Supper-Club Round Up and Recipes


On a beautiful evening in early August, we were delighted to welcome a select group of diners to our inaugural supper club held at the Bandstand Beds garden which has been mentioned in previous posts on this blog. Seventeen diners joined us for an evening of freshly cooked seasonal vegetarian dishes sourced from the garden itself and from the surrounding area of the common helping to raise funds for Bandstand Beds campaign to create better access to the fast growing plot aiming to further their skills sharing mission statement.

The evening was immensely enjoyable for all and sundry and managed to raise £425 for the project – a significant contribution to the £5,000 target. However, there is still a significant way to go before we have the full sum to get work under way so please don’t feel shy and donate to this very worthy cause that will allow more people to learn from this fantastic skills sharing project.

As ever, we have a little something to wet your appetite with two of our recipes from the evening: ‘Persian’ Ratatouille and Great Grandma’s Welsh Cakes (which were served with a delicious compote foraged from Clapham Common’s fruit trees). Both of these were a hit; so simple to do at home and make for an ideal weekend treat. Adapted recipes for your convenience and enjoyment.




‘Persian’ Ratatouille (serves 4 with rice)

Only ‘Persian’ in the loosest of terms with the addition of saffron and currants adding an extra dimension to a traditional staple of French home cooking. On the day we served this with Thadig, a method of cooking rice common to many areas in the Middle-East and beyond but it would also be equally well accompanied by boiled basmati.


1 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 white onion, finely chopped

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 pinch saffron

1 handful of currants

Sliced vegetable, including: red onions; pattipans; courgettes; squash; tromboncini (so long as you have enough to create the circular layered pattern pictured, roughly one of each of these vegetable and 2 of the red onions)

Salt and pepper to season

To serve:

Chopped coriander

Toasted flaked almonds

Preheat your oven to 200C.

Take an ovenproof sauté pan, frying the crushed garlic and chopped white onion in some olive oil over a medium heat. Once they have become soft and appear glassy, add the tomatoes, saffron and currants and allow the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring to allow the saffron and the sweetness of the currants to infuse into the sauce. Take care that the sauce doesn’t burn, stirring at regular intervals to ensure that the base for your ratatouille doesn’t catch.

Season the sauce to taste and remove from the heat. Ensuring that the sauce is evenly distributed around the base of the pan, begin placing the sliced vegetable around the edges of the pan in a circular pattern so that they stand upright and create a stacked effect – this will allow the vegetable to cook and their exposed edges to crisp and caramelise for additional flavour once in the oven. When the pan is full, place in the oven for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp on the top but cooked in the middle.

Serve with a handful of chopped coriander and toasted flaked almonds.

Great-Grandma’s Welsh Cakes (makes about 18)

A long time favourite, Welsh Cakes have been given a make-over in recents years, with recipes being circulated by renowned food writers and even being stocked on the shelves of Marks & Spencer. However, none are quite so good as this recipe passed down from my great-grandmother, born in lovely Rhondda Fach.


450g self-raising flour
170g butter
155g granulated sugar
A pinch of nutmeg
A pinch of cinnamon
A handful of currants or sultanas
2 medium eggs
Caster sugar for sprinkling over once cooked
Take a large mixing bowl and the dry ingredients (minus the currants) and combine by hand. Once all the ingredients equally distributed, rub in the butter to create a fine bread crumb like texture to the mix. Add the currants and eggs and mix to a stiff dough. Once thoroughly combined, rap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30-45 minutes to allow to stiffen.
Once chilled, roll out the mixture on to a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 1cm (you may have to cut the dough in half to fit it onto you counter) and use cookie cutters to create perfectly round welsh cakes. Stack your Welsh Cakes on top of each other adding flour between each one to make sure they don’t stick together if necessary.
Take a heavy non-stick frying pan, or a traditional bake stone if you are lucky enough to own one, and place over a medium heat. Place a small amount of butter in the pan, ensuring a thorough coating before wiping away any excess with a paper towel to minimise the likelihood of ‘dodgy first batch’ syndrome.
Place the Welsh Cakes in the pan in batches of four or five at a time and griddle for approximately 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Once cooked they should still appear to have a thin line of moist dough still running through the middle but not be completely raw inside. Once out of the pan scatter with caster sugar and allow to cool while moving onto the next batch.
Repeat till all the dough has been used up and enjoy still warm with a well earned cup of Glengettie tea or save for later.

