Ginger Cake with Lemon and Pistachio Icing

For the cake

1 cup golden syrup
¾ cup caster sugar
¾ cup sunflower oil (I used olive oil)
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4tsp ground cloves
dash white pepper
2 tsp bicarb soda
2 large eggs
100g finely grated fresh ginger

Line base and sides of a 22cm springform tin with double layer of baking paper.

Combine golden syrup, sugar and oil in a bowl and mix well. Sift flour, cinnamon and cloves and set aside.

Bring 1 cup of water to boil in a saucepan then add bicarb soda, then stir gently into sugar mixture and stir to combine then stir in ginger. Gradually whisk in flour/spice mixture then add eggs one at a time mixing well.

Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake at 1700 C for 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool in tin for 10 mins. Before turning out.

For icing – below is the actual recipe. I used a container of sour cream instead of butter and cream and just whipped it then added much less sugar to taste as well as lemon zest and juice

125g butter, diced and at room temp.
2 cups icing sugar
1 tblsp lemon zest
1 tblsp lemon juice
1 tsp cream (I think this maybe wrong you would need more)
¼ cup chopped pistachios

Whip butter and gradually add sugar beating continuously on low speed. Add lemon zest and juice beating till smooth. Add cream till it is in a spreading consistency. Ice cake and sprinkle with pistachios. Slice with a hot knife.

​Sweet potato shakshuka with sriracha butter and pickled onions

From Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad's "Test Kitchen"


1kg sweet potatoes, skin on and scrubbed clean
1 small red onion (100g), thinly sliced into rounds
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
150g mature cheddar, roughly grated
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds, roughly crushed with a pestle and mortar
8 medium eggs
25g unsalted butter
¾ tbsp sriracha
2 tbsp picked fresh coriander leaves, with some stem attached
salt and black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C fan-forced (220C conventional). Poke the sweet potatoes all over with a fork (about 8-10 times) and place them on a medium, parchment-lined baking tray. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until cooked through and softened. Set aside to cool and turn the oven temperature down to 180C fan-forced (200C conventional).
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together the onion, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and a pinch of salt and set aside to pickle.
  3. Remove the cooked potato skins and tear them into roughly 4cm pieces. Transfer the potato flesh to a large bowl and set aside. Place the skins back on the baking tray and toss with 1 tablespoon of oil, ¼ teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. Bake for 8 minutes, or until nicely coloured and starting to crisp up. Set aside to cool and crisp up further.
  4. Use a fork to mash the potato flesh until smooth, then add the cheddar, garlic, cumin, another tablespoon of oil, the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of salt and a generous grind of pepper, and mix to combine.
  5. Put the remaining tablespoon of oil into a large frying pan, for which you have a lid, and swirl around to coat the bottom. Spoon the mashed potato mixture into the pan, using your spoon to distribute it evenly. Place on a medium-high heat and leave to cook for about 7 minutes, for the bottom to start to colour. Turn the heat down to medium and use a spoon to make eight wells in the potato mixture, breaking an egg into each. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, cover with the lid and cook for 4-5 minutes, rotating the pan, or until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny.
  6. While the eggs are cooking, put the butter and sriracha into a small saucepan on a medium heat and cook until the butter has melted, whisking constantly to emulsify. Remove the mixture from the heat before it starts to bubble – you don't want it to split.
  7. When ready, spoon the sriracha butter all over the eggs, then top with a good handful of the crispy potato skins, half the pickled onion and all the picked coriander leaves. Serve right away, with the rest of the potato skins and pickled onion to eat alongside.

Hellenic Republic’s Cypriot Grain Salad

From SMH Good Food - Chef Recipe by George Calombaris
A delicious nutty, grainy salad. Freekah is a nutritious grain made from roasted green wheat grains. You can substitute whole wheat, cracked wheat or quinoa. Serves 8.


