Tag Archives: lunch

Recipe | Italian sausage and beans on toast

There’s a cracking Italian deli on the most nondescript road in Islington. Saponara is almost forbiddingly dark but the staff are welcoming and friendly and, well, Italian. Their range of produce is broad for such a cosy little place, and they even deliver via this website, which also, as it happens, delivers gear from Frank Godfrey, La Fromagerie, Ottolenghi, and Paul. A. Young, among others. Oh, and on Fridays and Saturday nights they do pizzas.

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Recipe | Baked aubergine with goat’s curd and chilli

You have to take your hat off to Ralph Ferrett. A self-confessed ‘voracious carnivore’, he is going vegetarian for the whole of September. It’s a noble effort, and one that I could not echo, but it has at least inspired me to eat less meat, for the sake of the environment, my health, and my wallet. Continue reading


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Recipe | Halloumi, chilli and lemon salad

I’ve got a new game. Next time you don’t know what to have for supper, ask a friend to name a random ingredient, and you have to incorporate it into what you cook. I was feeling totally uninspired last night, and asked the good people of Twitter to help out. Aside from the one suggestion of Angel Delight, it was amazing how helpful it was. I ended up with this, and very good it was too. Continue reading


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Recipe | Morcilla with spudcake and a fried egg

As lunchtime recipes go this is up there in the ‘aggressively speedy’ category. In fact it was so quick that it took me by surprise, beating me to the punch before I’d got my act together to make a salad dressing. Morcilla is the Spanish variant of black pudding, and this was kindly given to me by Rachel McCormack. Ta Rachel.


Serves 1

Leftover mashed potato

A few thick slices of morcilla or black pudding

An egg

Salad leaves

Salt, pepper, oil


– Pat the mashed potato into a cake and fry in a little oil until crisp and golden on one side. Turn and add the slices of morcilla.

– Fry the morcilla for 2 minutes on each side and remove, along with the potato cake, to a warm plate.

– Lower the heat and fry the egg for a minute or two. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with the sausage and spudcake, along with a few salad leaves and a piquant dressing.

What’s your favourite way to serve black pudding?


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Recipe | Tomato and goat’s cheese gratin

I’ve been wanting to try and recreate this dish for a while. My hazy recollection of doing it at cookery school tells me that it was darn near one of the best things I’d ever put in my mouth. My own attempt was only partially successful, the goat’s cheese not being punchy enough. You need a big, farmy goat – one that honks like an entire stenchy herd and crumbles when prodded.


Serves 1

1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped

A couple of tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Sprig of rosemary

30g goat’s cheese

Salt, pepper, sugar, olive oil

* * *

– Heat a little oil and gently fry the shallot until soft. Add the chopped tomatoes, vinegar and rosemary, and season with salt, pepper and sugar.

– Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until the tomatoes are cooked and the liquid reduced. Preheat the grill to 220C.

– Put the tomatoes into a ramekin (removing the rosemary) and crumble the cheese on top. Season with a pinch of salt, a punch of pepper and a splash of olive oil, and pop under the grill for 10 minutes, until golden and bubbling.

– Serve with toast.


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Guest blog | Triple mustard potato salad

by Sam Gordon

This is a great recipe for those who enjoy all of the ingredients in combination, and could be appreciated by potato salad purists as well as newcomers. The ingredients can be multiplied to produce a ‘batch’, which will keep in the fridge for about a week, or left as is for a single helping for a hungry, confident eater of average food capacity (but probably above average fondness of potatoes/mustard). The mustard ratio is only a guideline, and should depend on individual taste. Even if you don’t particularly like one of the mustard variants, it is recommended that you add a tiny amount (not enough to be detectable by taste, however) just so that you can boast about there being three types of mustard, which sounds more impressive than two or, Heaven forbid, just one.


7 x baby new potatoes, chopped into quarters

4 x tablespoons of Hellman’s mayonnaise (probably not worth making your own)

1 x tablespoon of crème fraiche

1.5 x teaspoons of Dijon mustard

1.5 x teaspoons of wholegrain mustard

1 x teaspoon of English mustard

Handful of chives or parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper

Boil the potatoes in salted water until they can be easily penetrated with a sharp knife, but still take a moment to slide back off it. Drain and leave to cool for about fifteen minutes. Stir in the mayonnaise, crème fraiche and mustards. Season with four scrunches of the peppermill and about two and a half of the saltcellar. Mix everything together. If you are prepared to use your hands in this process, so much the better, as the added dexterity will ensure that each potato will be covered equally with all elements of the lubricant. Scrape hands with a teaspoon to recover the lubricant that will inevitably be coating them. Any lubricant that remains on this teaspoon can be considered beyond recovery, and should probably be licked (this also saves on washing-up). Best enjoyed on toast with a leafy salad, with ham, or, for particular potato enthusiasts, stuffed into the crispy jacket of a baked potato that has been hollowed out.


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Recipe for the weekend – Mackerel on toast with broccoli and chilli

How often do you walk into a supermarket without a list, hoping to wing it? Probably quite often. It is in those moments when you just can’t quite decide what you want to eat, and so you eventually just wander aimlessly into the shop in the hope that some heavenly arrangement of ingredients will magically leap off the shelves and into your trolley. More often than not they don’t. Usually you end up having a panic attack on aisle 12 and start stuffing chamois and windolene into your basket before buying a frozen pizza and returning home for a dinner of disappointment and MSG.

On a rare occasion this week I managed to employ this tactic and leave with my sanity in tact. I knew that I wanted something on toast, and that was about it. Sashaying through the doors and into the vegetables (it was a fresh shop, you see), some tenderstem broccoli winked at me. Then some chillies and spring onion, a mackerel, and some bread. I was home 5 minutes later, and eating lunch after another 15. A quick, delicious lunch, and it cost me less than a fiver.


Mackerel on toast with broccoli, chilli and mustard seeds

Serves 1


200g tenderstem or purple sprouting broccoli

2 spring onions, washed and sliced

1 chilli, deseeded and sliced

1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

2 mackerel fillets

1 loaf of ciabatta, sliced horizontally

– Preheat the grill to 220C.

– Bring a pan of salted water to a boil and add the broccoli. Simmer for 1 1/2 minutes, drain and run under cold water.

– In the same pan, heat a little olive oil until almost smoking and add the chilli, spring onion, garlic and mustard seeds. Stir for a minute then add the broccoli. Stir fry for a further 3 minutes, season with salt and pepper, and turn down the heat to low.

– Drizzle bottom half of the ciabatta with olive oil and pop under the grill. Get a frying pan right hot with a little oil and fry the mackerel, skin side down, for two minutes. Turn onto the flesh side and turn off the heat. Turn the bread and grill for a further minute, before piling the broccoli on top, followed by the mackerel and a squeeze of lemon.


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