Recipe: Three Bean Chilli

This Three Bean Chilli can be made with almost any sort of tinned beans (except maybe baked beans) so it’s a great use for any tins that have been lurking at the back of the cupboard. You can use dried beans too but you’d need to soak and cook them in advance. If you are using dried beans you will need about 500g in total as they roughly double in volume once soaked and cooked. If you don’t have three different types then just use two types or even one in a pinch, though it is nice to have a bit of variety! Continue reading

Recipe: Honey Roast Parsnip, Apple & Puy Lentils with Crispy Kale

I’ve been making this dish a lot this autumn, it’s perfectly seasonal now but is actually great right through the winter months as you should be able to get local parsnips, kale and apples until spring.  I really love parsnips and I think they tend to be a bit underrated and underused, often only appearing as a side to roast dinners. Parsnips are excellent over the winter months but you can buy locally grown (or at least British) almost the whole year. Continue reading

Recipe: Irish Shortbread

This must be the easiest shortbread recipe in the world! It makes the most deliciously decadent (take note of the amount of butter!) and crumbly shortbread and only takes about five minutes to make the dough, you don’t even need to line or butter the tin.  It does take a hour in the oven, but that’s an hour that you can spend drinking tea and watching the Bon Appetit You Tube channel (what I would like to have been doing this morning) or cleaning your kitchen and washing a million Tupperware boxes (what I actually did this morning). Continue reading

Recipe: Apple, Cabbage & Caraway Sauerkraut

Making sauerkraut is much easier than many people think, it is basically just a mixture of finely chopped or grated vegetables mixed with salt (1-2% of the total weight of chopped vegetables) and then left to ferment. The sugar is optional, it will ferment without it, but I think it makes for a nicer kraut by rounding out the flavours a bit. It’s always good to have some hard, crunchy vegetables in the mix as they keep a bit of texture as they ferment, which is why crunchy white cabbage is so good. Continue reading

Recipe: Roast Butternut Squash, Mozzarella & Hazelnut Salad

Is there anything better to eat in the summer than a salad made with ripe, sweet tomatoes, handfuls of fragrant, aniseedy basil and good quality creamy mozzarella? It is perfect alongside hunks of rich olive oil focaccia as an al fresco lunch. As the days shorten and autumn rolls into winter it is impossible to get delicious tomatoes. Our homegrown tomatoes are long gone and the supermarkets have reverted to selling the watery ones that are available out of season.

If you get hold of good quality mozzarella it seems a shame to cook it (except perhaps on top of a wood-fired pizza) so I developed this mozzarella salad for the winter months; it is a celebration of the flavours of autumn – the sweet, nuttiness of roasted squash and creamy, crunchy hazelnuts paired with the soft, lactic acidity the mozzarella. Continue reading

Recipe: Mushroom, Rosemary & Pearl Barley Broth

I developed this recipe for a lovely couple who are getting married in Autumn 2018 and wanted a simple seasonal start the meal before a magnificent spread of sharing platters to be served as the main course. It reminds me of the beautiful broths we ate in Ukraine earlier in the year; there they are always finished with a dollop of smetana (a rich sour cream), so I’ve added some as a garnish to finish this dish. Sometimes a simple but delicious starter like this is the perfect complement to a dramatic and colourful main course. Continue reading