Salmon Salad with Marie Rose

I came upon this recipe scanning through Jamie Oliver’s website – ‘Simple Roast Salmon’. The salad dressing is called ‘Marie Rose’ sauce and was created by a famous British chef – Fanny Craddock – back in the 60s. It’s nice to be posting this today as England won their first match in the Euros and I’m feeling patriotic. Back in the 70’s this Marie-Rose sauce was used a lot in ‘prawn cocktails’ and since then it’s come to be seen as a bit outdated. Apparently, however, coincidentally it’s made a bit of a comeback and my husband spotted it in an article on resurging food trends. This and fondue. Was fondue ever out? The usual way to make the sauce is with ketchup which feels a bit like cheating but it taste pretty good.

Serves 4


  • 4 salmon fillets
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 4 tbsp low fat yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 lemons
  • tabasco sauce
  • 2 little gem lettuces
  • 2 handfuls watercress
  • 300g cooked prawns
  • pinch paprika


1.) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C

2.) Line a baking tray, season the salmon and put the salmon on the tray and drizzle on some oil (skin on top if there is skin)

3.) Cook for about 10 minutes or as per instructions on packet

4.) Make the Marie Rose sauce. Zest a lemon and add to a bowl, squeeze in the juice then add the yoghurt, ketchup,. Season and add a dash of Tabasco

5.) Wash and chop the little gem lettuces and chop. Add to a mixing bowl. Wash the watercress and add to the bowl. Season, chop the other lemon in half and squeeze the juice of one half into the bowl and a drizzle of oil and mix.

6,) Plate up the salad. Divide the prawns between the servings. Add the salmon on top.

7.) Drop over spoonfuls of the Marie-Rose sauce and sprinkle over a pinch of paprika.

Cauliflower & Cherry Salad

I love cherries so much – when I was a kid I would ask for a bag of them as a snack from the grocers. Weird kid huh. Anyway I was really happy to see a recipe using them that wasn’t a dessert even if I am very partial to a cherry clafoutis. This recipe was in Jamie Oliver’s ‘Veg’. Such a great book, I really recommend it. I subbed out brown rice for bulghar wheat and probably any mix of fresh herbs would be fine.

Serves 4


  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 200g bulghar wheat
  • 2 tsp za’atar
  • 200g cherries
  • 1 preserved lemon
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp honey
  • olive oil
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 30g fresh mint
  • 30g fresh dill
  • 4 tbsp yoghurt


1.) Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C

2.) Chop up the cauliflower into florets

3.) Add the bulghar wheat and cauliflower to a pan and cover with boiling water. Simmer for 10 minutes then remove the cauliflower with a slotted spoon. Continue simmering the bulghar wheat until cooked. When done, drain and set aside to cool.

4,) Line a baking tray and place on the cauliflower. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with za’atar and salt and pepper. Get another baking tray and crush down. Leave the top tray on the cauliflower and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. (In fact I forgot to do this straight away and ended up taking the cauliflower out halfway through but I think I got away with it. It may have been easier to crush).

5.) While this is baking, prepare the cherries. Destone the cherries, roughly chop and throw into a mixing bowl.

6.) Finely chop the preserved lemon, removing the pips and add to the cherries. Slice the lemon in half and squeeze the juice in from one of the halves. Drizzle in the honey and 3 tbsp olive oil. Give it a good mix.

7.) Toast the pine nuts in a frying pan on a low heat until they start to smell fragrant.

8.) Finely chop up the dill and mint. Mix with the bulghar wheat along with the juice from the other half of the lemon.

9.) Plate up the bulghar wheat and place on the cauliflower. Spoon over the cherry mixture, sprinkle over the pine nuts and spoon over some yoghurt.

Asparagus and Crab meat Soup

When I was a kid I loved Chinese food as I had good access to it with all the Chinese takeaways. Over time, that love has broadened to include many more cuisines from South East Asia as I’ve had more exposure. Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and Thai food I also now love though I await the day when vegetarian versions of Char Sui Buns are readily available (yes I should make some!). All these cuisines have a few things in common for me – they have a few central ingredients which are used to create many different dishes, they’re fresh, flavourful, healthy, quick to make and the meat recipes are generally quite easy to substitute. This recipe from ‘The Vietnamese Market Cookbook’ is a great example of this.

Serves 4


  • Chicken flavoured stock
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion
  • 200g crabmeat
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • rice noodles (I didn’t measure these – enough for 4 – I really like the wide strip ones)
  • 1 punnet of shitake mushrooms
  • pepper
  • coriander leaves


1.) Peel and chop up the onion

2.) Heat the oil in a large casserole dish and fry the onion until soft

3.) Boil some water and make up 1.5 litres stock

4.) Add the crabmeat to the pan and fry for a couple of minutes then add the fish sauce and fry for one more minute

5.) Pour in the stock and turn up the heat

6.) Slice up the mushrooms and asparagus and add to the pan with the rice noodles. Reserve the tips of the asparagus as they cook quicker.

7.) Cook on a high heat for 5 minutes until the noodles are soft, after 3 minutes, add the asparagus tips. While this is cooking, chop up the coriander leaves.

8.) When the soup is done, sprinkle in some pepper. Serve up with a garnish of coriander.

