Saturday night dinner in the garden

Yesterday my friends and their wee boy came to dinner. This was the menu, that I promised to write up so that I didn’t forget what I’d done.

No Knead Bread

It was meant to be this recipe: but I let it go for far too long and it was very liquid, so I just poured it into a tin and baked it to see what happened. It was crusty and chewy and delicious.

3 cups plain flour

1.5 cups water

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp yeast

Mix all the ingredients together, cover and leave to sit overnight.

Heat the oven to 200C

Pour the dough into a baking dish with sides, with a good 2 mm of olive oil in it

Leave to rise for 30 – 40  minutes

Drizzle with a little more olive oil

Sprinkle with sea salt flakes

Bake until risen and golden – probably about 30 minutes

No knead flat bread

Bean Stew

1 tin chick peas, drained

1 tin rosecoco beans or borlotti beans, drained

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 giant spring onion cut into chunks, or probably 3 or 4 shop bought ones

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 heaped tsp smoked paprika

2 tsp red pepper paste

1 tsp tomato puree

salt to taste

olive oil

Cook the onions and the garlic together in the oil until softened a little.

Add in the chick peas, beans, tomatoes, pastes, and paprika.

Mix well, leave to simmer until the sauce has thickened.


One of the huge spring onions that I’ve managed to grow from offcuts of shop bought ones.

Next to it are beautiful fresh celery leaves, sprouted from yet another offcut.
I adore celery leaves used as a herb. They are almost a cross between mint and parsley.


1/2 cup of chopped mixed mint and celery leaves (I used lime mint and lavender mint plus the celery leaves)

1 tsp butter

olive oil

1 cup basmati rice

2 cups water


Sauté the rice in the olive oil until the whole lot is coated. Add the chopped herbs, and mix well.

Add the water, and the butter, and a good pinch of salt.

Bring to the boil, then turn down to the lowest heat possible.

Cover tightly (I usually put a square of paper towel under the lid to make a better seal) and cook for around 10-15 minutes. All the water should be absorbed.

Put the lid back on, cover with a heavy towel and leave to sit and steam for at least 10 minutes.

Sweet Potato Cupcakes

Based on a Jamie Oliver recipe. This whole thing can be done in the food processor, but you can also grate the potato on a fine grater, and just whisk everything together with a hand mixer. The original recipe used butternut squash.

400g (peeled weight) orange sweet potato (NOW I’m wondering about the purple ones…)

150g dark muscovado sugar

250g light soft muscovado sugar

4 eggs

300g self raising flour

175ml olive oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cinnamon extract

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Cut the potato into chunks. Whizz in the food processor until it’s very fine.

Add in everything else. Whizz until it’s very well mixed.

Line a tin with cupcake cases, fill each one three quarters full.

I topped mine with 1/2 tsp peach butter each, you can use whatever jam you like, or don’t top with anything. They are good either way!

Bake at 180C for 20 minutes.

Sweet potato cupcakes

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