Pumpkin & Walnut Salad


- 1 small butternut squash peeled, seeds removed, cut into cubes
- 50ml/2fl oz vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp nigella ( black onion) seeds
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 100ml/3_fl oz clear honey
- 75ml/2_fl oz cider vinegar
- 150g/5_oz walnuts, chopped
- handful fresh watercress leaves
- 1 shallot, peeled, finely sliced
- 125g/4_oz feta, crumbled, to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. Place the pumpkin into a roasting tray. Drizzle over the vegetable oil, sprinkle over the nigella seeds, then season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until softened. Allow to cool.
3. Meanwhile, roast the walnuts in a dry pan. Add the honey and cider vinegar and continue heating over a medium heat until dissolved, stirring all the time.
4. Mix together the watercress leaves, shallot, roasted pumpkin and pumpkin seeds until well combined. Drizzle over the honey and vinegar mixture and stir until the leaves are coated in the dressing. Sprinkle over the crumbled feta.

Pumpkin Pie


- 6oz. Short crust pastry
- 14-15oz/400-425 g. pumpkin cooked & mashed
- 3 eggs beaten
- 3oz/85 g white sugar
- 3oz/85g brown sugar
- teaspoon salt
- 2tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2/1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2/1 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2/1tsp allspice
- 1x13oz/385g can evaporated milk.


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/425F/gas mark 6.
2. Lightly grease a 9in/23cm deep pie dish.
3. Line pie dish with pastry and blind bake.
4. In a mixing bowl, stir mashed pumpkin, eggs and all the sugar.
5. Add all seasonings and evaporated milk.
6. Mix well and pour into pie shell.
7. Bake for 15 mins at gas mark 6 then for 45 mins at 180C/350F/ gas mark 4.
8. Serve hot, warm or cold with whipped cream.

Pumpkin and Peanut Butter Soup


- 2lbs butternut squash
- 1 oz butter- one medium onion, thinly sliced
- 2 sticks of celery, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons mild curry powder
- 1 1/2 pints veg stock
- 2 tabs crunchy peanut butter
- half pint milk
- 1-2 tabs lemon juice
- salt and black pepper
-2 oz roasted peanuts chopped - for garnish


Cut the squash into wedges and scoop out the seeds and fibres. Peel and cut into small chunks. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and celery and cook over a low heat for five minutes until soft and lightly browned. Stir in the curry powder and cook for I minute. Add the squash and stock and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the squash is very tender.
Puree the soup in batches with the peanut butter in a blender. Return the soup to the pan and stir in the milk and lemon juice and salt and pepper. Bring slowly to the boil then lower the heat and simmer for five minutes. Serve sprinkled with the peanuts.

Pumpkin and Rosemary Muffins


- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 200g/7oz plain flour
- 1 dessert spoon baking powder
- 110g(4oz ) brown sugar- pinch salt
- Spoonful rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 egg beaten- 6 fl oz semi-skimmed milk
- 1/2 tsp each of ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves
- 225g/8oz cooked butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced


1. Preheat oven to 200C/gas mark 6
2. Grease tins or use paper muffin cases
3. In medium saucepan with enough water to cover boil squash for 20 mins. or until tender. Drain and puree.
4. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, spices & rosemary
5. In a medium bowl mix milk, egg and oil. Stir in squash.
6. Fold squash mixture into the flour mixture until just moistened.
7. Spoon the batter into muffin cases, filling about3/4 full.
8. Bake in oven for 20 mins. Or until cooked.
9. Cool on wire tray

Tomato Pie with Potato Crust


Potato Crust:

- 2 firmly packed cups grated raw potatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup grated onion and grated garlic if desired
- Vegetable, rapeseed oil or olive oil


- 3 or 4 medium tomatoes sliced (approximately 1/8-inch thick), drained, and patted dry
- Coarse salt and pepper taste
- 8 bacon slices, cooked crisp and crumbled (optional)
- 4 tablespoons coarsely-chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- about 4 tablespoons brown breadcrumbs mixed with grated parmesan


Make Potato Crust and bake while you are preparing tomato mixture.
Preheat oven to 200. Oil a 9-inch flan dish or cake tin. Place raw potatoes in a colander. Salt potatoes and let set for 10 minutes. Squeeze out the excess water. In a medium bowl, combine potatoes, egg, and onion. Pat potato mixture into prepared pie pan, building up the sides of the crust with lightly floured fingers. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown (after the first 20 minutes brush the crust with vegetable oil to crisp it). Remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 180.

