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"Diet sensibility-wise I find myself straddled several yards short of the spooky Eat Nourish Glow brigade ... yet far from a woman who eats a double-stack patty with onion rings dipped in chipotle mayonnaise at lunchtime guilt-free. Although, if I’m honest, I can, and have done, and several photos of me exist on the internet standing at parties with my arms around gaunt, size 6 showbiz chums resembling, in relative terms, an amiable Tyrannosaurus rex that has entered a toddler’s sandpit."

Grace Dent

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Entries in lemon (15)

Tuesday
Apr122016

Monk's beard with burrata

Monk’s Beard, also known as Friar’s Beard or Goat’s Beard, is a delicious Mediterranean plant, mainly cultivated in Southern Italy, Spain and Northern Africa. It looks similar to chives, but the flavour is somewhere between samphire (salty with a hint of the sea) and spinach (minerality).

It is generally served blanched, lightly fried or steamed, so that it retains its crunch. I like it best with a simple dressing of olive oil and lemon, as in this salad, but it also works well with anchovies, garlic, chilli and/or fresh herbs. With any of these additions, it makes a great side for white, flaky fish.

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Friday
Mar112016

Artichoke spaghetti with chilli, lemon and parsley

I made this pasta a few weeks back for my cooking demo at the Natoora shop in Chiswick. Everyone loved it. One man loved it so much he bought every ingredient on the recipe card so he could recreate it at home.

For such a simple pasta, it took a while to perfect. The first one was too dry, the second too lemony, the third was just right. This is the third recipe.

In the pictures, the artichokes are the mammole variety. They are similar to globe artichokes, in that they have meaty and tender outer leaves which can be eaten raw or cooked. A colleague who was watching me do my practice run for the shop asked why I had used mammole if I was only using the heart. He suggested tema or spiky artichokes instead. He is Italian so I thought I’d best not argue.

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Tuesday
Jan262016

Rhubarb crumble with vanilla custard

What is your ultimate comfort food? This is one of the questions I have asked all the people I have interviewed in the series I’m writing for Borough Market. My interviewees all come from different parts of the world, or have parents who do, so their answers differ a lot, but one thing they all share in common is that it tends to be something warming and filling.

“I don’t think you can get any better than a rhubarb crumble,” says Paul Wheeler, of Paul Wheeler’s Fresh Supplies. “If there was one comfort food, yeah that’d probably be it.” What is it that makes rhubarb crumble such a classic? Perhaps it is because the rhubarb is naturally very tart and contrasts perfectly with the sweet crumble topping and accompaniments, such as custard or vanilla ice cream.

I usually add nuts and oats to my crumble, but in this recipe I go for a shortbread topping. I think there is something elegant about rhubarb; perhaps it’s natural acidity and bright pink colour. A shortbread crumble seems to me to complement this, it seems more refined somehow.

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Monday
Jan212013

Smoked salmon dip with dill and capers

Email from Mum this morning: "Just went to your blog to look for your smoked salmon dip recipe. It's not there. Can you email it to me? Or why not put it up? It would be an easy one for you to add."

She's right. This is a really quick and simple dip that always gets a thumbs up. It is great as a sandwich filling, on toast or with crackers or oatcakes. I often make it to take to work for lunch, for picnics or as a something to serve as nibbles before a meal. It also makes a great filling for quesadillas (see below).

You can use light cream cheese if you prefer but the consistency will be a bit thinner. This is ok if you are using it as a dip or spread, but not great for quesadillas.

Oh, and Mum - it's not my smoked salmon dip. It's Dad's. Credit where it is due. He won't mind though, I stole it years ago.

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Wednesday
Jan182012

Pear and ginger chutney

A few days before New Year’s Eve I took my friend Tina, a chef who is visiting London, on the obligatory foodie tour of Borough markets. This, of course, necessitated a visit to Neal’s Yard Dairy. I didn’t actually need any cheese but it is one of my favourite things to do and, if you are going to try everything in the store, you have to purchase something. So I decided to do some sort of cheese canapé as part of the New Year menu.

I started out with grand plans – a pear, Stichelton and walnut salad on chicory leaves – but I decided that a) chicory might be too bitter b) radicchio, my preferred alternative, would be too hard to find and c) it didn’t go with my other Asian themed canapés. I then thought I might try my hand at making oatcakes, which I’ve never done before, and make them really thin with a slice of Stichelton, a slice of crisp pear and a walnut on top. This would work well at the end of the meal, I thought, alongside the dessert canapé. In the end I couldn’t be bothered making oatcakes (I already had plenty to do) and I couldn’t find any ripe pears so I decided to make a chutney.

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