Piperade

Variations upon a stew of onions, peppers and tomatoes are found across a range of cuisines. The name we use for our version, Piperade, is of Basque origin, although in a departure from the traditional template I would usually choose red and yellow peppers over green. In Italy, the dish is called Peperonata, while inContinue reading “Piperade”

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”

Coconut dal with lime kale

Last year, a pressing sense of responsibility towards the planet prompted us to sign up for Veganuary. We soldiered on through gamely, experimenting with all sorts of alternative foods, but were not prepared to commit to long-term veganism: the end of our month-long meat and dairy drought was marked by a slap-up full English breakfastContinue reading “Coconut dal with lime kale”

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”

Christmas sauces

Here are foolproof instructions for two accompaniments to roast turkey: cranberry sauce and bread sauce. Both can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for a couple of days. The cranberry sauce will in fact keep for much longer if kept in a sterilised jar. Cranberry sauce Serves 6 Ingredients Juice of 1Continue reading “Christmas sauces”

Mulled wine

An essential lubricant at this time of year, mulled wine always fills the house with evocative smells. After literally years of experimenting with different versions, I’ve concluded that Jamie Oliver’s recipe is the best. Follow this and you can dispense with those ghastly sachets of spice mix or – even worse – the pre-mixed bottlesContinue reading “Mulled wine”

Sweet & Sour Okra

Here is another one from Madhur Jaffrey, doyenne of Indian cookery . Okra (also called bhindi or ladies’ fingers) is in plentiful, cheap supply in local greengrocers during the summer months and this is a wonderful way to cook it. In colour and texture it complements Lake Palace Aubergines very well. Serve with raitha andContinue reading “Sweet & Sour Okra”

Tabouleh

Another Levantine dish with disputed spelling (see hummus) and fluid composition, tabouleh is a quick, cheap vegetarian salad or mezze that makes a great accompaniment to a summer barbecue. It often includes tomatoes, although our version doesn’t. Don’t be alarmed by the large quantity of herbs – they’re what give the salad its distinctive colour.Continue reading “Tabouleh”

Ratatouille

This popular mediterranean vegetable stew is originally from Nice, its name derived from Occitan ratatolha, which comes in turn from Latin (natch). Recipes and cooking methods differ widely, but common ingredients include tomato, garlic, onion, courgette, aubergine, pepper, and various green herbs. Sometimes you’ll find saffron or olives included, and the process might involve cookingContinue reading “Ratatouille”

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”