English Creamed Carrots with Spices

A modern take on an English classic.

Everything old is new again. This is definitely a retro English recipe, the sort of recipe that screams of the cold weather and the need for cream to make you feel comforted and warm and nourished. But it is also a lovely recipe that can be modernised to suit today’s palates.

Other Carrot recipes for you to try include: Carrots with Green Peas and Green Coriander, Green Mung and Baked Carrot Salad, and a Spicy Carrot Side Dish.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series, vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006. You might also like all of our Carrot recipes here and here. Or you might like to explore English/British recipes here and here. Check out our easy Winter recipes here and here.

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Creamy Baked Sweet Potato and Gratineed Sweet Potato

Ottolenghi has a beautiful Sweet Potato Gratin in his book Ottolenghi. The dish is beautiful, the sweet potato soft, so tender. The success of the dish is the arrangement of a lot of sweet potatoes, overlapping, in a baking dish. What Ottolenghi doesn’t say in the recipe is that it works for just 1 sweet potato as well. Using a small amount of sweet potato means that it is not gratineed, but it is beautiful, tender with a crispy crust.

This is a great dish for Thanksgiving, if you celebrate that US festival. Other Thanksgiving recipes are here.

For all Sweet Potato recipes click here and here. Browse Ottolenghi recipes here, and all Baked recipes here and here. Find inspiration in our Autumn recipes here and here.

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Watermelon Juice with Ginger and Mint

As soon as the hot weather hits, thoughts turn to iced drinks and drinks that are cooling on the system. Iced teas, iced coffee and juices are our go-to coolers. This juice uses watermelon and is delicious! It is best to buy watermelon later in the season, no early watermelons. They are lacking in the true watermelon taste.

Don’t be afraid to add other cooling juices to the watermelon. Strawberries go very well with this. Cucumber and zucchini too, although green and red juices together go a murky colour. They taste amazing, but are not so visually appealing.

You might like to explore other drinks and juices. Would you like to know how to extract Pomegranate Juice? Or explore our Mid Summer recipes here.

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Orange and Olive Salad with Mint and Basil

Bounce into (almost) summer with a sweet citrus salad with Italian flavours. Simply mix herbs with orange, onion and olives – what a wonderful homage to this stunning weather. May there be much more of it. This is the time to enjoy eating outside under the shade of a tree with a carafe of white wine, salads and fresh flatbread, and lots of fruits with creme fraiche. For this salad, use navel oranges if they are of good quality (easy to peel), but grab some more seasonal ones if they look better and juicier.

You might like to browse our other Orange Salads here, our Citrus Salads, or our other Salad Recipes here and here (we have a lot!) Our Italian dishes are here and here. Or simply explore our recipes for Early Summer.

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Quick Tomato and Cucumber Cold Soup

Cucumber is so cooling in these hot months. With tomato it is even better. This soup is gorgeous. Not quite gazpacho, it is definitely similar. Best eaten chilled, it can have yoghurt stirred through. We first made it in 1998 – that sounds so very long ago. But it has stood the test of time, and as soon as hot weather hits, we make it again.

Our preference is to use tomato purees, pastes or sauces from our freezer – we made them in Autumn to get us through the Winter and Spring months until good tomatoes hit the green grocer shelves again. But it can be made by juicing tomatoes, or even with a can of tomato soup if you are desperate (don’t ever mention that I said that – we usually don’t promote processed foods!)

It is a filling yet cooling hot weather soup.

You might also like our Cucumber recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Cold Soup recipes here and here. Check out our easy Summer recipes here and here.

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Strawberries with a Mint Raspberry Sauce

Nigel Slater with a dessert of strawberries and raspberries.

I love Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries II and perhaps it is even better than the first volume. While browsing through the June recipes (ie those suitable for December in Australia), it was his pairing of strawberries and raspberries that grabbed my attention. The festive season is notoriously hot in many parts and it is beach and BBQ weather every day. Berries are prolifically available in Australia at this time, and their gorgeous colours and flavours suit the season well.

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Beets in a Herb Dressing

Beautiful Beetroot, roasted, and dressed with herbs

Beetroot is a great vegetable, and baby beets are sweet and tender. This recipe treats them minimally. You can use baby beets or larger, medium sized ones.

The inspiration for this dish came from Turquoise by Greg Malouf. I recommend this cookbook of Turkish recipes. It is beautiful.

