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Maple shortbread bars with almonds and pistachios. I like nuts but pecans and walnuts are probably my least favourites so I replaced them with what I like best: almonds and pistachios.
Thinly sliced fennel lightly wilted with salt and sugar is gorgeous, but the homemade ranch dressing with chives and dill is the star of the salad.
Marzipan loaf cake based on Nigella Lawson’s recipe, using homemade marzipan. That’s a simple plain cake with marzipan in the mix but there’s nothing plain about the way it tastes.
Marzipan truffles, chocolate covered balls of homemade marzipan, and the chocolate is also homemade! Vegan, easy and utterly delicious.
Mascarpone blueberry cake, rich and velvety with a tangy flavour from the blueberries. Adding mascarpone to the cake mix makes it rich, moist and tender and no, it doesn't taste like a cheesecake!
Mascarpone sorbet with lemon flavour inspired by a River Café recipe is smooth, creamy and unbelievably refreshing. This is a no-churn recipe.
Matcha (green tea) sponge cake with lemon and bay leaf scented whipped cream frosting. It’s a beautiful dessert, beautifully simple to make (but nobody will believe you how easy it is).
Microwaved pomegranate curd made from fresh fruit juice extracted from pomegranate seeds. Both juicing the pomegranate and cooking the curd is easier than you think.
Samin Nosrat’s midnight cake is one of the easiest and the nicest chocolate cakes in the world. I finish it with a dried mixed fruit salad topping for a citrusy tang.
Milk chocolate digestive biscuits, just like McVities, only better. Can you make the ultimate dunking biscuits at home? Here’s how, and it’s easy.
Mini party rolls, filled with chipolata sausages or ham and cheese filling. They are easy to prepare and invariably the biggest hit with party people.
Muhammara, roasted red pepper and walnut dip, flavoured with pomegranate molasses and Aleppo pepper flakes. This should be a firm fixture in your next meze!
Mushroom sauce, creamy and fragrant, with a few dried wild mushrooms that make all the difference. The sauce for pasta, steak, chicken, meatballs and whatever you fancy.
Moules marinières with cream, fairly standard, but this recipe has a tiny twist. The usual spiel is to cook mussels with wine, take them out and then add cream – what a waste of time. I added the cream beforehand, turned up the heat full whack and threw the shells in...
No knead bread is a good start for breadmaking deniers. I’m only going to ask you one question: have you got a cast iron casserole? If the answer is yes, you’re in business. This bread can be the first you’ve ever made.
Norwegian apple cake, eplekake, is plenty of apple slices on sponge batter enriched with milk. This recipe is from NY Times but cross-referenced with Norway!
Oatmeal biscuits, the healthiest cookies, sprinkled with pinhead oats. They are gluten-free and only contain three spoonfuls of sugar. Definitely good for your gut with all the fibre, but oatmeal apparently also lowers bad cholesterol levels while providing bags of nutrients.
Oatmeal raisin cookies, buttery, chewy and delicious. I recently realised I’ve been obsessed with oats. Porridge and I go back to before anyone else was interested in cooking oats first thing in the morning.
Healthy homemade cereal bars made with oats and plenty of dried fruit and seeds. Cereal bars or granola bars? Either way they are much better than shop-bought bars.
Old fashioned apple cake with brown sugar frosting. We used to have two apple trees in the garden: one eating, one cooking, fruiting every other year each, in alternative years – a perfect arrangement.
Homemade granola with olive oil and maple syrup, with seeds, nuts and dried apricots. It’s toasted in the oven till golden, crisp and irresistible.
Sour cream cake with orange flavour and raw cacao nib crunch is like a sophisticated pound cake with chocolate chips.
Orange and ginger flavoured flapjack, soft and chewy, buttery and slightly sticky. Make it plain as it is, or add a handful of dried fruit or coconut flakes.
Orange macaroon cake with dessicated coconut and orange liqueur. This is a glorious cake. Just the right moisture (wet), orange flavour fantastic (no, can’t be less), and slightly chewy on account of the coconut.
