Summer Pickled Vegetables

Pickled Vegetables
Summer Pickled Vegetables

Try this method of preserving fresh, seasonal, organic, local veggies. The veg keep fresh for up to 3 months in sterilised and un-opened glass jars in a cool place. Once opened they keep fresh for about a week in the fridge.

A great time saver when planning a family BBQ or summer meal, picnics or for just snacking on when the fancy takes you!

A recipe from Ainsley Harriots ‘Barbecue Bible’, 1997


Serves 8-10 (but I always make double to keep for a few weeks)

100g cauliflower

100g celery

100g carrots

100g cucumber

100g red pepper

50g French beans

50g mangetout

50g baby sweetcorn

50g button onions

50g cherry tomatoes

300ml white wine vinegar

3 allspice berries ( or ¼ teaspoon ground allspice from a jar)

3 black peppercorns

4 fresh bayleaves

pinch of ground saffron or turmeric

2 garlic cloves, chopped

3 tablespoons soft brown sugar

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

salt and freshly ground black pepper


 1) Break the cauliflower in to small florets

2) Trim the celery and peel the carrots and cut them both diagonally into thickish slices

3) Halve the cucumber length-ways and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon. Slice the cucumber halves across ways into half moons.

4) Halve the peppers, remove the seeds and the pith and cut the flesh in to 1 cm pieces

5) Top and tail the beans, mangetout and sweetcorn and peel the button onions.

6) Put all the vegetables except the cherry tomatoes into a large saucepan with the vinegar, spices, garlic and sugar. Season with some salt and pepper, bring to the boil and simmer for just 5 minutes, carefully turning them over every now and then.

7) Transfer the mixture to a glass bowl, stir in the whole cherry tomatoes, olive oil and dill, cover and leave the mixture somewhere cool to marinate overnight.

8) The next day, spoon the vegetables into sterilized jars and seal. Store in a cool, dark place and in the fridge after opening and once opened eat within 1 week.



Savoury Rice Salad



A colourful and tasty savoury salad made with wholegrain rice and fresh  vegetables

Serves 6

Dairy Free & vegetarian


175g wholegrain basmati rice

15ml curry powder

60ml vegetarian mayonnaise

100g mushrooms, sliced

½ green pepper, seeded and finely chopped

½ orange or red pepper, seeded and finely chopped

50g currants

Optional extras-

50g roasted and chopped peanuts

425g can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained well

Fresh coriander leaf to garnish


1) Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil and generously season with salt (approx. 2 teaspoons).

 2)Add the rice in a steady stream and immediately stir to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook the rice for 25 minutes.

 3) When the rice is cooked drain it into a colander and immediately rinse with lots of cold tap water. Allow to drain for a couple of minutes and then transfer into a large bowl.

 4) Add the mayonnaise and the curry powder to the rice and stir well to combine thoroughly.

 5) Add all the remaining ingredients and stir well. Refrigerate until required and serve with a sprinkle of fresh coriander.

Chocolate Tray Bake


This recipe makes a fantastic dairy-free chocolate cake, perfectly suited for birthday parties. It keeps well for a few days in the refrigerator and freezes brilliantly (always freeze without the icing).

Preparation 25 minutes (actual work time is about 10 minutes). Baking time 35 minutes. Serves 20

You will need- a roasting tin or a large tray bake tin approx. 23cm X 30cm X 4cm. A measuring jug. Measuring spoons (useful if you have them). A large mixing bowl. A small mixing bowl. Hand held electric mixer. Balloon whisk. Large metal spoon. Greaseproof paper or baking parchment.


 75g Cocoa powder (check it is good quality and there is no dairy)

¾ tsp (7.5ml) bicarbonate of soda

4 medium eggs

370g dark muscavado sugar

180ml vegetable oil (rapeseed for preference)

200g self raising flour

The icing- 150g dark chocolate (check dairy-free), 3 tablespoons (45ml) almond or oat milk.


 1) Pour 200ml of boiling water into a medium mixing bowl and add the cocoa powder. Whisk frantically with the balloon whisk until all the lumps are removed.

2) Add the bicarbonate of soda to the cocoa mixture and whisk again to incorporate. Leave on one side to cool for 20 minutes.

3) Preheat the oven to 160oC fan (gas mark 4). Pour a tablespoon of oil into the tin and coat the tin in oil using a piece of kitchen roll. Line the base of the tin with baking parchment.

4) In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and the sugar together until the mixture is smooth and all sugary lumps are removed. Add the oil and whisk again. Add the cooled cocoa and whisk again.

5) Sift the flour into the mixture and gently fold the flour into the mixture until you have a runny chocolatey mix. Be warned- it is very runny!

6) Carefully pour the mixture into the prepared tray and bake in the preheated oven for approx. 30 minutes until it has risen and is firm.

7) Take the cake out of the oven and test that it is done by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cake- if it comes out clean the cake is done. If there is a bit of sticky cocoa mixture on the skewer it needs to go back in the oven, probably for another 5 minutes and then test again.

8) When the cake is done, Run a knife around the edge of the cake and the tin. Allow the cake to cool in the tin and then transfer to a cutting board. If you are freezing the cake (make sure it is completely cool first) you can wrap it in foil now and freeze without the icing.

9) To make the icing, gently melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a small simmering saucepan of water. Add the almond milk and stir until the mixture becomes smooth again. Pour the chocolate icing over the cooled cake and decorate any way you like.


Have a great time at the party X