Say hello to the plainest-looking, but most insanely delicious salad you’ll meet today.

It’s a humble one, this salad. There’s nothing particularly indulgent or extravagant about it- there’s no meat, or dairy, or wheat, or sugar, or any of those other things that usually make a dish a showstopper. And yet, I’m totally hooked on it. I ate something similar for lunch at The Lancaster hotel way back before Christmas, and had totally forgotten about it until a few weeks ago. Since then, I’ve been making up mass batches a couple of times a week (it keeps well for 48-72 hours in the fridge), and marvelling at how it somehow tastes better and better as the days pass and the tangy vinaigrette dressing melds with the flavours of the roasted vegetables and tart apple pieces.

It’s the roasting of the broccoli and cauliflower that really makes it a memorable dish. Without that 15 minute stint in the oven to bring out their nutty depth of flavour and the slight bitterness of the cauliflower (enhanced by a few chopped almonds and a scattering of creamy toasted pinenuts), this salad would really just be a crudite platter that’d been upended. It’s a total whizz to put together too- the sort of dish that takes the plainest of ingredients and really makes them sing.

Make up a batch today, then pat yourself on the back every lunchtime for the rest of the week as you shun ordinary, boring old sandwiches and instead sit down to a dish of the most revitalising and satisfyingly toothsome of salads around.

Rosie-Reynolds-food-photography-roasted-vegetable-salad Cider-with-Rosie-roasted-broccoli-salad Toasted-almonds-cider-with-rosie-food-photography

Makes 3/4 lunch portions, or 2 large dinner portions.
Ingredients ::
1 broccoli
1 cauliflower
1 crisp apple (Royal Gala works well)
2 handfuls almonds
1 handful pine nuts

2tsp Dijon mustard
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp cider vinegar
1 generous pinch of Maldon salt

- Cut the broccoli and cauliflower up into florets (we’ll slice them smaller once they’re roasted), and arrange on a roasting tray. Place into an oven preheated to 180 degrees celsius to cook for 15 minutes, until they’re very lightly browned in places and smelling nutty and fantastic.

- Slice the apple into chunks, roughly chop the almonds, and toast off the pinenuts in a dry pan until lightly golden. Chop up the roasted broccoli and cauliflower into bitesize pieces, then combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

- In a jam jar, add in the mustard, oil, and vinegar and seal the lid tightly. Shake until creamy and amalgamated, then season with salt to taste. The vinaigrette should be tart and strong, since it’ll mellow when used to dress the salad.

- Pour the vinaigrette over the salad, and use your hands to massage together. Serve right away, or portion up and save for a few days of glorious lunches.

Cider-with-Rosie-winter-salad-recipe Roasted-cauliflower-broccoli-recipe


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A roast chicken, for me and I suspect a good many of you too, is the smell of home. Of walking into my Mum’s house on a Sunday afternoon, ready to sit down at a table so laden with food you’d think another twenty people were due round for dinner. It’s an olfactory security blanket- the very best nostalgic comfort food going.

There’s really no bad way to serve roast chicken. With mashed potato and bacony-peas and a nutmeg-laced cheese sauce for total indulgence. Tossed in spices and served in wraps with salsa and guacamole. With full Sunday lunch regalia (Yorkshire’s included, because to hell with the beef-only tradition!). And at the very end of its life, when the scraps are all that remain, tossing them in a little barbecue sauce and adding them to the top of a homemade pizza is a fine way for any chicken to throw in the towel.

These recipes here are a few of my absolute favourites for midweek meals- a generously-proportioned chicken roasted early on in the week will easily stretch to all three of the recipes, and leave enough leftover chicken for a sandwich or two as well!

Thriftiness at its absolute finest.


How to make Truly Perfect Roast Chicken!

1 large chicken (the one pictured above was a little over 2 kilos)
1/2 lemon
4 garlic cloves
Pinch dried thyme
Extra virgin olive oil

- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.

- Cut up the lemon half into 4 chunks, and give the garlic cloves a smash to release the flavour. Place all the lemon pieces and garlic cloves into the cavity of the chicken.

- Drizzle a coating of olive oil all over the chicken, then sprinkle over some Maldon sea salt and a pinch of dried thyme.

- Cover over the chicken in its roasting dish with tin foil, then place into the oven for 40 minutes. After the 40 minutes are up, remove the foil, and return the chicken to the oven for another 45 minutes.

