Gnocchi with courgettes, fresh tomatoes and peas

We needed a simple supper tonight, one that would use up the bowl of fresh tomatoes that had been sitting for slightly too long by the cooker. I was ashamed that I hadn’t used them sooner and was determined that they wouldn’t go to waste.

I’m always astounded by the acidic sweetness that adding fresh tomatoes to a dish creates. I really don’t know why I don’t cook with them more.

This was a simple coming together of roughly chopped tomatoes, slightly charred courgettes, a chopped and sautéd red onion, some garlic, a scatter of lemony sumac, fresh coriander and a handful of peas. Simmered gently for a few minutes in order to allow all the flavours to shine through.

Then tumbled together in a bowl with the gnocchi and a handful of freshly grated Parmesan, and served with a smile that hinted at the many hours of cooking in a hot kitchen it had all taken….

Duplicitous culinary behaviour indeed. I am without shame…


Fast food – charred vegetables with lime tahini

The fridge yesterday was littered with bits of vegetables left over from the last few meals – half a red pepper, a few sprigs of purple sprouting broccoli, a heel of butternut squash. All looking a little sad for themselves.

Channeling Frugal Queen I decided that it couldn’t all go to waste, and that there was enough for a good lunch with a little imagination.

Onto the roasting tray went the bits of sweet pepper, cubed butternut squash, a few quarters of red onion and a few cloves of garlic. A generous drizzle of olive oil and a grind or two of salt and it was roasted for fifteen minutes, adding the brocolli for a final fifteen minute blast.

Tahini, maple syrup, the juice and grated zest of a fresh lime and seasoning were whipped up together and scooped onto the now charred and softened vegetables from the oven.

Fast food at its best. Thirty minutes, and fresh, healthy and prepared with minimal cost.

What’s not to love.

Sweet potato, chickpea and brocolli Buddha Bowl

Spiced toasted chickpeas, roasted sweet potatoes, kale and broccoli, all drizzled with a lemony tahini dressing.

I added a base layer of wholemeal rice as we were hungry this evening, but in fact the sweet potatoes and chickpeas were incredibly filling so it probably wasn’t necessary.

All in all this was a glorious mixture of crunchy and soft, spicy and citrus fresh flavours and textures.

Thankyou, Minimalist Baker! Your recipe was perfect. Supper sorted in thirty minutes.

Delectable courgette, pea, mint and ricotta lasagne 

The temperature has plummeted to the teens over the last few days in London. Not quite enough to warrant a warming stew for dinner, but certainly cold enough to ditch the salads and demand something a little more substantial.

Enter stage left, lasagne, with a bit of a difference.

What I love about this Rose Elliot recipe is that there is no need to waste thirty minutes of your life making a bechamel sauce. 

Simply loosen ricotta with a little milk and use this as the “sauce” between the layers of fresh pasta and greenly, garlic and mint-scented onions, petit pois and courgettes. Top with parmesan et, voila! Dinner is served. Accompany with a crisp, green salad if you’re able, and maybe a cheeky glass of Sancerre…