These mini marrows, also known as courgettes or zucchini, are magical little things. Summertime is their season, and you will find them everywhere. Despite all of the rain we’ve been having here, beautifully vibrant courgettes with their delicate golden yellow flowers always manage to bring some sunshine to the table. Continue reading
I am so incredibly excited to share this recipe with you. Not because it’s hands down and for real one of the tasiest things I have ever consumed (modesty is a virtue), but because it’s one of those meals that makes you believe you have a stomache capacity similar to that of Adam Richman. It’s You v. Food and you want it all.
Ok maybe that’s just me, and I’m thankful that I had my family to intervene and pry the succulent meat from my hands and the slaw from my grasp. 1.6kg of pork belly lasts more than a lifetime on the hips my friends. Close call. Continue reading
Ok I admit it, I took the ‘it’s Christmas so I can eat what I want’ idea a little too far. So January, old pal, seeing as we’ve never really gotten on, what with broken resolutions and empty bank accounts, I figured this year I’d make an effort.
No more late nights in front of the TV, tub of ice cream in one hand, spoon in the other, oh no. This year, I’ve swapped my January blues for fitness. Boot camp training, to be precise. Continue reading
Easy, hearty, healthy, tasty and tangy.. with a sweet kick!
Winter in a bowl! Continue reading
Summertime calls for salad. Tangy, hearty, sexy salad.
Salad should definitely involve carbs .
Potatoes are a happy choice. Pasta’s a friend that’s always welcome, too.
Rice likes to get involved.
Let’s not even consider making a salad without spring onions. That would be wrong…
I don’t even want to think about it.
Potatoes + green veg + horseradish and yoghurt dressing – it’s happening.
Use your hands. Grab a fork.
- 500g new potatoes, washed with skins left on
- 2 generous handfuls of mixed salad leaves
- 3 spring onions, roughly chopped
- 1 medium courgette, sliced into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
- 1 handful cocktail gherkins, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons capers, roughly chopped
- Bunch of mint, stalks removed and roughly chopped
For the dressing:
- 100ml Greek yoghurt
- 50ml of the juice your cocktail gherkins come in
- 2 teaspoons creamy mild horseradish
Meanwhile prepare the salad. In a large bowl throw in the leaves, spring onions, gherkins, capers, mint and courgette and set aside.
To make the dressing, add the gherkin juice to the yoghurt and whisk until the yoghurt has loosened in consistency. Add the horseradish and generously season, then whisk again and set aside.
Once the potatoes are cooked and have cooled entirely (or slightly – no biggie), slice them in half and add them to the rest of the salad.
Then all that’s left to do is pour over the yoghurt dressing, toss well and garnish with some more mint, because mint makes everything better.
P.s. tastes better with sunshine.
Makes 2 large or 4 small portions.
Where I’m from it’s not unusual to experience downpours during July – at the moment the weather could go from summer to winter in a matter of hours. I’ve concluded that the London skies are somewhat bipolar.
So naturally you can imagine how us Londoners react when the clouds eventually open up and allow us a glimmer of sunshine and warmth. Many strip off in the park in desperate hope of achieving a bronzed body. Others immediately set up the BBQ and proceed to deplete the local supermarket’s supply of rosé. Most people make meaningless, hypothetical bets on how long the sunshine will last before the rain returns.
I take my food outside.
I want you to take your food outside too.
How about inviting your beautiful friends over and cooking them a light summer lunch? Homemade lemonade you ask? Easy. What about a samphire and white bean salad with griddled squid and chorizo? Just saying. Fresh bread? Obviously..!
A chocolate pavlova definitely belongs in this scenario.
- 3 large lemons, roughly chopped
- 1 litre of still or sparkling water
- 150g caster sugar
In a food processor or blender add the chopped lemons, sugar and ½ litre of water. Blitz until the lemons have been chopped up into small pieces.
