Nut and seed roast with cheese and tomato layer

This adaptation from an old Cranks recipe is one that I’ve been pleasurably cooking for years. The addition of the layer of cheddar, feta or Vegan cheese and sliced tomato adds a piquancy to the savoury nuttiness of the loaf that’s a lovely surprise to those that haven’t eaten it before.

I chop 250g of nuts by hand. My food processor tends to grind them too finely Рa bit of crunch is best. An onion, chopped and saut̩ed in butter, Vegan spread or oil. Add 100g of breadcrumbs, some chopped parsley if you have it, and a handful of seeds. Enough Vegan bouillon with a teaspoon of marmite or a sloosh of soy sauce to make a fairly loose mix, then dollop half the mix into a baking tin, add a layer of cheese, a layer of sliced tomato, then the rest of the nut mix. Press down and transfer to a hot oven to bake for about 35 minutes.

As delicious cold the next day as it is hot. Gorgeous served with a fresh tomato salsa, fresh tomato sauce or chimichurri sauce on the side.


Slow roast lamb with mint, garlic and sumac

Lamb shoulder is a relatively cheap but delicious cut, and it benefits from a good long, slow roast to allow the sinews to render down into meaty succulence.

Four hours in a low oven on a bed of rosemary, seasoned with garlic, sumac and fresh mint and you have a kitchen filled with wonderful, savoury smells that are enough to have both the dog and your husband salivating!

Stir a glass of red wine into the cooking juices and bubble on the hob until just thickened in place of a gravy . Serve with a creamy mashed potatoes and fresh greens and a hearty appetite. Perfect Sunday food for a lazy day.

A child of autumn

As the season swings gently into autumn I find myself breathing and reflecting deeply upon life. I have always loved autumn.

September, with its misty mornings and slowly darkening days always seems a time for slowing down, for gathering in and nurturing the spirit in preparation for winter.

A time of slow cooked stews and aromatic, warmly spiced bakes. Of long walks in the crisp mornings and curling up on the sofa with a book and a favourite soft blanket.

In terms of food, my thoughts are already turning to more substantial, comforting meals. Rich bean and lamb casseroles, lentils, soups, and soft, slightly charred roasted vegetables.

I’m most definitely a child of autumn.