Steamed vegetables in their own delicious juices - this dish is light and tasty
- 1-2 carrots, cut into sticks if large
- 1-2 turnips, cut into wedges
- 1 tbsp dry sherry
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 medium courgette, cut into 1cm slices
- 4-6 short asparagus spears
- 3 fresh shiitake or open cup mushrooms, sliced into four
- 25g butter
- 2 spring onions, shredded
- 100g smoked tofu, cubed (optional)
- 10 ripe tomatoes
- 8 tbsp olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 4 carrots, cut into batons
- 6 thyme sprigs
- 4 bay leaves
- 300ml white wine
- 1kg frozen petits pois
- 3 bunches spring onions, sliced
- 2 x 280g jars artichoke hearts, drained
- Pour boiling water over the tomatoes, leave for 2 mins, then drain and peel off the skins. Quarter the tomatoes, scoop out the seeds, then chop into small cubes. Heat the oil in a pan, add the garlic and carrots, then gently fry for 5 mins. Add the tomatoes, thyme, bay and wine. Cook, uncovered, until the wine is reduced, about 5 mins. You can prepare up to this stage several hours ahead.
- Add the peas, onions and artichokes, cover, then simmer for 8-10 mins. Season and serve in 2 large bowls or divide between individual ramekins.
- 1-2 tbsp red Thai curry paste (depending on taste)
- 500ml low-sodium vegetable stock
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1 aubergine, diced
- 75g red lentil
- 200ml can reduced-fat coconut milk
- 2 red or yellow peppers, deseeded and cut into wedges
- 140g frozen pea
- 100g bag baby spinach, roughly chopped
- brown basmati rice and mango chutney, to serve
- Heat the curry paste in a large non-stick saucepan with a splash of the stock. Add the onions and fry for 5 mins until starting to soften. Stir in the aubergine and cook for a further 5 mins – add a little more stock if starting to stick.
- Add the lentils, coconut milk and the rest of the stock, and simmer for 15 mins or until the lentils are tender. Add the peppers and cook for 5-10 mins more. Stir through the peas and spinach and cook until spinach has just wilted. Serve the curry with rice and mango chutney.
- 300ml milk
- 1 vanilla pod
- 3 large egg yolks
- 50g caster sugar
- 1 rounded tbsp plain flour
- knob of butter
- 300g shortcrust pastry
- 400g mixed summer fruit, such as small strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and redcurrants
- icing sugar, for dusting
- a few chopped pistachios, if you like
- To make the crème pâtissière, pour the milk into a pan. Split vanilla pod down its length using a small sharp knife (do not cut in half completely). Twist tip of the knife inside the pod to open out like a book at one end, then run the knife down its length to scrape out seeds. (See step 1)
- Put the seeds and empty pod in a medium-sized pan with the milk and bring slowly to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for a couple of mins. (Step 2)
- Put egg yolks, sugar and flour into a bowl. Whisk with a hand electric mixer until the mixture becomes pale and fluffy – it should leave a trail that stays on the surface momentarily when the whisk blades are lifted. This whisking will take about 2 mins. (Step 3)
- Pour about a third of the hot milk into the bowl, whisking on a slow speed all the time until it has all been mixed in. Now whisk in the remaining milk, removing pod. (Step 4)
- Return the mixture to the pan, scraping it out of the bowl using a rubber spatula. Bring slowly to the boil, stirring all the time, until the custard is thickened, smooth and glossy. At first, it will look a bit lumpy, but persevere – keep stirring and it will become smooth. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 mins, stirring. (Step 5)
- Remove the crème pâtissière from the heat. Beat in the butter until it has melted, then scrape into a bowl. Cover the surface of the crème pâtissière directly with cling film (this will stop a skin forming). Leave to cool, then chill in the fridge until needed. (Step 6)
- Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Divide the pastry into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each one to line a 7-8cm deep fluted tartlet tin, trim leaving a little pastry sticking up above the tin. Line each one with a paper cake case and add a layer of baking beans. Put on a baking tray and bake for 10 mins, then remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 mins until the pastry is crisp and golden.
- Trim any pastry edges that need it with a small sharp knife. Remove from the tins and leave to cool on a wire rack.
- Halve or quarter any large strawberries and remove the stalks from any redcurrants, then mix the fruits together. Fill the pastry cases with crème pâtissière and pile a generous layer of fruits on top. Dust thickly with icing sugar and scatter over some chopped pistachios, if you like.