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Enjoy! • Pesto roast chicken & all the good stuff • Spring picnic joy (inside or out) • Gill Meller’s 20-minute recipe

RIGHT ROYAL CAKES Create a showstopper whatever your ability MIDWEEK MIRACLES Just 5 ingredients



Roast chicken with basil, mint and pistachio pesto


Welcome to


One of the joys of working on delicious. is

having the chance to learn new things about food every single day, to taste new flavours and push the boundaries of our culinary experience beyond the comfort zone it’s so easy for us all to settle down into. Our job is to make diferent recipes accessible and appealing, to demystify unusual ingredients and explain where to buy them, and I hope we manage to inspire you to try new dishes and widen the scope of your own cooking. New flavours are the hallmark of Ravinder Bhogal’s recipe writing, and it’s been an honour to welcome her as the delicious. writer in residence for two months. Her feature on p54 gives a moving insight into what it was like growing up in this country, having been born thousands of miles away. The spice-laced lunches she took to school might have been alien to her classmates, but I wouldn’t mind betting Ravinder’s tasted way better than their plastic sarnies and crisps. The recipes inspired by her experiences are outstanding, and if you try just one it has to be the prawn toast scotch eggs. SO good. Tempting as those mouthwatering dishes are, we never forget how much of a challenge everyday busyness can be – and therefore how important it is to have the simplest, quick-to-make ideas ready for you to rustle up on a weeknight. This month our midweek recipes are more do-able than ever, each with only five ingredients. I do believe it’s time to hot-foot it to the shops – and on that note I wish you a month of wonderful spring-time cooking… Do write and tell me what you’ve loved best.


Follow Karen on Twitter @deliciouseditor

and on Instagram @editorkarenb

PS DON’T MISS OUT! Turn to p78 for our special offer. Subscribe to delicious. magazine and receive two porcelain jugs worth £28


1 Fancy…

…eating a meal at a table suspended 30 metres above the ground? As long as you don’t suffer from vertigo, the London in the Sky pop-ups on the South Bank are the experience of a lifetime. On from 5-15 July, £50 for breakfast, £60 for brunch, £125 for lunch, £75 for high tea and from £150 for dinner. We have two tickets to give away for one of the lunches cooked by Robin Gill, the outstanding chef behind Sorella and The Dairy restaurants in south London. And in case you’re wondering, yes, you are strapped in – but don’t wear flipflops. Visit skylunch to enter. For more information, visit

2 Plan...

…a proper treat. I’ve long been a fan of Nathan Outlaw’s cooking, and if you’re not near his restaurants in the southwest b live near London, his outpost at The Capital i Knightsbridge is one to check out. Nathan and head chef Andrew Sawyer are holding a series of special dinners this summer. The launch on 21 May will see Nathan serving the f finest seasonal Cornish seafood in the sharing ring style of his Fish Kitchen restaurant in Port Isaac. See d dining/specialevents for information and to book

Five quick things to make with… Soft herbs The super-quick snack Houmous and herbs on toast SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 15 MIN

Whizz a 400g tin of chickpeas, drained, 50g tahini paste, the juice of 1 lemon, 1 garlic clove and 50ml olive oil in a food processor until smooth. Add 50ml cold water and whizz again. Season with salt. Whisk 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp sumac, 1 tsp pomegranate molasses and the juice of ½ lemon, then toss with the leaves of ½ large pack each of fresh parsley, mint and dill, 75g sliced radishes and 100g deseeded, diced cucumber. Top 4 sourdough toast slices with the houmous, salad and more pomegranate molasses and sumac.


Peas with chervil and chives

Fry 2 sliced shallots in butter until soft. Add 500g defrosted frozen peas, 100ml single cream and a splash of water. Simmer for a few minutes, then add a handful of chopped fresh chervil and a few chopped chives. Season and serve with roasted meats, if you like.


Go-to green sauce


Tarragon carrots


Coriander chilli butter

In a pestle and mortar pound 50g shelled unsalted pistachios, 1 garlic clove, 1 tbsp drained capers, 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tsp dijon mustard into a paste. Stir in a handful each of chopped fresh parsley and basil, then trickle in 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil. Season and add more lemon if needed.

Put 200g baby carrots in a deep frying pan and add cold water just to cover. Add 1 tbsp honey, 25g unsalted butter and salt and pepper, then simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes until tender, with about 1 tbsp water left. Stir in 50g crème fraîche and 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon, then serve.

Whip 125g soft butter until fluffy, then mix in a handful of chopped fresh coriander, 1 chopped red chilli, the zest of 1 lime and 1 tsp grated ginger. Serve with grilled fish or veg.

delicious moments.

3 Fuel...


…literary leanings with a visit to Hay-on-Wye in Powys, Wales. The tiny town is famous for two things: its mind-boggling number of bookshops and the literary festival that descends in glory in early summer. The remarkable roll-call of speakers for 2018 includes Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan, Bill Bryson, Jacqueline Wilson and Philip Pullman. As well as the debates, events and lectures, there’s music – and food luminaries Russell Norman and Ruth Rogers… Go! 4 May to 3 June; visit for more information and tickets

4 Expand...

…your cheese knowledge with the London Cheese Project, which aims to turn the capital into ‘the city of cheese’. The festival is on at the Geffrye Museum in East London from 26-28 May and will showcase British cheese experts and artisan makers. And yes, there will be grilled cheese sandwiches. Visit Nowhere near London, but still feeling the need for cheese? The Artisan Cheese Fair in Melton Mowbray runs from 5–6 May, showcasing more than 70 producers (

5 Reacquaint...

…yourself with the great outdoors. We spend so much time looking at screens that the pleasures of escaping outside to breathe fresh air and flex muscles are never more welcome. The Wild Book by David Scarfe (Trapeze £16.99) encourages a raft of – sometimes eccentric – activities, from building a campfire and cooking over it to yodelling. The book opens with “At the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling.” Amen to that (say we, sat at computers, hair neat). 5




34 MAY 2018

ON THE COVER ROAST CHICKEN WITH BASIL, MINT & PISTACHIO PESTO, p22 Recipe & food styling Jen Bedloe Photograph Gareth Morgans Styling Davina Perkins

SPECIAL TESCO EDITION RHUBARB, LIME & GINGER CUSTARD TART, p66 Recipe & food styling Lottie Covell Photograph Mike English Styling Victoria Eldridge

CONTENTS YOUR RECIPE INSPIR ATION 21 ALWAYS A WINNER: PESTO Three fresh ideas that prove it’s not just for pasta

24 ROAST OF THE MONTH Saddle of lamb might

66 IF YOU MAKE ONE PUDDING THIS MONTH… It’s the lime and ginger that make this rhubarb & custart tart so insanely good

70 SENSATIONAL CELEBRATION CAKES A trio of showstoppers – one for each skill level

just become your new favourite cut

28 RECIPE HALL OF FAME Classic eggs benedict, plus a smoky variation

34 THE BANK HOLIDAY FEAST Come rain or shine, picnic pleasure awaits


BE A BE T TER COOK 104 IN THE delicious. KITCHEN Tips, tricks and know-how from our experts

109 CHEF’S STEP BY STEP Two words: Nutella doughnuts. Enough said…

recipes for these spears of spring joy

45 GILL MELLER The River Cottage chef goes crazy for a crunchy crayfish salad

54 THE RESIDENCY: RAVINDER BHOGAL The talented chef celebrates the diversity of the UK’s culinary landscape

62 TASTES LIKE HOME Chef Hus Vedat rolls back the years with his granny’s börek

64 CHEF’S SECRET RECIPE Add this to your list of the best things ever on toast

RE AD ALL ABOUT IT 8 FOR STARTERS Events, trends and news 10 WISH LIST The best things for food lovers on the shelves right now

12 INBOX What’s on your mind this month? 14 FOOD HERO Spread the word: Ampersand cultured butter is really rather good

19 A SLICE OF MY LIFE What makes restaurateur Oliver Peyton tick?




recipe is rigorously tested by our food team, using state-of-the-art Fisher & Paykel ovens and hobs, so you can be confident they work every time.

INGREDIENTS We aim to use easy-to-find seasonal ingredients. We’ll tell you where to find any unusual ingredients and/or what to substitute them with.


We use higher-welfare meat for testing, supplied by The Ginger Pig (


✪ This symbol next to an ingredient means there are more ideas for using it on our Loose Ends page.


27 WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT... Kay PlunkettHogge referees the food writers World Cup

32 THE TRUTH ABOUT SEASONAL EATING Are foodies guilty of hypocrisy on this one?

48 BEHIND THE SCENES AT GOODWOOD How the famous estate grows and cooks great food

68 THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE WEDDING CAKE Will Harry and Meghan carry on the royal tradition of cakey innovation on the big day?

80 DRINKS Top picks, plus pink English fizz 112 TEST REPORT On trial: a cookery school in Nice, mint sauce, new cookbooks and more

116 HUNGRY TRAVELLER How to eat well in LA without a Hollywood-style budget

122 BITE-SIZE BREAK Tallinn, a new foodie hotspot 130 RANT Back off, back-seat cooks!

20 PAGES with no fads or false health claims, just nutritious recipes and informed know-how 82 ONLY 5 INGREDIENTS Short-order recipes that are big on flavour for midweek satisfaction

86 QUICK MEAL FOR ONE Japanese-style soup 88 THE 5:2 RECIPE Chicken and veg traybake 89 FRIDAY NIGHT SUPPER Steak sarnie and chips 90 TAKE A TIN OF... chopped tomatoes – then use it to make these fab four weekday recipes

OTHER GOOD THINGS 78 SUBSCRIPTION OFFER Save up to 38% on the cover price and get 2 porcelain jugs FREE!

102 LOOSE ENDS Use up this month’s leftovers 108 JUST FOR YOU Win a gourmet Cornish break and a nine-course private-chef dinner

121 FESTIVAL FEVER Meet delicious. on tour 128 FOOD LOVER’S CROSSWORD

92 THE BATCH-COOK RECIPE Classic chicken stew is transformed into a tagine from the souk

94 THE SANE VIEW Lectins – the new health scare you’ve probably not yet heard of

96 V IS FOR VEGETARIAN Áine Carlin serves up vegan goodness without a fuss

101 HEALTHY MAKEOVER Lighter salmon fishcakes

Unlike many magazines, our timings include prep such as chopping. Hands-on time is when you’re chopping, stirring or frying. Oven/simmering time is when you can leave the dish in the oven or on the hob. Indicates a vegetarian recipe. Indicates a vegan recipe. Indicates a gluten-free recipe. Whenever you see

KNOW- this symbol, you’ll HOW

find useful extra information about the recipe.

This symbol means you’ll find an option to make part or all of the recipe in advance. MAKE AHEAD

Indicates you can freeze all or most of the recipe. Unless stated, freeze the finished dish for up to 3 months. Defrost and heat until piping hot.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION Recipes are analysed for nutritional content by an expert nutritionist. They’re calculated with precision but may vary, depending on the ingredients used. Calculations include only listed ingredients.

PRICES are correct at time of going to press. 7





Dust off your best crockery and host a dinner party with a difference this month in aid of charity Plan International UK. They’d like the cookeryinclined (that’s you) to make the most of their skills and put on a spread to raise money for disadvantaged children around the world. Plan International UK works in particular with girls and young women, helping to challenge gender discrimination, end violence and fight poverty. They’ll provide you with a kit including invites, place names and games to play at the table and get things started – and we can supply the recipe inspiration. Put an empty jar on the table and ask your guests to give what they can. Sign up to host a Do Good Dinner and receive your fundraising kit at Find a collection of easy one-hour dinner party menus at

1494 Christopher

Columbus landed at Jamaica on 4 May and came in contact with the Arawak Indians, noting how they seasoned meat with allspice before smoking it – providing the foundations of jerk rub.

1930 American-born nurse (and qualified pilot) Ellen Church became, on 15 May, the world’s first air stewardess on a flight from San Francisco to Wyoming. She served the 11 passengers chicken, rolls and a fruit salad.



CAR RO 15 % T S

Do YOU buy British? K 16


P O TAT O ES 2 1%





CHIC K 23 % EN

When doing the weekly shop, a healthy majority of shoppers with families seek out home-grown food to support Britain’s economy. Sixty-five per cent say they always try to buy home-produced food where possible, and 75 per cent say they check the provenance of food before putting it in the trolley. When asked which food they would ONLY buy if it were British, here’s what people said… (see left).

ARE YOU LISTENING TO OUR PODCASTS? This month on the delicious. podcast, Gilly Smith chats to Angela Hartnett about what it takes to be the San Pellegrino Young Chef 2018, and joins her and UK & Ireland winner Killian Crowley at the world finals in Milan. Chef Robin Gill talks about how sustainability became cool in the kitchen and we find out about the qi of tea. Plus: veg box pioneer Guy Watson reveals some big news from Riverford. Find the podcasts on iTunes or the Podcast app, or visit

Two California wines won top honours at a blind wine tasting in France on 24 May, judged by French connoisseurs. The event became known as The Judgment of Paris and is seen as the turning point for American winemakers.

DID YOU KNOW…? The myth that eating carrots helps you to see in the dark first arose during World War II. Fighter pilots such as John ‘Cat’s Eyes’ Cunningham used Airborne Interception sets – an early type of radar – to pinpoint Luftwaffe bombers, which often flew under the cover of darkness. To keep the technology secret, The Ministry of Information attributed the pilots’ high hit rate to the huge amount of carrots they ate.

in the know.


TR ENDWAT CH Updated Indian Restaurateur James Ramsden rounds up the capital’s modern South Asian hotspots If variety is the spice of life, then spice most certainly gives life variety, which is why I’m pretty taken with the new wave of London’s Subcontinental restaurants. Hoppers’ (hoppers brace of Sri Lankan small plates concepts in Soho and St Christopher’s Place are both worth a visit. Go for the mutton rolls, stay for the bone marrow varuval. You should probably try the hoppers too. Soho’s Kricket ( provides more than enough excuses to drink one more beer: bhel puri that crunch and pucker, samphire pakoras with chilli garlic mayonnaise, and irresistible Keralan fried chicken. The Gunpowder stable has sired three restaurants in little over a year, including Gul & Sepoy ( in

MAY & JUNE Bombay Bustle

Spitalfields, where I was particularly enamoured of the potted pig head with blood masala onions and wild prawn kalimirch. More Mayfairish (and, yes, it’s in Mayfair) is Bombay Bustle (bombay from the Jamavar team, where lamb chops are a must and the biryani is pretty damn good too. Speaking of biryani, in Soho, Dum Biryani House’s ( lamb shank has seen it garlanded in the national press, though it’s absolutely worth taking a punt on the curry of the day. Mention ought also to be made of the fast-growing Dishoom group (dishoom. com), which arguably catalysed this growth. The bacon naan gets all the plaudits, though for my money the Parsi chicken liver keema with eggs is the best breakfast in London.


Help make a new cookbook a reality... Imagine if what you eat could make you ill, rather than sustain you. That’s the reality for many undergoing chemotherapy or suffering from serious disease – and for delicious. reader Pippa Kent, who last year had a double lung transplant. Faced with a list of foods she could no longer eat, Pippa set about creating recipes for those who take immune suppressants or have a weak immune system. Chefs such as Paul Ainsworth, Gizzi Erskine and the Honey & Co team have contributed recipes and Pippa has found a publisher, but funds need to be raised to turn this idea into print reality. Donate to Pippa’s campaign at; funding closes 20 May. Proceeds from the cookbook will be donated to two hospital charities where Pippa received care



Do you eat the plastic bag of salad that comes with your takeaway? If the answer’s yes, you’re unusual. None of the people in a recent poll admitted to eating theirs, saying they threw it away unopened or returned it to the shop or delivery person. Top reasons

for discarding the sorry parcel included “I don’t know where it’s been” and the more blunt “I hate salad”. Jokes aside, that’s a lot of lettuce and plastic heading straight for landfill. If you’re guilty of slinging yours, consider asking for it not to be included next time.

5-7 MAY Mapledurham Food Festival, Oxfordshire Foraging walks, cookery classes and a bbq theatre make for a fun festival. New Zealand appliance brand Fisher & Paykel, partners in our Produce Awards (see p14), will be welcoming visitors to their Social Kitchen – a chance to try restaurant-quality food from top chefs for free. Adult ticket £7; mapledurham; reserve spaces at Social Kitchen in advance 20 MAY Alresford Watercress Festival, Hampshire The town celebrates its watercress-growing heritage with a parade of morris dancers, musicians and children dispensing the green leaves. This is followed by the World Watercress Eating Championships. More than 80 producers will be serving watercress burgers, bread, fudge and gin. Free entry; 27 MAY British Cured Meat Festival, Borough Market, London Learn the basics of butchery, try making bacon and get the lowdown on pie-making from expert Calum Franklin at this inaugural festival from cured meat experts Cannon & Cannon. Luminaries including José Pizarro, Sabrina Ghayour and Dan Doherty will be judging a shortlist of British cured meats, and there’ll be plenty of food to try. £17.50; 1-2 JUNE Plant Life, London Iconic Camden arts venue The Roundhouse will be transformed into a series of restaurants highlighting the gastronomic potential of plants. Chefs including Oklava’s Selin Kiazim and Damian Clisby from Petersham Nurseries will be cooking veg-based dishes and there’ll also be plenty of plant-based workshops. £25; 9

These pages are about us doing the hard work so you don’t have to. We’re sent anything from 40 to 100 new products a month, and we really do try them all: tasting, smelling the aromas, testing gadgets. Only if they’re useful, goodlooking and value for money do they get the delicious. seal of approval. KAREN BARNES, EDITOR

Meat by post The Ginger Pig butcher, a Borough Market stalwart on our office doorstep, has long supplied delicious. with outstanding meat for testing and shoots (huge thanks for that). Good news: they’ve started doing mail order to the UK mainland. They don’t just do pork – other meats include 28-day dry-aged beef (above) and 100-day-old chicken (most are just raised to 60 days). It’s not cheap, but there are good reasons for that: this is quality you can taste. Meat is cut to order and packed by hand. To get a 10 per cent discount on your first order in SAVE May and June, quote DELICIOUSMAG10 at checkout. 10%

Style file If you’re planning a new kitchen, the minimal Shaker design of the Suffolk collection by Neptune, available in a muted palette of achingly stylish shades, is right at the top of my wish list. Even if you’re not in the market for a whole kitchen, as I’m not, I’m thinking surely there’s room somewhere for this dresser, which works as a stand-alone piece. From £1,755 for a 90cm width,

MUG OF TH HE MONTH May’s little beauty is from Daylesford Organic. It’s generous in size – but not so wiide that it cools down you ur tea too quickly. Guthrie Cornflower mug, £9,

HOT ON THE SHELVES It’s a celebration month with the royal wedding and booze iss getting into everything – even strawberry yogurt. Creamy with a hint of marc de champagne, it’s a fine e combo – but it’s limite ed edition, so be quick. £1.99 for 400g, Sainsbu ury’s 10


Abel & Cole’s new organic teabags are so aromatic – and it follows through in the flavour. There’s a trendy turmeric chai (v good) and a rooibos, but my choice is the definitelynot-builder’s English breakfast tea. £4 for 15 bags,


There’s a lot going on here: a caponata and salsa verde topping with a crisp sourdough base. Even if you’re not vegan it’s really very good. £4 for 302g, selected Tesco stores and online



in the know.

So much more than pasta… Italian food varies enormously region by region, and Italian food writer and chef Valentina Harris is an expert on the topic. She’s written this invaluable book – more of an encyclopaedia with recipes – and it’s a brilliant resource, not to mention huge (you need honed biceps just to lift it). The pictures are shot a bit close in and the lighting isn’t the best, but make no mistake: this tome is invaluable. Lorenz Books £25

Do you know about our online shop?

delicious. ONLINE


If not, check it out right now at – your one-stop port of call for fine artisan-made products and kitchenware. Our top buy this month is chosen by editorial assistant Phoebe, who says: “After borrowing the pasta machine from the test kitchen a few times, I was given one as a present and now I can’t get enough. Patiently feeding through the pasta dough is satisfying and therapeutic. This one by Dexam (£41) is sturdy – which a pasta machine has to be – and the wooden handle is a nice touch.”

SHOW IT OFF If you’re inspired by the cakes on p70 – either the cupcakes or perhaps a tier of the wedding cake – this bone-china stand is a fine way to display your creations. It’s co-designed by celebrity cakemaker Mich Turner and made by William Edwards, who makes chinaware for Claridge’s and The Connaught, so it has the elegant good looks you’d expect. There are teacups, plates and a teapot, too. Cake stand, £40,

For a few months only… Le Creuset has done it again – this time with the new limited-edition Fleur cast ironware. Aficionados know the covetable casserole dishes for their unadorned simplicity but these are a bit different, embossed with a subtle flower design. The pans only come in an elegant matt white, which works beautifully. The round-bottomed 28cm casserole is the one to go for – it’s useful for anything from stir-fries to stews. Pricey, yes, but it will last a lifetime… A top-notch wedding gift, I’d say. £229 for 28cm casserole,

Lap them up Ah, the difference a well chosen napkin can make. I’m loving these cotton ones from the John Lewis Scandi range. Seedheads print napkins, £12 for 4,

have your say.

info@delicious Or write to us at:

delicious. magazine, Eye to Eye Media Ltd, Axe & Bottle Court, 70 Newcomen Street, London SE1 1YT See what other delicious. fans are talking about at deliciousmagazineuk Follow us at deliciousmag Follow us at instagram. com/deliciousmag


This exclusive prize from Australian wine producer Nepenthe is a case of sauvignon blanc from its Pinnacle range, a collection of premium boutique wines made with the best quality grapes. Renowned for producing top drawer sauvignon blancs, Nepenthe embodies a modern Australian style that reflects the cooler climate of the Adelaide Hills.; available at, RRP £19.99

WIN! £50


Great recipes need great ingredients. For your chance to win £50 Sainsbury’s vouchers, solve the cryptic clue on the magazine spine, then email your answer, with your name, full UK mainland address and phone number, to info@deliciousmagazine. Competition entry closes 31 May 2018. Vouchers can be used in stores only (see p129 for Ts&Cs). March’s cryptic clue solution: Easter eggs 12



SUBJECT: Passover food STAR traditions EMAIL FROM: Miri Lewis

SUBJECT: To queue or not to queue? Really? FROM : Sue Gill

As I sat down to read the April issue on the first day of Passover I was initially so pleased to see that you had included a recipe for almond macaroons [p44]. Macaroons, with the half almond l ’ Passover on the top, have been a mainstay of many people’s repertoire for generations. Florence Greenberg’s Jewish Cookery, first printed in 1947, has a recipe for them. I was disappointed that your article made no mention of the Jewish connection, or any mention at all that this year Passover coincided exactly with Easter. Jewish food traditions around Passover are really rich and I’m sure your readers would have been interested. EDITOR KAREN REPLIES… We didn’t realise almond macaroons are traditional for the Passover celebration, otherwise we absolutely would have made a virtue of that fact. We do our best to celebrate all religions and cultures through food and I’m sorry we missed this opportunity. We would be delighted if you would share your own recipe with us for our Tastes Like Home page next year. Update: Happily Miri has agreed – look out for her recipe in 2019.

I was bemused by Lauren Bravo’s rant [April, p130]. I live in rural Hertfordshire, only about 35 miles outside London, but I have never come across a no-bookings restaurant. Why would anyone queue up to eat in one? Either book a table for three month’s time or go and eat somewhere else.

SUBJECT: Memories are FROM : Peter Sadler

SUBJECT: Spring on a plate FROM : Mark Rigby

Just wanted to say: fab-u-lous asparagus, pea and mint risotto recipe on the cover of April’s edition. The food looked amazing: fresh, zingy, luring me in. The magazine arrived just as I was ordering my shopping for Easter, and solved my Easter Saturday supper conundrum. Well done!

made of this

My goodness, I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoyed your nostalgia feature in the April issue [p37] – in particular the piece by Martine Tinney about her nan’s chips. It took me straight back to my junior-school days in the early ’60s, when I would have lunch at my lovely nan’s house. It was always egg and chips, listening to Vince Hill and Kiki Dee on the radio. Those chips from Martine’s nan had me in bits thinking back to how food used to be. Thank you so much for filling my heart with memories of my nanna.

What YOU’VE been making this month...

Peach cake with raspberry sauce & ice cream Peter Long

Yamagoya’s chicken katsu

Asparagus, pea & mint risotto

Honey and mustard baked chicken and rice

Helene Priestly

Linda Prior

Pamela Harvey


Tell us what you think of delicious. (good and bad) or send your tips, pictures and queries to:

“IF MY BUTTER MAKES PEOPLE HAPPY, I’M HAPPY” While working on a farm in the wilds of Sweden, Grant Harrington discovered how to create gold a creamy, yellow cultured butter with a taste that puts a smile on your face. He knew then it was his destiny to spread the word (and the butter) back in the UK INTERVIEW SUSAN LOW PHOTOGRAPHS DAVID CHARBIT


Guernsey cows supply rich, creamy milk


“The deep, rich, gold colour is visually appealing and it’s so smooth, rich and creamy. The flavour is moving towards cheesy in a way that I can only describe as mind-expanding!”

utter-maker Grant Harrington is a happy man. It’s not just that he’s pleased with his Produce Award (which he describes as “awesome”); or that chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants clamour to get their hands on his wares; or that he’s being lauded for re-introducing traditionally made cultured butter. He generally wears a big grin because he knows that what he creates is so well received. “As long as it makes people happy, I’m happy,” he tells me as we stand, surrounded by a herd of 250 Guernsey cows, in a barn at Bickfield Farm. This 340-acre third-generation, family-run dairy farm in the Chew Valley south of Bristol is one of the two dairy farms that produces the cream Grant uses to make his butter. Cream from Guernsey and Jersey cows has a higher fat content. These breeds produce less milk and cream but it’s richer – and that, says Grant, is one of the factors that sets his butter apart. As the cows ruminate and eye us curiously, Grant explains his career path (‘buttermaker’ isn’t often found on the list of job options). He started out as a chef working under Gordon Ramsay at Maze restaurant in London where, he says diplomatically, he “learned a good work ethic” – but eventually he wanted something different. A fellow commis chef from Sweden told him about Fäviken, an ingredients-focused restaurant way out in the wilds of central Sweden, run by a maverick chef called Magnus Nilsson. Grant emailed Nilsson asking if he

could work as a stagiaire (trainee). “Magnus replied that they don’t need stagiaires at the moment – ‘But you can come and just start working’, he said. ‘Oh, and bring your skis.’ So I did.”

LIFE-CHANGING MOMENT When Grant got to Fäviken, one of his first jobs was portioning up the butter. And that was when he had an epiphany. “I tasted a bit of the butter and it was the most flavourful butter I’d ever tried. I went through the rest of the service firing as many questions as I could at Magnus: ‘Where’s the butter from? What’s the story behind it?’” At Fäviken, chefs are encouraged to go off on projects to learn about ingredients from local farmers and producers, so Grant volunteered to work in the dairy that supplied that incredible butter. It was there he learned how to make traditional cultured butter, in which the cream is first fermented with lactic cultures, a process that gives a greater depth of flavour (most modern butter is simply churned from fresh cream). “It was a lovely farm – classic Swedish stuff – and making the butter there was so interesting. Very simple, very clean. They’d leave the cream to ferment and when it got to the right temperature they churned it into butter.” It was a simple enough process and Grant was hooked. “I’d never seen the process of making crème fraîche or butter before. I knew that cheese was technically preserved milk, but that was as far as my knowledge went. It was my first real →

meet the producer.


Guernsey cows on the farm near Bristol; squeezing out the buttermilk; Grant Harrington and his butteriest of butters


MAKING A BETTER BUTTER “When I tried it that first time, my initial reaction was, ‘This is insanely buttery,’” he explains. “‘Why isn’t this made in England? We’re a country of butter. There’s so much appreciation for dairy. So why is there not better butter?’” After a lot of thought, he set out on a mission to make the best – and butteriest – butter he could. Grant based himself on his brother and sister-in-law’s farm, where he spent more than a year experimenting with various kinds of cream and cultures, looking for just the right combination of ingredients, timings, temperatures and techniques that would give him the über-butter of his dreams. He soon found that cream from Jersey and Guernsey cows gave the primrose colour and richness he was after. Finding the right culture took time too. “I found the right one by going through lots of different cheesemakers’ cultures,” he says. Launching into a quick chemistry lesson, he explains that, to ferment cream, lactic cultures are added to it and left to digest the lactic sugars, turning it more acidic and tart. During this process, various compounds are produced as by-products. Two are particularly important flavour-wise in making butter: diacetyl (which gives a rich, round ‘buttery’ flavour) and butyric acid (which gives an umami-like character). The two need to be balanced for the best effect. “The culture I use produces just the right amount of butyric acid and diacetyl. It

WHERE TO BUY If you’re in London you can buy Ampersand butter from Maltby Street market but you’ll need to order it in advance – go to the website ( The website gives other stockists too. It costs £4.50 for a 210g wheel.

balances out the flavours and makes it just buttery enough,” he says. Grant ferments the cream for up to a week, which allows plenty of time for the flavours to deepen and develop. The only other ingredient is pink Himalayan salt, which is kneaded into the butter after it’s churned, and which Grant says gives it a minerally flavour. There are other things that set Grant’s butter apart from the standard stuff: after churning, when the fat and buttermilk have separated and the butter is at what Grant calls the popcorn stage (although it looks more like scrambled eggs), the buttermilk is squeezed out by hand, not by machine. And there’s another difference: “Most buttermakers wash the buttermilk off because they want the butter to last for longer. The theory is that the buttermilk is so lively with bacteria that if you leave it for too long the butter will eventually go sour and cheesy. I don’t really agree with that because I think buttermilk has a great taste, and enough acidity. I looked at it from a chef’s point of view and thought, ‘Why rinse away all that lovely flavour?’”

SPREADING A LITTLE HAPPINESS Ampersand cultured butter was born at a fortuitous time. Butter has cast off the cloak of evil in which fat-free zealots had shrouded this most delightful of foods. After decades of bad press and bad science linking butter with high cholesterol and obesity, butter is considered good for you again. Worldwide demand is on the rise and last year there was even a butter crisis as stock levels ran low and prices rose. But Grant isn’t too bothered about the health side of things. “My opinion is that people should eat what makes them happy. I’ve read a lot about butter’s health-giving properties. It’s great that it’s good for you – but it’s all about the taste for me.” Speaking of taste, before our judges even tasted it at the final judging session last summer, the sunny yellow colour of Grant’s butter won them over. And when they tried it, it’s possible the judges had a butter epiphany similar to the one Grant experienced back in Sweden – if the smiling during the tasting and re-tasting was anything to go by. Grant’s buttery butter seems to spread happiness wherever it goes – and that’s something we could all do with a little more of.


step into the world of fermentation.” Grant worked at Fäviken through the autumn and winter seasons, then headed home to England for his brother’s wedding, which was to be held on the Bicesterbased dairy farm of his sister-in-law to-be. Grant was doing the cooking. Before he set off, he bought a secondhand Saab for £400 and took a road trip through France, acquiring an eight-monthold puppy along the way – all the time thinking about that buttery butter.

meet the producer.

