Tag Archives: Vegetable

Recipe of the Week – 7th March 2016 – Ten Veg Gratin

I take full responsibility for this recipe – it’s the result of pottering about in the kitchen on Sunday (my day off from cooking in the cafe!), and wanting the traditional Sunday lunch veg, but with a twist. Of course the ingredients can be changed greatly, but I was very happy with these!

Serves 6


4 large potatoes, peeled and sliced

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced

2 leeks, sliced

3 carrots, peeled and sliced

100g chestnut mushrooms, sliced

1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced

1 large onion, finely sliced

1 aubergine, finely sliced

2 courgettes, sliced

50g frozen peas

100g red lentils

2 tbs olive oil

600ml vegetable stock from good quality bouillon

50g grated cheddar (optional)

Salt and pepper 


1. Preheat the oven to 220C.

2. In a large casserole dish, brush the olive oil on the base then layer the vegetables starting with half of the potatoes, then add the other root vegetables, lentils and remaining vegetables. Top with the remaining potato slices.

3. Season and pour the stock over to cover.

4. Top with the cheese, cover with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes.

5. Take the foil off and bake for a further 15 minutes until the cheese is golden.

6. Serve immediately.


Recipe of the Week – 25th January 2016 – Mediterranean Vegetable Tarts

Even at this time of the year I sometimes feel like something a bit lighter to eat, as much as I like stodgy comfort food! This is a nice simple recipe which can be adapted to include your favourite vegetables.

Makes 6 


1 pack ready-rolled puff pastry, defrosted at room temperature for 2 hours if frozen

1 large courgette, thickly sliced

1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced

1 tin of good quality chopped tomatoes

2 cloves of garlic

1 tsp Herbes de Provence

50g mature cheddar cheese, grated

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

20ml milk

Salt and pepper to season


1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

2. Unroll the pastry and cut into 6 equal squares. Lightly score a square approximately 1cm within each square.

3. In a blender mix together the tomatoes, garlic, herbs and salt and pepper until it is a paste. Brush onto the middle of each square of pastry.

4. Add a layer of courgette and pepper slices to the middle of each square, ensuring to keep within the score-lines.

5. Top with the cheese and brush the milk around the perimeter.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve hot or cold with a salad.

Recipe of the Week – 16th November 2015 – Couscous Vegetable Loaf

I have been looking for an alternative nut loaf type recipe for a while, as an alternative centrepiece to a Sunday lunch, but for people with nut allergies. This is an adaptation of a recipe I read about, and I tried it out in my cafe this week. It seems to be a success, and worked really well with a warm smokey tomato sauce topping.

Serves 6


500g wholegrain couscous

1 litre of good quality vegetable stock from bouillon

60ml extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 medium courgette, finely diced

1 red or yellow pepper, deseeded and finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

3 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped

1 tbs ground coriander

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp garam masala

a large handful of basil leaves

1 tbs lemon juice

3 tbs flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped


1. Put the couscous in a bowl, pour the hot stock and lemon juice over and leave for 10 minutes.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic over low heat for 5 minutes. Add the spices and cook for 1 minute.

3. Add the tomatoes, pepper and courgette and simmer for 5 minutes. 

4. Line a large baking tray or two loaf tins with grease proof paper.

5. Chop the basil and parsley, and mix together with the couscous and vegetables in a large bowl.

6. Season to taste then add to the container. Add another layer of grease roof paper over the mixture and weigh down to compress. Place in the fridge overnight.

7. Serve warm with a tomato and smoked paprika sauce topping, with a side salad.

Recipe of the Week – 10th August 2015 – Roasted Vegetables with Orzo

This dish makes a nice change from similar roasted vegetable paella and risotto recipes I have tried, and I am ashamed to say it is the first time I’ve tried orzo! This also worked really well served cold the following day.

Serves 4 as a main or 6 as a side


1 large aubergine, cut into 2cm dice

1 red and 1 yellow pepper, each roughly chopped 

1 large courgette, cut into 2cm dice

1 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

100ml extra virgin olive oil

250g orzo pasta

3 tbs lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

Small handful of basil leaves


1. Preheat the oven to 220C.

2. Toss the aubergine, peppers, onion, courgette, garlic and olive oil together and spread out on a large baking tray. Place in the oven and roast for 35 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Meanwhile, add the orzo to a large saucepan of boiling salted water and simmer for 5 minutes. Rinse and drain.

