Did someone mention Rosé?   I may not be able to drink rosé in the South of France, more specifically Languedoc with my friends at their place close to Beziers (which has a fantastic wine shop Caves Paul Riquet with some of the best rosé I have ever tasted of every hue) but I am looking forward to cycling to Harrod’s to enjoy Cafe Juliette which opens this Wednesday 16 June.

There will be indoor and outdoor dining including a large terrace on the Basil Street side of Harrods (where Laduree used to be) and a menu of rosé wines and indulgent savoury pithiviers and salted caramel eclairs, vanilla mille-feuilles devised with Victoria Sheppard of Queen’s of Mayfair.

Juliette is a new Provencal Rosé bar for Harrods (with pithiviers and patisserie too)

Talking of Rosé, I was fortunate to taste an outstanding rosé from Chene Bleu which, in a remarkably short space of time has become one of the most highly sought after estates in the Southern Rhone, just outside Gigondas. They are trailblazing a new breed of “Super Rhones” outside the AOC system.  Their rosés consistently scoop multiple awards and critical acclaim.  The 2020 is pale pink and headily complex with almost savoury notes  of herbs, raspberry and redcurrant and some creaminess to the mouthfeel. Find at Justerini & Brooke or  

Have you ever visited an actual Chocolate Theatre? Harrod’s ultra-glamorous new Chocolate Hall really do make their signature range of vibrantly coloured chocolate pralines and truffles including superb unusual flavours like yuzu (the Japanese citrus that tastes between mandarin and lime yet more fragrant) in front of shoppers.  It is mesmerising to watch the whole process from tempering the couverture (melted chocolate) to creating and adding the fillings whether wondrously green pistachios, coffee from Harrod’s enormous in-house roastery or Scottish raspberries and finishing with intricate, colourful decoration.   Next time, I am curious to try their “bread and butter slabs”.  It is overseen by Alastair Birt who trained with chocolatier William Curley (also in the Chocolate Hall) and won the UK Chocolate World Master.  I’d highly recommend the nut clusters and the chocolate dipped candied fruits too.

There’s a whole wall of gorgeous, brightly packaged single origin, sustainably sourced chocolate bars including a 68% cacao from the volcanic Solomon Islands which I loved for its bright red fruits and subtle smokiness.

Intriguing too are To’ak who use the ultra-rare Nacional cacao bean from Ecuador previously thought to be extinct.  The chocolate is aged, much like wine, in oak casks and astonishingly expensive.  

Harrod’s Social by Jason Atherton has just opened on the lower ground floor as part of The Food Hall plan to showcase a roster of the UK’s finest chefs. Majoring on hero British ingredients, I have my eye on the Cumbrian steak tartare and the olive oil cake with Amalfi lemon curd.  The wine list promises to be pretty special too.  

I hadn’t appreciated quite how serious Jason is about his wines until I attended a brilliant immersive live-streamed food and wine tasting experience by devised and hosted by Matt Bird.  For each event, he creates a customised hamper with several “eat treat” dishes by a top chef and half bottles with detailed tasting booklet by their sommelier  

Jason and Laure Patry, his group head sommelier, took us through a tasting of his favourite Italian wines.  The half bottles were delivered in advance with the ingredients for making up Jason’s exceptional tomato sauce (made with balsamic vinegar and wine) a homage to an extraordinary sauce he first tasted in Venice.  My new favourite white wine is now Terlaner Classico 2015 from Alto Adige with multi-layered nuances of lemon balm, mint and apricot on the nose and a beguiling mix of freshness and minerality on the palate.

The next Rebottling event, good timing for a Father’s Day gift, Monday 28th June 7-8pm (plus after party!!) costing £89.00 is with Medlar, one of those restaurants that seems to fly slightly under the radar and is, almost, in the league of Chez Bruce, no surprise really as its owner David O’Connor and head chef Joe Mercer Nairne are CB alumni.  Their award-winning sommelier Melania Battiston will lead the tasting.