Cinnamon drop scones with honeyed butter MAKES ABOUT 15 DROP SCONES. HANDS-ON TIME 25 MIN

You can freeze the drop MAKE scones for up to 3 months. AHEAD Seal them in a freezer bag and label. Defrost to serve, then warm through, wrapped in foil, in a low oven to serve. The honey butter will keep, covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days • 65g Ampersand cultured butter (or any top quality butter), softened • 2 tbsp good quality British honey, plus extra to drizzle FOR THE DROP SCONES


• 130g plain flour • 50g Doves Farm wholegrain kamut flour, wholemeal spelt or wholemeal flour • 1 heaped tsp baking powder • ¼ tsp sea salt flakes • 1 tsp ground cinnamon • 2 scant tsp golden caster sugar • 3 medium free-range eggs • 150ml whole milk • 50g Ampersand cultured butter (or other top quality butter), melted 1 For the drop scones, mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and crack in the eggs. Pour in the milk, beating with a wooden spoon to incorporate the eggs, working them gradually into the flour. Whisk in 40g of the melted butter. 2 Heat the remaining 10g melted butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat, then wipe away the excess with kitchen paper. Add small ladlefuls of the batter to the pan, giving them space to spread. They should be about 10cm in diameter. 3 Fry for about 3 minutes until evenly brown on both sides, flipping them over when small bubbles appear all over the surface. The first batch may take longer and will be less evenly coloured than those that follow. Put the cooked scones on a

warm plate and keep in a low oven. Carry on making scones until you’ve finished all the batter. (See Make Ahead.) 4 Beat together the 65g butter and the honey in a bowl using a wooden spoon until fluffy and combined (see Make Ahead). Serve the warm drop scones with dollops of the honeyed butter and a little extra honey drizzled over. PER DROP SCONE 138kcals, 8g fat (4.6g saturated), 3.2g protein, 13.1g carbs (4.2g sugars), 0.3g salt, 0.8g fibre.

Nominations and entries have now closed for the 2018 delicious. Produce Awards. Keep your eyes on the website to see if your favourite producers – or you! – have made it through to the regional tastings, which kick off next month in Yorkshire and Northern Ireland. NEXT MONTH Free-range chicken from Soanes & Son in Yorkshire 17

FORM & FUNCTION Fisher & Paykel’s sophisticated built-in ovens are easy to use and produce precision results, making cooking and baking a pleasure

Fisher & Paykel oven OB60SC11DEPX1


hether you’re baking a cake or cooking a roast, the devil really is in the detail. When measuring the ingredient quantities or allowing for enough resting time, accuracy makes a difference. But it’s in the oven where the real magic happens, and getting this part of the cooking process right is the key to achieving perfection. If you’re using a Fisher & Paykel oven, it couldn’t be any easier. Take the Fisher & Paykel 72L built-in oven with a stainless-steel finish. Designed for multi-shelf cooking with AeroTech™ technology that circulates heat evenly across the shelves, this built-in oven has a large internal cavity, that means you can fit in a large casserole, a leg of lamb and an apple pie for dessert all at once. The oven offers you the flexibility of 11 functions, including a special Roast function, Pastry Bake and Fan Forced, each with pre-set temperatures. Plus, you can optimise moisture levels with the ActiveVent unique technology, which is essential when you’re trying to cook a crisp and succulent roast chicken or a light crunchy-chewy pavlova. And for those who hate dealing with the aftermath of cooking, there’s a pyrolytic self-cleaning function to help keep your oven as good as new. Baking bread or a treat? See right to discover the versatility the Fisher & Paykel 72L oven can offer you with just a few of its functions.

BAKING MADE SIMPLE Baking is a cinch with the Fisher & Paykel 72L built-in oven. For a start, its specialised LO Warm setting will help take all the guesswork out of proving dough when you’re making bread. The Fan Bake function, meanwhile, is ideal for biscuits, cakes and muffins, as it

Discover the full Fisher & Paykel oven range at

generates heat at the top and bottom of the oven, with a fan creating increased airflow throughout. And the Pastry Bake function generates heat from the bottom, which is then circulated around the cavity by a fan. It’s ideal for pie and tart recipes that need intense heat from the bottom for a crisp base, but still require some heat on the top.



OLIVER PEYTON The former hard-living restaurateurturned family man and Great British Menu judge salutes good home-grown food – and the joy of gratin potatoes


Oliver grew up in Ireland eating fish from the river Moy, pork from his grandparent’s farm and puds made by his mum; he loves veg straight from the earth – and eats a lot of potatoes

CASTING OUT I grew up in the west of Ireland, with the river Moy nearby, and was fishing by the time I was 10. My first catch was a perch, but it was salmon that was the staple for us. I’m still mystified by the colour of the salmon you buy in shops – the ones we caught were never like that!

NOSE TO TAIL My grandparents were farmers and one of my earliest memories is walking into a barn where they’d just killed a pig. I found it fascinating. You became used to eating the entire animal – black pudding, sausages and all the bits.

I’D LIKE TO THANK… My mother is a big baker and there was always a sponge cake coming out of the oven. That smell is special to me. We were lucky to have grown up on good home cooking. She taught me about hard work and made me feel I could do whatever I wanted. I wouldn’t be anything without her and I can’t think of anyone who influenced me more… Besides which, she’d kill me if I said someone else!


FRESH FROM THE SOIL I’m interested in what grows from the earth. I remember going to Chez Panisse in California and thinking: “This is one of the best restaurants I’ve been to.” There are more gastronomic places, but I like the kitchen garden ethos.

POTATOES WITH CHEESE, PLEASE My own family is Irish-Italian so we eat lots of pasta, salads, vegetarian food (my wife is vegetarian) and potatoes. We always eat together round the table at weekends and gratin potatoes are big in our household – we have them with virtually every meal.

ACQUIRED WISDOM You have great highs and great lows in life and you just have to get up and start again. The older I get the more confident I am, because although I’m sure I’m going to make more mistakes, I won’t make the same ones. 19

The inclusion of oat beta-glucan as part of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle can help reduce cholesterol levels. Each 45g serving provides 1g of beta-glucan soluble ďŹ bre, one third of the suggested daily intake of 3g. High cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease. Coronary heart disease has multiple risk factors and altering one of these risk factors may or may not have a beneďŹ cial effect.




A jar of pesto might be a great storecupboard ingredient but it’s also easy to make and DIY versions give you the opportunity to get creative. These recipes will get you started but don’t stop there let your imagination run riot


Chicken with basil, mint & pistachio pesto, p22


SUSY ATKINS’ WINE PICKS Open a properly dry Spanish or Provençal rosé for the flatbreads. With the roast chicken, Loire’s sancerre or touraine, or England’s crisp bacchus, would all chime in well. The noodle salad calls for a zesty, dryish New World riesling from Australia or Chile.

NEXT MONTH Three boozy, grown-up cheesecakes

Flatbreads with raisin, pine nut & caper pesto MAKES 3 FLATBREADS. HANDS-ON TIME 10 MIN, OVEN TIME 10 MIN

Make the pesto (step 1) MAKE a few hours ahead and keep AHEAD covered in the fridge. Ricotta salata is a semi-hard KNOW- cheese made from ricotta. HOW We’ve used the hard version (dura), available from Italian delis or Ocado (Natoora brand). • 30g raisins or sultanas • 25g pine nuts, toasted • 20g capers, drained • Grated zest and juice ½ lemon, plus extra juice • 20g fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped, plus extra leaves to garnish • 125ml olive oil • 1 pack Crosta & Mollica classic piada flatbreads (from most supermarkets) or other flatbreads or large wholemeal flour tortillas • 1 large banana shallot, finely sliced • Few shavings ricotta salata dura (see Know-how) or pecorino – or vegetarian alternative • Pinch saffron • Pinch sugar • Handful rocket leaves (optional)


1 Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6. Whizz the raisins/sultanas, pine nuts, capers, zest and juice ½ lemon and the parsley in a mini chopper to a rough paste (or see tip below). Drizzle in 100ml oil, then season and whizz again to combine. 2 Lay the flatbreads on 2 baking sheets and spread with the pesto, reserving a little to serve. Top with shallot slices and the cheese shavings. Bake for 10 minutes until golden and the base is crisp. 3 Meanwhile, soak the saffron in a small bowl with a tiny splash of boiling water for a few minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, a pinch of salt, sugar and black pepper, and the remaining 25ml oil, then whisk with a fork to make a dressing. 4 Drizzle the warm flatbreads with the reserved pesto and the saffron dressing. Sprinkle with the extra parsley and rocket leaves, if using. PER FLATBREAD 675kcals, 43.3g fat (6.2g saturated), 12.2g protein, 56.6g carbs (10.1g sugars), 1g salt, 5.2g fibre


Roast chicken with basil, mint & pistachio pesto SERVES 4-6. HANDS-ON TIME 25 MIN, OVEN TIME 1 HOUR 12-25 MIN

The pesto will keep in a MAKE AHEAD sealed container in the fridge for 3-4 days with the surface covered with a film of olive oil. When making pesto, if you FOOD TEAM’S don’t have a mini chopper or TIP food processor, crush the flavourings (herbs, nuts, spices, cheese and so on) to a paste in a pestle and mortar, then mix in the oil – or finely chop the flavourings, put in a bowl, stir in the oil and season. • 25g shelled pistachios • 1 large bunch fresh basil, leaves and stalks roughly chopped • 4 fresh mint sprigs, leaves roughly chopped • Grated zest and juice ½ lemon, plus ½ lemon • 125ml extra-virgin olive oil • 2kg whole free-range chicken

• 125ml dry white wine • 200g sourdough bread, torn into chunks • 200g mixed radishes, halved or quartered if large • 250g asparagus • Large handful pea shoots USEFUL BUT NOT ESSENTIAL...

• Digital probe thermometer 1 Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6. Whizz the pistachios, basil, mint and lemon zest and juice in a mini chopper or small food processor to a rough paste (see tip). Drizzle in 100ml oil, then season and whizz to combine. Put half the pesto in a small serving dish and set aside. 2 Put the chicken in a large shallow roasting tin. Working from the neck cavity, use your fingers to make a pocket between the skin and flesh of the breasts. Push the pesto under the skin of the chicken and rub any excess over the skin. Squeeze the remaining ½ lemon over the chicken, then place in the cavity. Roast for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 190°C/170°C fan/gas 5. Add the wine and 125ml water to the tin and roast for 40-50 minutes more until the chicken is cooked through. A digital probe thermometer should read 65-70°C and the juices will run clear when you insert a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh. 3 Put the chicken on a board, cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest. Pour the roasting juices from the tin into a jug. Add the bread, radishes and asparagus to the roasting tin, spoon off some of the fat from the top of the juices and toss it with the bread and vegetables. Season, then roast for 12-15 minutes until the veg are tender and the bread is crisp. Discard any fat from the remaining juices and warm in a pan for a gravy. 4 Mix the remaining pesto and 25ml olive oil and drizzle over the chicken and veg. Serve with the pea shoots and gravy on the side. PER SERVING (FOR 6) 525kcals, 24.8g fat (4.4g saturated), 53.5g protein, 16.7g carbs (2.4g sugars), 0.8g salt, 2.4g fibre


Soba noodle and prawn salad with coriander & peanut pesto SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 25 MIN

Make the salad the day before and MAKE chill, covered, until ready to eat. It AHEAD would make a great packed lunch; cool the veg and prawns before tossing with the noodles. Take the soy, lime juice and garnishes in small tubs to add before eating. If you’re vegetarian, swap the FOOD TEAM’S prawns for the same quantity of TIP tofu and fry as in the recipe. • Handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped, plus a few leaves to garnish • 25g salted peanuts, plus extra handful, coarsely chopped, to garnish • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger • 1 fat garlic clove, grated • 1 red chilli, finely chopped • Juice 1 lime, zest ½, plus wedges to serve • 75ml rapeseed oil, plus extra to fry • 200g soba noodles

• Toasted sesame oil for drizzling • 200g peeled sustainable raw tiger or king prawns, defrosted if frozen • 200g sugar snap peas, halved lengthways • 200g tenderstem broccoli, halved lengthways, any thick stalks halved • Soy sauce to serve 1 In a mini chopper or small food processor, whizz the coriander, peanuts, grated ginger, garlic, half the chopped chilli and the finely grated zest and juice of ½ lime to a rough paste. Add the 75ml oil and whizz again to combine (see tip, opposite page). 2 Cook the soba noodles according to the pack instructions, then rinse well under cold running water to cool and remove any starchy residue that would make the noodles sticky. Put in a bowl and drizzle with sesame oil, tossing to coat. 3 Heat a large frying pan or wok with a drizzle of rapeseed oil and fry the prawns over a high heat for 2-3 minutes, turning,

until pink and cooked through. Add to the noodles, then add another drizzle of rapeseed oil to the pan and stir-fry the vegetables over a high heat for 3-4 minutes or until just tender. Add to the noodles and toss everything together with the coriander pesto. Splash with soy sauce and squeeze over the juice from the remaining ½ lime. 4 Divide among bowls and top with the extra coriander leaves, chopped peanuts and chopped chilli. Serve with extra lime wedges on the side to squeeze over. PER SERVING 438kcals, 21.5g fat (2.3g saturated), 20.2g protein, 38.6g carbs (4g sugars), 0.5g salt, 4.9g fibre



SPRING LAMB Herby stuffed saddle of lamb with crushed roasties SERVES 8. HANDS-ON TIME 40 MIN,



• 1.6kg new potatoes • Generous glug olive oil • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled • 130g bag mixed watercress, spinach and rocket

Prep the joint for roasting MAKE (steps 1-2) up to 24 hours in AHEAD advance, then wrap tightly in cling film and chill in the fridge. This will help to keep the meat in shape as it roasts. Take the joint out of the fridge at least an hour before roasting so it’s not fridge-cold. There will be quite a bit of FOOD TEAM’S fat in the pan juices. Stir it TIP in or, if you prefer, let the juices cool a little, then spoon off the fat before adding the redcurrant jelly and remaining stock in step 5. • 1.2kg boned and rolled British new season saddle of lamb • 95g (14 slices) pancetta, or 8 parma ham slices • 1 onion, thickly sliced • Olive oil for roasting and drizzling • 500ml fresh chicken stock • 300ml red wine • 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly FOR THE STUFFING

NEXT MONTH Ben Tish’s roast rack of pork with honey & thymeroasted peaches

• 50g fresh breadcrumbs

• Bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, leaves picked • Small bunch fresh thyme, leaves picked • 3-4 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked • Grated zest and juice 1 lemon • 2 anchovy fillets in oil, drained • 2 garlic cloves • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil • 1 tsp chilli flakes



• Kitchen string • Digital probe thermometer 1 Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6. For the stuffing, put all the ingredients in a mini food processor or the small bowl of a food processor, season, then whizz to a paste (or crush to a coarse paste in a large pestle and mortar). 2 Untie and unroll the saddle joint and lay it skin-side down on a board. Spread the stuffing down the centre in the space created where the bone was removed. Fold the meat to encase the stuffing, then turn the joint over and wrap with slices of the pancetta/parma ham, overlapping as you go to fully cover. Tie the joint with kitchen string at 3cm intervals along the whole length. 3 Put the onion slices in a large roasting tray and sit the lamb on top. Drizzle with a glug of oil, then pour in 250ml of the stock and all the wine. Put in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, then turn the oven temperature down to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4 and cook for a further 40 minutes for medium rare – a digital probe thermometer pushed into the

centre of the lamb should read 50-52°C. Add an extra 5-10 minutes of cooking time if you prefer your meat cooked medium (55-60°C) or well done (64-70°C). 4 Once the lamb goes in the oven, simmer the potatoes in a large pan of salted water for 20 minutes. Drain well, then tip into a separate large roasting tray. Toss with a generous glug of oil, then use the back of a large spoon to press down and lightly crush them. Season, add the unpeeled garlic cloves to the tray and toss to combine. Roast below the lamb in the oven for 60 minutes. The lamb will be ready in this time, so remove it and leave to rest on a lipped serving plate, loosely covered with foil, while the potatoes finish cooking (see tip). 5 Put the roasting tray with the pan juices on the hob and stir in the redcurrant jelly and remaining stock, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Bring the juices to a simmer, season generously with salt and pepper to taste, then keep warm (see tip). 6 To serve, toss the green leaves through the crispy potatoes, carve the lamb into chunky slices and serve with the pan juices. PER SERVING 526kcals, 19.5g fat (6.6g saturated), 38.4g protein, 39.7g carbs (6.1g sugars), 1.1g salt, 4.9g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE It’s hard to beat a mellow red rioja, though a fine New Zealand pinot noir is a great, slightly lighter alternative.


Put a fresh spring spin on the Sunday roast with this knockout dish of tender new-season lamb with herbed stuffing and crispy roast new potatoes. It’s a guaranteed crowdpleaser

weekend highlight.

food for thought.

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT... Our columnist Kay Plunkett-Hogge contemplates staging a foodwriting world cup in recognition of recipe books long held dear

OLDIES BUT GOODIES A couple of months ago, I made a crack about which of those stalwarts of English cookery writing, Elizabeth David and Jane Grigson (heroines both), I preferred. And it got me thinking: who is the best British cookery writer? By best, I’m not talking about sales. I’m talking about influence: the books that have taught you things, the ones that have informed your eating and cooking without you really thinking about it. If I tot up the frankly ridiculous number of cookery books on my shelves, I reckon just under half are by British writers and, of those, about a third are about British food. (My tastes have always leaned towards the international.) And, of those writers, there are many whom we seem to have forgotten. So let’s single out two: Jenny Baker and Nicola Cox, purveyors of fine publications in the 1980s and 1990s. While Baker is of

recent preoccupation in food writing, but Nicola Cox was on about it in 1981. Perhaps, to ensure such writers don’t slip our minds, we need a delicious. World Cup of British Food Writers: Grigson vs David, Baker vs Cox, Lawson vs Oliver and so on. I wonder who’d come out on top?

CANNES YOU DIG IT? the David school – her recipes require one to have a solid understanding of cooking – and Cox more of the Julia Child persuasion (bulletproof recipes that work every time), both share a no-nonsense approach. Both are well travelled and took their curiosity with them wherever they went. Both were working mothers and understood food has to fit into your day rather than the other way around. And both were ahead of their time. People think seasonality is a fairly

In my previous life in the film industry, May meant the Cannes Film Festival. And I still feel a small frisson of excitement as the programme for each year is announced. I’ve always found it baffling, however, that there’s no great food in Cannes. Trusty La Mère Besson closed last year, and even that was starting to feel a little old-fashioned. Thank God, then, for the fruits de mer at Astoux et Brun. Push past the kerfuffle to the foot of the old town and dig into a dozen oysters and the local cassis and white wine – at least you won’t starve.








ENGLISH ASPARAGUS – OR JERSEY ROYALS. Probably both, probably at the same time. Both are at their peak right now. I’ve been waiting 11 months for them to come back and I’ll definitely be making the asparagus recipes on p42.

THE HIDDEN HUT (Harper Collins £20). The scarlet crab beckons you in (find out more on p64) and the book doesn’t disappoint. The recipes sound delicious and will be gracing my table soon. The photography and design are gorgeous.

ORWELLS IN SHIPLAKE near Henleyon-Thames. Chef-owners Ryan and Liam not only give great restaurant, they also grow as much of their own fruit and veg as they can on their smallholding. The food’s fantastic too. 27

The recipe hall of fame

EGGS BENEDICT Who invented eggs benedict is a matter for debate, says Debbie Major but what’s not up for argument are the ingredients: two lightly toasted English muffin halves, good bacon, poached eggs and velvety hollandaise. It’s the best way to kick of a long weekend THE MASTER RECIPE SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 50 MINUTES

Lightly poach the eggs a few MAKE hours in advance and keep AHEAD covered in the fridge. Drop into simmering water to reheat. 8 maple-cured back bacon slices 1 tbsp white wine vinegar 4 English muffins 8 large, very fresh free-range eggs (see Debbie’s tip, right) 1 tbsp chopped chives FOR THE HOLLANDAISE SAUCE

225g unsalted butter, plus extra, softened, to spread 2 large free-range egg yolks Juice ½ lemon Pinch cayenne pepper, plus extra to sprinkle

How to jazz up your eggs benedict • Replace the bacon with a grilled disc of black ng or a ruffled slice of smoked salmon. A puddin piece of o smoked haddock is also wonderful, as oked leaf spinach (squeezed dry), cooked are coo asparagus spears or slices of avocado. Lobster or crayfish tails are a luxury •L wist on bacon – flavour the hollandaise tw with w a touch of mustard and a little grated parmesan or gruyère. • Replacing the hollandaise with a mornay-style cheese sauce, made with m a strong, punchy cheddar, is delicious. Try adding whizzed watercress leaves to •T – so good with poached eggs. the hollandaise h


1 Put the bacon on the grill tray ready for cooking. Half-fill a large pan with water and bring to the boil. Add the vinegar and a pinch of salt. Split the muffins and line a baking tray with kitchen paper. 2 Next, poach the eggs in 2 batches of four. Turn the vinegar water to a very gentle simmer (a few bubbles at the base of the pan, but no more). Break an egg into a teacup, then slide it into the pan. Repeat 3 times, then cook for 3 minutes. Carefully lift out the eggs with a slotted spoon onto the lined baking tray. Repeat with the other 4 eggs. Cover the poached eggs with cling film (or with a large upturned bowl) and set aside – see Make Ahead. Leave the water on a gentle simmer. 3 For the hollandaise sauce, put the butter in a small pan and leave over a very low heat until melted. Carefully skim off any foam from the surface, then pour the clear melted butter into a small bowl, leaving behind the milky liquid that will have settled on the base of the pan. Discard the milky liquid, wipe the pan clean, then return the clear melted butter to the pan and put over a low heat. 4 Fill a medium pan with about 5cm water and bring to a simmer. Sit a medium heatproof glass bowl over the pan without the base touching the water. Add the egg yolks and 2 tbsp cold water and whisk by hand or with an electric hand mixer until thick and mousse-

like – it needs to feel warm when you dip in your little finger. 5 Heat the grill to high. Increase the heat under the pan of clarified butter until it’s gently bubbling and hot. Remove the bowl containing the egg yolks from over the pan and very gradually drizzle in the hot clarified butter, whisking all the time, until the mixture becomes thick and glossy. Whisk in the lemon juice, cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Cover the bowl with cling film, sit it back over the pan of hot water and set aside off the heat. 6 Toast the muffins until golden. Meanwhile, grill the bacon for 1-2 minutes until just cooked through but not crisp. Slide the poached eggs back into the just-simmering water and leave for 30 seconds. Reline the baking tray with kitchen paper, then lift out the eggs onto the tray and leave to drain briefly. 7 Put 2 muffin halves on each of 4 warmed plates, spread with a little butter and top each half with a bacon rasher and a poached egg. Spoon some of the hollandaise sauce over each egg, sprinkle with chives and a little extra cayenne pepper and serve straightaway. PER SERVING 917kcals, 72.3g fat (37.6g saturated), 35.8g protein, 30g carbs (2.8g sugars), 2.7g salt, 1.9g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE Australian semillon is the perfect partner for this classic – or for gentle brunch bubbles, open a decent prosecco.


A BIT OF HISTORY There are two credible stories behind the invention of eggs benedict – both in New York City in the 19th century. The famed Delmonico’s restaurant (also credited with inventing baked alaska and lobster newburg) claims that, in the 1860s, a patron called Mrs LeGrand Benedict requested an off-menu dish of poached eggs, a toasted muffin and cooked ham with hollandaise sauce, and the restaurant’s chef Charles Ranhofer obliged. The other story has it that, 34 years later at The Waldorf, a hung-over patron called Lemuel Benedict ordered buttered toast, poached eggs, bacon and hollandaise. Chef Oscar Tschirky thought the combo so good he made a few tweaks and put it on his menu.



• A soft bed of warm, crisp, lightly toasted muffins, which forms the base for all the other ingredients. • Slightly salty, yet sweet, moist bacon. Eggs benedict is traditionally made using ¼ inch-thick rounds of Canadian bacon, but these aren’t easy to find in the UK and our gammon steaks are too large, too firm and usually too salty for this dish. • Perfectly cooked poached eggs with just-firm whites and still-runny yolks. • An unctuous blanket of silky smooth hollandaise sauce, flavoured with lemon juice and cayenne.

DEBBIE’S TIPS FOR SUCCESS BE ORGANISED All the elements need to be warm and freshly cooked so make sure you have everything ready to go before you start. USE VERY FRESH EGGS Freshly laid eggs will give you lovely plump cushions of egg. The uncooked whites of older eggs will be more watery and won’t cling around the yolks as they poach. GOOD QUALITY UNSALTED BUTTER Hollandaise sauce is all about the butter – use unsalted so you can control the seasoning. It should be a contrast to the salty bacon. DON’T OVERCOOK THE BACON It should be cooked through but not crisp or browned.

Turn the page for a twist on eggs benedict →


Recipe with a twist Eggs benedict with smoky sweetcorn fritters SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 1 HOUR

Make the fritters a few MAKE hours in advance. Warm AHEAD in a hot oven to serve. If you prefer, swap the FOOD TEAM’S avocado for wilted TIPS spinach. Splash on more Tabasco for extra oomph. • 8 rashers thin-cut smoked back bacon • 8 large, very fresh free-range eggs (see master recipe, p28) • 1 quantity hollandaise sauce (see master recipe, p28) • 2 ripe avocados • Lemon juice to taste FOR THE SWEETCORN FRITTERS

• 100g plain flour • 1 tsp baking powder • 1 tsp smoked paprika, plus extra to sprinkle • 1 tbsp caster sugar • ½ tsp salt • 2 medium free-range eggs, beaten • 100ml whole milk • ½-1 tsp Chipotle Tabasco sauce to taste • 326g can sweetcorn kernels, drained well • 1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced • 20g bunch fresh coriander, chopped, a few leaves retained • 3-4 tbsp light olive oil for frying

NEXT MONTH Eton mess – classic and with a twist 30

1 Put the bacon on the grill tray ready for cooking. Poach the eggs and make the hollandaise as in the master recipe, p30.

Slice the avocados, put in a bowl and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. 2 For the sweetcorn fritters, sift the flour, baking powder, smoked paprika, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre, add the beaten eggs, milk and Tabasco and gradually whisk to a smooth batter. Stir in the sweetcorn, spring onions and chopped coriander. 3 Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Drop 4 heaped soupspoonfuls of the fritter mixture (this should use about half), spaced well apart, into the pan and fry for 2 minutes on each side until crisp and golden. Lift onto a plate lined with kitchen paper and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining batter. 4 Heat the grill to high and grill the bacon for 3 minutes until the fat is crisp and golden. Slide all the poached eggs back into the simmering water for 30 seconds, then lift onto a baking tray lined with kitchen paper to drain. 5 Divide the fritters among 4 warmed plates and top with the crispy bacon, avocado and poached eggs. Spoon over the hollandaise, sprinkle with the coriander leaves and a little smoked paprika, then serve straightaway (see tips). PER SERVING 748kcals, 61g fat (27.8g saturated), 25g protein, 22.8g carbs (7.4g sugars), 1.7g salt, 3.6g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE Chile's sauvignon gris works a treat, as does the country’s zesty, more widely available sauv blanc.

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The truth about


(HINT: it’s not as simple as you think…)

So you think you know your cauliflower from your blackcurrants? Take this quiz & find out… QUESTION When is British cauliflower at its best?

ANSWER It’s superb in summer QUESTION On which of the following occasions is it possible to eat Wye Valley asparagus? a) Valentine’s Day b) Father’s Day c) Bonfire Night ANSWER All of the above

QUESTION Which fruit in your bowl may pre-date the last general election?

ANSWER Apples – improvements in cold storage mean they’re kept for up to a year

QUESTION Does the UK have its own aubergine season?

ANSWER Yes, from March to November. QUESTION Can you buy British blackcurrants in season?

ANSWER You’ll be lucky. 95% of them are used to make Ribena.



f you got some of those quiz answers wrong, you’re in good company. In food as in life, the old certainties are changing. Many big-name restaurants are fighting for survival and, sadly, proseccoflavoured crisps really are A Thing. Of all the developments in the food landscape, though, there’s one with the potential to be very unsettling indeed: the seasons are shifting. Last year, tomato growers on the Isle of Wight produced 15 varieties (the kind you might see on restaurant tables, or fondle in the deli) right through until early November. Meanwhile, in the Wye Valley, the Chinn family farms have flipped the asparagus season to make tips ’n’ spears available from February to November. Their blueberries now crop until October. It’s all very different from the kind of autumn fruitfulness that Keats would have known, and this new-fangled agriculture makes some die-hard foodies feel far from mellow. But if the rest of the country has moved on, is clinging to the seasons now an outdated badge of food snobbery? The benefits of eating with the seasons are much proclaimed,

often in the pages of this very magazine. The plus points have come to form a mantra. Seasonal produce is delicious, abundant and affordable. (In most cases, that is... One day, I hope to meet an English cherry I can stretch to.) The enjoyment, production and encouragement of seasonal food keeps us on the straight and narrow calendar-wise, signalling that it’s time for tennis in June (strawberries at Wimbledon) and a little pagan-Christian mash-up in October (pumpkin lanterns). Seasonal ingredients go together in a giant, albeit occasionally smug, homemade pie – blackberry and apple, obviously. If seasonal food didn’t work together for cooks and eaters, why would someone have invented ratatouille? But chanters of the seasonal mantra now find themselves in an awkward position. Asparagus on an autumn menu is no longer a red flag for inferior imported produce and a chef that doesn’t care. The asceticism of the hungry gap – the late winter/early spring of relentless roots, when some foodies are too proud to pick up polytunnel produce – looks more and more like self-imposed posturing.


‘Eat with the seasons’ has become a mantra for people who care about their food and eating well. But, asks food writer Emma Sturgess, are purists missing out on much deliciousness by sticking to the seasonal-eating rulebook? After all, the times – and the seasons – are a-changin’

food for thought.

Seasonal food incorporates the concept of local produce, yet the UK imports more fruit and veg than any other food group. If our own land can’t provide during winter, what’s so wrong about other countries supplying us with aubergines, peppers, citrus fruit and soft herbs? The moral, environmental and socioeconomic questions raised by stocking the fridge in this way are many and various. Most things are in season somewhere, and we can take advantage of imported food in its prime. The same foodies who decry green beans from Kenya rave about the appearance of blood oranges from Sicily. Kenyan farmers have to live too. (We’re all keen to support coffee and tea growers in developing areas of the world.) But what about all the plastic packaging and putting them on a plane? How about the low-paid workers, the gang-masters and the acres of heated glasshouses? It’s obviously too complex and fluid a situation, especially as Brexit approaches, to have an easy answer.

But what is clear is that fetishising ‘old’ seasonal British produce and discounting everything else means living in the past – and putting up divisive barriers in a society in which we all have to shop and eat. For each market stall piled high with seasonal bargain veg, there are a thousand cooks who have to get from home to work to school to supermarket on an unrelenting loop – and feed a family clamouring for something other than broccoli. Even in season, having the time/money to seek out the crispest pea pods (and then pod them) or new potatoes still muddy from the field is a luxury. Come the apocalypse, perhaps seasonal eaters will be the ones to survive, clutching their frostbitten parsnips. They’ll be so used to starving during bleak March that nothing about a nuclear winter will faze them. The rest of us will look in vain for imported mangetout and October blueberries. But for now, those who allow themselves to forget the seasons occasionally are probably having more fun.

WE GROW WHAT? GRAPES IN YORKSHIRE We’re all on board with sipping sparklers from Sussex, Kent and Cornwall, but growing grapes for wine in Yorkshire is still a mind-boggler. Nonetheless Ryedale Vineyard, in the Yorkshire Wolds, has almost as many medals as vines.

BRITISH PINEAPPLES Pineapple cultivation has long been a challenge relished by the British upper crust – or, more accurately, their gardeners. It’s an expensive and often futile business but in 2016 it was reported that pensioner Edward Simpson had brought one to fruition on his windowsill.

