Aubergine, chilli & coriander salsa

Posted in: DF, LF, S, V, WF

I dreamt up this salsa after 4 months of craving raw, crunchy salads in India. There’s nothing I like more than fish and spice but there comes a point when even the most dedicated curry fans need to macerate. So, said recipe materialised on a Middle East stopover at my bother’s, where aubergines are as integral to the local diet as tatties are to the Irish. Once charred or roasted, few ingredients compare to the flavour and ‘meatiness’ of this super berry . For me, this salad’s at it’s best with steak or at a BBQ. You can also pair with chicken, fish or even toasted sourdough for a light lunch or supper.


Feeds 6



3 aubergines
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 red onion
150g tomatoes
1 bch / tbsp coriander, chopped
1 lime, juice of


Pre-heat oven to 200°C. Slice aubergine into 1 inch rounds, mix with oil, salt & pepper. Lay flat on baking tray and place in oven for 45 mins, or until browned. Turn each slice every 15 mins – you want a mix of soft, charred and crispy slices for flavour and texture.

Dice tomatoes and red onion and mix with chopped coriander and lime juice.

Chop cooled aubergine into approx. 2cm pieces, mix with salsa and serve.

To salt or not to salt? Originally done to remove bitterness, today’s auberignes rarely suffer from the affliction of their ancestors. Salting can help to reduce the amount of oil absorbed during cooking, however. Once cut, sprinkle with sea salt and place in a colander for ½ hr.

Seasonal Seducer: Aubergine

Posted in: DF, LF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Most attractive features

This berry (yup) is a great source of fibre, B1 and B6. It’s an impressive antioxidant and, it’s purple. I quite like purple.


Why I fell in love

First off, there’s the way it looks on our dishes. A splash of purple in a sea of green. But it has more to offer – dietary fibre, B1, B6, potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, folic acid… and nasunin. Nasunin is one of the most potent antioxidants and free-radical scavengers out there. So we’re talking cancer fighting, cholesterol lowering and diabetes managing. And it’s purple. I really do like purple.

From the streets: Seggiano acacia honey

Posted in: DF, LF, Reviews, S, Uncategorized, V, WF

God of taste: flavour and design, Seggiano sourcing is impeccable; scouring the land for the best Italy has to offer. This cold pressed, unfiltered and unpasteurized honey is bottled by beekeeper, Mauro Pagliaccia in Tuscany. The result: Ambrosia that compels you to never again torture your taste buds with the supermarket stuff.


Why cold press? Heat treating destroys the delicate antibiotics, enzymes and anti-bacterial qualities naturally found in honey. So not only does the raw variety taste infinitely better, it does you good and helps fight infection. True Wholesome Seduction.

In fact, so revered is this product, I blogged it as a stocking filler last Christmas (Please Santa…) and take it as a dinner party gift for my favourite friends.

Available from Wholefoods, Planet Organic or independent delis: £8.50. £1 off at Wholefoods now.

Eating out: Brixton Village

Posted in: Featured, Reviews

On throwing Brixton Village into the brunch option mix recently, I was met with one or two objections, finally settling on I can only assume, a fear of slashed car tires. This multi-cultural, covered (cue: wet weather socialising) market is home to some of London’s most authentic and interesting restaurants and street eats. Even the Chelsea set now concedes there may be more to Brixton than riot police and KFC with a side of spliff.



Wandering aimlessly, trying everything on offer is part of the point of street food but as many of us have no doubt discovered, results can be hit or miss. And there’s a limit to how many meals even the most dedicated among us can shove down. So, mindful of my Anti-diet eulogies on portion control, here’s my pick of the best Brixton Village eats.



Meat patties

Bukowski’s burger joint which cut its teeth in Shoreditch’s Box Park: The simple, commercial brainwave of filling disused, prime real estate with a pop up of shipping containers.

And Honest Burgers: patties made with 35-day aged Ginger Pig beef and cased in a brioche bun. Of course. There’s even a wheat and gluten free bun option from neighbour WAG Free bakery.

Star attraction: Topped with smoked bacon, mature cheddar and pickled cucumber, The (£8!) Honest Burger steals the show.




Etta’s Seafood Kitchen and ever expanding South London (bloat free) sourdough pizza co. Franco Manca. Ms Cupcake’s vegan Peanut butter & banana muffins are worth a trip south in their own right. There’s definitely room for more peanut butter pudding embracing in the UK. Similarly, while I’m evidently not vegan, the zero animal product clan nails cakes: less sugar, more goo.


Rosie’s Deli Café, social eating hub and testbed for rave review recipes of the Spooning with Rosie cookbook.



For the record, our 2 year old companion meant we arrived on the early side; Brixton Village doesn’t wake up before 10.30am at which point, queueing for a table is inevitable. As it turns out, the floor’s clean enough to eat off, should you feel that way inclined.


Other top picks

For Beijing street food try Mama Lan. Plates for a fiver, tried and tested by mama in her supper club and blog.

Kaosarn Thai restaurant which gets Jay Rayner’s seal of approval.

Jerk chicken shop, Take Two Grill, where dishes are still cooked over coals in a kettle drum as opposed to the oven.

LAB G (Laboratoria Artigianale del Buon Gelato. And breathe!). Where I get my post Portofino gelato fix.

When, where & how

Mon-Weds: 10am to 6pm. Thurs-Sat: 10am to 10pm. Sun: 12pm to 5pm
Atlantic Road, Brixton, London SW9.
Closest tube: Brixton.

As with any street market, most places don’t accept cards so be sure to take cash. Food’s so cheap, though, a tenner should just about do it. What you save on lunch, you can put towards re-touching the paint on your car.