Serve this lovely veg stew on it’s own for a meat-free main or as a side to roasted chicken, pork or beef.

6 tbs. olive oil
2 medium onions, halved and sliced
2 bell peppers, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 eggplant, cut into large chunks
5 smallish or 3 large zucchini, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 x 14oz. tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp. ground coriander
salt and freshly ground pepper
2-3 tbs. chopped fresh basil or parsley

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan. Tip in the onions and cook gently until softened, but not browned. Add the peppers, eggplant and zucchini. Cover and cook for 40 minutes on low, stirring now and then. Add the garlic, tomatoes, coriander and seasoning. Continue to cook, uncovered for 30 minutes more, or until the veggies are tender, but not mushy. Stir in the basil or parsley to serve.

Sunday Night Chicken Soup

Any night chicken soup!

4 tbs. sake or sherry
3 tbs. mirin or dry white wine
1 tbs. soy sauce
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 tsp. dried chili flakes
2 boned, skinned chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
2 nests of Asian egg noodles
1 bunch Asian vegetables (such as box choy) or 1 bag frozen Asian vegetable mix
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
3 cups chicken stock

Mix together the sake, mirin, soy sauce, garlic and chili flakes. Toss in the chicken and leave to marinate 1 hour, if you have time.

Heat a pot of water and cook the noodles according to the package directions adding the veg a few minutes before the end. Drain and set aside

Heat the oils in a small skillet and cook the chicken. Tip in the marinade and bubble until glossy.

Heat the stock. Arrange the chicken, noodles and veg in bowls, then ladle over the hot stock.

Serves 2

Coconut and Chili Salmon Kebabs

This is fresh and simple. Marinate the salmon the night before for an effortless supper.

2 small Thai green chilis, roughly chopped
6 scallions, roughly chopped
bunch fresh cilantro, leaves roughly chopped
1 tbs. Thai fish sauce
juice of 2 limes
1 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
pinch salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 lbs. salmon fillets, cut into large chunks

Put everything except the salmon in a food processor and blitz into a sauce. Transfer to a bowl and toss in the salmon. Cover and chill overnight or at least an hour.

Heat the grill. Thread the salmon chunks onto skewers (presoaked if using bamboo).

Grill for about 5 minutes per side, depending on how hot your grill is and how you like your salmon cooked. Slide off the skewers to serve.

Serves 10

Lemon Curd

Winter is the time that Meyers lemons are ripe and they make a spectacular curd!

2 lemons, zested and juiced
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup caster sugar
8 tbs. butter

Beat together the eggs, egg yolks and sugar in a jug. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over a low heat. Gradually pour in the egg mixture and add the lemon juice and zest. Stir constantly until the curd thickens.

Minnestrone in Minutes

Super simple, super fast and super good.

1 x 14oz. can cannellini beans, drained
3 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup tomato-based pasta sauce
4 oz. ditalini or other soup pasta
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

Tip the beans into a saucepan with the stock and pasta sauce. Bring the pan to a boil and stir in the pasta, then cook according to the package directions. Stir in the Italian seasoning.

Once the pasta is tender, switch off the heat, remove the pan to a cool surface and leave to stand for 5-10 minutes. The pasta will swell and the flavors will improve.

Serves 2


Chicken Fricassee with Marsala, Chestnuts and Thyme

Lovely, homey and warming – this is pure comfort food.

3/4 cup Marsala
1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. sea salt flakes
good grinding of nutmeg
good grinding of pepper
4 boned and skinned chicken thighs, cut into pieces
1 tbs. butter
1 tsp. olive oil
1 leek, trimmed and sliced
2 tsp. thyme leaves
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup vacuum-packed chestnuts, crumbled
basmati rice, to serve

Heat the Marsala and porcini in a small saucepan. As soon as it comes to a bubble, switch off the heat and leave for at least 10 minutes. Drain through a sieve into a jug. Chop the mushrooms and set aside. Save the Marsala.

Tip the flour, salt, nutmeg and pepper into a freezer bag and add the chicken pieces. Shake to coat the chicken. Heat the butter and oil in a heavy saucepan and add the leeks. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft. Add the chicken with any flour from the bag and the choppedvmushrooms to the pan along with the thyme leaves and cook over a medium heat until the flour is no longer visible

Pour in the Marsala and at the stock followed by the chestnuts and bubble on low for about 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the sauce is thickened. Serve over the rice and sprinkle with thyme leaves.

Serves 4

Linguini with Clams

Classic for a reason, this never fails to disappoint.

1/2 lb. linguini
1 garlic clove
2 tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. dried chili flakes
1/3 cup dry white wine or vermouth
1 large can whole or chopped clams, drained
1-2 tbs. chopped fresh parsley, to serve
grated Parmesan cheese, to serve

Cook the linguini according to the package directions. Keep out a cup of water, then drain.

Meanwhile, in a skillet that will fit the pasta later, cook the garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes, then stir in the chili flakes, the wine or vermouth and the clams. Bubble to heat the clams, then tip in the cooked pasta. Add enough pasta water to make a sauce. Sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan cheese to serve.

Serves 2

Beef Pizzaiola

All the wonderful flavors of Italy spooned gloriously atop a perfectly cooked steak.

1 large or 2 small rib-eye steaks
1 tbs. garlic flavored olive oil
4 anchovy fillets
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. chili flakes
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup pitted black olives
2 tbs. drained capers
2 tbs. dry red vermouth
1 tbs. chopped fresh parsley

Bring the steaks out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking and season well. Heat the oil in a skillet and cook the steaks to your liking. Remove to a plate and tent with foil to rest.

Add the anchovies to the oil in the skillet and smouch them with a wooden spoon to dissolve them. Tip in the oregano, chili flakes, tomatoes, olives, capers and vermouth. Bubble to soften the tomatoes. Pour over the beef and scatter with the parsley to serve.

Serves 2

Yorkshire Pudding

Yorkies are the ultimate side dish for any roast. Oat milk works well to make them dairy free.

1 1/3 cup 2% milk
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
beef dripping or vegetable oil

Whisk together the milk, eggs and salt. Let stand for 15 minutes, then whisk in the flour.

Heat the oven to 425°F and place 1/4 tsp. dripping or oil in the bottom of 12 muffin tins. Heat in the oven for 10 minutes. Divide the batter between the hot muffin tin and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until puffed and golden.

Swedish Salmon

This is really all about the sauce, which would be equally wonderful with chicken or duck.

4 salmon fillets
1 bunch fresh dill sprigs
4 scallions
1 tbs. kosher salt
1 tbs. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. peppercorns
1 1/2 tbs. Dijon mustard
1 tbs. soft brown sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tbs. white wine vinegar

Lay the salmon in a small roasting tin. Add half of the dill, the scallions, salt, granulated sugar and peppers corns. Cover with water and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a gentle simmer, cover the tin with foil and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave for 20 minutes, by which time the salmon will be perfectly cooked and succulent. (Alternatively, bake the salmon for 15 minutes in the oven at 400°F.)

Stir together the mustard, brown sugar, sour cream and vinegar. Chop the remaining dill. Serve the salmon drizzled with the sauce and topped with the chopped dill.

Serves 4