Fish Love food Main event

Salmon with Pomegranate & herbs

Thank you to Pete Evans for this wonderful beautiful dish, in taste and looks. This dish is easily halved, as I have done here. All the components can be made ahead of time and assembled at the last minute. If you have any left overs this will keep in the fridge for a few days and still taste wonderful.

Link to the recipe

Some tips

  • I recommend not adding the olive oil to the herb crust until you are ready to dress the salmon. The olive oil will over a long length of time reduce the freshness of colour from the herbs.
  • I don’t add the full amount of olive oil to the crust, it is not necessary. The purpose of the oil is to bind the crust ingredients together. Pour in a bit at a time and mix until you feel it is the right consistency.
  • Note that only half the quantity of the tahini sauce is needed for the salmon. The recipe suggests using the other half to serve on the side. Personally, I don’t think this is needed so I just make half the quantity
  • and finally, the recipe suggests using a food processor for making the tahini sauce. What a waste of washing up! You only need a fork to mix up the tahini ingredients. Note that it should be a fairly thick paste as it forms a layer on top of the salmon for the herb crust to stick to.
Love food Main event

Summer vegetable & pesto tart

For most of you, you would not be making this for a weekday family meal but as a dish to impress this is a great tart. I give it 10 out of 10 for looks and flavour. It’s a bit of a faff but you can prepare each of the elements ahead of time. Just assemble and cook when you are ready to eat.

The recipe can be found on BBC Good They don’t though give you the rocket pesto recipe, any fresh shop bought recipe can be used but really it is so simple to make, I’ve given you a recipe below. I think this probably makes more than the 150g needed for the recipe but it keeps well in the fridge if you know you will use it within a few days, otherwise freezing works very well.

I found that the vegetable strips took a little longer to cook in the microwave than the recipe suggested but that really wasn’t a big issue.

Rocket Pesto: blend all ingredients below in a blender or food processor

  • 50g chopped rocket leaves
  • 25g pine nuts
  • 40g parmesan
  • 8 tbsp olive oil

A couple of pictures here before the tart went in the oven and half eaten, in one sitting between three of us!

Love food Main event

Asparagus cream pasta

Its British Asparagus season and so out comes one of my old favourites – published in Good Food Magazine in 2007! It is quick to make, very easy (even by my standards) and full of great asparagus flavour.

Recipe link. Do take note that the quantities given in the recipe are for 2 people.

Fish Love food Main event

Sea bass in crazy water

An easy and fool proof way to cook a lovely piece of fish. Crazy water is a translation of ‘acqua pazza’ – the Italian name for this way of poaching fish. It is traditionally done with whole fish but I know many of you are squeamish about whole fish and would prefer to use fillets. If you do this, just remember to reduce the cooking time for the fish. You can also use bream.

Recipe for 4

  • 4 whole small seabass, gutted
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove very finely sliced
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 500g ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
  • a glass of white wine
  • handful of capers
  • small handful of flat parsley, chopped
  • small handful of basil leaves, torm


  • If needed, rinse the fish clean and pat dry in a tea towel
  • In a frying pan that you can put a lid on to, heat a good glug of oil and then lay the fish side by side. Sprinkle over the garlic, chilli and two pinches of salt.
  • After 4 minutes, turn the fish over, add the tomatoes and cook for another 4 minutes
  • Now add the wine and capers and cook for a further 4 minutes, until the fish is cooked through.
  • Remove the fish from the pan to plate up. Add the parsley and basil to the pan and turn up the heat for a minute or two to reduce the sauce. Pour over the fish and enjoy.
Love food Main event

Sushi salad plate

This is a salad that you can make your own, adding whatever takes your fancy – salmon, tuna, tenderstem broccoli, edamame, nori pieces….. mine had rice, edamame, fresh salmon, smashed cucumber, sliced avocado and garnished with red chill, spring onions and toasted sesame seeds. To add to its versatility you can have this as a main salad plate or make up smaller portions for a starter. Either way, it’s perfect for a hot summer’s day.

Below is what you need for the rice, the salmon and the cucumber to serve four people as a main course.

Rice – make this early enough for it to cool

  • 250g sushi rice
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt

Rinse your sushi rice to get rid of the starch. Add cold water to approx one cm above the rice. Hrat the rice with a lid on and simmer up until the point the water has just been absorbed. Take off the heat and leave for 10 mins with the lid on. In the meantime, add the sugar, rice vinegar and salt into a jar and give a good shake. 10 mins after the Stir through the rice when the 10 mins is up and let it cool.

Salmon – this needs to be made up no earlier than 10 mins before eating

  • 4 pieces of salmon fillet skinned and cubed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tsp light soy sauce

Mix the lemon and soy sauce in a dish big enough to hold the salmon. Add the salmon and leave for no more than 10 minutes, the salmon cures in the sauce and so the texture will change.

Smashed cucumber – make this at least 15 mins in advance for the flavours to develop.

  • 1/2 to 1 cucumber
  • 1 tbsp Chinese black rice vinegar or rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp chilli oil
  • 1/2 tbsp caster Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 finely chopped small clove garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce

With a rolling pin smash a cucumber so that it breaks up a little before using a knife to cut into cubes. Toss with the dressing ingredients and leave for 10 mins, longer is good too.

