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.

Balsamic Roasted Peppers

Gavin Wren Basic Ingredients, Recipes, Side dishes, Starters, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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…
Spicy whole smoked cauliflower cooked on the BBQ with a paprika, garlic, lemon, cumin and tomato marinade spiced up with a hint of cayenne pepper for a colourful and smokey BBQ treat for vegetarians and vegans alike. This is also a great fun project to learn how to smoke or cook with indirect heat, whether it's summer or winter.

Smoked Cauliflower with Paprika Garlic Marinade

Gavin Wren Recipes, Side dishes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

This post shows how to make smoked cauliflower and why smoking vegetables is a great way to start playing around with indirect cooking or hot smoking, as you don’t have to worry about temperatures and cooking times like you would with meat or fish. With this recipe I’ve added a full flavoured marinade to the cauliflower to spice up the flavour and it adds some fantastic visual impact to the finished article. Vegetable Lust. Poor old cauliflower isn’t the most romantic of vegetables, it’s probably one step up from cabbage, languishing in the bottom end of my on-the-spot opinion of what vegetables are sexy. At the other end of the scale, asparagus is sexy. Those slender, tender, delicate stems that only make themselves available during a brief period of the year, and even then, there’s a noticeable peak, when they come into full bloom and put on a display of…
A bright and full flavoured summery vegetarian BBQ Courgette dish which uses full flavoured charred courgette slices topped with thick, creamy labneh and rich, tangy mint sauce. It's a dish to have both vegetarians and meat eaters drooling!

BBQ Courgette with Smoked Labneh and Mint Dressing

Gavin Wren Main Dishes, Recipes, Salads, Side dishes, Small Bites, Vegetables, Vegetarian

This recipe for BBQ courgette features beautifully charred vegetables topped with creamy smoked labneh and a tangy, fresh, minty dressing to liven it all up. It makes for a fantastic summer side salad or vegetarian option at your BBQ and will have any meat eaters drooling with jealousy. Hold the Front Page! I’m going to put myself out on a limb today, especially as a food blogger. We’re at the fast acting, quick to publish, cutting edge of food trends, being in a position to react with real speed to any changes in the culinary world. We’re the ones who carry new trends forward and sustain them, we’re the ones who propagate all the ditzy and unfounded nutritional developments around wellness and the latest look-good food trends. So my big challenge to the establishment today could be seen as the act of a turncoat, putting my back to the world…
Why I Dislike Open Plan Kitchens

The Scourge of Open Plan Kitchens

Gavin Wren Food Opinion Pieces, Writing

I’m struggling with a bitter fate that our country is facing, a murky descent of moral decline which has been created through contentious decisions, which have the power to divide our country and remove any retained Greatness from Great Britain. And I’m not talking about Brexit, I’m talking about a far more virulent, silent disease which is sweeping through the hearts of our nation’s cities and rotting them from the inside out. What I’m talking about is open plan kitchens. I am simply unable to get my head around the proliferation of these ridiculous excuses for kitchens that have swept the property market over the last 10 years. They’re like a plague upon our country, reducing our property stock to ever more tiny little fractious blocks, equipped with mere ‘tea and coffee making facilities’ style kitchens which have barely enough workspace to prepare a few olives. The Decline of Western…
This sweet and spicy thai dipping sauce is the perfect addition to salads, meat or fish, or as a dip to go with spring rolls, summer rolls or anything else that needs an extra kick. Made with just five ingredients it’s got a powerful chilli kick with potent flavours of fish sauce, lime juice, garlic and palm sugar. It’s the perfect summer sauce, regardless of whether the sun is shining or not! Find the full recipe at lepetitoeuf.com

Thai Dipping Sauce (Nam Pla Prik)

Gavin Wren Fish & Shellfish, Recipes, Salads, Sauces, Side dishes, Small Bites

There’s no need to lament the British Summer when there are such beautifully bright and abundant recipes in the world as this Thai dipping sauce otherwise known as ‘Nam Pla Prik’, a bold and powerful indulgence for your senses. The Joys of Summer. I stare out of the window on this summer day, the day before the solstice, the day before the longest sun rises over the glorious plains of Albion, shining new, fresh light into all those who dance under it’s rays, pouring energy fourth and transforming the worlds of those under it. But instead of such glorious imagery, it is indeed a loathsome, cloudy, grey, wet, summer’s day. I should know better by now, I’ve lived in England for every single one of my 38 years of life to date, and apart from 2013 I struggle to remember a summer that could be in any way termed as…
A sweet and spicy bulgur bake with turmeric, cinnamon, Harissa, dried apricots, wholemeal bulgur and more to create a warm and glowing vegetarian and vegan one pot tray bake which is a perfect meal to use up all those spare or leftover vegetables that you might have laying around. Full recipe on lepetitoeuf.com

Sweet and Spicy Bulgur Bake with Harissa

Gavin Wren Main Dishes, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

This post is one of those leftover dishes that’s amazingly versatile and will eat up any leftover veggies you might have laying around at home, don’t be afraid to experiment, just chuck in whatever you’ve got! It also puts a slight spin on the traditional tray bake recipes, using wholemeal bulgur wheat to create a bulgur bake that’s a highly tasty and filling not to mention vegetarian and vegan to boot. Semantic. I once heard a fabulous term, it was the definition of a dish created by using up what is left in the fridge. It was perfect. It was so good that I’ve never been able to remember it since that day I read it. One could argue it was perhaps not quite as perfect as I’m proclaiming, if my memory serves me so awfully for something that was allegedly so precious. However, some of the best dishes I’ve…