Recipes in Salads & Vegetables

Piedmontese peppers

Simple but utterly delicious. Served with a decent crusty bread, Piedmontese peppers are an incredibly easy way to turn some fairly basic ingredients into something wonderful. Some versions of this recipe add the anchovy before the peppers go into the oven but I prefer them added to the peppers after you remove them from the oven – you get a nice hit of salty anchovy that way – still with a little substance. Make sure you use a decent olive oil – nothing too acrid or overly peppery. You’ll need the following 1 or 2 red peppers per person 1...

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Autumn Salad of Chicory, Apple, Celery, Walnuts & Bread

This Autumn Salad of chicory, apple, celery, walnuts & sourdough contains everything I like to see in a salad for this time of year –  Strong earthy and fruitful flavours with warming chunks of toasted sourdough bread and salty stilton. A sharp apple twang and acidity from the cider vinegar balances the bitter and peppery leaves making a comforting, flavoursome and well-rounded dish. Here’s what you’ll need 1 apple – sliced 1 head of chicory 1 stick celery – sliced Peppery salad leaves – rocket, mustard etc 1 thick slice of stale sourdough bread – torn into chunks Walnut pieces 1tbsp of...

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Potato & Dill

This is the ultimate Indian potato-based dish. The distinctive taste of dill adds a fragrant sweetness to the earthy turmeric-coated potatoes. Ingredients 5 or 6 medium potatoes cut into bite-sized pieces 3 bunches of dill, stalks removed 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil 3 cloves of garlic a pinch of black mustard seeds 2 green chillies, sliced 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida salt. Method Boil the potatoes in salted water just until the edges begin to scuff and break down but the potato is still firm. Drain and allow to dry for a few minutes. Add oil to a hot pan and fry...

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Farro, Roast Squash, Chicory, Pomegranate & Goat Cheese

You might not find farro in your local supermarket but it’s worth hunting down if you can. I bought mine from Sous Chef – a site worth bookmarking. They stock  a wide variety of ingredients and equipment that aren’t always that easy to source and delivery was quick (and free for larger orders) so I’m sure I’ll be using them again. Farro is nutty in flavour and chewy in texture so it stands up to some fairly bold flavours. It lends itself to roast veg and then contrasts nicely with sweeter, fruity flavours and a tangy, creamy cheese. This is...

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Tomato Sauce – Back To Basics

If you’ve spent any time cooking you’ll probably have made a tomato sauce at some point – it’s one of the most basic sauces you can make. There are however a couple of considerations that make the difference between an average sauce and something really special. Leave the onions out of it You may well disagree with me on this one. To be fair, there’s many an established Italian cook who would rely on onions as the cornerstone of a good tomato sauce but it’s just not for me. I want my tomato sauce to be all about the tomatoes...

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Perfect Plan-Ahead Christmas Sous Vide Roast Potatoes

Forget the goose vs turkey debate, it’s the roast potato that is the real star of a Christmas Dinner. Get your spuds wrong and it just isn’t a proper festive feast. The secret Plan ahead, cook ahead and then freeze. If you can avoid making roast potatoes on the big day with a perfectly made batch ready to go, you leave nothing to chance and guarantee you’ll have perfect roast potatoes served on time. Freezing your potatoes allows you to finish the cooking process on the big day knowing they’re already perfectly cooked. If you do have a water bath and...

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Piccalilli

This is a slightly revised version of a piccalilli recipe I posted a couple of years back. I’ve sweetened things up slightly with a bit more pear and apple and increased the quantity of mustard seed. Ideally you need to make it now. The piccalilli takes about a month to mature – if you make a batch this week, it will be ready for Christmas. Piccalilli ingredients Veg of your choice – I used 1 cauliflower, 1 courgette, 1 cucumber, 2 pears, 1 apple, a handful of green beans, 8 – 10 shallots 150g salt 1 tablespoon ground tumeric 1.5 tablespoons mustard seeds 1...

