Green beans with pine nuts

Green beans should have a bright, strong colour, with crisp pods with a satin-like sheen. They should not look wilted, discoloured or brown. They are best eaten when young and tender. To More »

Lamb koftas in yogurt with cinnamon and chilli

Lamb koftas are one of the classics of Indian cuisine, well adopted by Westerners around the world. In the simplest form, koftas consist of balls of minced or ground meat—usually beef, chicken, More »

Deep-fried zucchini flowers

Deep-fried zucchini flowers are Italian speciality and it becoming recently much wider popular. The flowers have a subtle flavour, reminiscent of young zucchinis, and can be eaten even raw. The flowers can More »

Croque senor

Croque senor is actually sandwich of Cheddar cheese and ham given a Mexican flavour with salsa of tomatoes, chilli and red pepper. It is a version of the croque-monsieur, that originated in French More »

Courgettes on garlic bread

Courgettes on garlic bread are delicious choice for quick lunch or light dinner, or even a party bite. Easy to make and with ingredients that may be found in any shop, this More »

 

Roman gnocchi

Roman gnocchi

Roman gnocchi can be prepared a day or two in advance, wrapped and stored in the refigerator in the slab form or as circles. Roman gnocchi are made with semolina and are quite different from the more well-known potato gnocchi served with pasta sauce. Gnocchi are eaten as a first course (primo piatto), as an alternative to soups (minestre) or pasta. They are generally home-made in Italian and diaspora Italian households. They may also be bought fresh from speciality stores. In supermarkets, industrially produced packaged gnocchi are widely available refrigerated, dried, or frozen. Common accompaniments of gnocchi include melted butter with sage, pesto, and various sauces.

Rhubarb and ginger crumble

Rhubarb and ginger crumble

This is a classic rhubarb crumble recipe bit with a little twixt by adding stem ginger and porridge oats to make the best crumble mix ever. It is an absolutely delicious combination of flavours and can be really nicely served with thick Jersey cream or cold custard. There are two different types of rhubarb available: forced and naturally grown. The forced rhubarb is brighter pink in colour, has delicious spindly shoots and is much more tender. Rhubarb dating back to 2000 BC in China, where it was used only for medicinal purposes. It is funny fact, because it is not actually very nutricious – it is mainly made up of water. Wash and trim the rhubarb stems before use. Discard the leaves as they are poisonous. If using outdoor-grown rhubarb, remove any stringy outer layers. Cut into equal-sized pieces to ensure even cooking. Forced rhubarb is very fragile so poach or bake only briefly to prevent it from disintegrating into a mush. Use a thick sugar syrup as it releases a lot of juice. Outdoor-grown rhubarb has a sharper taste and more fibrous texture, so requires a slightly longer cooking. Both varieties of rhubarb are good in pies, tarts, fools, jellies and ices.

Deep-fried zucchini flowers

Deep-fried zucchini flowers

Deep-fried zucchini flowers are Italian speciality and it becoming recently much wider popular. The flowers have a subtle flavour, reminiscent of young zucchinis, and can be eaten even raw. The flowers can be battered and fried or they are also frequently stuffed (very often with soft cheeses such as ricotta) and cooked. Everyone who grow zuccini (courgettes) at home can make use of the yellow flowers that appear in steady supply throughout the summer. If flowers aren’t available, you can use the same batter and method to deep-fry slices of zucchini and aubergine. These days you can find zuccini flowers at farmers’ markets, though they are not nearly as prevalent as the taut green and yellow fruit. If you see them next time you are buying the vegetables, don’t miss the chance to try this recipe.

Moroccan spiced lentils

Moroccan spiced lentils

Moroccan spiced lentils are nice, warm and hearty dish which smell and taste will teleport you straight to the north of the Africa. Most broad-bean soup sellers also offer these spicy lentils, ladled into bowls. When cooking green (also called brown) lentils, it is tempting to drainthem after the first stage of cooking as the liquid is muddy, but in doing so, precious B vitamins are lost. Lentils are so versatile, cheap and delicious. Try them in a healthy soup, in Indian dal, or to add extra texture to a pumpkin stew or rice dish.  Lentils do not need soaking before cooking. Some will hold their shape well when cooked; others will collapse once cooked, so you need to decide what kind of recipe you are using the lentils for. Lentils are high in protein and therefore a valuable part of a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Mocha soufflés

Mocha soufflés

Mocha soufflé is is a lightly baked cake made with egg yolks and beaten egg whites combined with coffee granules and cocoa powder. The word soufflé is the past participle of the French verb souffler which means “to blow up” or, more loosely, “puff up”—an apt description of what happens to this combination of custard and egg whites. When it comes out of the oven, a soufflé should be puffed up and fluffy, and it will generally fall after 5 or 10 minutes (as risen dough does). It may be served with the top punctured and sauce poured on (for example, chocolate or vanilla). Soufflés can be made in containers of all shapes and sizes but it is traditional to make soufflé in ramekins. These containers vary greatly in size, but are typically glazed white, flat-bottomed, round porcelain containers with unglazed bottoms and fluted exterior borders.