Blackberry & apple crumble ice cream

Even without an ice cream maker, you can (quite literally) whip up an ice cream in a few hours. All it takes is a freezer, some elbow grease and the patience to cool your custard base. This is beautiful to look at and tastes of early autumn. The recipe comes originally from an old issueContinue reading “Blackberry & apple crumble ice cream”

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”

Mayonnaise & more

There’s nothing wrong with a good ready-made mayonnaise from a jar but there’s also something special and satisfying about making your own: any self-respecting domestic cook should know how to whip one up. Mayonnaise is also the base for countless flavoured sauces, three of which are included here as a riff on the ‘mother sauce’. Continue reading “Mayonnaise & more”

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”

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”

Tiramisu

Like our British trifle, the Italian tiramisu has many variations and no-one can agree on a definitive recipe. Claudia Roden’s version, which I learned to make as a teenager, uses eggs, rum, a single layer of sponge and chocolate sprinkled on the top only. This decadent espresso martini tiramisu recipe from Olive magazine (see theirContinue reading “Tiramisu”

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”

Treacle Tart

Allegra McEvedy is both a brilliant cook and a dear friend. Her wine bar Albertine supplied our lockdown wedding anniversary dinner back in May – it was amazing – and several of her recipes are firm family favourites. This one crossed our radar after we watched Allegra on Economy Gastronomy (BBC2, 2009) and, with aContinue reading “Treacle Tart”