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Red Slaw

This Red Slaw is quick and simple. I’ve not used mayo as I wanted something fresh and crunchy without any sloppiness. This slaw really suits being matched with rich meats and BBQ food. The sesame seeds don’t add that much in the way of flavour – it’s more about the texture. And that’s important. Here’s what you’ll need 1/2 red onion – peeled 1 beetroot – peeled 1/4 red cabbage 1 red pepper The dressing 1/2 tablespoon of sweet chilli sauce – the shop-bought stuff is fine. 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 or 3 teaspoons cider vinegar A scattering of...

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Ultra-Simple Melon Salad

Simplicity is often the quickest route to success and this salad is as simple as it gets but I guarantee you’ll absolutely love it. By cutting your salad ingredients into large slices and chunks, the salad feels quite substantial while still retaining a freshness and lightness which hits the spot on a warm summer afternoon. The melon and cucumber combination on its own is worth trying but the mozzarella, tomato and whole basil leaves round it off into a decent plate of food. The recipe – if you need it (you can see everything that’s going on from the photograph)...

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Preserved Lemons

This is the first time I’ve tried preserved lemons like this – the aim is, in a month or so, to use these things in Moroccan tagine dishes. After doing a little research into how to go about preserving lemons like this it turns out it’s ultra simple – all you need is lemons, salt and 30 days. Wash your lemons and cut off any of the harder points at the end of the lemon. Now cut a slice into the lemon – 1 from the top and 1 from the bottom to create a sort of Z shape to the...

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Grilled Halloumi Salad

This salad unashamedly has too many ingredients. A few days back I had an urge to eat halloumi and promised myself I’d get some this weekend. I love the stuff – I love the way it’s rubbery, I love the way it squeaks when you bite into it, I love how salty it is  – and it’s even better when you cook it. You can take what you like from the rest of the salad. Like I say, it’s full of different ingredients but that’s exactly what I wanted – I wanted new textures and tastes with every bite. The quinoa binds the...

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Gnocchi With Mushroom Consommé, Beetroot & Roast Tomatoes

Leftover Mondays – always a good thing. I cooked far too many baked potatoes this weekend for post-fireworks food so I needed something to do with them. I was thinking mashed potato but then a friend of mine suggested gnocchi – great idea. To serve with the gnocchi – more ingredients that need using up – beetroot, tomatoes, mushrooms and a few other bits and bobs. Here’s what you’ll need For the gnocchi Leftover baked potatoes Enough type 00 flour to form a dough with the potato A pinch of nutmeg A handful of grated parmesan 1 egg yolk Salt...

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September Salad

It’s not been the best summer in terms of sunshine but it has obviously been a great summer for my apple tree – I’m filling buckets with apples and there’s still a whole load more to harvest. So – I have apples. I also have a few other leaves and flowers and bits and bobs I’ve just picked from my parent’s garden. I have pea shoots, marjoram flower, garlic chive flower, nasturtium leaf and flower and also some radish. The apples and radish are sliced as thinly as I can manage  – the leaves and flowers are then added to the...

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Gremolata

This is a traditional accompaniment to osso buco but can also be used on other meats – it adds a fresh, acidic bite to fish and grilled meats. I used it last night on a beef stew – it really lifted the dish and made a deep, rich beef stew seem altogether more summery. Traditionally gremolata is made with with just the zest of lemon but I’m a sucker for lime so I just had to add little hit of that in there as well. I used a touch more garlic in my version as well – it just gives it...

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Roast peppers in olive oil

These are the type of thing you see reduced in supermarkets as they go past their best. Roasting them and storing them is a great way of preserving very cheap ingredients. Rub them with olive oil and roast in a hot oven until the skin is black and charred. Once cooked, place them in a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave them to steam for 10 minutes. Once cooled down, peel off the skin. Don’t run them under water as you’ll lose the roast flavour – if a bit of the roast skin is left on them, don’t worry too...

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Sweet Pickled Baby Beetroot

A touch of sweetness softens the pickling – these pickled baby beetroot go very nicely with a chicken liver parfait. First you’ll need to cook the beetroot – boil for as long as it takes to soften them so they fall off a knife in the same way as testing the doneness of potatoes. Smaller beetroot may only take 10-15 minutes, larger beetroot can take 30+ minutes. Try not to test them too much as they do bleed when you cut them but a few little cuts wont harm. Remove from the water and wash under the cold tap to remove...

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