Love food Main event Uncategorized Vegan

Polenta with tomatoes and/or mushrooms

It’s been a while I know but I haven’t forgotten you, I got busy (aka started working again after the pandemic!) and then out of the habit.

For my first offering for a while I am giving you two options of the same dish which you can mix and match. The first is for a cheesy polenta with a tomato topping and a second version which is a vegan polenta with oyster mushrooms and tomatoes topping. Both are very good indeed. In both cases the toppings can be made in advance. The polenta is very quick to make and indeed is best made just before you want to eat it so it is still soft.

The polenta is easily re-sized for a single portion if you’re cooking for one. You can keep the toppings at the recipe quantities or just make half on your own as they’re both so delicious you will happily eat again with another accompaniment.

Cheesy polenta with a tomato sauce

Vegan polenta with oyster mushrooms and tomato sauce

Love food Main event

Creamed corn peppers

Ottolenghi has done it again and scored a hit on our dinner table. For anyone put off by the mere mention of Ottolenghi (all those ingredients!!!), this is a pretty simple recipe – both in the making and the list of ingredients. I promise you there is nothing that you will need to hunt for, everything can be found in any major supermarket.

Having followed Ottolenghi’s suggestion of roast potatoes, my recommendation is to serve them with a side of green veg or salad, or a selection if you like. But each pepper is fairly substantial and so I would keep my sides a bit lighter next time I make it.

Recipe link

We were so excited to dig into this new dish that I forgot to add the garnish of pickled jalapenos when I took the original photo below. Each pepper looked so much better with the garnish as per the picture above but I thought I would share my original photo with you here so you can see what they looked like in my dish. The pickled jalapenos are not just for looks, they taste great too. Of course, I skipped the coriander garnish though – evil stuff.

Love food Main event

Caramelised garlic tart

This recipe introduced me to caramelised garlic – a new and rather special taste. Everything else in this tart is as you would expect (cheese, squash, eggs etc) but raised to a new level by the garlic. Congratulations and thank you to the Hemsley sisters.

Link to recipe.

For some, this tart also has the added advantage of being gluten free.


  • Prepare your garlic, pastry base and roast squash ahead of time – the day before is ideal
  • Substitute feta for the goats cheese if preferred
  • I don’t bother rolling out the pastry but distribute small pieces around the tin then mould it into the case; I also don’t use all the pastry as I find it is too thick.
  • Any left overs freeze well.

Love food Main event Other Vegan

Carrot pancakes

These are not really pancakes as you and I know them but more of a fritter. They are an amazing combination of flavours with an Indian vibe. The recipe is one by Maria Ella and genuinely very easy to make. I have served them exactly as Maria suggests for a classy looking starter but most commonly have them together with salads or other veg sides for a main course. I often make a double batch of these and freeze them. They reheat brilliantly in the oven, defrosted or straight from frozen.

One more feather in the cap of these wonderful carrot panackes/fritters is that they are totally vegan.

Recipe link

Love food Main event

Risotto cake

This is a great ‘make ahead’ dish, it freezes well and reheats in the oven very well. In fact I think it is possibly even better when not eaten on the day it is made.

While I have called this dish risotto cake, I should warn you that it will not deliver a creamy traditional risotto. As you can see from the pic, this results in a more solid baked slice.

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 325g arborio rice
  • 350g courgettes, grated
  • 5tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 150g cheddar
  • 4 tbsp/60ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp chopped rosemary

For the tomato sauce

  • 80g butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 675g ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 40g tomato puree
  • 150ml water
  1. Preheat oven to 180C and line or grease a 20cm spring-form cake tin.
  2. Cook the rice in boiling salted water for 8 minutes and then drain.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan and fry the courgettes and onion for 5 mins. Mix in a bowl with the rice, garlic and remaining 3 tbsp of olive oil. Leave to cool slightly.
  4. Add the eggs, cheese, cream and rosemary and some seasoning to the rice and courgettes.
  5. Spoon into the tin and level off to a smooth surface.
  6. Bake for 25/35 mins until firm.
  7. To make the sauce: melt the butter in a pan and sweat the garlic – don’t let it burn
  8. Add the tomatoes, puree and water and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 15 mins, stirring occasionally.
  9. Season. If you like a smoother sauce, blend with a hand blender.

Fish Love food Main event

Horseradish crusted salmon

This dish is, in my humble opinion, restaurant quality. The crust and the sauce elevate boring old salmon to something quite special. Don’t be put off by the recipe suggesting it takes 1-2 hours to prepare – there is no way it takes even an hour to prepare. So while it is special you don’t need to save it for a special occasion.

Lovely served with mashed potato and roasted broccoli.

Recipe link

Love food Main event

Sweetcorn fritters

These cheesy sweetcorn fritters have been a staple in our house for a very long time indeed. If you are lucky to have any left over then they freeze brilliantly. Just re-heat in an oven for a maximum of 10 minutes. You can defrost or cook from frozen.


  • 100g self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 150 ml milk
  • 40g grated cheddar
  • 198g sweetcorn, drained
  • seasoning
  • oil for frying


  • Put the flour, baking powder, milk and egg in a bowl or jug. Use a hand blender to mix to a smooth batter.
  • Stir in the cheese and sweetcorn
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan and drop large spoons of the mix in the pan.
  • Once bubbles have appeared on the surface and the underside is golden flip with a spatula to fry the other side.
  • Enjoy eating your cheesy sweetcorn fritters.
Love food Main event

Marmite Carbonara

Who doesn’t love a simple bowl of spaghetti for a quick, simple supper. I’ll admit that this recipe does sound a little odd – Marmite, egg yolk, parmesan and spaghetti – but it really does work. On top of that, its quick and easy to make, what better recommendation do you want?

Link to recipe

Love food Main event

Baked Blue Cheesecake

Another delicious Ottolenghi star recipe that I have tried and tested for you. Well…, I say I but actually Liora spotted and made this recipe. She assured me that it was easy to make. I can tell confidently tell you though that it was delicious.

We didn’t have the pickled beets but I think they would make a very good accompaniment. I can’t remember what we did have but it would have been a couple of lovely salads. You can also see that we made it one big cheesecake rather than individual servings. How many of us have those little single serving saucepans at home anyway?

Link to recipe


If you make one large cheesecake as we did, then Mr Ottolenghi says you will need to double the base mix and increase the cooking time to 45 mins. You will also need to let it cool for approx an hour before being able to serve.

We, however, kept the base quantity the same and used 3/4 of the filling recipe. That seemed to work fine. Ultimately it will depend on the size of the tin you choose. Whatever you do, make sure you use a springform tin.

Love food Main event

Roast aubergines with almond tarator & feta

While I was attracted by the picture for this recipe, I was a little dubious when I looked at the recipe. Throwing caution to the wind, I decided to give it a go. I’m so glad I did. Served with a simple strawberry, avocado, spinach and rocket salad it made a perfect summer lunch. It is simple to make and doesn’t take very long, although a little forward planning is required as the aubergines need to be roasted for an hour.

You will notice from my picture that I swapped out the dill in the recipe for spring onion.

Link to recipe


If your hand blender is a sturdy one you can use that to make the tarator rather than getting out the food processor. I guess a Nutribullet or similar would also work.