Wednesday, September 26, 2012


After a heavy day on the food - testing three giant roasts in a day and and eating most of them - a supper of fruit and fish proved sufficiently antidotal. This serves perfectly as a simple midweek winner, bright and lively, and takes no time at all. 


serves 2


2 tbsps olive oil
180ml coconut milk
2 tbsps red curry paste (this is a good quantity for Thai Taste Massaman Red Curry, but brands can vary hugely - taste before you paste)
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp palm sugar (or caster if you can't find any)
150g raw king prawns
100g mangetout
1 papaya, peeled, deseeded and cubed
2 tbsps chopped coriander leaves to serve
150g rice

Rinse the rice and add to a large sauce pan with 1 1/2 the amount of water to rice. Bring the rice to the boil and turn to a gentle simmer. Cover with a lid, tilted so the steam can escape, and cook for approximately 15 minutes. Drain any excess water and fluff up.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan or wok and add 1 tablespoon of the coconut milk. Stir and add the curry paste. Add the fish sauce and palm sugar. Pour in the the rest of the coconut milk, bring to the boil, and add the prawns. Turn down to a gentle simmer and cook for 2 minutes to reduce the sauce. Add the mangetout and papaya and cook for another minute.

Serve the curry with the rice, and the chopped coriander leaves.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


I adore this dish. The colour kicks us straight into autumn - bright pink and vibrant. It keeps to all the promises of a perfectly constructed salad: sweet crunch from the roots, creaminess from the yoghurt, citrus to cut through, a light nuttiness and a well-balanced freshness from the herbs.

It works wonderfully well alongside meat, hot or cold - a classic pulled pork, leftover roast ham or crispy chicken wings - or seasonal fruits - pears, apples or plums.

I could eat this for every meal. Even breakfast.


serves 8


1/2 white cabbage
1/2 celeriac, peeled and grated
3 small beetroot, peeled and grated
finely grated zest and juice 1 large lemon
2 tbsps greek yoghurt
sesame seeds to garnish, optional
large handful mint, finely shredded
large handful coriander, finely chopped
olive oil to dress

Add the grated beetroot to a large bowl (not the one you are going to serve the coleslaw from). Finely shred the white cabbage, discarding the tough core and slicing up any large pieces, and add to the beetroot with the celeriac. Add the lemon zest and juice, and lightly toss - you want to avoid over tossing the beetroot at this stage as it will stain the other vegetables.

Keep covered in the fridge until you are ready to eat it. Just before serving, stir through the yoghurt so that it is evenly distributed. Move to a clean bowl, then dress with the sesame seeds, mint and coriander. Drizzle, generously, with olive oil.

* If you are not going to eat all of the coleslaw, leave aside some of the salad after adding the lemon juice. Any leftovers can keep for up to three days or can be cooked up as an autumn gratin. Butter an oven-proof dish and pour in the lemony root vegetable mix. Pour over cream, season, grate with parmesan and bake for 25 minutes in a hot oven (200°C/fan180°C/gas 6). Heaven.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Not too greedy.



250g ricotta
200g natural yoghurt
250 prunes, pitted and chopped
1 tbsp dark brown Muscovado sugar
pinch salt

Blend all the ingredients together until almost smooth. You want 70% of the prunes to dissolve and the rest to keep a bit of shape.

The prunes will be sweet already so there is no real need for added sugar in this recipe, but I think a spoonful of dark brown muscovado really enhances the flavour.

Now, for freezing. If you have an ice cream machine, turn for 45 minutes before transferring to the freezer for a couple of hours. If no machine, place the blend in a metal boil with tin foil as a lid and stir every half hour for 3 hours.

Serve as a sticky after dinner desert with a shot of coffee, or piled on pancakes for breakfast.