Vegetables, rice and pasta

Aubergines in tomato sauce

2 aubergines, cut into 1.5cm/½in thick strips

100ml/4fl oz olive oil

1 tbsp tomato purée

3 tomatoes, chopped

1 garlic, crushed

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Meanwhile, heat 50ml/2oz of the olive oil in a frying pan and gently fry the aubergine pieces for five minutes.

Stir in the tomato purée, tomatoes, garlic and cumin and cook on a low heat for 25 minutes.

Add the rest of the olive oil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for a further five minutes, stir in the parsley.

Lovely with veggie parcels, pasta etc

I adapted a recipe from BBC Food recipes, their version had a lot of chilli in it and, though we like spice we don’t always want the heat of the chilli. This is mildly spiced and we enjoyed it.

Spicy potato cakes

7 fl oz veg oil

1 lb raw potatoes, peeled and cut into smallish cubes

1 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp garam masala

2 garlic cloves crushed to a paste

salt and freshly ground pepper

7 oz boiled potatoes  mashed

plain flour, white or wholemeal

Pre heat the oven to 180C/350F. Toast the coriander and cumin seeds in a dry pan then grind to a powder.

Heat half the oil in a roasting pan, when it is smoking add the cubed potatoes and coat them in the oil. Add the spices and garlic and mix well the season with the salt and pepper.

Roast the potatoes for 20-25 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper, allow to cool for a while as you are going to use your hands in the next stage.

Mix the cooled potato cubes with the mash and form into small balls then flatten slightly. Dip into the flour to coat all over.

At this stage you can set the cakes aside to be cooked when you are ready as they are best served hot with a variety of dips.

Heat the remaining oil in a pan and add the cakes 3 or 4 at a time, cook on each side till golden brown and heated through. Drain on kitchen paper then serve.

Suggestions for dips – sour cream and chive, mango chutney, yoghurt with chives and cucumber, yoghurt with coriander (cilantro) etc

Onion flan


This takes a while but is so delish hot or cold!
One sheet of ready rolled shortcrust pastry
8 medium onions
3 oz butter
2 fl oz white wine vinegar
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tsp rock salt
2 oz grated parmesan

Heat the oven to 200C, gas 6. Take a sheet of ready rolled short pastry and put it on an 8" flan case, loose bottomed is best. Don't worry about the edges we will deal with them later. Line with parchment or baking paper and fill with ceramic beads or rice. Cook for 25-30 minutes, till golden. Remove the paper and the beans and bake for a further 5 minutes. Take it out of the oven and trim the edges of the pastry.

While the pastry is cooking peel and chop the onions finely, a food processor is fine. The finer the onions the better. In a large saucepan melt the butter over a medium heat then add the onions. They need to cook slowly with a lid on, stir them occasionally. They must be completely soft before moving on to the next stage. This is the slow bit - it takes a bout 2 hours to get them just right, remember the heat must be low. OK so the onions are now really soft so you can add the vinegar, sugar and salt. Let the vinegar evaporate off, this again takes a while but you must let it happen. Once it as gone the mix will start to caramelise, just stir regularly and bring in the slightly brown bits. This stage will take about 25 minutes so be patient and don't leave it or it will burn.

Put the onion mix in the pastry case and smooth over, sprinkle with the cheese and return to the oven for 10 minutes.

Enjoy!Lovely to serve as an accompaniment to a roast.

Cheesy potato muffins

1 oz/25g butter
1lb 2 oz/500g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
4 spring onions
2 oz/50g mature cheddar finely grated
3 tbsp milk
2 eggs separated
grated nutmeg (optional but nicer)

Heat the oven to gas 7/fan 200C/220C. Grease a 6 hole muffin tin, do the bits in between as well so the buns don't stick if they rise out of the tin.

Put the potatoes in a pan, cover with water with a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. They need to be soft but not breaking up. Drain and return to the pan and mash well. Mix in the finely chopped onions and the cheese. Melt the butter and milk together and add to the potatoes and mix well. Season with salt pepper and nutmeg if used. Beat in with the egg yolks.

Whisk the whites to form soft peaks then gently fold into the potato mixture.

Spoon the mixture into the muffin tin and bake for 15-20 minutes until well risen and golden brown.


No-one would eat cabbage when I first came into the family so I decided to make it the way my Mother made it. It is so easy and everyone eats it now - no more overcooked sloppy cabbage!

You will need a cabbage finely shredded
an onion finely chopped
butter (oil doesn't work)

Melt the butter in a thick based pan, add the onion and cook gently till it is softened. Add the cabbage and stir well, it may need some more butter at this stage as the onion absorbs quite a bit. Pop a lid on the pan and turn it down low. Let it cook gently for 15 minutes, give it an occasional stir.

Ready to serveDH requested that this be included.

Bubble and squeak

Mashed potato
Left over cabbage or Brussels sprouts or a mix of the 2
1 egg
freshly ground pepper

If you use the sprouts they need chopping up first.

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

a large frying pan with a little oil in the base. When it is hot add
the mix and spread evenly over the base. Allow to cook on high for 4-5
minutes. Now comes the fun, you need to turn it over. Don't worry if it
looks messy, there should be burnt (sorrycaramelised!) bits, they really make the flavour so much better. Once it is turned over cook again for 4-5 minutes. It is now ready to serve. It is lovely with cold meat.


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