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

Chargrilled aubergine bites

Gavin WrenFish & Shellfish, Recipes, Small Bites, Starters, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Chargrilled aubergine rolls
As I’ve had a bit more time on my hands this year I’ve been spending it doing the things I enjoy, one of which is burning aubergines. Rather than being some kind of sado-massochistic lachanophobic (fear of vegetables) passtime, it’s an activity that actually enhances this abundant fruit of summer. Not too long ago I shared my recipe for baba ghanoush, a dish whose success is dependent on your ability to carry out the utter incineration of an aubergine. If you think that ‘just a bit crispy’ is fine, you’re wrong, it needs to be burned beyond help, way past the point that you think it’s still edible. It seems that aubergines do something quite special when they get burned. Rather than curl up, or cry and run their finger under a cold tap, they embrace the heat, lounging like a latino lothario, they just lay back and soak it…