My Kitchen

Say hello to halloumi

Say hello to halloumi

After fla­vour, I con­sider tex­ture to be the most import­ant ele­ment of any recipe. This salad com­bines three lay­ers of my favour­ite tex­ture — crisply crunchy, prefer­ably from being recently fried — to make some­thing very simple but rather spec­tac­u­lar. As the weath­er gets colder, it can start to feel like there’s lit­er­ally noth­ing fresh […]

Sweet tooth

Sweet tooth

Being born in April, one’s mind can’t help but turn, cur­rently, to thoughts of cake. Actu­ally, my mind turns to thoughts of cake most days of the year. For those of you who aren’t April babies, there’s still a gen­er­al sweet-tooth mood in the air with the pres­ence of East­er eggs — which have inev­it­ably been […]

Last of the summer vines

Last of the summer vines

There’s a par­tic­u­lar kind of Itali­an recipe that I love, where there are hardly any ingredi­ents and it’s all so aggress­ively simple that it feels like it almost shouldn’t work, but it’s done so well that it’s far prefer­able to any­thing more fussy. This is one such recipe. It’s based on some­thing I found many […]

Herald of summer

Herald of summer

I love tra­di­tion­al asparagus rolls, and will guard a plate of them pos­sess­ively while rap­idly deplet­ing its con­tents if they’re ever served up at a party. How­ever, asparagus sold in spindly green bundles, her­ald­ing summer’s arrival, is some­thing else alto­geth­er. Here it’s strewn across puff pastry and blas­ted in the oven, trans­form­ing its stringy, grassy […]

Summer sago

Summer sago

I didn’t know what to make of sago when I first encountered it — strange slip­pery see-through little bubbles, like shiny beads or bubbles in a rock pool or, well, frogs’ eggs. If you allow your­self to embrace the tex­ture though, rather than fear it, you’ll grow to love this strange stuff. Espe­cially when it’s […]

Spring scallops

Spring scallops

When put­ting togeth­er my Menu of Memor­ies to cel­eb­rate 22 years of the White House, this dish was high on my list of poten­tial stars. In the end I decided to save it for Fish­Head read­ers. Scal­lop sea­son starts just before spring and the shell­fish is one of my favour­ite sea­son­al foods. Cauli­flower has a […]

Spring sweetness

Spring sweetness

Septem­ber is that strange time when spring is offi­cially here but winter is still insist­ing on mak­ing itself felt. You’re either freez­ing and rain-soaked or skip­ping through mead­ows gath­er­ing flowers with baby lambs, you know? These pan­cakes are per­fect whatever’s hap­pen­ing out­side, using sweet, fra­grant, new sea­son apricots and warm, spicy cin­na­mon. The apricots turn […]

Pulling pork

Pulling pork

One Sunday a few years ago my Aro Val­ley flat­mate Edward cooked pork all day — eight hours in the oven. I wondered if he was slightly mad. If noth­ing else, he was very determ­ined. It was pulled pork, he said, served along­side home-made coleslaw, soft white rolls, and a very impress­ive and gor­geously tangy […]

Tarte Tatin

Tarte Tatin

The clas­sic French dessert tarte Tat­in is simple to make and, with its com­bin­a­tion of light golden puff pastry, soft juicy apples and deli­cious car­a­mel, is a fam­ily favour­ite. It’s lovely served hot or cold with vanilla whipped cream or ice cream, or in the case of a pear tarte Tat­in, with some lovely walnut […]

Pronouncing pissaladière

Pronouncing pissaladière

There’s some­thing extremely sat­is­fy­ing about bak­ing bread from scratch — play­ing around with the yeast, get­ting your hands into a com­pletely sticky mess knead­ing the dough, and end­ing up covered in flour. My kit­chen always looks like it has been attacked by a flour bomb when I embrace bread bak­ing. As sat­is­fy­ing as it is, […]