Tag Archives: olive oil

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes With Smoked Salt


These were a huge hit with the boys over the weekend, they managed to polish off a kilo of sweet potatoes all by themselves!

Smoked salt isn’t the easiest of things to come by so salt flakes or roughly crushed sea salt works beautifully too.


1.5kg small sweet potatoes, around 9-10, skin lightly scrubbed to remove any dirt.

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons smoked salt flakes

freshly ground pepper


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade. Line two baking trays with baking parchment.

Take a potato and begin to slice into 3mm slices without cutting all the way through. If you do cut through, don’t worry, they will still taste fab!

Place the cut potato on a tray and repeat with the remaining potatoes.

Drizzle a little oil over the top of each potato and then rub all over with your hands.

Grind over a little pepper and then sprinkle over the salt.

Pop in the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, basting a couple of times to help crisp the edges up and encourage the potatoes to open up.

Chickpea And Carrot Hummus


Hummus is very popular in our house, great to nibble on as a dip, spread in sandwiches or boxed up for school lunches.

Serves 6.


250g dried chickpeas, around 575g cooked

2 garlic cloves

juice of 3 lemons

4 tablespoons tahini

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

2 carrots, peeled and grated

250mls olive oil

salt and pepper


Soak the chickpeas overnight, drain and pour into a large pan, add three times the quantity of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for one hour until cooked, it may take a little longer depending on your chickpeas.

Drain the chickpeas and allow to cool completely.

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and process to a smooth paste.

Red Quinoa With Garlic Mushrooms And Broccolini


I am a huge fan of quinoa at the best of times but add some seriously garlicky mushrooms and broccolini and I think that you have one of my favourite flavour combinations!

Serves 6. Leftovers are fantastic in wraps the following day.


1 cup dry red quinoa

2 cups water

2 tablespoons olive oil

225g mushrooms, quartered

3 cloves garlic, finely sliced

400g broccolini, washed and cut into 3-5cm chunks

1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes

2 spring onions, topped and tailed and finely sliced

salt and pepper


Wash the quinoa in cold water, drain well and add to the pan with the water, cover and  bring up to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 30minutes. Leave to sit for 10minutes before removing the lid.

In a wok or large frying pan, heat the oil over a low heat and add the garlic, once fragrant, add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, try not to let the garlic burn!

Set the mushrooms and garlic aside in a large bowl, add the broccolini stalks to the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes until bright green, add the rest of the broccolini, chilli and the the spring onions and stir fry gently for 2-3 minutes.

Add the broccolini and quinoa to the mushrooms and mix well. Season to taste. Serve at room temperature.

Baked Chickpeas With Zatar, Sumac And Nigella


These are little nuggets of flavour!

We have these as part of a mezze meal and if there are any leftovers I roughly crush them with a fork and spread them on flat breads with a little extra olive oil drizzled over the top.

Serves 6.


250g dried chickpeas

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons sumac

2 tablespoons zatar

2 tablespoons nigella (koolanji) seeds

salt and pepper


Soak the chickpeas overnight in a large bowl of water.

The following day, rinse well and pour into a large pan filled with water, bring to the boil and simmer gently until the chickpeas are cooked, it can take 1-2 hours depending on your peas.

Once cooked, drain and set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

Comine all of the ingredients and spread out on a baking sheet, bake for 15-20 minutes until the chickpeas are crispy.

Oven Baked Garlic Prawns


Who doesn’t love garlicky prawns?

I make these as part of a tapas meal and, as the oven is on for other things to bake I figure the prawns can go in too and save me washing another pan!

Serves 2 as a starter.


10 extra large prawns, peeled, tail attached and deveined

2 large garlic cloves, finely sliced

2 teaspoons olive oil

salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

Mix the prawns, garlic, oil, salt and pepper in an oven proof dish.

Pop the prawns into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Serve immediately.

Broccoli and Sugar-snap Peas with Garlic and Pine Nuts


This has become my favourite way to cook broccoli as it remains lovely and crunchy with the peas and pine nuts.

Serves 8.


40g pine nuts

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove garlic, finely sliced

1 head broccoli, florets removed

50mls water

200g sugar snap peas, topped and tailed

salt and pepper


Heat a small frying pan over medium heat, add the pine nuts and roast until getting a little colour, set aside.

In a large frying pan with lid, heat the oil over medium heat.

Add the garlic and cook until soft.

Add the broccoli, stir fry to coat in garlic for 30 secs.

Add water, cover with lid and turn heat to high.

Cook covered for 2 mins, shaking pan half way.

Add the sugar snap peas and cover.

Cook for 1 min, remove lid, boil off any water, spoon onto serving plate and sprinkle over the pine nuts.

Season with a little salt and pepper.

Red Quinoa Salad with Middle Eastern Influences


I first started cooking with quinoa a few years ago and always made the same salad, this salad is a huge leap from my previous efforts but we all love it and the flavours really pack a punch!

Leftovers are still lovely and zesty the next day and are super in wraps and pittas. I have also used leftovers to stuff large portobello mushrooms, delicious!

Serves 10.


2 cups red quinoa, cooked as per instructions and cooled completely

2 red onions, very finely sliced

10 Roma tomatoes, deseeded and cut into small cubes

2 lemons, zest of one and juice of both

2 teaspoons sumac

4 tablespoons Za’atar

50mls olive oil

salt  and pepper to taste


Cook the quinoa as per the packet instructions, allow to cool.

Cut the onion up very finely and then set aside in a bowl of water for 10-20 mins.

Dry the onion and assemble the salad.

In a large bowl combine the cooled quinoa, onion, tomatoes and lemon zest, mix well.

In a small jug, combine the lemon juice and oil.

Pour the dressing over the salad, sprinkle over the sumac and 3 tablespoons of Za’atar, mix well.

Season with salt and pepper and check the seasoning.

Spoon into your serving dish and sprinkle over the remaining Za’atar.