Carrot and coriander ribbon salad


Happy New Year!! I am a bit late on the well wishing after having a crazy busy Christmas and New Year with work and then I was swished off to Kenya for 2 weeks for my Mums 60th which was the best!! We rode horses on safari in the Masai Mara, swam with dolphins, got up for early morning yoga, wake boarded, attempted to learn to kite surf and we ate insanely good food while soaking up the sun!

I am now having serious holiday blues but loving going through all the photos which there are a LOT of! I treated myself to a camera this Christmas so I can finally attempt to tackle food photography instead of  bribing my nextdoor neighbour and boyfriend with food to do it for me. So my New Years resolution this year is to learn to take pretty pictures and post a recipe every week. I am obviously off to a bad start since it’s the 22nd, so I’m thinking I will go crazy and post a couple this week and the next to catch up…get excited!

These photos are from a super exciting shoot I did at my family home in Dorset with my clever photography friend Aneta Mak. We got together before Christmas when I was home and I cooked away while she got happy snappy. There are so many beautiful photos and recipes on the way to share from it and I am very excited to give you the first one.

This is a very simple salad, it’s healthy, crunchy, deliciously fresh and if you believe your parents it WILL make you see in the dark. If you can get hold of different coloured carrots it will turn your salad into a fun rainbow on a plate, and all your friends will ooh and aah and think that you are totally jazzy and cool!



5 carrots, different colours if you can get them
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander
juice of 1 small lime
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
maldon sea salt and pepper

Give your carotts a wash and then using and peeler, peel away the first layer of skin and then peel the rest into ribbons. Put you ribbons in a bowl and toss together with the other ingredients and seasoning. Pile high and serve as soon as possible. The quicker you serve it the crunchier it will be!

Photo credit Aneta Mak

Rainbow winter squash salad


I just got home from a bit of a quirky birthday weekend in Copenhagen. The only reason I am describing it as quirky is because on our last night, walking back from seeing Hunger Games things got a bit weird!

First we had to dodge a girl barfing on the street as her friend was cooking up some (rhymes with whack). Then I saw some old man’s (rhymes with sock) while he took a very public wee, and then another old man snot rocketed narrowly missing my shoe. All this happened within 2 minutes of each other, I guess it served me right for renting a flat just a street away from the red light district. And can I just add that all those things did not even come close to what I saw a lady boy get up to in a bar at 4 in the morning…I can honestly say it was an eye opening trip!

Apart from all the nasties, Copenhagen really is one of the coolest places…I promise, just avoid one street! So many cool bars, restaurants, incredible shopping, pretty colourful houses and don’t even get me started on their food market which was pretty overwhelming and I could have spent all day there! I picked up some very weird and wonderful little things from Grød, a porridge restaurant which was like Willy Wonker’s factory and had amazing freeze dried berry goodies.
Also, I must say that Danish people are just about the friendliest people on the planet, and all speak perfect English which is extremely handy.

This recipe has absolutely nothing to do with my trip and isn’t the slightest bit Danish inspired apart from the fact that it’s colourful and wintery. Enjoy!rainbowbarleysalad2-2

Serves 4

1 butternut squash
2 red onions, peeled and quartered
1 tbsp coriander seeds, ground in a pestle and mortar
2 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
2 cups pearl barley or brown rice
½ tsp turmeric
2 spring onions, washed an sliced
1 chilli finely chopped
small bunch or coriander, roughly chopped
half a pomegranate, seeded
half a ripe avocado
juice of half a lime
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
mixed sesame seeds

Preheat your oven to 180˚C.

Peel the butternut squash, chop lengthways and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Then chop the squash into half moon pieces about 1 cm thick. Put in a bowl with the melted coconut oil, ground coriander, onions and some salt and pepper and give it a good mix. Roast in the oven for about 45 mins until the squash is golden and cooked.

To cook the pearl barley, follow the packet instructions and about 15 mins before its ready add half a teaspoon of turmeric to the water and then you barley will go all yellow and taste a bit more funky.
When it’s ready it might look a bit like risotto from absorbing all the water, just drain it and give it a rinse under the cold tap.

Chop up the spring onions, chilli, coriander and put in a bowl with the pomegranate seeds.

Scoop out the flesh of the avocado and pureé with the lime juice, olive oil and salt and pepper. You can just do this by mashing together with a fork or spoon until smooth.

Mix everything together and season to taste. Serve with some sesame seeds sprinkled on top.

Bon Appetit!

Rice noodle and cabbage salad with almond-coconut dressing and coriander-radish salad

The last week I have been working in the sunny Cote d’azur trying to squeeze in the last of summer. It turns out the french riviera makes for excellent people watching! As I basked in the sun my eyes were on stalks checking out all ze oiled up men in scarily tight budgie smugglers, sipping on chilled rosé and lunging in the direction of lots of uninterested glamourous ladies.

