an adventure into my cookbook collection: soul-searching, doing things differently & the truths I learn along the way...

deseeding pomegranates is feminine & erotic, unless you hit them with a wooden spoon...


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Mushrooms on toast

Life’s simple pleasures.

Serves two classy people for a starter, or one greedy person for a meal.


200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp (approx) Olive oil
1 echalion/banana shallot, or half an onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, crushed or finely diced
1 tsp grain mustard
1 tbsp crème fraîche
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper
½ tbsp (approx) lemon juice
Toast - as much as you like.


In a large frying pan, fry the onions in a glug of olive oil over a medium/low heat for a few minutes until starting to soften and colour. Add the mushrooms and fry for another ten or so minutes, stirring from time to time. Add the garlic and parsley, fry for a further two to three minutes, and then stir in the mustard, crème fraîche, lemon juice, a little salt and a lot of pepper.

Serve with toast. Happy days.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Restaurant review: Mildreds

Established in 1988, Mildreds is part of the fabric of vegetarian London, and one of my favourite restaurants in the city. The first time I went to Mildreds was the day I handed in my masters dissertation, longer ago than I care to admit. I saw Simon Amstell at the next table, and had some of the best sweet potato fries I had ever eaten.

I have been to Mildreds many times since, and it is consistently excellent. The menu changes regularly, and contains many vegan and gluten-free options. All of the wine on their wine list is organic, mostly vegetarian or vegan, and with biodynamic options. They also serve organic soft drinks.

Mildreds doesn’t accept bookings, and I recognise that some people can find that annoying. Personally, I love no-bookings policies. I love the egalitarian-ness of them. Everyone gets a table, and everyone has to wait.  I have never had to wait very long for a table, and waiting with one of their excellent cocktails is no hardship (their elderflower martini packs a great punch).

The last time I went was with my cousin S, a foodie from NYC with an expense account. We had an excellent meal. For starters I ordered the chargrilled Roman style artichoke heart crostini with lemon aioli. Their artichoke crostini is quite possibly one of the best dishes known to man. There just aren’t enough superlatives in the world to describe how delicious it is. And by ‘Roman style’, they basically mean ‘Jewish style’.

For main course I had the Sri Lankan sweet potato and cashew nut curry with yellow basmati rice with peas and coconut tomato sambal. The curry was rich and well balanced, with a great kick from the sambal. For dessert, S and I shared the lemon, almond and pistachio polenta cake with pomegranate syrup and yoghurt. The cake was moist and delicious, and not too sweet.

For three courses with a shared dessert, cocktails and service, you can expect to pay around £30 per/head, completely reasonable for a central London restaurant of such quality.

Mildreds are publishing a cookbook, which will be available in summer 2015.