TONG HO IN CAMBRIDGESHIRE This annual herb, used in Cantonese hotpots, is one of a range of oriental vegetables and herbs grown by Cherry Farms near Wisbech. The inspiration to grow a new kind of crop struck in 1987; their home-grown Chinese greens are now supplied to restaurants and supermarkets nationwide.

There are a thousand cooks who have to get from home to work to school to supermarket on an unrelenting loop. Having the time and money to seek out the crispest pea pod is a luxury


Come rain or shine...

THE BANK HOLIDAY FEAST I love the month of May, blessed with not one but two bank holidays and full of the promise of long sunny weekends with friends. May ofers excellent opportunities to plan an alfresco feast, and this pick-and-mix menu suits all occasions. When the sun shines, pack up a few dishes and take them on a picnic. And if the weather lets you down? Cook them all and enjoy a spring feast at home. Either way, let the good food and good times roll! OLIVIA SPURRELL, COOKERY ASSISTANT

THE PACK-AND-GO MENU FOR 8 Make a few dishes or make them all: the choice is yours… Black bean and sweet potato empanadas

% Sherry braised chorizo sausages with smashed lemon and garlic chickpeas Radicchio and orzo pasta salad Heritage tomato salad

% Almond pavlovas with amaretto custard, apricots and caramel sauce


seasonal inspiration.

Black bean and sweet potato empanadas, p36 35


• Small pinch saffron strands • 6 tbsp mayonnaise • Grated zest and juice ½ lime

SUSY ATKINS’ WINE PICKS A fresh, lemony white wine such as a Chilean sauvignon blanc will match all the savoury dishes, but even better is a cold bottle of pale, dry fino sherry. For the almond pavlovas, a peachy Australian sweet semillon would be gorgeous.

Black bean and sweet potato empanadas MAKES ABOUT 20. HANDS-ON TIME 50 MIN, OVEN TIME 55-60 MIN, PLUS CHILLING

Cool the empanadas, then keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. They’re robust and great at room temperature so are ideal for taking on a picnic. Make the mayo on the day you want to serve and transport in a small airtight container. If you’re staying at home, reheat the empanadas in a hot oven to serve. If you prefer, make 12-15 FOOD TEAM’S larger empanadas, cutting TIP 10-12cm circles (step 4), and cook for 5 minutes more. PACK & GO TIP


• 2 sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2cm chunks • 1 tbsp olive oil • 1 tsp ground coriander • 400g tin black beans, drained and rinsed • 1½ tbsp ancho chilli paste (from large supermarkets) – use less if you don’t like too much spice • Bunch spring onions, finely sliced FOR THE PASTRY

• 60g butter • ½ tsp salt • 375g plain flour, plus extra to dust • 1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika • 240ml semi-skimmed milk, warmed gently in a pan • 1 free-range large egg yolk, beaten with 1 tbsp milk 36

1 Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6. Toss the sweet potato chunks, oil and ground coriander in a baking tray. Roast for 30 minutes until the sweet potato is tender, then add the black beans and chilli paste, toss to coat and roast for 5 minutes more. 2 Meanwhile, for the pastry, put the butter, salt, plain flour and paprika in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. With the motor running, pour in the warm milk until the mixture clumps together. (If you don’t have a food processor, rub the salt, flour and paprika into the butter in a large bowl using your fingers until it resembles crumbs. Work in the warm milk with a dinner knife until it clumps together.) Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently for a minute or so. Shape into a disc, wrap in cling film, then chill for 30 minutes. 3 Transfer the cooked sweet potato and beans to a bowl and mash with a fork. Mix in half the spring onions, season with salt and pepper, then cover and chill until completely cool. 4 Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a £1 coin. (You might find the pastry easier to handle if you cut it in half before rolling.) Cut out about 20 x 7-8cm diameter circles (see tip) using a ramekin or small bowl as a guide, re-rolling the pastry offcuts as necessary. Put around 1 tbsp of the chilled filling in the centre of each circle and brush the edges with water. Fold the pastry over the filling to enclose and squeeze the edges to close. Crimp the edges (like a Cornish pasty) to seal, or simply press with the tines of a fork. 5 Put the empanadas on 2 baking sheets lined with non-stick baking paper, then brush with the beaten egg yolk and milk mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp. 6 To make the mayonnaise, put the

saffron in a small heatproof bowl and pour over about 1 tsp boiling water. Leave for 5 minutes so the saffron releases its colour/aroma, then stir in the mayonnaise, lime zest and juice. Season to taste, then serve with the empanadas. PER SERVING 176kcals, 7.5g fat (2.3g saturated), 3.9g protein, 22.1g carbs (2.7g sugars), 0.3g salt, 2.4g fibre For more ways to use ancho chilli paste, see Loose Ends

Sherry braised chorizo sausages with smashed lemon & garlic chickpeas SERVES 8. HANDS-ON TIME 30 MIN, OVEN TIME 40-45 MIN

Cool, then store the cooked chorizo and chickpeas in separate airtight containers in the fridge (or in a cool-bag). Keep the parsley in a separate food bag. This dish is best served at room temperature. PACK & GO TIP

• 1 tbsp olive oil • 2 x 190g packs cooking chorizo sausages • 2 large roasted red peppers from a jar, sliced • 200ml amontillado sherry • 2 tbsp light brown soft sugar • Chopped fresh parsley to serve FOR THE CHICKPEAS

• 6 garlic cloves, peeled • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil • 3 x 400g tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed • Grated zest and juice 1½ lemons • Sea salt flakes 1 Heat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/ gas 3. For the chickpeas, wrap the garlic cloves in foil and roast for 15-20 minutes until soft. 2 Heat the 1 tbsp oil in an ovenproof frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the sausages for 5-7 minutes, turning, until coloured. Add the peppers, cook for 5 minutes more, then add the sherry and brown sugar and stir to dissolve. Bubble for 1 minute, transfer to the oven and cook for 25 minutes. →

seasonal inspiration.


Sherry braised chorizo sausages with smashed lemon & garlic chickpeas, and radicchio & orzo pasta salad, p38

FIVE TIPS FOR A STRESS-FREE MAY PICNIC • Freeze soft drinks in plastic bottles to

double up as ice blocks. They will keep the food cool while they slowly defrost – and they should be perfectly chilled by the time you want to drink them. • Vacuum flasks aren’t just for keeping

things warm: use them to carry chilled fruity punch or Pimm’s without spillages. • If it’s been raining (or looks like it

might soon) take along a few plastic bin liners to put down on the grass before laying out your picnic rug. • Pack a couple of large umbrellas. They can double up as a shelter or (if you’re lucky) sun-shade. • If you’re picnicking into the early

evening pack some battery-operated twinkly fairy lights and arrange under an umbrella for atmosphere.

3 Heat 3 tbsp of the extra-virgin olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the chickpeas and cook for 2-3 minutes, then pour in 200ml water and bubble for 3-4 minutes. Mash the chickpeas roughly with the back of a fork, then stir in the remaining 3 tbsp oil. Mash in the roasted garlic, lemon zest and juice and lots of sea salt and black pepper to give a chunky, spoonable mash. Cool the chickpea mash and sausages to room temperature. 4 Serve the chickpeas topped with the sausages and sherry sauce, sprinkled with parsley (see tip). PER SERVING 428kcals, 26g fat (7.2g saturated), 19.1g protein, 18.3g carbs (6.2g sugars), 1.7g salt, 8.3g fibre

Radicchio and orzo pasta salad SERVES 8. HANDS-ON TIME 20 MIN

Pack the salad (without the dressing and orange segments) in an airtight container and keep in the fridge or cool-bag for up to 12 hours. Pack the orange segments and dressing in a separate food bag and toss with the salad to serve. We used 2 types of radicchio FOOD TEAM’S for our photos: trevisano TIP tardivo (with thin leaves, which we left unshredded) and di chioggia. Both are available on Ocado from Natoora – but you can use chicory or any type of bitter leaves. PACK & GO TIPS

• 250g orzo pasta (or other small pasta shapes) • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil • 1 red onion, sliced • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced, any fronds reserved for garnish • 1 tbsp fennel seeds, crushed in a pestle and mortar • 300g radicchio, shredded – see tip • 100g sultanas • 90g toasted pine nuts • 2 oranges • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar • 1 tbsp honey 1 Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the orzo and cook

until al dente (tender but with bite) according to the pack instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water, then transfer to a bowl and stir in 2 tbsp of the olive oil. 2 Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and fennel and fry for 4-5 minutes until slightly softened. Add the crushed fennel seeds and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add to the bowl with the orzo and toss in the radicchio, sultanas and pine nuts. 3 Using a small serrated knife, remove the skin from the oranges and cut out the segments. Squeeze the juice from the rest of the orange pith into a bowl, then whisk in the remaining 3 tbsp olive oil, the sherry vinegar and honey, and season with salt and pepper. Add the orange segments and the dressing to the bowl of pasta and toss well (see pack-and-go tips). Sprinkle with any reserved fennel fronds to serve. PER SERVING 335kcals, 16.9g fat (1.8g saturated), 7.1g protein, 36.8g carbs (14.7g sugars), trace salt, 3.5g fibre

Heritage tomato salad SERVES 8. HANDS-ON TIME 20 MIN

Put the tomatoes, shallots and caperberries in a large airtight container. Keep the dressing in a small sealed pot and pack the rocket in its bag. Drizzle the dressing over the tomatoes and top with the rocket just before serving. You can buy heritage FOOD TEAM’S tomatoes from larger TIP supermarkets or order from Or use regular tomatoes with a mix of shapes and colours. PACK & GO TIP

• 2 shallots, finely sliced • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar • 1 tsp caster sugar • 1kg heritage tomatoes (see tip), sliced • 50g caperberries • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil • ½ tbsp fresh thyme leaves • 60g bag rocket

seasonal inspiration.

1 Toss the shallots with the sherry vinegar and sugar in a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes, then drain (reserve vinegar). Arrange the tomato slices on a platter and top with the shallots and caperberries. 2 In a bowl, whisk the reserved sherry vinegar with the olive oil and thyme, then season with salt and pepper. Put the rocket in another large bowl and toss with a spoonful of the dressing, then arrange over the tomatoes. Drizzle over the rest of the dressing and finish with a pinch of salt and black pepper. PER SERVING 77kcals, 5.7g fat (0.8g saturated), 1g protein, 4.6g carbs (4.3g sugars), trace salt, 1.6g fibre

Almond pavlovas with amaretto custard, apricots & caramel sauce SERVES 8. HANDS-ON TIME 45 MIN, OVEN TIME ONE HOUR 15 MIN, PLUS COOLING AND CHILLING

Keep the meringues, custard and apricots in separate containers (custard is best kept in the fridge or in a cool bag) and the flaked almonds in a small food bag. Use any seasonal fresh fruit FOOD TEAM’S you fancy to top these TIP pavlovas (fresh raspberries would taste great). Replace the syrup from the tin of apricots with some apple juice or water. PACK & GO TIP

• 75g blanched almonds • 3 medium free-range egg whites • 100g caster sugar • 75g light brown soft sugar • 50g toasted flaked almonds FOR THE CUSTARD

• 300ml whipping cream • 3 medium free-range egg yolks • 3 tbsp caster sugar • 1 tbsp cornflour • 50ml amaretto FOR THE APRICOTS & CARAMEL SAUCE

• 400g tin apricots in syrup • 4 tbsp caster sugar • Grated zest and juice ½ lime • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste →

A tomato salad with history 39

seasonal inspiration.

Almond pavlovas with amaretto custard and apricots

NEXT MONTH Your guide to cooking with seasonal fish

1 Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ gas 4. Spread the almonds out on a baking tray and roast for 12-15 minutes. Cool completely, then whizz coarsely in a food processor (be careful not to over-process the nuts or they’ll turn oily and cause your meringue to collapse). If you don’t have a food processor chop the nuts very finely with a sharp knife. Turn down the oven temperature to


120°C/100°C fan/gas ½. 2 Using a saucer or small bowl, draw 4 x 10cm circles on 2 sheets of non-stick baking paper (8 circles in total). Turn over and put on top of 2 baking sheets. 3 Put the egg whites (reserve the yolks for the custard) in a large clean heatproof bowl with both sugars. Using an electric hand mixer, whisk briefly to combine. Set over a pan of

barely simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bowl) and whisk on a medium speed for 6-8 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the meringue is thick and glossy. Remove from the heat and continue whisking until cool. 4 Using a metal spoon, mix the chopped almonds through the meringue. Using the drawn circles as a guide, spoon 8 x 10cm meringue nests onto the lined baking trays. Bake for 1 hour, then turn off the oven (don’t open the door) and leave the meringues to cool inside the oven for another hour. 5 For the custard, heat the cream in a saucepan until steaming. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, caster sugar, cornflour and amaretto, then pour the warmed cream into the bowl in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the pan and put over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring all the time, until thickened. Strain through a sieve into a clean bowl and cover with a piece of cling film touching the surface to prevent a skin forming. Cool, then chill until cold and thick. 6 For the apricots, drain them and reserve the syrup. Heat a small frying pan over a medium-high heat until very hot. Add the caster sugar in a single layer, then shake the pan until the sugar has dissolved. Bubble the melted sugar to make a deep amber caramel, then remove from the heat and add 2 tbsp of the reserved apricot syrup, the lime juice and vanilla bean paste (be careful as it may spit). Return to the heat and warm through gently. Add the apricot halves and lime zest, then stir to coat and warm through. Leave to cool before serving or cool completely before packing. 7 Serve the meringues topped with spoonfuls of thick custard, the apricots and caramel sauce and sprinkled with flaked almonds. PER PAVLOVA 468kcals, 26g fat (10.7g saturated), 7.4g protein, 47.5g carbs (45.4g sugars), 0.1g salt, 0.6g fibre


ASPARAGUS The first green stalks of asparagus rising from the ground mark the arrival of spring. I love to eat the spears with a dollop of hollandaise, or dunk them into the runny yolk of a freshly boiled egg. They’re also wonderful tossed in a stir-fry or shredded to make a slaw. Here I’ve combined the distinct mineral flavour of asparagus in a cheesy pasta and paired it with an egg dressing in a dish so bursting with fresh flavours that it sings out spring. The British season is short, so enjoy this coveted crop while it lasts. LOTTIE COVELL, ACTING FOOD LIFESTYLE EDITOR RECIPES AND FOOD STYLING LOTTIE COVELL PHOTOGRAPHS TOBY SCOTT STYLING DAVINA PERKINS

WHAT TO LOOK FOR The freshest asparagus is vivid green in colour, strong, firm, and the fibrous root end should snap off easily. Store freshly picked asparagus in a paper bag in the fridge and use within a few days. Don’t throw away the discarded ends – chop finely and fry with onion and celery as a base for stocks so the fibres will have time to tenderise.

what’s good now.

Steamed asparagus and egg mimosa salad SERVES 4-6 AS A STARTER. HANDS-ON TIME 30 MIN

Cook the asparagus and boil MAKE the eggs up to 24 hours in AHEAD advance. Keep in separate sealed containers in the fridge. Mimosa salad is so called KNOW- because the yellow egg HOW yolks are reminiscent of mimosa flowers scattered over snow – a sign of spring in Russia. The cream adds richness FOOD TEAM’S to the dressing but it isn’t TIP essential. • 6 slices parma ham • 2 large free-range eggs • Handful fresh flatleaf parsley, finely chopped • ½ bunch spring onions, finely sliced • 600g asparagus, trimmed FOR THE DRESSING

• ½ red onion, very finely chopped • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar • 1 tbsp caster sugar • 1 tbsp capers, drained • 1 tsp dijon mustard • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil • 1-2 tbsp single cream (see tip) 1 Heat the grill to high and lay out the parma ham on a baking tray. Grill for 3 minutes or until crisp. Set aside. 2 Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil over a medium heat. Cook the eggs for 8 minutes (10 minutes if the eggs are chilled). Drain and cool under cold running water (see Make Ahead). Peel and finely chop the eggs and put in a bowl. Add the parsley and spring onions to the eggs and gently combine. 3 Meanwhile, bring a separate pan

of water to the boil over a medium heat and blanch the asparagus for 3-4 minutes until just tender but still with some bite. Drain and cool under cold running water, then set aside (see Make Ahead). 4 For the dressing, mix the onion, vinegar, sugar, capers and mustard together in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil and season to taste. Stir in the cream, if using (see tip). 5 Arrange the asparagus on a platter, scatter over the egg mixture and crumble over the crisp parma ham. Drizzle with the dressing and serve. PER SERVING (FOR 4) 275kcals, 18.9g fat (4.2g saturated), 14.2g protein, 9.7g carbs (9.1g sugars), 0.5g salt, 4.5g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE Young white bordeaux, especially unoaky sauvignon blanc-semillon blends. → 43

what’s good now.

Cacio e pepe (cheese & pepper) pasta with asparagus SERVES 4 AS A STARTER, 2 AS A MAIN. HANDS-ON TIME 20 MIN

This is a take on the famed cacio e pepe pasta dish from Siena in Tuscany. Pici is a type of thick, hand-rolled pasta. You can buy pici pasta online from and amazon. (or make it fresh yourself). FOOD TEAM’S TIP

NEXT MONTH Colourful courgettes show versatility and flavour

• 200g spaghetti or pici pasta (see tip) • 100g butter, cubed • 300g asparagus, trimmed


• 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus extra to serve • 100g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), freshly grated, plus extra to serve 1 Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil over a medium heat. Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the packet instructions or until it still has bite. Drain, reserving one mugful of the cooking liquid. 2 Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large deep pan over a low-medium heat and add the asparagus. Cook gently for 2-3 minutes, then add 100ml of the reserved pasta cooking liquid and bring to the boil.

3 Add the pepper, drained pasta and grated cheese to the pan. Stir well for a minute or so until the cheese melts and forms a rich sauce (add a little more pasta cooking liquid if the sauce is too thick). 4 Divide among warm bowls and serve straightaway, scattered with salt, extra black pepper and some more grated cheese. PER SERVING (FOR 4) 492kcals, 29.2g fat (18g saturated), 17.4g protein, 37.8g carbs (2.7g sugars), 0.9g salt, 4.2g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE Make it a refreshing, lemony, inexpensive Italian white such as a soave, gavi or verdicchio.

what’s good now.

Gill Meller A COOK’S YEAR He’s made an art of feasting on the fruits of land and sea and, as group head chef at River Cottage, he couldn’t be better placed to know when seasonal food is at its best. This month, Gill celebrates crayfish – an often overlooked delicacy in the UK RECIPE, FOOD STYLING AND STYLING GILL MELLER PHOTOGRAPHS ANDREW MONTGOMERY 45

CRAYFISH KNOW-HOW The North American signal crayfish is easy to recognise by its relatively large size and the red colour of the underside of its claws (the native species' claws are white on top, pink on the underside). You need a (free) licence to trap signal crayfish – search ‘crayfish’ at It’s illegal to trap native ones. In season (May to September), most supermarkets sell prepared crayfish tails, which are handy, but buying live crayfish guarantees you the freshest

Crayfish salad with radishes, apple & poppy seeds SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 20 MIN

• 16 radishes • 2 small eating apples • 400g ready-cooked crayfish tails • Juice ½ lemon • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil • Handful fresh mint, leaves chopped • Handful fresh dill, chopped • 2-3 tsp poppy seeds FOR THE DRESSING

• Juice ½ lemon • 2 tsp caster sugar • 2 tbsp soured cream • 2 tbsp olive oil 1 Trim and wash the radishes. (If they have their leaves on, you can add them to the

meat. You can order whole, live crayfish from Simply Crayfish (simplycrayfish., who harvest them wild in East Anglia. Freeze live crayfish for 20-30 minutes to sedate them, then drop into a pan of boiling, well-salted water and cook for about 5 minutes until they turn deep red. Lift them out and leave to cool. Treat whole cooked crayfish like large prawns/langoustines. Twist off the head, loosen a few rings on the tail shell, then squeeze out the meat from the fin end. Use the shells to make stock.

salad.) Slice the radishes into thin rounds, roughly 2-3mm thick. Peel, quarter and core the apples, then slice thinly. 2 Put the crayfish tails in a large bowl with the radish and apple slices. Squeeze over the lemon juice, spoon over the olive oil and scatter over the mint and most of the dill. Season well with salt and pepper, then gently tumble everything together. 3 Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Arrange the salad on 4 plates or a large serving platter. Spoon over the dressing, then scatter over the poppy seeds and the rest of the dill to serve. PER SERVING 246kcals, 14.9g fat (2.9g saturated), 16.6g protein, 10.7g carbs (10.5g sugars), 0.4g salt, 1.3g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE A dry, elderflowery English white wine suits this. Alternatively make it a delicate lemon-fresh muscadet from the Loire.

5 MORE DELICIOUS WAYS WITH COOKED CRAYFISH • Make sesame crayfish toasts. Whizz up a few handfuls of crayfish meat with a whisper of grated ginger and garlic, an egg white, salt and a pinch of chilli flakes. Spread thickly onto white bread, coat with sesame seeds and fry gently on both sides. • Sauté new potatoes in olive oil with smoked paprika, garlic, preserved lemon and green olives, then add crayfish meat and fresh parsley. • Make a dip using tamari (or soy sauce), sesame seeds, fresh coriander, wine vinegar, honey and spring onions. Coat crayfish tails in tempura batter and deep fry, then serve with the dip. • Chop crayfish meat and mix with chopped gherkin, shallot, capers, boiled egg, fresh dill and parsley and mayonnaise. Pile on toast. • Soften a diced shallot in plenty of butter, then add loads of watercress, a healthy amount of cream and lots of crayfish meat. Season and serve with fresh pasta and grated parmesan.



Here’s how: visit rivercottage. net/cookery-courses to see the full cookery school diary then, when you book, enter the code DELICIOUS to receive your discount. The offer is valid until 30 June 2018 and can be used on any River Cottage course during 2018.*

CRAYFISH LOVE… Dark malty, seedy, sour breads such as pumpernickel and rugbrød (and lots of butter) • Peppery salad leaves such as mustard, rocket, mizuna and watercress • Citrus fruit such as orange, tangerine or grapefruit 46


I remember catching crayfish in traps that had been set around the edges of a lake in Dorset. I recall how plucky and determined these little freshwater lobsters were. They raised their claws in the air to scare me of and tried to nip me when I went near. They really didn’t want to come home with me. They were signal crayfish, an invasive species from North America, whose presence throughout our British waterways has sadly put paid to our native species. Knowing this made it far easier for me to cook them, despite their protests. The month of May marks the beginning of the crayfish season, so it’s a good time to look out for them (see below). The meat from the tail is sweet and juicy and absolutely delicious served simply with brown bread, butter, chopped fresh dill and lemon juice. Alternatively, this quick and scrumptious salad with crisp radish, sharp apples and the toothsome crunch of poppy seeds showcases them beautifully.

what’s good now.

NEXT MONTH British mutton

Meet the food pioneers

BEHIND THE SCENES AT GOODWOOD This month sees the start of ‘the season’ at the famed West Sussex estate. But behind the racing and razzmatazz is a working organic farm and a team who have long pioneered better farming and eating in Britain. Susan Low unearths the story PHOTOGRAPHS ANDREW MONTGOMERY


Chef Darron, butcher Jon and farmer Tim provide farm to table eating at Goodwood (see p51)



The cattle, sheep and pigs enjoy the grassy setting within sight of Goodwood racecourse (this picture) and provide great meat for the restaurant, Farmer Butcher Chef


he name Goodwood evokes images of fast cars and sleek horses, but there’s far more to the estate than glitz and glamour. The nearly 12,000 acres of rolling countryside in the South Downs have been in the hands of the Dukes of Richmond since 1697. The current (11th) Duke is Charles March, formerly Lord March, who created the Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival (see p50). He’s also put an enormous emphasis on the food produced at Goodwood’s Home Farm, launching the farm-to-table restaurant Farmer Butcher Chef in 2016. Where do you get such dedication to quality and innovation? The Duke was inspired by his mother, Susan, Duchess of Richmond, who’s long been a leading light of organic farming in the UK. She in turn had her passion ignited decades ago when she read Rachel Carson’s groundbreaking 1962 book Silent Spring, which helped to launch the environmental movement. The Duchess became one of the Soil Association’s earliest members and now, at 85, she remains dedicated to traditional farming methods. The Home

Farm team prioritise looking after the welfare of their animals and the health of the land, without using pesticides or chemical fertilisers. That approach was very much not the norm in the 1960s and 1970s when farming was going hell-forleather down the intensive, big-scale route, using pesticides liberally and tearing up hedgerows to make enormous fields. The environmental impact affected the local wildlife, especially insects and birds, which play such a crucial part in agriculture.

RAISING THE BAR Goodwood Home Farm was the first certified-organic dairy farm in the country. It’s also the largest lowland dairy farm in the UK and has a Shorthorn herd. Home Farm rears Sussex beef cattle too, as well as South Down sheep (the oldestestablished flock in the country) and Gloucestershire Old Spot and Saddleback pigs. The million annual visitors to Goodwood events have long been able to get a taste of the farm’s produce at its racecourse, motor circuit, aerodrome, health club, hotel, members’ club and → 49

golf courses – but the launch of the Farmer, Butcher, Chef restaurant raised the game and made its farm-to-plate, nose-to-tail ethos available to the public all year round. The meat on the menu comes from animals reared and butchered on the farm (Goodwood uses a small local abattoir) so it’s ultra-local – much of it travels no more than 200 yards. Minimising waste is a priority, which means dishes go beyond prime cuts, including cured ox heart, pig cheeks, beef shin pie, devilled lamb’s liver and heart, and pig’s tail. Note: there are vegetarian options too! To make it work, the restaurant relies on the chef, butcher and farmers acting as a team. That team is farmer Tim Hassell, master butcher Jon Hearn and executive chef Darron Bunn. The three have an obvious camaraderie – and quite like taking the mickey out of each other. Tim, who’s been with Goodwood for about a decade, explains: “I don’t want to big Darron up too much, but since he’s been here he’s been a catalyst for Home Farm. We get together, the three of us, and sit down every Friday morning to go through issues, menus, that sort of thing.” “The meeting is important,” Darron says. “Tim always has a few points that have cropped up, or Jon or I will – but it’s more about ensuring that we see each other regularly.” Tim chips in to say, “It’s developed into quite a close, tight relationship. We know how each other thinks and behaves and what we all want.” Darron explains it goes beyond the day-to-day running of the restaurant, or even the farm; it’s about looking after the heritage of the estate. “This place was here way before any of us and it’ll be here long after we’re gone,” says Darron. In the modern here-today gone-tomorrow food system, that’s something many a chef, butcher or farmer can only dream about. And it works.


The Farmer Butcher Chef restaurant showcases the produce growing outside the windows

CHEESE, BREAD AND BEER These are the other gems produced on the estate, which you can enjoy when you go:


BREAD Loaves – mostly

Organic milk from the Shorthorn dairy herd is used to make three types of farmhouse cheese: firm-textured charlton, the soft and creamy levin down and the rich molecomb blue.

sourdough – are baked almost every day at Farmer, Butcher, Chef by demi chef de partie Sam Rawlings, aided by sous chef Jonny Trent.

ORGANIC BEERS are made by the Goodwood team at the nearby Hepworth Brewery in three styles (an ale, a regular lager and a floral-toned ‘festival lager’), using barley grown on the estate.

FANCY EXPERIENCING GOODWOOD IN ALL ITS GLORY? HERE’S THE SUMMER SEASON… • 5 MAY Horse-racing (on the flat) comes under starter’s orders on Opening Saturday. • 24-26 MAY Festival of Food and Racing: A race meeting that also showcases local artisan food and drink producers. Darron Bunn and the Goodwood chefs will be doing demos, as will chefs from Hawksmoor, Claridges and Michelin-starred Marchal in Copenhagen. 50

• 10 JUNE Family Race Day: featuring horse-racing, farrier demonstrations and behind-the-scenes tours • 12-15 JULY Festival of Speed: the 25th anniversary of this celebration of motorsport • 31 JULY TO 4 AUGUST Qatar Goodwood Festival (aka Glorious Goodwood): five days of top-flight horse-racing with all the frills.

• 24-26 AUGUST Bank holiday weekend: fireworks, vintage funfair and horse-racing • 7-9 SEPTEMBER Goodwood Revival: the 20th anniversary of this fun retro weekend with classic car-racing, old-fashioned aeroplanes and dressing up in vintage gear. For tickets and more information visit





“I was born and bred in Sheffield. My family worked in the steelworks so I’m not from a farming background. When I was a kid, where my mum and dad lived, there was an old-style farm at the back. I used to jump over the wall and mess about. From then, that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. Sometimes I do pinch myself and wonder how a boy from where I came from now manages one of the most famous English estates. When I arrived my brief from Lord March was to add value to everything we produce, and that’s what we’ve been trying to do ever since. I oversee the whole farm, including Nick the shepherd, the cheesemaking, dairy… Farming organically requires more planning than conventional farming. You haven’t got a tin of chemicals on the shelf to rely on, or new fertilisers. But once you get into it, it’s pretty straightforward. To have the number and types of animals we’ve got and to do everything we do – I can’t imagine there are many other farms or estates doing this.”

“At first I had no interest in coming here at all. I had a good job in Wales, running an international meat company. I’d just opened a new production facility. I was having the time of my life! Come and live in England? No! The beer’s funny, prices are too high... I just thought I was being told a tale: ‘We are field to fork’ and ‘We treat the animals nicely…’ I’d heard it all before. Then Tim invited me to have a serious chat about the job. He struck me – for a Yorkshireman – as being an honest person. And it happened to be the day that he was letting the animals out to their summer quarters. Call me a softie, but when I saw those sheep skipping in the fields, and the cattle running around in family groups, getting the care they’re talking about, outside, not fenced in, eating what nature intended them to eat – It just went ‘click’. Then I met the Duchess – a character and a half – and she convinced me. She had a dream and she’s gone and fulfilled it.”

“With the restaurant, Farmer, Butcher, Chef, we wanted to create a place where you could just come on a rainy Tuesday night. You don’t have to make a big deal about it or dress up. The Duke and the Duchess always wanted the farm’s produce in their venues. But to have a restaurant that utilises not just the stars of the show – the sirloins and rib-eyes – is something different. The restaurant feels like it’s been here a while because we’re using things that have been here a long time, in a way that they should be. I’ve learned stuff from Jon about what we can do with different parts of the animal, bits that I hadn’t considered to put on the menu as a cut of meat. For example, pork collar – I’d used it in a terrine but I’d never used it as a main course. It’s an absolute joy as a piece of meat. For me, that’s been a revelation. The things I’ve learned about what’s possible and what’s not possible – the collaboration has been great.” →


NEXT MONTH Could you go a whole month without wasting any food?

THE RECIPE… Sherry vinegar glazed beef short ribs SERVES 4-6. HANDS-ON TIME 45 MIN, OVEN TIME 4-5 HOURS, PLUS MARINATING

• 150ml sherry vinegar • 50g light brown soft sugar • 2 red chicory heads • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil • Handful fresh chives, chopped • Crispy fried onions, from a tub

Cover and chill the cooked, MAKE unglazed ribs for up to AHEAD 3 days. Bring to room temperature, then continue (step 4). Pink and sweet, Brittany’s KNOW- roscoff onions are available HOW from greengrocers or online at or Ocado. Or use regular red/white onions.

