Beetroot and Mint Salad with Pomegranate Dressing

Gavin WrenRecipes, Salads, Side dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Today's recipe is a simple beetroot and mint salad with a pomegranate dressing, made with just a few ingredients and prepared in a matter of minutes. This delightful vegan and vegetarian dish makes a perfect side dish for a quick lunch or salad staple for the summer BBQ season.
Today’s recipe is a simple beetroot and mint salad with a pomegranate dressing, made with few ingredients and whipped up in a matter of minutes. This delightful vegan and vegetarian dish makes a perfect side dish for a quick lunch or salad staple for the summer BBQ season. My spiritual culinary hero, Edouard de Pomiane sums up beetroot beautifully in his book ‘cooking in 10 minutes’. “Beetroot can be a very pleasant vegetable. Its [sic] possibilities are exploited far too little.” - Edouard de Pomiane He continues to describe several beetroot recipes which redefine the word simplicity, the most straightforward recipe being laid out using thirteen words, including the title. That, however, is not the shortest in the book.
Hero.
Edouard de Pomiane published that book in 1930, becoming hero to many of today’s most lauded cookery writers. The inside cover sparkles with comments from pillars of culinary knowledge Elizabeth David “

Roasted Broccoli with Herb Yoghurt

Gavin WrenRecipes, Side dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Roasted broccoli is a revelation! It’s a great way to cook this green, adding a welcome texture which can easily be ruined by boiling. Coated with garlic and olive oil, along with slightly crisped and browned edges, it brings a completely different flavour to this Brassica. Throwing in some chickpeas and a herb yoghurt rounds it off beautifully, making a truly engrossing vegetarian side dish to bring to the table.
A Big Day.
Today is spectacular milestone in the history of my blog. It’s the day that I publish my two hundredth blog post. I can feel a huge surge of pride and satisfaction having created such a significant body of work. This is a very special moment for me, I feel a sense of joy, in recognition of the commitment required to reach two hundred blog posts. I love a few stats, so here’s what 200 posts consists of, since 31st July 2014... 33 months, 1003 days, 193408 words, 1325 images, approximately 1280 hours writing, cooking, photographing and editing ...not to mention untold hours researching, using social media or swearing at Wordpress and my theme.
What have I learned?
A lot, I’ve learned a phenomenal amount whilst creating this blog. I have gained a heightened knowledge, not only about writing, photography, cooking and creating a

Grilled Halloumi with Pomegranate Salsa

Gavin WrenRecipes, Side dishes, Small Bites, Starters, Vegetarian

Soft, velveteen grilled halloumi cheese with pomegranate salsa makes a fantastic starter, the crunchy, sweet pomegranate seeds mix with bright, fresh mint, a dash of lime juice for a bright fresh salsa, slathered atop some hot grilled halloumi cheese deliver a truly joyful vegetarian dish!
My neighbours gifted me a pair of enormous pomegranates amongst a basket of beautiful fruit and vegetables a couple of weeks ago, resulting in some delicious pomegranate recipes on this blog. The crisp, ruby red seeds make a fantastic addition to so many recipes and today's halloumi with pomegranate salsa is no exception, even making it onto the menu for mother's day this weekend (shhh, don't tell mum!).
Puppyish Joy.
Bernard is also 2 years old this weekend, so he's not really a puppy any more, in fact, he hasn't been an official puppy quite some time, but I don't let that stop me from calling him 'puppy' at every opportunity. He still behaves like a puppy, bouncing around the park with the air of un-coordination in his leaps that puppies deliver in spades. On his morning walk he innocently bounds up to every other dog within

Jewelled Chickpea and Red Pepper Salad

Gavin WrenRecipes, Salads, Side dishes, Vegan, Vegetables

Sweet, crunchy pomegranate seeds sit alongside the sweet, sharp pomegranate molasses in this light chickpea and red pepper salad which makes a great side dish, accompaniment to bread & cheese or alongside a bigger meal or picnic. It really is simple, with no cooking and just a few ingredients, most of which can be kept in the cupboard to whip together at the last second. It's vegetarian and vegan as well, so perfect or everyone!
Today’s recipe is a chickpea and red pepper salad jewelled with delicious, crisp pomegranate seeds and dressed with a pomegranate molasses dressing infused with za’atar, which I knocked up in a hurry whilst trying to use up some leftovers. Yes, I genuinely had everything except the rocket knocking around in the cupboard. I keep an excessively large jar of roasted red peppers in the fridge and I was gifted a couple of enormous pomegranates along with a whole basket of other fruit and veg by my neighbours, after I cut down their trees for them (I had asked first). The Best Olive Oil in the UK? The basis of this dish goes back to an unassuming side street in Clerkenwell, a short stroll down the road from City University, the seat of learning where I study Food Policy. There exists an electrical store, a purveyor of junction boxes, consumer units…

Spelt Pissaladière with Puff Pastry

Gavin WrenBaking, Recipes, Side dishes, Spelt & ancient grains

A beautiful French tart made with rich, sweet caramelised onions and topped with anchovies and kalamata olives, it's a welcome addition to any meal, picnic or sharing platter. The powerful flavours combine to make a taste sensation like only the French know how, so it's time for you to make room in your oven to bake a spelt Pissaladière!
Twitter brought this blog post to me. Rachel Cousineau at @lovelearncook recently tweeted that she’d just made a Pissaladière and it smelled good. Immediately, my heart was full of love and passion for this beautiful, traditional French tart (the Pissaladière, not Rachel). I needed some. Now. Before I had time to question my motives on that Tuesday afternoon, I was rifling through the cupboard, discovering all the ingredients were present for me to make a beautiful spelt Pissaladière with puff pastry, to consume that day. Sharing it with you, my reader, would be the only right-thinking course of action, so here it is, my beautiful Pissaladière. Caramelised onions. Those words are enough to send my taste buds into a dizzying spiral of salivary excitement. For many years, my go-to Pizza Express choice was a Romana Padana, a delightfully thin pizza topped with goat’s cheese, caramelised onions and mozzarella. It’s just…

Melanzane in Saor (aubergine)

Gavin WrenRecipes, Side dishes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Melanzane in Saor is an amazing vegetarian and vegan aubergine (eggplant) dish in a sweet and slightly sour sauce, which is unique to Venice and follows a proud history of Italian food using love, respect and time to get the best of the ingredients. It's a serious make ahead dish, needing 2 days to mature but worth the wait for those fantastic flavours and perfect for buffet spreads or picnics.
Today I’m recounting an amazing Italian dish called ‘melanzane in saor’, or aubergine ‘in Saor’. It’s a very simple yet beautifully balanced Italian dish that has sweet and sour flavours that work just beautifully together. The age is the important thing, you need to make this dish well in advance to let the flavours develop, it’s perfect to make a day ahead for a buffet spread or to take along to a picnic, but don’t hurry it. If there’s one thing that Italian cooking has ever taught me, it’s that love and respect are the ingredients that make food beauteous. Visiting Venice. Just over a year ago I visited Venice, one of the most confoundingly beautiful places I’ve ever been to. I expected hustle, bustle, noise and expensive food, which was entirely correct, however I hadn’t prepared myself for the heart and soul of Venice, which is the important part.…