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Food, Home & Garden

Sweet couscous

Sweet couscous

Couscous is extremely versatile and can be used for both savoury dishes and for sweet ones, such as this quickly made, delicious hot cereal. The couscous is mixed with dried fruit and soaked briefly in hot milk, then topped with fresh fruit, to create something a little different to start the day.

Tomato and pecorino clafoutis

Tomato and pecorino clafoutis

For this savoury version of a classic French batter pudding, sweet cherry tomatoes are baked in a light, fluffy batter flavoured with grated pecorino cheese. Make individual clafoutis, or one large one, and serve for a simple lunch or dinner with bread or boiled new potatoes and green beans.

Turkish eggplant and yogurt dip

Turkish eggplant and yogurt dip

Many versions of this creamy eggplant dip are to be found around the Mediterranean. This one is thickened with ground almonds, which add both texture and protein. Served with pita bread and crunchy vegetable crudités, the dip makes a delicious snack or starter.

Creamy curried eggs

Creamy curried eggs

A coconut curry sauce goes beautifully with eggs, and an aromatic vegetable pilaf is perfect alongside. Finish with some vitamin C–rich fruit, such as sliced mangoes, to ensure maximum absorption of iron from the eggs.

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Fetta and couscous salad

Fetta and couscous salad

Apart from being an excellent source of starchy carbohydrate, couscous is a great background for other ingredients. In this lunch salad, both raw and lightly steamed vegetables are added to the couscous together with toasted almonds, fresh mint and creamy fetta.

Fish in egg and lemon sauce

Fish in egg and lemon sauce

Steaming fish atop vegetables and then using the cooking liquid to make a sauce is a good way to retain water–soluble vitamins. Here a piece of fish is cooked with baby carrots and zucchini, and the stock is then used to make the classic Greek egg and lemon sauce called avgolemono.

Fruity Bircher muesli

Fruity Bircher muesli

The original recipe for this nutritious breakfast cereal was developed over a century ago, by Dr Bircher–Benner at his clinic in Zurich. The technique of soaking the cereal, here using milk, makes it easier to digest, and also easier to eat.

Garlicky fresh cheese

Garlicky fresh cheese

This tangy, soft–textured yogurt cheese, flavoured with herbs and garlic, makes a healthy starter or snack, and is a great addition to a picnic basket, too. The garlic is blanched for a sweeter flavour. Serve with fresh vegetables for dipping, plus wholemeal bread, to be spread with the cheese.

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Ginger-glazed pears with ricotta and rum raisins

Ginger-glazed pears with ricotta and rum raisins

This simple dessert tastes just as delicious as it looks. After brushing with a honey, lemon and ginger syrup, the hollowed–out pears are filled with rum–soaked raisins and ricotta. This is the perfect way to turn the classic combination of fresh fruit and cheese into something a bit special.

Golden penne with goat's cheese

Golden penne with goat's cheese

Mild and creamy goat's cheese is melted in saffron–infused white wine and mixed with fennel, olives and capers to make a golden–coloured sauce for pasta shapes. This easy dish comes with a simple mixed leaf salad.

Herbed French toast

Herbed French toast

Give breakfast or brunch a new twist with this savoury version of French toast, also called pain perdu or eggy bread. Triangles of bread are dipped into a fresh herb and egg mixture, then pan–fried until crisp and golden.

High-vitality milkshake

High-vitality milkshake

This satisfying ‘breakfast in a glass’ is made with milk and thick yogurt flavoured with banana and freshly squeezed orange juice, plus some wheatgerm for extra vitamin value. A milkshake–style drink makes a great energising start to the day, ideal for people in a hurry.

Huevos rancheros

Huevos rancheros

For a fun weekend brunch, serve this Mexican–style dish of poached eggs, warm flour tortillas, a fresh tomato and chilli salsa, and toppings of grated cheese, sour cream, spring onions and fresh coriander. It will soon become a firm favourite.

Little custard pot

Little custard pot

These creamy baked custards, delicately flavoured with vanilla and accompanied by a fresh cherry compote, are easy to make and sure to be popular with all ages. Take care not to overcook the custards – they should be just set when you take them out of the oven.

Marbled winter fruit fool

Marbled winter fruit fool

Dried prunes and peaches have an intense, concentrated flavour and sweetness and, with the addition of a dash of peach schnapps or brandy, they make a really special fruit fool. This is an attractive dessert for the winter months.

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