1 bunch coriander, chopped

1/2 bunch parsley, chopped

1/2 red onion, finely diced

1 cup freekah (or cracked wheat or quinoa)

1/2 cup Puy lentils

2 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds

2 tbsp toasted slivered almonds

2 tbsp toasted pine nuts

2 tbsp baby capers

1/2 cup currants

Juice of 1 lemon

3 tbsp extra virgin olive

Sea salt to taste

1 pomegranate, deseeded, to serve

1 cup thick Greek yoghurt

1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground

1 tbsp honey


Blanch freekah and lentils separately in boiling water until both just cooked.

Drain well and allow to cool.

Mix the yoghurt, ground cumin and honey until combined.

In a medium bowl, place the coriander, parsley, red onion, freekah, lentils, toasted nuts, capers, currants, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix well and season to taste.

Place into serving dish and top with cumin yoghurt and pomegranate seeds.

Smoked trout, eggs & keta with sour cream dressing

From Diana Henry's “SIMPLE effortless food, big flavours”  


For the salad
500g baby potatoes
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
100ml fruity extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
6 eggs
375g smoked fish (available Berry Produce Market)
60g baby leaves
12 sprigs dill, torn
10g chives, halved
50g jar keta (salmon roe)

For the dressing
120g sour cream
1 tbsp double cream
2 tsp Dijon mustard
juice 1/2 small lemon


Boil or steam the potatoes until just tender. Slice them and gently mix in a bowl with the vinegar, 2/3 of the olive oil and some seasoning. Leave to cool. Make the dressing by mixing everything together. Cook the eggs, run cold water over them to cool, then peel and halve.

Flake the smoked fish and gently combine in a bowl with the rest of the olive oil, seasoning, the potatoes (with their dressing), leaves and herbs. Arrange on a platter and add the eggs. Spoon the creamy dressing over the top and dot with the keta. Serve immediately.

This is a very attractive dish which serves 6 as a main course.

Greens & Curd Pancakes

Recipe supplied by Rayner.


Filling for crêpes

250g of freshly picked Warrigal Greens – use leaves only
1 onion (or 2 leeks or spring onions)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
200g Fresh Curd Cheese
3 tablespoons of chopped parsley
1 tablespoon of toasted pine nuts (optional )
Zest of one lemon
Salt to taste.


Rinse the Warrigal Greens in water and then blanch by immersing in boiling water for 2 minutes.
Drain and squeeze as much water out as possible. Use a colander and potato masher.
Place on a chopping board and roughly chop.

Thinly cut onion and cook until soft.
Mix all the ingredients. If too dry add some yoghurt.

Coconut & Lemongrass Ice-cream

The Ice-cream Book p. 142  Joanna Farrow and Sara Lewis


Serves 5 to 6

4 lemon grass stalks
400ml coconut milk
3 egg yolks
90g (½ cup) caster sugar
2 tsp cornflour
150ml whipping cream (I used thickened cream, JB)
finely grated rind of 1 lime


Cut the lemon grass stalks in half lengthways and bruise the stalks with a rolling pin. Put them in a heavy-based saucepan, add the coconut milk and bring to just below boiling point. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes, remove the lemon grass.

Whisk the egg yolks in bowl with the sugar and cornflour until smooth. Gradually add the coconut milk, whisking constantly.
Remove the saucepan and heat gently, stirring until the custard thickens. (I use a thermometer and heat to 85°C, JB).

Remove from the heat and strain into aclean bowl. Cover with greaseproof paper and chill.

Lightly whip the cream, add the grated lime rind and fold into the custard. Pour into a container and freeze for 3-4 hours, beating twice as it thickens.

Lightly whip the cream, add the grated lime rind and fold into the custard.
Churn until thick.

Lemon & Basil Ice-cream

Diana Henry   crazy water pickled lemons Page 52


Serves 4

300ml milk
30 large basil leaves, roughly torn
rind of 1 lemon, cut in strips, white pith removed
150g caster sugar
4 egg yolks
juice of 1 lemon
150ml whipping cream (I used thickened cream, JB)


Heat the milk just to boiling point, then add the basil leaves and lemon rind. Let this infuse for about an hour.

