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Entries in spinach (19)


chilli tomatoes with spinach couscous, mozzarella and basil oil

somehow i ended up with 500g of fresh basil earlier in the week – nine bunches, enough to fill a supermarket carrier bag! trying to work out how to use it was fun. you already know i used some to make a lemon & basil syrup which i added to cava.

basil oil is an old favourite and was an obvious choice - an easy one too: blitz together fresh basil, good olive oil, a little crushed garlic and some salt & pepper (it will last in the fridge 7-10 days).

i drizzled this over a couscous, mograbiah and spinach salad which was topped with caramelised cinnamon onions, harissa-roasted tomatoes and torn mozzarella (it was based on this recipe, with the addition of mograbiah (a type of large couscous, you can see a few of the balls at the front of the picture) to the couscous and mozzarella used in place of the labneh).

i shared this with friends, eating it sitting outside on the grass, as a light lunch with some green salad and warm bread. it would also be perfect as an accompaniment to a bbq.


red pepper and chorizo paella

moro's chorizo and spinach paella is an old favourite and perfect if you need a "meat hit" after an inadvertent week of vegetarian meals. i normally follow the recipe to the letter (well, not quite, it calls for the addition of pork fillet which i don't bother with, preferring to increase the chorizo content) but this weekend i made a change.

i used a red pepper in place of the specified green pepper. a small change but one that really affected the dish, and for the better i think. it was much sweeter and richer in flavour which balanced really well with the spiciness that came from the picante chorizo and picante smoked paprika that i used (the recipe calls for mild chorizo and sweet paprika but i like the chilli kick that picante versions add).

a small change can be a really lovely way to rediscover something old and familiar.


green pancakes with lime butter


there is a new ottolenghi cookery book out and inevitably i’m thinking about tracking it down given how much i like their first one. this is not good as i still have a few recently purchased cookery books which i’ve not cooked from and i’d on a book-buying-ban until i remedy this. 

thankfully, the recipes, which are all vegetarian, include a lot from the column which yotam ottolenghi writes for the guardian, which means that a taster of things to come was published a couple of weeks ago so i’m able to put off a purchase.

several of the recipes caught my eye, including the puy lentil galettes, black pepper tofu and mee goreng. however, i decided to start with the green pancakes with lime butter.

david and i had these for brunch, polishing off a full batch which should have served three to four. it was in a good cause – the pancakes are delicious, i adored the lime butter and they kept me going all day. give them a try this weekend…

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suprisingly subtle

the fishcakes which i made with the highland red potatoes are definitely pink but not off-puttingly so. in fact, with the green of the spinach i think they look quite pretty. the taste is exactly the same as if i'd used a non-coloured potato.


roasted sweet potato salad with blue cheese


over the past week or so the weather in london has started to turn. i’m not ready to use the “a” word but there is a definite nip in the air and warm snugly clothes are looking more appealing than my summer sandals.

this means i’m starting to change what i want to eat, although i’m not ready to succumb to stews and bakes. this roasted sweet potato salad is a good half-way house, with the slightly caramelised pepper and potato hinting at the warming foods which will be appearing in the coming months, while the salad keeps things light.

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