Saturday, February 27, 2016

Salty and sweet: pear and blue cheese pizza

I admit, when I first saw the word "pear" in close proximity to "pizza" I was sceptical. Fruit? Really? (I know there's a school of thought that says pineapple is an acceptable pizza topping, but I think I left that school about 20 years ago.)

But actually the sweetness of the pear is perfect with the salty blue cheese. I'm often a fan of the classic tomato sauce on pizza, but the slowly cooked onion is great for a change, and the caramelly notes adding another dimension, with the spinach as a gentle backdrop of earthiness.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Winter pilaff with red onions, leeks and olives

This dish was born from some huge red onions I picked up at the farmers market yesterday. Almost the size of swedes and with glossy purple skins, they were the stand-out buy on the vegetable stall, not to mention being cheap as chips (actually much cheaper, gram for gram).

Then there were the leeks that were lingering in the fridge, waiting to be used up. Both leeks and onions are faithful winter favourites, which just needed a bit of fire adding to them. Lemon zest, olives and chilli flakes did the trick, followed by toasted flaked almonds for some nutty crunch. I had some dill in the fridge left over from another dish, but flatleaf parsley, basil or mint would work nicely too.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Savoury bread and butter pudding

"Bread and butter pudding? Surely that's a dessert?" I hear you cry.

It can be a delicious main course too. It's still a great way of using up stale bread, plus any odds and ends of cheese you have lying round. Despite the name of the dish, I skip the butter to keep the fat content down, especially as I'm using cheese too.

The recipe is almost infinitely adaptable - try different cheeses, leave out the cherry tomatoes, swap the onions for leeks (in which case I would be tempted to go for a blue cheese such as Stilton), or try other vegetables such as spinach or mushrooms instead of or as well as the onions.