Layer half of the tomato slices onto the bottom of the baked Potato Crust; lightly season tomatoes with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with half of the bacon if desired and 3 tablespoons basil and I tablespoon pesto. Repeat layer, using remaining tomato slices, salt, pepper, bacon, basil and pesto. Top with a mixture of brown breadcrumbs and grated parmesan.
Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes or until crumbs begin to brown. Remove from oven and serve immediately.


(Great to impress your mates with – so much nicer than salsa out of a jar. It keeps for about 3 days in the fridge.)
4 tomatoes or 16 cherry tomatoes


- red onion

- red pepper
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 chilli
- About 1 tsp white wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar or juice of lemon or lime
- 1 to 2 tbs olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Optional: chopped basil leaves/spring onions/green pepper/ coriander / pinch sugar/chopped olives.


1. If you are using big tomatoes, halve them and take out the seeds (this is optional, if you leave them in it will be more watery) and chop them into small bits. If using cherry tomatoes, just cut them in _’s
2. Dice the onion and pepper into small cubes.
3. Crush or finely dice the garlic.
4. Finely slice the chilli. (be careful what you touch after slicing the chilli).
5. Mix all the chopped ingredients and vinegar, oil and seasoning.
6. Leave for an hour (if you can) at room temperature. Taste and adjust seasoning, vinegar etc if needed.
7. Chill to keep.

Tomato sauce

(this recipe makes one batch, probably for 3 to 4 as a pasta sauce, make loads and freeze it in portion sizes for a quick lunch/supper fix)


- 1 onion, diced
- *1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 400g fresh tomatoes (can use green tomatoes) If using red tomatoes, you can skin and deseed them or not
- 2 tbs olive oil
- Salt pepper
- 1 clove garlic, chopped (optional)
- 1 tsp oregano (optional)
*if you only have whole plum tomatoes, you can chop them up in the saucepan with a wooden spoon


1. Heat the oil in a saucepan until hot.
2. Place the onions in the pan, they should sizzle, but not burn.
3. Stir with a wooden spoon and sweat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and
4. Add the tomatoes and a pinch of salt and pepper and the oregano .
5. Stir, then cover or not. Cook for 15 – 60 minutes, stirring from time to time.
6. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
(The longer you cook this for the better the flavour).

This sauce is great with spaghetti or any pasta shape, with gnocci, just add grated cheese

You can add other ingredients to this mixture. Try chopped anchovies, a bit of red pepper and chilli, chopped or sliced olives, capers, diced ham/chorizo/salami/ feta cheese, some mushrooms, a tin of tuna , replace oregano with fresh basil (add this at the end). You can also use this sauce to bake a chicken breast in, a piece of fish or a lamb steak…… Enjoy experimenting!

Crabapple Jelly with a hint of Blackberry


- 2 lbs crabapples
- a handful of blackberries
- water
- sugar


As with all jellies, cook the crabapples until they are very soft. Add the handful of blackberries towards the end of the cooking. Sieve through a muslin bag overnight. To make the jelly use 1 pint of juice to 1lb sugar and boil to setting point. Put in clean jars. The jelly will goes well with both cheese and meat.

Auntie Grete’s Apple Cake


- 4oz sugar
- 4oz butter or Stork
- 4oz self-raising flour
- 2 eggs
- vanilla essence ( optional)
- 2 large cooking apples peeled, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced.


1. Heat oven to 180C/gas mark 4
2. Cream sugar and butter ( and essence).
3. Add beaten eggs one by one
4. Fold in flour
5. Spread thinly in greased cake tin ( 9in. round or square)
6. Push apple slices upright into mixture, closely
7. Bake until light brown for 40 – 45 min.
8. Serve warm with cream or caster sugar

Damson Fool


- 1 lb damsons
- 2-4 oz sugar to taste
- 1/4 pint custard
- 1/4 pint whipped cream


Cook the damsons well until soft, and strain through a colander allowing most of the skin to go through but not the stones. ( if you do this through a normal sieve it will take ages and you will lose some of the texture) Add sugar to taste. Add the custard and whipped cream and chill.