Tomato and Tapenade Tartlets

I first had a version of these tartlets at Brasserie Julien in Paris, with its ravishing Belle Epoque painted ladies (on the walls, not at the tables), giant mirrors and stained glass ceiling panels. It’s hard to focus on the food when you’re gawping at the decor, but these stuck in my mind for 20 years. Continue reading

Baby Beet Salad

I’m a recent convert to beetroot. I’d always hated them after being force-fed pickled beets at infants’ school, but a recipe in Olia Hercules lovely book Kaukasis taught me that they are a root to be savoured, not spat out (sorry, I was only four and a half). Continue reading

Country Life

I hadn’t realised quite how much I’d come to hate my job until I lost it. Rather than plunging deep into ‘how do we pay the mortgage’ anxieties I found myself literally dancing round the garden. It took me a full week to come down from that euphoric high. Continue reading

New Potato Salad with Lemon, Mint and Feta

I dithered a bit about sharing this, to be honest, because even by my easy-going standards it is a very simple recipe. But the lemony dressing lifts it and prevents that clagginess you sometimes get from a potato salad made just with mayo, so I’ve included it as a sort of bonus post. Continue reading

Hail, Caesar!

Image of statue of Caesar Augustus

Picture: Till Niermann

Supposedly, triumphant Roman emperors and/or generals had a slave riding behind them at victory parades, whispering in their ears words to the effect of ‘remember you are mortal’ or ‘glory passes’. History suggests most were deaf to the hints. Continue reading

Seafood and Asparagus Lasagne

I’m usually a thrifty cook although my husband, who (bless him) does the household accounts and gets to see my shopping bills, might not agree. Once in a while, though, you have to push the boat out and I have to confess that when it comes to two of my favourite ingredients – seafood and asparagus – I go a bit wild. Continue reading