- 60ml/2fl oz extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp chopped garlic
- Handful basil leaves (preferably Italian), chopped
- Sea salt and ground white pepper, to taste
- 1kg/2¼lb green courgettes, cut lengthways, into quarters, then into 1cm/½in slices
- 750ml/1¼ pint stock
- 60ml/2fl oz single cream
- Handful flatleaf parsley, chopped
- 50g/2oz freshly grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
- Crusty bread
- Green salad
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat.
Cook the garlic, basil, salt and courgette slowly for 10 minutes, or until the courgettes are lightly browned and softened.
Add white pepper to taste, then pour in the stock and simmer for 8 minutes, uncovered. Remove from the heat.
Put three-quarters of the soup mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth.
Return the mixture to the pan and stir in the cream, parsley and parmesan.
To serve, ladle the soup into a bowl and season to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Sprinkle over more parmesan to taste. Serve with crusty bread and a green salad.
2 large eggs
2 tbsp melted butter
75g frozen spinach, partially thawed, or 150g cooked fresh spinach, drained
Pinch of salt
110g plain flour.
Sift flour and salt into mixing bowl.
Break the eggs into a well in the centre.
Start to whisk the eggs, gradually adding the milk (or use a blender).
Add spinach and whisk until incorporated. Just before cooking stir in melted butter. Cook the pancakes in the usual way. Serve scattered with grated cheese or fill with tuna in white sauce.
1 bunch of spring greens, tough stalks removed and leaves shredded.
100ml olive oil
Juice of 1 or 2 lemons, to taste
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped dill
1 garlic clove, crushed.
Mix all the dressing ingredients together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the juice of 1 lemon to start with, taste and add more as you prefer.
Cook the greens in a pan of boiling water for about 3 mins, until just tender. Drain and toss them in just enough of the dressing to coat, and then serve straight away.
If there is any dressing left over, it can be stored for a while in a screw-topped jar in the fridge.
200g curly kale, shredded, washed and dried
1tbsp. sesame seeds – optional
Demerara sugar – optional
Heat oven to 200 degrees.
In large bowl, mix kale, oil, salt and sesame seeds, so the kale is coated.
Spread out on baking tray, sprinkle with a little demerara sugar, and roast for 15–20 mins, turning halfway through. The kale should be partly crispy, partly soft.
4 large tomatoes
85g cooked peas
85g cooked sweetcorn
Halve the tomatoes, scoop out the pulp and mix in a bowl with the peas, sweetcorn and a little salt and pepper. Pile this mixture back into the tomato cases. These can be served at room temperature or cooked for a short while in a moderate oven.
Use up any mincemeat you have over from Christmas for this tasty cake.
3 tbsp. golden caster sugar
1 tsp. mixed spice
250g softened butter
250g golden caster sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 large eggs
200g self raising flour
100g ground almonds
7 tbsp. plain flour
6 tbsp. mincemeat
Peel and core the pears. Cut into thumb-size pieces.
Put the pears, 2 tbsp. of caster sugar and 2 tbsp. of water in a saucepan and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes to tenderise.
Add the spice and leave to cool.
Heat the oven to 160C(140C fan)/Gas 3.
Grease and line the base and sides of a round, deep 20cm cake tin.
Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla and a little salt together.
Beat in the eggs and self raising flour. Then fold in the ground almonds.
Remove 85g of the batter into a small bowl and mix in the plain flour to make a crumbly looking mix.
Spoon half the cake batter into the cake tin. Top with half the pears and dot over half the mincemeat. Add the remaining batter, top with the rest of the pears and mincemeat and then the crumble mix. Sprinkle over the last tablespoon of sugar.
Bake for 1½ hours. Cover with foil after one hour.
Cool in the tin for ten minutes then cool on a rack.
We enjoyed this one at the 2015 Harvest Festival.
50 g cocoa powder
180g plain flour
1.25 teaspoons baking powder
250g castor sugar
300g fresh cooked beetroot (cook whole with skin on and then remove skin)
200 ml corn oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Prepare a 7” cake tin – line the bottom with greaseproof paper and tie 2 layers of newspaper round the outside.
Sift cocoa, flour and baking powder together. Stir in the sugar and leave on one side.
Puree or liquidise the beetroot, put in a clean bowl and then stir in the eggs, corn oil and vanilla.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and stir in the beetroot mixture. Mix gently and then pour into the tin.
Bake at Gas Mark 4 / 160 degrees C for approx 40 minutes.
It will be done when a skewer comes out clean and surface is cracked. Dust with icing sugar. If you like, split it open and fill with a chocolate icing.
Chocolate icing – mix together 100 g icing sugar, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 30 g margarine and 1.5 tablespoons of hot milk. Beat well until smooth. Use to ice a cake or fill the middle.