The Common Cooks: London Food Month

IMG_5292On 17th June, howell and harte teamed up with Cactus Kitchens and Bandstand Beds on Clapham Common to present a unique event for London Food Month, cooking some delicious recipes made from ultra-locally sourced ingredients with barely minutes from plot-to-pan. It has been a privilege to be involved in the inaugural series of month long food events run by The Evening Standard which foodies from the capital and beyond hope will become an annual occurrence.


As long term volunteers involved in the building of the Bandstand Beds kitchen it was a delight to launch the kitchen container and share a sunny day with Clapham-based cookery school and home of Saturday Kitchen Live, Cactus Kitchen who joined us on the day to teach all attendees some valuable knife skills, helping chop some of the ingredients which we diligently cooked, serving up a hearty lunch of salad, Butternut Squash and Cavolo Nero Daal and Risotto Verde. As ever, recipes below including the incredibly versatile topping of tobacco onions – handy for adding an crunchy and sinful extra dimension to all your meals from curries to juices steaks.

If you like our recipes (or even just the pictures) we will also be running our first supper club on the 5th August which you can book tickets for via Eventbrite – all donations will go towards the funding of disabled access for Bandstand Beds. Delicious food and a very worthy cause – could their be a better way to spend a Saturday night?



Sicily: Deserti

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Bringing our reminiscences to a close, this is the finale to our Sicilian posts. And what better way to end than on a delightfully easy but utterly delicious soufflé? We appreciate that it’s not a technically Italian and that that word sometimes strikes terror into the hearts of the boldest cook but bare with us.

This recipe was inspired by discovering pistachio spread (think Nutella but a white-chocolate pistachio flavoured version) in a local supermarket when we were staying in the villa we had rented. We had originally planned on saving it to make this recipe but ended up eating it with a spoon instead – and we don’t even feel slightly guilty!

This recipe tries to capture the flavours of the desserts we had when we visited that beautiful island and we hope it does them justice. We made this as at Easter and it was a fitting end to our feast but it would also make a lovely dessert for any occasion or just a summer evening. Enjoy and make sure to look out for the recipes from our event with Cactus Kitchens which will be posted shortly!

Pistachio Soufflé

Serves 6 (in medium-sized ramekins)


20g melted butter

70g ground pistachios

4 tbsps double cream

2 tbsps icing sugar

2 eggs, separated into yolks and whites

1/2 tsp almond essence

20g Caster Sugar, with extra to coat the inside of the ramekins

Extra icing sugar and ground pistachios to serve


Pre-heat the oven to 220C. Take your six ramekins and brush the inside with melted butter before scattering with spare caster sugar. Place in the fridge to cool till needed.

To make the pistachio paste add the cream, ground pistachios and icing sugar to a small saucepan and mix over a low heat for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture starts to heat through but not bubble. Add the egg yolks and almond essence to the mixture and mix swiftly – if left too long to heat through or if the saucepan/mixture is too hot you could end up with a sweet, nutty, omeletty-mess. Once combined, set aside to cool.

Take a large mixing bowl, add the egg whites and beat until they are stiff and peaks hold their shape. Once the whites are at this stage, beat in the caster sugar – this helps to maintain the foamy structure and stops the mixture becoming a soup. Once this is done you can begin to add the pistachio paste 1-2 serving spoons at a time, folding it gently into the mix ensuring that the two mixtures are combined. It is important to use a slim metal spoon here, as a wooden spoon will knock all of the air out of the whites you have just worked so hard to fluff up.

When combined, spoon the mixture into the cool ramekins filling them to just below the brim. Place your soufflés in the oven and turn the temperature down to 200C. Bake for 10 minutes. Once they have risen 1-2cm serve as quickly as possible with a light dusting of icing sugar and left over ground pistachio.



Evening Standard London Food month

We are proudly taking part in the Evening Standards London Food Month from 1st-30th June 2017.

We will be teaming up with Bandstand Beds and Cactus Kitchens for our first ever Common Cook up.


