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Food, Home & Garden

Spinach and smoked trout roulade

Spinach and smoked trout roulade

Flakes of smoked trout, cream cheese and fresh dill combine to make a well–flavoured filling for this light spinach roll. It is much simpler to make than it looks – just make sure that the spinach is squeezed really dry before adding to the sauce base.

Marbled winter fruit fool

Marbled winter fruit fool

Dried prunes and peaches have an intense, concentrated flavour and sweetness and, with the addition of a dash of peach schnapps or brandy, they make a really special fruit fool. This is an attractive dessert for the winter months.

Cauliflower cheese soup

Cauliflower cheese soup

A classic combination as a vegetable dish, cauliflower and cheddar are equally good partners in a soup. Here the cauliflower is gently simmered in milk and stock, then puréed to a velvety, smooth texture. This is a warming soup that makes a simple lunch or supper dish, served with crusty rolls

Monmouth pudding

Monmouth pudding

Here a classic pudding, popular in Victorian times, is given a new look with fresh raspberries rather than the traditional jam. The texture of the pudding is beautifully light due to the addition of fresh breadcrumbs and whisked eggwhites.

Chakchouka

Chakchouka

This dish is popular all over the Mediterranean region and there are many different variations. Basically it is a tomato–based vegetable stew, like a ratatouille, with eggs poached right in the mixture. Serve it for a fast and sustaining lunch.

Mozzarella in carrozza

Mozzarella in carrozza

This classic Italian sandwich, which literally means ‘mozzarella in a carriage’, makes a tasty and very quick vegetarian meal. Chopped sun–dried tomatoes and fresh basil leaves enhance the flavour of the cheese, which melts on cooking to a wonderful oozing texture.

Cheese and root vegetable gratin

Cheese and root vegetable gratin

This country–style gratin tops nutty–flavoured root vegetables with a crisp mixture of wholemeal bread cubes and cheese. It makes a really satisfying main dish on a chilly day. Serve in the baking dish, straight from the oven, with a leafy green vegetable or mixed salad alongside.

Mozzarella with capsicum on crostini

Mozzarella with capsicum on crostini

Here is a colourful, Mediterranean–style dish that is very easy to make. The vegetables can be prepared in advance, and left to soak up the flavours in the dressing, then mixed with the mozzarella and piled onto freshly toasted, garlicky ciabatta bread. A perfect summer lunch.

Chickpea and vegetable eggah

Chickpea and vegetable eggah

Popular throughout the Middle East, this thick and chunky Arab omelette is served flat, not rolled or folded, and is more like a cake. It is packed with vegetables and chickpeas, and is equally delicious hot or cold – ideal for a picnic.

Pannacotta

Pannacotta

The traditional recipe for this ‘cooked cream’, from the Piedmont region of Italy, is made with rich thick cream. This lighter version, served with a pretty rhubarb and strawberry compote, is delightfully smooth and creamy yet much lower in fat. Prepare it the day before serving, if possible.

Creamy curried eggs

Creamy curried eggs

A coconut curry sauce goes beautifully with eggs, and an aromatic vegetable pilaf is perfect alongside. Finish with some vitamin C–rich fruit, such as sliced mangoes, to ensure maximum absorption of iron from the eggs.

Fetta and couscous salad

Fetta and couscous salad

Apart from being an excellent source of starchy carbohydrate, couscous is a great background for other ingredients. In this lunch salad, both raw and lightly steamed vegetables are added to the couscous together with toasted almonds, fresh mint and creamy fetta.

Fish in egg and lemon sauce

Fish in egg and lemon sauce

Steaming fish atop vegetables and then using the cooking liquid to make a sauce is a good way to retain water–soluble vitamins. Here a piece of fish is cooked with baby carrots and zucchini, and the stock is then used to make the classic Greek egg and lemon sauce called avgolemono.

Fruity Bircher muesli

Fruity Bircher muesli

The original recipe for this nutritious breakfast cereal was developed over a century ago, by Dr Bircher–Benner at his clinic in Zurich. The technique of soaking the cereal, here using milk, makes it easier to digest, and also easier to eat.

Garlicky fresh cheese

Garlicky fresh cheese

This tangy, soft–textured yogurt cheese, flavoured with herbs and garlic, makes a healthy starter or snack, and is a great addition to a picnic basket, too. The garlic is blanched for a sweeter flavour. Serve with fresh vegetables for dipping, plus wholemeal bread, to be spread with the cheese.

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