Picadillo (6-8)

This beef hash is one of Cuba’s most popular dishes and it is also found in parts of Latin America. It can be served simply with just plain rice to accompany, or with black beans and rice, perhaps topped with a fried egg. This is from ” The Cooking of the Caribbean” by Elizabeth Lambert Ortiz.

Duck with Rum (4-6)

This recipe from Guadeloupe is best made with richly flavoured dark rum from the French Islands, but any good dark rum will do. This is from ” The Cooking of the Caribbean” by Elizabeth Lambert Ortiz.

Broad Bean Hot Pot (4-6)

A favourite spanish dish from ” The Cooking of Spain” by Elizabeth Luard. It is best made when the broad beans are small and tender and the pods can be included. You can use older podded beans or frozen ones if later in the season. It is lovely with thick slices of bread, rubbed with garlic and trickled with olive oil. Any leftovers, drained of extra juices, make a very good tortilla.

Le Cake aux Herbes (8)

A herb heavy savoury cake from France to nibble while sipping wine or serve warm from the oven with a tomato and olive salad as a starter. I first came across this while on a walking holiday in Portugal and determined to find a recipe it was so good!The herbs can be varied, but balance more dominant herbs with plenty of softer ones such as parsley and chives. This is from ” Sophie Grigson’s Country Kitchen”.

Spicy Roasted New Potatoes (4)

My most recent new cookery book purchase ( and i do try to resist) is “Falastin” by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley. They are part of the Ottolenghi team, but this book celebrates the people and the food of Palestine. This is the first recipe i have tried and it’s very good.

Penne with Broccoli and Green Olives (4-6)

Purple Sprouting Broccoli is probably my favourite vegetable and i buy it almost daily from my local greengrocers when it is in season. The best i have ever had came from a stall at Stoke Newington Farmers Market in London, and is definitely one of the things I miss about not living there so far. I have tried to grow it on my allotment but without much success so far. This is from ” River Cafe Cook Book Two”.