Category Archives: Starters

Spicy lentil soup

  • For at least eight
  • 300gm red lentils
  • 2 litres chicken stock[made from cubes is fine]
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 med carrots chopped
  • Thumb size piece of ginger sliced into small matchsticks
  • 2 med tomatoes chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1 teasp ground cumin
  • 1/2 teasp chilli flakes
  • 2 teasp med curry powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat a tablespoonful of olive oil in a large pan and fry the onion garlic celery ginger and carrots for about 3 minutes. Add spices and continue to cook for 1 min. Add the stock tomatoes and lentils and bring to a gentle simmer for about 1/2 an hour. Taste for salt and pepper , liquidise and serve.

Aubergines with Goat’s Cheese and Cherry Tomatoes

  • 2 large aubergines, about 225g/8oz each
  • 2-3tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, halved, seeded and chopped
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 175g/6oz cherry tomatoes
  • 175g/6oz firm goat’s cheese, sliced
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • Seasoning

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Cut the aubergines in half, prepare and salt. Brush cut sides with a little oil, place on a baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes until the flesh is tender.

2. Scoop out the flesh to within 1cm/1/2in of the skin. Chop the flesh, then heat one tablespoon of the oil and fry the pepper and shallots until soft. add the flesh and seasoning, mixing well.

3. Pile the mixture back into the shells. Arrange the tomatoes and goat’s cheese in alternate lines along the top. Drizzle over the remaining oil and sprinkle with the thyme. Return to the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Serves 4

Hot and Sour Pickled Prawns


  • Serves 4 as a starter
  • 16 large cooked Mediterranean prawns
  • 1 level tablespoon drained capers
  • 1/2 medium yellow pepper, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium red pepper, very thinly sliced
  • 2 oz (50 g) red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 5 fl oz (150 ml) light olive oil
  • 1 level teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 fl oz (55 ml) cider vinegar
  • juice 2 limes
  • 1 dessertspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 dessertspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 level teaspoon salt
  • 1 level teaspoon white sugar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • To garnish:
  • sprigs of coriander
  • 1/2 lime, thinly sliced

To prepare the prawns, remove the shells and heads (if there are any) but leave the tails on as they look very attractive. Then use the tip of a small sharp knife to cut a slit all along the back of each prawn and remove the black thread that sometimes runs from head to tail. Then place the prawns and capers in the dish together with the sliced peppers, onion and lemon.

Now in a bowl or jar whisk the oil, mustard, vinegar, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco together, adding the salt, a little coarsely ground black pepper and the sugar, then pour this mixture all over the prawns. Cover the container and place it in the fridge for at least 48 hours, giving the contents a shake or stirring them around from time to time.

Serve the prawns garnished with sprigs of coriander and slices of lime with plenty of the marinade poured over and lots of bread to mop up the juices.

Fish and Prawn cakes

  • Enter the ingredients here
  • 250gm white fish
  • 200gm raw peeled prawns
  • 1 Garlic clove roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli deseeded and roughly chopped
  • chopped fresh coriander
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger grated

Heat oven to 200 degrees
Put ginger, garlic and chilli in food processor and whizz untin finely chopped.
Add fish cut in chunks, prawns and salt and pepper. whizz once more.
Add the coriander and whizz to mix but be careful-you don’t want a green mush!
Shape the mix with wet hands into cakes-you can make up to 12 small or 6 medium.
Put on a baking sheet lined with non-stick paper and spray or brush with oil. Put in pre-heated oven for 15 minutes. Serve with the following salad
Shredded chinese leaves
Fine strips of carrot-with a peeler.
1 red onion finely sliced
A handful of sugarsnap peas finely sliced. Mix and dress with a dressing made with
1 Tablespoon light soy
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Grated rind and juice of 1 lime