Easy Smoked Mackerel Pâté

Image of newly sealed pots of pateThis is an absolute gift in the run-up to Christmas (see what I did there?) because it can be whizzed it up in advance, wrapped and frozen. Then hey presto, you can magic up a quick starter or light lunch when you’re busy doing other things.  Continue reading

Courgette Antipasto

This is quite the most brilliant way to use up a courgette glut I’ve discovered so far this year. Those of you who don’t have gardens, butter up your local allotmenteers (they’ll be delighted to offload some) or just buy half a dozen from your greengrocer. It’s really worth the effort to have a jar of these in the fridge. Continue reading

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

Bruschetta with Peppers and Smoked Anchovies

These tangy, spicy little snacks are just the job for a quick lunch or as part of a tapas spread and they transport you from the depths of an English winter to summer in Spain. I make the red pepper sauce so often, here and in Catalunya, that it’s become known in the family as Salsa Linda. Continue reading