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Archive for the ‘Gluten-free’ Category

We have a reputation for using things up, and hence were donated a friends’ leftover chestnuts from Christmas: they thought we would probably use them. No probably about it … here they are in the loveliest Provençal soup recipe by Alex Jackson.

Wine Suggestion: And if you feel inspired then try a La Clef du Recit Menetou-Salon to accompany this dish. A Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire, the soils and aspect give this wine an extra super depth and richness, while maintaining the purity and clarity of expression to make it an excellent match.

Bacon, chestnut, rosemary & potato soup – serves 4

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 60g smoked pancetta lardons
  • 2 medium white onions, finely diced
  • ½ head celery, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled, green middle removed and finely sliced lengthways
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp picked rosemary leaves (no more)
  • a few dried ceps, soaked in boiling water and roughly chopped (reserve the soaking water)
  • 100g cooked chestnuts, broken in half
  • 500g waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 1.5 cm chunks
  • 1 litre homemade chicken stock or water
  • best extra virgin olive oil, to serve
  • grated Parmesan, to serve

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan, then add the pancetta and cook over a gentle heat until well browned but not crispy. Add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic and fennel seeds. Add a good pinch of salt and fry slowly for at least 30 minutes, stirring now and then, until soft and sweet.

Finely chop the rosemary, then add to the pan and allow to cook for another couple of minutes. Add the chopped porcini and cook for a few minutes before adding the chestnuts and potatoes. Pour in the liquid from the mushrooms, then add stock until the vegetables are just covered by about an inch of liquid (you can add more as it cooks if you need). Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Mash the chestnuts against the edge of the pan to mush them up a bit. The soup should have some liquid but otherwise be quite thick.

Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve in warm bowls with Parmesan and olive oil drizzled over the top.

(Original recipe from Sardine by Alex Jackson, Pavilion, 2019.)

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Mussels are cheap and plentiful and they’re one of the few food items that haven’t increased in price. We should all be eating this fabulous local resource. This recipe is just delicious.

Wine Suggestion: We served this with one of those under-the radar wines the La Clef du Recit Menetou Salon. While Anthony Girard from this domain makes a fab Sancerre, we are continually delighted by his other appelations: Menetou Salon which we think has more body, and is a tad more Chablis like, despite it being Loire Sauvignon Blanc; and his Quincy which is elegant and perfumed.

Mussels with fennel & tarragon – serves 2

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 long shallots, finely sliced
  • 1 small fennel bulb (or half a big one), finely sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • 1kg mussels, cleaned and debearded
  • 75ml double cream
  • a handful of tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
  • crusty bread, to serve

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy casserole over a medium-high heat. Add the shallots, fennel and a good pinch of salt. Cook for about 10 minutes, until starting to caramelise. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Tip the mussels into the pot and stir well, then pour in the white wine and season well with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then clamp on the lid and cook for 3-4 minutes, shaking occasionally, until the shells have opened. Stir in the cream, then scatter over the tarragon.

Serve in warm bowls with crusty bread.

(Original recipe by Adam Bush in Olive Magazine, January 2022.)

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If there are children around there’s nearly always a half-used tub of pesto. Too expensive to go to waste, and a good reason we’re always on the lookout for anything other than pesto pasta. This dish is a bit of summer in winter.

Wine Suggestion: Choose a fun and fresh red, preferably with a moderate alcohol. Fortunately we had a red blend from the Sebestyén family in the Szekszárd region of south-eastern Hungary. Their Szekszárdi Cuvée is a delightful blend of Kékfrankos, Merlot and Cabernet Franc; youthful, fresh and characterful.

Chicken with mozzarella, Parma ham and roast pesto potatoes, serves 4

  • 125g ball of mozzarella cheese (not buffalo), sliced
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 24 basil leaves
  • 4 slices of Parma ham
  • 24 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 450g baby potatoes
  • 3 tbsp pesto
  • 2 tbsp thick balsamic vinegar

Heat the oven to 190C/Gas 5.

Grease a baking sheet.

Season the mozzarella slices with salt and pepper.

Slice a small pocket in each chicken breast (we asked our butcher to do this) and fill with a slice of mozzarella and 6 basil leaves. Wrap each piece of chicken in a slice of Parma ham and set onto the greased baking sheet. Scatter the tomatoes around the chicken.

Drizzle everything with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then roast for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes until cooked through, about 20 minutes, then drain and toss with the pesto.

Put the chicken, potatoes and tomatoes onto warm plates and drizzle the tomatoes with the thick balsmic vinegar.