  • The featured wines in the Medlar hampers include:
    • Nyetimber, Classic Cuvée, Sussex, England, NV
    • Coppo, Pomorosso, Nizza DOCG, Piedmont, Italy, 2017
    • Seifried Estate, Sweet Agnes Riesling, Nelson, New Zealand 2019
  • The ‘eat treats’ in the Medlar hamper will include:
    • An aged Comté Gougères (a French savoury made from Choux pastry and cheese)
    • 36 months Comté and 42 month Gouda 
    • A delicious Financier (buttery almond cake)

My alfresco dining pick of the week is Stanley’s Chelsea, a stealth lockdown newcomer just by The Chelsea Gardener on Sidney Street which has a sizeable terrace with timbered booths with luxurious seating for Covid-safety/privacy besides exquisite flower strewn delicate dishes devised by Olivia Burt, formerly with Fera at Claridge’s who has appeared on “Masterchef: The Professionals”.   I especially loved my unusual steak tartare with pickled mushrooms, shallots and smoked egg yolk, a fragrant citrus brined chicken with chicken butter and summer beans and superlative whipped buttermilk custard tart with first of the season, heady plums.


Being back in my natural habitat – restaurants – feels so good and enervating.  I’d highly recommend making some plans, and, in my limited experience, restaurant teams are ultra covid conscious and so palpably delighted to be able to welcome guests back.  It may just be my halcyon approach: it feels like that there’s a stronger, if more physically distant, bond between diner and server.  

Even if the weather is cold and wet, rest assured us hardcore restaurant lovers will still be honouring reservations, and so must you.  If you don’t fancy turning up, make sure you tell the restaurant to give them enough time to offer the table to hardier spirits.

Special mention must go to the divine, newly and fulsomely planted and, importantly, mostly canopied, garden of Native at Brown’s in Brook Street.   The mushroom with fermented onion served with housemade waffles is a must. Try too Native’s cocktails especially the Negroni made with their own foraged ingredient vermouth.

Who doesn’t love Claridge’s?   I discovered post Native that there is a chic, affordable new way to have a taste of Claridge’s kitchen: at their epicerie, where a takeaway cappuccino and two madeleines from executive chef Martyn Nail’s kitchen cost £4.50.

My favourite, non local, cafe is back: Queens of Mayfair with its Georgian bow windows and glamorous decor including green and gold wallpaper (far superior to Lulu Lytle of Soane’s now notoriously pricey interior) . Unequivocally the best coffee in London and the only cafe in London serving Difference Coffee who only buy some of the best and rarest coffees in the world at auction.  

For the coffee curious try the Geisha Esmeralda experience: it is a delicate, floral coffee that is drunk in a wine glass, The whole performance from grinding the beans by hand to making the coffee with a V60 drip filter, the height of coffee geekiness, is mesmerising to behold.   Queens serve the best chocolate cake I’ve ever tasted (apart from my own) from Hedone Bakery.

Best things I ate this week

Lucky Balham has a new restaurant/delivery business: Burning Rose. Pad Thai is the bellwether of a Thai kitchen and from the tangy aromas redolent with lemongrass and deeper, earthier spicing, I know this is going to be deeply satisfying. It is a harmonious blending of sweet, sour and umami savoury with the intoxicating mix of fish sauce, tamarind and palm sugar, a good number of king prawns, tofu and stick noodles cooked to just chewy perfection.   Though, a little more peanut crunch wouldn’t have gone amiss. 

The heady aromas do take me back to the food stalls lining Bangkok’s main park where I was once lucky enough to be shown around by David Thompson himself.   Burning Rose’s Chef Matthew Albert worked with Thompson and it shows.  The co-founders are ex Leon and DeliverooJohn Vincent and Cengiz Rahmioglu and have serious ambitions to expand beyond Balham.