I have been trawling through the Denis Cotter book ‘For the love of food’ trying out recipes that I have wanted too for ages and this one is really really yummy! If you have any leftover make some summer rolls adding pickled ginger, rocket, spring onions and spicy prawns and wrapping up in rice paper rolls with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and dipped in soy sauce..mmmm.

Serves 4

1 tbsp coconut or rapeseed oil
2 small shallots, finely chopped
2 fresh green or red chillies, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
400g savoy cabbage, finely sliced
200g rice noodles
Almond and coconut dressing
100g almond butter
100ml coconut milk
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp white wine or rice vinegar
Coriander and radish salsa
handful of radishes chopped chunkily
3 spring onions, sliced finely
small bunch of fresh coriander
juice of 1 lime

To make the dressing, whisk together the almond butter and coconut milk and the same amount of water to get a free pouring consistency. Stir in the soy sauce and vinegar.

Heat the coconut oil in a wide pan over medium heat and add the shallots, chillies, garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute. Add the cabbage and continue to cook for 3-4 mins, stirring until the cabbage is tender but still quite crisp. Tip this into a big mixing bowl and put aside.

For the noodles follow package instructions but normally, soak them in boiling water for 5-10 mins. Drain and cool them when ready by running them under cold water. Stir into the cabbage with the dressing and season.

For the radish salsa, mix the radishes, spring onions and coriander together in a bowl with the lime juice.

Serve the salad in a big pretty dish with the salsa on top. Bon Appetit!

Photo credit Harriet Brocket

Green bean, petit pois and broad bean salad with lemon zest and garlic oil Broad bean, petis pois summer salad

After spending the winter in the snowy mountains I am now in south west France right by the beach. Life is good!

We have been biking around and running on the beach and so far we have surfed, sunbathed, sprained one ankle, not mine this time thankfully, seen a very thin green snake, eaten the best mussels in the world, drunk lots of wine, spoken very bad alcohol fuelled french and shopped at the local fish and veggie markets…tres bon!

It has been pretty boiling the last few days so I decided to make a fairly labour intensive salad to take to my friend Mhairi’s bbq, a great excuse to spend the afternoon soaking up the sun and podding peas.

The down side about this salad is that even if you pod a big bag of peas and broad beans it doesn’t make enough to feed a big bunch of bbq folks, I bulked mine up after with quinoa which was really delicious, you could also use pretty bow pasta or if you want to keep it green add sugar snap peas too.
The flavour is very fresh and clean with a good crunch to it so perfect as a summer salad. I have given very rough amounts because you can do it to whatever ratio you like and how much time you have.

serves 5 as a side salad

2 handfuls of french thin beans, tails cut off and sliced in half
a plastic bag full of fresh broad beans in their pods
half a plastic bag full of petits pois in pods
3 thin spring onions, cleaned and whole thing sliced thinly
1 small bunch of radishes, sliced into very thin rounds
chives, small bunch sliced about 2cm long
1 lemon zested and juiced
I bulb of garlic
1 cup olive oil
crunchy sea salt and pepper

First off make the garlic oil, peel all the cloves and place in a pan with olive oil, heat gently until the garlic starts to sizzle a tiny bit around the edges, keep this going for about 10 mins, you don’t want the garlic to brown at all so watch it carefully and make sure the the heat is still low. Then take it off the heat and leave to infuse for at least 45 mins. Once cool you can keep it in a sealed container with the garlic still in it for about a week, it would also be delicious with chilli or lemon zest so you can chuck that in too if you fancy, if doing lemon oil make sure there is no white pith at all on the skin or the oil will taste bitter.

Then get podding, it’s best to do it with a friend or find a small person who can be persuaded that it’s really fun. Take the broad beans out of their pods and throw away the pods keeping just the beans, after that do the same with the peas and put them in a separate bowl.

Get a large pan of salted water on to boil and get a big bowl filled with cold water and ice to re fresh your beans when they are done, this stops them from carrying on cooking and helps them keep their bright green colour.

Once the water is boiling, cook the broad beans for 2 mins, if they vary in size put the big ones in first and wait about half a minute and then put the smaller ones in to prevent them over cooking. Using a slotted spoon put the beans into the ice water and leave to cool.

Next cook the french beans, for 2 mins, check them after a minute and a half because you want them crunchy. While they are boiling take your broad beans out of the ice water and into a bowl because you are then going to refresh the french beans, add more ice if it has melted. Then cook the petit pois, these only take about 1 minute, try one to check and then into the ice water with the french beans. Once cooled, drain and dry off with a tea towel.

