Beetroot and Balsamic Pickle

It’s approaching that time of year when if you have a garden, everything comes at once and you have a glut of something or another (usually courgettes) and if you don’t, reasonably priced fruit and veg are available in bushel loads at farmers’ markets and you find yourself perhaps buying more than you can eat straight away.

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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

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

Eat Your Greens

This is an odd time of the year in the vegetable garden – spring is here but many of the veg we associate with the season (apart from heavenly asparagus) haven’t put in an appearance yet. Well, they have in the shops, just not on our patch. Continue reading

Thai Green Tomato Curry

Image of green tomatoes

My kitchen is full of green tomatoes, rescued from the greenhouse just ahead of an attack of blight. Sadly, we’re not very creative with the way we use them in this country. My mother’s chutney recipe is the best I’ve eaten but there are only so many cheese and chutney sarnies and cold cuts you can eat in a year. So I’ve been looking further afield for inspiration. Continue reading

Rhubarb Bakewell Tart

The first time I made this the rhubarb sank without trace and the flaked almonds slid inexorably sideways as the topping rose. Then I glanced at Instagram to see a five year old had knocked up a perfect rhubarb frangipane tart after she got home from school. Her mum Jess says she’s hoping for a three course meal by the time the prodigy hits 10. Continue reading

Goat’s Cheese and Asparagus Salad

The simplest of recipes to showcase the fresh new season’s asparagus, this makes a lovely light start to a meal. A key component is the fabulous Wensum White goat’s cheese made by Fielding Cottage in Norfolk. I hope they don’t mind me taking a blowtorch to it. Continue reading

Quince Conserve

Image of basket of quinces

I was watching food historian Ivan Day make an apple and quince tart on a television cookery programme the other day. Instead of fresh quinces, he used a preserve, the idea being that our ancestors would use it to add the fruit’s flavour long after its harvest season had passed.

It’s a notion that still holds good today. Continue reading

Pear Galettes

Image of pear treeIt’s Murphy’s Law but the gnarled old pear tree on the corner of the house, with its scabby leaves, generally produces better fruit than the ones we planted in the orchard.

We were told it was a hard cooking variety but picked and left in a basket, the pears ripen into honeyed perfection, ideal for this recipe.

These individual tarts are a nifty make-ahead dessert. Continue reading