it's official! borough market demo on 25 July!

Borough Market tweet: it's official!
It's official! The tweet is out! Borough Market have just confirmed my appearance in their demo kitchen on Friday 25 July, from 12 noon until 2 pm.

spanish moorish skewers: pinchos morunos

pinchos morunos (Spanish Moorish skewers)
No country or its people particularly like being invaded by another, unless I suppose it is by friendly, high-spending tourists. But one of the things I love about looking at the history of food and the different world cuisines, is how conquest and migration can change or benefit a conquered country. Of course it is easy with the benefit and distance of a thousand or even a hundred years to look at the food highlights of conquest.

what's in season: july

clematis - london july 2014
I get so excited in July. If June is a dreamy, soft focus kind of month in muted pink. Then July is bright and full of sunshine colours with food to match. But this year, I have even more things to be excited about. If you weren't aware of the fact, then this is just to let you know that for the past few months I have been given a weekly column on The Guardian's website as part of their Live Better sustainable living challenge on the subject of leftovers, a subject very close to my heart!

mango with sweet chilli and lime dipping salt - a heavenly taste of the far east

mango with sweet chilli and lime dipping salt
I always seem to buy either mangoes or papayas that aren't quite ripe. I know that you are supposed to gently squeeze them - if they give slightly then they are ripe; if they still feel firm (like a crisp apple) then they are unripe.

nasturtium pesto

nasturtium pesto
My neighbourhood was a riot of colourful nasturtiums, that have self-seeded in any nook and cranny they can find. It was a bright spot in what is normally a somewhat grey patch of inner city London.

labneh cheese balls

From left to right : labneh rolled in sumac, in crushed nuts (a mixture of toasted sesame seeds and peanuts), and in Aleppo pepper.
Have you ever thought about making your own cheese, but worried that you don't have the right gear; that it's too difficult or technical?

tomato and chilli jam

tomato and chilli jam
I am very fond of toast, fashionable or not, particularly the cheesy kind (and a version I make with plum jam and bacon. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!)

beetroot and lentil spicy kofta

beetroot and lentil spicy kofta
Since I decided that I liked beetroot, I have become pretty evangelical about the stuff. These days I am making up for wasted beetroot opportunities, or the “lost Beta Vulgaris years” as I now regard them.

what's in season: june

june elderflowers
The Elder Fairy
When the days have grown in length,
When the sun has greater power,
Shining in his noonday strength;
When the Elder Tree's in flower;
When each shady kind of place
By the stream and up the lane,
Shows it's mass of creamy lace
Summer's really come again!

Cicely Mary Barker (1895-1973)

nutty beetroot, nashi pear and carrot salad

nutty beetroot, nashi pear and carrot salad
Salads don't have to be boring. I feel a spot of singing coming on; "all things bright and beautiful"! This rather sums up both how gorgeous and vibrant this salad looks and rather sums up how it tastes too.

roasted vegetable frittata

roasted vegetable frittata
There is an advert on the telly at the moment for a well-known food brand. It irritates me for a number of reasons, not least because it is twee and patronising. (That the company in question have hash tagged it with #cosy, probably says it all.)

dragons' eggs (or chinese tea eggs)

chinese tea eggs
My family was divided as to what the strange, mottled boiled eggs that were sold at various corner grocers shops and hawker stalls in Kuala Lumpur were called. My mother and little brother were convinced that they these were tiny dinosaur eggs. My father and I were equally satisfied that they were dragons' eggs.