It's sometimes hard to get excited about cucumber, particular when they are 'straight from the fridge cold' and sliced into slightly uninspiring rounds. Cucumbers are 96% water, they have a lovely clean, crunchy texture but need a little helping hand to bring out their best.
I just love the fresh vibrant flavours of a noodle salad, a riot of textures and flavours - brought together with a zingy, aromatic dressing. Year-round versatility, you can incorporate whatever fresh veg or salad happens to be in season at the time, or lurking in your fridge and needs using up.
There's nothing quite as simple and tasty as a freshly cooked falafel. Once seen as just the vegan option, it's become a stalwart on the festival eating scene and a real favourite on restaurant menus. For good reasons too, a tasty falafel packs enough flavour to tempt even the most die hard meat-eaters away from the burger van.
This is a fab seasonal cake recipe using rhubarb - the amazing vegetable that thinks it's a fruit! Forced Rhubarb which is beautifully tender, comes into season in January - with the garden Rhubarb season kicking off in April. Garden rhubarb is slightly less tender but often deeper in flavour.
Wild garlic is so abundant where we live, so much of the woodland in early spring has that unmistakable aroma. The season starts in early March and goes on through to the middle of Spring. It's best early in the season, although the pretty white flowers that emerge later can be eaten too, they are great in salads. Use a sharp knife to cut from the base and choose the brightest, green leaves.
When a recipe comes with a legendary story about how it was invented hundreds of years ago for the visit of a king, it's always worth investigating. Pane Frattau is a traditional Sardinian dish that on the face of it, looks so simple, how could it possibly be special enough to serve royalty?
The idea of a dressing is to enhance the flavour of the food you are eating. The acid from the vinegar contrasts with the sugar, salt and oil to heighten the pleasure we get from eating. Dressing hot, cooked vegetables is just as gratifying as dressing cold salad leaves, almost more so.
Growing up, cauliflower was generally presented to me smothered in cheese sauce and baked in the oven. It's delicious and still is a real family favourite. However, the wonderful nutty flavour that a simple cauliflower develops when roasted is a joy that I didn't discover until a few years ago. Cauliflower is widely available all year round, although they are at their peak in spring and autumn, they are a real workhorse during those drab months when not much seems to be in season.
Orecchiette is a pasta shape that hails from the Southern Italian region of Apulia and is perfect for this beautiful pasta dish. Pangratatto is effectively just fried breadcrumbs but it's a great addition to this dish as it adds a brilliant texture. There are lots of different squashes now widely available from good green grocers. We got ours from a fantastic local organisation called Root Connections www.rootconnections.co.uk - a charity that helps homeless people. They have a small farm where volunteers and residents grow fabulous produce to supply homes and restaurants with the fruits of their labour, check it out, it's amazing.
Chilli and eggs are a combination that doesn’t always spring to mind here in Somerset, but around the globe they are an absolute staple. The Korean’s top their famous Bibimbap Rice bowls with a fried egg and chilli sauce...
In the last few months I've been experimenting with different ingredients and in particular, different sugars and syrups. Although fuel is the main purpose, flavour is equally as critical. My cycling buddies have been enthusiastic candidates for my flapjack taste-test trials, and in the last few weeks, I think I'm getting close to the perfect recipe.
There is something primal about making your own pasta, a bit like making your own bread. I don’t always have time to do this (or the organisational ability), but when I do, it's deeply rewarding and tastes just SO GOOD. You need just two ingredients for this recipe...00 Pasta flour and fresh eggs.
Apricots aren't always the easiest fruit to work with, but few can resist the delights of a beautiful apricot tart. We invited our friend Lucy from the Pockeredge Pantry to show us her recipe for this stunning tart. Using her glorious Apricot Jam, full of big chunks of fruit, our Matthews flour and ground almonds we make a tart befitting the best French patisseries.
You could easily be mistaken for thinking that a Poke bowl is a Japanese invention, but actually it's one of the national dishes of Hawaii. Slap bang in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaiian cuisine has lots of influences from the Orient.
A biryani, in principal, is a fairly simple concept – bake rice in stock with spices, meat or vegetables until the rice is fluffy and tender. However, you will completely live or die by the quality of the rice you use. If you end up with rice that sticks together, you'll need to go back to biryani school or get hold of better quality rice - the supermarkets are certainly not the place to look for that.