Summer Rolls

Summer rolls are really a salad but they don’t feel like salad. After a couple of unseasonably warm April days, these fresh, delicious rolls made a great dinner. You can find the rice paper in any oriental supermarket and it’s also readily available on Amazon. I did get back home a little late so I was a bit lazy in making a dipping sauce, just using some pre-made sauces that we had but sweet chilli, soy sauce, satay sauce and hoisin sauce would all be great options. Dipping the rice paper into the water meant my hands were always wet and it was difficult to take pictures of the assembly but as you can see, my rolls were more oblong shaped and it doesn’t really affect the taste.

Makes about 12 rolls


  • 2 small carrots
  • 10g mint
  • 10g coriander leaves
  • 100g pack of pre-cooked prawns
  • 200g pack vermicelli rice noodles
  • 1 iceberg lettuce
  • rice paper (one pack usually contains at least 50 wrappers)


1.) Microwave the vermicelli noodles according to the instructions.

2.) Peel the carrots and chop them into thin batons about the length of a third of a carrot. Add to a mixing bowl. (You will also need a mixing bowl bigger than the size of your rice paper so bear that in mind in your container choice).

3.) Wash and chop the lettuce into thin strips and add with the carrots.

4.) Finely chop the herbs and add with the lettuce and carrots

5.) Chop up the prawns and add to the salad.

6.) Add the noodles to the bowl and mix everything.

7.) Fill the largest mixing bowl you have with cold water and place a rice paper wrapper in to soak.

8.) Leave for about 30 seconds until soft. When they’re too soft they end up sticking together so keep an eye on it.

9.) Place the rice paper on a plate (it won’t stick) and place the next wrapper in the water.

10.) Dump some of the mixture in the middle of the rice paper

11.) Wrap it up like a burrito – ends first then middle bits.

12.) Repeat until all the mixture is used up.

13.) Serve with your dipping sauce of choice. I found these kept quite nicely in the fridge with some foil over them for the next day.

Roasted Veg and grain Salad

4 more working days until a week off work and I’m very excited about it even though I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the time as everything is closed! Still, just a couple of weeks until I can hit the gym and give the hairdresser a heart attack with my wonky self-cut fringe.

This is a great recipe if you’re like me and wanting to off-set some of the lockdown unhealthiness by getting in your 5 a day. Capers and mustard in the dressing pack a flavour punch as healthy does not need to be bland. I took this recipe from BBC Good Food.

Serves 4 (as a main)


  • 1 cauliflower
  • 400g carrots
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 200g spelt
  • 100g green beans
  • 10g parsley
  • 10g mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1/2 tbsp mustard
  • 100ml oil
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar


1.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C

2.) Line a roasting tin

3.) Break up the cauliflower into florets and add to a mixing bowl

4.) Peel the carrots, top and tail them then slice into strips and with the cauliflower

5.) In the bowl, add 2 tbsp of the oil, the honey, the cumin and some salt and pepper.

6.) Mix it all up, I think the only way is to get your hands in.

7.) Stick in the oven to roast for 30 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn over the veg to make sure all sides brown.

8.) While the vegetables are roasting, put a kettle on to boil, and add the pearl barley and the water to the pan. Cook for about 18 minutes.

9.) Trim the edges of the green beans and add to the pan with the barley and cook for another 7 minutes until the beans and barley are tender.

10.) While the veg and barley is cooking, make the dressing, chop finely the herbs, add to your container of choice, pour in the oil and vinegar, stir through the mustard, add the capers and a bit of seasoning and give it a good mix.

11.) Drain the pearl barley and beans. Tip it over the tray roasted veg. Dollop the dressing around the tray and serve.

Quinoa “Porridge”

I’m excited to blog this recipe as it’s one of my favourites and I make it at least every couple of months. The health benefits of quinoa are endless, probably why it’s had such a big boom in the last few years. It’s packed with fibre, protein and nutrients. Although this is called porridge it’s not really a breakfast recipe though I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner (or breakfast, dinner and tea as we call it in the north of England). The recipe is taken from Yotam Ottonlenghi’s ‘Plenty More’ which is a brilliant vegetarian cookbook. Ottonlenghi has a few restaurants in London and Nopi is located in one of my favourite parts of London – just off super cool Carnaby Street. It’s incredibly reasonably priced for the restaurant of a celebrity chef and though it is not a vegetarian restaurant, it’s an absolute mecca for vegetarians as this guy can really pack flavour into greens. As I write this I’m daydreaming about the chargrilled aubergine with yoghurt. In fact, I’ve just decided to buy the Nopi cookbook so I can blog about that one too …

Serves 2


130g quinoa

400ml vegetable stock

5g parsley

5g mint

50g feta

100g spinach

200g plum tomatoes

spray oil



  1. Make up the 400ml vegetable stock
  2. Put the quinoa in a pan and pour over the stock, put onto simmer for about 15 minutes
  3. In the meantime, put the grill on and put the tomatoes on a tray to roast until they start to blacken. Spray them with oil and sprinkle with salt
  4. While these are cooking, chop up the herbs and crumble up the feta
  5. When the quinoa is cooked, add the spinach and let it wilt
  6. Add in the feta and the tomatoes and stir through with a sprinkle of salt
  7. Garnish with the herbs