Do you have a go-to summer pasta dish? This Sicilian pasta salad with tomatoes, olives and fresh herbs is mine. I learnt the basic recipe from my Sicilian sister-in-law many years ago and as the tomato season draws nigh, I wait in eager anticipation. Andiamo!
If you haven’t tried socca before, you’re in for a treat. It’s a sort of flatbread or substantial pancake made from chickpeas and it’s naturally vegan and gluten free. It’s also delicious. With little cooking or preparation required it makes a perfect meal for summertime. This socca spread with walnut basil pesto and scattered with toasted walnuts and purple mangetout scored particularly well.
When is an oat more than an oat? When it’s an oat that’s been transformed into a scrummy organic chocolate truffle of course! Oats are not only healthy but are highly versatile and can be used for all sorts of purposes besides porridge. I’m a big fan of the humble oat, so I was delighted when White’s invited me to the Cotswolds to gen up on this sometimes underrated grain and tour the fields with a bunch of experts.
Oh I do love my Froothie blender. It makes such beautifully smooth sauces and has encouraged me to be so much more adventurous than I used to be. Vegan cheese sauce has been on my radar for a couple of years now. Last month, I finally got around to making some. This cheesy cashew nut sauce really is a revelation and I’ll be making it a regular part of my repertoire.
As we move from late spring into early summer, broad beans start to make an appearance here in the UK. I’m very fond of broad beans, but I know not everyone’s a fan. I can almost guarantee, however, that this minted broad bean spread will appeal to anyone who tries it.
When I first heard of pulled jackfruit as a vegetarian and vegan alternative to pulled pork, I have to say I was sceptical. By now, I should really know better! When enough vegan bloggers tell you it’s delicious, I should listen. And finally I did.
This recipe for a vegetarian version of Syrian stuffed red peppers in tomato sauce is the next in my Flavours of the Middle East series. In some small way, it’s an acknowledgment that there is a lot more to Syria than the dreadful civil war that’s been raging there for far too long. I’m a food blogger, so it’s the delicious Syrian cuisine I’ve chosen to highlight.
Cornish asparagus is up and out and I’m at the ready with my knife and fork and pan of boiling water. Not quite, but I couldn’t resist buying a bunch when I passed our local greengrocer yesterday. Apart from grilling them and eating them for breakfast with scrambled egg on toast, I thought a fresh and simple Cornish asparagus risotto with peas and wild garlic pesto would be just the thing.
How did this happen? I woke up this morning and realised that Easter is very nearly upon us. That will teach me to go and have a fun day off in the middle of the week. I quickly gathered pans, bowls and lots of chocolate together and a few hours later, I ended up with these homemade Easter eggs with dark chocolate salted caramel popcorn.
When spring finally emerges, I like to banish lethargy and listlessness and that’s when I start to crave the vitalising, cleansing effect of nettles. I normally have my first bowl of nettle soup in March, but I was a bit late in foraging any from our plot this year. When the day dawned bright and fair on Sunday morning, I was determined to go nettle picking – and I did.