• 5 garlic cloves, crushed • 100ml red wine • 50g light brown soft sugar • 25g salt • 1 tsp dijon mustard • 1 tsp mustard seeds • Grated zest and juice 1 lemon

• 2 knobs of butter • Olive oil for frying • 4-6 British free-range beef short ribs (1-1.5kg) • 2 litres fresh beef stock • 2 roscoff onions (see Know-how)

1 Heat a large ovenproof frying pan over a high heat with a knob of butter and glug of oil. Sear the short ribs for 2-3 minutes all over until browned (you may need to do this in batches). 2 Combine all the ingredients for the



marinade in a roasting tray that will fit the beef snugly. Add the beef ribs and turn to coat. Cover with cling film and marinate for at least 2 hours (or up to 12) in the fridge. 3 Heat the oven to 140°C/120°C fan/ gas 1. Remove the ribs from the marinade (discard the marinade), put in a flameproof casserole with a lid and add the beef stock. Bring to the boil on the hob, then cover and transfer to the oven for 4-5 hours until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender. Set the casserole aside. 4 Turn up the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Quarter the onions from root to tip and peel. Heat a knob of butter and some oil in an ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat and add the onion quarters. Cook for 6-8 minutes, turning, until caramelised. Add 50ml sherry vinegar, then shake the pan to deglaze. Put the pan in the oven and cook for 5 minutes or until the onions soften. Separate the onion quarters into individual petals. 5 In a small pan, bring the remaining vinegar and the sugar to the boil, then bubble until syrupy. Using a pastry brush, coat the ribs in the glaze, then return to the oven without the lid and cook for 6-8 minutes, brushing with syrup every 2 minutes, until caramelised and sticky. Transfer to a board and, if not already separated, cut into individual ribs. 6 Separate the chicory leaves and toss with the rapeseed oil and chives on a serving platter. Top with the ribs and roscoff onions and serve sprinkled with crispy fried onions. PER SERVING (FOR 6) 421kcals, 16.6g fat (5.7g saturated), 44.5g protein, 19.4g carbs (16.9g sugars), 3.3g salt, 1.9g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE This calls for a ripe, softly peppery Rhône Valley red such as a côte rôtie.

TICKETS TO THE GOODWOOD WIN! FESTIVAL OF FOOD & RACING We have 10 pairs of Gordon Enclosure tickets for Saturday 26 May 2018 to give away. Visit deliciousmagazine. to enter. Closing date 15 May 2018. For Ts&Cs see p129



“It’s immigration and innovation that have made British food great” In the second part of her residency, chef and writer Ravinder Bhogal proudly raises a fork to those who have transformed the nation’s cooking, introducing ingredients and flavours from far-flung lands


Food writer in residence No 6


the residency.

Confit salmon with mint & coriander chutney and pomegranate & pistachio chaat, p58

Immigration has changed the way Britain eats. Our food culture has flourished with the influx of new arrivals. Immigration and the innovation it brings have helped make Britain great, and our food decidedly global. Our kitchens have become home to feasts of ingredients, flavours and ideas from every corner of the globe. Immigrant foods have often been attacked as a mark of foreign invasion. Indian restaurant owners who opened their doors in the 1960s and 70s tell moving stories of the racial abuse they faced. Their food, derisively referred to as ‘foreign muck’, was derided for the pungency of its spices. As a child, I had a lunchbox that my classmates positively recoiled from. There were no neat crustless triangles of bread, but rolled up keema chapattis whiing of garlic and cumin that made me long for a jam sandwich and a packet of Hula Hoops. Now I’m full of joy at how Britain has embraced food that was so alien in appearance, taste and aroma even just a decade ago. What I love most about ‘immigrant food’ is that it flourishes by feeding other immigrants. It creates mini-economies of restaurants, suppliers and markets specialising in food from a cross-section of world communities. The food of immigrants is about adaptation to environment and circumstance. Recipes aren’t static but are stories open to the improvisations forced on people by their new landscapes. In urban centres, the proximity to other immigrant communities means there is a sharing that creates interesting hybrid dishes. There’s also an interesting mash-up of culinary heritage with what the new landscape has to offer. My mother cooked ‘English food’ on Friday nights. The batter for her fish and chips was laced with ginger, garlic and carom seeds, her shepherd’s pie emboldened with black cardamom and cinnamon, the warmth of spices feebly trying to comfort a family who could not adjust to the frigid English weather. When standing up for immigrants and the greater ideal of immigration, food might be just the ammunition you need. It’s one thing to be wary of unseen, faceless Syrians, Indians and Koreans but it’s quite another to enjoy silky houmous, a puff of naan bread or an eye-watering kimchi and still hold on to those prejudices. 56

Prawn toast scotch eggs MAKES 12. HANDS-ON TIME 1 HOUR

These are the bonny love children of a scotch egg and a prawn toast – both perennially popular in their own right, and outrageously good when they come together. If you can’t get hold of uncooked prawn crackers use an extra 125g panko breadcrumbs to coat the eggs (steps 3 & 5), but I especially like using the spicy Thai prawn crackers, which puf up when fried to give an of-theRichter-scale crunch. Prepare the eggs up to the MAKE AHEAD end of step 5, then chill until ready to fry (keep in the fridge for up to 12 hours). Or fry the scotch eggs as in the recipe, cool, then warm through in a hot oven for 10 minutes to serve. Putting the cooked quail KNOW- eggs in iced water laced with HOW vinegar makes the shells soften so they’re easier to peel. • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar • 12 quail eggs • 400g raw sustainably sourced king prawns, peeled • 3 fat garlic cloves, finely chopped • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger • 1 tsp caster sugar • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil • 1 tsp chilli flakes, toasted for a few minutes in a dry pan • 1 tsp light soy sauce • 5 spring onions, finely chopped • 125g uncooked Thai or Chinese prawn crackers (see Ravinder’s introduction) • 100g panko breadcrumbs • 150g plain flour for coating • 3 medium free-range eggs, beaten • Groundnut or vegetable oil for deep frying YOU’LL ALSO NEED…

• Bowl of iced water; food processor; a digital probe thermometer would be useful, too 1 Bring a small pan of water to the

boil. Meanwhile mix the vinegar into the bowl of iced water and have it on standby (see Know-how). Lower the quail eggs into the boiling water and simmer for 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the eggs and put them in the iced vinegar water. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then peel the eggs and set aside. 2 Put the prawns, garlic, ginger, sugar, sesame oil, toasted chilli flakes and soy sauce in a food processor and whizz until you have a coarse, sticky paste. Mix in the spring onions, then divide the prawn mixture into 12 equal portions. 3 Put the prawn crackers in a clean food processor bowl and whizz to a breadcrumb consistency. Mix with the panko breadcrumbs and put in a shallow bowl or tray. Put the plain flour and beaten eggs into 2 more separate shallow bowls. 4 Wrap each quail egg in a portion of the prawn mixture. The easiest way to do this is by rolling it into a ball, then flattening it into a disc large enough to wrap around the egg. Gently press the edges together over the top of each egg to seal, being careful not to squash the delicate egg inside. 5 Once all the eggs have been wrapped in the prawn mixture, roll them first in flour, then coat in the beaten egg, then roll in the cracker/breadcrumb mix. For extra crunch, roll in egg and breadcrumbs again. 6 Heat the oil a deep, heavy-based saucepan (no more than half-full) to 180°C. (If you don’t have a digital probe thermometer a cube of bread added to the pan will turn golden in 30-40 seconds at this temperature.) Line a baking tray with kitchen paper. Use a slotted spoon or frying basket to lower the scotch eggs into the hot oil, then fry, in batches, for 3 minutes. Lift out carefully using the slotted spoon/frying basket and set on the lined tray to drain. Serve warm as a nibble (or see Make Ahead). PER SCOTCH EGG 276kcals, 14.3g fat (2.2g saturated), 14.1g protein, 22.2g carbs (1.4g sugars), 0.7g salt, 0.9g fibre →

the residency.


Ravinder enjoys Chinese-style scotch eggs; photo of Ravinder with her grandad (right)

Prawn toast scotch eggs


• 100g unsalted pistachios kernels • Small bunch fresh coriander, finely chopped • 1 small red onion, finely chopped • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped • 50g sprouted mung beans (optional) • Seeds from 1 small pomegranate • 1 tsp chaat masala (from the world food section of large supermarkets; optional) • Juice 1 lime • 60ml extra-virgin olive oil FOR THE MINT & CORIANDER CHUTNEY

SUSY ATKINS’ WINE PICKS These recipes all call out for wines with scented, brightly fruity characters. A lively young rosé, just lightly chilled, would suit the prawn toast scotch eggs (try a Spanish rosado), while the confit salmon works best with an Aussie chardonnaysemillon blend. The paneer gnudi and the kimchi parathas demand a crisp modern sauv blanc, ideally from New Zealand or Chile.

Confit salmon with mint & coriander chutney and pomegranate & pistachio chaat SERVES 4 AS A MAIN COURSE OR 6-8 AS A SHARING STARTER. HANDS-ON TIME 1 HOUR, PLUS 1 HOUR CURING

Confit is a classic French technique in which fish or meat is submerged in fat and cooked over a low heat, giving it a beautifully soft texture. The herby chutney and pomegranate and pistachio chaat cut through the dish’s richness. After curing the salmon for MAKE 1 hour, rinse off the salt and AHEAD the fish will keep, covered in the fridge, for up to 24 hours. • 600g organic salmon fillet, skinned and pin-boned (ask your fishmonger) • 500ml olive oil FOR THE MASALA SALT

• 1 tsp cumin seeds • 1 tsp coriander seeds • 1 tsp cardamom pods, seeds removed and finely crushed • 1 tsp fennel seeds • 1 tsp black peppercorns • 1 cinnamon stick • 1 mace blade • 4 tbsp sea salt 58

• Small bunch fresh mint, leaves picked • Small bunch fresh coriander, leaves and stalks roughly chopped • 1 green chilli, roughly chopped • ½ tsp toasted cumin seeds, coarsely ground • Juice ½ lime • 1 tsp caster sugar • 150ml greek yogurt YOU’LL ALSO NEED…

• Digital probe thermometer 1 To make the masala salt, toast all the spices (but not the salt) in a dry frying pan for 2-3 minutes until fragrant, then cool. Add the salt, then grind in a spice/coffee grinder or in a pestle and mortar to a fine powder. 2 Put the salmon on a large plate and rub all over with the masala salt. Chill, covered with cling film, for 1 hour until lightly cured. 3 Meanwhile, make the chaat. Heat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/gas 3. Spread the pistachios out on a baking tray and roast for 8-10 minutes, moving them around to make sure they’re evenly roasted. Cool, then chop finely and put in a serving bowl with the remaining ingredients. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. 4 For the chutney, put the herbs, chilli, cumin, lime juice, sugar and some salt and pepper in a food processor or mini food processor and whizz to a paste (or finely chop by hand). Put the yogurt in a serving bowl and stir in the paste, then

season to taste. Cover until needed. 5 When the salmon is ready, rinse well and pat dry with kitchen paper (see Make Ahead). Put the salmon in a deep frying or sauté pan (it should fit snugly), then pour in the olive oil to cover. Put the pan on a medium heat and heat the oil until it reaches 60°C on a digital probe thermometer. Cook for 8 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave it in the oil for 2 minutes more. Carefully lift the salmon out of the oil and drain on kitchen paper. 6 Put the salmon on a serving platter, spoon over the chutney, then top with the chaat, reserving some of both to serve alongside. PER SERVING (FOR 8) 379kcals, 32g fat (5.9g saturated), 19.8g protein, 3.6g carbs (3g sugars), 1.4g salt, 1.1g fibre


This dish is a love letter to the Punjabi farmers who were flown in to work in the Italian dairy industry when the Italians struggled to recruit native workers. It combines homemade Indian cheese with parmesan to make meltingly light gnudi. You need to start this recipe MAKE a day in advance. Keep the AHEAD gnudi covered in the fridge for 24 hours. Make the saag and cavolo nero bases 2 hours ahead, then warm and finish the recipe. FOR THE PANEER GNUDI

• 2 litres whole organic milk – the creamier the better • Juice 1 lemon • 1 large free-range egg yolk • 50g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated, plus extra • Generous grating of nutmeg • 200g fine semolina • 25g butter FOR THE SAAG

• 500g young leaf spinach • 40g butter

the residency.

• 1 onion, finely chopped • 1 tsp cumin seeds • Thumb-size piece fresh ginger, finely grated • 3 garlic cloves, chopped • 1 green chilli, finely chopped FOR THE CAVOLO NERO

• 200g cavolo nero or other seasonal cabbage, thick stalks discarded and leaves chopped • 60ml extra-virgin olive oil • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced • 1 red chilli, finely chopped • Grated zest and juice 1 lemon TO SERVE

• 1 preserved lemon, peel finely chopped (flesh discarded) or 2 strips lemon zest, finely sliced • Toasted pine nuts 1 Make the gnudi the day before you want to serve. Put the milk in a pan and bring up to the boil, stirring constantly, then stir in the lemon juice. Take off the heat and set aside for 20 minutes. The mixture should curdle and the curds and whey should separate. 2 Line a sieve with a clean J-Cloth or muslin square and set over a jug or bowl; pour in the curds and whey, catching the curds in the cloth/ muslin. Discard the whey (or use to make scones). Rinse the curds under cold water, then gather in the cloth/ muslin and squeeze out excess liquid. 3 Put the curds in a mixing bowl and use your hands to lightly knead them with the egg yolk, cheese, nutmeg, 1-2 tbsp cold water and black pepper. Don’t overwork the gnudi mixture. 4 Sprinkle half the semolina on a tray or serving platter. Roll the gnudi mix into 30-35 small balls and add to the tray/platter of semolina. Sprinkle the rest of the semolina on top, roll the balls to coat (see picture opposite), then cover and chill for 24 hours. 5 For the saag, bring a large pan of water to the boil and have a large bowl of iced water to hand. Cook the spinach for a few seconds until wilted, then plunge into the iced water. Lift out the spinach (save →

Paneer gnudi with saag


Four-cheese pasta, p44

the residency.

Melt the 25g butter in a clean frying pan until foaming. In batches, gently lower the gnudi into the water with a slotted spoon and simmer for about 45 seconds. Lift out with the slotted spoon, add to the pan of butter and fry for 2-3 minutes until pale golden. 9 To serve, spoon the saag into 4 or 6 warmed bowls, then top with cavolo nero and the gnudi. Scatter with preserved lemon/lemon zest, pine nuts and more grated parmesan. PER SERVING (FOR 6) 624kcals, 39.5g fat (19.1g saturated), 23.5g protein, 41.7g carbs (16.4g sugars), 1g salt, 4.2g fibre


Kimchi parathas

NEXT MONTH Felicity Cloake goes for a picnic in the park

the water) and put in a clean J-Cloth/ muslin square. Squeeze out any excess liquid, put in a blender/food processor and whizz until smooth. 6 Melt the 40g butter in a pan over a medium heat, then fry the onion and cumin seeds for 5 minutes until the onion is turning golden. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli and fry for 1-2 minutes until aromatic. Stir in the spinach purée, season, then cook until heated through. 7 For the cavolo nero, bring the pan of water back to the boil and refresh the bowl of iced water. Add the cavolo nero to the boiling water and cook for 1 minute, then plunge straight into the iced water (to keep its colour bright). Lift out and squeeze dry in the J-Cloth/muslin square you used for the spinach. Heat the 60ml olive oil in a separate pan over a low heat, then fry the garlic, chilli and lemon zest until fragrant. Add the lemon juice, then stir in the cavolo nero to warm through. Taste and season. 8 Just before serving remove the gnudi from the semolina. Bring a new pan of salted water to the boil.

Kimchi, Korean fermented cabbage, seems to have found its way onto everything from burgers to tacos, so I thought I’d attempt a little KoreanIndian mash-up by stuffing it into parathas, India’s answer to the greasy-spoon fry-up. The sizzling of the pan as they cook is so seductive. A fried egg on top makes it perfect for a lazy Sunday breakfast. Make the chapati dough up MAKE AHEAD to 12 hours ahead and keep covered in the fridge until ready to roll out and cook, or fry the parathas a few hours ahead, leave to cool, then keep covered somewhere cool and warm in the oven to serve. We like Kim Kong Kimchi, FOOD TEAM’S from Amazon Fresh and TIP Planet Organic (it’s also suitable for vegetarians, unlike most). Or make your own: find a recipe at • 300g kimchi, drained (see tip), plus extra to serve • 375g chapati flour (from Tesco, Ocado and Holland & Barrett), plus extra for dusting • 1 tsp salt • 4 tbsp oil or ghee, plus extra for greasing and frying • 275-300ml warm water


• Fried eggs • Spring onions, finely sliced 1 Put the kimchi in a clean J-Cloth or muslin square and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Chop finely and set aside. 2 For the dough, mix the flour and salt in a mixing bowl, then add the oil/ghee and mix again. Slowly add the warm water a little at a time, kneading well until you have a soft, springy malleable dough (you may not need all the water). Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and set aside to rest for half an hour. 3 Divide the dough into 8 equal balls, dust with a little extra flour and keep the balls covered with a clean moist cloth or cling film to stop them drying out as you work. 4 Before preparing the parathas, grease your palms with a little of the oil. Flatten one ball in the palm of your hands to form a 12cm disc. Put a generous teaspoon of the chopped kimchi in the middle and bring the edges of dough up like a purse/ parcel to seal the kimchi inside. Flatten the top then, using your fingers, flatten the whole thing to form a disc about 15cm wide. When you’re flattening the disc, try to work the filling to the edges so it’s evenly distributed. Prepare the rest of the parathas in the same way. 5 Heat the oven to 140°C/120°C fan/ gas 1. Heat a non-stick frying pan to medium-high. Put half a teaspoon of oil/ghee in the pan and fry a paratha for 2 minutes on each side until lightly blistered. Put on a baking tray, cover with foil and keep warm in the oven while you cook the rest. 6 When ready to serve, heat a glug of oil in a medium frying pan, then crack in 2-3 eggs at a time and fry for 2-3 minutes until cooked to your liking. Repeat until you have enough cooked eggs. Serve the parathas with fried eggs on top, extra kimchi and scattered with spring onions. PER SERVING 241kcals, 8g fat (4.6g saturated), 4.7g protein, 36.6g carbs (0.3g sugars), 0.8g salt, 1.9g fibre


“Turkish people take hospitality seriously – it always turns into a feast” Growing up in a family who placed food at the centre of every occasion meant that I spent a lot of time in the kitchen as a child. My gran, or nene in Turkish, was the head chef in my household and I would help her in the kitchen making börek – one of my earliest memories of being at the stove. We used to make meat-stufed cig börek in big batches and we’d be eating it for days after, with the spices and the meat getting more and more delicious. Of course, I’d be sent down the street to share the food around – in Turkish culture you can’t get away with cooking for just two to three people; it always turns into a feast. The recipe I made with nene had been passed down through generations and can probably be traced back to Cyprus, or to “the old country” as she would say. At Yosma I’ve tried to carry on her

tradition with our own version, which I cook in our clay oven – it’s probably my favourite sh on the menu d reminds me ne ne Hus with his li az N r) he the joy of ot m (grand aring food ith the ones ou love. us is executive hef at Yosma estaurant on London’s Baker Street 62

Pine nut, feta, spinach and mint börek MAKES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 20 MIN, OVEN TIME 15-20 MIN

Make up to a day ahead, MAKE cover and chill. Reheat in AHEAD a low oven to serve. The yogurt mix, although FOOD TEAM’S delicious brushed onto the TIP filo, makes it tricky to roll neatly. If the börek look a little untidy you can cut off the baked ends to create a neater shape. • 200g baby leaf spinach, wilted in a hot pan, then squeezed to remove excess water • 80g feta cheese, crumbled, plus extra to serve • 20g pine nuts, toasted, plus extra to serve • A few sprigs fresh mint, leaves picked and chopped, plus extra to serve • 1-2 tbsp double cream • 30g natural yogurt • 1 tbsp milk • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing • 3 filo pastry sheets (we used Jus-Rol) 1 Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6. Combine the cooked spinach, feta, toasted pine nuts and mint in a bowl. Add just enough double cream

to bind, then season well. Set aside. 2 In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, milk and olive oil. Lay out a sheet of filo on a clean work surface and brush with some of the yogurt mixture (keep the remaining filo sheets covered with a damp tea towel so they don’t dry out). Repeat with the remaining sheets of filo, layering them up as you go. Fold the filo layers in half like a book and brush again with the yogurt mix (you may have some yogurt mix left over). 3 Cut the filo in half horizontally, then again vertically to create four even rectangles. Divide the filling equally among the four rectangles, putting about 1 heaped tablespoon of filling on each, leaving a 2cm gap from the bottom of the short side facing you. Roll each piece tightly to create four cigar-shaped cylinders. Transfer to a baking tray lined with nonstick baking paper, brush with a little oil and bake for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway, until golden and crisp. Serve sprinkled with extra mint leaves, feta and pine nuts. PER SERVING 258kcals, 16.5g fat (5.4g saturated), 8.3g protein, 18.2g carbs (1.9g sugars), 0.8g salt, 1.6g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE Dry Turkish white (especially the narince grape) or a crisp Mediterranean vermentino. For more ways to use filo pastry, see Loose Ends


For Turkish Cypriot chef Hus Vedat, cooking börek is like a magic carpet ride straight back to his childhood, and memories of time spent in the kitchen with his grandmother

food memories.


YOUR NEW FAVOURITE THING ON TOAST Crab rarebit This is one of my all-time favourite recipes. It’s simple to make and it pulls together some amazing Cornish flavours, combining superfresh crab and local Cornish cheese. SIMON STALLARD


The crab rarebit mixture MAKE will keep for 1-2 days, AHEAD covered, in the fridge. Serve with lemon wedges FOOD TEAM’S for squeezing over. You TIP could serve bite-size crab toasts as a nibble – top and grill fingers of toast just before serving. • 25g butter • 25g plain flour • 200mI whole milk • 50g mature cheddar (preferably Cornish such as Davidstow), grated • 1 tsp English mustard • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce • 200g white crabmeat • Small handful freshly snipped chives, plus extra to serve • 4-6 sourdough slices • 50g brown crabmeat 1 Heat the grill to high. Melt the butter in a heavy-based pan over

a low heat. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring, to form a paste. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly to create a smooth sauce. Cook for 3-4 minutes to cook out the taste of the flour and thicken the sauce. Take the pan off the heat and add the grated cheese, mustard and Worcestershire sauce, then mix well. Add the white crabmeat and snipped chives, then stir to combine. 2 Lightly grill the bread on one side. Take out of the grill and spread a thin layer of brown crabmeat over the untoasted side of the bread slices. Top evenly with the white crab/cheesy mixture, then grill for 4 minutes until lightly golden on top. Serve hot from the grill, sprinkled with more chives. PER SERVING (FOR 3) 488kcals, 18.5g fat (9.8g saturated), 32.1g protein, 46.8g carbs (5.6g sugars), 2.1g salt, 2.8g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE White burgundy – and best of all a chablis from the north of the region – has just the right ripe/fresh balance.

MEET SIMON… He’s the founder of The Hidden Hut, a hugely popular outdoor restaurant on the Cornish coast, which he set up in 2011. It’s tucked down a remote sandy beach with no road access – and it’s completely off-grid. Simon cooks atmospheric open-air feasts all year round, and tickets sell out in a matter of minutes after their release, making it one of the hottest restaurant tickets in the UK. The Hidden Hut is Simon’s first cookbook. 64

Recipe from The Hidden Hut by Simon Stallard (HarperCollins £20), out 3 May


You can’t go wrong with any snack that involves a crisply toasted slice of good bread as its base. But top it with a sublime combination of sweet-savoury crab and other good Cornish things and the taste experience is a heady one. Dare we say it’s a must-try…?


I F Y O U M A K E O N E P U D D I N G T H I S M O N T H…


Make the pastry dough up to MAKE AHEAD 24 hours ahead, wrap and chill, or freeze for up to 1 month. Make the tart up to 4 hours ahead, cover and chill. Bring up to room temperature to serve. Resting the pastry in the fridge KNOW- prevents it from shrinking as HOW it bakes. Don’t over-work the pastry as this FOOD TEAM’S will make it tough. Be careful, too, TIPS not to add too much flour when rolling, as this can also make it tough. If your work surface is wooden the pastry may stick, so roll it out between two sheets of non-stick baking paper. FOR THE PASTRY

• 160g plain flour, plus extra for dusting • 90g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes • 1 large free-range egg yolk • 2 tbsp cold water FOR THE FILLING

• 100ml single cream • 1 medium free-range egg, plus 3 medium yolks • 1 tsp vanilla bean extract • 100g caster sugar 66

• 1 ball of stem ginger from a jar, finely chopped, plus 2 tbsp of the syrup • Juice 2 limes, plus zest to garnish • 300g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2-3cm chunks YOU’LL ALSO NEED…

• Fluted loose-bottomed rectangular tart tin (we used the 35cm x 13.8cm John Lewis Professional non-stick fluted tarte maison tin, £10.50, Alternatively, use a 20cm round fluted loose-bottomed tin 1 Put the flour and butter in a food processor with a pinch of salt and pulse until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Whisk together the egg yolk and water, then add 1-1½ tbsp of the mixture to the flour and butter. Pulse again until the mixture comes together and forms a dough. (Alternatively, rub the flour, butter and a pinch of salt together with your fingertips to a breadcrumb consistency, then quickly stir in the egg yolk and water mixture with a dinner knife to form a dough.) Use your hands to bring the dough together gently (see tips). 2 Flatten the pastry into a disc and wrap in cling film. Chill for at least 20 minutes (see Make Ahead). 3 Sprinkle a little flour onto a work surface (see tips) and roll the pastry with a rolling pin to a rectangle (or circle, for a round tin) 3-4cm larger than the tin. Turn the pastry

regularly to stop it sticking, dusting with more flour if needed. 4 Use the rolling pin to lift the pastry and drape it over the tin, then press the pastry into the edges of the tin, pinching up the sides a bit so the pastry sits just above the level of the tin. Line with foil and fill with ceramic baking beans or uncooked rice, then chill in the freezer for 10 minutes or in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 210°C/190°C fan/gas 6½. 5 Blind bake the lined, filled tart case for 20 minutes, then remove the baking beans and bake for a further 5 minutes until the base is golden and feels sandy to the touch. Leave to cool. Using a serrated sharp knife, trim off the excess pastry around the top of the tart case to give a neat edge. 6 While the pastry is cooling, turn the oven down to 150°C/130°C fan/gas 2. In a large jug whisk together the cream, whole eggs and yolks, vanilla, sugar, ginger syrup (not the chopped ginger) and lime juice. 7 Put the cooled pastry case on a lipped baking sheet and arrange the rhubarb and chopped stem ginger over the base. Pour in the cream mixture. Transfer to the oven and bake for 50 minutes (55-60 minutes if using a round tin) or until set but with a slight wobble in the middle. Leave to cool completely, then sprinkle over lime zest to decorate. Slice diagonally to serve. PER SERVING 235kcals, 13.5g fat (7.6g saturated), 3.9g protein, 23.9g carbs (11.6g sugars), 0.1g salt, 1.2g fibre


The magic combination of sweet custard and tart candy-pink rhubarb is a classic flavour match, but we’ve added a next-gen twist with the zing of fresh lime and a touch of stem ginger. We think it’s a winner!

sweet things.

Stand-up bufet, sit-down supper; British, American, mid-Atlantic: there’s a lot of speculation surrounding the food that guests might expect at the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry this month. One thing’s for sure: there’ll be a wedding cake, and in cakey matters the royal family have always set the fashion for the nation. Dr Annie Gray investigates the history of this centrepiece confection ILLUSTRATION BY SARA MULVANNY


ake has been associated with celebration since at least medieval times. Back then, the cakes were actually more like glorified breads: yeasted, fruited and spiced, they were expensive, huge and screamed luxury. It was under the Tudors that the ‘bride cake’ was first eaten at weddings (the same fortified bread that cropped up at all celebrations). And brides didn’t just get cake. In the 1660s, Robert May published a recipe for a ‘bride pie’ in The Accomplisht Cook. More like an I’m a Celebrity Get me Out of Here challenge than a wedding cake, this involved cockscombs, lambs’ testicles, larks, cockles and spices in four pies put together as one. Such creations flourished for a while, but the cake steadily grew in importance. By the middle of the Georgian period, with sugar, spice and dried fruit becoming more affordable, cake was evolving from a yeasted dough to something more akin to the rich fruitcake we know today. ‘Great

cakes’, as they were sometimes known, were made for all sorts of festivities – and could be massive. Recipes measured the flour in pecks (1 peck equals about 9kg) and cake tins were around a metre across.

ICING ON THE CAKE In 1769 Elizabeth Raffald published the first recipe for a cake that was covered with almond paste and iced, and by the early Victorian era this was the norm. As the Victorians put more and more emphasis on love and companionship in marriage, the name changed too, becoming ‘wedding cake’. Victoria and Albert’s wedding in 1840 was reported in breathless tones by the press of the day. Queen Victoria’s white gown and the richly decorated cakes set the fashion for

the future. Her main cake (there were several) was huge and round with white and coloured decoration. Previously wedding cakes tended to be plain, but it became all the rage to have decoration – tasteful of course – increasingly in white, but sometimes in glorious Technicolor. The occasion was, after all, a celebration, and elegant sugarwork added a fantastical element, reflecting the magic of the day.

THE TOP TIER By the Edwardian era change was afoot, and the single or simplystacked cakes of the 19th century were being held up in proud tiers by columns. It was about height rather than girth. ‘Royal icing’, as the eggwhite icing used for Queen Victoria’s cake was known, was now the only possible choice for a wedding cake. It was during this era that the tradition of the bride cutting the cake gave way to the couple ceremoniously cutting the cake together. It was in the 20th century that the idea of keeping the top tier for a christening

food for thought.

or wedding anniversary started to take hold, possibly as it enabled confectioners to persuade punters to buy an even more extravagant cake. Earlier beliefs in wedding cakes possessing magical fortune-telling powers were still in evidence: it was said that if an unmarried girl put a piece of cake under her pillow (in some cases passing it through a ring first), she would dream of her future spouse. Without the hardships of World War II, it’s likely that cakes would have hit the ceiling by the 1950s. The rationing of the ingredients needed to make a wedding cake put a sudden stop to their upward evolution. Wartime weddings were muted affairs, and couples either had to rely on donations of fruit, flour, butter, sugar and eggs from friends and relatives, or buy (or make) the best cake they could manage, covering it with a fake outer coating of cardboard or wood ‘iced’ with plaster of paris. After the war, it was back to multi-tiered cakes, though coloured icing crept back in slowly.

ANYTHING GOES By the 1970s divorce rates were rising and second marriages were on the up. The hegemony of the fruitcake, 500 years old or more, was finally challenged, and as the century drew to a close, some people chose sponge, chocolate or other, even more outré, cakes. Decoration exploded, driven in part

by more freewheeling American traditions, as featured in addictive TV shows such as Ace of Cakes, which aired on The Food Network between 2006 and 2011. Royal icing was still used for rich fruit cake, but fondant, painted and embossed icing became popular. In some quarters, the idea of a single big cake was dispensed with in favour of tiers of cupcakes, as bright with icing and decoration as their Victorian forebears. Yet another modern option is the cheese stack, aping the tiered wedding cake but with wheels of stilton, brie and cheddar. But perhaps the most bizarre of all is the Japanese fashion for a fake cake with a ready-made slot at the back for the bride and groom to insert the knife for the big photo opportunity.

