Saturday, 24 October 2009

Tomato and Apple Chutney

I made this last year with tomatoes and apples from the garden.  I also got the chillies from the garden.The recipe is adapted from the original one in COUNTRY WISDOM, by Rosamond Richardson (Kyle Cathie 1997)


2.7 kg tomatoes (chopped)
450g apples, sliced and cored
450g onions, chopped
50g coriander seeds
2-3 chopped chillies
(if using dried chillies, then use about 12g)
piece of ginger (or a teaspoon of ground ginger)
450g demerara sugar
450g dried fruit
Juice of one lemon
750ml cider vinegar
(actually the recipe specified malt vinegar, but I think cider vinegar is better for this)

Once the tomatoes, apples and onions are sliced, put them into a saucepan or preserving pan, then put the coriander seeds and chillies into a muslin bag, add this to the mixture, sprinkle it with salt and leave it overnight.
Add all the other ingredients the next day, bring everything to the boil - reduce the heat and simmer the mixture until it is thick.....probably about 1-2 hours.
Then put it into jars and seal them.

(N.B.Try not to eat this from the jar with a spoon.....!)

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Rose Petal Icecream

(I have taken this recipe from the online GREEN CHRONICLE, changing the measurements from American to British measurements.)

How to make rose petal ice cream:

This is a most unusual recipe which harks back to a time when certain flowers were used quite extensively in cooking. When obtaining rose petals, make absolutely certain that you know how they have been grown and that they have neither been too near a busy highway or sprayed with pesticides. If you buy your roses from a florist's shop make sure that they have not been treated with any chemicals. Also remove any bugs, dirt etc. and wash the petals thoroughly before use.

(N.B. I usually go and collect fallen rose petals from Regent's Park in London).

1/2 pint organic milk
yolks of 6 organic, free range eggs
3 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar
1/2 pint organic cream
1 cup rose petals
1/2 litre rosé wine


- Beat the egg yolks with the sugar.
- Add the milk and stir over a low heat in a basin standing in a saucepan of hot water.
- Heat carefully until the mixture thickens.
- Remove from heat and leave to become cold.
- Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks and fold it into the cold custard mixture which you prepared earlier.
- Remove and discard the white ends from the rose petals then mix them with the wine.
- Fold the rose-petal mixture into the custard and cream mixture and freeze.
- Stir once or twice during freezing or use an ice cream making machine.

Banana Walnut Bread

(This is from the ABC of Banana Cookery, which I think came free from Waitrose)


3 oz. butter
6 oz. caster sugar
2 eggs (obviously free-range, organic!)
10 oz bananas
8 oz plain flour
3 level teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
2 oz walnuts (roughly chopped)

Cream butter until soft then work in the sugar. Add eggs one at a time and beat to a smooth mixture.
Mash bananas well, add to egg mixture and beat until blended.
Sieve together flour, salt, baking powder, stir one tablespoonful into nuts.
Add remaining flour to egg mixture, stir until mixed, then add nuts and stir again.
Turn mixture into a well-greased loaf tom and bake at approx. gas mark 4 (350 degrees) for about an hour.

(N.B, Check after about 40 minutes, as one hour may be too long for some ovens).

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Vegan Carrot Cake

(I'm afraid not all my recipes are vegan.....but this is delicious anyway, will appeal to vegans and non-vegans alike!)

3 carrots, grated (approx 8 oz. worth)
Guess what, I am about to make this with organic carrots from my garden!!
6 oz. sultanas or raisins
6 oz. self-raising white flour and 4 oz, SR wholemeal flour
6 oz. sugar ( I didn't ask, but I think it's probably OK to substitute honey here)
1 tsp. cinnamon and 1 tsp. ginger
8 fl. oz vegetable oil
7 fl. oz water
pinch of salt and dash of vinegar
1/2 tsp. vanilla essence


2 oz.vegan margarine
4 oz. icing sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla essence

1. To make the cake, stir all the dry cake ingredients together and then mix the wet ones in.
2. Bake at gas mark 5 (190c) for 45 mins, then reduce oven to gas mark 3 (160c) and cook for another 30 minutes. Cool in tin.
3.. To make the icing, mash the margarine and vanilla essence into the sugar with a fork.
4. Ice the cake. Optional; top with roughly chopped nuts (e.g. cashews or walnuts)


I love mayonnaise, and I think it is absolutely ESSENTIAL to make one's own. This recipe is based on various sources, including - er - my own intuition!

2 large egg yolks (use organic if at all possible)
1 teaspoon mustard powder (optional)
clove of garlic, crushed (this is NOT optional!)
290 ml. extra-virgin olive oil (again, organic if possible)
a squeeze of lemon juice
I tblsp. vinegar (white wine vinegar is preferable)
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Put the egg yolks into a bowl with a pinch of salt (and the mustard, if using). Beat well with a wooden spoon.
Add the oil, slowly, drop by drop, (so that it doesn't curdle) beating all the time.
Beat in the lemon juice
Continue to pour in the oil - it is safe to do it more quickly now, but alternate the oil with small quantities of vingegar.
Season the mayonnaise with salt, pepper and garlic.

