Traditional Italian pesto

Gavin WrenBasic Ingredients, Recipes, Spreads & Dips, Vegetarian

Traditional Italian pesto

There are many, many recipes on the internet going under traditional names which can only be described as bastardised. This comes in various guises, such as dairy, gluten, sugar free examples that I confess to having created on occasion, where you could argue the essence of a dish is compromised by the very removal of that element. Alternatively, people take a traditional recipe and affect some kind of alternative, contemporary slant on it, whilst retaining the hallowed name to describe it. [pullquote cite="Douglas Adams" type="right"] “For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck …come and read more!

How to make great labneh and avoid the mistakes I made!

Gavin WrenBasic Ingredients, Food Techniques, Recipes, The World of Food

Mango, labneh and pistachio on a plate

Do you get food obsessions as well? Mine are so whimsical that I can rapidly shift between favourites regularly, not hanging around too long before a new gastronomic sensation passes my nose and sucks me in. It’s like fashion, how quickly foods or flavours can become the next big thing, yet before you know it, they’re gone again. Labneh was a ‘thing’ that I’d come across in the past, so you might ask why my interest wasn’t piqued already? I’ll hold my hands up and admit the reason for this was because I had been doing it wrong. The process of making labneh is incredibly easy, you merely take a pot of normal yoghurt and strain it. Simple, non? But how you strain it …come and read more!

How to make preserved lemons

Gavin WrenBasic Ingredients, Food Techniques, Recipes, The World of Food, Vegan, Vegetarian

Jar of preserved lemons

When life throws you lemons There’s a saying “When life throws you lemons, make lemonade”. I find it a peculiar saying, because lemons are pretty desirable objects to me. Although I understand the concept behind this idiom, that we’re supposed to see lemons as sour, sharp and unpleasant representations of life, I just can’t do that. They’re such bright, joyful fruit that it just doesn’t wash. I’m someone who has a bowl in the kitchen which is just for lemons and limes to nestle in, so if someone started throwing me lemons, I’d be out there filling up my bowl and shouting ‘thanks’. The lemon preservation society I keep on discovering these little techniques …come and read more!

Spinach and walnut pesto

Gavin WrenBasic Ingredients, Main Dishes, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Spinach and walnut pesto with wholemeal pasta

Hello folks. Another straightforward recipe for you today, one whose big, powerful flavours bely it’s simplicity. This is something that you can whizz up in the time it takes your pasta to cook and tastes a million times better than anything you might pour from a jar. You just need a blender and your ingredients to hand and you can have this pesto ready to eat in minutes. It also falls into a theme on my blog, something that’s popped up a few times over the most recent recipes. Simplicity. Keeping the ingredients list short and the preparation straightforward can be a winning combination, compared to the easily muddled complication of complex flavours. It allows the ingredients that are in …come and read more!

Homemade yoghurt recipe with cow’s or goat’s milk

Gavin WrenBasic Ingredients, Food Techniques, Recipes, The World of Food, Vegetarian

Homemade yoghurt with cow's or goat's milk

Blogging rituals. Over the last few weeks, I’ve had a bit more time to work on my blog and have discovered that I’m a reclusive blogging creature of routine and ritual. I can’t write unless I’m at my desk, and it’s the morning. Take today as an example. Woke at 6.15am, showered, then started writing on the laptop in the bedroom. I managed to write a depressing rant about the ‘dark side of the blog’. It wasn’t enjoyable to write and doubtfully entertaining to read (and we never will, because I’ve deleted it). I had breakfast, made a coffee, moved to my desk and then, suddenly, a peace and clarity fell upon me. I had found a little space in my world where something positive can …come and read more!

How to make vegetable stock

Gavin WrenBasic Ingredients, Food Techniques, Recipes, The World of Food, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

How to make vegetable stock

Vegetables boiled in water. Yep, that’s all it is, easy peasy. Making your own vegetable stock at home is one of the fundamental kitchen processes that you just have to do now and again. It’s so easy, it doesn’t use up much time and it’s basically impossible to overcook. And if you have left over vegetables, peering over the edge of the compost, it’s a super efficient use of them before they go. Now, although there are some traditional staples used to make vegetable stock, such as carrots and onions, you can actually use whatever you want. Just remember that the vegetables you use will have an effect on the flavour, colour and clarity of your final broth. So beetroot …come and read more!