- Once the chicken has had a total cooking time of 1 hour and 25 minutes, remove from the oven and set aside. Allow the bird to rest for AT LEAST 10 minutes, to make sure it stays lovely and juicy once carved!

Now, for the ‘three ways’…

O N E :: Roast chicken with garlic + lemon grains, & roasted butternut squash.

Cider-with-Rosie-food-styling Cider-with-Rosie-three-ways-with-chicken-recipe

This recipe fits in so nicely with the timings for the roast chicken recipe listed above, I tend to make them at the same time! It makes such a tasty midweek dinner, or can be cooked and then portioned up for a couple of days worth of lunches.

Serves 2/3
Ingredients ::
200g (dried weight) grains of choice {our favourite is a blend of red + white quinoa, and bulgar wheat}
1 small butternut squash
1/2 tsp cumin
Two handfuls roasted chicken meat
Cooked lemon & garlic {saved from the roasted chicken recipe listed above}

- Chop the butternut squash into slices, drizzle them with olive oil, then sprinkle over the cumin and a pinch of sea salt.

- Place into the oven to roast for 45 minutes, during the second half of the chicken’s cooking time.

- When squash is tender, set it aside to cool along with the chicken, if roasting at the same time. Fish out the garlic and lemon from inside the chicken, and put the grains on to boil whilst the chicken rests.

- After 10 minutes or so, when the grains are cooked, drain and dress them in olive oil. Use a fork to scrape the softened lemon flesh off the rinds and smash the garlic cloves into a paste, and mix along with the lemon pulp into the cooked grains. It’s important to do this whilst the grains are still warm, so they absorb the flavour well!

- To serve, top the garlicky, lemony grains with a few slices of roasted squash, and a handful of shredded roast chicken.

T W O :: Superfood chicken Caesar salad.

Kale-caesar-salad-recipe-Cider-with-Rosie Kale-chicken-caesar-salad-Cider-with-Rosie

Serves 2.
Ingredients ::
3/4 large handfuls of chopped kale
50g seeds + nuts {I used a mixture of roasted squash seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and some smashed almonds}.
1 large roast chicken breast, shredded
Caesar dressing to taste {homemade, or Cardinis is the best premade, we’ve found}
Fresh parmesan

- ‘Massage’ the kale for a minute or two to soften up the leaves. Toss in the shredded chicken, and the seeds and crushed almonds. {To roast the squash seeds, I simply dressed them in olive oil, salt, and smoked paprika, then placed them in an oven preheated to 200 degrees for 10 minutes until they puff up a little and turn ‘papery’}

- Dress the salad with Caeser dressing and use a peeler to grate in some flakes of parmesan, then allow the salad to sit for a couple of hours so that the kale softens up. I left mine in the fridge overnight before eating, and it tasted great!

T H R E E :: Roast chicken, leek & bacon pot pies.

Cider-with-Rosie-pastry-recipe Cider-with-Rosie-chicken-leek-pie-recipe  

Serves 2.
Ingredients ::
{For the pastry}
200g plain white flour
100g unsalted butter
Pinch salt
1 egg, to glaze

{For the filling}
6 rashers smoked bacon
3 large leeks
3 large handfuls shredded roast chicken meat
1 tbsp plain flour
Pinch of thyme
3 heaping tbsp creme fraiche
200ml chicken stock
Grating parmesan cheese

- Begin by adding the flour, cubed butter, and salt into a large bowl. Gradually add in iced cold water until the dough just comes together into a rough ball, then turn out onto a floured work surface.

- Roll the dough out into a long rectangle, then fold the bottom third into the centre, and the top third over the top of the bottom and middle thirds. {Step by step photographic instructions can be found HERE!} Turn the block of dough by 90 degrees, then repeat the rolling out and folding process 4 more times, until the dough has become smooth. Wrap in clingfilm, then chill in the fridge for an hour.

- Slice the bacon and cut leeks into rounds, then transfer to a large frying pan with a knob of butter and a drizzle of olive oil.

- Slowly cook the bacon and leeks on a low heat, so that the flavours meld and mingle without adding colour to the leeks. I added in a splash of white wine partway through cooking, but don’t worry if you’ve none to hand. We just had dregs in an old bottle lingering in the fridge that needed using up!

