Oven baked spinach and mozzarella balls, coated in breadcrumbs. Healthy baked spinach and cheese balls go well with a steak as a side dish but also delicious as an appetizer.
Spinach and ricotta lasagne with cooked cream instead of bechamel. Lasagne is the best pasta. It took me a while to work out that ‘lasagne’ is actually used in the same grammatical fashion as ‘tagliatelle’ or spaghetti’ – it means the type of pasta in the plural.
Spinach and cheese bake, a healthy casserole served as a side dish or for brunch. Cheese is able to cover a multitude of sins. There aren’t many dishes that can’t be improved by throwing some cheese at them.
Spinach and cheese empanada wrapped in filo pastry and baked in the oven, with honey and pine nuts topping. Spanish empanada meets Greek spanakopita!
Mixed vegetable stir-fry seasoned with ginger, oyster sauce and sesame oil. I like to stir fry veg as a side to not-necessarily-oriental mains like fish or steaks but this recipe works as a good veggie stir-fry too, to be served over plain rice or noodles.
Roasted summer vegetables with couscous, with dressing made from the juices of vegetables marinated in harissa, honey and spice mix.
Baked sweet potato halves loaded with spicy black beans and Cheddar cheese: vegetarian lunch, snack or dinner, blissfully comforting.
Sweet potatoes baked in foil, topped with tahini butter are a fabulous fiesta of flavours. Recipe adapted from NY Times Cooking.
Tomato tarte tatin with caramelised plum tomatoes and shortcrust thyme pastry. Cut corners by all means and use puff pastry. But it’s so much more rewarding when it’s a proper tart: slicing into shortcrust base rather than the squishy puff which goes soggy much too soon is worth the effort of producing the pastry.
Vegetarian Thai noodles flavoured with cinnamon, star anise, ketjap manis and ginger. This was originally Nigella Lawson’s recipe which had been originally her Thai chef’s one while on holiday there; Nigella, not chef or me.
Aubergine and tomato pasta bake with mozzarella. Pasta - fusilli. Tomato sauce - from scratch. Aubergine - lightly fried. A great vegetarian pasta al forno.
Tomato and chickpea tray bake with chunks of feta roasting upon the vegetables, spiced and sweet with honey and chilli dressing.
Tomato crostata with honey and thyme flavour on flaky pastry made from scratch, with a sneaky cheese addition. Crostata or galette is a sweet or savoury open, rustic pie.
Tomato sorbet made from fresh tomatoes, without an ice cream maker, is the perfect appetizer or palate cleanser.
Savoury tarte Tatin with confit tomatoes. Tomatoes are generally rubbish through three quarters of the year in the non-Mediterranean part of Europe. Tasteless and watery, with thick skins and not much flavour.
Twice roasted beetroots with figs and pomegranate seeds. Crimson central – this is a dish of red, red and more red, suitable for the season of flaming gold on tree branches and misty mornings.
Vegetable egg fried rice, the best homemade takeaway. Fried rice is a freewheeling recipe: anything you fancy goes. Those tiny dried shrimp - gorgeous. Just scallions and beansprouts - why not?
Courgette, aubergine, fennel and mushroom parmigiana with chopped tomatoes and Parmesan. This is a mixed vegetable parmigiana, with lots of Parmesan on layers of pre-cooked veg.
Vegetarian chili with pickled red onions. The recipe is dead simple beside that, and a good weekday supper if you put in canned beans. Soaking and boiling is as much worth the bother as it gives you the right crookedness – tinned beans might get mushy after half an hour in the company of tomatoes.
Whole roasted cauliflower with butter, Parmesan and herbs. Let’s face it: cauliflower does not have a lot going for it.
Yu xiang aubergine, Sichuan stir fry in fiery sauce. With added crunch of almonds and tartness of cranberries, it’s the best aubergine dish ever.
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