Sunday, October 5, 2014

Farewell Nigel, and a Round-up of My Favourites

If you've been following here for a while then you will most likely know that I am a regular participant and co-host at I Heart Cooking Clubs, where each six months our members elect a new chef with whom we will spend the ensuing six months cooking according to a variety of weekly themes.  You will also know that for the last six months we have been cooking with British cook, Nigel Slater, and this week is time to say our goodbyes.

This is always a bittersweet moment - a little hint of sadness as one journey comes to an end, tinged with the excitement and anticipation of welcoming in a new chef.  You'll find out more about that next week, but for now I wanted to share with you a round-up of my favourite Nigel Slater dishes of the last six months.

Warm Lentil, Leek & Lemon Salad with Prawns & Roasted Tomatoes

Warm Lentil,Leek & Lemon Salad with Prawns & Tomatoes 2

This dish was actually inspired by Nigel's "Lentil soup, with lemon, pancetta and mint".  It turned out to be one of those dishes which, in its entirety, was so much greater than the sum of its parts, and was not just every bit as good as I expected it to be, but in actual fact exceeded all my expectations.

Roasted Potato Salad with Black Olive & Roasted Garlic Gremolata

Roasted Potato Salad with Black Olive & Roasted Garlic Gremolata 2

This was a dish which not only drew inspiration from Nigel, but also from my friend Toby at Plate Fodder.  Potatoes are par-boiled, then smashed and oven roasted with rosemary and garlic.  That in itself is a pretty good thing, but then the crispy roasted potatoes are drizzled straight from the oven with a mustardy vinaigrette, and then topped with a gremolata of black olives, rosemary, garlic and lemon zest.  A taste sensation, and the perfect accompaniment to the Sunday night roast chook.

Curried Carrot, Lentil & Roasted Tomato Soup

Curried Carrot, Lentil & Roasted Tomato Soup 1.jpg

In many ways carrots are one of my least favourite vegetables, so I'd always been a bit dubious about carrot soup.  This stunning soup, loaded with red lentils, spicy curry powder, fragrant coconut milk and slow roasted tomatoes helped me overcome all my carrot soup fears!

Pumpkin, Date & Chocolate Scones

Pumpkin, Date & Chocolate Scones 2

Roasted Pumpkin Laksa

Roasted Pumpkin Laksa 3

This laksa is perfect for a cold winter evening.  The sweet, soft, nutty pumpkin, silky rice noodles, crispy bok choy and bean sprouts, all bathed in a gorgeously fragrant, coconut-rich broth, makes for a symphony of flavours and textures.

Gnocchi with Chorizo, Gorgonzola & Spinach

Gnocchi with chorizo, gorgonzola & spinach 2

This is the ultimate one-pan wonder.  A dish for those occasions when only a big helping of carbs, smothered in cream and cheese, and topped off with a bit of fried sausage, will satisfy, and just enough spinach to assuage the guilt - slightly!

Pumpkin Pangrattato with Merguez Sausage & Black Olives

Pumpkin Pangrattato with Merguez & Black Olives 3

This was easily my favourite Nigel Slater dish, and in fact one of my favourite dishes I've ever posted.  Chunks of steamed butternut pumpkin, spicy nuggets of merguez sausage, and black olives, are baked under a topping of cheesy, garlicky breadcrumbs.  Seriously, if you only ever try one dish from my blog, this would be a good place to start.

With that, it's time to say "Cheerio" to Nigel, and don't forget to come back next week to see who we'll be welcoming as our next IHCC chef.

If you would like to get to know Nigel Slater a little better, and to see what everyone else has cooked up this week, then do go and visit my friends at I Heart Cooking Clubs and check out the links ...

... or check out Tender, Vol. 1 and Nigel's many other great titles available from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, or Fishpond NZ.


  1. What a wonderful series --- I hate to see it end!

  2. A nice series and delicious food. ~ Catherine

  3. I check Tender out of the library quite a bit. Very nice roundup, Sue, and glorious photos to go with it. The merges sausage is something I had never heard of before and you turned us on to that. Loved it!

    Looking forward to the next six months with Diana Henry.

  4. Holy smokes, you did make some doozy recipes from Nigel's repertoire! Good thing there's Club Potluck, so we can return to Nigel now and then, huh?

  5. That sweet potato salad looks out of this world, Sue.

  6. Hi Sue,
    Delicious collection of Nigel's recipes. You have made some awesome dishes. I can see why these are your favourites! It has been a wonderful six months of cooking with Nigel, and I am looking forward to our next six months with Diana Henry. Waiting for her books to arrive!
    Thank you, Sue, and to the lovely ladies, Kim and Deb, for doing such a great job with IHCC! :)

  7. You made some wonderful Nigel dishes and I like that Nigel's recipes have 'good bones' and are so adaptable to changes and are easy to build on. It was a fun six months! ;-) (I still want to make that pumpkin laksa!)

  8. Your entire roundup is mouthwatering, Sue. I can't decide which recipe I want to try first! I've been watching my carbs so your gnocchi is really calling my name, but I seriously want to try them all. I had a giggle when I read about your carrot soup. I'm actually crazy for carrots and have been meaning to try my hand at a carrot soup. This curried version is right up my alley. How interesting that the carrot soup ended up being a Nigel favorite even though carrots aren't your thing. What a pleasant surprise! Love it when that happens.

  9. Great round-up, I like your choices. It was great to cook along with Nigel, wasn't it? I hope I do some great Diana Henry recipes

  10. Fantastic roundup - you made so many delicious dishes, it must have been difficult to choose.

  11. Oh my! It all looks delicious but you have me wanting to tuck in to a pile of roast potatoes....I mean roasties are amazing just as they are but that gremolata sounds amazing! As for the gnocchi....decadent delectable heaven! One to make once my 4 week health kick over!!!


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