- When the leeks and bacon have cooked right down and turned soft, add in the shredded chicken meat, dried thyme, and tablespoon of plain flour. Stir to combine the flour well with the leeks and bacon.

- Turn the heat up to medium, then add in the creme fraiche and chicken stock. Allow to simmer and thicken for 5 minutes or so, then grate in some parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat off under the pan, and set aside.

- Roll out the pastry dough to about a centimetre thick, then stamp out rounds about a centimetre wider than the top of the pie dish. Fill each pie dish with filling and then press the pastry into the top of the dish, crimping the edges slightly as you go.

- Brush the tops with a little beaten egg, piece with a knife to let out steam, then transfer into an oven preheated to 200 degrees celsius for 35 minutes, or until the pastry is a rich golden colour. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes or so before digging in- we’ve wound up with burnt mouths more times than I’d care to admit from being to eager to dive in to these babies! ;)

Chicken-pot-pie-recipe Cider-with-Rosie-chicken-pot-pie-recipe

As ever, I’m always so glad to see photos of your recipe recreations! Nothing makes me more excited! :) Find me on Twitter, and Instagram (@ciderwithrosieblog), and tag #ciderwithrosiecooks! :)


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Too often, when the time comes to do my weekly food shop, I find myself staring at a blank page headed up with the words ‘Meal plan for week beginning … ‘, thinking, what on earth do I normally cook?

I tend not to cook the same things over and over since I get bored pretty quickly, which, since variety is the spice of life and all, is great! But it also means that I’m often left stumped, since I’ll have cooked 40 different things in the past month and a half, and not written a single one of them down. Not so great! And so, this new little series I’m heading off today on Cider with Rosie, featuring different ways of working with some of my favourite central mealtime ingredients, is as much for me as it is for you. A compendium of my favourite recipes, if you like. I hope you won’t mind about that?

First up, hummus! When I mentioned to my Mum that I was putting together a ‘three ways with hummus’ post, she said ‘like hummus with pita, hummus with carrots, and hummus with cucumber?’ Ha ha Mum. Very funny. ‘No!’ I said! ‘We can do better than that!’. The first recipe is a light one (ideal as a starter, light lunch, or fancy afternoon snack), the second is virtuous and delicious and filling all at once (a dinnertime staple), and the third is the ‘showstopper’- a weekend special!

Before we get to the goods, let’s talk hummus for a moment. I buy it in as often as I make it fresh, and this recipe, by the marvellously talented Molly, is my favourite to use. When buying, I tend to go for the organic stuff, only because I usually find it tastes better. But really, when it comes to hummus, you can’t go too far wrong, can you?


 O N E :: Garlic-rubbed toasts with hummus, sun-dried tomatoes + feta

Cider-with-Rosie-Three-Ways-with-Hummus-Bruschetta Cider-with-Rosie-Three-Ways-with-Hummus-Tomato-and-feta-Bruschetta Cider-with-Rosie-Three-Ways-with-Hummus-Tomato-feta-toasts

Serves 4.
Ingredients ::
4 slices sourdough bread {I used a loaf that came pre-sliced into these halves, which worked great}
1 garlic clove
100g {about 1/2 block} feta cheese
200g sundried tomatoes
150g hummus
Pinch dried thyme

- Heat up a griddle pan until it’s searing hot, then place the four slices of toast {completely dry, no oil} into the pan. Keep an eye on the toasts, flipping them over now and again. When they’re hot and have beautiful charred lines criss crossing over them, remove from the pan. Straight away rub one side of each slice with the cut side of a clove of raw garlic, and then leave to cool slightly.

- Spread each toast with a layer of hummus, then top with sundried tomatoes. Crumble over the feta, and finally top with a dusting of dried thyme and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil too, if you fancy.

- Serve as a light lunch, or as the first course of a main meal.

T W O :: Vegan hummus ‘abundance’ bowl

Vegan-abundance-bowl-Cider-with-Rosie Cider-with-Rosie-Abundance-bowl-three-ways-with-hummus

Serves 2.
Ingredients ::
1 large aubergine
4 tbsp dark soy sauce
4 tbsp runny honey
150g mixed bulgar wheat + quinoa {or any grain of choice}
Pinch salt

1 large courgette
1 clove garlic
3 tbsp sesame seeds
Squeeze of lemon juice
Pinch of dried oregano

1 ripe avocado
Handful of fresh spinach

150g hummus
Extra virgin olive oil
Sesame oil

- Combine the dark soy sauce, honey and pinch of salt (omit if using regular soy, as it’s much less sweet than dark soy sauce) in a wide dish. Slice the aubergine into rounds just shy of 1cm thick, and place into the honey+soy mixture. Leave for at least 15mins to marinade, turning the rounds over frequently so they coat evenly.