Feel free to browse other recipes from Turquoise.  You might also like our Beetroot recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Salad recipes here and here. Check out our easy Spring recipes here and here.

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Roast Beetroot with Cumin Seeds

Beetroot has been called the Prince of Vegetables. At its best in autumn and winter, beetroot’s cheery cheery presence brings joy to the kitchen all year around. It is easy to cook, but is a dense vegetable so takes time. A good vegetable for lazy Sunday afternoons.

Browse our other Beetroot recipes here and here, or Roasted recipes here and here. Be inspired by our Winter recipes here and here.

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Buttery Spinach Stems

The intensity of Spinach without the bite.

Did you know that Spinach stems are edible, in fact, wonderful? With all of the spinach flavour of the leaves but without the bite, they are a delight to eat.

My favourite way, which I share with you today, is Buttery Spinach Stems where they are quickly sautéed  before steaming a little and serving with their buttery sauce.

Feel free to browse all of our Spinach recipes here and here. We really like an Indian Stir Fried Spinach Poriyal with Coconut.  Or find inspiration in our Winter recipes here and here.

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Creamy Tomato Soup with Lemongrass and Ginger

This soup is a little bit Indian, a little bit S. E. Asian, a little bit English, and very divine.

A soup that has stood the test of time. Fragrant and beautifully flavoured, it is treasured still by my family. It is a little bit Indian, a little bit S. E. Asian, a little bit English, it is divine. It is light enough to have in Summer and Autumn.

You might also like our Tomato Soup recipes here and here. Indian Soups are here. Or browse Tomato recipes here and here. Check out our easy Autumn recipes here and here.

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Fantastic Avocado and Celery Cold Soup

Perfect for our 40C Summers

Back from a hot weather week of family, food and fun, one of the outstanding dishes we concocted was an amazing cold blender soup with celery and avocado. Very more’ish, it takes a few minutes to make. It can be eaten either at room temperature or chilled for a perfect start to a meal on a hot hot day. Perfect for our 40C degree summers.

We have another Cold Avocado Soup here, it is wonderful too. Browse our other Cold Soups here and here, our Avocado dishes here and here, and our Celery recipes here and here.

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Beetroot, Orange and Black Olive Salad

A harmony of flavours.

Did I tell you just how good Ottolenghi’s Beetroot, Orange and Black Olive Salad is? It is amazing. From Plenty, a favourite amongst his books. It is a great salad for late Winter and early Spring, but can be made any time.

Have a look at the other Ottolenghi dishes. Explore Beetroot Recipes here and here, and Orange Recipes here and here, and Olive Recipes here and here. We have a wealth of Salad Recipes here and here for you to try.

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Cranberry Tea with Fennel, Cardamom and Coriander Seed

A summery tea, an inspiration from a trip to Kauai.

Summer time is the time for sweet refreshing herbal infusion teas of an evening. You can make them from ingredients that you have in your kitchen. This one came about on a hot summery night on the Island of Kauai.

You might like to also try The Making of Herbal Teas, The 5 C’s Golden Spiced Tea, and Yogi Tea. You can browse all our tea and infusion recipes.

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My Mother’s German Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Creamy Dressing

My Mother’s favourite salad

My mother, with her Germanic background, used to make a tomato and cucumber salad each summer which always delighted. With its wonderful creamy dressing it featured on all of our special occasions.

Browse all of our Tomato Salads here and here, and all of our Cucumber Salads here and here. Find inspiration in our Summer Recipes here and here.

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Mung Bean and Baked Carrot Salad

Mung Beans shine in this beautiful salad.

There is a thing about your own cooking that embodies your preferences, and they were built from childhood food experiences, your culture, your climate and  your food journey through life.  So, like it or not, cooking is not formulaic. You twist and turn while following a recipe. You massage it here and there. You add and subtract. You compensate and accentuate. And you cook something that is pleasing to you and to those you love.

So it is with Ottolenghi. I love his recipes, but there are some things that don’t suit my preferences – or my climate. Although he does really well internationalising his dishes, unlike Nigel Slater who unashamedly cooks for an English audience, some things jar with me. For example, his over use of feta when it is not needed to enhance the dish is perhaps a fashion thing. Or maybe to enhance the visuals. Or perhaps the feta is betta in London. Or maybe it is just my preference to use only small amounts. Continue reading “Mung Bean and Baked Carrot Salad”