Asparagus, halloumi and new potatoes

Asparagus, halloumi and new potatoes

Asparagus, halloumi and new potatoes

Asparagus, halloumi and new potatoes

Our family loves this recipe, taken from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Three Good Things… book. Sometimes we might have it with a piece of grilled fish, fried sea bass or simply with a poached egg on top.

The salty halloumi works brilliantly with the slightly caramelised asparagus and the tender potatoes. Add as much lemon juice as you like at the end to give a nice perky lift to your taste buds.

A nice, easy supper dish.

Serves 4

600–700g new potatoes, scrubbed or scraped
4–5 garlic cloves, unpeeled, bashed
3 tbsp olive oil
400g asparagus
225g halloumi
Lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1–2 tbsp roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley to finish (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5. Cut the potatoes into small chunks. Put them in a large roasting tray with the garlic, add the olive oil and some salt and pepper and toss well. Roast for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, snap the woody ends from the asparagus and cut the spears into 3–4cm lengths. Cut the halloumi into 2cm cubes.
  3. Take the potatoes from the oven, add the asparagus and halloumi and toss to combine. You don’t want the tray to be too crowded – everything should be in a single layer. Return the tray to the oven for 15 minutes until the asparagus is tender and the cheese is starting to caramelise.
  4. Hugh recommends discarding the garlic, but we don’t like to waste it, so mash it and mix it into the ingredients.
  5. Add a generous spritz of lemon juice and toss everything again.
  6. Scatter with parsley, if using, and some more black pepper.
  7. Serve straight away with aforementioned, fish, egg or just a piece of sourdough bread.

Courgette and Feta Fritters

Courgette and feta fritter

Courgette and feta fritters with cottage cheese and salad

Courgette and Feta Fritters
Makes about 24 fritters

These fritters are yummy and can be eaten as a starter, with a salad, in a burger bun or just by themselves really. I got the idea from Nigella. They’re really easy to make and you don’t have to deep-fry them. They are fairly light, but you could bulk them up with potato if you wanted something more dense. With the addition of the herbs, they make a perfect summer dish. I had some leftover green beans so added those to the mixture as well.

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Honey Cake


Honey Cake

We got this recipe from last week’s Guardian and thought we’d give it a go, given that we had most of the ingredients in the cupboard. It was very easy to make and we’ve managed to make it last longer than four days, which is a record in our house when there are five sweet-toothed mouths to feed.

The cake seems to get tastier the longer you leave it and it retains its moisture. Delicious.

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Puttanesca Sauce

puttanesca sauce

Puttanesca sauce

This is a really simple pasta sauce to make and all five members of my family love it – no easy feat! It’s great served with spaghetti, although you can use any sort of pasta.  The main ingredients are tomatoes, capers, olives and anchovies, so it’s got a lovely tangy taste.  It originates from southern Italy and means ‘whore’s sauce’.  This recipe serves four people.

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Carrot Cake

Hummingbird Bakery Carrot Cake

carrot cake

Hummingbird carrot cake

My sister is a die-hard fan of carrot cake, so I trusted her judgement implicitly when she told me that this was by far the best carrot cake recipe she has come across – both in terms of taste and ease of making it.

It’s the second time Co and I have made this cake and, yes, it is delicious and straightforward – until you get to the cream cheese icing. The butter and icing sugar are whisked together and then beaten with the cream cheese. The first time we made it, the butter didn’t cream in properly and there were yellow globules in the not-so-creamy paste. This time, we ensured that the butter was super soft before we combined it with the icing sugar. However, the paste still wasn’t as smooth as we hoped. Next time, we’re going to try melting the butter beforehand to see if we get a better result.

However, don’t let that put you off. It still tastes delicious and if you sprinkle cinnamon liberally over the top, no one will spot the imperfections.

Jo and Co tip: Wrap a tea towel around the whisk and bowl when mixing the butter with the icing sugar or you’ll end up with a snowy face and kitchen. Continue reading