Beat the sugar and yolks together until pale and fluffy. Strain the milk, pressing the basil and lemon to extract any last bits of flavour. Stir this into the egg and sugar mixture. Make a makeshift bain -marie by putting your bowl into the top of a saucepan of simmering water. Stir the liquid in the bowl constantly until it thickens slightly. If you scrape your finger through the mixture on the back of a spoon and it leaves a path, your custard is ready. (I use a thermometer and heat to 85°C, JB). Immediately pour it into another bowl and leave to cool.

Add the lemon juice to the custard and beat the cream lightly. Add the cream to the custard and freeze in an ice-cream maker, or still-freeze, beating the ice-cream three times in a food processor or with an electric beater, during the freezing process.

Tortilla – Spanish Omelette

Delia Smith recipe


Serves 2 - 3

5 large eggs
1 medium onion, about 110g
275g small Desiree Potatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly milled black pepper


The size of the frying pan is important: a base measurement of 20cm diameter is about right for 2 - 3 people. If using a larger pan for more people, it should not be too heavy because you need to turn the omelette out using both hands. An enormous asset here is a flat saucepan lid or large plate that fits the pan.

Peel and halve the onion stem to root. Thinly slice each half and separate the layers into half-moon shapes.
Peel the potatoes and slice into thin rounds. Dry the slices in a clean tea towel.

Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in the frying pan and when it is smoking hot add the potatoes and onions. Toss them in the oil to get a good coating, and then turn the heat right down to its lowest setting. Add a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Put a lid on the pan and let the onions and potatoes cook gently for 20 minutes, or until tender. Turn them over halfway through and shake the pan from time to time, as they are not supposed to brown very much but just gently stew in the oil.

Break the eggs into a large bowl and whisk lightly with a fork (don't overbeat). Add some seasoning. When the onions and potatoes are cooked, transfer them to the eggs in the bowl.

Put the frying pan back on the heat, add the rest of the oil and turn the heat back up to medium.

Mix the potato and eggs thoroughly before pouring them into the frying pan and turning the heat down to its lowest setting immediately. Cook slowly, uncovered for 20 - 25 minutes.
When there is virtually no liquid egg left on the surface of the omelette, turn the omelette. Place a flat lid or plate over the pan, invert it, turning the pan over, and put it back on the heat. Use a palette knife to gently ease the omelette back into the pan. Give it about 2 minutes more, then turn the heat off and leave for 5 minutes to settle. Serve hot or cold, cut in wedges or in small cubes as tapas.


From SAHA p.60  Greg and Lucy Malouf


Serves 6 - 8 as part of a Mezze

3 large red capsicums (bell peppers)
1 red bullet chilli, seeded, scraped and chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed with 1 teaspoon salt
125g shelled walnuts, roughly chopped
⅓ cup lightly toasted fresh bread crumbs
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
juice of ½ - 1 lemon
1 tbsp hot water
½ tsp sugar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve


Roast the peppers directly on the naked flame of your stove burners. Set the flame to low and cook the peppers for around 10 - 15 minutes, constantly turning them so that the skin chars evenly all over and they start to flatten and collapse. Remove the peppers from the flame, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. When they are cool enough to handle, carefully peel away the blackened skin and remove the stalks, seeds and white membranes. Don't rinse the peppers as this will wash away the desired smoky flavour.

Roughly chop the peppers and put them in a food processor with all the other ingredients, except for the oil. Process to a rough paste, scraping down the sides to ensure that all the ingredients are mixed together well. With the motor running, pour in the oil in a slow stream and blend until thick and creamy. Allow to cool, then refrigerate until needed. Before serving, check seasoning and drizzle with a little olive oil.

Persian Herb Frittata – Kuku Sabzi

From Persiana p. 27  Sabrina Ghayour


Serves 8 as Part of a Mezze

200g flat leaf parsley
200g coriander
40g dill
60g chives
2 - 3 tbsp olive oil
2 bunches spring onions, thinly sliced
2 tsp turmeric
8 medium free-range eggs
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
3 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sea salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper
3 - 4 heaped tbsp dried barberries
100g walnut pieces, chopped

You can omit the walnuts and barberries but they add texture and a burst of berry sharpness in every mouthful. SG.


Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place a large cooking pot to warm over a medium heat.
Finely chop all the herbs (if you are using a food processor, you might need to do this in 2 batches). Pour the olive oil into the warm pan and fry the herbs and spring onions for a few minutes, then add the turmeric. Cook for a further 5 minutes, then place the herbs on a flat plate and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, mix the eggs, flour, yoghurt, baking powder together with sea salt flakes and black pepper to taste until everything is well combined and smooth. Once the herb mixture has cooled slightly so that it is no longer piping hot, slowly add a couple of spoonfuls at a time to the egg mixture and stir well until all the herb mixture is combined. Add in the barberries and walnuts (If using) and mix well once again.

Select a large ovenproof or Pyrex dish, and line the dish with non-stick baking paper (this will enable you to remove the finished dish with greater ease). Pour in the egg-and-herb mixture, then bake for 35 -40 minutes. To check if the frittata is cooked, insert a knife into the centre. If it comes out clear of raw egg, the dish is done. If not, return it to the oven for a few minutes.

Once cooked, allow to cool, then cut into squares to serve.

Afghani-style Smoked Aubergine Dip

From Sirocco p. 55  Sabrina Ghayour


Serves 6
4 large aubergines
1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted and finely ground
1 tsp cayenne pepper (or less to taste)
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
finely grated zest of 1 lemon and juice of ½
200g thick Greek yoghurt
coriander leaves finely chopped
sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper


Blister the aubergines, either by placing directly on the flame of a gas hob or on a barbecue. Blacken and char the skins all around the aubergines by turning them over from time to time, until the skins are burnt and you can feel the flesh within them has collapsed. Once done, place the aubergines on a heatproof surface or tray and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Cut the aubergines to open them. Using a large metal spoon, scoop out the pulp, drain off all the excess liquid from it and place it in a bowl (discard the skins). Add the ground cumin, cayenne pepper and garlic and mix well with a fork to break down the pulp. Then add the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, yoghurt, fresh coriander and a generous quantity of salt and pepper and mix well. Once combined, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary, then drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Cumin-Coriander Roast Carrots with Pomegranates & Avocado

From Simple p. 31  Diana Henry


Serves 6 as a starter, or 8 as a side

30 young carrots, ideally slim
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
1½ tsp coriander seeds, crushed
1 tsp chilli flakes
salt and pepper
3 ripe avocados
25g walnut pieces, toasted
100g watercress, coarse stalks removed
leaves from a small bunch of coriander
250g Greek yoghurt
1 garlic clove crushed
seeds from ½ pomegranate

3 tsp pomegranate molasses
1 garlic clove, crushed
¼ tsp Dijon mustard
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp honey
squeeze lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 200°C. Trim the carrots at the tops but leave a bit of green tuft on. If you can't find slim carrots, halve of quarter large ones. Don't peel them, just wash well. Put in a roasting tine in which they can lie in a single layer. Add the olive oil, spices and seasoning. Turn the carrots over in this to ensure they are well coated. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes; they will become tender and shrink slightly. Be careful not to overcook them.

To make the dressing, just whisk everything with a fork. Halve and pit the avocados, cut into slices, then carefully peel each slice. Put everything except the yoghurt, garlic and pomegranates into a broad shallow bowl (or on to a platter) and gently toss in three quarters of the dressing. Mix the yoghurt with the garlic and dot spoonfuls of this among the vegetables, then scatter with the pomegranate seeds. Spoon on the rest of the dressing and serve.

Substitute rocket for watercress and broad beans for avocado.
Omit walnuts.

Butternut Squash & Tahini Spread

From Jerusalem  p. 69  Yotam Ottolenghi


Serves 6 - 8
1.2kg butternut, peeled and cut into chunks (970g once peeled)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
70g light tahini paste
120g Greek yoghurt
2 small garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp mixed black and white sesame seeds (or just white, if you don't have black)
1½ tsp date syrup
2 tbsp chopped coriander (optional)


Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Spread the squash out in a medium roasting tin. Pour over the olive oil and sprinkle on the cinnamon and ½ teaspoon of salt. Mix together well, cover the tray with foil and roast in the oven for 70 minutes, stirring once during the cooking. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Transfer the squash to a food processor, along with the tahini, yoghurt and garlic. Roughly pulse so that everything is combined into a coarse paste, without the spread becoming smooth; you can also do this by hand using a fork or potato masher.