Dan Lepard’s orange and walnut loaf cake with cinnamon and fresh ginger, a wonderful combination of flavours. One saucepan, a loaf tin and zest from five oranges!
Easy cheesy oregano cheese straws from homemade shortcrust pastry; flaky, buttery and melting in a mouth. Everyone’s all-time best ever favourite snack.
Oven baked arancini made with leftover mushroom risotto, filled with prosciutto and mozzarella. It’s the starter you wish was a main. It’s the leftovers dish that’s better than the original.
Oven braised racks of baby back pork ribs with Creole seasoning and maple syrup glaze, cooked for 4 hours into tender perfection.
Oven roasted duck breast fillet with chilli flavoured pineapple slices, charred on the griddle. Served on a pile of green lettuce, it’s an outstanding warm salad dish.
Sea trout fillets baked in oven with lots of steam, at low temperature. This is definitely the best way to cook these delicate fillets, often prone to drying out if overcooked.
Overnight oats with homemade yoghurt and fresh fruit, the healthiest breakfast. You don’t have to make your own yoghurt to enjoy this breakfast but it’s so amazingly easy that I challenge you to try.
Baked oyster mushrooms with garlic and blue cheese. This makes almost a sauce – if you want proper sauce, chop them smaller and add more cream. I like to bake them whole though and pile the unctuous, blue cheesy morsels on top of a perfectly cooked steak.
Padron peppers, pimientos de padron, a Spanish dish of pan-blistered padron style green peppers. A delicious snack from the tapas menu, they can be eaten whole.
Pan-fried calves' liver with red onions cooks in 5 minutes, it's tender, juicy and delicious. And eating offal is a way to reduce waste and meat emissions.
Pan-fried wood pigeon breast is a great starter. It's an easy and quick recipe for very underrated, tasty, cheap and sustainable meat. Serve it with orange caramel and pomegranate seeds.
Classic creamy panna cotta, the simple and exquisite Italian dessert. Vanilla flavoured, with whole milk and cream and only enough gelatine to keep it in the cup, served with passion fruit puree.
Panpepato, Italian classic Christmas dessert from the province of Siena, is the ancient version of panforte di Siena, Italian biscuits packed with fruit and nuts. Panpepato is spicy, peppery and very chocolatey.
Pão de água, Portuguese water bread is a white sandwich loaf that’s light, airy and fluffy inside and has a wonderfully crunchy crust on the outside.
Pappardelle with chanterelles, the simplest pasta dish with the sunny wild mushrooms also known as girolles. A little butter, a little Parmesan and it’s an autumnal feast.
Pasta with fresh tomatoes, garlic and basil. I love fresh tomatoes with good quality pasta. The question whether you should buy ’fresh’ supermarket pasta is a moot point – buy dry. Good.
Old fashioned Yorkshire parkin is a sticky, glorious cake full of ginger and spice, treacle and golden syrup, thoroughly traditional for the Bonfire Night.
Pasta fritta, fried pasta with asparagus, garlic and mint; the best thing to do with leftover pasta. Any pasta shape can be made into pasta fritta without eggs, or frittata pasta – with eggs mixed in.
Pasta with crispy capers, bacon and breadcrumbs or pappardelle con pangrattato. Breadcrumbs are an age-old pasta dressing, poor man’s Parmesan. Textures are great here; everything is crispy and crunchy and salty
Pasta with asparagus and lemon butter, served with lots of Parmesan. Three tricks pasta and I’m pleased to announce that this is truly a pasta template, versatile as anything. I give you the pasta with lemon and any veg, plus Parmesan because pasta can’t be without it.
Pasta with red and yellow peppers cooked down to sweet and silky sauce, also known as pasta peperonata. Who needs tomatoes?
Peach jam with a hint of vanilla, easy to make and very flavoursome. Roughly chopped peaches with skins make wonderfully chunky jam.
Pear and grilled halloumi salad with roasted parsnip and salty pumpkin seeds. Everything is there: the wholesome, the sweet, the salty and the crunch. A perfect salad?
Pecan Linzer bars with easy, nutty shortcrust pastry and jam filling are one of those ultimately comforting sweets: a posh version of jammy shortbread bars.
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