On Saturday 17th June Bandstand Beds volunteer led community food growing project, HowellandHarte and Cactus Kitchens are collaborating for London Food Month to host a special Common Cook Up. Utilising fresh produce dug up straight from the community garden that morning Bandstand Beds volunteers, and food blogging duo, Will Howell & Conor Harte will be creating a mouth-watering menu to be enjoyed by all.

Alongside assisting Will & Conor, Cactus Kitchens’ cookery school team will be providing a free taster session of their popular Knife Skills class, giving guests a chance to learn how to handle a kitchen knife with confidence. Top tips will included learning how to dice and slice vegetables and herbs to reduce waste in the kitchen and get the best from seasonal home grown produce.

Bandstand Beds is a community garden project set up in 2013 to encourage locals to get their hands dirty, get outside, grow vegetables and have a good time. The group has grown from 10 to over 90 volunteer members and has been funded and supported by various charities including The Princes Trust, Tesco Bags of Help and Awards for All.

 Click here for free tickets


London Evening Standard Food Month Logo


cactus kitchens

Sicily: Secondi

Following on from our latest blog post this is the next recipe in our Sicilian dinner menu. Live in chef’s is part and parcel of the standard family holiday.  As mentioned in our previous post, Sicily: Primi, we had a few mouths to feed and you’ll probably have noticed people gathering around in the background of photos eagerly waiting to be fed, desperate for something to go with a nice glass of wine. However, we did have one night off where we made our way down to Acireale to try some local cuisine. We managed to catch one of the local saint festivals at the same time, arriving to see the holy effigy fly out off a beautiful baroque church on her heavy wooden float at the speed of a canon ball; it was certainly a miracle that there wasn’t a bloody smear of people passata left in her beatified wake. After these wonderful celebrations, solemnised with a round of fireworks, we headed to find some food. And, with an entirely local clientele of archetypal Italian family parties sharing dishes, cracking lobsters and drinking vibrant rosé from carafes from the slopes of Etna, Restaurante I Cavaddari was truly a special find. 

fishThe choices  on offer at Cavaddari were few: fish or fish and pasta. Being an Irish family we would never shy away from a carb.
Note to self, shy away from the carb!
It had to be one of the most incredible meals we have eaten, but by course 7 I think most of us were flagging. Highlights were the Langoustine and squid ink tortiglioni (left), a starter platter that contained no less than 10 different types of fish (from smoked to seared) and Langoustine Risotto. If you ever find yourself on the south east side of Sicily, this is worth a detour. If you do go for the fish and pasta tasting menu, make sure you have a horizontal surface nearby to layout on to allow the food coma to pass before attempting any long journeys – it might take a few days!

The recipe in the second instalment of our Sicily series can be served with or without pasta or with a variety of other dishes, like grilled aubergine or just a plain leaf salad dressed with extra virgin olive oil (Italian, of course).

The simplicity of this dish is what works, you can taste ever single ingredient so if you can get your hands on good produce, this is the recipe to use.


Polpette Pomodoro bake

Serves 6


500g pork mince
500g beef mince
1 red onion finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh oregano
1 egg beaten
1 cup of breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper


500g of cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 red onion finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Fresh basil
1 ball of mozzarella cubed
Salt and pepper

(Pasta optional)


Preheat oven to 175 degrees.

In a bowl combined the minces, chopped onion, egg, oregano, breadcrumbs and salt and pepper.

Using your hands roll in 4cm wide balls place on a plate and chill in the fridge whilst preparing the sauce.

Add the chopped onion and garlic into a saucepan with a glug of olive oil and slowly simmer till cooked.

Add the quartered tomatoes and half the basil to the pan. Cover and simmer for 20 mins till the tomatoes have broken down; then add the balsamic vinegar and season.

In a heavy based frying pan, bring oil up to temperature and add half to the meatballs and brown on all sides transferring to the oven proof dish to finish in the oven.  Repeat with second batch of meatballs until they have all been browned and transferred to the oven.

Once the meatballs have cooked a further 5 minutes, pour the sauce over the meatballs, sprinkle over the mozzarella and return to the oven for 20 mins to cook.

