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Fennel and mixed leaf salad

16 Mar

Fennel and mixed leaf salad

With its croutons and shavings of Parmesan, this simple salad is reminiscent of a Caesar, but the fennel takes it somewhere new.

It’s a much fresher affair, and one of my favourite lunches when I’m working from home.

I keep the dressing to a minimum so as not to overwhelm the tender salad leaves. Continue reading

Root vegetable crumble

7 Mar

Root vegetable crumble

Root vegetable crumble is one of my favourite things to make in the winter. While both girls are affronted by the very concept of a savoury crumble, I love it.

When divided into six ramekins,  portions are definitely on the starter/lunch size. When I make root vegetable crumble for dinner, I serve it with lots of steamed vegetables or a big green salad. I’ve also made it in a shallow casserole dish. Continue reading

Roast squash and chickpea salad with tahini dressing

7 Feb

Roast squash and chickpea salad

This roast squash and chickpea salad with tahini dressing is becoming a favourite winter lunch around ours.

It’s lovely served with the squash still warm from the oven, and keeps well in the fridge. I bring it back to room temperature before serving, and freshen up the seasoning. Continue reading

Swiss roll

27 Jan

Swiss roll

It took a few tries before I got the knack of making a Swiss roll, and could tick the next item on the Great British Bake-off signature bake list.

A few things I learned the hard way:

  1. Unless you whip eggs and sugar together until they have tripled in volume, your sponge will resemble an omelette in texture. (That one went straight in the bin.)
  2. Do not over-cook the sponge, or it will not roll without cracking. (I converted that one into a flat, mangled Victoria sponge.)
  3. Do not over-fill the sponge (or spread the filling too close to the edges) – all that extra filling just oozes out the end of the roll (and was dolloped on top when I sliced and served it.)

The fourth one worked like a charm…;-) Continue reading

Lentil squash soup with turmeric and spicy onions

12 Jan

Lentil squash soup with turmeric

We usually observe the Italian tradition of eating lentils on New Year’s Day. Because of their resemblance to coins, lentils are thought to symbolise good fortune and prosperity. Worth a shot…;-)

Most often, I make Puy lentils simmered with carrots, onion and celery until soft, which I serve with sausages cooked under the grill. But sometimes I make lentil soup.

This lentil squash soup with turmeric is very different to my usual lemony red lentil soup. The addition of squash both softens and fortifies the slightly grainy texture of the lentils. Continue reading

Romanesco apple pecan salad

31 Dec

Romanesco apple pecan salad

This healthy, Christmas-y (not so often you use those two adjectives to describe a dish) romanesco apple pecan salad makes a refreshing change from turkey soup and turkey sandwiches at this point in the festivities.

And aside from steaming the romanesco, it takes only minutes to put together – another point in its favour.

I serve the dressing on the side – once it is mixed through the salad, the romanesco florets are less delightfully tree-like. If romanesco isn’t available, broccoli works too. Continue reading

Mango ice cream

16 Oct

Mango ice cream
I’ve had a large tin of mango pulp taking up precious space in the pantry cupboard for ages now. It’s been so long, I can no longer remember my reason for purchasing it. I’m thinking maybe cocktails…?

The other day, it occurred to me that it would lend itself nicely to making mango ice cream. To my surprise, none of the recipes I found used tinned mango, so I decided to go it alone.

I kept things simple – just mango pulp, double cream, lime juice, salt and Malibu liqueur (another thing that’s been taking up valuable shelf space for the last ten years.)

Continue reading