Date Archives June 2019

Sesame Crusted Salmon & Spicy Corn Salsa


pending on how well you know me or how avidly you follow my instagram, you may or may not know that I’m currently training to be a sports masseuse. I’ll spare you the details, but it involves me having to practice on about 30 willing clients for free before qualifying. (Please get in touch is you’re a commute from Brixton and would like one!)

So this evening after work was massage night. On these evenings, real work to homework, I need a quick healthy dinner and salmon always comes to mind. I picked up a few pieces and used up the fridge remains on this occasion. I wanted crunch, flavour and spice. This salsa-come-salad is a combination of some of my favourite tastes with some added croutons for crunch amongst the soft textures. That and croutons always make any meal better. A bit like butter…


oating the salmon adds a really nice change to marinading or doing whatever it is you usually do with salmon. My pet hate (besides “English bolognese”) is the length of time people cook salmon! Dry, dry, dry! In a hot 220 oven it needs only 7 minutes at most for the supermarket vat-pack sized pieces. Soft in the middle and just cooked. If you pan fry it first to crisp the skin, knock another minute off in the oven as I do here. Tip. If you see that white creamy looking juice coming from the salmon…it’s already overcooked. Sorry. 

P.S. Don’t let this put you off cooking salmon for me if i’m ever over for dinner. Just cook it right…;-)

Serves 2

*Measurements done on judgement. Use more of less of each as desired.

  • 2 salmon fillets
  • Sesame seeds (about 3 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp runny honey
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 packet cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 180g sweetcorn 
  • 1 bunch coriander, chopped
  • 1 green chilli, chopped finely
  • 4 spring onions, chopped finely
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • Leftover stale bread, chopped OR 2 slices bread, cubed 
  • Sunflower oil (for frying) & Extra virgin olive oil (for dressing)
  • Yoghurt to serve
  1. Start by preparing the salmon and preheating the oven 220. Place the soy sauce and honey in a bowl and mix. Add the salmon to coat.
  2. Scatter the sesame seeds on a place in an even layer. Take the salmon from the soy and place flesh side down on the sesame seeds. Turn to coat the fleshy edges. Don’t coat the skin. Repeat on the other salmon and set aside.
  3. Cube the bread and put it in a baking tray. Season well and drizzle with some sunflower/rapeseed oil. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until golden and crispy and oily! Remove and set aside.
  4. Make the salsa by combining the tomatoes, avocado, corn, coriander, spring onion and chilli. Grate in the zest of the lime and squeeze in the juice. Add a tsp of extra virgin oil. Season well.
  5. When ready to cook the salmon, heat a non-stick frying pan to a high heat. Sear the salmon skin side down for about 30 seconds. Flip and sear the sesame fleshy side and the edges for only 20 seconds or so to seal and turn the seeds golden. Place on a baking tray lined with some oiled oil and bake in the oven for 6-7 minutes.
  6. While these are cooking, add the croutons to the salsa and mix well. By the time you serve some will have absorbed the tasty juices and some will be crunchy and delicious.
  7. Serve the salmon with a spoonful of salsa, a wedge of lime and some fresh yoghurt.


If anyone would truly like a free massage (free depending on if you read this in September 2019…in which case I will be charging) then please get in touch on my contact page.


Green Shakshuka


 say this a lot but what a dish. A new favourite. Please make it. Breakfast, lunch or dinner appropriate. It thus needs little said about it (added to the fact I was back at work today after a two week holiday and I’m feeling a bit tired for “words”). I love shakshuka but I also love my greens. This combination of sweet, slowly cooked leeks, fresh crisp pea crunch and subtle spice and chilli in the background is such a comforting mix. Topped classically with feta and unclassically with dill and sumac. Ottolenghi would be proud. Luckily since I’ve detoured from his new book on this one.

Its my Mum’s birthday today so I cooked with her in mind as I often do as she is ultimately where I learnt my craft. This weekend I will return home for birthday hugs and to cook her a birthday meal. She today requested my previous post – Salmon & Salsa. However, perhaps this will be not he menu after tonight?

Serve with your preference of bread. Toasted pitta, flatbreads, warm sourdough chunks…anything to scoop up those gooey yolks.

