All posts filed under: Recipes

Elderflower Season | Two Ways

For a short while, they are everywhere: stems waltzing in the June breeze, tiny stellate blooms underfoot, spinning constellations scattered over the dining table and the kitchen sink, threaded through strands of my hair, and bubbling on the stove.  In this, my first elderflower season, I’ve been following a few self-imposed rules. First… Pick blooms away from busy roads or polluted areas. A scout of my local park revealed a bevy of blossoms which, while still in Zone 2 of our particulate-punctuated capital, are surely better than a bush I spotted off the Uxbridge Road. Secondly… Pick a few flower heads (called, somewhat wonderfully, umbels) from each shrub and no more. This will allow other fellow foragers to have their cordial and drink it, as well as ensuring some of the blooms remain to turn into elderberries come autumn. Last but not least… Use them, quick! Only pick as many as you’ll need or be able to use (which I am the first to admit is easier said than done, when they just smell so …

Recipe | Green Goddess Pasta

Green Goddess Pasta, we call it, after a dish I’ve twice gobbled up at the gorgeous P.S. Café in Singapore, a plant-filled, art deco-inspired restaurant nestled down a side street away from the hustle of busy Club Street in Chinatown. It’s one of my parents’ favourite hideaways for a bite in town, so both times I’ve visited them, we’ve escaped from the heat for a leisurely weekend lunch. On both occasions I was tempted by the Green Goddess Pasta, as it’s titled – simple, fresh, spring food (or as close as you can get in the eternal swelter of the tropics). On the equator, they serve their rendering with spears of tender asparagus, crisp, crunchy florets of broccoli and succulent mangetout topped with altruistically-minded shavings of Parmesan. It’s one of those dishes with endless variations, thankfully, so today – when I woke up craving the vibrant, green flavours and irresistible crunch – I fashioned my own seasonal homage. Freshly home from the office, I flung in all the green veg lingering in my fridge’s crisper and whizzed …

Cold-Busting Smoothie (Here’s Hoping)

As I write this it is Sunday morning, the sky grey as steel, and I’m five days into an objectionable and wholeheartedly malevolent cold complete with hacking cough (sorry neighbours!) and throbbing head. Thankfully this morning, the house to myself, my burning sinuses had subsided and I felt well enough to blend up a homemade smoothie in the hopes of curing myself in time for a family dinner party this evening (please, Mother Nature, just this one request?) I’ve been rather grumpy about my infirmity so far, given that it has forced me to forego birthday plans with the boy, firework-gazing on Primrose Hill (there’s always next year, I guess!), a festive trip to the theatre and a weekend trip to Wiltshire. Woe is me. Still, if there’s one thing that’ll cheer anyone cold-ridden and runny-nosed up, it’s this smoothie. It’s low in dairy (and can be dairy-free if you omit the yoghurt) and high in fruit/veg/iron/all the good things that’ll keep winter illnesses at bay (I hope) and that taste truly scrumptious when whizzed up together …

Let’s-Pretend-It’s-Still-Summer Quiche

It’s still summer here, at least where our palates are concerned. (Aside: it’s definitely autumn, the sky is already blue as the midnight sea as I hurry home from work and the temperature’s dropped to single figures.) We baked this quiche together last week after I carted the shortcrust along two tube lines and down the road in the rain. It’s a pie full of cream and greens and cheese, perfectly summery and hardly as heavy as it sounds. If you’re counting your calories, feel free to substitute the cream for something a little less decadent or omit it altogether. (Though between you mean, pastry plus cream is the best over-the-counter equation for curing the first hint of winter blues – particularly in the form of a summery quiche.) We ate our slices warm, on plates balanced on our knees in front of the Great British Bake-Off Final and it did not disappoint (both the quiche and the bake-off’s last hurrah.) The only thing better than watching people making pastry is eating it yourself, right? To quiches …

Winter Warmer | Lentil + Coconut Soup

Do you like lentils? Do you like soup? Do you like wholesome wintry dishes that feel like the gastronomic equivalent of a snuggle on the sofa before a bellowing fire? You do? You do? Then you’ll love this soup! A soup so thick and luscious it might more aptly be termed a stew.  This is the soup I dream about on winter walks through London, when I can’t feel my toes and my nose feels like it might drop off at any moment. This is the soup I dream about on dawdling tube rides and when I’m at a loose end at work; it’s my fail-safe, win-win, absolutely delicious, utmost favourite winter warmer. It’s the soup I dream of coming home to. You dream about soups too, right? Well, anyway…this soup is dreamy. It’s also gluten-free, vegan (without the natural yoghurt), packed with protein and iron (extra important for us veggies) and extremely filling. In short, it can do no wrong. Go forth and make soup! xo You’ll need: 1 tbsp olive oil 1 large onion, diced 2 cloves garlic, crushed or diced …