Haskapa Powder is being billed as the new super food.  It certainly makes a change from blueberries flown in from the other side of the world. Haskapa, made from a tangy/sweet berry has four times the anthocyanins, naturally occurring plant pigments that give fruit and vegetables their colour and three times the antioxidants.  A spoonful a day in overnight oats is ideal. This is a recipe courtesy of Niki Webster of Home Mix 100g oats qith 250ml coconut milk kefir, 1tsp vanilla essence, 1tsp Haspaka berry powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon: leave overnight and add 2tbsp coconut yoghurt (I use Coconut Collaborative), extra coconut kefir to loosen if necessary and top with 10g toasted coconut flakes). It is great for one’s cognitive powers, blood pressure and boosting. immunity.

Choice bounty selected by Sarah Louis Fairburn who only started her Lincolnshire based hamper company Imp & Maker in December 2020.   I was gifted her Ultimate Staycation hamper for a feature for Femail’s Inspire pages.  It is designed for meeting your arrival in the remote (and only available holiday cottage) you panic-booked which may be in a gorgeous setting but has no food shops of any repute nearby.  The multitude of treats in the hamper include the most enormous Tomahawk steaks and instructions on how to cook these colossi to medium rare perfection alongside Melody potatoes in a hessian bag transformed into delectable potato dauphinoise topped with grated Lincolnshire Poacher; Turner Hardy Lively Spiced Tomato juice and Edwards Potato vodka, acorn-fed Bellota Iberico ham and chorizo, British Blue eggs with astonishing yellow yolks and much, more more.

For weekday nights, I am trying not to drink alcohol and am very taken by wine writer Matthew Jukes new creation Jukes 8, the colour of a sophisticated rose.  It is a cordial made with apple cider vInegar (delightfully present in the taste), watermelon, melon, apple, pear, raspberries and cucumber.  What makes it even more special is its pink floral box designed by Matthew Williamson with inimitable style.


Life is better outside, though dining out al fresco has become a competitive sport with many of us who prefer more spontaneity in our lives losing out to smug serial bookers who seemingly have their social life mapped out until July.

Here are my recommendations for eight restaurants/cafes that are either walk-in only or bookable yet keep some tables back for spur-of-the-moment socialising. Most are a little under-the-radar and more likely to offer solace and calm for an epic catch-up with friends, family or lovers as well as that so missed lively hum of conversation, food to savour and exclaim with pleasure over that’s different to what you’ve been cooking endlessly at home. And, joy of joys, being looked after, waited on with soliticious urbane charm and no clearing up.

Kudu, Peckham’s hottest restaurant (close to Queens Rd station) run by Amy Corbin and her South African chef husband Patrick Williams (they’re soon to expand to Nunhead too) have converted what used to be the fag and bin backyard into a glorious, colourful and (importantly) covered oasis. Both the secret garden and pavement seats are bookable, though some tables are kept back for walk-ins.  Signature dishes include the smoked bacon butter with house brioche like rolls cooked in a copper pan, hazelnut choux bun with chicken liver parfait and smoked pineapple “snacks”,  mussels potjie with seaweed cooked over coals.  For brunch, expect boerewors sausage with romesco and white beans, and French toast chocolate babka with orange cream and miso caramel.

Minnow, overlooking Clapham Common has always had a gorgeous, blink-and-you-will-miss-it tiny vibrant patio out back resplendent with fairy lights but now they have a greatly expanded pavement terrace with plenty of tables and always keep some back for the day.  They’re open from breakfast through to dinner for every from a croquette snack to a full blown dinner and on Sunday from 4pm-9pm serve a roast with all the trimmings plus seasonal trad pudding and BYO £26.00..

One of the sunniest and busiest pavement cafes South of the River is Balham’s Milk London on Hildreth Street, it is a personal favourite, even if I am often the oldest “hipster” there.  It is strictly first come first served and I would advise arriving well before 10am especially at weekends if you don’t want to queue for ages.   For brunch, I favour Young Betty: invariably perfectly poached eggs with dry-cured bacon or Moxon’s smoked salmon and divine smoked hollandaise. Below, an example of their adventurous specials.  The coffee is excellent, and, at weekends, they have definitive pastries, savoury & sweet from Flor besides their own.