- Slice the courgette about 1cm thick, and place into a dish with a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, a pinch each of dried oregano and salt, a smashed garlic clove, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Leave for at least 15 mins.

- Rinse the grains in cold water, then cook for 10-12 minutes (or according to packet instructions).

- Whilst the grains boil, heat a splash of sesame oil in a frying pan, and carefully fry the aubergine a few slices at a time. Try not to put too much of the marinade in the pan, or else the honey will catch. When the aubergine is dark golden, set aside to cool (they taste better after they’ve rested a little while!).

- Drain off the cooked grains, and immediately dress with the aubergine marinade and add salt to taste.

- Heat up a griddle pan, and grill the courgette slices (taking care to drain off as much of the oil mixture as possible) until they’re nicely charred but still al dente. Set aside once cooked, and then use the leftover marinade from the courgettes to dress the chopped spinach.

- Serve in large bowls, with a heaping spoonful or two of paprika-dusted hummus!

T H R E E :: Spiced chicken, roasted pepper, + hummus homemade flatbread wraps

Cider-with-Rosie-flatbread-recipe-three-ways-with-hummus Cider-with-Rosie-spiced-chicken-flatbread-three-ways-with-hummus 1Chicken-pepper-hummus-flatbread-wraps-three-ways-with-hummus-Cider-with-Rosie

Serves 4.
Ingredients ::
500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
350ml warm water
5g fast acting dried yeast
10g salt

3 or 4 skinless chicken thigh fillets
Spice mix of choice
2 red peppers
150g hummus {with a little extra cumin + lemon juice}
Handful of rocket

- First, make the bread dough by putting the flour, yeast, and salt into a bowl, then mixing in the water. The dough is **supposed** to be really quite wet and sticky, sticky enough that you’ll want to remove any rings you might be wearing before starting the kneading process!

- To knead, I use a technique called the ‘accordion method’, which involves holding the sticky dough in your hands, repeatedly stretching it long in mid-air between your hands, then bringing them back together. The quicker you can go, the better! It takes about 10 minutes, and in that time the dough will transform from being lumpy to smooth, and will become considerably more elastic. Another great technique for kneading a soft dough like this one can be viewed here.

- After 10 minutes of kneading, put the dough into a lightly floured bowl, cover with a damp tea towel, and then leave at room temperature to prove for a minimum of 1 and a half hours, and up to 4. I left mine for 2 hours, and the difference in flavour in comparison with a 1 hour prove was amazing!

- Coat the chicken thighs in a fine drizzle of olive oil, and then dredge in your spice mix. I use a mixture of chilli powder, cumin, paprika, dried oregano, and a pinch of salt. Leave to infuse for at least 15 minutes.

- Slice the peppers into thick pieces, place into a roasting dish along with the chicken, give everything a drizzle of olive oil, and then roast at 200 degrees for 30 minutes.

- When the dough’s had a good couple of hour’s prove, knock it back, knead in a little extra flour if it’s still to sticking to roll out, and then divide into 6 pieces. Whilst you work on the first piece, cover over the remaining dough balls with the damp tea towel and set a large frying pan (without any oil in) over a high heat.

- Use your hands to begin flattening out each piece of dough in turn, giving them a moment or so to relax to make the stretching process easier. When the dough has become wide and flat enough, drape it over the backs of your hands, and gently pull outwards to stretch the dough until you can almost see through it when held up to the light. Set aside on a floured work surface, and continue with each piece of dough in turn.

- Working with one flatbread at a time, lay it carefully into the preheated and oil-free frying pan. After a minute or so, when the underside has turned a dusty pale brown colour, flip over the flatbread using tongs. After about 30 seconds, when the second side has become slightly charred in spots, remove it from the pan.

- Keep the cooked flatbreads covered over with a tea towel whilst you finishing cooking the remaining ones. This will stop them going firm, and keep them pliable and easy to roll up later on!

