Sweet potato rösti with coriander pesto

These make terrific vegetarian canapés – or you could make them bigger and serve two or three as a starter. The recipe comes from a Times feature on ‘speedy canapés’ back in 2017 and has been wheeled out for two or three Collier parties since then, so definitely qualifies for inclusion here. The rösti andContinue reading “Sweet potato rösti with coriander pesto”

Pea, feta & mint fritters

It’s useful to have a range of vegetarian starters up your sleeve. This one tastes of early summer but has gone down a treat in December too. The recipe comes from Simple by Ottolenghi who, though not vegetarian himself, has revolutionized vegetarian cooking during the last decade. His newspaper columns and beautiful cookbooks have inspiredContinue reading “Pea, feta & mint fritters”

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”

Chickpea & tomato soup

Here is another recipe originally from Sophie Grigson’s Food for Friends (see Aubergine Parmigiana). I’ve had to play around with it from the start because the officially published version has no tomatoes in it (in spite of the title) and, in any case, it lends itself to multiple variations. All sorts of tinned pulses willContinue reading “Chickpea & tomato soup”

Parmesan & poppyseed biscuits

These are a savoury version of kilted highlanders, the demerara-coated shortbread biscuits that Great-Granny would often wheel out at tea time. They’re incredibly easy to make, arresting to look at and make a great accompaniment to pre-dinner drinks. Given that the recipe comes from Ottolenghi (his first book), you might be surprised to recognise allContinue reading “Parmesan & poppyseed biscuits”

Double Dips

Two recipes in one post again this week because neither feels substantial enough to justify a post in itself. There are countless possible variations upon both of these dips and you should feel free to experiment. As a snack or appetizer they can be accompanied by raw vegetables, toast, pitta bread or tortilla chips. TheyContinue reading “Double Dips”

Caesar Salad

Delia Smith’s Summer Collection, published in 1993 and followed by a TV series in 2002, prompted a nationwide run on limes and crème fraîche. Her recipes aren’t the most adventurous, and they can be rather wordy, but they always work. I’ve adapted this one a little, and you can always increase the protein content byContinue reading “Caesar Salad”

Bruschetta

Roasted pepper and cannellini bruschetta This uses fridge and store cupboard staples that keep well, and it never fails to delight guests. Ottolenghi’s original recipe calls for dried cannellini beans, which require overnight soaking and long cooking, but I’ve found that canned beans work just as well. Apart from the toasting of the bread, allContinue reading “Bruschetta”

Raitha / Tsatsiki

Two recipes in one post this week, because they are variations on the same theme. I usually make raitha with thinner yoghurt and grated cucumber, and I don’t add garlic. The cooling effect of the yoghurt here works well to offset the strong spices of an Indian meal. For Tsatsiki (Greek) or Cacik (Turkish), IContinue reading “Raitha / Tsatsiki”