DOWN TO EARTH So what of Harry and Meghan? At time of going to press we hear that they will be treating their guests to slices of an organic lemon and elderflower cake. The couple have enlisted Californian pastry chef and food writer Claire Ptak, owner of the Violet Bakery in east London, to make it. Reports say it will involve ‘spring’ flavours and will be covered with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers. And with that break from tradition it’s time to accept that, while weddings may not always be magical, they are an earthly celebration of love – and a chance to eat, drink and be merry with our friends and families. Dr Annie Gray is a food historian and author of The Greedy Queen: Eating with Victoria (Profile Books £16.99)

DOING IT ROYALLY Here’s a snapshot of how royal wedding cakes have stacked up through the ages VICTORIA AND ALBERT, 1840 In this case, tasteful and appropriate meant figurines of Britannia blessing Victoria and Albert, all cast in sugar. The royal couple were (slightly incongruously) dressed in roman togas. O VICTORIA, PRINCESS ROYAL, AND WILHELM OF PRUSSIA, 1858 This one was featured in the Illustrated London News, and the public loved it. It was tiered, but only the bottom tier was cake: the top two were pure sugar. It looked more like a garden sculpture than a cake. O PRINCE LEOPOLD AND HELENA OF WALDECK AND PYRMONT, 1882 Three tiers, by now all of cake, and stacked on top of each other in classic mid-Victorian style, topped with an extravagant cupola. A vase of flowers on top added extra height and was a feature of the majority of wedding cakes until well into the 20th century. The decoration was moulded and had a riot of piping, a technique introduced in the 1860s. O THE DUKE OF YORK (LATER GEORGE VI) AND ELIZABETH BOWES-LYON, 1923 Less trendsetting by now, and more trend-following, the four tiers of this cake – still topped with a flower vase – showcased the Edwardian vogue for columns separating the tiers. It remained the classic model for wedding cakes until the 21st century. O PRINCE WILLIAM AND KATE MIDDLETON, 2011 With eight levels (a five-tier cake supported by four three-tier cake pedestals) and no obvious columns, this monster proved that mere mortals still can’t compete with the royal family in the cake stakes. Mainly ivory rather than white, the fruitcake also involved an homage to Queen Victoria’s orange blossom wedding bouquet. O

Turn the page for three brilliant takes on celebration cakes, from small to huge – but all very special → 69

Sensational celebration cakes There are times when a showstopping cake is the most fitting tribute. This month’s royal wedding is one, of course, and the warmer days bring countless occasions (weddings, birthdays and more) to pull out the stops and celebrate with a wow-factor cake. We asked three great cooks to devise three very diferent creations… Whether you’re new to cake making or already a bit of a pro, this is your moment PHOTOGRAPHS MAJA SMEND FOOD STYLING LOTTIE COVELL AND KAT SILVERFIELD STYLING TONY HUTCHINSON

wow moment.

THE BITE-SIZE CAKE by Jen Bedloe I got married 10 years ago and my dear friend (and first food editor/ boss) Jane Curran made us wedding carrot cupcakes. It was the most special gift and one I’ll never forget. These are made in silicone cupcake cases, which are worth searching out because there’s no fiddly paper to remove, and they look truly elegant stacked up on a tiered cake stand. The cupcakes keep well and are wonderfully moist – a joy to eat.

Carrot cupcakes (nut free) MAKES 22. HANDS-ON TIME 20 MIN, OVEN TIME 20-22 MIN, PLUS COOLING

Bake the cupcakes 2-3 days MAKE ahead and keep cool in an AHEAD airtight container. Or open freeze, then store in food bags for up to 1 month. Defrost, then ice up to 4 hours before serving. If making a lot of cupcakes KNOW- in advance, make them one HOW batch at a time (unless you have two good ovens). Weigh the ingredients in advance but don’t combine them (step 1) until when you’re ready to bake or you’ll activate the raising agent too early. In step 3, you could make 3 batches of icing in a stand mixer at one go. If you want a cake for cutting FOOD TEAM’S (for a wedding you can put it TIPS at the top of a tiered cake stand, with cupcakes on the lower tiers), make the batter as in the recipe. Spoon all the batter into an 18cm, fully lined cake tin and bake for 60-70 minutes. Ice all over and decorate to suit your theme.


• 200g grated carrots (about 2 medium carrots) • 250ml light olive oil • 4 large free-range eggs • 225g light brown soft sugar • 75g sultanas • 75g raisins • Grated zest 1 orange • 2 tsp ground mixed spice • ½ tsp ground allspice • 225g self-raising flour • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda FOR THE ICING

• 100g unsalted butter, at room temperature • 250g full-fat Philadelphia cream cheese, at room temperature • 100g icing sugar TO DECORATE

• Sugar flowers (from the baking aisle of larger supermarkets or at YOU’LL ALSO NEED…


For all bakers

1 Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ gas 4. Using a wooden spoon, mix all the cupcake ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well combined (see Know-how). Use an ice cream scoop or dessertspoon to divide the batter equally among the cases. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a skewer pushed into the middle of a cake comes out clean and they feel springy. 2 Leave the cakes in the trays until cool enough to handle, then put onto a rack to cool completely. Once cool, pop out of the cases (then repeat with another batch if making more). 3 For the icing, use a wooden spoon to beat the butter in a mixing bowl until soft and fluffy. Beat in the cream cheese, then sift over the icing sugar and beat until smooth and until well combined (see Knowhow). Spoon/pipe onto the cooled cupcakes and top with sugar flowers. PER CUPCAKE 270kcals, 15.9g fat (5.6g saturated), 3.5g protein, 27.7g carbs (19.9g sugars), 0.4g salt, 0.9g fibre →

• 2 x 12-hole muffin trays lined with 22 silicone cupcake holders (from cookware shops or 71

THE HUGE DOUBLES-AS-A-PUDDING CAKE by Lorna Wing Back in the 1990s, my catering company made hundreds of these famed Austrian chocolate cakes for clients. It’s a much loved and much requested recipe – rightly so, as this flourless cake is rich and moist and keeps well. It’s fabulous for celebrations, be it weddings, christenings or milestone birthdays. The cake can also be served as a dessert with seasonal berries and lends itself to all sorts of decorations: festooned with flowers, strewn with rose petals or gilded with edible gold leaf.

Sachertorte SKILL LEVEL 2

For the confident baker


To freeze, wrap the un-iced MAKE cake in a double layer of AHEAD cling film, then in a double layer of foil, and freeze for up to 8 weeks. Defrost overnight at room temperature before icing. Or make up to 5 days ahead, wrap as above and keep in a cool place. Ice the cake the day before and keep cool. • 1kg dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), broken into pieces • 25 large free-range eggs (5 whole, 20 separated) • 800g caster sugar • 570g ground almonds • 1 heaped tbsp espresso powder FOR THE ICING

GO SMALLER – OR BIGGER! Want to make a smaller version of this cake for less of a crowd? Or to make three tiers and stack it up like a wedding cake? Visit delicious sacher-special to find out how.

• 550g dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), broken into pieces • 225g unsalted butter, cubed • 110g smooth apricot jam YOU’LL ALSO NEED...

• Very large mixing bowl; stand mixer; 30cm diameter x 10cm deep loose-bottomed cake tin – grease the base and sides, line with a double thickness of non-stick baking paper, then tie a double thickness of brown

parcel paper round the outside with string to make a 20cm high collar; long-bladed palette knife; large serving plate or cake board 1 Heat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/ gas 3½. Put a shallow ovenproof dish on the bottom shelf of the oven and fill with near-boiling water. Position the shelf for baking the cake about a third up from the bottom of the oven, just above the water. 2 Melt the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water for 15-20 minutes (don’t let the bowl touch the water). Be careful not to overheat the chocolate or it will turn grainy. 3 While the chocolate is melting, put the 5 whole eggs, the 20 egg yolks and sugar in a very large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric handmixer for about 10 minutes until thick and creamy. Using a large metal spoon, quickly stir the melted chocolate into the egg mixture, along with the almonds and espresso powder, until well mixed. 4 Using a stand mixer, whisk a third of the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Using a large metal spoon, fold a large spoonful of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen it. Quickly and lightly fold in the rest, using a figure-of-eight motion until just combined. Whisk the rest of the egg whites in 2 batches and fold in each batch straight after whisking. 5 Carefully pour the mixture into the cake tin and smooth the surface. Cover with a double thickness of extra-wide foil, resting it on the paper collar, and make a hole in the centre the size of a 50p piece. Bake for 2 hours 45 minutes to 3 hours. 6 The cake is ready when well risen, with a nice crust, and when a metal skewer pushed into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the

oven, discard the foil and brown paper, cover the cake with a damp, clean tea towel and leave to cool in the tin for 1 hour. Carefully remove from the tin and put on a wire rack to cool, then remove the baking paper. 7 For the icing, put the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of hot water on a low heat, making sure the water isn’t touching the bowl. Leave to melt for 10-15 minutes. 8 Add the butter, bit by bit, stirring gently with a heatproof plastic spatula until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool until the mixture has started to thicken up like double cream. 9 Meanwhile, if the top of the cake is uneven, trim with a long knife, then turn the cake over to give a flat surface for icing. Put it back on the wire rack, brush off any crumbs and put a tray underneath. 10 Melt the apricot jam in a small pan over a low heat for 3-4 minutes, then brush it over the cake using a pastry brush – the jam prevents any crumbs from spoiling the icing. 11 Pour the icing over the cake and, using the palette knife, quickly and evenly smooth it over the top and sides. Leave to set in a cool place. 12 When the icing has set, using a small sharp knife dipped in hot water, carefully cut the bottom of the cake away from the wire rack. Using a cake lifter or a palette knife and sturdy fish slice (and an extra pair of hands), transfer the cake to a large serving plate or cake board. 13 Decorate the cake however you wish. Use unsprayed rose petals brushed in egg white, then covered in caster sugar and left to dry, or edible gold leaf (from the baking section of larger supermarkets). Fresh flowers would look beautiful too. To serve, cut the cake into long slices, then cut each slice into 4 or 5 pieces. PER SERVING (FOR 45) 425kcals, 24.3g fat (9.9g saturated), 9.9g protein, 41.1g carbs (40.5g sugars), 0.2g salt, 1.2g fibre For more ways to use espresso powder, see Loose Ends →

wow moment. 73



For the expert baker

I’ve been making wedding cakes for two years, and it’s become a passion. I studied at Le Cordon Bleu and gleaned everything I could from some of my cake heroes to learn as much as possible from the best. I love the romance of a tiered cake like this one. While other dessert trends come and go, tiered cakes have stood the test of time. Follow Kat on Instagram @katsilverfield

Not a confident baker? This beautiful cake comprises three tiers made from three different flavoured sponges, which are then iced with buttercream and finished with fondant icing and sugar flowers for a classic elegant look. It takes time and practice to get right. If you’ve never tried anything like this before and are nervous about it, test your skills by making and icing just one tier of the cake. Or make the two upper tiers and cover them with vanilla buttercream, leaving out the fondant. Decorate with unsprayed, fresh, edible flowers (see box, p76). It’s a great way of developing your skills before you attempt the full three, fondant-covered tiers.


Bake the individual cakes up to MAKE 2 days ahead or freeze wrapped in AHEAD a double layer of cling film and foil for up to 1 month. Defrost at room temperature. Ice the day before serving and keep in a cool room.



Use a good rosé champagne here as the flavour does shine through (buy a mini bottle – or see p80 – and drink the rest when you’ve finished!). KAT’S TIP

• 85g unsalted butter, softened • 145g caster sugar • 125g plain flour • 20g cornflour • ½ tsp baking powder • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda • ¼ tsp salt • 2 large free-range eggs, at room temperature • 25ml vegetable oil • ¼ tsp vanilla bean paste • 120ml buttermilk, at room temperature • 50ml rosé champagne (see tip) YOU’LL ALSO NEED…

• 4 x 10cm springform cake tins (from Ocado or, greased and bases lined with non-stick baking paper; stand mixer 1 Heat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3½. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the

whisk attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until pale and fluffy (5-7 minutes). Occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure no chunks of butter remain. Meanwhile, sift the flour, cornflour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside. 2 Once the butter mixture is ready, switch to the paddle attachment and, on a low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, waiting until the first is well combined before adding the second. Mix in the oil and vanilla. 3 With the mixer on a low speed add one third of the dry ingredients. Once combined, add all the buttermilk followed by another third of the dry ingredients. Next add the champagne, followed by the remaining third of the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Don’t over-mix. 4 Divide the cake batter equally (it’s best to weigh it) among the cake tins, smooth the tops evenly and bake for 25-30 minutes or until risen and a skewer pushed into the middle of each cake comes out clean. If the cakes brown too quickly, lower the oven temperature by 5°C. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then carefully remove from the tins to a wire rack to cool completely. Wrap the cooled cakes in cling film.

THE MIDDLE TIER Limoncello and poppy seed cake SERVES 20. HANDS-ON TIME 25 MIN, OVEN TIME 35-40 MIN, PLUS COOLING

• 175g unsalted butter, at room temperature • 300g golden caster sugar • 275g plain flour • 2½ tsp baking powder • ½ tsp salt • 4 large free-range eggs, at room temperature • 75ml vegetable oil

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• Grated zest 1 lemon • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste • 215ml buttermilk, at room temperature • 70ml limoncello • 1 tsp poppy seeds YOU’LL ALSO NEED…

• 2 x 15cm loose-bottomed cake tins, greased and bases lined with non-stick baking paper; a cake-cutting wire is handy (from Kitchencraft); stand mixer 1 Heat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3½. Make the cake as for the top tier, creaming the butter and sugar and sifting together the dry ingredients. After mixing in the eggs, add the oil, lemon zest and vanilla. Add one third of the dry ingredients, then the buttermilk, then another third of dry ingredients. Add the limoncello and poppy seeds, then the final third of dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Don’t over-mix. 2 Pour the cake batter evenly between the 2 tins (weigh as before), smooth the batter and bake for 35-40 minutes or until risen and a skewer pushed into the middle of the cake comes out clean. If the cake browns too quickly, lower the oven temperature by 5-10°C. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes, then carefully remove from the tins and put on a wire rack to cool completely. Wrap the cooled cakes in a double layer of cling film. You’ll need to halve the cakes horizontally before assembling – use a cake-cutting wire if you have one.


Check you can fit all 4 cake tins in your oven at the same time (they need to be on shelves, not sitting on the base of the oven). If you can’t – or if you don’t have a fan oven – make this tier in 2 batches (use half the ingredients for each batch and bake as soon as the batter is made). KAT’S TIPS

• 150g unsweetened desiccated coconut • 450g unsalted butter, softened • 440g caster sugar • 160g light brown muscovado sugar • 550g plain flour • 40g cornflour • 4 tsp baking powder

• 1½ tsp fine salt • 4 large free-range eggs, plus 2 egg whites, beaten • 6 tbsp vegetable oil • ½ tsp coconut extract • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste • 360ml semi-skimmed milk YOU’LL ALSO NEED…

• 4 x 20cm loose-bottomed cake tins, greased and bases lined with non-stick baking paper; stand mixer 1 Heat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3½. Put the desiccated coconut on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 4-6 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool, then whizz in a food processor until finely ground. Cream the butter and sugars and sift the dry ingredients (not the coconut) as in the top tier recipe. Add the eggs little by little, then the oil, coconut extract and vanilla. 2 With the mixer on low speed add half the dry ingredients. Once combined, add the milk followed by the toasted coconut. Then add the remaining dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Don’t over-mix. 3 Divide the batter among 4 cake tins (weigh as before), smooth the tops and bake for 30-35 minutes or until risen and a skewer pushed into the middle of each cake comes out clean. If the cakes brown too quickly, turn the oven down by 5°C. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and put on a wire rack to cool. Wrap in a double layer of cling film.


Vanilla swiss meringue buttercream HANDS-ON TIME 30 MIN. MAKES ROUGHLY 1.6KG, WHICH IS ENOUGH FOR ALL 3 CAKE TIERS

The buttercream and fruit purées MAKE can be made up to a month ahead AHEAD and frozen (separately). Defrost overnight in the fridge, then beat the icing in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle to bring back its fluffy, silky texture before adding the fruit purée (as in the recipe). If the butter is too soft or the KNOW- meringue is warm when you start HOW adding the butter, the mixture may be runny. This isn’t a big problem – just put

the bowl in the fridge, stirring every 5 minutes to prevent the butter hardening on the sides of the bowl. This could take 20-30 minutes. Once the mixture has firmed up, resume beating in the stand mixer. When adding the butter (step 3), KAT’S the mixture may appear curdled. TIPS Just keep adding the butter, beating on low speed and it will come together. Leftover purée is great for cocktails. • 490g free-range egg whites (from 13 large eggs; or use Two Chicks brand pasteurised egg white) • 690g caster sugar • 1.1kg unsalted butter, at room temperature • 2 tbsp vanilla bean paste FOR THE RASPBERRY BUTTERCREAM

• 200g fresh raspberries FOR THE PASSION FRUIT BUTTERCREAM

• 350g passion fruit purée (use a good brand: we like Léonce Blanc, £12.95 from – see tips YOU’LL ALSO NEED

• Digital probe thermometer; stand mixer 1 Heat 4cm water in a saucepan over a lowmedium heat to a gentle simmer. Put the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Rest the bowl over the simmering water and, using a flexible spatula, mix constantly for about 10 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature reaches 72°C on the digital probe thermometer. Be sure to keep the water just at a simmer or you risk scrambling the eggs and will have to start again. 2 Once the mixture reaches 72°C, quickly remove from the heat and put the bowl back in your stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high until stiff peaks form, then reduce the speed to medium for 6-8 minutes until the outside of the bowl is no longer warm to the touch. 3 Swap the whisk for the paddle and, on a low speed, begin adding the butter in 25g chunks until the mixture is smooth and fluffy (5-10 minutes; see Kat's tips). Stir in the vanilla. Set aside 650g buttercream for the limoncello and poppy seed cake. 4 To make the raspberry buttercream, put 300g vanilla buttercream in a mixing bowl. Push the raspberries through a fine → 75

wow moment.

sieve with the back of a spoon to make a purée and discard any seeds. Squeeze out as much liquid from the pulp as possible until you have about 100g purée (discard the pulp). Heat the purée in a small pan over a medium heat for 7-10 minutes, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickly coats the back of a spoon and has reduced to about 30-40g. Cool completely, then mix the raspberry purée into the buttercream. 5 To make the passion fruit buttercream, put 850g of the buttercream in a large mixing bowl. Heat the passion fruit purée over a low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes or until very thick. Strain through a fine sieve and cool completely. You should have about 100-115g. Stir about 60-75g purée into the buttercream to taste, adding more as needed (see Kat’s tips). You’ll have buttercream left over; keep this for crumb coating the rosé champagne cake later.

The keep-moist secret ingredient: soaking syrup HANDS-ON TIME 10 MIN

This easy sugar syrup, brushed over the top before icing, helps to keep the cake layers moist and gives them extra flavour. Make up to a week ahead and keep MAKE covered in the fridge. AHEAD 1 Combine 350ml cold water and 350g caster sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool. 2 Measure 150g of the syrup into a small jug or bowl and stir in 2 tbsp lemon juice to use for the limoncello and poppyseed cake; the plain syrup is for the rosé champagne and coconut cakes.


You’ll need to have everything to hand before you begin. Set aside plenty of time and a completely clear space to work in. NOTE You also need a clear fridge! KAT’S TIPS

• 3 flavours of cake tiers • Prepared sugar syrup (see below left) • Prepared buttercream (in 3 flavours) • Crank-handled palette knife • 3 thin cake boards, 20cm, 15cm, 10cm • Cake-maker’s turntable (available from or • Kitchen string (used to measure the fondant) • 2.3kg ready-to-roll fondant icing (you'll have some left over) • Icing sugar for dusting • Rolling pin • 2 x fondant icing smoothers (available from • 7 x 30cm plastic dowel rods (see or 1 First, ice the cakes with buttercream: Use a long serrated knife (a bread knife is good) to level the top of each cake. Using a pastry brush, liberally brush the top of the champagne cakes and the coconut cakes with the plain soaking syrup, then brush the lemon-flavoured soaking syrup over the limoncello cakes. 2 Put a dab of buttercream on the 20cm cake board, put it in the centre of the turntable, then put a coconut cake on the board. Top with a 1.5cm thick layer of passion fruit buttercream and smooth it flat with the palette knife. Repeat twice, then top with the final coconut cake. Use more buttercream to thinly cover the top and sides of the stacked cake, evenly scraping away a lot of it with the palette knife – this is known as a ‘crumb layer’. Set aside and chill. Repeat this process with the 15cm cake board/limoncello and poppy seed cake/vanilla buttercream (middle tier). For the rosé champagne cake (top tier), fill it with raspberry buttercream as with the other tiers but use the reserved vanilla buttercream to thinly coat the outside as a crumb coat (so the red colour doesn’t bleed through). Chill each cake when done for around 1 hour.

3 Next, cover the cakes with fondant icing: First divide the fondant into 3 – roughly 700g, 700g and 900g. To help gauge the size to roll out the fondant for each tier, use kitchen string to measure each stacked cake over the top and down both sides. 4 Knead the fondant until soft and pliable. Dust a clean work surface with icing sugar and roll out the fondant, rotating after every few rolls to stop it sticking. Roll the fondant to the measured size, roughly 0.5cm thick. 5 Very lightly brush the first chilled buttercream-covered tier with cold water. Using a rolling pin, pick up the fondant and gently drape it over the top of the cake. Smooth the top, gently guiding the fondant to the base and smoothing the sides so they cling to the cake. Cut away any excess fondant from the base and smooth over the cake using the two fondant smoothers. Repeat with the remaining two tiers. 6 Stack the cakes: Plot out a 13cm square in the centre of the 20cm cake, then push one of the dowel rods down into the corner of the square all the way to the board. Mark the exact point where the rod comes out of the top of the cake. Cut it and 3 more rods to exactly the same length and insert them in all 4 corners of the square. Repeat the process for the 15cm cake, plotting a triangle with 9cm sides and inserting the remaining 3 rods at each corner. 7 Spread a few dabs of soft buttercream on and between the dowelling rods to act ct as glue. Carefully stack the thre tiers on top of each other. Decor with sugar paste/fresh flowers.

And finally – the decoration The cakes in our pictures are decorated with flowers made from sugar paste – yes, really! See In The delicious. Kitchen, p106, for how to make them. If you don’t have much time, you could also use fresh flowers, but make sure they are unsprayed and edible. HERE ARE OUR TOP EDIBLE FLOWERS:

roses Opansies Oviolas Onasturtiums lavender Ochrysanthemums Oborage Othyme flowers Oscented geraniums Some varieties of poppy are edible, too, but bear in mind that they don’t last long. Please note: fresh ranunculus are poisonous. O





Hurry! Offer ends 31 May 2018 Colourful bird design – fresh and stylish O Kiln-fired porcelain for good looks that last O Perfect for drinks, sauces and milk or to use as a vase for flowers O




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Susy Atkins rounds up best buys and top English wines


melon, rosewater and kiwi fruit. Chill for spicy seafood. • Triade Bianco 2016, Campania, Italy (£8.79, down to £6.49 16 May to 5 June, Waitrose) Fuller in texture than some Italian whites, this one is part-aged in oak. Excellent with fish pies or salmon steaks.

Pink English fizz


FRIDAY SPECIAL • La Petite Laurette du Midi Rosé 2017, Pays d’Oc, France (£7.99, Co-op) Bone-dry and the palest of pink, with delicate lemon and raspberry tones. Sip in the sun with light, salty snacks. • Viñalba Reserve Malbec 2015, Mendoza, Argentina (£12.99, down to £9.99 as part of a mixed six,

SPLASH OUT • Domaine de la Combe Dieu 2016, Rasteau, Rhône Valley, France (£12, Tesco) A savoury, clove-spicy seam runs through this mellow but rich red. Pour with beef stews or a fine cheddar. • Marks & Spencer Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Australia (£11) Classy cabernet from Western


Australia, ripe and rich with cassis. Bring out the lamb chops. • Hancock & Hancock Fiano 2017, McLaren Vale, Australia (£14.50, Oxford Wine Shop, The Wine Reserve) Made in Oz with a Sicilian grape, an unusual dry white with peach, lime and almond flavours. Topnotch with white fish.

Majestic) Ripe plums and cherries with a smudge of dark chocolate. Made for a juicy steak. • Taste the Difference Pignoletto Spumante Brut, Italy (£9, Sainsbury’s) Delightful summery alternative to prosecco. A nearly dry Italian froth that tastes of apples and pears. Light, at 11 per cent alcohol.

he wineries are gearing up for English Wine Week (26 May to 3 June; englishwineweek., when they’ll be open for tastings. Check out English sparkling rosé, which is hugely fashionable. It’s crisp with delicate red berries and creamy depths of flavour. A partner for seafood, light canapés, sushi and brunchy egg dishes. From Dorset, the exquisite, award-winning Langham Rosé 2014 (£25, selected Marks & Spencer or uk) has raspberry ripple tones

and a dry finish. Camel Valley Pinot Noir Rosé Brut 2015 (£29.99, Waitrose)

from Cornwall is refreshing and refined, from a winery newly appointed a Royal Warrant (big wedding toast ahoy..?). And from Kent, Hush Heath Estate’s Balfour 1503 Rosé NV (£25.99, or £21.99 as part of a mixed six, Majestic) has red

apple and red berry compotee flavours. It’s slightly sweeterr and would match a fruit salaad.

KEEP COOL The 3-in-1 Chill Core by Cellar Dine is a clever, multi-purpose bit of kit. It’s a wine bottle closure and pourer on top of a frozen rod that sits in your wine, keeping it chilled. Keep one in the freezer as warmer weather approaches. £19.99, Lakeland


• Cimarosa Merlot 2017, Central Valley, Chile (£4.09, Lidl) Easy-going, youthful red that’s ideal for summer parties. Juicy and soft, with plenty of blackberry. • Cimarosa Torrontes 2017, Mendoza, Argentina (£5.99, Lidl) An aromatic dry white with exotic flavours of



N O FA D S , N O U N R E A L I ST I C H E A LT H C L A I M S… J U ST 2 0 I N S P I R I N G PA G E S O F H O N E ST, N U T R I T I O U S , G O O D - F O R -YO U R E C I P E S , I N F O A N D I D E A S

HEALTHY MAKEOVER p101 All the satisfaction of a succulent fishcake but much lower in fat and calories

FRIDAY NIGHT SUPPER p89 The weekend starts here

MIDWEEK MAGIC p82 Quick and easy weekday meals using only five ingredients

THE 5:2 RECIPE p88 A simple chicken traybake with fewer than 250 calories TURN THE PAGE FOR THE RECIPES → 81


ONLY 5 INGREDIENTS These short-order recipes, each made with five key ingredients, add bang for their buck in terms of looks and flavour. All we’ve added are olive oil and seasoning from your kitchen cupboard



eat well for life.

Artichoke panzanella

Sardines with watercress salad



Swap the artichokes for halved cherry tomatoes, and the almonds for any nuts you may have to hand. This salad is best made FOOD TEAM’S with bread that’s a few TIP days old, so it’s a great way to use up any leftovers.

If you can get hold of fresh sardines, use them here instead. Simply scale and gut them, then grill for a few minutes until cooked through and serve on top of the salad.


• 100g blanched almonds • 270g loaf olive ciabatta, torn into chunky pieces (see tip) • 2 x 175g packs chargrilled marinated globe artichokes in oil • 100g fresh flatleaf parsley, roughly chopped • Finely grated zest and juice ½ lemon Plus… olive oil for frying, and sea salt flakes (or regular salt) 1 Heat a dry frying pan over a medium heat. Add the almonds and toast for 4-5 minutes until fragrant and lightly coloured (take care not to burn them). Transfer to a chopping board and roughly chop, then set aside in a mixing bowl. 2 Add a glug of olive oil to the pan and add the pieces of bread with a pinch of sea salt flakes. Cook for a few minutes until lightly coloured and beginning to crisp, then add to the mixing bowl with the almonds. 3 Drain the artichokes, reserving the oil, and add them to the pan. Fry for 2-3 minutes until lightly coloured and warmed through. Add to the bowl with the fried bread pieces and almonds, then toss with the parsley, lemon zest and 2 tbsp reserved oil from the artichokes. Season, then divide among 4 plates, sprinkle over the lemon juice and serve. PER SERVING 509kcals, 32.5g fat (3.5g saturated), 14.6g protein, 34.5g carbs (3.8g sugars), 2.4g salt, 9.8g fibre


• 2 x 135g tins sardines in oil • Finely grated zest 1 lime and juice ½, plus wedges to serve • 130g bag watercress, rocket and spinach salad • 150g radishes, finely sliced • 2 ripe avocados, sliced

1 Drain the sardines, reserving the oil (see tip). Make a dressing by whisking 3 tbsp of the oil with the lime zest and juice and some salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. 2 Toss the salad leaves with the radishes and half the dressing. Divide among 4 plates, top with slices of avocado and arrange the sardines on top. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and serve with lime wedges for squeezing. PER SERVING 313kcals, 24.5g fat (5.1g saturated), 18.5g protein, 2.6g carbs (1.6g sugars), 0.7g salt, 4.1g fibre →



Your guarantee for every recipe in this feature: NO MORE THAN… • 5 ingredients (not including oil) • 30 minutes hands-on time • 650 calories per portion (but most recipes have fewer) • 10g sat fat per portion PLUS… • No unnecessary added sugar 83



Springtime gnocchi SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 20 MIN


Swap prosciutto for more spring greens – asparagus, green beans or broad beans all work well. Prosciutto can be salty so season carefully. A squeeze of lemon can brighten up the pesto.

• 4 prosciutto slices • 400g fresh gnocchi • 200g frozen peas, defrosted • 50g parmesan, grated • 3-4 tbsp fresh green pesto Plus… olive oil for drizzling 1 Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the prosciutto slices and fry until crisp, turning occasionally. Drain on kitchen paper, then break into shards. 2 Add the gnocchi to the pan and fry for 6-8 minutes until lightly golden on both sides (you may need to do this in batches). Add the peas, half the parmesan, a little more oil, a little salt and pepper (see tips) and a splash of water to the pan and warm through, stirring, until the sauce forms an emulsion. Add the pesto and another splash of water, if needed, and stir to coat well. 3 Divide among 4 bowls, sprinkle over the

remaining parmesan and the prosciutto shards, season with black pepper and serve. PER SERVING 326kcals, 13.6g fat (4.2g saturated), 13.3g protein, 35.4g carbs (1.9g sugars), 1.4g salt, 4.7g fibre

Steak with sage and cheese & onion polenta SERVES 2. HANDS-ON TIME 20 MIN

The cheesy polenta also tastes great topped with saucy meatballs as a change from pasta. If you can’t get hold of 1 large steak, FOOD TEAM’S buy 2 smaller ones and cook for TIPS less time. If you prefer, you can fry the sage and the steak in butter and oil, but olive oil will work fine on its own.


• 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage, plus a few extra whole leaves for frying • 300g British free-range rump steak (see tips) • 6 spring onions, white parts roughly chopped, green parts finely sliced • 100g quick-cook polenta • 40g mature cheddar, grated Plus… olive oil for frying (see tips) 1 Heat a large deep frying pan or sauté pan over a medium heat and add a little olive

oil (see tips). Fry a few whole sage leaves for 1-2 minutes until crisp, then remove the leaves and drain on kitchen paper. Turn the heat to high and add another glug of oil. 2 When the oil is almost smoking, add the steak, season with salt and pepper and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side. Reduce the heat and add a little more oil and the chopped sage. Continue cooking the steak for a further 2-3 minutes, basting with the sage and oil all the time. Transfer the steak to a chopping board (keep the pan to hand), cover with foil and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Boil the kettle. 3 Add the white parts of the spring onions to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened. Pour 500ml freshly boiled hot water into the pan, add the polenta and whisk continuously for 1 minute until thickened. Season generously with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in the grated cheddar. 4 Divide the polenta between 2 plates. Slice the steak into strips, divide between the plates, sprinkle with the fried sage leaves and reserved green parts of the spring onions and serve. Alternatively, serve straight from the pan for sharing. PER SERVING 519kcals, 20.7g fat (7.9g saturated), 43.3g protein, 38.7g carbs (2.4g sugars), 0.6g salt, 2.1g fibre

eat well for life.

