This soup sings out with the flavours of summer, but since it is made with frozen peas, it can be enjoyed year round. It will become a family favourite — and one that you can make when you think you have nothing to eat.
Break the ice with this great dish to share. It looks impressive, but is so easy to make.
This is tapas at its best. The creamy curd cheese slowly melts into the warm lentils, while the beetroot releases its juices. All the flavours ooze together. If you cannot find goats' curd, a very young and soft chèvre (goats' cheese) will make a fine substitute.
Quail with a Middle Eastern influence, coated in five-spice powder and finished in piquant pomegranate molasses and seeds.
A spring vegetable native to the Mediterranean, asparagus is well worth the wait for its unbeatable flavour and freshness. This dish is so simple to prepare and the combination of textures from the asparagus, spinach and pine kernels is a treat.
The combination of ingredients for this delicious savoury pastry is classic. The great news is that it works brilliantly with a whole variety of other options. You can freeze what you don’t eat or just eat the leftovers as snacks. You can also make this several hours in advance and bake it just before serving.
Normally to make a ballotine — a boned and rolled joint — is considered a little bit tricky. So get your butcher to do the hard work of boning the meat, leaving you the easy task of stuffing and rolling. The result is fantastic juicy meat with aromatic stuffing.
Melt-in-the-mouth venison steak is never better than when complemented with port.
To make these rillettes (which are similar to a pâté), the duck is slowly cooked in its own fat and then shredded, mixed with some of the duck fat and juices, and allowed to set in a terrine. Normally served with cornichons, these rillettes have a Spanish twist and are served with membrillo (quince paste) and hot toast.
This unusual dish of sweet scallops accompanied by the deep iron flavour of morcilla (Spanish blood sausage) and crisped sage leaves is quite spectacular.
Mackerel and horseradish are a match made in heaven, with the creaminess and heat balancing perfectly. Use a ready-made horseradish sauce if fresh horseradish is unavailable.
This recipe encapsulates the simplicity of rustic Spanish cooking. The mingling flavours of the marinade combine beautifully with the sweet succulent prawns, while charred edges from the barbecue or griddle give the slightest of crunches and a heady smoked aroma. You can substitute jumbo prawns, but the king prawns or royal red prawns look much more authentic.
It is important in this recipe that the pan is exceptionally hot so the squid is quickly cooked to tender perfection. Squid must always be cooked very fast over high heat or slowly over a long period, otherwise the result is a chewy, rubber-like disaster.
This classic French dish is often made with wine or cider. This recipe reduces the quantities used, thereby losing calories without compromising on taste. It looks impressive, but it is so simple to put together.
This delicious fish dish couldn’t be quicker or easier. It takes just 5 minutes to prepare and just 10 minutes or so to cook. Prepare the fish before your guests arrive and keep chilled until required.
This quick sticky stew is a hearty, rustic and homely dish that is really satisfying when you want something light but comforting. The grating of the orange rind at the end gives an interesting twist to the flavour.
Using soba noodles reduces the calories by about one-third over regular egg noodles.
Not only does this marinade give this steak a wonderful zing, it tenderises it too. The variations provide several other marinades for you to try. Serve with a salad or a steamed green vegetable such as broccoli.
Slow-cooked with lots of pungent spices, this tender lamb curry is customarily served with sticky or coconut rice and a pickled relish, chilli relish or fresh chillies.
When risotto is cooked on the hob, it requires a lot of stirring, so many people don’t want to make it. When it’s made in the slow cooker, however, it needs no attention at all.
The chicken breasts can be stuffed in advance and you might want to ask an adult to help you stuff the cheese under the skin. Serve with potatoes and some green beans or salad.
A classic combination, this is definitely worth a little effort for a special occasion.
If you have never prepared rabbit at home before, this uncomplicated recipe with impressive results is the perfect place to start. Ask your butcher to cut the rabbit for you.
Chicken is stuffed with sausage and basil, wrapped in parchment paper, and rested on top of hearty ratatouille. All you need to complete the meal is some crusty bread.
The natural oil in duck breasts means they withstand perfectly the searing heat of a grill.
Ribs always benefit from long slow and gentle cooking, so the slow cooker is ideal for this. They are baked first, then cooked in the slow cooker with barbecue sauce.