Jefferson’s ice-cream parlour in the heart of Balham has a real suntrap patio garden for excellent coffees, housemade organic milk ice-cream: the chocolate and coffee flavours are both superb, plus extravagant ice-cream sundaes, pancakes and waffles made to order.

A favourite of Islington intelligentsia, Bellanger (North London’s The Wolseley with the same owners) has a spacious pavement terrace with a smart blue canopy cover and serves a Grand Cafe menu encompassing breakfast, croques, salads and crepes.

Darjeeling Express, culinary and social activist for independent businesses, female and migrant run enterprises, Asma Khan’s restaurant has moved to Covent Garden and has bookable tables on King Street for lunchtime Thali’s.  The palm leaf platter of small dishes is served throughout the afternoon too when it is strictly walk-ins only.  Choose from Methi Chicken (cooked in rich tomato sauce & fenugreek), Lamb Gosht (cooked with dried red chillies & tomato), Bengali Prawns in a delicate coconut milk sauce or vegan aubergine cooked with nuts with tamarind.  All served with lentil fritters, lemon rice, channa dal, potato and peas, tomato chutney and poppadoms £20.

Summon up Santorini in Notting Hill at Mazi serving exceptional, sophisticated Greek food: seafood manti (dumplings) evoke the azure Med, calamari are filigree light and  loukoumades (a kind of Greek doughnut) with lavender honey, crushed walnuts and chocolate sorbet a decadent dessert. There is a pretty whitewashed patio garden with furniture in that dazzling blue so familiar from Greek holidays.

Soho is packed at the moment, though it is worth taking a chance on The French House for outstanding gutsy, stripped back French & British bistro food courtesy of Neil Borthwick, chef-proprietor and partner of Angela Hartnett.Try the finest tarama with fat radishes and sharply dressed leaves, Spring lamb navarin and textbook Paris-Brest – a chocolate-drenched, hazelnut-spiked choux bun named after the famous cycle race. A few of the dozen-ish tables on the street are bookable though most are first-come-first-served.


Thermals discreetly at the ready, from tomorrow we can visit restaurants as long as we’re prepared for whatever combination of sun, sleet, showers & snow ensuesin the time it takes to devour three courses outdoors.

Those of us who are super-prepared have already smugly made reservations (I have a couple I am greedily anticipating) many have been so hyped and appeared in so many breathless guides that they have no tables until July.   

Here are six of my recommendations where you may still score a sitting.


The Scandinavians have form when it comes to terraces stylishly furnished with fleeces and blankets and food that is warming yet different enough to feel special.  Ekte (meaning genuine) owned by Danish Sorren Jensen in the Bloomberg Arcade excels at hygge and is especially pretty at dusk with plenty of discreet lighting.  Even if you’re a raw herring sceptic you may be converted by chef Robin Freeman’s spiced pickled herring, potato, red onion, egg with crème fraiche, capers & brown butter. It is one of the very few places to try smørrebrød (open-faced sandwiches) including prawns with a tangy lemon mayo or caramelised celeriac with garlic mayo and the extra crunch of toasted hazelnuts. I’ve enjoyed roast cod in brown butter with dill pickled cucumber and barbecued celeriac, but even better are the pork meatballs, called frikadeller served in a warm hug of gravy with creamy mash, pickled cucumber and tart lingonberries.  Among desserts there’s a crunchy Danish crumble with spiced apple and cardamom that reminds me of a dish my late Mum made which she quaintly called ‘peasant with a girl”


