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Beans and tomatoes, blanched green beans served with sautéed tomatoes cooked with green chilies. A match made in heaven, green beans and tomatoes are for me the classic summery dish.
Green beans with Parmesan cream. The dish makes an elegant side; serve it over rice for a veggie main and throw in slices of cooked chicken for the meat option.
Green papaya salad with sweet and sour dressing is crunchy, juicy and incredibly full of goodness. Plus, it helps digest meat!
Grilled asparagus with flaked almonds and Parmesan, an exquisite side dish or starter ready in 10 minutes. It can be cooked in oven grill or on a barbecue.
Grilled radicchio salad with Parmesan. Radicchio loses its bitterness when attacked with heat, salt and acid so that’s what I’ve done to make it collapse in a delicious heap.
Hasselback gratin - potato slices stacked like dominoes, baked in creamy and cheesy sauce. They will have their bottoms cooking in the cheese mix and the tops will get scorchy, crispy, crusty, lacey and all the other lovely adjectives that can be applied to cheese.
Hasselback potatoes, Swedish baked potatoes, are also known as ridgeback or hedgehogs. Take unpeeled, medium sized potatoes and slice them almost, but not quite through - that's the trick. Here's how!
Gratin of thinly sliced jerusalem artichokes baked with bacon and cheese in a creamy sauce. I like the flavour and the taste – nutty, firmer and sweeter than spuds and not quite as starchy.
Kohlrabi slaw, grated kohlrabi with creamy dressing is versatile and delicious. Try it instead of your regular slaw – this vegetable deserves more acclaim!
Leek slaw, a simple salad of raw leeks with cucumber and radish, seasoned with black pepper and honey. Leeks are incredibly healthy when eaten raw, did you know?
Creamy leeks sautéed with wild garlic. Wild garlic aka bear’s garlic or ramsons turns up in April in woody, wet, marshy lands and down in the overgrown part of my garden.
Lemon and smoked paprika roasted potato wedges. This is definitely one of those dishes that look hugely better before cooking. Decorative lemon slices, pale yellow potatoes with a red dusting of paprika, glistening oil and the green sprigs of rosemary – pretty as a picture.
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.
Mast o khiar is Persian yoghurt and cucumber dip with fresh herbs, walnuts and raisins. Samin Nosrat’s recipe suggests using labneh, strained yoghurt cheese, and that is a complete winner.
Mexican rice, arroz rojo, with peas and carrots. Pilaf is a cooking method and Mexican rice is cooked that way. It’s basically giving the rice a head start in hot oil with aromatics of choice, before you deluge it with water, stock or milk and leave to its own devices for half an hour or so.
Creamy mushroom ragu made to Heston Blumenthal’s recipe is a rich and flavourful dressing for pasta, gnocchi or polenta. With a hint of tomato, it's Umami Central.
Mushroom risotto made with dried, rehydrated porcini and masses of Parmesan and butter is a royal feast. I love it just with a green salad.
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.
Turnips roasted with thyme, rosemary and parmesan. They get a new line of life with this recipe, zinged with a dash of parmesan and thoroughly cooked through. Now I’m a hater of overcooked veg, but those babies, they need to be tender.
Deep fried parsnip fries, a delicious alternative to potato chips. Parsnip fries with gutsy seasoning are healthier than potato chips and can be also made in an air fryer.
Parsnip gratin, baked in a creamy, cheesy sauce with a hint of spice. Another way to zing up a boring vegetable – parsnip gratin. What to do with all those root veg when the sexy ones have all gone out of season?
Dos and don'ts of making the best roast potatoes you have ever eaten. The ultimate golden, crispy roasties that make you forget about the roast beef.
Persian baked rice with courgettes and mushrooms, and crispy tahdig layer at the bottom. I didn’t half struggle to achieve tahdig in my Persian style rice.
Persian rice with broad beans, baghali polo, is fragrant, green and yellow with dill and saffron. It’s a classic Iranian side dish for lamb shanks but who cares about lamb? Baghali polo is all you will want.
