Caesar sprouts

I recently tested out a broccoli Caesar salad recipe that my friend (and v talented recipe writer and chef) Sophie wrote, and it was delicious – something about the pairing of the roasted broccoli with the rich, salty, umami Caesar dressing just really worked, so I’ve been thinking about doing something similar with Brussels sprouts ever since.

Think you don’t like sprouts? Let me change your mind. Seriously, I hate to toot my own horn, but these were genuinely the best sprouts I’ve ever eaten. Combining crispy-edged, tender roasted sprouts with a creamy, salty, Caesar dressing, crunchy croutons and parmesan is a real game changer. It makes a really great side for a roast chicken dinner, but I also discovered that it’s absolutely DELICIOUS re-worked into a pasta dish. So, scroll down to find a bonus recipe for my Ceasar sprout spaghetti! Two for the price of one guys, you’re welcome.

Continue reading

Raspberry & almond cake

I think this recipe was originally passed on to my dad by my aunty, but I always think of it as dad’s cake, because he’s absolutely obsessed with it! It’s the one (and only) cake I remember him baking time and time again when I was a child. As I got older and started baking myself, it quickly became a bit of a tradition in our household that we’d have it on his birthday, Father’s Day, and to be honest a lot of times for no reason other than the fact we were craving it!

I’ve made it so many times now that the recipe is engrained in my brain, but I love the fact that if I do ever need to reference it, it’s jotted down in my dad’s messy hand-writing in a scuffed up, butter-stained old recipe book that he’s had for about as long as I’ve been alive! (I’ve included a pic at the bottom of the recipe)

In the book, he calls it a ‘cake (pudding)’ because it’s a bit of a hybrid – the top and outer edges cook to the consistency of a sponge, but the very centre always remains a bit gooey and pudding-like, because of the moisture of the raspberries. So don’t be alarmed if it seems verging on under-baked right in the middle – that’s what makes it so delicious!

Continue reading

Cheat’s roasted cauliflower cheese pasta with crispy breadcrumbs

On an evening when I was seriously craving cheesy-carbs-on-the-sofa kind of comfort food, I had the idea to combine two big comfort food hitters in one recipe: cauliflower cheese and pasta. But I didn’t want that boiled cauliflower taste/smell (I’m not into it, I’m a cauli roaster through and through) and I also didn’t want the heaviness (and effort) of making a proper white sauce, hence this recipe was born.

It uses roasted cauliflower (including some leaves and stalks) because I prefer the way it tastes and like the fact it’s part soft and part crispy. The ‘cheat’s’ cheese sauce is made by a simple combination of crème fraiche and proper strong mature cheddar with a touch of mustard and a bit of pasta water to stop things clagging up. Once you’ve mixed that all in with the pasta, you’ve already got something deliciously creamy, cheesy and carby but I like to go the extra mile and add a scattering of crunchy garlic breadcrumbs and a generous grating of parmesan for extra YUM.

Continue reading

Spinach & feta puff pastry rolls

Whether it’s borëk, spanakopita or some other spin on it, I absolutely ADORE the combination of spinach, feta and pastry. It’s one of my all-time favourite things to eat IN THE WORLD.

As you may have noticed from the other recipes on my blog, I don’t usually have the patience for making anything long and complicated, so I decided to create a really easy spinach & feta pastry number using ready-rolled puff pastry and only a handful of filling ingredients.

What takes this recipe to the next level is the topping – it’s inspired by the spinach & feta rolls at Gail’s Bakery, which are made extra-delicious by the sprinkling of fennel seeds on top. I’ve done a riff on this and finished these simple little pastries with a mix of fennel and sesame seeds, chilli and sea salt.

Continue reading

Butternut squash, coconut & peanut soup

I’ll be honest, I am not a soup person. I usually find it too one-dimensional, but every now and then when the weather gets cold, I get a hankering. And when I made this particular recipe, I was VERY satisfied with the outcome.

For me, squash is far too sweet if it’s not balanced out by lots of salty, spicy and/or zingy flavours, so this one has all of the above. It combines a lot of the ingredients you’d find in a satay-style dish – peanut, coconut, chilli, lime. Delicious.