I’ve long admired the playfully adventurous outlook on sustainable dining practised by Ivan Tisdall Downes and Imogen Davis founders of Native, though even I was surprised to discover that their new home will be within Brown’s, the beautiful clothes shop where I’ve never been able to afford to shop.  They may seem surprising bedfellows but as their opening mantra goes: “it is all about the delight of discovering something rare, delicious and hyper-seasonal.”   Foraged ingredients that may be unfamiliar give a wild twist to their courtyard menu of garden plates, natural wines and cocktails.  There are gems like fermented potato waffle with chicken liver parfait and pickled apple, Native fillet-o-fish with ray cheeks, crab rarebit, seaweed tartar and hay ice-cream affogato.   For larger dishes siDorset brown crab with duck egg and foraged sea herbs, roast cauliflower, nasturtium and brown butter, we need to wait until to dine indoors.   Do try their seaweed infused “Mermillionare” shortbread and chocolate and bone marrow caramel, ‘the Marrowmel.


Who needs to go to the Chelsea Flower Show?  Discreetly hidde  down a secret path, Chelsea newcomer Stanley’s (just by the flower stand on Sidney Street) with its glorious, generously planted large courtyard, luxurious upholstered booths separated by reclaimed timber  and glass screens, has huge parasols and awnings too to ensure a truly cosseting experience.  The big lure is Olivia Burt,the first female chef to make it to the Roux Scholarship finals who was incredibly impressive on Masterchef the Professionals too.  After working at Fera at Claridge’s (hence much use of edible flowers and herbs) this is her first head chef role and the menu is enticing for a balmy lunch: sourdough crumpets with shrimps and crab, beef tartare with cured egg, citrus brined chicken with wild garlic, salt-baked turnips chicken butter, barbecued beetroot, wild garlic and caper pistou, hazelnuts, chicory, jasmine cake with early strawberries and lemon verbena.


Three more outdoor dining possibilities

For the first time in its 90-year history, The Dorchester is launching a rooftop restaurant with spectacular views across Hyde Park. It promises to be a glamorous spot, even if you are swathed in luxurious blankets. There are garden menus by both Tom Booton of The Grill including prawn scotch egg, grilled turbot and blood orange posset and Jean-Claude Blondel of three Michelin star Ducasse at the Dorchester offering cucumber, bottarga and goat’s cheese, grilled octopus with confit of red pepper, citrus vacherin.

Combining New York cool and Scandinavian sensibilities with incredible modern art, The Stratford is well worth the trek to E20 and will be home to both the V & A East and new Sadler’s Wells.  It has an ultra sophisticated sunken rooftop garden, with elevated wildflower meadow, elegant seating and a cedar wood cantilevered roof providing shelter.  At Allegra, overseen by former Chiltern Farmhouse chef Patrick Powell the bread is superlative, served with house made butter and a green salsa made from discarded vegetable and, hopefully, the outrageously rich, irresistible choux bun filled with pistachio, liver parfait and preserved kumquat  Endearingly, The Stratford have invited a number of restaurants with no outdoor space to do a pop-up five course dinner each including Perilla.

Such is the demand for al fresco dining close to me in Clapham, that I understand Adam Byatt’s Trinity Outside well spaced tables with smart parasols are already booked at conventional mealtimes into July.   Yet, he assures me they will take mid afternoon walk-ins which sounds a good, more impulse option to me for a menu ranging from Sardinian charcuterie and crudites with anchovy dressing to bbqed John Dory with seaweed butter and similarly grilled pluma of Iberico pork with tomato salsa.

Singapore for the weekend? At-home restaurant meal kits make this possible: WHY THEY SHOULD CONTINUE

I went to Singapore for the bank holiday weekend.

My Hainanese chicken feast was a thing of dazzling deliciousness, daringly different to my already adventurous home cooking and a doddle to prepare with the excitement of unwrapping the scrupulously recyclable packaging akin to playing pass the parcel.  And no jet lag. 

