Sticky miso sriracha baby aubergines

A quick read about a quick dinner…

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A quick dinner means using ingredients that will pack a punch. For me, that usually comes from Asian flavours. This glaze has saved my butt on many occasions, and works well with lots of different veggies. I love it with baby aubergines because they are so quick to cook, but you can try it with courgettes, with cauliflower or drizzled over a cucumber salad.

Hot pine nuts sitting on top of Greek yogurt is also something I will never get bored of- the combination adds a sour note as well as a little crunch to the mellow aubergines.

Let me know what you think!

Ingredients

For the glaze:

1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce

1 tbsp sriracha

1 clove garlic, finely diced

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp honey

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp white miso paste

200g baby aubergine, halved

1 tbsp Greek yogurt

1 tbsp pine nuts

scattering of curly parsley

 

Directions

Whisk the glaze ingredients in a large bowl until thick. 

Add the baby aubergines into the bowl and toss until well coated.

Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat. Tip in the baby aubergines into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes per side. Remove to a serving plate.

Wipe the pan clean and add the pine nuts over a medium high heat. Toast until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes.

Dot the baby aubergines with yogurt, sprinkle with the pine nuts and scatter over curly parsley to finish.

Ricotta and roasted spring onion on toast

The art of eating simply, i.e, stuff on toast.

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I always seem to have a bounty of spring onions. I try to keep them on hand when on set incase I need to add a little pop of colour to something, but as described in my previous post, it means I usually have lots left over. It’s also quite rare that spring onions get to be the hero ingredient in my day to day cooking, so I’m kind of excited for them to have their time in the spotlight.

Roasting them makes them super crisp, and in the past I’ve sprinkled them on salads for a little extra crunch, or used them as a vessel for Romesco pre dinner (pretentious much?). But this is the first time I topped a fat slice of creamy ricotta spread toast with them, and I highly doubt it will be the last.

I’m going to be honest with you, toast usually comes in pairs for me (sometimes pairs of pairs), so you might want to double up on this. Honestly, this is such a simple recipe and I deliberated over whether I should even write about it on here, but that’s what makes it so perfect; you can rustle it up in 10 mins or less and you literally will not stop thinking about it for the rest of the day.

I cannot describe to you the mouthful of joy that awaits you with this one. Please cook it, eat it and enjoy it.

Ingredients

A slice of sourdough, toasted

4 spring onions, rinsed and drained

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp ricotta

1 tsp honey

1 tbsp za’atar

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the spring onions onto a baking tray. Massage 1 tbsp of the olive oil into the onions, making sure they’re coated from root to tip. Season generously with flaked salt and black pepper and place into the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until fragrant and crisp.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the ricotta and honey. Season generously with freshly cracked black pepper. Spread generously over the toast.

Combine the remaining olive oil with the za’atar.

Top the ricotta toast with the roasted spring onions and drizzle with the za’atar oil before serving.

Tomato, goat's cheese and onion galette

Last of the summer vines.

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Hello!

This section of my website has been a very long time coming, and I’m really excited to be able to share some more relaxed versions of my recipes from home in comparison to my everyday work.

I also think it’s important to note that while I am a trained chef, I come from a long line of untrained cooks who love and relish cooking, as do most people. The joy of home cooking is like nothing else in life and by sharing these recipes, I hope to not only show you, but bring myself back to, my original love for what I do. Also I just want everyone to celebrate good food! When it’s good, it’s just so GOOD!

When I cook at home, it’s all about cooking with leftovers. As a food stylist, the question I get asked about my job the most is “do you get to eat the food?” and while I personally always sample everything on set (obv), there will always be uncooked ingredients left over. While that’s great, it doesn’t necessarily all go together. Lots gets frozen or experimented with in different ways, and that’s what I’d like to share with you. I’m not saying that every recipe I post here will be a mish-mash of randomness but in the interest of never letting food go to waste and cooking with a purpose, I’m really excited to share my creations with you.

So that’s where I started with this recipe. I’d had a block of shortcrust pastry in my freezer for months, and an unopened jar of onion and garlic jam at the back of my cupboard. I’d also managed to save two massive, albeit slightly bruised, heirloom tomatoes from being thrown out at my local supermarket, and so this recipe arose by a kind of fabulous coincidence. The last thing I had was time (and also some actual thyme) due to the long weekend celebrating Islamic New Year in Dubai, so I put my phone in the other room and went about rolling out my pastry (with an olive oil bottle, incase you were wondering).

Here’s to long, lazy weekend cooks, huh?

Well, I say long, but I did take a fair few shortcuts with this galette. I want you to know that you should feel free to A. make the pastry for this recipe yourself and B. make the onion jam yourself too, but hey, I’m sure you’ll forgive me for saving you an hour or so.

Once I’d rolled the pastry out fairly thinly, I spread it with the onion jam, topped that with goat’s cheese, and then artfully layered over my rescued heirlooms, along with a few baby plum tomatoes. I had laid the tomatoes on a cooling rack, salted them and let them stand before this, to remove the moisture. That meant when I eventually tucked them into the pastry, sprinkled with thyme and placed the galette into a piping hot oven, they roasted without becoming overly juicy, allowing the goats cheese to bubble up and brown slightly and the pastry to turn crisp. My mouth is watering just thinking about it, honestly.

The full recipe is below.

Ingredients

Approximately 400g heirloom tomatoes (I used about 300g heirlooms and 100g leftover baby plum tomatoes- a mix of sizes, shapes and colours makes for a beautiful galete)

6-8tsp fine salt

250g shortcrust pastry

3 tbsp onion and garlic chutney (I used Waitrose Essentials)

100g goat’s cheese, sliced into rounds

1 egg

few sprigs of fresh thyme

Method

Place a cooling rack over a baking tray, or alternatively in the sink.

Slice the larger tomatoes into 1/2 cm thick slices, and halve the cherry tomatoes. I like to do this in a mix of both length and width ways. Lay the slices on the prepared cooling rack. Sprinkle with half of the fine salt. Allow to sit for 15 minutes. Blot the tomatoes with kitchen paper, then turn and repeat on the other side.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C or 180°C fan and allow the pastry to come to room temperature.

Place the pastry between two sheets of parchment paper and roll into 25cm circle (don’t worry about shape too much. I really wasn’t going for perfection here, remember it’s a rustic masterpiece). Peel back the top sheet of parchment. Pick up the edges of the baking parchment and place onto a baking sheet.

Spread the onion chutney over the pastry, leaving a 5cm or so border around the edge, to be folded later. Top the chutney with goat’s cheese, then cover with the now salted tomatoes.

Fold the edges of pastry over the filling, framing the tomatoes in the centre. Whisk the egg in a small bowl with a little fine salt to break down the proteins, and brush over the pastry. Season the whole galette with flaked salt and freshly cracked black pepper, and sprinkle over a few sprigs of fresh thyme.

Place in the oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until the crust becomes golden brown and crisp, and the goat’s cheese is bubbling. Sprinkle over a little extra thyme is desired. Serve right away, although saying that, this makes for an excellent lunch the next day with a simple salad.