Using a seive, strain the lemon juice mixture into a jug and top up with the rest of your water. Serve with ice.
Makes around 1.5 litres of lemonade.
Samphire and White Bean Salad with Squid and Chorizo
- 300g fresh samphire, washed
- 6 medium to large squid, cleaned and cut into thin rings
- 300g canned white cannellini beans, rinsed
- 50g chorizo, finely chopped
- 1 small garlic clove, crushed
- Juice of half a lemon
- Olive oil
To prepare the samphire, boil or steam for around 3-4minutes. Drain and combine in a large bowl with the white beans and minced garlic and set aside.
Toss the prepared squid in a little salt and pepper. In a large flat pan (I used a paella pan), heat a little olive oil and once your pan is very hot add the chorizo. Fry off for about a minute before adding the squid, continue to cook for another minute or so.
Remove from the pan and pat off the excess oil with some kitchen paper, then add to your samphire and white beans. Season well, squeeze over lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss well before serving.
Wholemeal Horiatiko Psomi (Greek Village Bread)
For the bread starter:
- 14g fast-action yeast
- 60g wholemeal flour
- 120ml lukewarm water
For the dough:
- 1kg wholemeal flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 480ml lukewarm water
- 2 tablespoons whole milk (plus extra for brushing)
- 2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons clear, runny honey
- 4 tablespoons sesame seeds
Make your bread starter by combing the yeast, flour and water. Mix into a thick paste then cover with clingfilm and leave to rise for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl sift the flour and salt. Add the honey, milk, olive oil, bread starter and water and bring the mixture together with a spoon. Once a dough has formed, tip it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for around 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
Punch and knead the air out of the dough for around 5 minutes, then cut and form into two round loaves. Place on a baking sheet, cover with a clean dish cloth and leave for a further 30 minutes.
Score the top of each loaf in 3 places, brush with some milk and sprinkle over the sesame seeds. Bake on the bottom shelf of a 220°c oven for 30 minutes until evenly browned.
Serve with butter! Mmm…
Chocolate Pavlova with Red Berries
To make this truly scrumptious dish, follow my recipe for pavlova here. Simply fold in 30g grated milk chocolate and 60g sifted cocoa powder into the egg whites after all the sugar has been incorporated.
Garnish with any berries or fruit you like.
So! After that colossal sized post you are more than ready to take your plate and bask in the sunshine. Enjoy!
This salad is ultra garlicky, and it’s wonderful – unless of course you really dislike garlic.
Or perhaps you have a date coming up (yay for you) – but seriously, don’t eat this beforehand.
I should call this Mariella’s salad, after my friend M who also loves garlic. Yeah, Mariella’s salad..I like it.
- 250g farro, rinsed
- 450g fresh borlotti beans, (about 100g once podded)
- 100g rocket
- 2 garlic cloves, finely crushed with salt
- Juice of half a lemon
- Olive oil
Prepare your farro by cooking as per instructions. Drain and set aside.
Add you borlotti beans to a pot of water and bring to boil, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and cook for around 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Once cooled, combine the farro, garlic, borlotti beans, lemon juice, a generous amount of seasoning and a good glug of olive oil in a large bowl and toss.
Add a couple of handfuls of rocket just before serving. Mix well so it’s coated by all the garlicky, olive oily goodness.
After an indulgent few days, I tend to revert to my healthy eating ways and start appreciating my good friends bean and pulse once more. No more peanut butter on a spoon for me.
However, although the idea of a plate of lettuce for lunch sounds mega appealing, I’d much prefer something with some substance. Quinoa perhaps. I think you’d prefer that too.
Join me, won’t you?
- 100g quinoa, rinsed with cold water
- Handful of lamb’s lettuce
- 2 handful’s of peas
- 2 large spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- Fresh mint, finely chopped
- Fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Juice of half a lemon
- Olive oil
To prepare the quinoa add to a saucepan 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water, bring to the boil, then simmer for around 12-13 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a frying pan add a little olive oil then on a lowish heat gently sauté the spring onions and garlic for a few minutes before adding the peas. Cook for around 5 minutes before adding your cooked quinoa. Give it a good stir. Feels good doesn’t it.