(Original recipe from Herbs by Judith Hann, Watkins Media Ltd, 2017.)

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This is a delicious soup recipe from Cooking by Jeremy Lee. Make it on a cold day when you don’t have very much else to do, it takes an age but tastes amazing. You need to soak the beans the night before.

Chestnut, bacon, bean and pumpkin soup – serves 6

  • 2 small onions
  • 3 sticks of celery
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 smoked ham hock or diced smoked pancetta
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • a small stick of rosemary
  • a small handful of thyme
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • a big pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 250g dried borlotti beans, soaked overnight in lots of cold water
  • 1 small pumpkin or a wedge of pumkin, roughly 1kg
  • 250g vac-packed chesnuts
  • Parmesan and good extra virgin olive oil, to serve

Peel and cut the onions, celery and carrot into chunky pieces. If using a smoked ham hock cut it into small cubes.

Warm the olive oil in a wide, heavy saucepan and add the pork, herbs, garlic, chilli flakes and vegetables. Stir well, cover with a lid and cook over a gentle heat, stirring occaionally, for roughly 1½ – 2 hours. If your ring is hot they may take a bit less time than this to become soft and caramelised. The idea is to cook them as slowly as possible until you achieve this then proceed with the recipe.

Drain the beans and rinse under cold water until it runs clear. Put the beans into a saucepan with lots of cold water and bring the boil over a high heat. Drain well and lightly rinse, then tip them on to the vegetables and cover with 4-5cm of water. Bring to the boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for at least an hour or until the beans are tender. Don’t be tempted to stir the soup while the beans are cooking, you want them to hold together.

Heat the oven to 180C and roast the pumpkin whole for 40 minutes to 1 hour or until soft and fudgy. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, then remove the seeds and skin. Purée the cooked pumpkin and add to the cooked beans.

Chop the chestnuts coarsely and add them to the soup, then gently reheat. Take care when stirring to keep the beans as intact as possible. Season well with salt and black pepper.

Serve in warm bowls with lots of grated Parmesan cheese and drizzled with your best olive oil.

(Original recipe from Cooking by Jeremy Lee, 4th Estate, 2022.)

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Don’t judge this just by the look as it just looks like well cooked cabbage … and it is … but we’re addicted. Lifted to another level by the vinegar, this is our new favourite side.

Stewed Cabbage – serves 4

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 60g pancetta, chopped (optional)
  • 1 small Savoy cabbage or half of a large one (about 600g)
  • 2 heaped tbsp salted butter
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar

Put the oil, onion and pancetta (if using) into a large saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add some salt if you are not using pancetta. Cook gently, without browning, for about 15 minutes until soft.

Slice the cabbage into wedges and remove the tough core. Shred the leaves finely and rinse in a colander. Add the wet cabbage to the pan, then the butter, and stir for a few minutes until the butter melts. Stir through the vinegar and cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to low and leave to cook for 60 to 80 minutes, stirring occasionlly, until completely soft and wilted. Add a splash of water if it looks dry at any point.

Season to taste with salt and serve.

(Original recipe from Stagioni by Olivia Cavalli, Pavillon, 2022.)

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It seems to be miso-roasted everything at the minute, which is ok with us. Here it is with some parsnips.

Miso parsnips – serves 6

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 800g parsnips, peeled and quartered
  • 60g white miso
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Heat your oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6.

Put the oil into a deep roasting tin and stick it in the oven to heat up.

Bring a pan of salty water to the boil and boil the parsnips for 4-5 mintues, then drain and leave to steam dry in the warm pot for about 10 minutes.

Tip the parsnips into a bowl, pour over the miso and maple syrup, and season well. Stir to coat the parsnips in the mixture.

Remove the hot oil from the oven and tip in the parsnips, basting in the hot oil before roasting for 20 minutes. Baste again with the juices in the tin and return to the oven for another 10 to 20 minutes, until golden.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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A rich and delicoius curry recipe by Asma Khan.

Wine Suggestion: We think this dish goes really well with a good Pinot Gris, like the Neudorf Moutere we were tempted to open. Dry, but full of fruit, and dusty, warm spices.

Shahi gobi saalan – serves 6

  • 7 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 2.5cm piece of cassia bark
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 1 clove
  • 5 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 tsp ground coriander,
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 250ml water
  • 750g cauliflower florets, cut into 5 cm pieces
  • 1-2 x 400ml tins coconut milk
  • 6 tbsp ground almonds
  • a handful of toasted flaked almonds to garnish

Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the bay leaf, cassia bark, cardamom pods and clove. As soon as the clove starts to puff up, add the onions and cook, stirring, until starting to caramelise.

Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute, then add the coriander and chilli powder and cook, stirring, for another minute to cook out the spices. Add a splash of water if it starts to stick. Add the salt and sugar, then pour in the water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a slow boil, then cover and simmer until the oil comes to the side of the pan.

Add the cauliflower and stir to coat in the onion mixture. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat slightly, cover and cook for about 5 minutes or until the cauliflower is just cooked. Taste and add more salt or sugar to taste.

Add 1.5 tins of coconut milk and the ground almonds and cook, uncovered, for a few minutes. You want a thick and creamy gravy so only add the rest of the coconut milk if needed. Sprinkle the flaked almonds over to serve.

(Original recipe from Ammu by Asma Khan, Ebury Press, 2022.)

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A Diana Henry recipe inspired by but not quite the same as the Dominican dish. This is perfect for a weeknight despite the long list of ingredients. Most will be in your cupboard and it’s really easy to put together. Lovely bright colours and flavours. This works on it’s own or with some crusty bread or rice.

Wine Suggestion: despite the inclination to go for a richer white, we felt in the mood for a red instead so chose Domaine Gayda’s Cepage Grenache. A brambly, dark red fruited wine with a juicy core and gentle, ripe tannins. We served it slightly cool to great effect and it made a delightful counterpoint to the chipotles (ours were very hot!).

Guisado de Pollo – serves 6

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 800g boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 75g pumpkin, peeled and cut into 2.5cm chunks
  • 400g waxy potatoes, cut into 1cm chunks – you can peel them if you like, we didn’t bother
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely grated
  • 4 tsp ground cumin
  • a small tin of pineapple in natural juice, drained and cut into small chunks
  • 400g tin plum tomatoes
  • 1 tsp soft dark brown sugar
  • 2 tinned chipotles in adobo sauce, finely chopped, or 3 tbsp chipotle paste (reduce if your chipotles are very hot)
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 1 jalapeño chilli, halved lengthways and deseeded
  • 2 tbsp capers, rinsed
  • juice of 1 lime
  • a small bunch of coriander, chopped, to serve

Season the chicken well with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large casserole and fry the chicken in batches until browned on both sides. It doesn’t need to be cooked through at this stage. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Add the chopped pumpkin and potato to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes or until starting to colour. Remove and set aside.

Add the onion and pepper to the pan and cook until soft and golden, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic cand cumin and cook for another 2 minutes.

Stir in the pineapple, tomatoes, sugar, chipotles, thyme, chicken stock. Season and bring slowly to a simmer.

Cut the chicken into thick strips, then add to the casserole along with any juices from the plate. Add the potatoes, pumpkin and the jalapeño. Stir gently then leave to simmer for 25 minutes without a lid. Give it a stir now and again. It’s ready when the vegetables are soft and the sauce thickened.

Add the capers and lime juice and season to taste. Stir in the coriander and serve.

(Original recipe from A Bird in the Hand by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2015.)

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We served this with steak but it would be nice with other vegetable dishes too.

Pomegranate-glazed aubergine – serves 4

  • 2 large aubergines, peeled and cut into 2.5cm rounds
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 scallions, finely sliced on the diagonal
  • a generous handful of salted peanuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/Gas 7.

Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Set the aubergine slices onto the baking tray, then brush both sides with olive oil. Bake in the oven for 22-25 minutes until cooked through but not browned.

Mix the pomegranate molasses and maple syrup together, then use a pastry brush to brush evenly over both sides of the aubergines, then sprinkle with some flaked sea salt. Roast for another 5-6 minutes or until glazed and sticky.

Scatter with the scallion and peanuts before serving.

(Original recipe from Persiana Everyday by Sabrina Ghayour, Asteer, 2022.)

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We’ve made a salad like this before but this one is fresher and makes a great side dish for a crowd. We served it with some spicy baked salmon.

Georgian kidney bean salad – serves 6 to 8

  • 2 x 400g tins kidney beans (we used 300g dried kidney beans, rinse then soak in 3 times the volume of cold water for 5 hours. Drain and put into a saucepan covered by an inch with cold water, then boil hard for 30 minutes, stirring to prevent any sticking)
  • 50g flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 heaped tsp dried mint
  • 2 banana shallots, very thinly sliced into rings
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp pul biber chilli flakes
  • Maldon salt & fresh ground black pepper

If you are using tinned beans, drain them rinse well under a cold tap to get rid of the briny liquid. Shake the beans dry, then tip into a large bowl.

