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”

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”

Aubergine steaks

A long-standing regular on the weekly menu, this recipe makes a great meat-free supper dish, substantial enough to justify the description ‘steak’. I came across it in Marie Claire magazine in the early 1990s, when I was in a five-year vegetarian phase that ended decisively over a dish of beef carpaccio, at Woz in NottingContinue reading “Aubergine steaks”

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”

Colcannon potatoes

Your father’s recently-confirmed Irish heritage justifies the special place this dish touches in our collective stomachs. We’ve been eating it, typically with sausages and a tomato salad, since 1995, when Delia Smith published her Winter Cookbook, and it has reappeared regularly since we signed up for Oddbox deliveries and found ourselves obliged to experiment withContinue reading “Colcannon potatoes”

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”

Salade Niçoise

Like ratatouille, and as you can tell from its name, Salade Niçoise comes from Nice. The version we eat has several inauthentic elements (lettuce? cucumber?), or so Antonia was told by the French teacher who assessed her at 11+. It is a firm family favourite, and the reason you all learned to make a vinaigretteContinue reading “Salade Niçoise”

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”

Spanakopita

A Greek god of a pie, spanakopita (σπανακόπιτα) makes a stunning centrepiece to a big summer meal. It’s delicious hot or cold, vegetarian friendly and fairly cheap to put together. My recipe is based closely upon one in a book by Claudia Roden, who in turn credits it to an Athenian cookery writer, June Marinos.Continue reading “Spanakopita”