Carrots and Zucchini with Garlic and Ginger (serves 4)

A spiraliser is a wonderful addition to any kitchen and it makes preparing this recipe so quick and easy.

1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 shallot – finely chopped

1 large clove of garlic – finely chopped

1 inch of fresh ginger – finely grated

8 oz  zucchini – spiralised

8 oz carrots – spiralised

Splash of veg. broth to moisten

Sautee shallot and garlic in the olive oil and when softened add the grated ginger and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the zucchini and carrots and cook for a further few minutes, stirring frequently.

Pour over a small amount of broth and cook for another couple of minutes until broth is heated through.


Avocado Slices with Tomato Vinaigrette (serves 4)

photo - avocadoAvocado Slices with Tomato Vinaigrette (serves 4)

I love avocados and they are good for you and I often put them in salads or make guacamole and then this occurred to me. Great light lunch or appetizer/starter. Secret ingredient – Worcestershire sauce.

Take a large, ripe tomato, cut a line with a knife and plunge tomato into boiling water for 30 seconds or so. Where you have cut a line the skin will begin to peel back so you will know it is ready to take the skin off.

Once skin is off, de-seed tomato and cut into chunks.

Place in food processor and add vinaigrette ingredients one at a time (add olive oil quite slowly) – 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar, 1 large teasp. Dijon mustard, 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, several drops of Worcestershire sauce (taste and more Worcestershire sauce if needed)

Drizzle tomato vinaigrette over avocado slices

Grilled Peaches and Plums Drizzled with Honey

Grilled Peaches and Plums Drizzled with Honey

Another one for the BBQ (or grill pan). One peach and one large plum serves 2 people (must be nice and ripe). Fruit should be brushed with extra virgin olive oil so it doesn’t stick. Spatula best thing for turning over. Equally lovely warm or cold and drizzled with raw honey (not suitable for children under one it says on the back of my raw honey)photo - grilled fruits

Jo’s Gazpacho (serves 4)

photo - gazpachoJo’s Gazpacho (serves 4)

When it is good it is very good and when it’s bad it’s horrible. Have had both types of gazpacho and some of the bad ones were made by me! One of the best came in a soup carton from a Spanish supermarket and the smoothest were in France. After trial and error I have come up with an easy, tasty gazpacho. No green peppers in mine as I don’t like the taste of them and every time I come across a recipe calling for a green pepper, I substitute a red or yellow pepper or leave it out altogether. If you follow a Mediterranean style of healthy eating this is about a Mediterranean as it gets and I added a finishing touch of sautéed zucchini/courgettes.

1/2  an English cucumber – diced

1 large clove of garlic – finely chopped

1/4 of a red onion – chopped

1/2 a large red pepper – diced

1 x 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes

1 cup tomato juice (I used dei fratelli brand which comes in a carton)

1/2 cup veg. broth/stock

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup zucchini/courgettes – finely diced (will shrink a bit on cooking but aim to have 1 tbsp.

Place cucumber, garlic, red onion, red pepper and canned tomatoes in food processor and puree at the same time as adding the tomato juice and veg. broth.

Heat olive oil in skillet/frying pan and saute the zucchini/courgettes until  nicely browned. Scatter in middle of bowl of soup.

Melon, Proscuitto and Griddled Peaches (serves 4)

Melon, Proscuitto and Griddled Peaches (serves 4)

Had been wanting to cook peaches and have them come out with stripes that a griddle pan gives. Thought my griddle pan was in storage but I found it lurking behind my collection of oil and vinegars – so I am in business! Melon and prosciutto are always a good combination. If you can get one of those small Charentais melons that are all over France that is the best melon, otherwise Cantaloupe melon is fine. Peaches go well with melon and a bed of arugula/rocket completes the picture! Toss with vinaigrette – tempted to add a few drops of yuzu juice to complement the fruit.

1 Charentais melon or 1/2 Cantaloupe melon – cubed

2 peaches – cut into 1/8ths

4 – 6 slices of prosciutto – torn into little pieces

Arugula/rocket – as much/little as you like

Place melon, prosciutto and arugula/rocket in a bowl.

Heat griddle pan, place peach slices on pan and cook till brown stripes appear, then turn over and cook until more stripes appear.

Add peaches to salad bowl and toss with vinaigrette

Tomato, Green Bean, Potato and Olive Salad

Tomato, Green Bean, Potato and Olive Salad

On vacation in France with 10 other family members we all took turns to help in the kitchen – preferably quick and easy. This was my contribution one night. I had intended just a simple tomato and green bean salad with those thin French green beans and then I made it more substantial by adding some cooked new potatoes and some pitted black olives that were lurking in the fridge and tossed it with my anchovy vinaigrette.

I had no scales or measurements available, so just take sliced tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes, greens beans cooked ‘al dente’ and baby new potatoes (halved) in roughly equal amounts. Add in some chopped black olives and toss with anchovy vinaigrette – see below

1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp. parsley – finely chopped

1 garlic clove – finely chopped

3 anchovies – finely chopped