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Anchovy braised vegetable medley, Provençal style aubergine, courgette and mushrooms gently cooked in anchovy sauce with garlic and a touch of lemon.
Scones made with grated raw apple and cheddar cheese. So this is a quick, rewarding, minimum effort recipe for apple cheese scones. They spread, rather than rise skywards, which seems to be the effect of cheese content in pastry.
Raw asparagus salad with lemon and olive oil dressing. This is a simple salad and of course you can choose not to bother with the peeling, but it makes for a good contrast of textures. The dressing marinates the asparagus a bit and the Parmesan complements them nicely. As fresh green shoots as you can get – and it’s spring by the mouthful!
Savoury breakfast muffins with bacon, apple and cheese. I adopted this recipe from Nigel Slater who uses ham in his muffins. Say what you will, bacon always wins over ham at breakfast time and these things are meant for breakfast.
Bacon wrapped chicken chunks, grilled and served with pan fried mushrooms, are a wholesome main course. On their own, bacon chicken bites are a classic appetiser.
Baked figs with blue cheese, a drop of honey and a drizzle of balsamic can be a gorgeous starter, side dish, lunch or even a healthy dessert.
Banana fried with bacon makes a great breakfast. Bacon fried banana slices, seasoned with maple syrup, are best served as a breakfast sandwich filling, on toasted sourdough.
Banana bran muffins with raisins and cinnamon - perfect for breakfast. Most pastries can be frozen when baked and just cool and they will be good as fresh after an hour on the kitchen top. The only problem is they can never, ever win with the competition from a bacon butty…
Buckwheat banana fritters for delicious (and gluten free) breakfast. Smashed bananas in buckwheat pancake batter, and a drizzle of honey is a must!
Blueberry muffins. The best. The easiest. By all means use frozen berries in the bleak mid-winter. Better that than paying extortionate price of bluebs imported from Darkest Peru. And frozen ones are very well-behaved: they stir nicely into the mix, don’t go mushy like raspberries and retain their shapes.
Broad bean and smashed pea bruschetta with herbs and garlic and a drizzle of olive oil is a starter, lunch or appetiser to kill for. And new beans need just 5 minutes to cook!
Broccoli frittata starts on the hob and finishes in the oven. With cheese and a little crème fraiche in the egg mix it’s fluffy and very satisfying.
Bucatini pasta with creamy Alfredo sauce, peas and spinach. Bucatini is thick spaghetti-like pasta shape and it goes well with Alfredo sauce, a sprinkling of Parrmesan and a handful of peas..
Austrian Buchteln, baked jam-filled doughnuts, pull-apart breakfast treats. Some special Sundays my Austrian grandmother would fluff up the dough, butter a tin, find a jar of plum preserve in the larder and magic them out of the oven an hour or so later.
Galettes au sarrasin, buckwheat crêpes, with a classic topping of ham, cheese and an egg. The type of pancakes best suited to savoury toppings, galettes from Brittany are healthy and easy to make.
Bulgur wheat salad with spicy chorizo and vibrant green runner beans. Lunch or dinner, just add a dollop of yoghurt, fresh mint and dill for perfect Middle Eastern – Spanish fusion.
Butter beans and chorizo dish with crispy Parmesan topping, a little heat from a chilli and saltiness from anchovy. A dish fit for a king and it’s ready in half an hour.
Light and moist scones with buttermilk and raisin, cut into triangles. You can replace buttermilk with yoghurt – but I’d strongly encourage giving a go as it makes for a nice crust and very moist crumb. These are a bit more cakey than the ordinary scones.
Caramelised fennel slices sautéed in a pan with maple syrup and white balsamic vinegar. The best way of cooking fennel, it makes an exquisite side dish, or a lovely starter served with a chunk of crusty bread.
Caramelised leek and Cheddar tart on shortcrust pastry, homemade or shop bought, is a fabulous, easy dish, as good to serve warm as it is cold.
Fresh chanterelles sautéed in a little butter, piled on thick slices of toasted bread, make lunch, starter or a snack fit for gods. Scottish or French chanterelles, sunny yellow wild mushrooms, are autumn’s best.
Cheddar cheese and chive scones, delightful warm from the oven, are made with wholemeal flour and diced Cheddar. The go-to savoury scone option.
Cheddar and spring onion torpedo rolls. So we’re talking here about a cheese sandwich ready baked – cheesy bread. I dare you not to devour one of those torpedoes straight from the oven. I dare you to keep them in the house longer than a couple of days.
