Love food Main event

Ricotta, Spinach & Onion Tart

Serves 6

This is easy to make but it does have a number of components so may be too involved for many of you. Most of the bits can be prepared in advance though and assembled just before you are ready to cook.


I always make the whole quantity of pastry but will often freeze half and then halve all other ingredients each time I make.

  • 250g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 250g plain flour
  • 75 ml cold water

Pulse the butter and flour in a food processor until there are no lumps of butter. Add the water and process until a ball of pastry is formed. Leave in the fridge for half an hour before rolling out. Even if you don’t want to bake the pastry straight away I recommend trying to roll out the pastry before it gets too hard. You can always leave the rolled pastry in the fridge before baking. If covered, it is fine to leave the pastry in the fridge overnight ready rolled out. I don’t worry about the shape of the pie but it should be approx. 5mm thick.

Before baking prick all over with a fork.


  • virgin olive oil
  • red onions x 4, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • thyme leaves
  • 600g fresh spinach
  • 200g ricotta
  • 200ml crème fraiche
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 50 freshly grated parmesan or vegetarian alternative
  • Prepare the onions: saute the onions in the olive oil with the chopped garlic and thyme leaves (can be prepared a day ahead)
  • Prepare the spinach: wash well and blanch in a large pan of boiling water until wilted. Drain well. leave in a colander until ready to use. You can turn every now and again to remove the excess water. (can be prepared a day ahead)
  • Mix the crème fraiche, egg yolk and parmesan in a bowl.
  • Ricotta: Drain off any excess water from the ricotta and give a mix to break up.


  1. Cook pastry for approx. 10 mins on 180C. It should be crisp and lightly browned.
  2. Just before you are ready to put in the oven before eating (it takes 15/20 mins to cook), put the topping on – first the onion mix, then the spinach (make sure it is not dripping water), next dot teaspoons of ricotta randomly over the spinach and finally do the same with the crème fraiche.
  3. It’s now ready to bake for 15/20 mins on 180C until golden patches appear on the topping. Eat straight away.

I served it with the Grated Salad in the previous post.

Love food Salads Vegan

Grated salad

A simple name for a simple salad but don’t let its simplicity fool you. It really is very tasty. Simply take three ingredients – beetroot (raw), carrot and apple – peel and grate into one bowl. I recommend wearing rubber gloves for the beetroot, unless you’re happy to have deep purple hands.

You can choose your own proportions depending on how earthy or sweet you want your salad, or what you have in the fridge to use up. I used two small bulbs of beetroot, one medium carrot and one medium apple.

To your grated mix add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a splash of olive oil and salt and pepper. You don’t want this salad swimming in liquid so add a little at a time, mix and taste until you are happy with it. I added some toasted mixed seeds which gives the salad a nice crunch. Some chopped mint and a few raisins would also be good additions. Both of those sadly are not favoured among my family.

Love food Main event

Feta, Pistachio & Pomegranate Bake

Thank you Waitrose for this recipe which we tried out today. I didn’t bother with the pomegranate seeds so mine didn’t present quite as well as the slice in the Waitrose image. As it wasn’t being made for any guests, I thought it was an unnecessary touch and good for you to see it how it really was.

To allow for family dislikes I missed out the citrus zest, the dried cherries, the dill and the mint! It worked because I was given a thumbs up and the real test is that it was agreed that it could be made again. We did discuss though whether it is different enough to the nut roast favourite we regularly make. We didn’t conclude strongly one way or the other.

Love London

Enjoy art without the crowds, for free

Not a month goes by when there is not a big art blockbuster on – Picasso, Van Gogh, Hockney, Gormley etc. As an alternative to shelling out approximately £18 a ticket and being squashed into the gallery among hundreds of others, I put forward to you some other alternatives.

Commercial art galleries: These art galleries can be found in all sorts of nooks and crannies. All genres of art are covered off – contemporary, sculpture, old masters etc. No need to be nervous here about browsing without an intent to buy, staff in these places are always friendly, welcoming and happy to chat about whichever artist is being exhibited. Head to Bond Street Station or Green Park and just take a wander round.

Auction houses: A few days before an auction the lots are on view to the public. Christies, Bonhams and Sotheby’s all have regular sales of art that you might not get to see anywhere else.

Permanent collections in the big galleries: While I’m putting forward alternatives to the paid for exhibitions at the big name galleries, don’t forget they have some fabulous free art in their permanent collections. You really don’t have to wait for a Van Gogh exhibition to see the Sunflowers in the National Gallery or to for a Dali exhibition to see Metamorphosis.

Local & community art galleries: Leave central London but not too far and you will find galleries such as the Dulwich Picture Gallery, Camden Arts Centre and Gasworks in Vauxhall. 

For a fairly comprehensive list of exhibitions on take a look at the New Exhibitions site.