This is the first of a three part post for Valentine's Day. It's designed to be seasonal, sumptuous, divine and stress free. The quantities are meant for two. The dessert is one that can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge; the main is meant for long cooking so you have ample time to make the simple starter. All this spare time means you're not rushing around desperately trying find that Barry White CD at the last minute. After all, it's
The beetroot is a vegetable of many guises. I have been fortunate enough to obtain, consume and even grow some of the purple, the pink and white striped and the golden. There's nothing quite like a beetroot; so earthy and yet so sweet. Growing beetroot has been, in my experience, immeasurably easy. I think it helped that I slightly cheated and bought plug plants rather than seeds but irrespective of this they were all a success. If you were to grow
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
It's almost Christmas and that means indulgence and overeating. A candy beetroot and goat's cheese tart is the perfect thing to have as a light meal amidst all the festive frivolities. Candy beetroot can't fail to be eye-catching; pink and white circles which look like a humbug. Beetroot are fantastic at this time of year adding colour to an otherwise mostly green and white season. Whichever beetroot you have it is excellent with goat's cheese and
What is it about a squash that makes you warm from the inside out as you enjoy its beautiful sweet flesh. It could be the bright orange colour, a welcome sight amidst all the greens and browns of autumn. It could be the way it goes with pretty much everything: it can be soup, stew, curry, pudding; the list is endless, although I've not heard of anyone making squash gin or squash vodka. I had heard that the onion squash was the nicest of all the squashes
Sometimes carrots can be taken for granted. The base of a soup or stew, added to stock or shoved on the side of the plate. What a shame. They are such glorious things in their own right and there is no carrot sweeter than a home grown carrot. I planted these little beauties a few months back expecting them to be riddled with carrot fly and a complete disaster. The results have been quite the opposite. I am now inundated.
Before you ask, the one
When you have a cauliflower and you add a little cheese you can't fail to make something unfathomably gorgeous. There is no other place I know of that you can get a purple cauliflower apart from my local farmers' market. If you saw it at a glance you may have to do a double take to reassure yourself that it is real.
I think the cauliflower is a very lucky vegetable. It's no looker but I'm yet to meet someone who doesn't think the union of cauliflower
As one of those people who would rather sit down and pick at fifteen different dishes instead of a complete meal a BBQ is perfect for me. I wish I had the energy to create authentic Tapas on a regular basis but until then I am finding all sorts of little things to throw into the standard BBQ line up.
Potatoes will always crop up in some form or other at a BBQ. Chips, baked, in salads, boiled and any other form you can find. I wanted something that
I had been waiting and waiting until the asparagus turned up at the Farmers' Market and last weekend it finally did. I had heard whispers and rumours that this fine vegetable had pushed its purple head through the soil but didn't want to get my hopes up until I saw it with my own eyes.
The first asparagus of the year I always find is the best. It comes at just the right time, after the snowdrops and daffodils have been out, as an indication that
Every time I have attempted to make a curry I have always been disappointed. I had almost given up when I got a craving for aubergines and a desire for spice. This turned out to be a subtle and fragrant stew rather than a powerful and punchy dish.
At the market there is a kind man who sells all the spices you could ever need. I purchased what I knew; coriander, cardamom, cumin, mustard and turmeric. I have since been back and purchased an awful lot