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    We all love pesto, right? But have you heard of the Sicilian version of pesto from the town of Trapani? It's made with almonds and tomatoes, as well as basil and hard cheese. It's easy and perfect, especially for those long weeks when tomatoes are at their juiciest.
  • Japanese curry is based on a roux (a cooked mixture of flour and butter or oil) that is mixed with spices and usually stored in block form. In fact, most Japanese households will have a readymade curry in the pantry. In this recipe, we make the curry cubes from scratch so you can have homemade Japanese curry ready to go. It’s a flavourful instant meal that I just love to have on hand because you can put just about anything in it - it’s a fabulous way to use up little bits of this and that.
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    This picnicky version of san choi bau is healthy, crunchy and energising not to mention gluten-free. This quantity will last two children for approximately three days. The chicken makes great sandwich filling too.
  • In the Middle East, hummus isn’t just a dip, it’s a meal. This version isn’t just a meal, it’s an event, luxed-up with shellfish and given complex layers of flavour with toum, a garlic paste. Even if you don’t want to make the whole dish, give Tom’s hummus recipe a go: it’s one of the best versions I’ve ever tried and for a hummus-obsessive like me, that is no easy statement! 
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    Great for picnics and light meals, it’s hard to decide whether the pastry or the filling is the star of this savoury tart. Sour cream pastry has just the right balance of crumble and crisp, and the filling is fresh and lush at the same time.
  • Great served warm or cold, this is a simple vegetable dish that can easily be made with broccoli, broccolini, peas or snow peas, either instead or in combination. Ricotta salata is a salted ricotta - there are easy substitutes if you can't find it.
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    Berry-infused vinegar brings a tart finish, both undercutting and highlighting the richness of the chocolate ganache. The contrasting savoury topping ensures these are a very special treat that you will be delighted to have in your repertoire. (Your friends and family will be glad too - expect requests to keep making them!)
  • This classic butter biscuit recipe is made very special - and rather Christmassy! - by making a special spice mix to stir through the mixture. The spice mix can also be added to preserves such as apricot or plum jam, or ham glazes. It can even be infused into spirits such as gin, vodka or rum - Christmas cocktails, here we come! The biscuit mixture can be frozen and sliced to bake. You can also have fun rolling this mixture with a ‘springerle’ rolling pin with carved designs, or use cookie cutters to make fun shapes.
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    I love a cool soup on a summertime Christmas table, and I especially love the luxurious combination of avocado, citrus and crab. Add the crunch of celery and cucumber and you’ve got an entree that’s surprising and very pretty. I've suggested great variations, including for vegetarians.