Pomegranate and sweet potato chicken traybake SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 15 MIN, OVEN TIME 45 MIN


Add other veg with the broccoli, or swap the sweet potatoes for halved baby new potatoes.

• 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses • 500g sweet potatoes, cut into 2cm chunks

• 4 free-range chicken legs • 200g tenderstem broccoli • 80g feta Plus… olive oil for roasting and drizzling 1 Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Mix the pomegranate molasses with 2 tbsp olive oil in a jug. Put the sweet potatoes in a roasting tray and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Lay the chicken legs on top of the sweet potatoes and drizzle the pomegranate

mixture over everything, using your fingers to rub the mixture into the chicken skin. 2 Roast for 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and add the broccoli to the tray. Roast for another 15 minutes until the chicken is a deep golden colour, the juices run clear and the broccoli is cooked through and tender. Crumble over the feta to serve. PER SERVING 413kcals, 15.9g fat (5.3g saturated), 29.7g protein, 34.5g carbs (14.3g sugars), 0.9g salt, 6g fibre


eat well for life.

THE QUICK-FIX MEAL FOR ONE A zen-like recipe for when you’re in need of a nourishing solo supper that’s ready in a flash

Buttered mushroom, gyoza & miso soup For a spicy kick, add 1 tsp Korean gochujang chilli paste (from Waitrose, Ocado, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s, or online from with the miso.

• 1 heaped tsp brown miso paste • ½ large carrot, cut into fine strands using a julienne peeler or spiraliser • 80g frozen edamame (soy beans) • Juice ½ lime • Tamari or soy sauce to taste • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds • 3 radishes, cut into matchsticks

• 1-2 knobs of butter • 80g chestnut, shiitake or oriental mushrooms (enoki work well), halved if large • 6 frozen gyoza (Japanese dumplings – we used Itsu vegetable fusion gyoza, from Waitrose, Tesco and Ocado)

1 Melt a knob of butter in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until starting to brown. Push to one side of the pan and add the gyoza (with a little extra butter if needed). Cook for 5-6 minutes, turning, until golden all over.



2 Meanwhile, put the miso paste in a small saucepan and stir in 250ml boiling water from the kettle (see tip). Put the pan over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Add the carrot and edamame, then simmer gently for 2-3 minutes until just tender. 3 Ladle the hot broth and vegetables into a warmed deep bowl, then add the gyoza and mushrooms. Squeeze over the lime juice, splash with a little tamari and serve sprinkled with the toasted sesame seeds and radish matchsticks. PER SERVING 567kcals, 25g fat (8.7g saturated), 28.7g protein, 50.3g carbs (17.8g sugars), 2.8g salt, 13.3g fibre





Easy to throw together and super-nutritious, this recipe is a healthy-supper winner


Chicken and veg traybake SERVES 2. HANDS-ON TIME 10 MIN, OVEN TIME 35 MIN

Save the second portion for day 2 of the 5:2 diet, or eat the next day as a lunchbox filler in a wrap or with a jacket potato. • 1 medium carrot, cut into 1cm chunks • 100g celeriac, cut into 1cm chunks • 1 red onion, chopped into wedges • 2 tsp olive oil • 2 boneless, skinless free-range chicken thighs (about 90g each), cut in half • Finely grated zest and juice 1 lemon • 1 red pepper, sliced • 8 tenderstem broccoli stalks, halved lengthways if thick • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint and flatleaf parsley to serve

ON NON-FASTING DAYS... By nutritionist Amanda Ursell To make the dish more substantial add 150g baked sweet potato per portion. This will bring it up to 420kcal and raise the carbs to 55g. Adding sweet potato is another step towards five-a-day, as well as giving you 100 per cent of your daily vitamin E requirement. Amanda is nutrition editor of our sister magazine Healthy Food Guide 88

1 Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6. Toss the carrot, celeriac and onion with ½ tsp oil in a roasting tin and season well. In a bowl, toss the chicken with another ½ tsp oil and the lemon zest, then arrange on top of the vegetables along with the red pepper slices. Roast for 25 minutes. 2 Add the broccoli to the roasting tin, toss everything together and roast for another 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding lemon juice to taste. Scatter over the freshly chopped herbs and drizzle over the remaining 1 tsp oil to serve. PER SERVING 240kcals, 6g fat (1.2g saturated), 26g protein, 16g carbs (14g sugars), 0.3g salt, 9g fibre



eat well for life.


A steak sandwich hits the spot every time and it’s even better with the knowledge that it can be on the table in half an hour



• 400g sweet potato, cut into chunky chips or thin wedges • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for frying, drizzling and brushing • 1 large onion, sliced • 1 tsp soft light brown sugar • ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar • 2 x 150g British rump or sirloin steaks • 2 ciabatta rolls, halved • 4 tsp dijon mustard • 40g wild rocket • Juice ½ lemon • 3 tbsp mayonnaise 1 Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6. On a baking tray, season the sweet potato chips and toss with 1 tbsp oil. Bake for 30 minutes until tender but crisp on the outside, tossing once.

2 Meanwhile, heat a glug of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Cook the onion with a pinch of salt for 10-12 minutes, stirring, until soft and starting to brown. Add the sugar and balsamic vinegar, then bubble for 3-4 minutes until caramelised. Remove from the heat and set aside. 3 Brush the steaks with oil and season well on both sides. Heat a griddle pan until smoking hot, then fry the steaks for 2-3 minutes on each side or until done to your liking. Remove to a board, cover with foil and leave to rest for 5 minutes. 4 Wipe the griddle pan clean, then toast the ciabatta rolls, cut-side down, for 3-4 minutes until crisp. Remove and spread each bottom half with 1 tsp dijon mustard. 5 In a bowl, toss the rocket with a drizzle of oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and some black pepper. Divide between the ciabatta bases. Slice the steak into strips and arrange over the rocket, then top with the

onions and ciabatta bun tops. 6 In a bowl, mix the mayonnaise with the remaining mustard and a little black pepper. Serve the steak sandwiches with the sweet potato fries and mustard mayo on the side. PER SERVING 845kcals, 33.1g fat (5.7g saturated), 46g protein, 86.1g carbs (22.2g sugars), 2.1g salt, 10.7g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE It's hard to beat a juicy, no-nonsense Argentine malbec here.





Turn the handy pantry staple into one of these packed-with-flavour meals Butter bean and vegetable stew


Make 2-3 days ahead and keep in a sealed container in MAKE AHEAD the fridge or freeze in batches for up to 3 months. Heat a large glug of olive oil in a deep casserole over a medium heat, add 2 sliced red onions, 1 sliced leek, 2 sliced red peppers and 2 finely sliced carrots, then fry for 5-8 minutes until softening. Stir in 150ml dry white wine, 2 tbsp tomato purée and a few fresh rosemary sprigs and bubble for 2 minutes. Add 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes, season and simmer for 15 minutes, then stir in a 400g tin of drained butter beans and a 400g tin of drained red kidney beans and cook for 10 minutes more. Stir in 200g baby leaf spinach, 1½ tbsp garam masala and a handful of chopped fresh parsley, then serve with natural yogurt and extra chopped fresh parsley. PER SERVING 365kcals, 8.3g fat (1.1g saturated), 15.5g protein, 40.9g carbs (20.7g sugars), 0.3g salt, 18.9g fibre

Herby cod & new potato traybake SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 20 MIN, OVEN TIME 35 MIN

Make the tomato sauce up to 48 hours in advance MAKE AHEAD and keep in a sealed container in the fridge. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Heat a glug of olive oil in a lipped roasting tray in the oven for 5 minutes. Toss 500g halved new potatoes in the hot oil and season well. Roast for 25-30 minutes until tender and crisp. Meanwhile, heat a glug of olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and add 1 chopped red onion. Fry for 3-4 minutes, then add 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes, 50g pitted kalamata olives, a small bunch of chopped oregano, 1 tbsp tomato purée, 1 tsp sugar or agave nectar (optional) and 100ml red wine. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove the potatoes from the oven and toss to loosen. Pour the tomato sauce over the potatoes and nestle 4 x 150g sustainable cod fillets on top. Drizzle with olive oil, season and roast for 8-10 minutes or until the fish flakes easily. Serve scattered with sliced basil leaves. PER SERVING 358kcals, 8.6g fat (1.4g saturated), 31.5g protein, 31.2g carbs (12.8g sugars), 0.6g salt, 5.5g fibre



eat well for life.

Smoky bacon and tomato soup SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 25 MIN, SIMMERING TIME 20 MIN

Freeze in batches in labelled food bags for up to 3 months MAKE AHEAD – but prepare the bacon garnish just before serving. Defrost fully and reheat until piping hot. For vegetarians, leave out the Worcestershire sauce and FOOD TEAM’S bacon and add 1 tsp soy sauce and half a tin of butter beans. TIP The soup will be thicker so adjust by adding extra water.


Heat a glug of olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add 150g bacon lardons and fry, stirring, for 8-10 minutes until crisp. Transfer half the lardons to a plate, then add 1 chopped onion to the saucepan. Fry for 5 minutes, then add 1 chopped celery stick, 2 crushed garlic cloves and 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika. Fry for a few minutes, then add 3 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes. Add 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, ½ bunch of fresh basil and 2 tsp sugar or agave nectar (optional). Bring to a simmer, then cook gently for 20 minutes. Stir in 2 tbsp mascarpone, then whizz with a stick blender (or in a blender) to a thick but smooth soup. Season to taste (add a little water if it’s too thick). Serve with the reserved bacon, a dollop of mascarpone and a few basil leaves. PER SERVING 251kcals, 13.9g fat (5.2g saturated), 10.4g protein, 18.9g carbs (17.8g sugars), 1.6g salt, 4.3g fibre


Griddled Bajan spiced prawn wraps with chunky tomato sauce SERVES 2-4. HANDS-ON TIME 30 MIN

The tomato sauce can be made up to 48 hours in MAKE advance. Store in a sealed container in the fridge. AHEAD Heat a glug of olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Fry 2 crushed garlic cloves with 1 finely chopped red chilli for a few minutes, then add 2 tsp red wine vinegar, a 400g tin of chopped tomatoes and 1 tsp caster sugar/agave nectar (optional). Cook for 15 minutes until thickened. Season and leave to cool. In a medium mixing bowl, mix 1 tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp dried marjoram, ½ tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp ground turmeric, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp smoked paprika and some salt and black pepper. Add 300g peeled, sustainable raw king or tiger prawns and toss to coat in the spice mix. In a serving bowl, toss together 200g finely shredded white cabbage, 2 large carrots, peeled into ribbons, a large bunch of chopped flatleaf parsley leaves, a glug of extra-virgin olive oil and the juice of 1 lemon. Season to taste and add ½ bunch of coriander leaves. Brush a large griddle pan with olive oil and heat until smoking hot. Griddle the prawns for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through. Serve with the tomato sauce, slaw and 4 warmed tortilla wraps. PER SERVING (FOR 4) 408kcals, 13.9g fat (3.1g saturated), 21.2g protein, 44.7g carbs (14.3g sugars), 1.2g salt, 9.9g fibre 91


Get ahead with midweek cooking with a big batch of classic chicken stew. Freeze some, then turn it into a fruity tagine

The master recipe… Chicken stew with lemon and herb crumb topping SERVES 6. HANDS-ON TIME 30 MIN, SIMMERING TIME 45 MIN

Make the stew up to 2 days MAKE in advance. Keep in a sealed AHEAD container in the fridge and reheat until piping hot. Use the remainder from this recipe to make the tagine, right. • Olive oil for frying • 6 banana shallots, halved • 6 skinless, boneless free-range chicken thighs, chopped • 2 garlic cloves, crushed • 25g butter • 2 tbsp plain flour • 250ml dry white wine • 600ml chicken stock, hot • 1 large fresh rosemary sprig, leaves removed and chopped • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves • 600g chantenay carrots • Crusty bread to serve (optional) FOR THE HERB CRUMB TOPPING

• 50g dried breadcrumbs • Zest ½ lemon • Handful fresh parsley, chopped YOU’LL ALSO NEED…

• Large casserole with a lid 1 Heat a glug of oil in the casserole and gently fry the shallots, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 2 Meanwhile, heat a glug of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the chicken for 5-6 minutes until browned, then transfer to a plate. 92

3 Add the garlic and butter to the casserole and cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, then add the wine and bubble to evaporate most of it. Stir in the stock, bring to the boil, then add the browned chicken with the rosemary, thyme and carrots. 4 Turn the heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. 5 Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the herb

crumb topping and season. Divide two thirds of the stew (see Make Ahead) among 6 bowls, sprinkle with the topping, then serve with crusty bread, if you like. PER SERVING 281kcals, 10.3g fat (3.6g saturated), 18.8g protein, 18.4g carbs (7.7g sugars), 0.7g salt, 4.9g fibre


eat well for life.

Recipe with a twist… Chicken and preserved lemon tagine SERVES 2-3. HANDS-ON TIME 10 MIN, SIMMERING TIME 25 MIN

Leftovers will keep for MAKE 2-3 days in a sealed AHEAD container in the fridge. Reheat until piping hot to serve. If you can’t find giant FOOD TEAM’S couscous use regular TIP instead, but reduce the simmering time to 2 minutes once it’s been added (step 2).

• 1 preserved lemon, pulp discarded and skin finely sliced • 75g dried apricots, chopped • 400g tin chopped tomatoes • 125g giant couscous (see tip) • 100g baby leaf spinach TO SERVE (OPTIONAL)

• Handful shelled unsalted pistachios, toasted in a dry pan • 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds • Small bunch fresh coriander, chopped YOU’LL ALSO NEED…


• ½ tbsp olive oil • 1 cinnamon stick (or ¼ tsp ground cinnamon) • 1 tsp ground cumin • 1½ tbsp ras el hanout • ⅓ quantity of chicken stew, left

• Large casserole with a lid 1 Heat the olive oil in the casserole and add the cinnamon stick (or ground cinnamon), cumin and ras el hanout. Cook for 2-3 minutes until it

smells fragrant, then stir in the quantity of chicken stew, preserved lemon, apricots and the chopped tomatoes. Fill the empty tomato tin with water and pour into the casserole. Stir, bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. 2 After 15 minutes, add the giant couscous (see tip) and simmer for another 8-10 minutes until tender. Remove the cinammon stick, if using. Add the baby leaf spinach and stir until wilted. 3 Serve the tagine sprinkled with the pistachios, pomegranate seeds and chopped coriander, if you like. PER SERVING (FOR 2) 580kcals, 12.8g fat (1.9g saturated), 32.9g protein, 77.5g carbs (28.1g sugars), 2.2g salt, 11.9g fibre

HOW TO FREEZE Allow the stew (far left) to cool completely (without the topping), then decant into labelled food bag/s or container/s and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight, then reheat until piping hot to serve, or use to make the tagine.


The new health scare you’ve probably never heard of Just when you thought there was nothing left for the wellness movement to recommend we eliminate from our diets, along come lectins a group of proteins being dubbed ‘the new gluten’. But what are lectins, and should we avoid them? Sue Quinn investigates


othing could be healthier than a plate of vegetables and wholegrains, right? This has been the bedrock of official dietary advice for decades. These foods are purported to help protect against chronic health problems including obesity, heart disease and cancer. But emerging as a new source of dietary confusion and fear are a group of proteins called lectins, found in high concentrations in grains, legumes and other plant foods. So, are foods we believe to be healthy actually doing us harm? That’s certainly the claim of some doctors and self-styled health experts, who say lectins are causing a host of medical problems, from obesity and irritable bowel syndrome to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. In his recent book The Plant Paradox, US heart surgeon Dr Steven R Gundry claims lectins are the “number one danger in the Western diet”. He recommends avoiding or cutting

down on foods that contain high concentrations. (He also sells Lectin Shield supplements on his website to neutralise the effect of lectins – around £60 for a month’s supply). Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellbeing website, Goop, has embraced Dr Gundry’s theories. Web entrepreneur and alternative medicine proponent Dr Joseph Mercola also believes lectins can “wreck your health”. An internet search of the term “lectinfree diet” now throws up more than 2.5 million results. So, can these claims be true? Or is this another pseudoscience diet fad?

WHAT ARE LECTINS? They’re a group of proteins that bind to carbohydrates and are thought to be present in all living cells. They’re found in high concentrations in the husks of grains, foods that are seeds (such as peas, kidney and soy beans, cashews and peanuts), in the seeds of foods such as cucumbers, red peppers and tomatoes, as well as in some dairy

your health.

products. There are hundreds of kinds of lectins and they all function differently. To date scientists don’t fully understand how lectins work, or their role in human health. Some lectins are known toxins. Ricin, for example, is found in the seeds of the castor bean plant and ingesting just a few beans can be fatal. Raw kidney beans are also high in a lectin called phytohaemagglutinin, which can cause symptoms that mimic food poisoning (see box below). However, other lectins are known to be benign and some might even have antimicrobial and cancer-preventing properties.

DIVIDED OPINION Dr Gundry and his proponents claim that humans can’t fully digest lectins, so when we eat them in large quantities they damage our intestines. This, they say, can cause ‘leaky gut syndrome’ – a condition (not officially recognised by mainstream medicine) in which lectins escape into the bloodstream and enter the joints, nerve junctions, blood vessels and even the brain, causing inflammation and disease. However, Jon Rhodes, emeritus professor of medicine at the University of Liverpool, has studied



Unlike other dried beans, dried kidney beans need special care to destroy their toxic lectins before they’re consumed. Here’s what to do: • Soak dried beans for at least 12 hours before cooking, then rinse well • Boil vigorously for 10 minutes, then simmer for 45-60 minutes until tender • Don’t cook kidney beans in a slow-cooker: it won’t be hot enough to destroy the lectins • Tinned kidney beans are pre-cooked so are safe

lectins and says they’re so abundant and diverse in nature it “makes no sense” to avoid eating them. “It’s like saying proteins are bad for you just because you can find proteins that have toxic effects,” he says. “You can’t generalise. Scientists have only just scratched the surface of trying to understand what dietary lectins may or may not do.” There are various theories that focus on the idea that some lectins pass through the gut lining into the bloodstream, causing health problems. For example, for some people it’s possible that some lectins irritate their gut, increasing their sensitivity to cereals and breads. Another theory is that lectins may promote the development of

TRUE OR FALSE? Scientists have proved that some lectins trigger disease T TRUE T FALSE

Some lectins are known toxins T TRUE T FALSE

All lectins are bad for human health T TRUE T FALSE

Avoiding foods with high concentrations of lectins could damage your health T TRUE T FALSE

Scientists know very little about the role of lectins in human health T TRUE T FALSE

Those who think lectins are dangerous recommend we avoid wholegrains and peel fruit and vegetables rheumatoid arthritis in certain susceptible people. But much more research is needed to substantiate these claims; the small number of studies carried out so far have been conducted on laboratory animals using isolated lectins, not actual food. “It’s just a vaguely intriguing hypothesis with no fact behind it,” says Prof Rhodes. So, to sum up – there’s no need to avoid foods with high concentrations of lectins? “Correct,” he says. “In fact, scientific evidence suggests the Mediterranean diet is the best diet for human health. It’s rich in plant-based foods, wholegrains, legumes and nuts – the opposite in fact of a low-lectin diet.”

soy products should be cut out completely – and legumes, grains, fruit and veg from the nightshade family (tomatoes, aubergines, potatoes, bell peppers) and squash should only be eaten sparingly. “Many of the foods listed as lectin sources also contain fibre, vitamins and minerals,” says a spokesperson for the British Nutrition Foundation. “Peeling fruit and vegetables and choosing white grains over wholegrain removes some of the fibre, fruit and veg from the diet – an important nutrient and two food groups that, in the UK, the general population doesn’t eat enough of as it is.”

THE BOTTOM LINE? NUTRITIONAL CONCERNS Nutritionists are concerned that low-lectin diets are, in themselves, unhealthy. Low-lectin advocates suggest swapping wholegrains for white, because grain husks contain high concentrations of lectins. They also recommend peeling fruit and veg, as most of the lectins are in the skin. Some lectin naysayers claim that corn, corn-fed meat, some dairy, peanuts, cashews and unfermented

Claims that lectins cause a wide range of medical problems are unproven, and avoiding foods rich in these proteins could actually damage your health. There are hundreds of types of lectins performing different functions in nature, but scientists are only just beginning to explore their role in human health. If particular foods cause you discomfort or make you feel unwell, seek medical advice. 95


How to serve up goodness – time after time For as long as I can remember the kitchen has been the social focal point of any place I have called home – the Irish childhood home that gave me Sunday dinners and creamy rice puddings, the London one I briefly shared with friends in my mid-20s, or the current Penzance place my husband and I have lovingly cultivated. Each has shown me the power food has to bring us together, no matter what cultural background we may come from or what dietary requirements we might have. Nothing brings me more happiness than creating an abundance of wholesome, seasonal food that will set the stage for a gathering, no matter how fancy or humble. ÁINE CARLIN


eat well for life.

Sweet potatostuffed shells, p98 97

Soup and toast gets a clever vegan spin

A BIT ABOUT AINE The Irish-born cook is the UK’s biggest selling vegan cookery writer, with fans loving her simple, do-able approach to veganism. This is her third cookbook.

Red pepper soup with crispy polenta wedges SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 40 MIN, SIMMERING TIME 45 MIN, PLUS CHILLING

Perhaps it’s because I’m a sucker for all things soup that this is up there with some of my favourite dishes. My best memory attached to it involved sitting outside on a searing hot summer’s day with new friends and lots of laughter. Such a simple dish and a simple moment, but so lovely too. The soup will keep in an MAKE airtight container in the AHEAD fridge for up to 4 days. Make the polenta to the end of step 1 up to 2 days ahead and complete the recipe to serve. • 1 tbsp olive oil • 2 small onions, chopped • 4 garlic cloves, crushed • 5 large red peppers, roughly chopped • 1 tbsp tomato purée • 200g passata • ¼ tsp Tabasco sauce • 1 tbsp maple syrup • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley to garnish



• 1 vegetable stock cube • 100g polenta (not quick-cook) • Juice ½ lemon • 2 tbsp olive oil • 1 tsp chilli flakes YOU’LL ALSO NEED…

• 30cm x 20cm brownie tin, lined with non-stick baking paper 1 For the polenta wedges, bring 750ml water to the boil in a large pan. Add the stock cube and stir to dissolve, then gradually whisk in the polenta and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook, stirring continuously, for 15-20 minutes or until the polenta becomes thick and rubbery, then stir in the lemon juice and 1 tbsp of the oil. Remove from the heat and spoon into the tin, spreading it out evenly to the edges with a spatula. Cool, cover with cling film, then chill for 2-3 hours or until firm. 2 For the soup, heat the 1 tbsp olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. Add the onions, season and cook gently for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften, then stir in the garlic and cook for 5-7 minutes more or until the onions are translucent. 3 Add the chopped peppers to the pan, season generously with salt

and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato purée, passata, Tabasco, maple syrup and 500ml cold water, season again and bring to a gentle simmer, then cover with a lid and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the peppers are soft. 4 Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth, then return the soup to the pan. Keep warm. 5 Remove the polenta from the fridge and slice into 8 rectangles, then cut each piece in half diagonally to make triangles. 6 Heat a griddle pan over a mediumhigh heat. Lightly brush the polenta rectangles with the remaining 1 tbsp oil, add to the hot pan and griddle for 3-4 minutes on each side until crisp, golden and lightly marked. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle over the chilli flakes and season to taste. 7 Check the soup for seasoning, then divide among warmed bowls, adding a couple of polenta wedges and a scattering of parsley to each before serving. Serve the remaining wedges on the side. PER SERVING 282kcals, 10.1g fat (1.4g saturated), 6.5g protein, 37.1g carbs (18g sugars), 0.7g salt, 8.4g fibre

Sweet potato-stuffed shells SERVES 2-4. HANDS-ON TIME 25 MIN, SIMMERING TIME 45 MIN, OVEN TIME 15-20 MIN

If you’re after pure, unadulterated comfort food, look no further than these stufed pasta shells. Filled with an incredibly easy sweet potato mixture that mimics all the greatness of a regular mac and cheese, this is a dish I return to so frequently it’s become something of a personal classic. I like to retain a little texture by not mashing the sweet potatoes to oblivion – and, perhaps more importantly, ensuring the shells are cooked al dente so they don’t turn to mush in the oven. Recipe continues on p100 →

eat well for life.


The perennial ‘we don’t know what else to serve you’ fave, falafel has become something of an unofficial running joke in vegan circles. I was becoming a wee bit tired of consuming yet another falafel-and-salad-stufed pitta and honestly didn’t believe ‘poaching’ them, instead of eggs, in a traditional shakshuka would make that much diference. But steaming these chickpea-filled beauties in a sauce until flufy and melt-inthe-mouth delicious was a revelation – you’ll be licking the pan. My love afair with these wondrous little veg-balls has officially been reignited. Make the sauce a few hours MAKE ahead or the day before. AHEAD Cool, then cover and chill until needed. Reheat, then add the falafel and cook as in the recipe. • 1 tbsp olive oil • 1 onion, chopped • 1 small aubergine, chopped • 3 garlic cloves, crushed • 1 tsp smoked paprika • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon • 1 tbsp tomato purée • 200g tomato passata • 400g can chopped tomatoes • 1 tsp chilli flakes or 1 red chilli, chopped • Pinch sugar • 12 shop-bought falafels FOR THE TAHINI SAUCE

• 2 tbsp tahini • ½ tbsp pomegranate molasses • 1 tsp agave nectar • Juice ½ lemon • 1-2 tbsp water TO SERVE

• 8-10 taco-size tortillas or flatbreads • Handful pomegranate seeds • Handful fresh tarragon, roughly torn

1 Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook gently for 2-3 minutes until beginning to soften. 2 Add the aubergine and stir to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic, sprinkle over the smoked paprika and cinnamon and stir to coat. Cover and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until the aubergine has started to soften. 3 Add the tomato purée, passata and chopped tomatoes to the pan. Fill the tomato can with water and add it to the sauce along with the chilli and sugar. Season well and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes or until the sauce is rich and bubbling. 4 Put the falafels in the pan, making sure not to completely submerge them in the sauce – they should be peeking out. Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes. 5 Meanwhile, make the tahini sauce by whisking the ingredients in a small bowl until smooth and glossy. 6 Griddle or toast the tortillas/ flatbreads under a hot grill and keep warm under a clean tea towel. 7 To serve, drizzle the tahini sauce over the shakshuka and garnish with the pomegranate seeds and tarragon. Put the pan on the table with the tortillas or flatbreads and let everyone help themselves. PER SERVING 434kcals, 23g fat (1.9g saturated), 10.9g protein, 39.9g carbs (18.3g sugars), 0.7g salt, 11.8g fibre

eat well for life.

Red pesto risotto with shaved asparagus

These recipes are from Cook, Share, Eat Vegan by Áine Carlin (Mitchell Beazley £20)

NEXT MONTH Feel-good recipes from the Med

Continued from p98 • 1 tbsp olive oil • 2 leeks, finely chopped • 500g sweet potatoes, chopped • 750ml boiling water • 1 vegetable stock cube • 150ml soy, oat or coconut cream • Juice ½ lemon • 300g conchiglioni (big pasta shells) • 1 tsp nutritional yeast or vegan grating ‘cheese’ • 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 1 Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6. Heat the olive oil in a large deep frying pan or sauté pan over a low heat. Add the leeks, season and cook for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the sweet potatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes, then pour over the boiling water. Add the stock cube and stir to dissolve, then bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are soft. 2 Mash the sweet potatoes in the pan until creamy (see Áine’s introduction). Simmer for 10-15


minutes until thick and reduced, stirring in the vegan cream and lemon juice at the end. Season, cover and remove from the heat. 3 Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the pasta shells and cook for 12-15 minutes, or for slightly under the recommended cooking time, until not quite al dente. Drain and leave to cool slightly. 4 Cover the base of a baking dish with a layer of the sweet potato sauce. Fill the pasta shells with the remaining sauce and arrange in the dish, sprinkle over the nutritional yeast or vegan cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes until bubbling and golden. 5 Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before serving. Scatter over the chives and a good glug of extra-virgin olive oil to finish. PER SERVING (FOR 4) 538kcals, 14.2g fat (2.1g saturated), 13.7g protein, 83.7g carbs (10.7g sugars), 0.7g salt, 10.5g fibre

Red pesto risotto with shaved asparagus SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 35 MIN, SIMMERING TIME 25 MIN

Risotto is the most restorative dish I can think of, and I know that getting a pot of it on the go will soon put my worries at ease. The red pesto is something special – use the leftovers as a dip or to dollop over roast veg. The pesto will keep in a MAKE sealed container in the AHEAD fridge for 2-3 days. • 200g asparagus spears, trimmed • 1 vegetable stock cube • 1½ tbsp olive oil • 1 onion, finely chopped • 1 celery stick, finely chopped • 1 garlic clove, crushed • 200g arborio rice • Juice ½ lemon FOR THE RED PESTO

• 100g blanched almonds • 6 sun-dried tomatoes • 100g cherry tomatoes • 30g fresh basil

• 1 garlic clove, crushed • Grated zest and juice 1 lemon • 100ml extra-virgin olive oil 1 For the pesto, put the almonds in a food processor and pulse to a coarse meal. Add both types of tomatoes, the basil, garlic, lemon zest and juice and half the olive oil, then season well. Blend again, drizzling in the rest of the oil to form a rough paste. Transfer to a container and chill. 2 Bring 1½ litres water to the boil in a large pan, add the asparagus and blanch for 2-3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and refresh immediately in a bowl of cold water. 3 Add the stock cube to the pan of water, stir to dissolve and reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer. 4 Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and celery, season and cook for 5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until aromatic, then add the rice and stir to coat. 5 Add a few ladlefuls of hot stock to the pan until the rice is covered. Bring to a simmer and cook over a medium heat, stirring often, until most of the stock has been absorbed. Continue to cook, stirring and ladling in the stock a little at a time, until the rice is just cooked (20-25 minutes). 6 Meanwhile, shave the blanched asparagus with a vegetable peeler or slice lengthways into thin strips. Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat, add the asparagus, season and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until lightly golden. Squeeze over the lemon juice and remove from the heat. 7 Remove the risotto from the heat and stir through 3 heaped tbsp of the pesto (you’ll have some left over – see my recipe introduction) along with a splash more stock to loosen everything up. 8 Divide the risotto among bowls, then top with extra pesto and strips of the stir-fried asparagus. PER SERVING 600kcals, 39.2g fat (4.5g saturated), 12.4g protein, 47.8g carbs (5.4g sugars), 0.5g salt, 3.2g fibre

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LIGHTER FISHCAKES All the yum-factor of a classic smoked fish patty, with less fat and far fewer calories Hot-smoked salmon fishcakes & green salad SERVES 2. HANDS-ON TIME 25 MIN, OVEN TIME 15-20 MIN, PLUS CHILLING


We used mashed sweet HOW WE potato to hold the fishcakes DID IT together, and increased the ratio of fish to potato. We baked the fishcakes rather than frying them. Make the fishcakes up to MAKE 24 hours ahead, cover and AHEAD chill until ready to bake. Or freeze on a baking tray, then pack in freezer bags for up to 1 month. Defrost, then cook as in the recipe. • 200g sweet potato, diced • Olive oil for frying and drizzling • 2 banana shallots, finely chopped • Handful fresh dill, finely chopped • Bunch spring onions, finely chopped • 150g hot-smoked salmon, flaked (skin discarded) • 40g fresh breadcrumbs • Spray olive oil • 2 baby gem lettuces, leaves shredded • ½ cucumber, cut into half moons • Juice ½ lemon, plus wedges 1 Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add the sweet potato. Boil for 10 minutes or until soft when tested with the tip of a dinner knife. Drain thoroughly, then put back in the pan and leave to steam dry for a few minutes. Mash until smooth. 2 Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over a low-medium heat. Fry the shallots for 6-8 minutes until softened. Mix into the sweet potato mash with the dill and half the spring onions. Gently mix in the hot-smoked salmon, trying not to break up the flesh.

