Browsing Tag




Every summer we enjoy pesto made with herbs from garden. Today we had a mixture of sorrel, mint and parsley picked two minutes before it was blitzed in the good processor with the other ingredients and it was divine. All produce from the garden tastes so much fresher and more delicious than store bought but there’s something so special when it’s still warm from the sun and radiates its scent. Almost any herbs will do, it’s fun to experiment. I made sage pesto the other day and it was wonderful.

I don’t think I’ll ever buy store bought again! It’s so easy to make and freezes very well, my plan is to make plenty while the sun shines and stash it away in the freezer for the long, cold, dreary winter. This of course can be drizzled on chicken, fish or steak as you desire, although I like a large dollop straight from the jar on some crusty 7 grain bread .



1/2 cup, packed, fresh sorrel leaves . remove the stems

1/4 cup. packed, fresh mint

1/4 cup, packed fresh parsley

1 garlic clove

1/4 cup walnuts

1/3 cup Parmesan

Zest of lemon

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Place the sorrel, mint, parsley, garlic, Parmesan, walnuts and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor,

2. Blitz thoroughly.

3. With the motor running add the olive oil in a steady stream until fully emulsified.

4. Add the salt and pepper to taste.

5. Pour into a glass jar and fasten the lid tightly.  This will keep in the fridge for 1 week.


Chilled pea, mint and coconut soup

Soup is the perfect food don’t you think? It doesn’t matter if it’s 100 degrees (my car temperature read 108 this afternoon!) or minus 10, soup is generally the answer to everything. The only difference being that in the summer I serve it nice and chilled. This is delicious, fully vegetarian, has tons of flavor and is very satisfying. Mint and pea is such a British combination, there was always both in the garden when I was growing up and we made soup all the time. This is the updated version using coconut milk instead of stock which takes it to a whole new level. I actually licked the bowl. It’s fun to decorate with edible flowers such as pansies or nasturtiums for a touch of whimsy.

Chilled Pea, Mint and Coconut Soup – adapted from Green Kitchen Stories.


1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 stick of celery, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Pinch of salt and pepper

2 cups fresh or frozen peas

1, 14 oz can organic coconut milk

1 cup fresh mint


  1. Heat the coconut milk in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and celery, sprinkle over the salt and pepper, sauté until translucent, about 8-10 minutes on a low heat.
  2. Add the garlic and sauté for a further 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the coconut milk and stock, bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  4. Add the peas and mint.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes then blend.
  5. Can be served warm or chilled.
quinoa tabbouleh

Quinoa Tabbouleh

We’ve had computer problems around here so I’ve been offline for a few days but happily all those pesky gremlins have been shooed away and we’re back in working order – relief! This salad is my eldest daughter’s favorite side dish, it’s SO easy to make, sits quite happily in the fridge for a few days (in fact it tastes better the next day) and is tremendously good for you. Quinoa is probably the best known of the superfoods. It’s been around for a while – about 4,000 years in South America where it originated. It’s said to be a complete protein containing all the essential amino acids along with plenty of fiber, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and calcium, plus it’s gluten free. In other words, you could live on this and I would happily do so!



1 ½ cups quinoa

3 cups water

1 teaspoon turmeric

Pinch of salt and pepper

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered

1/4 red onion, finely chopped

1 cup finely chopped parsley, finely chopped

1 cup finely chopped mint, finely chopped

1 English cucumber, seeded and diced


Juice and zest of a lemon

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 heaped tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, crushed

Salt and pepper to taste

6 tablespoons olive oil


1. Rinse the quinoa. Place in a saucepan with the water, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes.  The quinoa is fully cooked when you see tiny spirals (the germ) separating and curling around the seeds.

2. Place in a bowl and allow to cool.

3. Chop the tomatoes, onion and cucumber.

4. To make the dressing, mixture together the mustard, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper, whisk in the olive oil one tablespoon at a time until emulsified.

5. When the quinoa is cool add the tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, herbs and dressing. Mix together thoroughly.  Just before serving add a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Eaton Mess

Eaton Mess, the quick and easy version

Eaton Mess is a uniquely British dessert. It’s said to have first been served after a cricket match at Eaton College in the 1930′s. The original “mess” was served with only strawberries, meringue and cream but I think it’s fun to add your favorite combination of berries. In fact you don’t have to stop with berries, try bananas, pineapple or stewed rhubarb. This is the quick and easy version as there is no meringue making required. In this recipe I’ve used store bought meringue cookies but again you could use your favorite cookies – amaretti would be lovely or even a lemon shortbread. If you’re not into dairy try making cashew cream instead, a delicious and more healthy alternative to heavy cream. This is such a scrumptious and despite its name, elegant dessert, so perfect for summer and I’ve never met a person who didn’t love it.

eaton mess

Eaton Mess, the quick and easy version.

1 packet of your favorite cookies, broken into crumbles

1 pint strawberries, raspberries and blueberries or your favorite berries

Zest and juice of half a lemon 8 oz heavy cream or cashew cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Wash the berries, cut the strawberries into halves or quarters depending on their size.
  1. Add the lemon zest and juice to the berries. Stir to combine and set aside.
  1. Place the cream and vanilla in a bowl and whip to soft peaks.
  1. In individual serving bowls or glasses, layer some cream, the berry mixture and top with some crumbled cookies. Repeat until the bowl or glass is full ending with some cream and top with a sprig of fresh mint.

eaton mess