Dukkah: coarsely ground mix of coriander, cumin, sesame seeds and almond or hazelnuts


Dukkah is a wonderful mix of coarsely ground spices. The idea is to have crunchy bits in there rather than a smooth powder, or even worse, a paste. It’s used as a dip for olive-oil covered bread, or a light seasoning.

Five gifted cooks give us five desserts to try some time soon

Marked: desserts and collisions

Monday’s the day for trying something new. This past week, I’ve stumbled across five vegan desserts I had never thought to try, thanks to the ingenuity of Lori, Nadine, matchamochi, eatmunchlove and Indu. They look so good. And to top it off, some great reading for those who love dessert + coffee + a good read.

Breakfast: Polenta with rhubarb and almonds

It’s polenta for breakfast

This is a great, not-too-sweet alternative for breakfast. If you’re not a morning person, this is an easy way to prepare polenta for breakfast. No boiling and stirring in a saucepan with the resulting mess and washing up. No, just a quick soak in boiling water (the polenta, not you), and a microwave zap of rhubarb and it’s done.

Who would have thought you could drink spinach? A surprisingly nice green smoothie.

Shock discovery: a green smoothie that tastes good

This is not a normal green smoothie: it is actually quite nice. Yes it has spinach, but the apple and banana somehow work with it to give a balanced, not-too-sweet flavour. Surprisingly, it makes a decent breakfast if you want something healthy and filling to start your day.

Spicy poached persimmon with yoghurt, topped with almonds and orange sauce

Spicy poached persimmon with yoghurt

Persimmons poached with just a hint of spice and orange make a perfect light breakfast or a refreshing dessert. There is no sugar in this, making it suitable for even the healthiest of diets.

Chicken, chickpea and almond casserole

Moroccan-style chicken, almond and chickpeas

Casseroling chicken with chickpeas and spices is a great dish for a chilly evening. This is one of the family favourites: it is easy to prepare and tasty. The almonds and dried fruit add a sweetness that complements the subtle spicy flavours.

Siena panforte

Siena panforte

Panforte throws together two Italian words: pane (bread) +‎ forte (strong). This Christmas cake is certainly that. It’s delicious and rich. A very small slice goes very well with coffee or tea after dinner or a late afternoon tea. Best of all (for us) is that it is egg-free.