Globe Artichoke with Garlic and Lemon Vinaigrette from “The Skinny French Kitchen”

Kirstin: I know we usually have a mustard and olive oil dressing for artichokes, but I thought it might be good to try something new.

Tom: When I was first introduced to eating artichokes, one long summer in France, we ate them outside every night with just olive oil as a dressing. The oil in the bowl gradually warmed up from having the artichoke leaves dipped in it. So this reminds me a bit of that. But this is even better!

Kirstin: I love the hint of garlic in the dressing combined with the lemon. I would definitely make this again.

Tom: You can’t go wrong with raw garlic. I still like our mustard dressing, though. Could we have both of them?

Kirstin: That would be one way of doing it. We now have two recipes to choose from!

Globe Artichoke with Garlic and Lemon Vinaigrette from “The Skinny French Kitchen”

“John Dory with Orange, Fine Herbs & Pink Peppercorns” from “Polpo”

Maureen: Fish Friday!

Nicholas (9): I’m not so sure about Fish Friday anymore.

Maureen: What do you mean? We’re doing our bit for the planet by eating less meat, and we’re doing our bit for ourselves, by eating more fish, which is good for us.

Andrew (13): I do have fish and chips every Friday at school.

Maureen: Well, sure, but it’s good that we’re doing it as a family too. What do you think?

Tim: It’s delicious.


Maureen: I think this is the best thing I’ve made so far out of the cookbook. I might be swooning right now. But I can’t tell if it’s because I like the recipe, or if the John Dory is just an excellent fish to eat.

Tim: Could be either. Or both.

Maureen: The woman at the fishmonger said John Dory is her favourite fish.

Tim: I think the pink peppercorns sort of overwhelm it.

Maureen: I’m not sure I agree. They look pretty, though.

Andew: I think it’s good.

Maureen: Should I make it again?

Andrew: Sure, I suppose so.

Tim: Yes. I think it’s nice. But maybe less peppercorns next time.

Nicholas: I’m not sure.

Maureen: I think it’s utterly delicious. We’re definitely having this again.

“John Dory with Orange, Fine Herbs & Pink Peppercorns” from “Polpo”

“Lemon Chicken Breasts” from “How Easy is That?”

Tom: This is yum. I love the crispy chicken skins.

Kirstin: Yes, I love the way she cooks with the sauce, complete with nine garlic cloves, under the chicken, so the skin can crispen but the flavours can get into the meat. And the lens kept steaming up on my big girl camera, so I used my iPhone instead for the pic tonight.

Tom: Nine cloves! Oh yes!


Ella: It fills me with deliciousness.

Tom: This reminds me of the chicken we used to cook with lemon.

Kirstin: That recipe we made up all those years ago. It remind me of that one too! But I could never quite figure out what to do with the lemon juice and the contessa has it all sorted, with the lemon juice going in after you’ve warmed the garlic in the oil.

Ella: It’s really great because at the beginning you can taste it’s all lemony and then you can taste the salty. And then it has this awesome aftertaste.

Tom: I think that’s the roast garlic you can taste at the end. It is absolutely yum.

Miles: I just tried the chicken.

Kirstin: And?

Miles: It’s good.

Kirstin: Oh good! Success! We shall be having this one again then peeps!

“Lemon Chicken Breasts” from “How Easy is That?”

“Spaghetti with Tuna, Lemon & Rocket” from “Nigellissima”

Peter: Tuna dinner!

Anna: Are you suggesting this is a student meal?

Peter: For students today. You couldn’t get rocket in my day. In fact I don’t think we knew what rocket was.

Anna: This calls for very posh tuna so I don’t think many students will be making this. I think this would be a very good quick summer dinner. Very fresh, very light. Probably not the first thing I’d make on a cold, rainy October night next time.

Peter: I liked it. I’d be happy to have it again. Maybe sitting in the garden next summer.

Anna: If it ever stops raining.

“Spaghetti with Tuna, Lemon & Rocket” from “Nigellissima”

“Squid and Prawns with Chilli and Marjoram” from “Nigellissima”

If you would like to try this recipe for yourself click here.

Anna: Nigella suggests you serve this with black ‘venere’ Italian rice. I remember she had a previous recipe that called for this rice, maybe in Kitchen, I’m not sure. And I couldln’t find it anywhere. Until I stumbled on it in an hypermarch in France and bought 3 boxes. The problem is, as I recall now, I don’t actually like it that much.

Peter: Why is it black? Does it have squid ink in it?

Anna: No, I just think it’s black rice. So it’s probably very good for you. It makes the dish look very dramatic, which is the point I think.

Peter: It tastes ok to me. It compliments the seafood. I don’t think basmati would be the same.

Anna: It certainly has more bite than normal rice. But what we should discussing is the fish. What do think?

Peter: It was quite a small portion for me. Maybe it could be bulked up with some other fish?

Anna: It would be easy to do more squid and that’s always filling. It was definitely very light and I always like the combination of chilli, garlic and lemon. You can’t go wrong really. But this recipe is not rocking my world.

Peter: Another underwhelming recipe from Nigella?

Anna: It’s perfectly fine, and maybe it’s the rice that’s putting me off. She suggests serving it with pasta too which I think would work better.

“Squid and Prawns with Chilli and Marjoram” from “Nigellissima”

“Chicken with Tomatoes & Peppers” and “Cannellini Beans with Rosemary” from “Nigellissima”

Anna: This is brilliant!

Peter: Why do you say that?

Anna: It was super-quick, really easy and tastes delicious!

Peter: It’s very nice, I agree. The chicken tastes quite sweet, in a good way.

Anna: That will be the Marsala. I made this earlier in the day and let it sit, which is no bad thing with chicken thighs, and then prepared the cannellini beans at the last minute.

Peter: The beans go really well with the chicken.

Anna: It’s the rosemary that compliments the chicken so well. Do you know what the best thing about this is?

Peter: I think you’re going to tell me.

Anna: I added some couscous to the leftovers and gave it to Louis for lunch today and he wolfed it down! There’s more in the freezer for him too. Thank you Nigella.

“Chicken with Tomatoes & Peppers” and “Cannellini Beans with Rosemary” from “Nigellissima”

“Sausages with Beans & Peppers” from “Nigellissima”

Maureen: What does everyone think?

Andrew (13, doing a teenager shrug that only a teenager can): It’s OK.

Tim: As it happens, I was looking for something for dinner not a million miles away from this, so I like it. Plus, it’s got legumes in it and you know how I feel about them.

Maureen: I was anticipating your needs without talking to you! Gold star for me.

(Yes, that’s steam coming off of the bowl. So now you know it was hot.)

Nicholas (9): I think it’s just OK. It’s just like any other meal to me.

Maureen: So you think it’s nothing special?

Nicholas: Yup.

Maureen: Well I like it. Also, I hope you’re all feeling the love. I could not find a jar of roasted red peppers in West Greenwich for love or money, so I roasted them myself. That means the next time I make this, it will be even easier.

Continue reading ““Sausages with Beans & Peppers” from “Nigellissima””

“Sausages with Beans & Peppers” from “Nigellissima”