Food corner

"To eat well in England you should have breakfast three times a day."

Somerset Maugham

Twitter feed
Aleppo pepper Alicante all spice almond anchovy apple apricot Argentina artichokes asparagus aubergine autumn avocado bacon banana Bangkok barbecue basil bay leaf beef beetroot bergamot berry biscuit bistro bloggers blue cheese Bolivia Borough Market bread breadcrumbs British budget budwig diet Buenos Aires buffalo sauce bulgar wheat burrata butter cabbage cafe cake Calais capers caramel caraway cardamom carrot cauliflower champagne chard cheddar cheese chicken chickpeas chicory chilli chocolate chorizo Christmas cinnamon clams cloves cobnut cocoa coconut cooking class Copenhagen Córdoba coriander cornflakes Corsica cottage cheese courgette flowers crayfish cream cream cheese creme fraiche cucumber culinary catastrophe cumin currants daikon Dalmatia dates delivery dessert dill dips dough Dubrovnik Easter easy Edinburgh egg eggplant fennel festive feta fettuccine ffine bean fflour Filipino filo fine dining Finsbury Park fish fish sauce five spice flour food aid food anthropology food tour French game garlic gastropub gherkin ginger gluten free goat's cheese goat's curd golden syrup greengage Guinness halloumi ham Hanoi harissa hazelnut hibiscus Hoi An hominy honey horseradish humanitarian relief Indian Islington Istanbul Italian jam Japanese juniper Kent ketchup kielbasa kinilaw Korean lamb langoustine leek lemon lemongrass lentils lime linseed lobster London loquat Madrid market mascarpone Mayfair Mendoza Mexican mid-range milk mint mirin mixed peel mixed spice monk's beard morcilla mozzarella mushroom mussels mustard mustard seed Nahm Natoora Nepalese New Nordic New Year's Day New Zealand noras nose-to-tail NYC oats olive olive oil onion orange Oxfordshire oxtail paprika Paris Parmesan parsley party pastry peanut pear peas pepper Peru Philippines pickle pine nuts pistachio pizza pomegranate pomegranate molasses pop-ups pork Porto Vecchio potato prawn preserved lemon prosciutto Provence providore prunes Puerto Iguazú pulse pumpkin purple sprouting broccoli quail egg quick radish ragu raisins ramen ras el hanout raspberries red pepper paste red wine refugees restaurant rhubarb ribs rice ricotta rocket rosemary runner bean saffron sage San Sebastian sausage scallops seafood shallot short and sweet slow-cooked smoked mackerel smoked salmon sorrel souffle soy spaghetti spinach spring squid ssauces St Basil's Day stilton stock street food sugar sumac summer supper club Sydney syrup Tabasco tagliatelle tahini take away tamarind tarragon tart Thai thyme toffee tom yum paste tomato tomato paste tray bake tuna Turkey veal vegetarian versatile Vietnam Vietnamese vinegar walnut water chestnut white pepper wine wings winter yoghurt

Entries in olive oil (4)


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.

Click to read more ...


Heritage tomato salad

A few weeks ago we hosted a BBQ and moonlit cinema in Jenny’s magic garden*. It was magical.

My contribution to the feast was two salads, a fig and goats’ cheese salad and this heritage tomato salad. I was working on Borough market during the day and I couldn’t walk past this colourful and vibrant array of tomatoes: 

This salad is so simple it doesn’t really warrant a recipe. It is all about the tomatoes, with minimal interference from other extras. If you want to keep things really simple you could skip the Dijon and onion.

I used sherry vinegar, cause it is my current favourite, but I also like balsamic or red wine vinegar. What’s your favourite? Use that.

I recommend tossing the onions and tomatoes together half an hour before you dress the salad as it gives the tomatoes a great flavour.

It was a pity that it was dark by the time I served it because half the fun is seeing all the different shapes and colours. This photo doesn't really do it justice:

I made this salad for 12 people as a side. I have halved the quantity here, so this recipe should serve 4 as a starter or 6 as a side dish.


750g heritage tomatoes
½ small red onion
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, or to taste
2 tbsp sherry vinegar, or to taste
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Handful basil, roughly chopped


Side salad

Chop or slice the tomatoes into whatever shape you fancy. Slice the onion into thin, half moons. Toss them together in a large bowl. Cover and leave for half an hour.

Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, Dijon, salt and pepper in a bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad, add the basil and toss together. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.


Slice the tomatoes into full circles. Arrange it on 4 plates in concentric circles. Slice the onion into thin, half moons and sprinkle the onions over the top. Cover with clingfilm and leave for half an hour.

Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, Dijon, salt and pepper in a bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the salads just before serving and sprinkle the basil over the top. 

* My flatmate Jenny does the gardening at our house. She makes it look so pretty and colourful, it’s enchanting. One of our friends,  Fran, crowned it the magic garden. He’d been zoning out in a deckchair for an hour or so when he finally came to and declared, “Jen, your garden’s like magic, innit!” It is.


Elizabeth David’s Piedmont roast peppers (via Delia Smith)

I have come backwards to arrive at this post; normally when writing about someone else’s recipe I would test it and then discuss how it worked. In this case I made the dish first and then went in search of the recipe. Perhaps I should explain...

Last year I went for dinner at the house of some family friends who live nearby. As the starter, Lynne served a selection of antipasti which included the most delicious roast peppers I had ever tasted; they were so good that I cannot remember any of the other antipasti, and this coming from someone who annoys people (read the boyfriend and previously the ex-boyfriend) by describing a restaurant not by where it was or what it looked like, but by what they and I each had for starters, mains and dessert.

I had made many a roast pepper in my time, but none matched up to these.

Click to read more ...


Vinaigrettes - here’s one that I prepared earlier

I have two core vinaigrettes that I make up in jars and always have ready in the fridge to use as salad dressing. They keep for ages, the only fresh ingredient (garlic) being preserved by the vinegar and oil. Since I will refer to these a lot in my recipes I thought I should do a separate post on them, so as not to continually be repeating myself.

Just a little point of trivia – always one to err on the side of caution, I was doing some research to ensure this was the correct use of the term ‘vinaigrette’. I was concerned that in order to fit the definition, the preparation must involve the slow pouring and whisking of oil into vinegar to create a creamy emulsion. As it turns out, this is just a style of making vinaigrette, but by no means a definition.

Click to read more ...