This is a comforting, robust and nourishing broth for autumn and winter. Choose a ripe and firm pumpkin. I like the variety called Uchiki Kuri, also known as Red Kuri. The flesh is close-textured and with a deep golden orange colour. The flavour is intense and nutty. It also roasts well and makes an excellent purée. Butternut squash is an excellent replacement for the pumpkin. Even though we are using robustly flavoured ingredients here, the resulting broth is surprisingly delicate. The soup makes a large quantity, but you can successfully half this recipe if you wish.
This is a lovely refreshing salad which I like to serve when the new season oranges from Italy, and dates from Morocco arrive in the shops in December. I scramble around in the garden trying to find a few surviving mint leaves to freshen it up. If the mint has all been scorched by the frost, I substitute it with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds. This dish can be served on its own with perhaps a little yoghurt or with yoghurt and vanilla ice cream.
This is a Middle Eastern recipe which I like very much and I serve it as a dessert cake. I sometimes serve it in the winter months with a seasonal Salad of Dates and Oranges rather than the Sherried Raisins. This cake rises in the cooking and then falls a little to present itself looking like a cross between a cake and a tart. A thick, Greek-style yoghurt is best for this cake.
Padraig McCarthy serves up a tasty and easy to make scallop dish.
A great starter.
Another great dish for your repertoire.
In this master recipe we are aiming to achieve a smooth and silky soup, packed full of flavour and nourishment and bright green in colour. By varying the green ingredient, you need never tire of this recipe. The choice of green vegetables that can be used here are many, but we have to choose one to get us going, so my choice is spinach. Choose strong, handsome and really fresh looking leaves and the results will be dazzlingly green.
A leg of lamb can be roasted like this at any time of the year, but is best with spring lamb which in this part of the world appears at Easter time. Spring lamb for the table, coming from lambs born around Christmas, is sweet, mild and subtle, hence the absence of flavourings here other than sea salt and freshly ground pepper. The skin on spring lamb when roasted gets particularly crisp and delicious, so do not be tempted to trim any off before roasting the meat. Strongly flavoured herbs and spices will overpower the delicate flavour of the early or new season lamb so I wait until at bit later in the season before introducing those.