recipes

  • This is leftover heaven from a weekend of cooking and just what is needed in this cold weather. Finish it off with whatever cheese you have sitting in the fridge, I was greedy and did the double with mozzarella and parmesan.

  • I first saw this recipe on Jamie Oliver’s website and thought it looked delicious, and it is! Make sure you pack flavour into your leeks and butterbeans with the white wine, thyme and seasoning. It is then a perfect accompaniment for the rare beef. Roasting some little tomatoes to serve on top adds a good splash of colour and the sweet acidity...

  • This sounds a bit odd, but it really works. I first had it in a pub as a starter and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is fresh and light, and makes a change from tomato bruschetta. As well as being a great starter, it would make a lovely canapé if you used small pieces of bread, perhaps one to serve up at your Christmas drinks party.

  • It took me a few attempts to master macarons. The secret is to use an electric whisk to make the egg whites as stiff as possible. Also allow the macaron batter to sit for a while on the baking tray so that the top forms a soft shell. The rich ganache filling is the perfect way to sandwich together the macarons. You'll certainly be happy once...

  • We discovered these little pork dumplings, also called pot-stickers, on our recent trip to Japan where they quickly became our favourite starter or drink snack. They are very popular in Japan and available in street stalls as well as restaurants. They aren’t difficult to make, just a bit fiddly and time-consuming, but definitely worth it.

  • I’m a big fan of pulses at the moment, the only thing that is essential is that they are packed full of flavour. Accompanying meat or fish with spicy lentils, or this quick and easy cassoulet adds a different texture and instant moisture to a dish. For the best of both worlds, make some crispy roast potatoes as well to soak up some of the...

  • This was inspired by something similar that was on Masterchef the Professionals. On the programme, the two ways were seared and carpaccio. I’ve decided to go with seared and a spicy tartare because the textures and flavours work really well together. The piquant tartare and the meaty seared tuna make for a very satisfying mouthful.

  • This is another great dish for this time of year, with scallops and butternut squash both being in season in the UK. This can be made into quite a fancy looking dinner party dish if you go all out with the scallops, roasted butternut squash and crispy sage leaves, as per the recipes below. If you’re feeling more in the mood for something homely...

  • Both beetroot and rocket are grown in England at this time of year, so this is a perfectly seasonal salad. It is great as a simple starter, or alternatively, make a large serving and have it as an accompaniment with grilled meat (we’re a bit past the BBQ season, but it'll be great next summer too!).

  • A delicious twist on a classic roast. The ginger, paprika and sesame seeds in this pork recipe really come through, and the slow cooking means that the meat remains deliciously moist. The original recipe is from Stephane Reynaud’s Rôtis cookbook and was dished up by a friend on a lovely weekend in the country. I’ve recalled the ingredients from...

  • Ratatouille is such an easy and versatile vegetarian dish. Always make up a big batch, then freeze it in portion sizes, it tastes just as good when it’s been defrosted. Ratatouille is usually a side dish, but this recipe has it as the star. Serve this with some crusty bread if you need a bit of extra ballast.

  • These homemade fishcakes taste completely different to the shop bought version. They are soft and flavoursome, and the best part is that you can create any combination you fancy. This salmon recipe is pretty classic, but it can be adapted into something a little bit different if, for example, you replace the salmon with smoked mackerel or...

  • These mini cakes look sweet and taste delicious. Baking individual cakes rather than one large one can sometimes result in a slightly dryer sponge, but with a lemon drizzle cake you can add extra moisture with the lemony sugar mixture.

  • Serving raw fish is pretty scary, but overcome the fear as raw fish dishes such as this tartare or perhaps a carpaccio or ceviche are delicious. It is essential that you get really good quality, super-fresh fish. You can tell if it will be ok to eat raw if it smells of the sea, not fishy. Also check that the flesh is bright and almost...

  • I first experienced this variation on a classic in a restaurant. At the time I was actually slightly disappointed. I thought the smooth and silky texture was wonderful but the flavour was too subtle, especially when compared to the hummus we are so used to. So I experimented, and found that copious amounts of roasted garlic and a drop of sesame...

  • This recipe has been taste tested and road tested to the extreme, as you can read about in cheesecake challenge. Therefore, I feel that I can share it with some confidence. It is light and fresh, and so much more sophisticated in flavour and texture than unbaked cheesecakes. It also freezes really well so, if you felt so inclined, you could...

  • A curry with a light summery twist, the tomato salsa and minty yoghurt really lift this dish. Don’t be put off by the amount of ingredients, there is a bit of prep work to do but it’s not too labour intensive.

  • There's something particularly satisfying about starting with broad beans in their pods and, through a little TLC, ending up with the vibrantly green, tender innards that are so delicious at this time of year. Sea bass is also in its prime at the moment, so this recipe is a match made in a summery heaven.

  • Cooking and serving scallops in their shells is not only an easy, no-fuss option, but it also looks great on the plate. You can get hold of scallop shells very easily, just ask at your supermarket's fish counter. This recipe includes some strong flavours, but (and I was surprised) the scallop still shines through. Steaming scallops gives a...

  • If you buy a good piece of fillet steak, without too much marbling, one of the best ways to eat it is lightly seared and thinly sliced. The beef is marinated beforehand to add a depth of flavour and to allow it to stand up to the sharp sweetness of the tomatoes and peppery rocket. This salad combines many bold ingredients to produce an elegant...