3 With wet hands, shape the mixture into 2 large fishcakes. Scatter the breadcrumbs on a shallow plate or in a baking tray, then put the fishcakes on top and use your hands to coat them all over with the breadcrumbs, patting down to get an even covering. Put on a plate, cover with cling film and chill for 15 minutes in the fridge (see Make Ahead). 4 Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/ gas 6. Put the fishcakes on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper and spray a few times with the oil on both sides. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden and piping hot throughout. 5 Meanwhile, mix the remaining spring onions in a bowl with the lettuce and cucumber, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil and a generous squeeze of lemon juice. Serve the fishcakes and salad with extra lemon wedges for squeezing.





23.6g fat (5.6g saturated)

8.7g fat (1.8g saturated)

30.5g protein

23.6g protein

49g carbs (4.4g sugars)

41.2g carbs (12.4g sugars)

2.2g salt

1.9g salt

3g fibre

5.1g fibre



LOOSE ENDS Don’t let this month’s special ingredients linger in your kitchen. Instead make the most of them with these smart and easy ideas

CRISPY FISH PIE FROM Swap your fish FETA, SPINACH AND MINT pie topping for a BÖREK few sheets of filo P62 pastry. Scrunch, brush with oil or melted butter and bake. Search ‘fish pie’ at MINI LUNCHBOX QUICHES Brush 3 filo sheets with oil and cut each into 8 equal squares. Use the squares to line 8 holes of a muffin tin. Whisk 3 large free-range eggs, 150ml single cream and a little salt and pepper, then stir in 100g roughly chopped asparagus, 2 tbsp fresh pesto and a shredded cooked chicken breast. Divide among the filo cups and bake at 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4 for 20 minutes until just set.

PASTIS STEAMED MUSSELS Fry 1 sliced leek and 1 sliced fennel bulb in a knob of butter in a large pan until soft. Add 75ml pastis, then stir in a handful of chopped chives and about 1kg FROM CHICKEN BOUILLABAISSE P113


fresh cleaned mussels. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes, shaking the pan. Stir in 50ml double cream and some pepper, then serve in bowls with good bread (discard any unopened mussels). REFRESHING PUD Drizzle a few drops of pastis over a bowlful of vanilla or (even better) blackcurrant ice cream or sorbet.

RICOTTA SALATA BROAD BEAN BRUSCHETTA Simmer 200g broad beans in water for 2-3 minutes. Drain, refresh in cold water and remove the skins. Mash lightly with a fork and stir in the zest of ½ lemon, 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper and a small bunch of chopped fresh mint. Spoon over toasted ciabatta or sourdough slices, then sprinkle over shavings of ricotta salata. SIMPLE TOMATO SALAD Toss sliced mixed cherry tomatoes with good olive oil, a little balsamic vinegar and FROM FLATBREADS WITH RAISIN, PINE NUT AND CAPER PESTO P22

plenty of salt and pepper. Mix in a mixed bag of watercress and rocket leaves, then serve on a platter. Shave over ricotta salata and sprinkle with fresh basil or oregano leaves.

bowl. Set over a pan of barely simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bowl) and stir briefly to combine as it melts. Transfer to a jug and serve with crushed amaretti biscuits.



CHILLI PLUS Search for ‘chilli FROM SACHERTORTE, con carne’ at P72 delicious and add 1 tbsp espresso powder when you add the kidney beans, to give the dish another layer of savoury flavour. BARBECUE RUB Mix 1 tbsp espresso powder with 1½ tbsp smoked paprika, 1 tbsp sea salt flakes and ½ tsp dark brown soft sugar. Rub over beef, pork or lamb before grilling, or rub over a leg of lamb ready for roasting. EASY DINNER-PARTY PUD For a crowd-friendly take on Italian affogato, serve scoops of your favourite ice cream (we like pecan or salted caramel) with espresso chocolate sauce. Put 300ml single cream, 2-3 tbsp espresso powder and 300g dark chocolate in a heatproof

SPICY NACHOS Empty a 175g bag of tortilla chips into an ovenproof baking dish. Pour over a 225g jar of tomato salsa, a 195g tin of drained sweetcorn, a few sliced spring onions and a generous handful of grated cheddar. Put under a hot grill for 3-4 minutes to melt the cheese. Mix 1 tbsp ancho chilli paste with 50ml soured cream and serve drizzled over the nachos, with guacamole if you like. SOUP WITH A KICK Stir a tablespoon or two of ancho chilli paste into your next batch of homemade soup or into a carton of fresh shopbought soup. The spicy, smoky flavour works particularly well with tomato, carrot or butternut squash soup. FROM BLACK BEAN AND SWEET POTATO EMPANADAS, P36







M AY 2018


Food editor

delicious. KITCHEN p104

LOTTIE COVELL Acting food lifestyle editor

Cookery tips and tricks, including how to make gorgeous flowers from sugar paste


Cookery assistant

KNOW-HOW p107 XXXXXXX How to butterbaste like a pro LUCAS HOLLWEG Chef and food writer

XANTHE CLAY Chef, writer, and preserves & freezing queen

CHEF’S STEP BY STEP p109 Laura Petersen shows how to make a batch of Nutella ganache-filled doughnuts 103

THIS MONTH IN THE delicious. KITCHEN... While the delicious. team are testing recipes, they’re often debating the best ways to do things, as well as answering cooking questions that arise in the test kitchen. What’s the best way to boil potatoes? Why do chefs spoon butter over pan-fried meat at the end? What are micro herbs? And hicken and organic? It’s the kind of information you ke your cooking to the next level. TR EN DWATCH


SEA TROUT Sewin, as the Welsh call it, is a more adventurous brown trout, one that runs away to sea to come back bigger, with a sweeter, cleaner taste than its stay-at-home cousin. Just don’t call it salmon trout – it’s not related to salmon. The season runs from April to September. FREEZE If you have room you can freeze whole fish, but first they must be gutted and have their gills removed. Lay fillets or whole fish on a stiff board or piece of cardboard wrapped in foil. If you have a vacuum packer use this, otherwise, wrap tightly in cling film, then again in foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. PRESERVE Potting sea trout to make a chunky, buttery pâté will extend its life to a month, and you can freeze it too for up to 3 months. Lay a 350g skinned sea trout fillet on a tray and rub all over with 2 tsp coarse salt. Chill overnight. Rinse and pat dry, then cut into chunks. Melt 150g butter, add a grating of nutmeg along with the trout and cook very gently until the trout is cooked through (5-6 minutes). Drain, reserving the butter. Spoon about half the butter back onto the trout in a medium bowl, being careful not to include any of the watery liquid under the butter. Gently mix in 30g chopped fresh dill, then spoon into a serving dish or individual ramekins. Chill until set, then cover with a layer of reserved melted butter and chill again. Serve at room temperature or lightly warmed.

Micro herbs

They’ve become a favourite way for chefs to add a final, airy flourish to dishes. Their colours, shapes and often intense flavours can help link other elements on the plate. Here’s what you need to know… WHAT ARE THEY? Micro herbs (aka micro greens) are the shoots and leaves of salad and herb plants harvested while still seedlings. WHAT SORT OF PLANTS? Pretty much any edible leaves can be grown in micro form, from spicy mizuna, mustard and nasturtium leaves, through red chard and amaranth to aromatic baby basil, coriander and celery leaves. HOW TO BUY THEM? Until recently you either needed to grow your own or find a specialist supplier (such as, but supermarkets are getting in on the act. Sainsbury’s sells garlic chive sprouts and mini pea shoots, and M&S and Ocado both sell British, Italian and Japanese micro herb mixes.


LAMB, HOGGETT AND MUTTON? LAMB is the meat of a young sheep (under one year old). It can be eaten in spring but lamb hits its peak – in flavour terms – in early summer and through the autumn. HOGGET After that, and up to the age of two years old, the meat is known as hogget. The meat from hogget is still tender enough to be grilled but it also loves long, slow cooking and has a fuller, more distinctive flavour. MUTTON is meat from older animals that have had longer to mature on pasture, and it’s rich and full flavoured. It’s best cooked long and slow and its strong flavour works well with spices and fresh herbs, so it’s great in curries.



THINK ALL CHICKEN TASTES THE SAME? It might be time to think again…

Chicken is the nation’s favourite meat. Britons eat a phenomenal 900 million chickens each year, although less than 10 per cent of them are produced using ‘high welfare’ farming methods. How can you choose a better bird? Here’s our essential guide

benefited from the highest welfare standards, with light, airy barns and space to move around, inside and out. Slow-growing breeds are allowed to develop at their natural pace. Their more active lives and foraged diets result in firmer, more flavourful meat. They’re also lower in saturated fat and higher in healthy omega-3 fatty acids.



When a recipe says to cook chopped onions until soft but not coloured, add a pinch of salt to the onions and cover the pan with a lid. The steam will stop the onions browning before they soften. COOK’S TIP

Look for the terms ‘organic’, ‘freerange’ and/or ‘RSPCA-assured’. All are a far better choice than intensively farmed chickens, for flavour and welfare reasons. Free-range birds grow for longer than intensively farmed birds and have natural light and access to green spaces for at least half their life, though they have less outside space than organic birds. RSPCA-assured birds are also grown more slowly but can be either free-range or indoor-bred. Barns must have natural light as well as bales for birds to perch on and straw and veg for them to peck at. How the birds can be slaughtered is also regulated.

The majority of chickens eaten in the UK – including Red Tractor birds – are intensively farmed to the minimum EU welfare standards, which allows up to 19 birds per square metre, housed in barren barns without natural light. They’re ready for slaughter in six weeks (half the natural time) and as a result are often too weak to stand. Although the use of antibiotics has been reduced, they’re often given doses to counter the problems of confined living conditions, which may have implications for human antibiotic resistance.



Arguably, yes. You’ll pay more for an organic chicken because they’ll have

Not necessarily. A corn diet will affect the colour,

taste and texture of the meat (and they’re often fattier) but the term is not indicative of high welfare standards.

ARE FRENCH CHICKENS SUPERIOR? They can be. Demand for ‘traditionally grown’ chickens is higher in France than in the UK, but it’s complicated. The French Label Rouge is awarded to slowgrown, free-range birds. Best of all are free-range chickens grown in Bresse, eastern France, which have protected AOC status. → 105

delicious. KITCHEN

It fills the hedgerows with a frothy cascade of white for a few short weeks in May and June. If you want to use the flowers in the kitchen, it’s important to pick them as fresh as possible. HOW TO USE IT: MAKE ELDERFLOWER CORDIAL It’s a classic way to preserve the flowers’ fragrance (search delicious for a recipe). Freeze cordial in plastic bottles if you want to keep it longer. STEEP IN VINEGAR Put elderflower heads in white wine vinegar or cider vinegar for 2 weeks, strain into sterilised bottles (see deliciousmagazine. and use in salad dressings or splashed over melon and strawberries. OTHER IDEAS Turn the flower heads into fritters (fry in a light batter and serve sprinkled with sugar), or use to infuse milk/ cream for aromatic ice creams, possets and pannacottas.




How to make sugar paste ranunculus flowers









The wedding cake on p70 will look beautiful with fresh flowers, but if you want to try making sugar paste flowers, here’s cakemaker Kat Silverfield’s step-by-step guide. This is a tricky technique and it takes time, but with practice you’ll become a whizz at it! Once made and dried, the flowers will keep for months in an airtight box, (in a cool, dry place), so you can build up your stash over time


• 1 egg white in a small bowl • 60mm 5-petal flower cutter • Petal dust to suit sugar paste

FOOD It’s easiest to source TEAM’S all you need online: try TIP or



• Wire cutter • 20-gauge florist wire • Long-nose pliers • Florist’s tape • Sugar paste, coloured with sugar dye (Kat likes Squires Kitchen Sugar Florist Paste and Sugarflair dye) • Trex (or any veg shortening) • Small rolling pin • Non-stick cake board • 50mm 5-petal flower cutter • Stay-fresh plastic mat (or plastic sandwich bag) • Veining stick • 15cm square of thin foam or card for support, with a small hole cut in the centre • 2-3 fine, soft paintbrushes


Begin by cutting a 20cm length of florist wire. Bend the tip over using long-nose pliers to create a loop or ‘bud’ (A). Wrap the wire in florist’s tape, including the bud. Knead a 30g piece of florist paste with a small dab of Trex for 1 minute, then roll it out thinly on a non-stick cake board until almost transparent. Using the 50mm flower cutter, stamp out 3 shapes (B). Put 2 under the plastic mat/in a plastic bag. Take the veining stick and put it firmly flat in the centre of a petal, then roll it to one side, then the other, maintaining the pressure the whole time (C). To get a ruffled look, bring the tip of the veining stick to the edge of the petal (D) and roll side to side until the




desired ruffles are achieved. Put the flower on your foam or card support and brush the centre with egg white (E), then insert your florist tape-covered wire with bud (F) into the centre. Choose one petal from the flower and brush halfway up its length with egg white. With the wire and bud sticking out about 2cm, bring the far side of the petal anticlockwise around the wired hoop. Secure it to the bud and more loosely curl the other half of the petal clockwise around the bud. Working clockwise, brush the bottom half of the next petal with egg white. Slip the petal inside the first petal, then curl it around and repeat this process with the rest of the petals, creating a spiral. Be sure to secure the lower half of the petals as you make your way around. Repeat from step 3 with



another reserved sugar paste flower (G), then the final flower, and let it dry for a few hours. Roll out more sugar paste and, using the larger 60mm cutter, punch out 2 sugar paste flowers. Repeat the veining, frilling and spiral process with these larger flowers. Once all 5 flower layers are mounted on the wire, pull back some petals for a more natural look (H). Let the flower dry for several hours on the board before dusting with petal dust of your choice. Use a more concentrated amount in the centre and more sparingly towards the outer petals. • Technique adapted from Maggie Austin Cake by Maggie Austin (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt £19)



For a video showing Kat making these flowers, visit sugar-paste-flowers

By CJ Jackson, CEO of The Seafood School at Billingsgate and Seafish UK ambassador As we all look forward to shedding a few layers of clothing and the prospect of lighter evenings, the focus turns to best in-season seafood. Here are three that are an excellent choice right now





One of five species of Pacific salmon, these are sustainably caught in Alaskan waters for a brief time in the summer. The fish is frozen for sale globally or canned (as red salmon). Although it’s artificial-looking in colour, fear not: the deep orange pigmentation of this wild salmon is down to its rich diet of crustaceans. The flesh is very lean and dense so bear in mind that it’s easy to overcook it.

Great ways to cook As sockeye salmon is only available frozen in the UK, it’s perfect for curing overnight in lime juice, chilli, coriander, salt and sugar. Slice thinly to serve like ceviche. Alternatively, steam and serve with salsa verde.

delicious. KITCHEN

Also known as langoustines, Norwegian lobsters or scampi. The UK catches more than half of the global supply from Scottish waters, much of which ends up abroad. They’re sweet and full of nutrients. Look for creelcaught langoustines graded by tail size/number per kilo (big tails mean top price). Sold live, fresh (‘dipped’ in a preserving solution) or frozen. They’re orange when raw and turn pale pink when cooked. To peel cooked langoustine, pull off the head, crack larger claws, pinch the tail shell until it cracks, then pull off the shell. Remove the gritty digestive tract with the tip of a knife. Great ways to cook Boil in salted water until they bob to the surface (3-4 minutes) and serve with melted lemon, garlic and tarragon butter.

To boil potatoes, put them in a pan of cold water and bring the water up to the boil. That way the outside won’t be mushy before the centre is tender.



Also called angler fish (or lotte in France), this premium priced fish was once used for cat food. It was Fanny Cradock who popularised monkfish as a good alternative to Dublin Bay prawns. Sold as a ‘tail’ it needs two levels of skinning – pull off the loose skin, then remove the grey membrane. There’s only one big bone running through the centre so it’s good for fishbone phobics, and the dense, meaty texture makes it great for stir-fries and skewers as it doesn’t break up easily. Monkfish cheeks are also good for stir-frying. Look out for MSC-certified Icelandic monkfish tails. Great ways to cook Dust in seasoned flour and ground coriander. Stir-fry with asparagus and serve with watercress and orange segments, or roast and garnish with crispy pancetta.





Butter basting is a technique used in professional kitchens to pan-fry fish, seafood and steaks. It adds flavour and succulence and ensures even cooking

HOW TO DO IT • Sear the fish or meat in oil first (without butter), then turn it over in the pan. • Add a knob of butter and seasonings (such as garlic and aromatic herbs), then tilt the pan to create a pool of hot fat. • Using a large spoon, spoon the fat over the meat or fish a few times. Set the pan flat again. • Repeat as needed until cooked to your liking. • If the butter threatens to burn, add a knob of cold butter and turn down the heat a little.


See delicious. expertise in action!

Want to improve your kitchen skills? Visit & discover how to… Make a giant skillet cookie • Stir up a spring green risotto • Cook white chocolate rice pudding with rhubarb & passion fruit compote – and much more

WORTH £1,000

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Enjoy a river cruise, spa treatments and three nights of sensational food put these dates in your diary READER OFFER Can’t wait? delicious. readers can save 15% on a dinner, bed and breakfast stay at Budock Vean. To book, call 01326 252100 and quote delicious. magazine reader offer.**


e’ve teamed up with Cornwall’s Budock Vean hotel to offer you the chance to win an exclusive threenight autumn break from 23 to 25 November this year, during the hotel’s gourmet weekend event.* In a leafy setting on the Helford River, Budock Vean Hotel has an AA Rosette-awarded restaurant as well as a health spa, pool and golf course. The harbour town of Falmouth is only six miles away, so cosy waterside pubs and the South West Coast Path are within easy reach… Or you could just stay put and revel in the luxury. Our winner and guest will be greeted with a bottle of chilled champagne in their room and enjoy

three nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast, including two evenings joining in the hotel’s celebration of Cornish food. Friday and Saturday night will see head chef Darren Kelly serve up five-course tasting menus featuring Cornwall’s great produce, paired with expertly chosen wines. You’ll also take in the scenery on a sightseeing boat trip with Helford River Cruises and relax with a treatment each in the hotel spa. It wouldn’t be a Cornish break without a cream tea, and you’ll enjoy an excellent one during your stay. • To enter, visit deliciousmagazine. For Ts&Cs, see p129. For more information go to


just for you.

WIN! a private dining experience C WORTH ook any recipe from the magazine this month and you could win a fine dining private chef experience for up to eight people. Your Dineindulge chef will prepare, cook and serve a deluxe nine-course tasting delicious. menu in your own home (or at a holiday cottage or accommodation) anywhere in England, Scotland or Wales on a date of your choice. The private chef will take care of the whole evening from the amuse-bouche to the cheese course, and vegetarian and other dietary requirements can be cate d ffor too. t All you ered need do is get a few bottles of wine in, sit s back and enjoy a great evening – the ch hef will even clean up afterwards. Dineindulge makes it easy to book a priva ate chef, with set menus and prices from justt £25 a head. For more information or to browse the menus, go to uk FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN… Make any recipe from the May issue, take a photograph and share it with us*



MARRCH’S WINNER • Re ebecca Moon winss a selection of kitch hen kit for her exce ellent fish pie





I come from Brighton, so doughnuts from the pier are an iconic food for me. This is my version, filled with a Nutella ganache. Making doughnuts from scratch takes a bit of efort but after a single bite from one of these, nibbled while the filling is still warm and oozing, you’ll agree they’re seriously worth it. This recipe is a staple in my recipe book and on the LAURA PETERSEN, PASTRY CHEF menu at our restaurants. I’ve not yet found better!



LAURA’S STORY She’s the talented executive pastry chef at the London outpost of The Coal Shed, a popular Brighton restaurant. Previously she was head chef at The Salt Room in Brighton, part of the same group. She’s worked in top kitchens, including Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York State, USA.


Make the dough a day ahead MAKE and leave to rise overnight, AHEAD covered, in the fridge (step 2). Bring the dough back to room temperature, then continue with the recipe. You can make these by hand FOOD TEAM’S but it’s hard work. To see TIPS how to work in the butter by hand, go to beat-butter-into-brioche. Fry the dough offcuts, dust in sugar, drizzle with lemon juice and eat as a cook’s perk. • 300ml whole milk • 50g sugar, plus a lot extra to dust • 7g pack fast-action dried yeast 110





• 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra to dust • 90g unsalted butter, softened • Flavourless oil for deep frying FOR THE NUTELLA GANACHE FILLING

• 150ml double cream, cold • 100g dark chocolate (60% cocoa solids), broken into pieces • 200g Nutella YOU’LL ALSO NEED…

• Digital probe thermometer; stand mixer with a dough hook (see tips); 5-6cm round cutter; disposable piping bag 1 Warm the milk in a heavy-based pan until lukewarm, then take off the heat. Use a thermometer to check it’s no hotter than 37°C (any hotter will kill the yeast). Whisk in the sugar and yeast. Put the flour and a pinch of salt

into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, then add the milk [A] and mix for a 2-3 minutes until a rough dough begins to form. 2 Add the softened butter bit by bit, mixing on a medium speed for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic (see tips). It shouldn’t stick to the bowl or your hands (B); if it does, mix until the consistency is right. Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size (see Make Ahead). 3 While the dough is rising, make the Nutella filling. Put 100ml of the cream in a heavy-based pan and bring to the boil. Put the pieces of chocolate in a medium heatproof mixing bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk until smooth and combined [C1] (see Laura’s tips). The ganache might look like splitting







but keep whisking, then add the final 50ml cold cream and the Nutella and whisk until combined (see Laura’s tips). Chill for 10-15 minutes to firm up to a pipeable consistency, then spoon into a disposable piping bag (no need for a nozzle). 4 Lightly flour a work surface, tip out the dough and knead once or twice to remove any excess air. Halve the dough then, using a rolling pin, roll out each piece until 2.5cm thick. 5 Dust a 5cm or 6cm cutter in flour, then stamp out 6 doughnuts from each piece [E]. You’ll have offcuts, but the dough is best only rolled once (see tips). Put on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and leave to prove somewhere warm and draft free for 30 minutes or until doubled in size (the time will vary depending on the temperature of the room). During the last 5-10 minutes

of proving time, heat the oil for frying in a large deep saucepan (don’t fill it more than two-thirds full) until it reads 160°C. Have 2 trays to hand: one lined with kitchen paper and another sprinkled with caster sugar to dust. 6 Use a large slotted spoon or frying basket to gently add the doughnuts, in 2-3 batches, to the hot oil [F] and fry for 2 minutes, flipping them after a minute, until puffed up and rich golden brown [G]. Drain on kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil, then roll in caster sugar to coat [H]. 7 Using a teaspoon handle, make a hole in the side of each doughnut [I]. Snip the end off the piping bag and pipe the Nutella filling inside to fill [J]. Enjoy straightaway. PER DOUGHNUT 483kcals, 26.8g fat (12.3g saturated), 6.9g protein, 52.3g carbs (20.2g sugars), 0.1g salt, 2.4g fibre



LAURA’S TIPS FOR DOUGHNUT SUCCESS → Don’t rush the rising/ proving in the recipe (steps 2 & 5). Wait until they double in size. This will ensure lighttextured doughnuts. → Adding chilled cream to the ganache (step 3) ensures it doesn’t split and keeps it smooth and glossy. → When making the ganache (step 3), if the cream doesn’t melt all the chocolate and Nutella, put the bowl over a pan of simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bowl) and stir until combined [C2]. → Eat doughnuts while still warm. They taste even better!

NEXT MONTH Frangipanetopped brioche


THE COOKERY SCHOOL WHERE Les Petits Farcis, Nice, France

lunch, €195 (one day; includes wine) TESTED BY Guy Dimond

WHAT IT’S LIKE In the heart of the picturesque Old Town of Nice, a 17th-century alleyway winds past the threshold of Rosa Jackson’s cookery school. The door is often open, allowing passers-by to peek inside the spacious, modern, well-equipped room. Canadian-born Rosa is bilingual and followed her dream of opening an Englishlanguage cookery school in France after more than a decade of working as a food writer in Paris. She runs Les Petits Farcis with the help of a part-time assistant and the focus is on Niçois dishes, although there are occasional classes in choux pastry and macarons, as well as in vegetarian and organic cooking. WHAT I LEARNED Our small group (class numbers are seldom more than seven) met at 9.30am at a pavement café in the Cours Saleya, the food market in the Old Town, not far from the waterfront. Rosa’s

THE TAKE-HOME TIPS • When browning chicken, don’t be tempted to poke at it. For the best colour and to prevent the skin tearing when you turn it, put it into the pan skin-side down and leave it alone, letting it brown thoroughly before turning. • You don’t need butter to make good



Dishes such as salade Niçoise (below right) are created around what’s on offer

expertise was apparent as she used produce from the market stalls to illustrate the distinctive history of Nice, which has led to a cuisine that’s notably different from neighbouring Provence or Italy. We were surprised to learn that seafood wasn’t a big part of traditional Niçois cooking, as villagers and townsfolk looked to the hills for their food. Vegetables, by contrast, are central; local delicacy les petits farcis – stuffed vegetables – is the school’s namesake dish. Having satisfied our curiosity with courgette-like gourds, purple artichokes and a score of other local specialities, we strolled back to the school to set about making our lunch. Four dishes were prepared at a steady, even pace; the instructions were clear, with plenty of time for questions and conversation. The menu changes daily, but on our visit it comprised socca, the Niçois

Rosa Jackson’s expert advice pastry – olive oil makes a fine substitute (great tip if you’re cooking for vegans). • Although locals insist that socca can only be made in a super-hot bread or pizza oven, Rosa demonstrated that this irresistible flatbread can be successfully made in a domestic fan oven turned up to its highest heat.

version of a chickpea flour flatbread; an authentic salade Niçoise (different from the many versions found elsewhere – the real one contains no potatoes or green beans); a flavourful chicken stew with bouillabaisse-like flavours (see right); and a lemon tart made with an unusual olive oil pastry. After enjoying some local wine, things wrapped up by around 3pm. THE VERDICT If you want to immerse yourself in a truly Niçois experience and have a good time while you’re at it, Les Petits Farcis is the place to do it. It’s easy to make friends on this course. Rosa’s expertise is incomparable and the recipes we cooked were a treat to eat. There’s time to ask questions about anything from culinary technique to the context of Niçois cuisine, and Rosa provides you with a detailed list of recommended local eateries (plus requisite map) – a bonus.



THE COURSE Market tour, cooking class &

in the know.



Rosa says: “I first tasted this dish at a restaurant up in the hills near Nice. It has the flavours of bouillabaisse, the Provençal fish stew, but uses chicken instead. The chef wouldn’t give me the recipe but with a little research and tinkering I came up with this version – possibly even better than his!” This recipe is great with rouille, a spicy, garlicky sauce. Find a recipe at or make a cheat’s version by mixing ready-made mayo with harissa paste, crushed garlic and a squeeze of lemon. FOOD TEAM’S TIP

• 1 free-range chicken, jointed, or 4 free-range chicken legs, each separated into thigh and drumstick • 2 generous pinches saffron threads • 80ml pastis • 80ml dry white wine • ½ tsp fennel seeds, crushed • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil • 1 red onion, thinly sliced • 1 fennel bulb, core removed, thinly sliced (any fronds reserved) • 450ml tomato passata • Bouquet garni of fresh fennel fronds (optional), a few sprigs fresh flatleaf parsley and a strip of orange zest, tied together with kitchen string • Rouille to serve (optional, see tips) YOU’LL ALSO NEED…

• Heavy-based frying pan • Large ovenproof casserole with a lid 1 Score the skin of the chicken to allow the marinade to be absorbed. In a large bowl, stir together the saffron, pastis, white wine, fennel seeds, ½ tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside for a few minutes so the saffron releases its colour. Add the chicken to the marinade and turn with your hands to thoroughly coat. Cover with cling film, put in the fridge and leave to marinate overnight, or for up to 24 hours, turning the chicken at least once. 2 Remove the chicken from the marinade (reserve the marinade) and pat dry with kitchen paper. Heat the olive oil in a deep,

heavy-based frying pan. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the chicken pieces in 2 batches and brown carefully on all sides – about 5 minutes for each batch. 3 Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Transfer the browned chicken pieces to a casserole and reduce the heat under the frying pan. Pour away excess fat, keeping about 2 tbsp. Add the onion and fennel slices to the frying pan, along with a large pinch of salt, then cook, stirring, over a medium heat until softened and lightly coloured. Pour the reserved marinade over the onion and fennel and turn up the heat to high. Once the marinade has reduced and is almost syrupy, add the passata and cook for a few minutes. Taste and season. 4 Bury the bouquet garni among the chicken pieces in the casserole and

carefully pour the tomato sauce over the chicken. Cover with the lid and cook in the oven for 45 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked through (the juices will run clear when pierced with a skewer in the thickest part of the thigh). Avoid cooking for too long, which would make the chicken dry. Serve with rouille (see tip) if you like, and some sliced new potatoes or crusty bread to mop up the sauce. PER SERVING 433kcals, 11.5g fat (2.8g saturated), 53.6g protein, 13.1g carbs (12.4g sugars), 0.6g salt, 2g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE A dry white with a herby, even mild aniseed, note will be perfect with this. Try a vermentino from the Med or Italy’s arneis grape. For more ways to use pastis, see Loose Ends →

Mazi: Modern Greek Food by Christina Mouratoglou and Adrien Carré (Mitchell Beazley £25) TESTED BY Susan Low

Mazi means ‘together’ in Greek. It’s the name of the authors’ restaurant in London’s Notting Hill, which has “Greece’s sharing tradition at the very core of our ethos”. Christina, who’s lived in the UK since 2002, swapped a career in fashion and music PR to do something that she cared deeply about. In the book’s intro Christina writes, “it always upset me that there was not one single place I could recommend to friends when they asked where they could find a good Greek restaurant” – and she and Adrien set out to change that. Recipes in both book and restaurant hail from across Greece, with tomato-flavoured ladeni bread from the Aegean island of Kimolos and pastitsada, a chicken dish from Corfu, as well as a number of dishes from Christina’s native Thessaloniki. Many have a twist; so stuffed vine leaves come with yogurt dip spiked with wasabi. QUALITY OF THE RECIPES I eventually settled on two traditional recipes: lamb fricassée and bougatsa, a filo pie filled with crème

patissière, to which I’d developed an addiction during visits to Greece. I was attracted by the spring-like flavours of the lamb dish – fresh dill and parsley and braised cos lettuce, thickened with avgolemono (egg and lemon) sauce at the end. My arms ached as I walked home from the butcher, musing that the 2kg of lamb called for in the recipe seemed a lot for FEEDS A CROWD six (the delicious. food Lamb fricassée team says 900g–1kg of flavoured with lamb to feed six). There spring herbs was no way my domestic Le Creuset could brown that much lamb in one go without steaming – so I did it in batches. Apart from that, the recipe was dead simple, although I suspect the photo above was taken before the avgolemono was stirred in. Flavour-wise, the dish was spot-on – and would serve 10. Fortunately I have greedy neighbours.. Mazi’s bougatsa is filled with a crème patissière flavoured with orange and lemon zest. The baking bougatsa smelled just like an Aegean holiday and a Greek friend confirmed it tasted “properly Greek”. Again, the portions were very generous;

the recipe says it’s for eight but I’d be in a sugar coma if I ate an eighth of it. I was once more grateful for greedy neighbours. PHOTOGRAPHY AND DESIGN The food shots by Nicolas Buisson are warm, sunny and simple and the location shots of Greece and Mazi restaurant hit the right note. WHO’S THE BOOK SUITABLE FOR? People with healthy appetites or with a (very Greek) need to feed. Purists might not like some of the modern twists, but there’s plenty to satisfy traditionalists too. VERDICT + + + +



THE TAS TE TES T MIN T SAUCE Our panel are taste experts. We conduct our tests without packaging, so our tasters don’t know who produced each product or how much it costs. And to prevent one tester influencing another, the panel aren’t allowed to confer during the tests, so the results you read below are unbiased.