Add the rest of the ingredints to the bowl and fold together gently, you don’t want to crush the beans. Season well with salt and pepper, stir again and leave at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.

Stir well again before serving.

(Original recipe from Persiana Everyday by Sabrina Ghayour, Aster, 2022.)

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The mussels are cooked in a fairly light sauce but packed with flavour. Serve with some crusty bread if you like.

Wine Suggestion: This dish demands a white with good bones, though you need to keep it fresh and savoury as well for the taste of the sea the mussels bring. We chose to good effect Quinta Soalheiro’s Alvarinho Reserva which comes from some of their oldest vineyards in the north of Portugal. Aromatically intense with a complex structure, it nonetheless also maintains a salty freshness from the grape making it a great match for mussels.

Mussels and orzo with coconut & saffron – serves 4

  • 1kg mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 80g orzo pasta
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ a small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped into 1cm pieces
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chilli
  • 1¼ tsp fine salt
  • 150g yellow cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp tomato purée
  • ¾ tsp saffron threads
  • 400g tin coconut milk
  • up to 2 tsp chilli paste, we used paté bomba con peponcini piccanti (optional)
  • 1 lemon

FOR THE HERB OIL:

  • 5g chives, finely chopped
  • 5g coriander, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • a pinch of fine salt

Put the orzo into a medium-sized ball and cover with boiling water. Set aside to soak for 15 minutes, then drain and rinse.

Heat the butter and oil in a large, shallow sauté pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion, pepper, the whole Scotch bonnet and the salt. Cook gently for about 8 minutes, or until soft but not coloured.

Add the tomatoes, tomato purée and saffron and stir-fry for 2 minutes, then stir in the coconut milk and simmer for 3 minutes.

Add the orzo, then spread the mussels out on top. Cover with a lid, turn the heat to the lowest setting and cook for 5 minutes or until the mussels have all opened.

Discard the whole chilli, you can give it a squeeze into the sauce first if you like heat. Taste the sauce and add some chilli paste if you like.

Squeeze plenty of lemon juice over the mussels, then mix all the ingredients for the herb oil together and spoon over the top.

(Original recipe from Mezcla by Ixta Belfrage, Ebury Press, 2022.)

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A delicious autumnal dish for not just sauerkraut lovers, but we think something to convert skeptics too. The sauerkraut provides freshness to the rich cream and cheese, plus it complements the velvety butternut texture.

Butternut squash with sauerkraut and gruyère – serves 3

  • 3 small butternut squash
  • 30g butter
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 2 medium to large onions, finely sliced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • a small bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
  • 250g sauerkraut
  • 150ml double cream
  • 125g Gruyère, grated

Heat the oven to 200C.

Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds and fibres with a spoon. Set the halves in a large roasting tin, then dot over the butter, sprinkle over the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Bake in the hot over for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until soft.

Meanwhile, warm the oil in a large deep pan, over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 20 minutes or until pale gold and soft. Stir the parsley into the onions, then remove from the heat and add the sauerkraut, cream and cheese. Season.

When the squash are ready, divide the cheese and sauerkraut mixture betwen them, then return to the oven for another 20 minutes or until golden and bubbling.

(Original recipe from A Cook’s Book by Nigel Slater, 4th Estate, 2021.)

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This is fun to cook outside over fire but you can of course cook it on the hob too if you’re feeling less adventurous. Weather dependent though … we had a gap in the rain in Ireland and seized the day.

Wine Suggestion: Inspired by Jono’s trip to visit producers in California we opened a Cline Vineyards Pinot Noir from the Petaluma gap in Sonoma. Inexpensive for a Pinot, and yet so well balanced from the cooling fogs pouring in from the pacific, this is food friendly, open and joyful. At no point does this feel too heavy for the food and has the right amount of juicy fruit to complement the barbecue-smokey flavours.

FOR THE SPICE MIX:

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ cinnamon stick, broken up
  • 2 cloves
  • 3 black cardamom pods, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves

FOR THE KEEMA:

  • 3 tbsp veg oil or ghee
  • 500g venison mince
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cm piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 200ml water
  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 3 long green chillies, finely sliced
  • 100g peas
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped mint
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander

FOR THE CORIANDER AND GARLIC YOGHURT

  • 150m natural yoghurt
  • 2 small cloves of garlic, finely grated
  • 1 tsp finely chopped coriander stalks

TO SERVE:

  • nann breads
  • mango chutney or lime pickle (optional)

Put all of the spice mix ingredients into a dry frying pan with the bay leaves and toast over a medium heat for a few minutes until fragrant. Remove from the heat and leave to cool, then crush to a fine powder.

