Spelt Tempura Asparagus with Aioli

Gavin WrenRecipes, Small Bites, Spelt & ancient grains, Starters, Vegetables, Vegetarian

It's time to take advantage of the beautiful British asparagus season, what better way than simple spelt tempura asparagus, served with a delicious garlicky aioli. This may sound complicated, but they are such simple recipes that give a feeling of mastery and sound utterly seductive. These vegetarian dishes make beautiful starters which your guests will be seriously impressed with.

There are recipes in this world which are hurried through the dining room with an aura of devout reverence, as their presence at the table embodies the pinnacle of gastronomic endeavour. I have always held tempura in such lofty esteem, regarding it a delicacy of such immeasurable finesse, that it would be sacrilege for a homely cook of my standing to even attempt it. God forbid. Yet, after an afternoon of frolicking with flour, ice cold sparkling water and the most beautifully fine, delicately fresh, organic British asparagus, tempura’s spell has been broken. I now feel comfortable sharing this delicacy with you, fully believing that it is within the reach of every single one of us, because it is beautifully simple. Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you Spelt Tempura Asparagus with Aioli.

Spring, along with the asparagus season, has well and truly sprung. The past few days of high twenties …come and read more!

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 …come and read more!

Spelt Dough Balls with Garlic Coconut Butter Dip

Gavin WrenRecipes, Side dishes, Small Bites, Spelt & ancient grains, Starters, Vegetarian

Hot, crunchy, soft, doughy balls of deliciousness, cooked in the oven alongside a perfect homemade spelt pizza. Dipping duties are handed over to a simple thick and creamy garlic coconut butter dip all ready to plunge these spelt dough balls into as soon as they're out of the oven.

Today’s post is about some hot, crunchy, soft, doughy balls of deliciousness, cooked in the oven alongside a perfect homemade spelt pizza. Dipping duties are handed over to a simple thick and creamy garlic coconut butter dip all ready to plunge these spelt dough balls into as soon as they’re out of the oven. Cook With Your Heart. Cook with your heart, not your head. Sage advice. Somebody once said to me “when you cook with your heart, I can tell”. I have a habit of trying to intellectualise or overcomplicate recipes, trying to do something clever, new or different. Why? I’m not Heston-blooming-Blumenthal, nor am I aiming to procure a Michelin star or three. I’m a blogger, one of the custodians of …come and read more!

Balsamic Roasted Peppers

Gavin WrenBasic Ingredients, Recipes, Side dishes, Starters, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Balsamic roasted peppers are a mediterranean treat made with red, orange, green or yellow peppers, gently braised in the oven with garlic, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil until they become soft, sweet, richly flavoured slithers of pepper. Perfect for a salad, a picnic or to be served alongside cheese, charcuterie and olives as antipasti. Alternatively make ahead and store them in the fridge until you need them.

Today’s post is about creating luscious slithers of pepper, roasted with balsamic vinegar and garlic to create rich, sweet antipasti style balsamic roasted peppers. These are incredibly easy to make if you forego the peeling, but if you want the ‘perfect’ experience then you need to peel them, just make sure you’ve dialled in your patience levels on that particular day. Confrontation. I woke up early today. I’ve got a meeting with a website developer about a the ongoing development of the bloggerskillsacademy site I’m creating. The whole process has drifted slightly and I feel we need to kick some life back into it and get on track. I get nervous about confrontation with people, so having to exhibit some doubts …come and read more!

Vegetarian Sausage Rolls with Mushroom and Comté

Gavin WrenBaking, Side dishes, Small Bites, Spelt & ancient grains, Starters, Vegetarian

Golden, light and flaky vegetarian sausage rolls made with spelt rough puff pastry and filled with onion, garlic, mushrooms, thyme and oozing, molten Comté cheese. Perfect for the dinner table or the picnic basket.

It started with a cheese. This all started after the people at Comté cheese treated me and a few other bloggers to a delightful little cookery experience and cheese tasting, featuring a some aged variants of Comté, a decidedly lovely cheese. Even Raymond Blanc agrees, recently tweeting about being spoilt by the very same “Dinner at my mum. a-wild flowers .comte..sculptured radishes ,home made -creme anglaise .biscuit .Totally spoiled(sic).”. As for my being spoilt with Comté, I was treated to a decadent cheese soufflé, followed by getting involved in the making of a lovely puff pastry tart with bacon and apple, topped with unctuous, melted, oozing Comté. The latter of these enticed the little chef inside me to translate the recipe in some kind of vegetarian …come and read more!

Spinach and feta courgette bundles

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

Courgette, spinach and feta bundles

On today’s special weekend episode of ‘le petit oeuf’ I’ve got some utterly fantastic courgette parcels for you, small bundles of joy stuffed with earthy spinach, pine nuts, sweet golden raisins and oozing feta cheese. They might look tricky to make, but these little bundles of joy are incredibly straightforward and deliver a really high level ‘wow’ factor to the table. I like to think of them as individual, savoury, gluten free vegetable pies, crafted from pure courgette. There’s no pastry, therefore no gluten and depending on you and your friend’s diets, that can be a huge bonus. It’s a recipe that would be a sure-fire hit regardless of whether your diners are vegetarian or not, it’s got a …come and read more!