Recipe Category: Recipe Collection



I think of celeriac as one of the most underrated winter vegetables with its delicate celery flavour and a light nuttiness. Its versatility makes it a valuable addition to a gratin, mashes, soups and of course raw in a remoulade.

I’d been toying with the idea of treating a vegetable in southern barbecue style for a while, and while this version is cooked in the oven, there is no reason why you couldn’t do it in a barbecue. Be aware that many barbecue sauces often contain fish, so if you are vegetarian look out for a sauce that is suitable for you. I like to use a tangy, sweet and lightly smoked sauce here.



When my eldest recently got braces, this vegetable-laden mac and cheese was one of the few things he could manage to eat (minus the crunchy topping). Vegetables, puréed until silky, go surprisingly well as pasta sauces, especially if they are cooked in a well-flavoured stock. I vary the mix to what I have around – parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes and turnips also work well and I always have a jar of roasted red capsicums in the fridge. The cheese varies depending on what I have to hand; sometimes it’s a mix of cheeses using up odd bits. Sometimes, too, I might have cream that needs using up so I replace the crème fraîche with that. The straight purée can also do double duty as soup.



My parents emigrated from the UK and brought their Britishness with them, which they hung onto for dear life. Growing up, our roasts came with Yorkshire pudding, the only fish we ate was battered and none of us knew
what a pavlova was. If we weren’t devouring apple pie for dessert, it was a Victorian sponge cake, which is the first thing my mum taught me to cook. The recipe came from an old cookbook given to my mother by her Aunt Mary and the colour plates of tarts and roasts and strange fish terrines would fascinate me and instilled in me a sense of wonder about recipes. “Could I make this,” I would continually ask myself. The book is sadly lost.

Funds were slim when I was young and we didn’t have an electric mixer. I creamed the butter and sugar by hand, beating in the eggs with a wooden spoon – I don’t recall owning a whisk – and lastly adding the flour.
I found when Mum transitioned to a mixer, the texture of the cake changed slightly and became a little lighter. I always loved the buttery density of the sponge made by hand. The resulting cake was toothsome
and dense, buttery with a slightly chewy crust. For a special occasion, the sponge, made in two sandwich tins, was filled with strawberries and cream, but usually, it was just strawberry jam, which I prefer.