Orange and Rosemary Martini

I'll stick a herb in pretty much anything and adding or infusing herbs in drinks or cocktails is always delicious. My Orange and Rosemary Martini is particularly excellent for two reasons: first, it uses those fantastic big oranges that you can get at this time of year and second, that faint hint of rosemary is so distinctive it makes for a really refreshing martini. It looks inviting, it's easy to make and the flavours take the edge of a plain martini Read more

Fennel and Sausage Ragu

I won't lie to you. This is not a dish that's light on calories. But my word it is worth every one of them. My fennel and sausage ragu is exactly what the doctor ordered for mid-February. It's full of good, hearty ingredients and it can't fail to cheer you up from the inside out on a chilly evening. This dish is all about the sausages; the better the sausages you can get your hands on, the better the finished dish. Head to your local farmers' market, Read more

Chicken, Olive and Artichoke Stew with Risotto

I do like a tin of food. There's something very humble about tinned fruit and vegetables particularly; and I am not one to overlook anything that comes in a can. My favourite canned good of all is the artichoke. That's how this recipe for Chicken, Olive and Artichoke Stew with Risotto came about. Artichokes are very expensive, covered in oil (normally sunflower rather than nice olive oil) and quite small if you buy them chilled or in a jar; but in Read more

Honeyed Apricots with Rosemary Crème Fraîche

Apricots make me think of my Mum. She's the biggest apricot fan I know and until last year I didn't really get what all the fuss was about. Then I had a proper one. Not a dry, fuzzy one with an inside like loft insulation but a sweet, juice running down the chin, superbly ripe one. And everything changed. Honeyed Apricots with Rosemary Crème Fraîche might sound like an unusual combination but herbs and fruit work so well together and this is truly Read more

Baked Vacherin Mont D’or with Rosemary Flatbreads

I do like a bit of cheese. Sometimes it's best with crackers and pickles, sometimes it's best melted onto or into something but then there are those times where you bake a whole cheese and then spoon it all out, all runny and lovely, mostly into your mouth and somewhat on the table. I'm not sure why I associate a Vacherin Mont D'or with Christmas but it doesn't get much better than warm, melted, faintly garlicky cheese scooped out with delicious homemade Read more

Chocolate Shortbread with Rosemary and Hazelnuts

A while ago I was having some lunch in a restaurant. For pudding I had some soft, sugar covered dough sticks which were to be dipped in a well known hazelnut chocolate spread. At some point in the kitchen a rogue bit of rosemary had ended up on my dough stick. I imagine there must have been some sort of herb-off going on in the kitchen between the chefs and the remnants of the duel had not been cleared up. Unbeknown to me I submerged it in hazelnutty Read more

Sausage Rolls Four Ways

A good sausage roll is like a hug from an old friend. There's something about its warmth, flaking pastry and well seasoned squidgy middle. I thought that interfering with something so simple would be a travesty but it was in fact a revelation. I like to think of them as spruced up sausage rolls or sausage rolls with attitude. Originally I was just going to put a few caramelised onions in with the sausage meat but then I started thinking of other Read more

Purple Cabbage Soup

Cooked cabbage and a wet flannel have an unfortunate amount of textures in common. Particularly if, like me, you were put off cabbage at school where it was boiled to what can only be described as wallpaper paste. Things have moved on since then and I wanted to give the cabbage a chance. I've baked it, boiled it, steamed it and fried it. Apart from frying, none of these yielded any spectacular, life changing results. Nevertheless I wasn't about Read more

Vegetable Patch Recipes

Recently it has become apparent that most of the meals I eat are vegetable orientated. There are two reasons for this; firstly I have a cornucopia of vegetables in my garden at present and each one needs celebrating in its own way and secondly meat is so expensive.  I can go into Sainsbury's and pick up four chicken breasts for £6. Not the extra special ones, not the organic ones, just the standard ones. My alternative is to go to the farmer's Read more

Venison Burgers, Chips and Purple Sprouting

It was a picturesque morning when I hopped on the bicycle and cycled to the farmers' market. On setting off I was very pleased with myself for saving the planet and burning calories at the same time. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and I was thoroughly convinced I was the modern day Snow White. It wasn't particularly far or mountainous but to say I arrived less than glamorous and somewhat flustered would be an understatement. Let's just Read more