800g baby potatoes, halved if large
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large leek, sliced
2 capsicums, seeded and roughly cubed
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
½ cup dry white wine
200ml cream (or milk if you prefer)
½ (approx 60g) Mooody Cow Foraged Roots washed-rind cheese or other soft washed-rind cheese
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 clove garlic
70g (approx ½ cup) walnuts
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
juice of ½ lemon
100ml extra virgin olive oil

Cooler nights require a degree of comfort and a creamy potato bake usually fits the bill. This one features Foraged Roots, one of my favourite cheeses from Mooody Cow, the sister brand of Cranky Goats cheeses in Marlborough. As the name suggests, it’s made with cow’s milk and it’s a soft, aged cheese that is washed with Roots Gin from fellow Marlborough producers Elemental Distillers. It’s lightly herbaceous and creamy, and more often than not I just eat it with crackers, but sometimes I do like to bake it. Of course, any other soft washed-rind cheese would work well here, but Foraged Roots can be bought in some retail stores and online . Walnuts are also delightful with the cheese and this delicately spiced pesto works well.

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1.Heat the oven 200°C.
2.Put the potatoes in a pan of cold, salted water and bring up to a simmer.
3.Cook for 15-20 minutes until just tender, then drain.
4.While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a frying pan and add the leek, frying gently until soft.
5.Add the capsicums and thyme for a few minutes to soften, then add the wine, put on a lid and let it steam for 5 minutes.
6.Toss with the potatoes, and season well with salt and pepper.
7.Put into a buttered baking dish and pour over the milk or cream.
8.Roughly break up the cheese and scatter on the top.
9.Bake for 20-25 minutes until bubbling.
10.Serve with a crisp green salad that includes some bitter leaves, and the pesto.
12.Toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan until fragrant.
13.Cool, then put into a food processor with the garlic and some salt, and blitz.
14.Add the walnuts and pulse to a coarse crumb.
15.Stir through the parsley, lemon juice and olive oil. Season to taste.

Recipes & food styling Ginny Grant / Photography Aaron McLean/ Styling Jessica Hemmings