Serves 2 (greedily for dinner, 4 for brunch with bread)

  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 1-2 green chillis, sliced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 leeks, sliced thinly
  • 150g “ish” spinach leaves (this was a guess…it was just enough to fill my pan!)
  • 100g peas (frozen, blanched in hot water)
  • 4 free range eggs
  • 1/2 packet feta cheese
  • 1 lemon, zest (wedges for serving)
  • 1 small handful coriander, leaves chopped finely
  • 1 small handful dill, chopped finely
  • Sumac to serve
  • Pita/flatbreads/toasted chunky bread to serve for “scooping”
  1. heat a large fry pan and toast the cumin and coriander seeds for a few minutes until fragrant. Remove from the pan and crush in a pestle and mortar. Set aside.
  2. Heat some olive/sunflower/rapeseed oil in a large frying pan (never extra virgin oil! Do not cook with this ever, a post to follow on this). Add the spring onions and soften for a few minutes. Add the garlic and chilli and fry gently careful not to catch/burn the garlic.
  3. Add the cumin and coriander mix. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the chopped leeks and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to a gentle temperature and let the leeks soften down for about 10-15 minutes until beginning to caramelise. Add a lid if you like to help them along.
  5. Add the spinach leaves and toss with the leeks and allow these to wilt with the heat. Add the peas.
  6. When the spinach is wilted, make 4 wells inside the mixture. Crack your eggs carefully into each well and reduce the heat a little. Eggs need long and slow cooking! Season the eggs and then let them gently cook. Cover with a lid or foil towards the end to help the whites along their way.
  7. Whilst the eggs cook, get all your garnish ready if you haven’t already so you can serve immeidaelyy.
  8. The eggs are ready when the whites are just beginning to set on top and the yolks are still runny. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle over the coriander, dill, lemon zest, feta and finally a pinch of sumac over each yolk.
  9. Serve immediately with your warm bread and a wedge of lemon!

Gooey, runny, sumac and dill sprinkled yolks. Food porn.

Salmon & Salsa


 have a growing collection of cookery books but without doubt the author I return to time and time again is my dear favourite Ottolenghi. I adore Ottolenghi’s recipes, passion, humble nature and authenticity. My style of cooking leans heavily towards the middle East with flavours and dishes that just can’t be matched. And I thank Ottolenghi for bringing these amazing recipes to us in the UK as he must without question, be crowned responsible for that.

I know many people that find his recipes intimidating, if not a bit overwhelming due to their list of foreign and exotic ingredients. Even in a time when almost all of these can be found in your local supermarket, some being perhaps a little tricker, but all still totally accessible. I however, am not and always relish the chance to gather the little gems in my pantry and spend some quality time creating such amazing flavours.


hat said, Ottolenghi has (surprisingly for me if I’m honest) created a new book that focus’ on ‘simple‘. Aptly named ‘Simple’. The recipes are true Otto style with flavours from the East and still with a huge range of exotic ingredients. It is however, as he quite rightly notes in the introduction, a simpler book. Shorter lists of ingredients and what I see as being an accessible introduction to Otto’s style. Saying this, if you’re new to his recipes, start here for sure before working up his list of books. Only venturing to his gorgeous edition ‘Nopi‘ when you’ve a few years under your belt (Nopi is a no-nonsense book aimed at the experienced amateur. It does not hide that these recipes are laborious, often taking days. If you’re not inclined to try this yet, you can visit Nopi and have the chefs do the work).

I’ve been sticky-taping the recipes I’m keen to cook over the next few weeks and its become apparent that I might as well have taped the ones I didn’t want to make as there are very few. What I like about this book is that its approachable and simple. But, for the amateur, there are plenty of opportunities to add extra layers, flavours and ingredients if you wish to make them more complex.

Saying that, this recipe for salmon and salsa, cleverly named ‘Bridget Jone’s pan-fried salmon with pine nut salsa’ is just lovely on its own. I have adapted it slightly but I have noted where. I also omitted the saffron as I was out!

Serves 2

  • 2 salmon fillets (I used salmon steak and thought this was far more delicious)
  • 50g currants/raisins
  • 180g celery, diced to 1cm pieces (about 2 sticks)
  • 15g pine nuts
  • 20g capers, plus 1 tbsp brine
  • 20g green olives, chopped
  • 20g mint, chopped finely (original used parsley)
  • 1 lemon
  1. Cover the currants with boiling water and leave for 20 mins.
  2. Mix the salmon with some olive oil and season well. Preheat the oven to 200.
  3. Put a tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the celery and pine nuts for about 5 minutes until the nuts begin to turn golden. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the capers, olives, brine and season. Drain the currants and add these.
  4. Add 1 tsp of lemon zest to the chopped mint and mix. Set aside.
  5. Heat a griddle plan or frying pan to a high heat. Once hot add the salmon (skin side down for fillets) to the pan and sear on one side. Quickly turn and sear on the other side. Place in the oven quickly and bake for 6-7 minutes (no more).
  6. When the salmon is nearly ready, add a tsp of lemon juice to the salsa. Stir and taste to check seasoning, adding more if needed.
  7. When the salmon is ready, remove from the oven and quickly top with the salsa. Sprinkle over the mint and lemon and serve.

NOTE: Otto uses parsley and adds this and the lemon direct to the salsa. I didn’t hear as the heat from the salsa would have wilted and ruined the lovely mint so I did this at serving. Its up to you.