 2 on here, if you fancy trying another version. It would also be a perfect for a vegetarian dinner party with a salad if you wanted to cook something that is economical and very doable.
This really delicious Lebanese salad is made with toasted pitas and a mix of salad vegetables and herbs and has the most delicious fragrant sweet dressing. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and sour and crunchy and soft combined. You can add radishes, carrots, olives, peppers, shredded red cabbage, feta or what ever you fancy, it’s perfect for using up vegetables in the fridge. It’s a sort of Middle Eastern version of panzanella and its really gorgeous. You can serve it as a starter, or with meat or fish and it’s perfect picnic food and pretty healthy too. I like it as a healthy lunch made with wholemeal pitas and a side order of humus and more pita bread. Over to Ralph…
Ralph here……It tasted amazing! Took me right back to my mum’s Lebanese kitchen.
2 teaspoons of sumac, soaked in 2 teaspoons of warm water for 10 minutes
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses
1 clove of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of wine vinegar
1/3 cup of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
A couple of pita breads, lightly coated in olive oil and roasted in the oven till crispy then broken into smallish pieces
A handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
Half a cucumber, skinned and diced
Half a red onion finely sliced
1 little Gem or baby romaine lettuce, shredded
A sprig of finely chopped parsley
A sprig of finely chopped mint
I have never met anyone that doesn’t love Melanzane Parmigiana. This is pretty much the recipe my Italian grandmother passed on to her children and with nearly all of my recipes I look at loads of versions of them and take the best bits from each one to create what I think is the perfect hybrid, and that’s what I’ve done with this Sicilian recipe. I really love aubergine and this version of melanzane parmigiana that I have created is great because it’s spot on in the flavour department. It’s low carb and great with meat and/or salad because its really satisfying as well as delicious. You could also serve it with pasta. Tonight, I’m testing it on friends (cooked the night before and reheated in their oven) I’ll get back to you on what they think.
Yes! They really really loved it……
Serves 6 (but you can halve the ingredients)
4 aubergines sliced into thinish slices , approx one pound coin thick which can be lengthwise or in discs
2 tablespoons of olive oil plus more for the aubergines
1 red onion finely sliced
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
2 400g tins of plum tomatoes
a sprig of oregano or a teaspoon of dried
3 cloves of minced garlic
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
200g of thinly sliced mozzarella
100g of freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Oil a baking tray, place the slices of aubergine on the tray in a single layer and make sure the upper side of the aubergine is sprayed or brushed with oil too.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until brown, you may have to do this in batches. Then set aside.
In a large saucepan, fry the onion gently in the olive oil for about five minutes.
Add the tomatoes, garlic, basil, oregano, maple syrup and red wine vinegar.
Gently bring to the boil and let it gently bubble for about 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Like a lasagna, in a deepish baking dish layer the aubergine in a single layer first and then sprinkle with some Parmesan and slices of mozzarella then a layer of tomato sauce, repeat until all the ingredients are used up.
To get a crispy top, finish with a layer of the aubergine topped with the Parmesan, bake at 180°C for 40-50 minutes or until getting brown, you might want to put tin foil over the top for the first 20 minutes if you don’t want it too crispy, however I like it a bit burnt as the cheese goes a bit Welsh rarebity. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: if you want it a bit less oily, you can boil the aubergines whole for 20 minutes, allow to cool and then slice and put them in the recipe.
This traditional Tuscan salad really tastes of the summer. It’s really tomatoey because the juices of the tomatoes go into the dressing. Combine it with my aubergine spaghetti and you have a perfect dinner combo.
1 kilo of tomatoes chopped into smallish pieces
2 teaspoons salt
1 large sourdough loaf cut in half and chunks of the middle ripped out and put on a baking sheet (leave the crust)
10 tablespoons of olive oil
1 red onion very finely diced
2 cloves of minced garlic
½ a teaspoon of Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons of maple syrup
2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
A sprig of basil
A sprig of parsley
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.
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
2 slices of sourdough bread
Salt and pepper to taste