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.…

Honey Glazed Celeriac

Gavin WrenRecipes, Side dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Make celeriac the most popular side dish on the table this year with my honey glazed celeriac recipe which sees this vegetable dish dripping with honey and rich, dark caramelised colours. Easily cooked in one pan on the stove, this vegetarian dish is just as good served up next to a piece of fish or meat.
Today I’m having a reflective look at my life before launching into the recipe of the day which is honey glazed celeriac. This is a true barnstormer of a recipe that passed my unfailing recipe test… can I eat the whole lot in one go. Without doubt, yes. It’s also an incredibly easy way to make this ugly root become the most popular dish on the table, just chuck it in the pan and leave it to cook down and caramelise into lovely sweet hunks of veg. Digging About in my Past. Whilst bumbling through the archives of my writing yesterday, I happened across an unpublished piece I wrote in the first week of 2016. It’s a quasi-rant surrounding the excesses of Christmas accompanied by a creative piece of photography, one of the few examples where I have composited two images to create the impossible, it’s an image that defies…

Celeriac Remoulade

Gavin WrenRecipes, Side dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Celeriac Remoulade is a classic french vegetable side dish which is no-cook uses just a few simple ingredients to gives this root vegetable a creamy mustardy tang. It's a great accompaniment now that autumn is upon us and celeriac comes into season. It's also a versatile vegetarian dish and keeps well in the fridge if you need to make ahead!
Celeriac Remoulade is a classic french vegetable side dish which involves no cooking and uses just a few simple ingredients to gives this root vegetable a creamy mustardy tang. It’s a great accompaniment now that autumn is upon us and celeriac is coming into season, as well as being super versatile and vegetarian to boot, plus it keeps well in the fridge if you need to make ahead! Just Awesome. I’m completely overjoyed to be publishing this recipe. It’s been a long time coming, having langsuished on my ‘make-for-the-blog’ recipe list for nearly a year, coiled up and ready to leap into action like a collapsible table at a church fair. Celeriac remoulade falls categorically into the genre of classic recipes. If they reformed education to deal with things that really matter in life, these are the dishes which should be on the national curriculum. Along with a sturdy knowledge…

Mustard Roasted Fennel and Carrot

Gavin WrenRecipes, Side dishes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

This mustard roasted fennel and carrot recipe is an easy vegetable side dish that goes perfectly with roasted fish or meat, a great autumnal dish to warm up the kitchen after the summer disappears. The cosy cinnamon and the mustard seeds make this an easy but tasty vegetarian or vegan side dish.
Today’s recipe is a roasted fennel and carrot recipe tossed in mustard seeds, cinnamon and olive oil, to make a warm, slightly spiced vegetable side dish that has almost no preparation (no peeling – woo-hoo!) and looks like a show stopper when you put it on the table. Go fennel, go! Fennel? Funnel? Huh? Fennel is one of those peculiar ingredients which I didn’t eat for a very large swathe of my existence. Not through choice, simply because it didn’t ever get to my plate or kitchen for some reason. It also sounds a bit like ‘funnel’, which is a very odd image to have when considering what vegetables to eat. Nonetheless, it’s absence from my diet remained intact for a long time, even though I was aware of it’s existence, hovering on the sidelines of my world, like a substitute waiting for his chance at a goal. Mysterious vegetable.…

Courgette and Aubergine Antipasti

Gavin WrenRecipes, Salads, Side dishes, Small Bites, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Courgette and aubergine antipasti is a simple vegan and vegetarian summer BBQ recipe perfect for lunches or picnics. Grilled or BBQ vegetables mixed with a simple dressing of olive oil, garlic, mint and white wine vinegar make a perfect make ahead side salad that tastes better after 24 horus in the fridge! Make the most of the summer's abundant courgettes and aubergines with this amazingly tasty Italian side dish!
Courgettes, courgettes, courgettes. They’re coming out of my ears. They’re just everywhere at the moment. Courgettes are the fruit of summer, they’re the long, thin, green fruit of our garden England, borne forth in abundance during the summer months. Courgette and Aubergine Antipasti is an awesome way to use a load of them up, make a big platter if you have guests coming round and I assure you it will all get eaten, it tastes amazing, especially after 24 hours to meld and uses up excess vegetables in the blink of an eye. It’s also the perfect recipe for sitting in the garden, reading the paper, turning the veg on the BBQ occasionally, whilst still feeling as though I’m actually doing something useful. The Big Move. I’m writing this from a desk that is devoid of ‘stuff’. In preparation for my house move, I have cleared everything away, leaving just…

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 about the way things are progressing seems like a mammoth hurdle to me. I get up early anyway, my alarm goes off at 5.40am, at which point I jump…