4. 10 minutes before the end of the roasting time, add the orzo to the vegetables along with the lemon juice and seasoning. Stir well to combine.

5. Serve immediately topped with roughly torn basil leaves.

Recipe of the Week – 12th August 2013 – Very Cheesy Vegetable Bake

I made this today when I was at a bit of a loss, inspiration-wise. I had a lot of courgettes and leeks left over, and Sue bought some cottage cheese (which I haven’t bought for years). This is the result, and whilst not the healthiest tea I’ve done (cheese sauce, cottage cheese layer and cheese on top!), it was certainly soon polished off by the ravenous little veggies who live here…

Serves 6


60g butter (20g for frying, 40g to make the roux)
2 medium leeks, thickly sliced
100g button or chestnut mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 large courgettes, thickly sliced at 45 degrees
2 sticks celery, halved lengthways then chopped
salt & pepper
2 tsp Herbes de Provence
75g cottage cheese
100g cheddar cheese, grated
50ml milk
50g plain flour
50g fresh breadcrumbs


1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5.
2. Melt the butter in saucepan, then add the courgettes, celery, mushrooms and leeks and stir-fry until soft.
3. Add the herbes de provence and seasoning and stir well.
4. Pour half the mixture in a large oven-proof dish and spread the cottage cheese over, before covering with the rest of the vegetable mixture.
5. Meanwhile, make a cheese sauce by melting 40g butter in a small saucepan before adding the flour. Stir to form a roux and cook off for 3 minutes. Add the milk and 50g grated cheese, season well and stir to form a creamy sauce.
6. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and top with the breadcrumbs and remaining cheese.
7. Place in the oven and bake for approx. 20 minutes until brown and bubbling.
8. Serve immediately with herby new potatoes.


Recipe of the Week – 6th May 2013 – Paprika Vegetable Stew with Cornbread


I thought that I would make this dish this week’s Recipe of the Week as a result of the overwhelming response from people requesting information about it. Many thanks to everyone who has contacted me – I managed to achieve a personal best of number of views on my blog! I hope you all enjoy making this as much as I did. Paul.


For The Stew

1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
200g new potatoes, quartered with skins left on
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into fine batons
100g red split lentils
50g tinned or frozen sweetcorn
50g frozen petit pois
1 x 400g tin good quality butterbeans, drained
Handful fresh spinach leaves
2 tsp smoked sweet paprika
2 tsp Ras-el-Hanout
400ml good quality hot vegetable stock from bouillon
2 tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper

For the Cornbread

125g cornmeal or fine polenta
135g plain flour
2 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Black pepper
150g fresh sweetcorn
2 tbs olive oil
4 spring onions
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
280ml soya milk
50g soya margarine


To Make the Stew

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and when hot, add the onions and garlic to sauté for approximately 5 minutes.
2. Add the paprika and Ras-el-Hanout and stir for a further minute.
3. Add the potatoes and carrots and sauté for a further 5 minutes.
4. Add the lentils and the rest of the vegetables (excluding the spinach and butterbeans) and sauté for a further 2 minutes.
5. Pour over the hot stock, bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently, covered, for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Add the spinach, butterbeans and seasoning and stir in on a gentle heat for 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

To Make the Cornbread

1. Preheat the oven to 220 C. Grease a medium-size baking tin with olive oil. To remove the corn from the cob, stand it on it’s end on a board and cut downwards with a sharp knife, as close to the core as you can, cutting off the kernels.
2. In a bowl, combine the flour, polenta, baking powder, salt, bicarbonate of soda and pepper. Stir in the sweetcorn, onions and chilli. Beat together the melted soya margarine & milk. Pour into the dry ingredients stirring, until everything is just combined. A few lumps in the batter are fine at this stage.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place in the oven. Bake until the top is golden and the edges have slightly pulled away from the sides – about 20 – 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for a few minutes before cutting into squares. Serve warm