Spelt Focaccia

Gavin WrenBaking, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains

Tender, fresh, homemade Italian spelt focaccia, studded with rosemary sprigs and drizzled with olive oil. The job of baking bread at home may seem like an onerous task, but when it produces such beautifully tender, flavoursome bread, the ability to bake your own bread begins to feel more like a special privilege.
Twenty-six recipes. That's how many you'll find on my blog which feature spelt flour. With the inclusion of this recipe for spelt focaccia it's a total of twenty-seven on the list. Having created so many spelt recipes, I've become a bit of an expert on this ancient grain and today's recipe has drawn on that knowledge. This fresh, tender, aromatic homemade Italian spelt focaccia, studded with rosemary sprigs and drizzled with olive oil is simply beautiful and a treasure to adorn your table.

Yes, Italian Food, Again.
I love good Italian food, it holds a highly seductive allure for me, because when it's good, it's magical. The beauty is often in the simplicity of using great ingredients, then treating them with incredible respect. Unfortunately, it has historically seen some shocking handling at the mercy of the UK restaurant trade and via the over-spiced, over-flavoured... come and read more...

Celeriac Soup with Apple and Rosemary

Gavin WrenRecipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

Roast celeriac soup with apple and rosemary
An Inspired Decision. Today is another post that’s been inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi, this time in collaboration with the head chef of his restaurant NOPI, Ramael Scully. The inspiration for this roast celeriac soup recipe came off the back of being gifted the NOPI cookbook, which is an utterly fabulous compendium of gastronomic delights garnered from the hallowed kitchens of NOPI, that mirage of a restaurant nestled just North Of PIccadilly. In the book, they take a single, whole celeriac and treat it to a particularly extended stint in a hot oven, then slice it into wedges and serve. It’s the kind of mind blowingly simple food preparation which I utterly adore and seek to involve in my day to day life more often. It also served as the inspiration for my fledgling series of videos ‘Will It Roast’, whereby I take large, whole vegetables and…

Slow roasted root vegetable tian

Gavin WrenRecipes, Side dishes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Slow roasted root vegetable tian
Back in 1984 when Whitesnake released a song called ‘Slow An’ Easy’, big, permed hair was everywhere on grown men, along with awful double entendre permeating almost every sing title. Everything they created was about either love, or, errrr, loving. I’m dragging this questionable music, which seems to have aged in a way I never expected (i.e. well), back to the fore because I’m listening to it and the song ‘Slow N Easy’ has just come on, which is exactly what this recipe is. A few years ago I spent a summer holiday in Provence, marvelling at the quality of the local ingredients available. Everything just tasted better, or was bigger, brighter and fresher. I took a book titled ‘Cooking in Provence’ by Alex Mackay and Peter Knab with me, and it remains one of my favourite cookery books, a marvellous compendium of sun-soaked recipes. There’s one recipe in…

Sun-dried tomato and rosemary polenta

Gavin WrenMain Dishes, Recipes, Vegetarian

Sun-dried tomato and rosemary polenta
I had no idea what to call these polenta shapes. Burgers? Nope. Patties? That’s just a burger, isn’t it? Frisbees? Pucks? So I gave up and just went with good old, simple ‘polenta’ on it’s own, which, after all, is exactly what this is. And given the vagaries of trying to lure polenta into your desired shape, it might be best not to assign any shape-based nouns to this dish, as there’s a good chance you’ll end up making polenta splats, polenta balls or polenta mounds. Polenta is peculiar stuff. It fills a void in my perception of food that exists somewhere between pasta and bread. It’s yet another thing which I hadn’t eaten much in the first 35 years of my life and only recently started to experiment with it. My main beef with it is the texture, so I wanted to try and get a little bit of…

Feta, rosemary and hazelnut crunch

Gavin WrenRecipes, Spreads & Dips, Vegetarian

Feta hazelnut and rosemary crunch spread in a bowl
Two weeks ago, Guardian Witness asked for people to submit recipes on the theme of ‘poached’, with the best entries to be published in the Saturday edition of the newspaper’s ‘Cook’ food supplement. I looked at my nearly-brand-new blog, knowing that my third recipe featured a poached egg, and, somewhat scared, submitted the recipe. I was completely shocked when a few days later, I got an e-mail informing me that they were posting my recipe on their facebook page! Surely the glory of seeing my own recipe in print was within grasp! So, on the Saturday of reckoning, I rushed home from the shops with the newspaper, clawed my way past the Sport, Family and Money supplements (but had a quick look at the magazine) and then got to Cook. But alas, my moment in the spotlight was short lived and I had managed to snatch defeat from the jaws…