This classic Middle Eastern dish is known as 'djedjad' in Arabic. It is a wonderfully aromatic way to cook chicken, delicately scented, and very elegant.
This sweet treat is calories on a plate, but as an occasional treat, it is a winner.
Using filo pastry means you can whip up apple tarts in no time. For an even quicker variation, replace the apples with apple sauce.
Crema catalana is a pudding that’s very similar to crème brûlée, but the custard base is not baked but thickened and set with a little cornflour. It has a great depth and warmth of flavour from the lemon and cinnamon.
This Indian-inspired rice pudding is so special you'll be licking the saucepan.
These nutty cookies make great gifts. They store well too, so you might want to double up the quantities while you are in baking mode.
Chocolate and coffee are natural partners and combine together beautifully in this classic French dessert. Once the egg yolks have been added, transfer the mixture to a measuring jug to make it easier to pour into the ramekins.
This dish is best enjoyed when served with a side of freshly made warm rotis and a light chutney. It also works well alongside a flavourful pulao and some salad.
This classic pea with pancetta dish makes a delicious side dish. It is also a wonderful filling for an omelette or mixed with freshly cooked pasta and a little cream.
Calories have been slashed from this classic recipe by using the low-fat crust, cutting the number of egg yolks and being economical with the sugar. Using brown sugar adds a richness to compensate for fewer egg yolks.
Known as 'tortillitas de camarones' in Spain, these delicious fritters are wonderful served as an appetiser with a glass or two of dry white wine or chilled dry sherry.
Preserved lemon is traditionally called for in this dish, although you can use thinly sliced fresh lemon if you prefer or if preserved lemons prove hard to find.
Linguine – long flat spaghetti – work very well in this delicately flavoured dish. Perfect as a starter, or as an entree with a big bowl of salad.
This delicious Piedmontese speciality is gaining in popularity and fame all over Italy and beyond. The skill of the dessert lies in getting it to set without being at all rubbery, so just the right amount of gelatine needs to be used. I prefer to use gelatine sheets for this recipe; if you must use powdered gelatine, it may be a bit tricky to get the right consistency at first. Here is the basic plain vanilla panna cotta.
A warming rich beef stew, full of vegetables and hearty enough to satisfy on the coldest winter night.
A Japanese-influenced dish, tempura batter should be light and airy, crunchy and without any trace of oiliness. Make the batter just before using it.
The dish literally takes minutes to bring together, but if you let it sit for a short time, the flavours intensify.
Edible flowers make a stunning and delicious addition to salads. They are particularly suitable for meals for special occasions.
Quick and simple, yet sophisticated and utterly delicious, these scallops are the perfect way to start a dinner party. For hungry diners, add one or two extra scallops per person.
Roulades make impressive and popular desserts and are ideal for parties because they can be made ahead and need no last-minute attention.
The tuile recipe will make more than you need, so store the extras to serve with coffee.
Based on the classic twice-baked Italian biscuit, these savoury bites are a great alternative to crisps. Their long, thin shape also makes them perfect for dunking into dips.
Serve these colourful roast peppers with crusty white bread for mopping up the juices. Ask an adult to help you lift the baking dish in and out of the oven.
This wonderful salty cheese is traditionally served grilled or fried, when it softens to a deliciously chewy texture. You’ll find it in supermarkets and Mediterranean food stores.
This classic tapas recipe is delicious served with a selection of other dishes to start a meal. Choose simple complementary dishes, such as marinated olives and artichoke hearts, and serve with chunks of crusty bread.
This thick, Italian-style omelette is delicious served in wedges as a chunky snack with pre-dinner drinks or with a salad for a formal appetiser.
You can usually buy bocconcini – the bite-size balls of mozzarella – in most good cheese shops, larger supermarkets and delis. Alternatively, use regular mozzarella and cut it into bite-size pieces.
This is the dish to cook for a crowd – the perfect centrepiece. It is wrong to think that ham is a fatty meat; you just need to cut off the visible fat before eating. It is excellent served hot with vegetables and equally good served cold as a salad.
A simple but vibrant French-style recipe that brings out the wonderful taste of good lamb chops.
This is an excellent dish to prepare for a dinner party. The flavour is delicious, and you could serve it with either mashed or roasted potatoes. Add some green vegetables to complete the meal.