Salads, soups & starters
This version of Phil Howard's classic dish is beautifully refreshing with a hint of chilli to keep it interesting. Combine the soup ingredients at least 12 hours in advance, to give them time to macerate.
Another low-effort-big-flavour tapas dish. Slice the chorizo if you are using a large piece, or leave whole if you've bought smaller individual sausages.
Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best - and with a few store cupboard ingredients and 20 seconds of help from a blender, this one is on the table and ready to go.
Unlike its French cousin, the potato "croquette", this tapas classic comes with its own safety warning - courtesy of the hot liquid filling hidden inside. I use panko breadcrumbs for the crunchiest exterior and green chilli for an extra kick - although you could use a teaspoon of dijon mustard if you prefer something more subtle. Perfect as part of a larger tapas selection with an ice-cold Spanish beer.
A hearty soup, perfect for a winter's day; this recipe is rich, creamy and delicious.
If you think Autumn means the end of good food, try this. I use coquina - it has a really vibrant colour - but butternut or pumpkin are good too. The butter makes it rich and velvety, so it's perfect as a dinner party starter or a cold weather pick-me-up.
I was first introduced to real crab cakes at Ashburton Cookery School and I've adapted this recipe from theirs. It really is a marriage made in heaven with the mango salsa and is so easy to make at home.
Looking for an easy way to impress at your next barbecue? The perfect accompaniment for pulled pork? Try this delicious homemade coleslaw pimped up with fresh apple.
Think mozzarella can't be improved? Try this simple summer salad with it's even-more-delicious cousin, caramelised peaches, mint, prosciutto and a refreshing honey-lemon dressing. If you haven't tried burrata before, here's the place to start!
Think salads are boring? Think again with this Spanish inspired classic. Packed with Mediterranean flavours, this is one of my absolute favourites and is a perfect light lunch or dinner party starter. You can buy pre-prepared squid if the thought of preparing it yourself puts you off, but it really isn't that difficult if you're brave enough to try.
Mackerel is a great fish to cook with. Full of omega oils, it looks great and has a fantastic creamy flavour. It’s also great value, stocks are good, and it's available all year round. Once the cauliflower purée is made, which can be done in advance, this dish can be made in minutes.
I first encountered steamed dumplings during a backpacking trip to China. My Mandarin wasn't what it should be, so I did what you’d expect from every linguistically challenged Brit - I pointed at a few things on the menu and hoped for the best. I was very pleased with myself…until I found out mine were filled with "twice fried goose gizzards"... These are better, I promise!
Do all of your preparation before you start cooking and you’ll have an elegant starter on the table in minutes. You should check that you're buying hand dived scallops as they're larger and significantly less destructive to the environment. Your fishmonger can prepare them if you don't know how.
The ultimate decadent starter. Oozy melted cheese, flavoured with garlic, rosemary and sweet honey...with almost no effort. Perfect.
This recipe is as easy as opening a few ingredients and putting them in a food processor. It really shows off the smokey flavour of the mackerel and takes just five minutes to prepare.
Unless you can find really fresh peas, frozen are better as they are frozen within hours of being picked —they also mean that you can enjoy this delicious soup at any time of the year. The optional mint leaf crisps are an easy to make garnish that add crunch and texture.
A simple but tasty salad that's surprisingly filling. The quality of the mozzarella makes all the difference.
Every cook should have a great tomato soup recipe. Adding roasted garlic, basil, Worcestershire sauce and a little balsamic vinegar really lifts the flavour. But, whatever your favourite recipe, a slice of cheese on toast on the side makes all the difference!
Farro is the Italian word for grains from the wheat family including emmer and spelt. It's something of a well-kept-secret but becoming a real favourite with foodies and chefs. For a vegetarian option, replace the pancetta with pomegranate seeds for a beautiful jewelled salad.