The meal arrived as an at-home restaurant kit from Elisabeth Haigh’s Mei Mei Kopitiam (coffee shop/cafe) in Borough Market, somewhere long on my must visit list having enjoyed her cooking at several pop-ups and when she won a Michelin star at Hackney’s Pigeon restaurant. 

It reinforced my belief that the restaurant meal kit has longevity and is here to stay. Yet it needs to be carefully thought out and is not a formula suited to all restaurants or menus.  At best, it can open up additional new revenue streams for chefs/restaurateurs that must surely be a positive amongst the dire challenges of lockdown and, most crucially, reach a wider nationwide customer.  It has helped business keep busy, keep people employed, provoked a more flexible attitude to work roles. It is a great marketing tool to spread one’s reputation and, most basically, a means to survival, if not initially to profit.  I understand that the intricate work involved in the tech and researching packaging and logistics/delivery platforms can’t be under-estimated and teams generally spend more time packaging than cooking.

I think what’s key to the restaurant kit’s success is choosing a truly emblematic dish whether Mei Mei’s Hainanese chicken, Koya’s udon noodles and dashi broth (with a modest £14 price tag for two plus including DPD delivery), Darjeeling Express’s biriyani (recently enjoyed for a virtual dinner party simultaneously in Balham, Wimbledon and West Sussex) or Dishoom’s bacon naan that epitomises a restaurant’s cooking whilst satisfying our gastronomic wanderlust and uses unfamiliar culinary techniques and seasoning nuances difficult to replicate at home from scratch without years of experience, so giving us a new perception on food-travel, without the footprint.

Curious to know its origins and better understand its significance, I discover Hainanese chicken maps 150 years’ immigration from China’s Hainan Island to Singapore and Malaysia, where the dish is often known as Hainan chicken rice; to Vietnam, where it is called “Hai Nam chicken”; and to Thailand, where it has been renamed “khao man gai” or “fatty rice chicken”.  Born out of frugality, it became popular as a dish immigrants made so that their chicken would go further, a sentiment I recognise familiarly being from Ashkenazi Jewish stock raised on chicken soup. 

The chicken is poached gently to both cook the bird to a sublime silky texture and produce the stock.  The bird is then dipped in ice and rubbed in sesame oil and salt to produce the extraordinary glazed skin, and hung to dry.   It arrived fully cooked. The stock along with garlic, ginger and pandan leaf are used to cook the rice, the focus of the dish. It is probably the best, most mesmerizingly fragrant rice with beautifully separated grains I’ve ever cooked.  The bird is carved and served with a dipping sauce of shaoxing wine and dark soy sauce, slivers of cucumber, spring onion, coriander and a side order of spring greens with oyster sauce and crispy shallots.  I ordered Nonya Achar, pickled vegetables including carrots, cucumber, cabbage, cauliflower and pineapple in turmeric, chilli pickle finished with sesame seeds and peanuts as an additional side which I remembered as an accompaniment when I first tried this deceptively simple, deeply nourishing dish at famed hawker stall Tian Tian in Maxwell Market, Singapore.

What’s more, it is a meal that keeps on giving. After sharing the feast with a Chinese friend in my garden (whilst the flavour transported me, the Spring chill reminded me I was in lockdown London), I nibbled on leftovers for two grazing meals: it is equally good with the astonishingly aromatic rice enjoyed cold.

The subsequent day I made the carcass into a superb stock and melodious Spring minestrone with courgettes and cannellini beans.   And I am looking forward to watching “Chicken Rice Wars”, a Singaporean romantic comedy based on Romeo & Juliet where the children of two families from rival Hainanese chicken vendors fall in love, just as I fell in love all over again with Hainanese chicken.   £60 to feed four generously.  Order by 5pm Tuesday for delivery next Friday.
Sudi is a food journalist, content creator and NPD/trend consultant @sudifoodie instagram/twitter

lemon and fennel haddock with blood orange, fennel & date salad

The selenium found in fennel appears to stimulate production of T-cells which combat infection suggesting fennel can improve the immune response. Fennel seeds are extremely rich in vitamin C, said to be a strong antioxidant with high antimicrobial properties.

