Bramble (blackberry) and banana spelt crumble

Fruit crumble is way easier than pie.

There, I said it. This may be sacrilege, especially to American connoisseurs of pie, but the British idea of a pie involves a lot of pastry—always—and sometimes … sometimes pastry is a place you just can’t go.

Crumble, however, is the easy bit of pastry without the iced water, the no-touch rule, the rolling and the cursing. Takes 5 minutes to make, 40 minutes to bake, and 10 minutes to eat, so as an emergency, no-fuss pudding, it’s close to perfect and hard to muck up.

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Roasted potato gnocchi: using leftover mash

This idea I blatantly picked up from Nigella’s book Kitchen, but unlike hers, it uses fresh homemade gnocchi. This is because using the bought variety and cooking it in this way results in hard, slightly powdery bullets—not my idea of food!

I think I got the original recipe for gnocchi from James Tanner’s Take 5, or possibly from the Cranks’ Light Cookbook, but needless to say, it’s probably all my own by now, given I don’t mess on with quantities. I’ve been making these for years because I like leftovers to be more than just ‘what we had yesterday’.

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Summertime pepper soup

Summertime isn’t the most soupy time of year, I know, but if you get lucky with a large bag of veg and don’t have either time nor inclination to do something fancy with it, soup is a quick and easy tastebud treat.

I wouldn’t normally suggest a pepper soup, given that you’d probably need at least 3 packs of supermarket peppers at around £1.50-£2.00 each, but as hinted at above, I got lucky with a big bag of about 8 yellow and red peppers for £1. They were on their last legs, so you wouldn’t want to do anything more exciting with them, but this soup …. hell yeah!

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