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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

Steamed vegetables with cheese

12 Oct

Steamed vegetables with cheese

On my work-from-home days, I often make a big bowl of steamed vegetables with cheese for lunch.

The idea for this dish came from some two-week, healthy-eating regime we followed years ago. Each day, you were presented with two choices of lunch – and whenever steamed vegetables with cheese was an option, I chose the other one.

Until the day I didn’t… and discovered that steamed vegetables with cheese is an immensely satisfying bowl of food. I’ve eaten it regularly ever since, with whatever vegetables are in season or on hand.

Continue reading

Yorkshire pudding

28 Sep

Yorkshire pudding

When I was a little girl, my dad cooked a roast dinner every Sunday. Gradually, he stopped  – maybe roasts got too expensive, or family schedules too complicated, I don’t know. But I do remember years where Sunday night meant The Wonderful World of Walt Disney, roast beef, and bath-before-bed.

We were a meat-and-four-veg family  – typically potatoes, beans, corn and carrots, but sometimes squash, peas, beets, broccoli, spinach or chard featured instead. Whatever the vegetable, it was always boiled or steamed.

But I couldn’t have cared less about roast meat or boiled veg – for me, that dinner was all about the Yorkshire pudding. Never mind that dad’s Yorkshire puddings were often the size and density of hockey pucks – they were utterly delicious, and capable of holding a generous splash of gravy.

While I now know that airy puff is what you’re aiming for with Yorkshire puddings, I retain a fondness for the dense little numbers of my childhood. (I’ve noticed many recipes call for twice the number of eggs dad used, which would no doubt make a difference to the rise.) Continue reading