Remove from the oven add the remaining fresh basil, salt and pepper and serve hot with or without pasta.

Buon appetito!


Sicily: Primi

*It has been a long time since our last post and with one new job and one new house it seemed about time to add a new post to the list too. As it is that time of year again we thought we would do a retrospective on our summer travels from 2016 (check out our instagram feed for pics).*

Don Corleone, A View from the Bridge, The Leopard: that would have been the total sum of my knowledge and experience of Sicily. Yet so much has been written about this wonderful island, the football to Italy’s high-heeled boot. More importantly, all of it is true. Sleepily defying any accusations of hyperbole you happily drive past swathes of olive trees, an incredible vineyard selling their produce by the gallon at the end of the street and Etna smouldering gently (or fiercely) above you.

As with all Italian holidays (and we’ve had a few now), it always comes back to the food. Sicily was never going to be a disappointment and we had some amazing meals, be that slow-cooked donkey in central Catania (sorry Charlie and Libby but they were very tasty) or making our own attempts at a few classics. Here is small plate recipe for you to try out, be that with friends in the warmer weather or to give you some inspiration before you go booking those flights for this year’s adventure.

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A shot of our own dinner which generally ended up being big affairs. Never get a shop thinking it will last you a few days – you’ll be lucky to get through the evening and have enough in the fridge for breakfast.

Traditionally the zenith of Italian ‘leftover’ cuisine, shelves of golden orbs are to be seen everywhere in Sicily and the rest of Italy, and who can blame them? Bitting into the crisp skin of an arancino al ragu with its pointed tip making it look like a fried teardrop is all persuasion anyone will need to start applying for Italian citizenship!

Meaning ‘little oranges’, arancini have a number of local variants. The teardrop shape is apparently far more of a Sicilian phenomenon while elsewhere they tend to broadly resemble their namesakes.

While we say this is a ‘leftover’ dish, we started making these with the soul aim of producing arancini. In the Italian food bible, The Silver Spoon, the recipe for ‘Arancini alla Siciliana’ equally makes no mention of using up what risotto has been left behind – it is a dish of the highest calibre in its own right. You are welcome to make the risotto on its own but whatever you do you won’t regret it!

Makes 16

For the risotto:

1 white onion, diced
1tbsp olive oil
1tbsp butter
50g oyster mushrooms (or chestnut mushroom if unavailable)
500g black risotto rice
300ml white wine
300ml stock
2 generous pinches of salt
25g parmesan, grated

For the arancini:

4 medium sized eggs
1 ball of mozzarella, in 1cm cubes
1ltr sunflower oil
100g fine bread crumbs

To make the risotto, in medium sized saucepan sauté the onions with the butter and olive oil until glassy. Chop the mushrooms finely before adding to the onions to soften. Once they have softened add the rice to the pan and stir to ensure that it is fully combined with the onions and mushrooms and get a beautifully rich coating of butter and olive oil.

Add the stock, white wine and salt to the saucepan and lower the heat to a simmer. Leave on this heat for 20 minutes or until the rice is soft and all the liquid absorbed. This is where you may need to muster all your patience and culinary judgement to make sure that the mixture is firm and not too wet but not underdone either. The answer is simply to taste the risotto as you go along, checking seasoning and adding any salt and pepper if required.

Once the risotto is cooked, stir in the parmesan and set aside to cool. You can leave this for a couple hours or even over night to help it dry out a little further. (If you want to have risotto on its own at this point, go grab yourself a plate and seize the moment – it would be a shame to let fresh risotto go to waste even if it is for a higher cause!)

To make the arancini, place the risotto mixture in a bowl with 2 of the eggs broken in and combine (this is to help the mixture stick together when placed in the hot oil). To make the balls themselves take a small amount in your hand and flatten it out, placing a cube of mozzarella in the centre. Compress the rice around the mozzarella to form as close to a sphere as you can get – you may need a little more rice to help complete the shape of the arancini. Repeat till you have used up all the rice.

