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…

Sweet potato and mackerel bites

Mackerel is one of those relatively strong flavours that I’m surprised how readily babies and small children take to – mackerel pate has been a favourite food of my daughter’s since she weaned. She’s always been a fan of various versions of these, but they’re definitely not ‘just’ for children; they make just as good a…

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…

Thai-meets-Scottish crab cakes to celebrate Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight

The approaching end of Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight prompted me to devise this recipe showcasing one of my favourite local ingredients – crab. Our house in East Lothian almost dips its toes into the North Sea, and fishing boats are a common sight from our windows. Though there’s little white fish left, mackerel, langoustine and crab remain plentiful, the…

Sweet potato and chickpea burgers with halloumi

This is an incredibly cheap, quick, healthy and satisfying meal (don’t scrimp on the cheese). In these hastily executed dinner photos I decided to add the halloumi to the side salad – this was a mistake. It’s much better in the burger. The burgers would also be a great kid’s or weaning meal, and freeze…

Huevos Rancheros

Huevos rancheros, or ‘rancher’s eggs’, is the original Mexican brunch: a big mid-morning meal designed to keep farm workers going. Nowadays brunch more likely means a late night requires a spicy, filling hangover cure, but don’t feel bad about it: this is still better for you than a fry up, just as satisfying and as easy to make. Equally splendid as…

Haemul pajeon – Korean seafood pancake

This rainy-day Korean snack is a favourite dinner of ours – we call it ‘humpty pigeon’, after my husband mis-read the meals blackboard. Healthy comfort food, it’s an omelette pancake based on spring onions and seafood: ‘pa’ means spring onion, ‘jeon’ pancake, and ‘haemul’ seafood. It’s usually made with shrimp or prawns among the seafood,…

Umami fried gnocchi with capers, olives and mushrooms

Ok, it’s not as healthy as boiled gnocchi, but when fried you get that holy grail of crispy on the outside and fluffy within…covered with this seriously savoury sauce, my life-long gnocchi agnostic husband was won over (he’d been hoping I’d just bake the potatoes and stop there). Baking the potatoes might seem like a hassle, but…

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…

Caponata (Sicilian sweet and sour aubergine)

One of our favourite week-night recipes, this is somehow so much more than the sum of its parts. Though it sounds a bit fancy, ‘caponata’ basically just means ‘stuff’ in Italian – this is a Sicilian dish that’s excellent for using up leftovers and relies on store-cupboard basics for a great depth of flavour. Finely…

Coconut and lemongrass Thai cod with spring greens

The cabbage here could be substituted for leeks, wilted spinach or pak choi, spring greens or omitted entirely – perhaps serve broccoli on the side or mix chopped carrot, peas or sweetcorn into the accompanying rice. Serves 2 Ingredients 350g cod fillet, skin removed 1/2 lime, zest and juice, and another half to cut into…