- To assemble the wraps, spread a layer of hummus down the centre of the flatbread, then top with finely sliced strips of chicken and red pepper. Top with a sprinkling of rocket, and then roll up!


Now tell me, how do you eat your hummus? :)


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Today, we’re talking steak!

Steak used to be pretty hit and miss, for me. I just couldn’t for the life of me find a way to get it consistent when cooking it at home! I’d take this dark-red, finely marbled dreamboat of a steak, and either make it so rare and bloody inside it was practically still mooing, or totally overcook it and wind up with a shrivelled little hockey puck of a steak. A crime against good beef, I tell you! But since Jason and I take our steak pretty seriously (along with all other food ever), we decided that enough was enough. Time to get on my steak-cooking A-game!

I’ve spent pretty much a year tinkering around with different ways of cooking steak, and now, I think I’ve cracked it! This recipe here is totally foolproof, and never fails to make delicious (and I think pretty darn perfect!) steak!

Let’s get to it…


Let’s get to the nitty-gritty for a second. The steak I like best is Waitrose Hereford beef rump steak, and I always go for the ones with a nice edge of fat on them. Call me gross, but I sort of think it’s the best part ;) Sirloin doesn’t do it for me, rib eye is great but the bone gets in the way, and fillet is lovely but not so flavoursome. Rump is where it’s at! The one photographed here cost about £4, and serving it ‘strip steak’ style makes it magically stretch and serve two people generously. Hello there midweek steak dinners! ;)

So, let’s start with the marinade! In a wide, shallow dish, pour in one part balsamic vinegar to four parts olive oil, and then mix it all together using a sprig of fresh rosemary. Add in a pinch of flaky sea salt and another (smaller) pinch of dried thyme. Crush two large garlic cloves (or more, if you’re a real garlic fiend!) using the back of a knife, and then add them in to the marinade to infuse.

Garlic-and-rosemary-steak-marinade Crushing-garlic Marinading-rump-steak

Put the steak into the marinade, turning it over a couple of times so it gets well coated. I usually leave mine to marinade for about an hour, covered over on the kitchen worktop. That way the steak can come to room temperature whilst the marinade works its flavour-infusing, tenderising magic! If you’re marinading further in advance, cover over and store it in the fridge before bringing it to room temperature ready to cook.

Now, here comes the important stuff. The packet will tell you to cook the steak for 8-12 minutes. This is nonsense, if you ask me! For lovely pink (medium-rare/rare) steak, all it needs is 2 minutes each side, 4 minutes total. Here’s how I like to do it:

- Heat up a large frying pan and add in a knob of butter. Throw in the garlic cloves from the steak marinade to flavour the butter, and then when the butter’s totally melted and begins to sizzle, place the steak carefully into the pan.

- Set a a timer for exactly 4 minutes, and start it the moment the steak goes into the hot pan. Keep the heat under the pan medium, and turn the steak every 30 seconds or so to make sure that the heat distributes evenly.

-  When the timer pings and the 4 minutes is up, immediately transfer the steak to a large sheet of tin foil, and fold the tin foil around it so that it creates a loose but airtight parcel. The steak can now rest and relax and continue to warm through, but won’t overcook. {n.b. If your steak is a particularly skinny one, I’d maybe go 3 minutes total cooking time instead of 4 to keep it pink.}

- Whilst the steak rests (I usually leave mine to rest in the foil parcel for 5, but sometimes up to 10 minutes), finish off assembling any extras. The tastiest spinach ever can by made by pouring the leftover steak marinade into the still-warm pan, then adding in a couple of big handfuls of spinach and a pinch of sea salt and cooking gently until the spinach is totally wilted.

Strip-steak-recipe Steak-recipe

After the steak’s rested for at least 3 or 4 minutes, take it out of the foil and transfer to a chopping board. Cut into 1/2 centimetre slices, drizzle with the juices left in the bottom of the foil, and season with a big pinch of flaky sea salt. Serve with sticky rice, or homemade chips, or green beans, or in a sandwich, and definitely with some of that delicious wilted spinach.

How-to-cook-medium-rare-steak Perfect-steak-Cider-with-Rosie

Easy as pie! Do tag me in your photos if you have a go yourself, I’d love to see how you get on! Find me on Twitter: @ciderwithrosieb & on Instagram at ‘ciderwithrosieblog’, but then you knew that already, right? ;)

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Read from the beginning >