Coleslaw

This is my basic coleslaw recipe, but everything can be mixed up from here. See under the main recipe for some alternative versions. Serves 6 Ingredients 1/4 red cabbage 1/4 green cabbage 2 carrots 2 spring onions 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 1 tablespoon natural yoghurt Black pepper…

Roast vegetable tart with nut-free spinach / kale pesto

This classic easy dinner is a great one for children to help make. Rolling out and pricking the pastry, ‘painting’ it with egg and talking about different vegetables and how to prepare them gives lots of scope for involvement. Whizzing up the pesto is fun too – this one was devised with seasonality in mind…

Blackberry Beremeal Bannocks

Bannocks have owned their central spot on the traditional Scottish table for millennia – plain bannocks spread with butter and cheese for lunch, or sweetened for special occasions like the fruity, leavened Selkirk bannock. The two are different feasts with roots in the same place – the rounded, quick to knock up, girdle-cooked beremeal bannock,…

Easy Seasonal Stone Fruit Tart

This quick tart looks and tastes more impressive than its simple assembly and six basic ingredients would imply. Serve with yoghurt or a spoonful of ice-cream for a satisfying pudding that makes the most of the glut of wonderful late-summer stone fruit. Serves 6 Ingredients 250g puff pastry 12 plums or apricots, halved and de-stoned;…

Cheap, quick and simple vegetarian courgette lasagne

  Much quicker than the usual bechamel/white sauce version, this is a good week-night lasagne. Flavour comes from the garlicky, herby tomato sauce and the cheeses; it’s a rich but healthy dinner which is popular with children and a handy fallback for a meat-free night. To make this more seasonal in the winter months, try…

Roast squash, goats cheese and walnut filo parcels

Satisfying, crunchy parcels that you can eat with your hands if you want – they’re best hot and crisp out of the oven, but would make good picnic food too. These can, of course, be adapted to hold so many things – whatever cheese, veg, herbs and nuts you have around, and would also be…

Learn to Cook: apple crumble

Serves 6 Ingredients 800g apples (about 5) of any variety about 60g brown sugar: demerara, soft brown or golden caster are all fine (use less sugar if your apples are already sweet) juice of 1/2 lemon For the crumble: 350g plain flour 100g brown sugar 250g cold butter To finish: 1 tablespoon brown sugar 2 tablespoons…

Elderberry and coconut lemon drizzle polenta cake

As a fairweather forager, elderberries are one of the few things I can pick each year that I’m confident won’t kill anyone. Even then, the stems are toxic, thus making the hours it takes to get rid of as many of the tiny stalks as possible a necessity. Use a fork to strip off the berries, and…

Spanakopita

A vegetarian Greek classic that’s surprisingly filling, and an excellent way of encouraging enthusiastic spinach eating in those who may otherwise be reluctant. This makes a happy spring lunch alongside a punchy vinaigrette-dressed salad. Should probably serve six, but serves four in our household… Ingredients 500g frozen spinach or 1.5kg fresh 10 spring onions, finely chopped…

Beetroot hummus

Babies love this beautifully coloured dip spread on fingers of toast, or eaten off a spoon. It’s flavoursome enough for grown ups though: if you’re making it just for adults add a pinch of salt. As ‘hummus’ is the Arabic word for ‘chickpeas’ this is not technically hummus, but we all know what we mean……

Leek, spring onion, olive and bacon filo quiche

Using (ready made) filo makes this quiche easier and quicker than the shortcrust version, and the egg/creme fraiche/milk mixture is more stable than most quiche custards. With no blind-baking required, this is quick enough for a week-night supper, and as versatile as any other tart – chuck in your leftovers and bring them back to…