Continue reading

Roasted butternut squash & herby wild rice salad with green tahini dressing

After getting stuck in a rut with my meals since working from home, I wanted to create a hearty but fairly healthy warm salad situation that would be just as satisfying for dinner as it would be the next day for a nice working from home lunch, so I came up with this.

This is a totally vegan dish and I think it works really well just as it is, but you could add a crumbling of feta cheese for an extra salty ping, if you’re not vegan. The sweet, roasted butternut squash marries well with the herby, nutty warm rice salad and silky, salty green tahini dressing.

It also makes a great accompanying dish as part of a wider Middle-Eastern inspired feast – I once served it alongside some harissa-spiced lamb kofte and it was a great combo.

Continue reading

Roasted broccoli with romesco & feta

I once had an epic sandwich at the Dusty Knuckle (my fav sandwich spot in London), which combined roasted broccoli, romesco and feta in their fluffy focaccia. It was heavenly.

I find that the combination of the sweet but slightly acidic, garlicky and slightly smoky red pepper romesco sauce pairs beautifully with salty feta and charred broccoli, so it’s something I now eat together a lot.

This recipe doesn’t make loads but is very easily doubled. But with these quantities, here’s what I like to do with it..

Serving suggestions:

  1. Have as it is for a light lunch (or with bread to mop up the romesco)
  2. Serve as a side (double if cooking for four) – it’s great with a roast or accompaniment to white fish (with or without the feta)
  3. Use in a sandwich à la Dusty Knuckle by slathering the romesco sauce onto focaccia, then adding the roasted broccoli, feta and some toasted almonds – DELICIOUS.
  4. Make it into more of a substantial salad by tossing the broccoli with a cooked grain like cous-cous or quinoa (adding an extra squeeze of lemon juice and olive oil), then dot the romesco, almonds and feta over the top to finish
Continue reading

Raspberry, almond & white chocolate blondies

Raspberry, almond and white chocolate is one of the best sweet flavour combinations out there and, seeing as I’m also a sucker for a good blondie, this just had to be done.

They’re super easy to make and a real crowd-pleaser. If you like them gooey, verging on underbaked, then you’ll want to take them out after 30-32 mins (depending on the strength of your oven!), but for a slightly firmer blondie, leave them in for about 35 (the raspberries keep them moist, which also means that they will go a tiny bit soggy after a day or two – so eating them fast is best, but that shouldn’t be a problem!)

Continue reading

‘Nduja, mascarpone & lemon tagliatelle

This recipe is modelled on one of my all-time favourite pasta dishes at one of my all-time favourite restaurants, Padella ❤️

Alongside Padella’s ever brilliant pici cacio e pepe (my number one must-order dish there, as I’m sure it is for many), I also adore their ‘nduja, mascarpone & lemon fettucine – it’s spicy, garlicky, creamy, lemony and extremely satisfying. Ever since I first tried it, I’ve been making my own version of it at home.

I’m not claiming to have cracked Padella’s recipe, my version is different – I like to add cherry tomatoes for a bit of extra flavour, moisture and additional texture and obviously I don’t make my pasta from scratch because I’m far too lazy.

For anyone who doesn’t already know, n’duja is a soft spicy sausage (which comes in a kind of soft paste) from Calabria in Italy and its goddamn delicious – adds A LOT of flavour without being overly ‘meaty’. It can be a bit of a pain to get hold of but Waitrose sells it (in a jar), as do specialist online ingredient sites like Sous Chef or try your local deli.

Continue reading

Easy chorizo & red pepper rice

My old housemate used to make something similar to this all the time and I often randomly get a craving for it. It’s properly comforting because it’s basically just a big bowl of rice, with salty, meaty chunks of smoky chorizo which are offset by sweet red pepper chunks and tomato and cut through with a squeeze of lemon and some fresh parsley.

As with all my recipes, this one is really easy to make and pretty fast because I’m a lazy/impatient cook.

Continue reading