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”

Pumpkin Pie

Patricia Lousada’s American Sampler (1985) was another book in the Sainsbury’s cookbook series that inspired family meals at Gale (see Greek Walnut Cake). It contains the definitive pumpkin pie recipe, from which I have not deviated at all over the years. The proportions of flour and butter look strange, being greater than the usual 2:1Continue reading “Pumpkin Pie”

Italian toasted sandwiches

Time spent in Sussex en famille is always a treat. It’s not just the Bridge, tennis and long walks that enliven our visits but also the delicious food we eat there. This recipe entered the repertoire after Granny found it (in a weekend newspaper? 15 years ago?) and rustled it up one evening for theContinue reading “Italian toasted sandwiches”

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”