Put a large fire-proof pan over the hot embers of your fire and add the oil or ghee. If you’re cooking inside use a large deep frying pan or shallow casserole. When hot, add the venison mince and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring, until well browned and almost crispy.

Add the onion and cook for another few minutes until softened, then stir in the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant. Stir in 3 tbsp of the spice mix and continue cooking for another minute.

Pour in the water and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.

Meanwhile, mix the ingredients for the yoghurt together in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Add the chopped tomatoes chillies and peas and warm through. Season with salt and pepper and stir through the herbs.

Serve with warm naan breads and Indian chutneys or pickles.

(Original recipe from Outdoor Cooking by Tom Kerridge, Bloomsbury Absolute, 2021.)

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Who doesn’t love squeaky cheese? This baked halloumi is good as a side dish with some roasted chicken thighs, or you could serve as a starter with some flatbreads.

Baked halloumi with lemon, thyme & honey – serves 2-4

  • 250g block halloumi cheese
  • 2 tbsp garlic oil
  • 1 heaped tbsp clear honey
  • finely grated zest of 1 large lemon and juice of half
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp pul biber chilli flakes
  • flatbread, to serve

Heat your oven to 220C (200C fan), Gas 7.

Prepare a piece of tinfoil, large enough to completely encase the halloumi. Line the tinfoil with a square of baking paper and put the halloumi in the middle. Scrunch the paper tighly around the block, leaving only the top exposed.

Mix all of the other ingredients together in a small bowl, then pour over the halloumi.

Scrunch the foil around the halloumi to make a sealed parcel. Put the parcel into a small ovenproof dish and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove form the oven and serve with warm flatbread.

(Original recipe from Persiana Everyday by Sabrina Ghayour, Aster, 2022.)

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So tasty and an absolute doddle to prepare. We served with some crusty bread and baked halloumi. Delicious!

Za’atar, paprika & garlic chicken – serves 3

  • 6 large chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 heaped tbsp za’atar
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic granules
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon and juice of ½

Heat your oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4.

Line a baking tray with paper.

Put the chicken thighs into a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, and add the spices, lemon zest and juice and lots of salt and pepper. Mix with your hands to coat the chicken in the mixture.

Put the chicken onto the lined tray and roast for 1 hour or until well browned and cooked through (you can check at 45 minute if your thighs are small).

(Original recipe from Persian Everyday by Sabrina Ghayour, Aster, 2022.)

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We love dal on a friday night with some naan breads from the takeaway.

Chana dal – serves 4

  • 400g yellow split peas or chana dal
  • 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 fresh red chillies, pricked with a knife in a few places

Rinse the dal in a few changes of cold water, until the water runs clear, then put into a saucepan. Cover with 1.25 litres of cold water and bring to the boil, then simmer for about 40 minutes, or until cooked. The texture should be soft with no bite or chalky texture.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and cumin seeds and cook for gently for about 15 minutes or until caramelized. Add half the garlic and fry for another few minutes, then remove from the heat.

Add the onion mixture to the dal, along with the garam masala, chilli powder and salt. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Wipe out the frying pan, then heat the remaining oil. Add the mustard seeds and fry until they pop, then add the rest of the garlic and the red chillies. As soon as the garlic starts to turn golden, take the pan off the heat and drizzle everything over the dal, garnishing with the chillies. Stir everything together before serving with rice, chapattis or naan and pickles.

(Original recipe from Made in India by Meera Sodha, Fig Tree, 2014.)

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Another recipe for using up leftover cooked lamb. It doesn’t take very long so you could try it mid-week.

Wine Suggestion: This is delicious with a red with a good amount of age, where the gentle, aged spices and characters meld with the food. This isn’t always easily to hand, so Domaine Gayda’s Grenache from the border of the Languedoc and Roussillon was a more than adequate substitute, with the peppery spices from the grape providing a natural warmth and a juicy red fruit.