White fish, such as haddock, cod or whiting, is a good source of vitamin B3 which helps boost the immune system and can help to recover from infections faster. Watching Mike Reid on the great revived “Ready Steady Cook” earlier this week, reminded me how appealing it is to cook fish en papillote, that is wrapped as a parcel in baking paper and steam cooked in the oven. it is simple, quick and clean, simply enhancing the fish rather than shouting for attention.

A salad of fennel, with vitamin C laden blood oranges and fresh or Medjool dates (modish right now and incredibly good for you makes this an even healthier supper for one or more.

Serves 2

2 portions of haddock fillet

I small lemon, grated zest and juice

1 tsp fennel seeds

fennel fronds

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

two blood oranges

1 bulb fennel, sliced thinly

a handful of fresh or Medjool dates

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp muscatel vinegar

Place the fish in the centre of a large rectangle of baking paper. Use a microplane or grater to shower fish with lemon zest, then squeeze the lemon juice and pour over the fish. Add a tsp of fennel seeds, crushed gently to release their aroma, the fronds from the fennel build2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley, freshly ground salt and pepper.

Cook for 10 minutes in the oven 180C.

Meanwhile, prepare the blood orange, by standing the orange up and using a knife to cut around taking the peel off. Slice fennel thinly, Cut dates lengthwise into four. Make a dressing from 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp walnut oil (if you have to hand) 1 tbsp muscatel or white wine vinegar, any orange juice left in the skins that can be squeezed, salt and pepper.

miso aubergine with sunflower seeds, organic sauerkraut, radishes & avocado

I adore miso aubergine in Roka and. I won’t pretend this has the umami complexity of a long marinade. This is a quickie version put together speedily. Aubergines are suprisingly high in fibre and their skin is rich in antioxidant nasunin, they can also reputedly aid weight loss. The marinade of miso (fermented soy bean paste so good for gut health); anti-bacterial raw honey, rice vinegar adds to the feel good factor. Serve with a good shop bought sauerkraut. I like with carrot from As Nature Intended plus some salad depending on what is available. Avocado (even without sourdough toast) is always appealing and radishes not only add colour but also.

Serves 1 (can, of course, be scaled up)

1 aubergine, halved lengthwise, the skin criss-cross scored

2 tbsp white miso paste

1 tbsp raw, unfiltered honey

1 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp warm water

Pre-heat oven to 190c. Mix white miso, honey, rice vinegar and warm water for a thick, coat the back of the spoon, consistency (so that it doesn’t run off the aubergine. Spoon over aubergine generously. Cook for 30 minutes and serve with salad, and, for hungrier appetites, sweet potato or pumpkin oven roast wedges.

beef, mushroom & ginger broth

A quickie

As a much needed dose of healthy luxury, organic bone broths are superb for almost instead lunches packed with nutrients . Rather good for watching one’s weight when at home far too much too. The bone broth itself is high in protein as is the buckwheat. Such broths are fabulous sources of collagen which helps the body in absorbing nutrients and build antibodies, the mushrooms are high in a good source of vintaminsand buckwheat magnesium. Ginger was well referenced anti-bacterial qualities and is also good for common colds.

1 pouch of Grass-fed Organic Beef Bone Broth (buy As Nature Intended, Giddy Grocer)

2 large chestnut mushrooms, sliced thinly

1 small knob of ginger, peeled and sliced thinly

2 tbsp buckwheat

Simply put the broth in a pan and add other ingredients, simmer for 8 minutes and serve to reinvigorate and chase away niggling irritant throats.

mushrooms and spinach “stroganoff”: with wholewheat quinoa and miso

In times of crisis and uncertainty, being a good Jewish food writer, my first thought is what can I eat to feel better protected?  

