{nom} a perfect picnic pie!

Hello all,

I thought I'd share another recipe with you guys today, it's another from my favourite book 'Plenty' and honestly, it is heavenly!


Packed with yummy broccoli, cheese, leeks and a little cream - it's divine hot or cold..nom nom nom.

Here's how you can make one:

{p.s. Yotam Ottolenghi uses Gorgonzola - I hate gorgonzola so I use mature cheddar!}

500g all-butter puff pasty

2 broccoli heads (about 700g in total), cut into florets 

25g butter

3-4 leeks, washed, trimmed and sliced thinly

150ml double cream

80ml water

15g each chopped chives and tarragon

3 tbsp grainy mustard

1 tsp salt

Freshly ground black pepper

200g cheddar, cut into chunks

1 egg, beaten

1//. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/ gas mark 6. Roll out two-thirds of the pastry into a 2mm-thick circle large enough to line a 25cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Line the tin and trim off the excess. Roll the remaining pastry into a thinner disc large enough to cover the pie, and lay it on a plate. Place both base and lid in the freezer for 10 minutes.

2//. Line the pastry base with greaseproof paper, fill it with baking beans and bake blind for 15-20 minutes, until light brown. Remove the paper and beans, and return to the oven until the base is golden - about five minutes. Leave to cool down.

3//. While the tart is cooking, prepare the filling. Cook the broccoli in a large pan of boiling water for two minutes, or until tender but still firm. Drain in a colander, refresh in cold water and leave to dry.

4//. Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat and gently fry the leeks for 10-15 minutes, until soft but not coloured. Add the cream, water, chives, tarragon, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir, and remove from the heat.

5//. Spread the leek mixture on the bottom of the cooked pastry base, scatter the broccoli on top - gently press it down into the leek bed - and dot cheddar around and about. Brush the rim of the tart with the beaten egg and lay the lid over the filling. Press down on the edges, discarding any excess that hangs over.

6//. Glaze the lid with beaten egg, then bake for 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Allow to cool a little before removing from the tin.



{nom} a perfect dinner for a sunny day!

Hello all,

Just a little one today to share with you a wonderful recipe that I recently found in my new favourite book {see post here!} - Plenty, by the marvellous Yotam Ottolenghi. It's for vegetarian Quesadillas, and oh my were they good! Jack and I chowed down on them outside on our lovely sunny roof terrace in the gorgeous weather last week, and the good news is, today is set to be LOVELY so you could enjoy an al fresco dinner too tonight!

They are super healthy, light and lovely and fresh..it's totally a win:win situation all round I say!
Anyway, here is how you too can enjoy a little Mexican feast...


{for the black bean paste}

230g cooked black beans (tinned are fine)

1 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp cayenne

1 bunch coriander, chopped, stalks and all

Juice of 1 lime

½ tsp Maldon sea salt

{for the salsa}

½ small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

½ tbsp white-wine vinegar

3 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced

5 medium sweet tomatoes, diced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 mild red chilli, finely diced

1 bunch coriander, chopped, plus extra leaves to garnish

1½ tsp Maldon sea salt

Juice of ½ a lime

2 ripe medium avocadoes, diced

{for the tortillas}

8 small tortillas (corn look better, but flour are fine)

180ml soured cream

120g good mature cheddar, grated

6 tbsp jalapeño peppers in vinegar, drained and roughly chopped

Drain the beans of their water and place, along with the other paste ingredients, in a food processor bowl. Pulse to a rough paste.

To make the salsa, soak the onion in the vinegar in a large bowl for a few minutes. Add all the other ingredients and stir.

Have ready a hot barbecue or a ridged griddle pan. Take one of the tortillas and spread two tablespoons of bean paste in the centre, leaving a 2cm border around the edge. Spread a tablespoon of soured cream over the paste, then scatter over the cheddar, a tablespoon of salsa and some chopped jalapeños. Fold the tortilla over and carefully transfer to the barbecue or griddle. Cook for two to three minutes on each side, by which time the filling should be warm and the tortilla nicely charred. Transfer to a warm place, and repeat with the remaining tortillas.

To serve, cut each tortilla into two at an angle, place on a serving dish and spoon the remaining salsa alongside, garnished with coriander leaves.

These are AMAZING so get involved!

{nom} Plenty...

Yesterday was totally lovely wasn't it? I didn't actually get to enjoy much of the sun as I was at work - but it didn't matter, knowing the sun is out is enough to set me up for the day!

This sudden burst of sunshine inspired me to do a little post on the humble vegetable, well the many, many humble vegetables in season right now. 

I've always been a big fan of fruit and veg - I can't get enough of the stuff - but when the boy and I started getting really into Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's "River Cottage Veg" it inspired us to also go veggie for the summer. Not because we object to eating meat but because, as Hugh put it, people tend to rely on a slab of meat to flavour a dish. When you take that meat away, you're forced to experiment with flavours and be more adventurous with your veg and your spices!

So as I had this weekend off I took the opportunity to have a flick through our new favourite book and choose a few recipes to throw together for my lovely lad on his return home from work, and here's what I made...

The recipes above are all from Yotam Ottolenghi's book 'Plenty'. Yotam isn't a vegetarian himself, like Hugh {and us} but shares the view that vegetarian dishes need not be dull and uninspirational as they often are.
This is Yotam's book by the way...sweet front cover as well I think!

Anyway, the plate above contains sweet potato cakes {super nom}, wild coconut rice, breakfast radishes and a marinated cucumber and onion salad {heaven literally}. The recipes are all pretty straight forward, but honestly, the flavours were phenomenal, so on that success story we shall be producing many, many more meals from this inspirational book in the weeks to come.

In summary then - getting your 5-a-day can be super easy and incredibly tasty and I would encourage every one of you meat lovers out there to at least try and commit to cutting out some meat and shoe horning in every imaginable kind of vegetable or piece of fruit you can get your hands on this summer because as soon as winter comes - it'll be back to parsnips and potatoes and mark my words, you'll be missing the abundant supply of fresh produce we have available right now!

Apologies for the very wordy blog today...I promise a less wordy offering tomorrow :)