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”

Chicken Laksa

About eight years ago, Oxford Brookes university enlisted our friend Allegra McEvedy (see her Treacle Tart recipe here) to upgrade their student catering. This was one of the delicious dishes she put on the menu – lucky students! It’s a great use for chicken stock if you fancy something other than the usual soup orContinue reading “Chicken Laksa”

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”

Aubergine Parmigiana

This dish makes a great vegetarian alternative to lasagne. It has umpteen variations, particularly in the pre-cooking of the aubergines, and there isn’t necessarily a ‘correct’ way of making it. My version has evolved from a recipe in Sophie Grigson’s book ‘Food for Friends’, which inspired many meals I cooked at university. Grigson recommends steamingContinue reading “Aubergine Parmigiana”