Spread the butternut in a wavy pattern over a flat plate and sprinkle with the sesame seeds, drizzle over the syrup and finish with the chopped coriander, if using.

Date syrup can be substituted with golden syrup, maple syrup or even treacle.

Bulgarian Griddled Courgettes & Aubergines with Tarator

From A change of appetite p. 106, Diana Henry


Serves 8 as a starter

1 slice of coarse country bread
2 garlic cloves
100g walnuts, plus more to serve
100ml extra virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
juice of ½ lemon
salt and pepper
150g Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp chopped dill, plus more to serve

1.2kg courgettes
1.2kg aubergines
olive oil


Tear the bread into pieces and put it into a food processor with the garlic and walnuts. Puree while adding the oil and lemon juice. Add the seasoning and the yoghurt with 50ml of water and puree again. Stir in the dill, taste and adjust the seasoning.

Trim each end from the courgettes and slice lengthwise about 3mm thick. Remove the stalks form the aubergines and cut them widthways into slices of the same thickness as the courgettes.

Brush all the sliced vegetables in both sides with olive oil.
Heat a griddle pan and cook the slices of courgettes on both sides until golden and quite soft. You will need to do this in batches. Do the same with the aubergines, making sure they get a good colour on each side, then reduce the heat until the slices are soft and cooked through. Season the vegetables as you cook them.

Put the vegetables on to a serving plate, drizzling with a little extra virgin olive oil. Spoon some of the tarator over (offer the rest in a bowl) and scatter with more walnuts and dill

Sweet Semolina Cake – Basbousa

From “Food Safari" by Maeve O'Meara


2½ cups coarse semolina
1 cup dessicated coconut
1 cup sugar
½ cup self-raising flour
200g thick yoghurt
200g unsalted butter – melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
25-30 blanched almonds
Milk if needed

1½ cups sugar
250 ml water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon rose water


Preheat oven to 190 deg. C
Mix semolina, coconut, sugar, flour, yoghurt, melted butter and vanilla in a bowl. If the mixture seems too stiff, add a little milk, but it should be fairly stiff.

Spread the the dough with your hands into a buttered 30 x 25 x 5cm baking tray. Cut it into diamond shapes pressing hard. Place an almond into the centre of each diamond. Bake for 35-40 mins until golden brown.

Meanwhile make the syrup. Place the sugar and water into a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 5 mins without stirring. Stir in the lemon juice and rose water, remove from heat and leave to cool. Pour the syrup over the cake while the cake is still hot.

Cool to serve. Makes 25-30 biscuits.

Lamb Meatballs with Apricot Sauce

Recipe from "Apricots on the Nile" by Colette Rossant


450g minced lamb
2 small leeks finely chopped
I tablespoon raw rice
2 eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped coriander
Salt and pepper
350 ml chicken stock
Small amount of Flour and 25g butter for frying

175 dried apricots soaked for 2 hours
10 cloves of garlic chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon olive oil
750ml chicken stock
Salt and pepper


Mix lamb with leeks, rice, eggs, olive oil, coriander, salt and pepper. Form balls the size of walnuts.
Place balls in saucepan, add chicken stock and simmer for 20 mins, adding water if necessary.
Drain and cool.
While meatballs are cooking, drain apricots, place in a blender with Garlic, coriander and olive oil and puree. Add chicken stock gradually to puree while blender is on a low speed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a saucepan and simmer for 5 mins stirring with a wooden spoon.

Roll meatballs in flour, melt butter in heavy pan and sauté the meatballs for 5-6 mins until nicely browned. Pour the sauce on the meatballs and serve.

NOTE: We’ve found the apricot sauce can sometimes be a bit too tart, so we’ve sometimes added a little honey to balance out the flavour.