Thursday, 1 October 2009



I have been looking for this recipe for years, ever since I had the unbelievable pleasure of tasting this ambrosial ice-cream at a farmers' market. I finally found it in the Sunday Telegraph.


6-8 sprigs lavender
600 ml (1 pint) full cream milk
180 ml lavender honey (In London, you can buy this at the shop in Chelsea Physic Garden)
If you can't get lavender honey,. then use more lavender and any organic honey
4 egg yolks
300 ml. double cream

Put the lavender in a saucepan with the milk and bring it to the boil slowly, then cover with a lid. Take it off the heat to infuse for about half-an-hour. Heat the honey in a jar in a pan of boiling water, then pour it into a bowl and whisk it with the egg yolks.

Strain the milk into another pan and reheat it to boiling, then pour it over the honey and egg yolk mixture. Return it to the pan and stir it over a gentle heat till it thickens. Leave it to cool before stirring in the double cream. Freeze.

Transfer to the fridge about 20 minutes before serving.

Golden Cauliflower Soup

(This recipe is taken from THE YOGA COOKBOOK).


1 cauliflower
15g butter or margarine
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
half a teaspoon turmeric
2 or three potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1 litre water
1 tablespoon dessicated coconut, soaked in enough hot water to cover
salt and pepper

(I always add garlic as well, though this is not specified in the original recipe)

Break the cauliflower into small florets, chop the stalk and set aside. Heat the butter or margarine in a large pan, add the cumin seeds and roast for one minute, or until you smell the aroma. Lower the heat, add the cauliflower and turmeric and saute for 5 minutes, stirring well to make sure the florets are coated with turmeric. Remove half of the florets with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the potatoes and water to the pan and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool slightly, then puree the soup in a food processor or blender until smooth. Return it to the pan and stir in the coconut and its soaking water. Add the reserved cauliflower florets and simmer for another 5 minutes. Season to taste and serve at once.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Nigel Slater's Almond and Lavender Bsicuits

Nigel Slater's almond and lavender biscuits
125 gr butter
50 gr golden caster sugar
100 gr plain flour
100gr ground almonds
2 level tsp lavender buds

(I made these with organically grown lavender from my garden - you don't HAVE to do this, but I think it makes them taste better!)

Whizz all the ingredients together in a food processor until they resemble fine breadcrumbs. Set aside a couple of tablespoons, then press the rest into a dough. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours.

Pre-heat the oven to 150C/300F/gas mark 2. Flour your hands, then break off pieces of dough the size of a walnut and flatten into tiny rounds. Lay carefully onto greased or parchment-lined baking sheets, sprinkle with the reserved mixture and return to the fridge for an hour or so.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until pale gold in colour. Allow to cool a little, then use a palette knife to transfer them to a cooling rack.

They will last in an airtight container for several days.

This is one of my favourite flower recipes - I took some to Italy to give as a present to a friend, and she really loved them!

Friday, 25 September 2009

Stuffed courgette (zucchini) flowers)

This is one of my very favourite recipes - I make it every summer in Italy. It is quite difficult to obtain courgette flowers in England, unless you grow them, so I have grown a few this summer!

Approx 15-20 courgette/zucchini flowers
135g fresh ricotta cheese
a bunch of fresh basil
1 egg
salt, pepper, nutmeg, clove of garlic

Wash the courgette flowers carefully, as they are rather fragile.

For the stufing, mix together the ricotta, beaten egg, crushed garlic, chopped fresh basil, salt and pepper. (You can also add some freshly grated Parmesan, but I don't, usually). Fill each flower with this mixture.

For the batter

200g plain flour (some recipes specify self-raising, but I prefer plain).
pinch of salt
400ml. cold water
2 largish eggs, beaten (organic if possible)
two or three tblsp olive oil

Mix together the flour, beaten eggs and olive oil, add the water gradually until the desired consistency is obtained.

Coat the stuffed flowers in this batter, and fry them gently in olive oil for a few minutes until they are golden. Drain them on kitchen paper.

Watercress Soup

30g. butter

1 medium onion, chopped
570 ml. vegetable stock
3 bunches of watercress, chopped
3 or 4 medium potatoes (These are just for thickening)
290 ml. milk ( I usually use semi-skimmed, you could also use soya milk)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated nutmeg

Melt the butter, add the onion and cook over a low heat until soft. Add the potatoes and stock and simmer for a few minutes until the potatoes are tender.

Liquidise the soup with the watercress in a food processor or blender and push it through a sieve. Pour back into the pan.

Add the milk and season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Reheat, but try not to let it boil.

It looks special if you serve it with some chopped garlic chives.

( I adapted this from a recipe in "LEITH'S COOKERY BIBLE" - the original specified too many potatoes for my taste, I prefer to use more watercress and fewer potatoes).