hot melt sun-dried tomato and mozzarella muffins

Hot melt sun-dried tomato and mozzarella muffins

Gavin Wren Baking, Breakfast, Recipes, Small Bites, Spelt & ancient grains

I’ve got a muffin hangover today. In fact, that’s a lie, I deserve to have a muffin hangover today, because I ate… errr, six muffins last night, instead of my dinner. If that had been six of the supermarket’s in-store bakery, not-quite the finest double chocolate efforts I might not be so chipper about it, but the muffins I ate were actually really wholesome, soft, crumbly little cakes with very little sugar or unhealthy bits, so I feel absolutely great. There’s a very good reason for this muffin related excess and it’s all in your interest, so let me tell you why… Today’s recipe is another one I’ve had kicking around in the back room of my mind for a while, along with making muffins with no added sugar. When it came to my recipe testing session yesterday, in the true style of an impatient child I opted for sweets…
sun dried tomato pesto rosso serving ideas

Sun dried tomato pesto – pesto rosso

Gavin Wren Basic Ingredients, Recipes, Spreads & Dips, Vegan, Vegetarian

A few weeks ago I posted a traditional pesto recipe and spent some time ruminating on the bastardisation of recipes. This week, I’m going to continue the pesto theme with a recipe for a delicious sun dried tomato pesto, or pesto rosso. I would love to say this is a traditional Italian recipe adhering to the specific ingredients handed down through generations by all Italian chefs, however I’m not sure that’s not entirely possible. Whilst the traditional, green basil pesto has a fairly consistent set of ingredients that are in attendance in all recipes, pesto rosso seems to be a little bit more vague and open to the whimsical tastes of the creator. There are wild variations in content and ingredients from recipe to recipe, and as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which is undoubtedly applicable to food as well, leaving a lot of room…
Chargrilled aubergine rolls

Chargrilled aubergine bites

Gavin Wren Fish & Shellfish, Recipes, Small Bites, Starters, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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…
sun dried tomato tapenade

Sun dried tomato tapenade

Gavin Wren Recipes, Side dishes, Spreads & Dips, Starters, Vegetarian

Tapenade used to be one of those ‘things’ that I didn’t understand. It smells and tastes beautiful, and evokes romantic visions of lazy mediterranean lunches, but I never really knew what to do with it. Showing a stereotypical Britishness, I was confused because it’s not a chutney or a pickle, it’s not a jam and it’s not Marmite. I would see it on supermarket shelves and in delis, but leave it behind. I’d see it with some mustards whilst at lunch but wouldn’t know where it goes. Then eventually, my tapenade maturity arrived and I realised it goes with lots of things, and it’s an ingredient that makes simple pairings spectacular. There are loads of ways you can use it, my favourite uses for tapenade are the following:
• With cheese
• Mini crostini with a dollop of tapenade
• Larger crostini spread with tapenade and topped with other ingredients…