Unfortunately with broad beans you have to double pod them so put the kettle on and sit somewhere comfy to take the skins off.

Put them in a big bowl with all the other ingredients, squeeze half the lemon juice over, drizzle on some garlic oil, season well and you should have a beautiful green crunchy salad which tastes like summer!

For a serving idea, it would be delicious with new potatoes, parsley, olive oil and some fresh fish!

Asian rice noodle salad with roasted peanuts Asian rice noodle salad

Mmmm, nothing beats a super fresh crunchy asian salad. Perfect in the summer for lunch or dinner or as a starter before a thai curry!

Serves 6

Asian dressing
4 limes juiced
20g palm sugar
1 red chilli finely diced
2cm piece ginger peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 handfuls peanuts roughly chopped
half a bag bean sprouts
4 spring onions shredded
2 carrots grated
1/4 red cabbage sliced very thinly
2 red pepper thinly sliced
handful mint leaves shredded
big handful coriander chopped
400g rice noodles
For the dressing just mix all the ingredients together and let it sit for about 30 mins to let the flavours develop.
Cook the noodles following the packet instructions and then run them under cold water to cool them down.
Roast the peanuts in the oven at about 180˚ for 10-15 mins until nice and golden, then leave to cool.
Mix all the veg and noodles together with the dressing then chop some coriander and mint through, taste for seasoning and then sprinkle the peanuts on top with some extra coriander.

Stuffed peppers with giant cous cous, basil oil and roasted vegetables Roasted stuffed red peppers with cous cous

Peppers are such a great vessel for stuffing with delicious things. I was introduced to giant cous cous over the summer, which isn’t really like cous cous at all, it’s more of a mini round pasta. Mix with herb oils, vegetables and cheese and you have a pretty yummy side dish to go along with your dinner!

Serves 4

2 red peppers halved long ways, de seeded
giant cous cous
1 aubergine, diced into small squares
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced into small squares
small bunch basil and parsley
1 clove garlic, crushed
olive oil
feta/goats cheese or mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Roast the aubergine and sweet potato cubes until golden and cooked through with some olive oil on a baking tray.  Cook the peppers too for about 15 minutes until soft but still holding their shape. Boil the giant cous cous to the pack instructions and then rinse in a sieve with cold water.

For the herb oil, pick the leaves off the basil and parsley and pour over about 4 tbsps olive oil and add the garlic and then using a wizzer whizz away, I can’t think of the word but a wizzer is one of those plungy processors!

Anyway whizz until nice and smooth and then mix it through the cous cous with plenty of seasoning, the roasted veg, cubes of whatever cheese you decide on and stuff into the peppers.

Bake the peppers in the oven for about 15 minutes until the filling is nice and hot and the cheese has melted.

Orzo salad with roasted pepper, parsley, orange and pine nuts Orzo salad

I made this salad lots over the summer, it is so fresh and colourful, I use that cute mini flower pasta most of the time because orzo can sometimes be hard to find. Great served along side a bbq.

serves 4

250g Orzo
2 red peppers
handful pine nuts toasted
2 oranges, segmented
small bunch parsley roughly chopped
olive oil
1 lemon zested
salt and pepper

Start by cutting your peppers in half and placing them on a foil covered tray, skin side up. Put them under the grill and cook until the skin becomes black all over. Transfer the peppers into a bowl and cover with cling film, this lets them steam a bit as they cool down.

Put a pan of water on and when it’s boiled cook the orzo to packet instructions, then drain and run cold water over it until it’s totally cool, leave in the sieve until all the water has gone, then transfer into a mixing bowl.

While the peppers are cooling segment your oranges and put in the bowl with the orzo, parsley and pine nuts.

Once the peppers are cool peel the skin off them and dice into small cubes. Mix everything together in the bowl with some really good olive oil, crunchy sea salt and pepper and the lemon zest and serve at room temperature.

Matchstick Beetroot and Apple Salad // travel photography-europe // copyright

This is one of my favourite salads ever! It is so crunchy and fresh with lots of flavours and yumminess, perfect in the sun!

Serves 4 as a side

100g Feta cheese
Handful of fresh mint, flat leaf parsley, basil leaves torn into small bits
300g beetroot, raw
1 crunchy apple
1 fresh chili finely sliced or a bit of dried crumbled
8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 juiced lemon

Crumble the feta into a salad bowl, finely slice the beets and apple into matchsticks, add all the ingredients into the bowl and just before serving toss all together with the lemon, olive oil, herbs and some pepper, you shouldn’t need much salt as the feta is quite salty already, serve as soon as you can.