Piperade is the Basque take on ratatouille with the heat of espelette pepper. This recipe is easy and simple, like a lot of best things in life.
Polenta chips baked in the oven to a golden crisp, cooked from scratch with Parmesan and chives, and so much better than potato chips.
Potato and cabbage gratin, herby with sage and dill, cheesy with gruyere or Cheddar. Rich, warming and absolutely comforting – it’s an oven-baked antidepressant!
Potato and fennel gratin, a super-comfort dish of sliced potatoes and fennel baked in garlicky cream and a generous sprinkle of Gruyere or Cheddar.
Potatoes boulangeres, potato slices baked with stock, onions and a little butter. A simple side of potatoes boulangeres is traditional with beef bourgignon.
Festive red cabbage stir fried with apples, raisins and spices, super quick to cook. Red cabbage can be cooked super quick and easy, not only for Christmas.
A summer salad of cucumbers, radish and lots of fresh herbs with feta cheese and a simple dressing. Cucumber, my favourite underrated fruit is usually included in vaguely Greek salads with tomato and feta cheese.
Easy one pan ratatouille with courgettes, peppers, aubergines and tomatoes, cooked on the hob. Classic side dish made simple.
Raw broccoli salad with fragrant Asian dressing. NY Times inspired salad of fresh raw broccoli marinated in garlic and sesame dressing.
Carrots and parsnips roasted with garlic cloves, harissa, herbs and honey, that's a classic trimming for a Christmas dinner. But a tray of fragrant roast vegetables is far too good to only have once a year!
Chunks of beetroot roasted with honey, thyme, tarragon and balsamic vinegar. This is really gorgeous – beetroot baked long, loooong, you might even consider biscuit beetroot: cooked twice.
Roasted Romano peppers charred under the grill to skin and core them easily, marinated in an Ottolenghi-inspired dressing.
Roasted savoy cabbage wedges with Parmesan and thyme, charred in the pan then oven roasted. It’s a perfect side for fish or pork.
Crispy, smashed and roasted potatoes with tangy cream topping, so glorious you can skip the meat from your Sunday or Christmas roast.
Roasted sweet potatoes with chorizo and bacon are the perfect blend of sweet, salty and spicy.
Potato, beetroot and celeriac rösti. A very Swiss thing. It’s the Alpine dish where you get the starch, the oil, the crispiness of frying, the seasoning – and preferably a sliver of bacon on top – which is just what you need after a day of skiing.
Salt baked celeriac, sweet and earthy and a Michelin grade impressive centrepiece dish. Salt crust made from flavoured salt and flour, you crack it open like an enormous soft boiled egg. Or a pathologist opening the skull.
Homemade spiced sauerkraut, dead easy, can be made in small quantities. I should be talking all about raw and fermented so I’m side-tracking. Recipes abound, everyone is fermenting like crazy and the reports of all those good bacteria doing wonders to our guts are making poor old sauerkraut blush.
Sautéed courgettes with crisp and tasty toasted breadcrumb topping. Those are magic. They have the ability to transform the blandest vegetables into a feast.
New potatoes sautéed with spinach. This recipe for sautéed new potatoes has them boiled first and then fried in plenty of butter with spinach and capers.
Sauteed wild mushrooms, chanterelles and pied de mouton. Cook wild mushrooms simply, with only a little seasoning: salt, pepper and a dash of cream.
Sesame roasted broccoli with a hint of sweetness from maple syrup, soused in olive and sesame oil, ready in 20 minutes. Broccoli like you’ve never tasted before!
Shaved Brussels sprout salad with toasted walnuts and Manchego cheese; the sprouts are raw, the walnuts are toasted and the cheese is mashed into a dressing. Feed it to a sworn Brussels hater and see what happens.
Chinese smashed cucumber salad with chilli, garlic and sesame oil. Cucumbers, the skinniest member of the gourd family of portly melons, squashes, pumpkins and marrows is technically not a vegetable but fruit.
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