Cheese and mushroom omelette is a quick and easy breakfast or lunch dish. Beat the eggs well and work quickly for a perfectly fluffy omelette.
Sweetcorn tart with cheese topping on a crusty, cheesy base of pizza dough. Vegetarian and gorgeous, for lunch or dinner. Shop bough dough is OKAY.
Sweet triple cherry buns - with jam, dried and glace cherries. The dough is gorgeous. My grandmother used to make this type of dough, stretch it, focaccia style, into the bottom of a large baking tray, then put fresh soft fruit on top and cover the lot in crumble.
Buttery cornmeal muffins with glace cherries, gluten free but wholly satisfying. Crunchy around the edges, and the jewelled glace cherries intersperse the rich yellow cornmeal crumb.
Roast chicken with seared halloumi cheese and peach salsa is the perfect warm salad with sweet and spicy combination of flavours.
Crab butter with Thai chilli flavour, fantastic on toast or fresh bread. Chili crab butter is easy to make and can be served as a dip or sandwich spread.
Braided chocolate brioche, not too sweet and perfect for breakfast. The braided bread is quite a challenge for me, the messy baker. I’m absolutely no good at tidy shaping. My challahs invariably have one end thicker than the other. Spacing of cookies suffers in giant quadruples melded together. And I am a lousy cake decorator
Christmas Stollen with homemade marzipan. Stollen tastes absolutely divine when still warm from the oven but it keeps very well. The German Christmas bread symbolised baby Jesus swaddled in clothing
Savoury muffins with sweetcorn and bacon, with plain flour and polenta in the mix. A little bit like old fashioned corn fritters except baked into muffin shapes. The recipe comes from Dan Lepard’s ‘Short and Sweet’.
Corn ribs from the oven, with homemade dukkah, just like the ones served at Ottolenghi’s Rovi. It’s totally a snack du moment – and de toujours, I hope.
Fresh corn, bacon and avocado salad with crumbled feta and furikake seasoning, on a bed of iceberg lettuce: one of the best main course salads ever.
Crispy pork mince, kidney beans and Romaine lettuce salad with mixed toasted seeds. Caramelised pork crumbs are the best thing since crispy bacon!
Crispy popping chickpeas and roasted red peppers, spiced with chilli flakes and fennel seeds, with butter or olive oil in the vegan version. It’s your new favourite dish!
Cured duck breast meat, tonnes of umami flavour produced over three days with just salt and sugar. Homemade prosciutto, and it’s lean and healthy if you discard the skin.
Cured salmon, homemade gravlax, flavoured with fennel, caraway and lemon zest. Three minutes work, four days wait and you have an astonishing party starter or a sandwich filling. Good value too, obviously.
Danish bagel wheels, savoury pastry pinwheels with sesame, poppy and almonds. A savoury twist on raisin wheels, these pastries are made the easy way: the laminating process, usually so troublesome, is shortened here by maturing the dough in the fridge for a couple of days.
Danish pastries with jam and raisin wheels - brushed with lemon icing. Just about the best thing ever – laminated dough. On average I bet people don’t realise that it’s actually simple bread dough enriched with butter.
Easy Danish dough, homemade apple and raspberry filling. So what you are supposed to do is simply mix the butter a bit with yeasty flour and some liquid, leave it in the fridge and then roll out once or twice.
Feta saganaki with caramelised figs. Saganaki is a Greek dish of anything cooked and served in a small skillet, cheese saganaki the most popular.
Feta cheese, roasted grapes and crunchy walnuts is a perfect combination of juicy, sweet, crunchy and salty. I roast grapes like I like to roast summer berries when so plentiful they get a little tired: sprinkled with very little sugar and blasted with big brief heat.
Flat iron mushrooms, a mix of cultivated mushrooms pressed flat whilst cooking, to concentrate and wonderfully enhance their flavour.
Courgette flowers (fiori di zuccha) in light batter, shallow fried in olive oil with a touch of mint inside each blossom. It’s pan-fried poetry!
Latkes with roasted apple topping, crispy fried shredded potato pancakes traditionally eaten for Jewish Hanukkah. I like to make one giant latke for brunch, topped with crème fraiche and tart roasted apples.
Focaccia with olive oil, fresh grapes and crumbled blue cheese. I am not quite sure why grapes are not popular as cake ingredients. All summer berries, cherries, stone fruit and apples get to play, jumping into soft sponge, orderly marching onto tarts, drowning in runny clafoutis and sweating gently underneath crumbles
Greek lamb, spinach and feta filo pastry pie, using leftover roast lamb, is better than the original roast.
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