Courgettes, courgettes

Courgettes (or zucchini) are wonderfully versatile vegetables. Cheap and quick to prepare, they can be served as a side dish or beefed up to make a main meal in themselves, and they go well with an array of herbs and spices from all sorts of cuisines. The recipes and pictures below are a mere selection,Continue reading “Courgettes, courgettes”

Blinis

Homemade blinis are a world away from the thick, claggy discs sold in vacuum-packed plastic. Originally from Russia, they’re traditionally made with buckwheat flour, but I prefer Delia Smith’s lighter version which uses a mixture of strong white and buckwheat. You can make these large (approx 10cm diameter) as a starter, or in smaller bite-sizedContinue reading “Blinis”

Omelette wraps

Nadiya Hussain is one of my cooking heroes: she’s a devoted mother, darling of Bake Off, and has done much to destigmatize mental health issues. A couple of years ago she demonstrated a recipe for egg and mushroom rolls on TV – basically a thin omelette fused to a tortilla wrap and filled with whateverContinue reading “Omelette wraps”

Potato salad

A homemade potato salad is infinitely preferable to anything you can buy in a shop, although you should feel no guilt about using ready-made mayonnaise, as you might for this dish’s close relative, tartare sauce. The main difference between the latter and this recipe is that I use spring onions here to bump up theContinue reading “Potato salad”

Profiteroles

Choux pastry is nervously avoided by many a domestic cook: its preparation is a bit alarming and most people think it’s beyond their cooking skills. Although I don’t produce it often, it has held few fears for me because I learned to make it at school as a ten year-old. (The less said about theContinue reading “Profiteroles”

Wiener schnitzel

Since you can all make it on autopilot, you don’t really need a recipe for Wiener schnitzel, so my introduction today is going off-piste into linguistic territory. A schnitzel is a thin, breaded, fried cutlet traditionally made from veal; the ‘Wiener’ part means ‘from Vienna’. In Hungary they call the dish Bécsi szelet, Bécs beingContinue reading “Wiener schnitzel”

Lemon pasta

After the excesses and complexities of Easter, here is something very straightforward. Spaghetti al limone is another deliciously simple recipe from the first River Café Cookbook (see slow-cooked lamb shanks), easy to rustle up from limited ingredients. It makes a great starter for an Italian meal or a quick supper dish, served with a tomatoContinue reading “Lemon pasta”

Chocolate & raspberry roulade

We ate this first in April 2013, when we hosted the fabulous Muijser family over Easter at Garde. (The recipe, by master patissier Eric Lanlard, had been published in the Times the previous month.) Fast forward seven years to Lockdown 1 and Louis’ self-improvement regime: alongside learning the guitar and French, he mastered a rangeContinue reading “Chocolate & raspberry roulade”

Easter Lamb

Our holidays with the Taylor family – in Provence, Norfolk and Dorset – are particularly memorable for the food we’ve eaten: sausages and lentils, crab linguine, barbecued mackerel freshly fished by Hugh F-W and, in April 2009, this gorgeous spring lamb with haricot beans and rosemary lemon gravy. I brought the lamb and the recipeContinue reading “Easter Lamb”

Thai beef salad

This meets the qualification for inclusion because it has gone down a storm on the three occasions I’ve made it: first at The Ridge one Boxing Day (maybe 15 years ago); then last year, mid-pandemic, at Granny’s flat in Putney; and, most recently, to celebrate the February birthdays in 2021. My go-to recipe comes fromContinue reading “Thai beef salad”