Place the arancini on a plate and cool for 15 minutes in the freezer. With 5 minutes remaining, pour the oil into a saucepan deep enough to cover the arancini and place on a high heat. At this point you should also whisk the two remaining eggs in a bowl. You will also need to have the breadcrumbs ready in a bowl. When you remove the arancini, dip in the eggs followed by the breadcrumbs and plop straight into the now hot oil (you will probably have to do this in batches – we did ours only 5 at a time). Deep fry for 5 minutes before removing and placing on some kitchen towel to catch any excess oil. Serve immediately or as soon as they are cool enough to shovel them into your watering mouths.




Mid-week special: Courgetti, chorizo and pine nuts


We have been away for a while and have had a few things on the back burner, our write up of our Sicily trip being one of them. Valencia was wonderful; not speaking a word of Spanish made things slightly tricky, not helped by trying to talk Italian instead. God knows how we all found the mental capacity to cope.

We finally got back to gardening on Wednesday, walking up very sheepishly as we haven’t been for months. Luckily, we left with such a bounty of fresh food that we went home to cook one of the freshest recipes we have made in a while. Using a courgette the size of Paddy (washed) and the reddest tomatoes we have ever seen!


Courgetti with fresh tomato, chorizo and pine nuts 

It’s nothing new Courgetti has been around for a while but the freshness of this dish was out of this world a solid 30 mins from ground to plate. And my was it delicious! Lloyd Grossman jar stand down.


1 courgette per person

Handful of toms (plum. Cherry, anything fresh) per person

Half ring of chorizo

1 red onion

Clove of garlic

1 chilli pepper

2 tsp of hot paprika

Salt and pepper

On a high heat fry the chorizo and removed when cooked. Using the oil from the chorizo, fry the onion, chilli and garlic over a low heat. Once soften turn up the heat and add the paprika and halved toms. Simmer till soft and cooked through.

In a separate pan toast the pine nuts until they start to turn golden brown but be careful to not let them burn. Meanwhile, in a frying pan heat the Courgetti with olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper when soft.

Serve the Courgetti with the sauce and scatter the toasted pine nuts – might not be from the allotment for everyone but it will be the tastiest courgette you’ll get!



FroYo Challenge – The Latest Flavours

IMG_1357Ice-cream. No sooner say those magically hyphenated words then the rich tapestry of childhood, pregnant with schottenfreude, emerges: the first creamy taste of proper strawberry ice-cream;  tubs of neapolitan from Walls; the anguished tears as each scoop fell out of the cone onto the floor. Who would ever trade those memories?

God knows when our first taste of gelato was, but my goodness haven’t we felt grateful this week? After the temperature climbed above 30C for the first time this year howell and harte have certainly felt like melting more than once.

Some of you out there have been following our posts on Instagram this week and now we are happy to publish our recipes for one of our most delicious experimenting sessions. The idea has been to produce recipes that require the minimum of fuss for a hot day when all you want to do is sit by the fan in a cool dark space and hope it all stops. Also, as most mere mortals do not own an ice-cream maker, these are handmade recipes – all you’ll need is a blender but a bit of elbow grease and a fork should suffice if you haven’t made that special purchase yet.



Sumac and cinnamon raspberry frozen yoghurt

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160g Raspberries

1tbsp honey

2tsp sumac

1tsp cinnamon

250g yoghurt

250g condensed milk

To make the coulis, place the raspberries and honey in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Cook down until liquid and reduce to half the coulis’s original quantity. Add the sumac and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, mix the condensed milk, yoghurt and cinnamon and whip until thoroughly combined. Add the cool coulis and whip again until fully combined.

Place in a freezable container and place in your freezer for 6 hours. To ensure that you don’t get crystals forming in the frozen yoghurt churn the mixture every 2 hours (you can still serve it as a semifredo if after 6 hours it still has crystals in).

To serve, leave out for 10 minutes and scoop into small bowls.

Avocado, mint and hazelnut frozen yoghurt

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100g hazelnuts

1 large avocado

500g yoghurt

2 tbsp honey

2 sprigs of mint

Toast the hazelnuts under a grill set at 200c until they are golden brown (as soon as you can smell them they should be ready, which should take about 5 minutes). Set aside till they are cool.

Place the yoghurt, avocado and honey in a food processor and blend until thick and creamy. Add two sprigs of mint to the mix and blend again.

