fresh green pea hummus with mint

I like to look at the ingredients I’ve got on hand and think of what I can make from them.  I had a lot of peas this week, so thought I’d make a fresh pea hummous and take it to the housewarming drinks party I’m going to later.

Take about 500gms fresh garden peas (I am sure frozen will work just as well), blanch in boiling water from about 5 minutes.  Strain in a colander under cold water. Blend in a food processor with:

  • 1 – 3 cloves of garlic (depending on how you like it)
  •  3 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 Tbs Tahini
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • a generous pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper
  • a pinch of chilli …or more if you want it spicy
  • a good squeeze of lemon juice (about a TBS)
  • and a small handful of mint

Blend until its a  nice smooth and creamy consistency.

This fresh summery dip is delicious with Mexicorn Nachos in my favourite flavour – ginger, chilli and lime….or any other snack.

I  think this could also work really well with coriander or parsley.


strawberries in a bowl

‘Strawberries are the angels of the earth, innocent and sweet with green leafy wings reaching heavenward’.  ~Jasmine Heiler

strawberries - photo by Libby Edwards, styled by me


pears baked with amaretto

‘It is, in my view, the duty of an apple to be crisp and crunchable, but a pear should have such a texture as leads to silent consumption’.  ~Edward Bunyard


‘There are only ten minutes in the life of a pear when it is perfect to eat’.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I tend to agree that pears have a very limited ‘window of consumption opportunity’, and as a result I prefer them cooked. That way they pretty much always taste good.

Peel, quarter and de-cor about 4 pears (or however many you need). Place in a small oven proof baking dish with a lid.  Pour over the Amaretto (I used about 80ml (1/3 of a cup) for 4 pears.  Sprinkle over 2 Tbsp brown sugar.  Mix a bit and then pop into a hot or moderate oven (180 – 200 degrees) for about 10 minutes.  Serve with vanilla ice cream, pouring the sauce over and then sprinkle over a generous amount of toasted flaked almonds.

warm pears in lovely amaretto sauce with vanilla ice cream

I love hot and cold together and soft and crunchy, and with this recipe, the pears are warm, sweet and soft, the ice cream is cold and the nuts are crunchy.  So perfect.


zesty warm green bean salad

i love green beans

Green beans are one of my favourite vegetables.  It’s a toss up between, courgettes, green beans and asparagus…..I love to do them like this (aprox 350gm) – so simple and so delicious.

Blanch the beans for a few minutes in boiling water (3 max).  Strain and then pour over a good gulp of olive oil, add the zest of a whole lemon, juice of half a lemon, a good sprinkle of Maldon salt and some freshly ground black pepper.

This is delicious as is, as a side dish with so many things. Eat it warm or cold.

Add a finely chopped red onion and toss around a bit.  The red from the onion turns the dressing a lovely pink colour.

sprinkle on finely chopped red onion

lovely pink dressing


fantastic fish pie – jamie oliver

jamie oliver's very fabulous fish pie

The search is over, this is THE best fish pie ever.  I first ate it at bookclub when Meags made it.  Its from JO’s second book and in the Nov 09 edition of BBC good food mag its included in an article as one of his favourite recipes of the last decade. I have tweaked the recipe to accomodate standard South African pack sizes (how nice is that?).


  • 5 large spuds peeled and diced (about 3 cm)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 free range eggs (leave out if you don’t like)
  • 2 handfuls spinach (I used 1 x 200gms packet of baby spinach)
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped / diced (small)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 250ml cream (recipe says 285ml double cream)
  • 2 good handfuls grated parmesan or cheddar cheese (I used a local and delicious parmesan style cheese)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 heaped tsp english mustard (I used 2 teaspoons Dijon)
  • 1 large handful flat leafed parsley, finely chopped
  • 500 gm smoked haddock sliced into strips and then chopped into biggish chunks (I used the folded fillets bought frozen then thawed). You could use any nice firm white fish – cod, hake, kingklip etc.  I think salmon could also work – or a mix of salmon and white fish.
  • nutmeg (optional) – I didn’t use, I’m weary of nutmeg since my overdose in the nineties which left me hallucinating and ill for 48 hours –thats a loong and very funny story

how to make:

  • pre heat oven to 230 degrees c
  • I then chopped all the things, juiced the lemon and got everything ready to cook
  • boil pots in salted water for a couple of minutes
  • add the 2 eggs and set timer for 8 minutes and add to the spuds.  remove when ready and cool, peel and cut into quarters
  • place a colander or sieve over the boiling potatoes and empty the spinach in, put the lid on and steam for about 2 minutes (how convenient). Remove and drain.
  • when spuds are cooked drain in the colander
  • in a separate pan fry the onion and carrot for about 5 minutes in the olive oil then add the cream and bring to the boil
  • remove from the heat, add the cheese, lemon juice, parsley and mustard
  • put the spinach (which you have squeezed and chopped up), the chopped up fish and eggs into an appropriately sized oven dish and mix together 
  • pour over the cream mixture
  • mash up the potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and then spread over the fish pie using a fork
  • you could drizzle a bit more oil or melted butter over the top to get a browner finish.  You could also sprinkle over some more cheese if you really wanted to be decadent and get some more crunch
  • bake for about 25 – 30 mins – until golden

The recipe serves 6, but between the 4 of us we manged to scrape and lick every last morsel of this delicious pie. My friend John had 3 helpings (he is a slim élite athlete so thats ok).  I served this with JO’s recommendation of some warmed baked beans in tom sauce …(really this does add so much value) and my zesty warm green bean salad.

Do not pass go, do not worry about the calories, go straight into the kitchen and make this. Yumalicious.

(note to self – for future possible changes and options, add prawns, mix in some salmon with the white fish, possibly celery etc)

A big heap of pie and beans

bubbling over the edge


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