WHAT WE LOOKED FOR Roast lamb’s favourite sauce is made by steeping finely chopped fresh mint leaves in water and vinegar, with a little sugar. It should be sharp enough to cut through the fattiness of the meat but with the slightest sweetness and have a prominent minty flavour with evidence of leaves. It also needs to be pourable.

SUPERMARKET WINNER Waitrose Refreshing & Fragrant English Mint Sauce, £1.60 for 195g A vibrant leafy sauce with medium texture, fresh mint flavour and powerful sweet and sour tang.

JOINT SUPERMARKET RUNNER-UP Tesco Mint Sauce, 55p for 185g Lots of finely chopped mint gives a pleasing consistency and appearance, but it was too grassy for some. Good strong kick from the vinegar.

JOINT SUPERMARKET RUNNER-UP Essential Waitrose Mint Sauce, 92p for 275g Dense, dark and herby, this textured sauce’s subtle minty taste appeared a little artificial to a few of our taste testers.

BRANDED WINNER Colman’s Mint Sauce, £1.20 for 165g, major supermarkets This one has a spot on sweetsharp balance and appealing emerald colour. Nicely thick with finely minced mint in evidence.

BRANDED RUNNER-UP Tracklements Traditional Mint Sauce, £2.35 for 150g, from Whole Foods, independent retailers and online Masses of roughchopped leaves give a good chunky texture, but it’s a little on the sugary side.



in the know.


KRICKET: AN INDIAN-INSPIRED COOKBOOK Author Will Bowlby is the Mumbai-trained chef and founder of the cult Kricket restaurants in London. This man certainly knows his way around Indian ingredients and the recipes here, from across the subcontinent, combine British and Indian flavours in ways that will blow your taste buds. Hardie Grant £26



In his latest book, Gennaro Contaldo, the Italian chef who has long been Jamie Oliver’s inspiration and mentor, serves up simple, crowdpleasing dishes that promise to be on the table “from fridge to fork in 40 minutes or less”. There’s plenty to enjoy here, but Gennaro’s pasta dishes are particularly appealing (no surprises there…). Pavilion £20

This is the debut cookbook from the London-based Moroccan food writer Nargisse Benkabbou, who writes the food blog My Moroccan Food. Almost 100 recipes for everything from starters to sweets, with a mix of traditional and modern. It practically sings with aromatic spices and ingredients. Mitchell Beazley £20; out 3 May

BRITAIN’S BEST HOME COOK: GREAT FOOD EVERY DAY This book from the new BBC TV series showcases some of the best dishes from the programme’s contestants, all genuine home cooks, as deemed by the esteemed judges. It’s a no-nonsense, nicely photographed collection of dishes that you’ll really want to cook – and eat. BBC Books £25


THE GADGET Counter Intelligence OilPresso oil extractor, £299,

TESTED BY Aggie MacKenzie

The machine makes it easy to extract your own cold-pressed oils – at a price

WHY BOTHER? That’s a question I have no good answers for. This machine will extract oil from seeds and nuts. Oil that you can otherwise get from a health food shop. You’d have to use this machine for years before it started paying for itself (by which time the guarantee would have long expired). WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT THIS ONE? Okay, if pushed, it does what it sets out to do. It’s easy to assemble and use, operates very efficiently and delivers cold-pressed oil. (Using heat to extract oil – which is what happens in most commercial oil production – yields more, but heat can degrade the flavour and nutritional quality.) ANY DRAWBACKS? Numerous. For starters, the price. I put 400g pumpkin seeds (£7) into the hopper and about 75ml oil was offered up. That’s no bargain. Plus it’s not a small machine, so you’d have to have plenty of kitchen cupboard space to house it. THE VERDICT? It’s not for me, but if you enjoy making everything yourself or want to be assured of the freshness and purity of your oil, this might appeal. The emphasis is on the word might. 115

Hollywood Boulevard as the sun sets over LA

hungry traveller.

Broke girl in


Wandering chef Rosie French jets to Los Angeles in search of sun, fun and fabulous food food that doesn’t require fabulous wealth to enjoy. Follow in her footsteps, from Venice Beach to Sunset Boulevard 117


Venice still has some bargain eats; rainbow dumplings from Workaholic; Hollywood’s iconic sign; kimchi fried rice with sous-vide egg at Baroo; terrace at The Freehand hotel; maple bacon pastry from The Ensaymada Project; La Isla Bonita taco truck; a bargain oldfashioned at the Thirsty Crow; turkey sausage and bacon egg sandwiches from Eggslut


he home of Hollywood, the Oscars and some of the richest neighbourhoods in the world, Los Angeles probably isn’t the first place you think of visiting on a budget. So when I found myself heading there to visit a friend I wasn’t sure how I‘d fill my time – or my stomach – without maxing out my credit card. But with tips from LA locals and fellow chefs I managed to see and eat the best of the city without a new overdraft. I woke up on a friend’s sofa in the funky beach neighbourhood of Venice. My post-flight head was fuzzy and I had a craving: it had to be bacon and eggs for breakfast – and fast. Luckily, there was a branch of the much-hyped Egg Slut ( nearby on Pacific Avenue. My British cynicism came to the fore when I saw the queue at the door. How good could an egg and bacon roll really be? Seriously? I was silenced as soon as I bit into what can only be described as a breakfast miracle. The caramelised


bacon, oozing egg and soft, perfectly toasted brioche bun – everything tasted like the best possible version of itself, and all for only $6. I never thought Britain would be beaten at the egg and bacon butty but LA won this one. Wandering around Venice it didn’t take long to realise I wouldn’t be able to afford to eat in at many places. I treated myself to a fantastic baklava croissant at Gjusta bakery ( on Sunset Avenue but beat a hasty retreat when I saw the price of the sandwiches ($16). In Venice, most restaurants are geared towards the tourists who pack the famous Boardwalk, or the wealthy millennials who think nothing of dropping $50 on brunch in the cafés on and around the affluent Abbott Kinney Boulevard – ‘the coolest block in America’ (GQ). But there are other ways to eat…

LA’S FOOD TRUCK SCENE While exploring the neighbourhood and staring longingly into windows

at menus I couldn’t afford, I found a taco truck called La Isla Bonita ( Truck), parked up on the corner of 4th and Rose. I joined the queue of regulars reeling off orders they’d clearly made many times before. But what should I get? The guy in front of me asked for the ceviche tostada so I did the same – a lightly toasted soft corn taco with crab, chopped shrimp, octopus, avocado and lime. You’re encouraged to tear off your own coriander and load up on various salsas… A refreshing, surprisingly filling three-mouthful snack – and, at only $1.25, you might be able to afford a second one. Having run a street food business in the UK since 2009, I was excited to track down more of LA’s celebrated food trucks. You need to keep an eye on their Twitter feeds and individual websites to find out where each truck is heading. Or, a good place to sample a few in one hit is Smorgasburg (, held on


hungry traveller.

Sundays (10am-4pm) at the Alameda Produce Market in downtown LA. I was in street food heaven here and with just $25 I managed to fill up on fantastic pork and kimchi dumplings from Workaholic (, Peruvian tacos from Little Llama (littlellamatacos. com), the best oyster I’ve ever downed from The Jolly Oyster ( and a killer cookie crumble Filipino brioche – a cross between a doughnut and a canelle – from The Ensaymada Project ( I scratched my street-food itch in one go without blowing my budget. For me, grazing for a few hours at Smorgasburg definitely beats a Sunday roast.

SIT-DOWN DINNER I couldn’t afford many of the city’s hottest restaurants, but I was keen to hunt out an affordable hidden gem and eat with a knife and fork at a table. Following a tip from my host’s housemate I sought out Baroo

(, a low-key but much-recommended Koreaninspired café with a handful of communal tables and bar seats, tucked away in a nondescript mall on Santa Monica Boulevard. Two of us ordered a selection of dishes from the blackboard, ranging from $2 to $15. Considering it costs $15 for a starter in many places this menu was inviting. We shared a table full of beautiful dishes including pickled watermelon rind and passion fruit, kimchi fried rice with bacon and sous-vide egg, shrimp and kimchi toasts and tagliatelle with oxtail ragù, gochujang gremolata and puffed beef tendons. Everything was unique, generous and great-tasting… And the bill? About $20 each.

TIME FOR DRINKIES Sunset is a special time in LA. At around 7pm the sky goes through every spectrum of pink and orange and thoughts turn from food to drink. Planning sundowners →

SAVVY SLUMBERS: IN LA… If you’re not lucky enough to have friends to stay with in LA, the next best thing is Airbnb. Self-catering options cost between $35 and $90 a night – with the money-saving bonus that you can stock up the fridge and cook for yourself. Friends recommend The Freehand (freehand in downtown LA, which has as a rooftop pool and cool interiors. There are traditional rooms as well as cheaper shared dorms, from $69 per night plus tax.

…AND OUT OF TOWN If you want to escape the city for a night, Topanga National Park is a short drive along the coast from Venice. For $7 per head you can camp under the stars and wake up to stunning sea or mountain views. If you can’t get hold of a tent you can also rent cabins, Airstreams or yurts for a fraction of the price of a hotel room. Check out the Hipcamp (hipcamp. com) website for deals.

hungry traveller.

TRANSPORT ON THE CHEAP Los Angeles is a vast city with little public transport, and sightseeing without a car is difficult. I’d planned to see as much as possible on foot but soon realised I’d be walking all day through some pretty dull areas. The best option is to pick one neighbourhood a day to explore and to travel there and back using Uber Pool. My tip: sit in the front so you can chat to the drivers about their city. One driver took me on a free tour of Beverly Hills, pointing out celebrity homes and telling stories of old Hollywood. An Uber Pool from Santa Monica to Silver Lake can cost as little as $4.28. There are also car-sharing services in the city and car hire is cheap in comparison to Europe.



Rosie’s ceviche tostada SERVES 4. HANDS-ON TIME 15 MIN

“As soon as the jet lag was behind me, I was keen to re-create some of the Mexican street food I’d sampled in LA. You need to use the freshest fish you can find this side of the Atlantic… Sea bream and halibut both have great texture and work well in ceviche. You could also use haddock, pollock or cod. I’ve used regular tortillas here, but I like to use the blue corn ones when I can.” Buy Cool Chile Co Blue Corn

ROSIE’S Tortillas from Wholefoods, Booths TIP

and online at • Handful fresh coriander • 200g very fresh sea bream or halibut fillet, skinned and diced • Juice 1 lime, plus extra to serve • ½ tsp sherry vinegar • 1 shallot, finely sliced • 4 baby plum tomatoes, finely chopped • Pinch chipotle or ancho chilli flakes • Pack small soft corn tortillas (see tip)

• Handful watercress, sliced avocado and a handful chopped fresh chives to serve 1 Remove the coriander leaves from their stalks, reserve the leaves for later and very finely chop the stalks. Put the diced fish in a glass or ceramic bowl and add the chopped coriander stalks, lime juice, sherry vinegar, sliced shallot, tomatoes, chilli flakes and a hefty pinch of salt. Stir everything together and taste, then adjust the acid-salt balance if needed by adding a little more lime juice or salt. 2 Lightly toast the tortillas in a dry frying pan until they release that gorgeous smell of toasted corn. Load each tortilla with a small handful of watercress and a spoonful of the fish mixture. Top with a few slices of avocado, an extra squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of salt, coriander leaves and some finely chopped chives. Fold up the sides and eat with your hands. PER SERVING 382kcals, 13.3g fat (2.2g saturated), 16.1g protein, 47.3g carbs (3.5g sugars), 0.9g salt, 4.4g fibre WINE EDITOR’S CHOICE A sauvignon blanc has matching zest, but a mouthwatering Argentinian torrontés white is even better.


became a serious business and I’d swot up on happy hour deals in the area I was visiting that day. Top discoveries: $5 old-fashioneds at the Thirsty Crow (thirstycrow; happy hour weekdays 5-8pm) in Silver Lake; reasonably priced jugs of beer at The Venice Ale House ( in the perfect spot for people-watching; and a gorgeous half-price earl grey martini at The Library Bar (library; happy hour weekdays 3-6pm) in downtown LA. Don’t forget to budget for the $1 per drink tip for the bar staff (this can all add up). I stocked up on craft beers, limes and a bottle of tequila so I could save money by making a round of margaritas wherever I was staying – always a welcome thank you to my hosts (and my wallet). Rosie French is a freelance food stylist, photographer and writer. She owns street food and events business French & Grace. Look out for them at festivals around the UK this summer.

the big tour.

FESTIVAL FEVER Food festival season is upon us at last: time to relax in the sunshine with family and friends, sampling the best local food and drink. And this year you can meet delicious. too



ood lovers all over the land are gearing up for festival season. Oh, the joys of sitting back in a camping chair on a grassy knoll with a sausage roll warm from the oven and a proper local cider… As well as the tempting food stalls there are cookery demos to enjoy from the rock-star chefs who tour the country to entertain festivalgoers, along with lots of fun events and a party atmosphere in the town hosting the festival. It’s a win win: you can feel all worthy about supporting your local producers and have a great time to boot. Food festivals are now an essential part of summer for anyone who cares about good food and how it’s produced. This summer, festival season is even more exciting as delicious. is travelling

around the UK, visiting the best festivals and judging the regional heats of the delicious. Produce Awards en route. The first two shows are next month: first up is The Dales Festival of Food & Drink in Wensleydale (, a glorious location for a celebration of the best food and drink the Yorkshire Dales has to offer. Later in the month the Irish Game Fair at Shanes Castle in County Antrim ( will feature the finest produce from all over Ireland. At each show the judging for the delicious. Produce Awards will happen live in the Fisher & Paykel Social Kitchen, overseen by cookbook author and food expert Valentina Harris. Get the dates in your diary and come and meet delicious. – it’s going to be a lot of fun.

JOIN US! + 16-17 June + Dales Festival of Food & Drink + 23-24 June + Irish Game Fair MORE INFORMATION ↗ FOR ON ALL THE FESTIVALS

delicious. WILL BE VISITING THIS SUMMER Visit festivaldates

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Once a favourite for stag-do revelry (which made it a no-go for the rest of us), the Estonian capital has matured into a chic city-break destination. Katrina Kollagaeva hits the hotspots

WHEN TO GO Summers, with their long ‘white nights’ and temperatures rarely above 25°C, are wonderful for wandering the streets of the Old Town. But autumn, when there are falling mahogany-coloured leaves and candle-lit restaurants and cafés, is the most cosy-beautiful time to go. Estonia is currently celebrating its 100th year as a sovereign nation – a huge deal here. Check out Visit Tallinn ( for the latest events and look for special menus in many of the city’s top restaurants.

HIT THE KALAMAJA TRAIL The quaint wooden ‘Tallinn houses’ of hipster area Kalamaja now house many cafés. Start exploring at market Balti Jaama Turg (Mon-Sat: 9am-7pm, Sun: 9am-5pm), which has everything from local produce to Uzbekistani samsa pies and bao buns with sauerkraut. Next, stop at the warehouse-like F-hoone (, housed in Telliskivi Creative City, for their lingonberry IPA made in collaboration with local brewery Põhjala, before a slice or two of the best pizza in Tallinn at Kaja Pizza Köök ( Finish with a typically Estonian kohupiimasaiake (pastry made with curd) at Kalamaja Pagarikoda ( 122

DINING WITH VIEWS Noa Restaurant (, right on the Baltic coast 10km north of the city centre, is the epitome of New Estonian cuisine. It has stunning views of the Old Town and is worth the 20-minute taxi ride. Go the whole hog at the separate Chef’s Hall with its intimate setting and tasting menu (£78pp plus wine). Back in the Old Town, Leib (meaning black bread; leibresto. ee) serves local ingredients in style, with one of the best wine lists in the country and an enchanting walled garden. Go for a raspberry meringue roll afterward on the open-air veranda of Kohvik Komeet (, a 15-minute stroll away.

OFF THE BEATEN TRACK Nõmme district feels like a village within Tallinn, the focal point of which is Nõmme Turg, the daily farmers’ market (Turu plats, 8; Mon-Sat: 9am-6pm, Sun: 9am-5pm). Visit Mimosa restaurant (restoranmimosa. ee) for a homely yet hearty lunch in a yard full of apple trees. Another little-trodden ‘hood is Uus Maailm (Estonian for ‘the new world’). Stop at Kohalik (, a café loved by locals. For a non-Nordic fix go to Gotsu (, where Korean chef Kyuho does fried chicken with chilli (grown by his mother in Korea), or Russian café Grenka (

FOOD SHOPPING Central market (Keskturg, Keldrimäe 9) is the last remaining unmodernised market. Goods are cheap, the banter priceless. Look for wild strawberries, locally smoked fish and buckwheat honey. Estonia is proud of its dairy produce, and at the stylish Rae Meierei restaurant ( you can sample housemade

burrata and mozzarella (this gigantic place also does mean steaks cooked on an open fire). Stock up on local charcuterie such as elk sausage at Matsimoka ( matsimoka) in Solaris shopping mall.

LOCAL TIPPLES The last few years have seen a craze for tiny craft beer breweries. You can try many at Pudel baar in Kalamaja (pudel. ee). Amazon jungle meets Nordic cool with spectacular results at speakeasy Parrot ( Midori sour with thyme and foie gras macaroons, anyone? Estonians have been drinking kombucha (fermented tea) for ages; try the quaffable, delicate Mjuk brand at Sip (, a boutique wine and beer shop that holds tastings at weekends.

VIVA VEGANS! Vegan eating is big. Bliss (, in the residential area of Mustamäe, serves more than 100 dishes. Seek out layered, rich savoury tortes at Toormoor ( or seitan burgers from the Veg Machine truck, both in Balti Jaama Turg. For more upmarket dishes such as tofu in black bread with mushrooms, visit Vegan Restoran ( in the Old Town.

BEYOND TALLINN With Estonia’s small size you can squeeze in a trip outside the capital over a longer weekend. Rent a car and head to Torgo Farm, a guesthouse (doubles from £57) 100km from Tallinn. Enjoy a wood-fired sauna with a hot tub by the river and a meal from Estonian Canadian chef Kristina. On your way, stop at Jaanihanso (jaanihanso. ee), previously a Soviet collective, now a renovated organic craft cider house.


Nunnu means cute, neat or pretty in Estonian, a word that describes perfectly this tiny, high-tech Baltic country that still manages to have plenty of rural charm. The thriving capital combines its own version of New Nordic dining with stylish, cosy cafés and a lively street food scene. But where to start…?

hungry traveller.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT The Old Town; Jaanihanso organic craft cider (and, bottom right, its apples); Noa Restaurant; raspberry meringue roll at Kohvik Komeet; a slice at Kaja Pizza Köök; Leib’s pretty food; cool Kalamaja

WHERE TO STAY Steps from Tallinn’s main square is historic Villa Hortensia, with self-contained studios overlooking a refurbished 13th-century artisans’ courtyard (; from £57 double). Or stay in recently renovated 1930s apartments, Baltic Boutique Apartments in Kalamaja (; from £87).

GETTING THERE Tallinn is served by several airlines from London airports. From £70 return (


Hello summer (we need you!) • 3 cocktail-inspired cheesecakes: choose your favourite • Felicity Cloake’s perfect picnic • The science bit: why everybody tastes things differently T H E C OL L E C T OR ’ S E DI T ION



16 EXTRA PAGES OF RECIPES & KNOW-HOW: COOK THE ITALIAN WAY Make like you’re in the Med with fresh, sunny recipes for pasta, pizza, meat, fish and veg, plus quick pudding ideas


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EYE TO EYE MEDIA LTD, AXE & BOTTLE COURT, 70 NEWCOMEN STREET, LONDON SE1 1YT Subscription enquiries 01858 438424 Editorial enquiries 020 7803 4100 Fax 020 7803 4101 Email Web THIS MONTH WE ASKED What’s your favourite picnic treat? Editor Karen Barnes Proper soft-yolk scotch eggs Deputy editor Susan Low Mini pork pies Editorial and features assistant Phoebe Stone Pimm’s (and strawberries) Food editor Jennifer Bedloe Crusty baguette, ripe brie and juicy tomatoes Acting food lifestyle editor Lottie Covell Pan bagnat (but no tuna please) Cookery assistant Olivia Spurrell Sourdough with cured meats, cheeses & cornichons Art director Jocelyn Bowerman Strawberries and cream Art editor Martine Tinney Pork pie and tomatoes Managing editor Les Dunn Pork pie and English mustard Deputy chief sub editor Hugh Thompson Good and cheesy quiche Senior sub editor Rebecca Almond Sticky flapjack Senior sub editor (maternity cover) Sara Norman Mini sausages in honey & mustard Wine editor Susy Atkins Gadget tester Aggie MacKenzie Contributors Xanthe Clay, Lucas Hollweg, James Ramsden Marketing director Julia Rich 020 7803 4129 Scotch egg Digital editor Rebecca Brett 020 7803 4130 Bottle of chilled riesling Digital editor (maternity cover) Vic Grimshaw 020 7803 4130 Brownies (favourite treat at anytime)

See how much you really know about the world of food with Hugh Thompson’s culinary conundrum. Answers next month

ACROSS 1 6 7 9 10 13 15 17 18 19

_______ chard, trout and now even bagels (7) Freshwater fish – sounds like you don’t want one in your kitchen (5) Sweet onion – it’s the official state vegetable of Georgia, USA (7) Diarist who buried his parmesan during the Great Fire of London (5) Chewy confection of sugar, nuts and whipped egg whites (6) Flower that gives us saffron (6) Mixed party drink, originally an Indian word – could knock you out (5) Type of ancient wheat – the name means ‘single grain’ (7) Fragrant essence or oil, often from roses (5) Region of the Czech Republic, known for hearty food and beer (7)

DOWN 1 2 3 4 5 8 11 12 14 16

To eat voraciously... and the largest of the crow family (5) French novelist and gourmand who wrote descriptively about food (6) Rolled-up flatbread sandwich (4) Painterly plate of sliced, raw, marinated beef (9) Incorporate air into ingredients such as egg whites and cream (5) Sweet fried confections – hard not to lick your lips when eating (9) Late breakfast-lunch combined (6) Oily silver fish, a bit like a small herring (5) Herbal plant used to ease intestinal problems – sounds fast (5) General term for plant/shrub with culinary properties (4)

Solution to no. 52 ACROSS: 1. Arsenic 6. Rösti 7. Cassata 9. Brose 10. Tiffin 13. Brains 15. Plonk 17. Emperor 18. Creel 19. Pelmeni DOWN: 1. Ascot 2. Niacin 3. Crab 4. Escoffier 5. Cider 8. Safflower 11. Tripel 12. Spice 14. Skrei 16. Kelp


Digital producer Isabeau Brimeau Good cheese and a fresh baguette Digital editorial assistant Ellie Donnell Adding crisps to your sandwiches Podcast producer Gilly Smith Platter of cold cuts With thanks to: Alice Gossop, Julia Domanski, Jesse Kempner, Fiona McGeever, Jessica Philby, Hannah Wright, Sophie Wyburd Advertising director Jason Elson 020 7150 5394 Trading advertising manager, print & digital Anna Priest 020 7150 5191 Group head, digital Carly Ancell 020 7150 5404 Group head, partnerships Roxane Rix 020 7150 5039 Project manager, partnerships Emily Griffin 020 7150 5036 Group head, brand Catherine Nicolson 020 7150 5044 Senior sales executive, brand Rachel Dalton 020 7150 5474 Senior sales executive, brand James Adams 020 7150 5133 Sales executive, partnerships Elorie Palmer 020 7150 5030 Senior sales, partnerships Francesca Andreani 020 7150 5040 Sales executive, classified Annabel Glaysher 020 7150 5218 Regional business development manager Nicola Rearden 0161 209 3629 Business development manager, inserts Steve Cobb 020 7150 5124 Managing director Seamus Geoghegan 020 7803 4123 Publishing director Adrienne Moyce 020 7803 4111 Consultant editorial director Jo Sandilands Production director Jake Hopkins 020 7803 4110 Finance director Darren Blundy Finance manager Martin Cherry 01733 373135 delicious. magazine is published under licence from News Life Media by Eye to Eye Media Ltd, Axe & Bottle Court, 70 Newcomen Street, London SE1 1YT. ISSN 1742-1586. Printed in the UK by Southernprint Ltd. Colour origination by Rhapsody. Copyright Eye to Eye Media Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part prohibited without permission. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for errors in advertisements, articles, photographs or illustrations. Eye to Eye Media Ltd is a registered data user whose entries in the Data Protection Register contain descriptions of sources and disclosures of personal data. This paper is manufactured using pulp taken from well managed, certified forests. All prices correct at time of going to press. UK basic annual subscription rate for 12 issues, £54; Europe and Eire, £55; rest of the world, £67. Back issues cost £5. Member of the Audit Bureau of Circulations. delicious. is a trademark of News Life Media.

for your iles.

MAY 2018

RECIPE INDEX 28 STARTERS, SIDES AND NIBBLES • Black bean and sweet potato empanadas 36 • Prawn toast scotch eggs 56 • Steamed asparagus and egg mimosa salad 43

MAIN COURSES BEEF, VEAL AND GAME • Sherry vinegar glazed beef short ribs 52 • Steak sandwiches with sweet potato fries 89 • Steak with sage and cheese & onion polenta 84

36 & 38 • Smoky bacon and tomato soup 91 • Springtime gnocchi 84

POULTRY • Chicken ‘bouillabaisse’ 113 • Chicken and preserved lemon tagine 93 • Chicken and veg tray bake 88 • Chicken stew with lemon and herb crumb topping 92 • Pomegranate and sweet potato chicken traybake 85 • Roast chicken with basil, mint and pistachio pesto 22



• Herby stuffed saddle of

• Ceviche tostada 120 • Confit salmon with mint &

lamb with crushed roasties 24 PORK • Eggs benedict 28 • Eggs benedict with smoky sweetcorn fritters 30 • Sherry braised chorizo

sausages with smashed lemon & garlic chickpeas 36

coriander chutney and pomegranate & pistachio chaat 58 • Crab rarebit 64 • Crayfish salad with radishes, apple & poppy seeds 46 • Herby cod & new potato traybake 90

22 • Hot smoked salmon fishcakes & green salad 101 • Griddled Bajan spiced prawn

wraps with chunky tomato sauce 91 • Potted sea trout 104 • Sardines with watercress salad 83 • Soba noodle and prawn salad with coriander and peanut pesto 23 VEGETARIAN & VEG-BASED • Artichoke panzanella 83 • Butter bean and vegetable stew 90 • Buttered mushroom, gyoza & miso soup 86 • Cacio e pepe (cheese & pepper) pasta with asparagus 44 • Falafel ‘shakshuka’ 99 • Flatbreads with raisin, pine nut and caper pesto 22 • Heritage tomato salad 38 • Kimchi parathas 60 • Paneer gnudi with saag 58 • Pine nut, feta, spinach and mint börek 62

62 • Radicchio and orzo pasta salad 38 • Red pepper soup with crispy polenta wedges 98 • Red pesto risotto with shaved asparagus 100 • Sweet potato-stuffed shells 98

SWEET THINGS • Almond pavlovas with

amaretto custard, apricots & caramel sauce 39 • Carrot cupcakes 71 • Cinnamon drop scones with honeyed butter 17 • Nutella doughnuts 110 • Rhubarb, lime and ginger custard tart 66 • Sachertorte 72 • Showstopper wedding cake 74

MORE AT THE ↗ GET delicious. WEBSITE Find 1,000s more tested recipes and techniques, and join the delicious. online community. Visit

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a good rant.

Back off, back-seat cooks! Ofering unwanted advice, meddling with ingredients, questioning the timings… If you’re planning on cooking over the May bank holidays, says Christina Quaine, beware the looming kitchen botherer


’ve just started cooking dinner and I’m sloshing some olive oil into a pan when my husband yells: “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!” in the sort of tone you’d adopt if you saw someone reversing towards a tree. “You’re using that Spanish arbequina olive oil?” he asks, incredulously. “The cold pressed extra-virgin Sicilian olive oil would be better suited to this dish.” Later in the process I’ve turned away from the hob for a few seconds to chop some herbs when I hear the ominous clang of the pan lid being lifted. I whizz around and there he is, peering into the pan, scrutinising its contents critically. “How long does the recipe say to soften the onions for?” he asks. “About 10 minutes,” I reply. “I’d soften them for 20. Ten minutes isn’t long enough,” he says. “Well, I’m following a recipe so I think I’ll stick with the instructions.” This kind of exchange punctuates my entire time in the kitchen, interspersed with the likes of: “I think those onions might be catching.” Again, 30 seconds later: “They’re definitely catching!” They are most definitely not. Many will recognise this character: the back-seat cook, the person in your life who 130

can’t stop themselves from poking about in your kitchen business. For me, it’s my husband, for others it may be a parent, a sibling, an in-law. Whoever they are, they are infuriating. And, I’m sorry to say, this is peak season for culinary busybodies – because it’s May, a month bookended by two bank holidays, when you’ll probably be doing a lot of cooking.

The back-seat cook may be a parent, a sibling, an in-law. Whoever they are, they’re infuriating I’m not alone in my rage. A recent survey by Kenwood found that a third of people can’t stand it when their partner imparts unwanted advice in the kitchen. Meals can be ruined by this behaviour. Take my friend Sally, who recently had her family over for a curry. Sally had popped to the loo when her sister, a notorious kitchen botherer, decided that the lamb curry bubbling away on the hob needed more seasoning. Blithely, she tipped a load in and went back to her wine. Sally returned to add the final ingredients, then the family



sat down to dinner. The entire meal was inedible and a takeaway was hastily ordered. Sally will never forgive her. I get it. My husband is a better cook than I am. He is more at home in the kitchen. But part of the pleasure of cooking comes from creating something yourself, from scratch. It doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect. So what if the tarragon didn’t go in at the right moment? Who cares if the courgettes weren’t grated on the finest setting? If someone is taking the time and effort to cook for you over the bank holiday weekend, then let them be. I just want to get on with the meal, in my own way, without feeling as though I’m being cross-examined by John Humphrys. Still, maybe my husband is simply getting his own back on me for the times I’ve offered ‘helpful’ advice in the car. “You needed to take that turning back there! Brake! Have you seen that red car 200 metres ahead?!” And I don’t even hold a driving licence. Ahem. Do you agree with Christina or do you take a different view? Tell us at and we’ll print the best replies



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