Choosing foods to boost one’s immune system makes such good sense, I’m frankly amazed it hasn’t been “officially” recommended.   Perhaps, it hurts the government to endorse anything as European as the Mediterranean Diet. To borrow a phrase, “take back control” of your eating.  It may not stop you getting ill but it is likely to mitigate the severity and longevity of any ill-health.

Mushrooms may not immediately spring to mind as a powerful immune boosting food, yet even button mushrooms are thought to be beneficial, especially when augmented with shitake.   Choosing wholegrain pulses and legumes rather than white pasta is a far better source of fibre. Garlic has long been known for its alicin, anti-bacterial properties. All kinds of nuts, and especially almonds, are essential for the immune system: they’re high in vitamin E, that acts as an antioxident in the body, and also good sources of iron and protein, all helps the immune system function.

Serves 2

400g mushrooms, ideally half button and half shitake

500ml carton Itsu brilliant mushroom miso broth

125g young spinach leaves

wholegrain quinoa  (I used Hodmedod’s)

100g sour cream or oat creme friache

50g butter

1 clove of garlic, crushed

50g flaked almonds, toasted

nutmeg to grate

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Rinse quinoa in a mesh sieve, put in a saucepan, add mushroom miso broth, plus a little water to cover.   Bring to the boil, turn down the heat, and simmer for about 15 minutes until quinoa cooked, yet still firm with a delicious nutty texture.

Meanwhile, melt butter, add crushed garlic, cook for a few minutes, add cleaned and sliced button and shitake mushrooms, cook for 5 minutes, stir in rinsed spinach leaves and cook gently for 3 minutes, add soured cream or creme fraiche and cook another 2 minutes to heat through. Season with salt and pepper.  

Drain quinoa. Top with mushroom and spinach stroganoff.  Grate a little nutmeg on top to serve.



I created this dish for the Alexandra Rose Charity “Chefs for Families” event at HelloFreshUK HQ last night.

It is my modern take on carrot tsimmes, a dish traditionally eaten at Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year (celebrated 29-30 Sept 2019). Sweet dishes are eaten to usher in a sweet New Year. Carrots are said to symbolise gold coins,: a dish to usher in prosperity too. During Rosh Hashanah giving to those who are in need is important and known as tzedakah.

During the Rosh Hashanah service in synagoue, a traditional instrument made from the horn of a kosher animal – usually a ram – is blown.

To wish somebody a Happy Jewish New Year, say “Shanah Tovah” which is Hebrew for “A Good Year.”

Serves 6 as a side dish

8 carrots, preferably heritage multi-coloured carrots

1 tbsp baharat, an aromatic spice mix of ground cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, coriander, paprika, cayenne, cloves & nutmeg, available as a spice mix

2 oranges, one cut into thin segments, skin on, one juiced

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 heads of red chicory

1 small bunch of parsley

Walnut tahini:

120g walnut halves, lightly roast in oven for 5 minutes at 200C, keep a handful back for decoration

120g good tahini (Belazu and Al Taj are the best)

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

3 tbsp walnut oil

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

large pinch urfa chilli flakes

1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed

2 tbsp good, raw honey (Bermondsey Street Bees is best)

large pinch seasalt and good grinding black pepper

3 tbsp cold water

To make the tahini: simply blend all ingredients in a food processor to form a thick, paste, adding cold water to achieve the right consistency to drizzle/dollop to your preference.

Heat oven 220C. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over carrots (either leave whole if beautiful and small or cut in slices if using larger carrots) and sprinkle with baharat.

Roast for 10 minutes. Turn carrots with a spatular/tongs and cook a further 10 minutes.

Add orange slices, squeese over orange juice and drizzle honey generously. Cook for a further 10 minutes or until the orange slices are beginning to char.

Arrange red chicory leaves in a bowl or on a wooden platter. Add carrot and orange mixture with any yummy stickly juices. Sprinkle liberally with chopped parsley and walnuts.

Serve warm or at room temperature drizzled/dabbed with walnut tahini.