Love food Main event Vegan

Aubergine cannelloni…

… with walnut pesto

This recipe was pubished in The Sunday Times back in 2016 and I have been making it ever since. This can easily be made vegan by omitting the cheese, it will still be yummy. I always serve this sprinkled with more parmesan on top as it comes out of the oven. Serve it with some roasted new potatoes and some green veg for a thoroughly delicious meal.

This meal can be made ahead of time and heated when needed.

Ingredients: this quantity is for 2, just multiply up as you need.

2 aubergines, ½cm-1cm thick
Olive oil

For the tomato sauce
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
300g tomato passata
1 tsp dried oregano

For the pesto
100g walnuts
50g fresh basil leaves
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
6 tsp grated parmesan
3tbsp olive oil

Heat the oven to 200C . Brush the aubergine slices on both sides with oil, place on a nonstick tray and bake in the oven until golden on both sides and soft enough to roll, but not so soft they fall apart.

For the sauce, heat a little oil in a pan, add the onion and garlic with a pinch of salt, and sauté until the onion softens. Add the passata and oregano and simmer for 12-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, place all the pesto ingredients in a food processor, season to taste and pulse until coarse.

Place a dollop of pesto in the centre of each aubergine slice, then roll up.

Put the sauce in the bottom of a baking dish, add the rolled cannelloni on top and bake in the oven. If eating straight after preparation, you will need to heat for approx 15/20 mins. If you made ahead of time then it will take longer to bake. You may need to cover with foil during baking.

A sprinkle of parmesan as it comes out of the oven finished it off beautifully.

Love food Main event

Quick Broccoli & blue cheese quiche

This recipe comes from a recipe book called The Green Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer, bought for me by my lovely friend Tania. It was the combination of broccoli and blue cheese that spoke to me, and then I was sold on it when I read further and saw it used a ready rolled sheet of puff pastry. It is so quick and easy to make. Its a definite winner on all fronts.

Ingredients: serves 4

  • 320g ready rolled puff pastry
  • 300g broccoli florets, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 125g blue cheese, crumbled
  • 30g walnuts, chopped
  • 100ml single cream
  • 4 eggs
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 clove crushed garlic


  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Line a small deep roasting tin with baking paper and cover with the pastry
  • Scatter the broccoli florets, red onion, chilli flakes, walnuts and blue cheese evenly over the pastry
  • Beat the cream, eggs, lemon zest, salt & garlic together. Pour over the broccolli and cheese
  • Bake in the oven for 30 mins
  • Leave to rest for 10 mins before serving.
Fish Love food Main event

Tuna burger

This recipe comes from BBC Good Food Magazine. It oozes juice and tastes amazing. In fact the raw mix is so good I can imagine serving that as a starter in a bed of lettuce. We always have this with sweet potato fries. You can get me on the trade description act though here because I roast them not fry them., coated in some oil, salt, smoked paprika and then dusted with semolina.

Ingredients: for two people

  • 300g fresh tuna steak
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • small knob fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • handful coriander leaves, chopped (of course I substitute for some parsley)
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • burger buns, lettuce leaves, sliced tomato and avocado, to serve


  1. Chop the tuna into small chunks, then carry on chopping until the tuna is roughly minced. If you have one, a large rocker chopper (for herbs) is great for this.
  2. Tip the tuna into a bowl and mix with the garlic, ginger, soy sauce and coriander. Shape into two burgers, place on a plate, then freeze for 10 mins to firm up.
  3. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, then cook the burgers for 1-2 mins on each side or until done to your liking. To be honest though, I wouldn’t actually bother with this recipe if you want it to be cooked thoroughly all the way through. You will lose all the lovely juiciness.
  4. Serve the burgers in toasted buns with lettuce, tomato and avocado

Love food Main event

Quinoa cakes with wild garlic

When I saw that the wild garlic is ready for picking I just had to share this recipe with you. It is another Ottolenghi special. The quinoa cakes can be made gluten free by using gluten free breadcrumbs or gluten free oats instead of breadcrumbs. Don’t worry if you can’t find wild garlic leaves as spring onion can be used instead. I wouldn’t use the same weight though, unless you particularly like that flavour.

Wild garlic leaves can be used in other ways too – to make soup, in salads, or wilt as you would spinach, In fact I think of wild garlic as garlic flavoured spinach leaves. You can use the flowers to decorate your salad plates as they too are edible. There is a photo below to help you spot wild garlic while out and about, usually found in shaded slightly damp areas. A few spots I know you can find it is Arandene Open Space, Darlands Nature Reserve (Totteridge), Scratchwood open space and the Riverside Park Walk in Woodside Park. You don’t need to worry about the possibility of picking the wrong leaf as its smell is very distinctive.

After I posted this, I noticed this recipe for cheese scones with wild garlic. I couldn’t help myself, I had to do a quick update. I’ll be trying these out tomorrow. Can’t wait…

Love food Main event

Aubergine cheesecake

I know it sounds weird but trust me this aubergine cheesecake is amazingly delicious. If my word is not enough, I know that when I tell you that its an Ottolenghi recipe you will believe me. As well as being delicious it is also quick and easy to make. You do need to leave it to rest when it comes out of the oven so factor that into your timings.

You can find the recipe on the Guardian website.

I always use more aubergines than the recipe suggests – 3 medium to large aubergines – leaving the filling quantities as per the recipe.