Roasted Radishes and Asparagus

Sweet, grassy asparagus and earthy radishes work so well together, raw or cooked.  Here I’ve roasted them for a quick but delicious summer salad. It works as a standalone dish for a quick lunch or as a side or a starter. Continue reading

Scotch Woodcock with Asparagus

Scotch Woodcock, if you haven’t come across it before, is a Victorian savoury of creamy eggs poured over toast spread with anchovy butter. Just as Welsh Rarebit or Rabbit contains no rabbit, Scotch Woodcock contains no wading birds, which will no doubt come as a relief to many. I’ve paired it here with asparagus for a dish which makes a good starter or light lunch or supper. Continue reading

Steak with Piquant Peppers

Taking inspiration from Italy’s peperonata and caponata, these piquant peppers make a great accompaniment to sirloin, or indeed any, steak. Add chips like my husband does or (my choice) serve with crusty bread to mop up the gorgeous juices. Continue reading

Borlotti Beans with Tomatoes and Spinach

My recent freezer forage turned up a lot of home-grown borlotti beans. These speckled beauties are good simply cooked with aromatics and dressed with olive oil, herbs and  lemon zest and juice, but they’re even better in this rich tomato sauce. I added spinach because I had a big bag in the fridge, but you can use kale or chard, too. Continue reading

Extra-crunchy Celery Salad

Possibly the world’s crunchiest salad, this employs a technique which gives you super-crisp celery. It’s indescribably good. I’ve combined it here with beautiful blood oranges and black olives for an enlivening winter side dish. It’ll make your taste buds tap dance. Continue reading

Spuds We Like

It’s autumn, it’s chilly and my thoughts are turning less towards mellow fruitfulness than to spuds. They’re possibly the ultimate British comfort food and come in many incarnations. Buttery soft mash, roasties, chips, jacket potatoes with soft innards and crisp, salty skins, potato pancakes. And as we’re a multi-cultural nation, potato gnocchi, home fries, hash browns, or spiced up South Asian style. Continue reading

Mrs Portly’s Panzanella

Panzanella is one of those excellent Italian recipes where frugality transcends virtue to become something greater. It marries stale bread with sweet, juicy tomatoes to give you the perfect summer salad, one with flavour and a bit of heft. Continue reading

Griddled Courgette Rolls

I really felt for Kathy Slack when I read about her tomato disaster, her lovingly nurtured seedlings run over and crushed by a Range Rover in a Cotswold lane. It wasn’t entirely the driver’s fault but anyone who grows their own will feel Kathy’s pain.

It’s one of the anecdotes in her new book, From The Veg Patch, published by Ebury Press. Full disclosure: Kathy is a friend and Guild of Food Writers colleague, but I wouldn’t be writing about the book if I didn’t rate it highly. She takes ten vegetables or fruits and gives ten recipes for each, along with bonus cooking ideas and growing tips. (Getting your seedlings run over is more of a cautionary tale.) Continue reading