Place the yogurt mix into a freezable container. Scatter the hazelnuts on top and combine into the mix.

Place in a freezable container and place in your freezer for 6 hours. To ensure that you don’t get crystals forming in the frozen yoghurt churn the mixture every 2 hours (you can still serve it as a semifredo if after 6 hours it still has crystals in).

To serve, leave out for 10 minutes and scoop into small bowls.

Sesame and honey caramel frozen yoghurt

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500g yoghurt

1 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds

1 1/2 tbsp honey

Toast the sesame seeds under the grill set at 200C until golden brown (again, as soon as you can smell them they should be ready, which should take about 5 minutes). Leave to cool on a plate.

Once cool, combine the yoghurt, sesame seeds and honey in a large bowl.

Place in a freezable container and place in your freezer for 6 hours. To ensure that you don’t get crystals forming in the frozen yoghurt churn the mixture every 2 hours (you can still serve it as a semifredo if after 6 hours it still has crystals in).

To serve, leave out for 10 minutes and scoop into small bowls.



IMG_9025The West has been fascinated by Japan for centuries. As ‘the land of the rising sun’, it has been characterised by its exotic strangeness to us combining finely crafted beauty, an unrivalled artisan culture and (most of all) exceptional food.

Japanese food does not automatically spring to mind when dreaming up a simple home-cooked meal. Our ‘discovery’ of sushi in the 90s with unironically kitsch little Japanese restaurants each bordering of a charicature of itself helped to make Japanese food the latest thing; Yo Sushi thrives to this day on that reputation and our nation’s first populist brush with meals largely consisting of raw fish. Wagamama came later, offering us smoldering bowls of ramen and satisfyingly girthy udon noodles. We lapped them both up, but still we didn’t try this at home.

So why don’t we? The supply of South-East Asian staples has improved dramatically over the last twenty years partly because of the popularity of these restaurants; are there any excuses left? Are we just being lazy? Scaredy cats, even?

With this in mind, we have tried to create some easy and highly ‘Western friendly’ interpretations of Japanese cuisine. If you’ve felt fear at the thought of which vermicelli to use in your artisan spring rolls quake no longer; howellandharte are here and we’re going to sort you out.

Sushi: Lettuce Hand Rolls

IMG_9005Sushi horror stories are penny-a-dozen. Seaweed, rice and some fish: how hard could it be? Considering sushi chefs typically spend around 5 years training (and only then are they allowed to make the rice by themselves) possibly quite tricky as anyone who has felt like dabbling at a little sushi making will already know.

This is recipe is a cheat: there is no seaweed and to make up for the loss of flavour we have included tobacco onions to give things a little more character.

One piece of advice: make sure you have some serious weapon-grade tuna. Freshness is key to sushi if you don’t want to be chewing on some mushy, slimy thing in an unflattering overcoat of savoury rice-pudding. Go to your fish counter or even better a local fish monger: we went to Moxon’s by Clapham South tube station who had some excellent sushi-grade yellow-fin tuna in stock. Same goes for salmon or any other fish you may wish to use.

Remember, the recipe below is a suggestion of what to put in your handroll – this should be a ‘fajita-style’ meal so get stuck in and improvise.

Serves 4


Cooked Sushi Rice (recipe here)

1 Onion, halved and sliced into half-moon strips

50ml Milk

20g Plain Flour

100ml Sunflower Oil

1 Lettuce

2 Avocadoes

160g Yellow Fin Tuna

260g Fresh Salmon

Soy sauce, wasabi paste and pickled ginger to serve.

To make the tobacco onions, first out the oil onto a high heat so that it gets very hot. Take the half-moon strips of onion, dip them in milk and then coat thoroughly in flour. Repeat this process until you have all of the strips finely coated in a powdery batter. Place in the hot oil and cook until golden brown. You may have to cook the onion in batches but once each batch is done place it on some kitchen paper so any excess fat can drain off and sprinkle over a little table salt to season. Set aside and allow to cool.

Pick apart the separate leaves of the lettuce, ensuring that they stay in tact. Wash them to remove any dirt, shake and set aside in a large bowl.