Leftover lamb pilaf – serves 4-6

  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 350g basmati rice
  • 700ml chicken stock or lamb stock
  • 50g dried barberries (or you could use dried cherries or cranberries)
  • 50g dried figs, quartered
  • 500g leftover cooked lamb, in chunks
  • 75g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley or mint
  • 35g toasted almonds, chopped (or pistachios)
  • seeds from ½ a pomegranate
  • Greek yoghurt to serve (optional)

Heat a splash of oil in a large heavy saucepan and cook the onion until soft and golden. Add the chilli, allspice and garlic and cook for another minute, then add the rice, stirring to coat in the oil. Add the stock and dried fruit and season well with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for 20 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Don’t be tempted to stir it! If the rice isn’t tender after 20 minutes, add a little boiling water, cover again and cook for another 4-5 minutes. If the stock isn’t completely absorbed, turn up the heat to quickly boil it off.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan and quickly fry the lamb until warm and crispy. Season, then fork through the rice with the feta, herbs and nuts. Transfer to a large dish and scatter over the pomegranate seeds. Serve with some yoghurt on the side if you like.

(Original recipe from Food from Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2012.)

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A delicious soup for leftover roast lamb and perfect for chilly weather.

Lamb & pearl barley broth – serves 6-8

  • 25g butter
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely grated
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a sprig of rosemary
  • 200g leftover cooked lamb, sliced or shredded
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 100g pearl barley
  • 1.25 litres of chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley

Put the butter and oil into a large saucepan over a medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add the onions, celery, bay leaf and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper, then turn the heat to low, cover and cook gently for 10 minutes, or until softened.

Add the lamb, chopped parsnip and carrot, the pearl barley and the stock. Turn the heat up and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the barley and vegetables are tender.

Remove and discard the bay and rosemary. Stir in the chopped parsley, season to taste, and serve.

(Original recipe from Soup Broth Bread by Rachel Allen, Michael Joseph, 2021.)

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Fresh corn is in the shops and it’s delicious cooked in the husks over a charcoal barbecue.

BBQ Corn on the Cob with Chilli Butter – serves 4 to 6

  • 2 corn cobs in the husks
  • 40g salted butter
  • ½ tbsp honey
  • ½ tbsp urfa chilli flakes (we didn’t have urfa so used Aleppo pepper but you could also use smoked or regular paprika)

Put the whole corn cobs in their husks over a medium hot barbecue. Rotate them every 3-4 minutes until really charred – about 15 minutes in total.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small frying pan until starts to foam. Remove from the heat, add the honey and urfa chilli and mix well.

Take the corn cobs off the heat and leave aside for 10 minutes, then pull back the burnt husk and return to a high heat for a minute or two the char some of the flesh.

Return the pan with the butter to the heat to foam the butter again, then serve the corn cobs with the butter drizzled over.

(Original recipe from Chasing Smoked: Cooking Over Fire Around the Levant by Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich, Pavilion, 2021.)

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This recipe is from The Spanish Home Kitchen by José Pizarro who cooks from the heart. It takes a little while to cook but is so simple and delicious. It would also be easy to cook when camping if that matters to you. As José says, this is the comfort dish that his mother would cook … need we say more.

Wine Suggestion: Spanish inspired, but off the beaten track is a Garnacha Blanco from Terra Alta (quite possibly one of the best places in the world for Garnacha of both colours alongside Chateauneuf du Pape … although quite different in style). If you can stretch to an old vine expression like this you’re in for a treat. For us tonight an easier, fresher style with Edetària’s “via Terra” which is charming with layers of fresh stone fruit, nuttiness and salinity. It tastes both of the earth, sunshine and fresh cooling breezes.

Hake with slow-cooked onions and tomato salsa – serves 4

  • 100ml olive oil
  • 3 large onions, finelly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 150ml white wine
  • 150ml vegetable stock
  • 4 hake fillets (200-250g each)
  • a handful of basil leaves

FOR THE TOMATO SALSA:

  • 500g ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
  • ½ small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp capers, chopped
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Heat the oil in a deep sauté pan with a lid. Add the onions and season well with salt and black pepper, then cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes. Cover with the lid and cook for half an hour until really soft but not coloured.

Meanwhile, mix all of the salsa ingredients together in a bowl, then season well and set aside to mingle.

Add the wines to the onions and bubble for a minute before adding the stock. Simmer, uncovered for 10-12 minutes then seaon the hake fillets and nestle them into the onions. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with the lid and leave to cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and rest for 2-3 minutes.

Spoon the salasa over the fish and onions, then scatter the basil over before serving.

(Original recipe from The Spanish Home Kitchen by José Pizarro, Hardie Grant Books, 2022.)

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