Transfer your healthy quinoa goodness to a large bowl and add the mint, parsley and lamb’s lettuce, which will wilt slightly with the heat of the other ingredients. Drizzle in some of that beautiful olive oil, the juice of half a lemon and a generous amount of seasoning. Toss well.
Eat without the guilty conscience. Nom.
Makes enough for two.
Ohhh how yummy this is!! This is the kind of salad that can be eaten as a main or side, or just all the time, like at breakfast.
Maftoul is just pure genius in cracked wheat form. If you’re like me and are obsessed with couscous and bulghur, then you’ll love this. Claimed to originate from Lebanon, Israel, Palestine – frankly I don’t really care where it’s from as long as it’s readily available and in my store cupboard at all times.
Oh and here’s an idea, why not make my roasted red pepper houmous and flatbreads? They’re totally best buds with this dish.
- 100g Spinach, finely chopped – reserve a handful for garnish
- Generous bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- 150g maftoul (or giant couscous)
- 300ml vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 can of precooked lentils, drained and rinsed
- ½ red onion, finely sliced
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 16 cherry tomatoes, 10 haved – reserve 6 whole for garnish
- 1 pack of halloumi cheese, cut into chunks
For the dressing:
- Olive oil
- The juice of ½ a lemon
- Balsamic vinegar
- Cayenne pepper
First start by preparing the maftoul. Bring the stock to the boil and add the maftoul, cook for around 6 minutes, drain and set aside.
In a large bowl combine the onion, tomato halves, garlic, chopped spinach, parsley and lentils. Add the cooled maftoul and mix well.
Place the halloumi chunks in a bowl and cover with boiling water, leave for a couple of minutes. This helps extract some of the salt from the halloumi and makes it really soft and chewy. Remove the halloumi from the bowl, pat dry with kitchen paper then transfer to a frying pan or griddle with a little olive oil. Grill until lightly browned then add to the rest of the ingredients.
To make the dressing combine about 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil, a splash of vinegar, lemon juice, 1 heaped teaspoon of cumin and a level teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Mix well and pour over the salad. Season with salt and pepper, give the salad a good toss then serve on a bed of the reserved spinach leaves.
Grab a spoon.
Makes one huge salad.
For anyone with similar taste buds to mine, you will love this. If healthy yet tasty food is your thing, you will love this. If chilli and cumin grace most of your meals, you will love this. If however you are strictly carnivorous, hate pulses and dislike nuts in salad, then I suggest you click here.
This recipe brings back the summer months and casts my mind to being in Cyprus where the only thing I like to throw together in my kitchen is a tasty refreshing salad – I have never understood those who can eat a hot meal in 40°c heat!
For a heartier version you could throw in some roasted butternut squash, beetroot, cooked chickpeas or even all three. Yum.
- Bunch of salad leaves (spinach, lambs lettuce, herb salad)
- Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 yellow pepper, sliced
- Handful of sliced cucumber (if you can get Lebanese cucumbers – do it!)
- 1 spring onion, finely chopped
- 5 asparagus, chopped with the woody ends removed
- 1 medium to large carrot, finely grated
- 150g puy lentils, precooked
- Unsalted pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- 1 red chilli
- Ground cumin
Blanche the asparagus in boiling water, drain and immediately put into a bowl of ice water – this keeps them nice and green. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, reserving some pistachio nuts for garnish. Add the asparagus.
In a separate bowl combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a tablespoon or so of lemon juice, chopped red chilli (or alternatively a teaspoon of jarred chilli), and finally some cumin, salt and pepper to taste – I love cumin so I add quite a lot.
Drizzle over the salad, toss well and serve with extra pistachios.
Makes 1 portion