To prepare your fillings, start with the avocados. Remove the stone and try to scoop out each of the halves with a spoon and cut into strips on a chopping board. When you think you are ready to serve start cutting the fish into similar manageable strips and serve on a platter.

Place all the components on the table ready to serve. Each diner should take a lettuce leaf and a spoonful of sushi rice pressing it down into the leaf with their thumb. Once flattened they can then add their choice of filling and fish as well as any of the condiments they wish. Repeat and enjoy!

Japanese-style Coleslaw

Serves 4 (as a side dish)


3tsps sesame seeds

1tbsp Mayonaise

1/4tsp Wasabi

2 carrots

1/2 a medium sized cucumber

1 spring onion, finely matchsticked

In a small pan, lightly toast the sesame seeds over a medium heat until they start to turn golden.

Prepare the wasabi mayonnaise, mixing the two ingredients together in a small dish or pot. You can make the mayonnaise more or less potent according to taste but bare in mind that you don’t want to blow people’s heads off. To adjust simply add more or less of either ingredient.

Grate the carrots and place in a large bowl. Grate the cucumber but once this is done put into a sieve and press down lightly in order to remove excess liquid – you do not want this to become a wet mess. When the cucumber has been drained, place in the bowl with the carrots.

Add the spring onions and toasted sesame seeds to the cucumber and carrots. Mix in the wasabi mayonnaise. Serve straight away.

Refreshing Cucumber Salad

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Serves 2 (as a side dish)


1/2 cucumber, matchsticked

1 fistfuls rocket

2tsps nigella seeds

1tbsp toasted sesame oil

1tbsp soy sauce

Place the cucumber and rocket in a medium sized salad bowl or serving dish. Pour over the oil and soy sauce and toss thoroughly. Scatter half of the nigella seed over the salad and toss again. Scatter the remaining nigella seed over the top of the salad and serve.

Matcha do about nothing

Today we were lucky enough to get tickets to the BBC Good Food festival: Summer in the City event at the ExCel centre London.

The festival focus this year is taking a look at all things healthy and nutritional food; essentially reminding us that we should be cutting out sugar, salt and anything that tastes nice…

“Health” food has always erred on the side of the bland, the textureless and the unfailingly smug. But despite the fifty shades of green that could be seen dotted around the hall, we were pleasantly surprised with the variation of different foods available from dark chocolate sweetened with palmyra nectar, high in iron, potassium and magnesium, made by Maza chocolate to smoked onion BBQ crickets. After getting the latter stuck in our teeth we are not sure we will be rushing to fill our baskets with creepy crawlies anytime soon – still, it was worth a try!

One word on nearly a third of the vendors’ lips? Matcha. This green powder made from ground down green tea leaves apparently is our new “super tea” with health giving properties.  And you guessed it… its green. Unnervingly so. Not the usual goose shit green of nutri-bullet fame but vibrant green you would likely paint with when as a 5 year old you want to depict a tree. Having tried it before I can’t say it was to my taste. On the other hand, Will stopped at quite possibly every stall serving the stuff; I was surprised I wasn’t scraping him off the ceiling before we left.  One variation of matcha tea that Idid enjoy was mixed with almond milk to make a ‘matcha latte’ as recently seen on any number of instagram accounts. When it still tastes like licking a leaf, the sweetness from the almond milks very welcome and even quite refreshing.


Other cracking new products we tried natural sweetened soft drink using honey from Just Bee Drinks, Little bird Kefir which was a delicious fermented drink  with live cultures (which we will be writing a recipe for – watch this space) and a string of birch water producers (TreeVitalise and Belseva among them). While slightly reminiscent of a weekend with Ray Mears and having been hotly tipped for quite some time as ‘the next coconut water’, I think we would both recommend it although finding a place to buy it would seem a little tricky.

Overall, we won’t be reaching for the nearest raw-date-base cacao-flavoured mush-bar but it was great to see there are new companies creating delicious healthy substitutes which, for the most part, taste fantastic.  We hope to be seeing a lot of them in stores soon.

h&h is the joint brainchild of Will Howell and Conor Harte. Both have learnt to cook from a young age, but started to explore the best ways to create simple and cheap dishes at university. Along with a number of cooking courses along the way, the two continue to explore ways to eat well for less.