Food

19July

strawberry and pesto pasta

strawberry and pesto pasta

It's amazing the difference that fresh, seasonal ingredients make to this summer recipe.

The fragrance from the strawberries and basil for 2 North Parade in Oxford on be kitchen table was intoxicating and reinforced my conviction that not all strawberries are created equal.

12June

salad journey

salad journey

A new season of fresh produce opens up chances to explore new salad combinations.

The abundance is welcome after a lingering spring, and the possibilities are endless. This mix of ingredients from friends at 2 North Parade in Oxford, embraces aroma, texture and flavour... and keeps you wanting more and more.

07December

granola

granola

Granola provides a more welcome, familiar start to the day -  whatever the season.  It's a mix you make to your preference, depending on what's in the cupboard.

It's simple to make, and you have the added satisfaction of knowing all the ingredients that are there in your bowl.

And it makes a great gift too.

 

16October

whole roasted squash

whole roasted squash

Removing the seeds and retaining the top as a lid, each person at the table can have their own, personal stuffed and roasted squash.  

 

29September

roasted red peppers

roasted red peppers

The simple pleasure of roasted red peppers on an autumn day.  Roasted whole with a drizzle of olive oil and some sprigs of lemon thyme.

 

10August

a picnic at home

a picnic at home

The sandwich, like most dishes, can fall into a routine from which it needs a bit of inspiration.  Just around the corner from the market square in Abingdon, I found at "Added Ingredients" deli some new combinations to explore at home.

 

10August

a french brunch

a french brunch

A quiet, summer Saturday morning when things "to do" are pushed aside for a little while.  Time to enjoy fresh croissants from Patisserie Pascal and coffee at home in the  garden.

 

06August

our local deli

our local deli

We are fortunate to have a deli in Abingdon that stocks the best of local foods together with delicacies from all around the world. Serving sandwiches and platters onsite as well as offering an extensive range of products to take home, "Added Ingredients" is a delightful find.  

A purveyor of fine foods right here on our doorstep. Having sampled lunch in the shop a number of times, we took a selection of ingredients home to extend our summer dining experience that little bit further...

 

04August

apricot tart in Lyon

apricot tart in Lyon

No chopping, marinating or baking for this recent adventure; simply the joy of discovering the perfect apricot tart at a local market in Lyon.

An abundance of colour, aroma and texture that came together as a medley on a tranquil summer afternoon.

 

23July

pickled courgettes, rye bread & goat's cheese

pickled courgettes, rye bread & goat's cheese

When there's an abundance of certain vegetables in season, it's easy to get stuck in routine and keep preparing them the same way.  

Courgettes are a vegetable that may struggle to get on may people's list of summer hits, but I found that pickling them is a great way to retain a crunchy texture and bring new flavours into the mix.

 

22July

strawberry soup

strawberry soup

Chilled strawberry soup with basil.  Ridiculously simple to make and refreshing, it's a perfect end to a summer day.  Gently pour into a bowl and find your spoon.

12July

raspberry sorbet

raspberry sorbet

Raspberries.  Less sweet than their summer playmate the strawberry, their unmistakable fragrance lingers in the kitchen.

This recipe is perfect for the light-heartedness of a summer afternoon, and with enough elegance to remind us that simple tastes often work best.

07July

asparagus, eggs, ham

asparagus, eggs, ham

Asparagus season is short, and it signals the start of a summer of fresh produce to enjoy straight from the farm. 2 North Parade in Oxford loves to source their seasonal vegetables from local suppliers who share their commitment for freshness and quality.

 

A recent visit to Medley Manor Farm in Oxford was a unique chance to see how asparagus is harvested and gathered for people eager to enjoy it straight from the farm to their table.

20February

Paprikash

Paprikash

This journey to the table was inspired in Hungary, cooked up in London, transported around the delightful M25 early on a gloomy winter morning to arrive (almost) unscathed to a friend's beautiful kitchen in Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire.

I didn't cook this time, but rather stayed firmly fixed behind the lens.  With Tanya's invaluable help as stylist, the goal was to bring alive the story of a newly launched business:  Paprikash - Hungarian street food food.

30January

leeks bread cheese

leeks bread cheese

In these quiet winter months it is harder to find inspiration for recipes that are based on fresh, local ingredients.  However, in Oxford there's a delightful store called 2 North Parade (cunningly located at 2 North Parade Avenue) which sources the finest local foods.  You can see more about the store at www.2northparade.com

Last week I took a short trip with Peter Slade from 2NP to visit North Aston Organics and North Aston Dairy.  Even in winter, the fields are green with leeks and this seemed a perfect chance to tell something of the story of how the ingredients are sourced and the basic steps to create a most tasty winter dish.  One that's been simply called "leeks, bread and cheese".

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