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Light Bites

LIGHT BITES


The recipes on this page are for lighter meals, sides, dips and soups.
Obatzda (Bavarian Beer and Cheese Dip)

Obatzda (Bavarian Beer and Cheese Dip)

If you’ve ever visited Bavaria you’ll have come across this delicious and simple dish in every traditional restaurant and beer garden.  The famous Bavarian cheese spread, Obatzda (sometimes spelt Obatzter or Obatzder) is a tasty mixture of cheeses, butter, paprika, and onions rounded off with a splash of beer. Topped with red onion and chives, it’s served as a light meal with some fresh Brezn (soft pretzels) or as part of a larger platter – a Brotzeit. Washed down with some fresh Bavarian beer, this easy German recipe should be a fixture at any Oktoberfest party. What does Obatzda mean? Obatzda is similar to the…
Pumpkin and Feta Galette

Pumpkin and Feta Galette

With golden roasted squash, lightly caramelised onion and tangy feta, my Pumpkin and Feta Galette makes a fabulous fall lunch. This free-form tart is made by hand, so no mixers or special dishes are necessary.
Bavarian Pretzels

Bavarian Pretzels

There’s nothing quite like a traditional Bavarian pretzel with a golden-brown, salt-studded crust and a chewy, perfect texture. My recipe for homemade pretzels with step-by-step instructions and photos is simple to make at home.
Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

Pure comfort food, Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto or ‘Risotto alla Zucca’ is a classic of the Italian kitchen. The combination of creamy risotto rice with sweet roasted pumpkin and fragrant sage is a match made in foodie heaven.
Pork Dim Sum Dumplings

Pork Dim Sum Dumplings

Pork Dim Sum Dumplings (Siu Mai) are one of the most famous and delicious meals served from the Dim Sum trolley. Luckily, they are also simple to make at home and you can fill these delicious morsels with all your favourite flavours.
Pumpkin and Ginger Soup

Pumpkin and Ginger Soup

With plenty of ginger and bright and zesty orange, silky Pumpkin and Ginger Soup is like a burst of sunshine in a bowl. A delicious recipe to keep you warm when it’s grey and cool outside.
Whipped Feta and Honey

Whipped Feta and Honey

Smooth, salty and seriously tasty, Whipped Feta and Honey is the perfect dip to serve on a summer grazing platter with loads of grilled Mediterranean vegetables.
Tomato Burrata Caprese Salad

Tomato Burrata Caprese Salad

Bright, colourful and perfectly delicious Tomato Burrata Caprese Salad (Insalata Caprese) is the ultimate Italian summer salad with fresh green basil, creamy white burrata and juicy red tomatoes representing the colours of the Italian flag.
Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

Baked, rather than fried, these Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Flowers are filled with creamy cheese, zingy lemon, fresh herbs and salty anchovy. Perfect for a summer party or a light dinner.
Greek Village Salad – Horiatiki

Greek Village Salad – Horiatiki

It’s super easy to make a delicious Greek Salad at home. This summery favourite is tasty even in the cooler months, with loads of fresh veg and salty Feta cheese.
Cherry Tomato and Bean Salad

Cherry Tomato and Bean Salad

My Cherry Tomato and Bean Salad is a simple and tasty recipe that you’ll want to make all summer long. Perfect as a light lunch or as an easy side dish for grilled meats.
No Knead Multigrain Bread

No Knead Multigrain Bread

Deliciously chewy seed and grain bread, made in an hour with no kneading or waiting around required. Sounds impossible, doesn’t it? It is easier than you think with my recipe for No Knead Multigrain Bread.
How to make Cream Cheese

How to make Cream Cheese

Luscious, soft, tangy cream cheese, made in minutes with just three ingredients? Absolutely. Follow this easy recipe to learn how to make cream cheese at home.
Easy Cherry Tomato Tart

Easy Cherry Tomato Tart

Possibly the most delicious way to show off sweet summer tomatoes! My simple recipe for Roasted Cherry Tomato tart, with loads of fresh tomatoes, buttery puff pastry, cream cheese and fresh herbs is a real crowd-pleaser.
Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

You know it must be summer when the zucchini plants go wild, producing more than it seems possible to cook! Italian Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats are a great tasting way to take advantage of this abundant summer veg.
Italian Roasted Peppers

Italian Roasted Peppers

My Italian Roasted Peppers recipe is a simple and flavoursome dish full of all those summery flavours that we associate with la dolce vita; peppers, tomatoes, basil and lashings of good olive oil. Buon Appetito!
Chicken and Apricot Terrine

Chicken and Apricot Terrine

With layers of juicy poached chicken, fresh herbs, salty bacon and sweet apricots, my recipe for Chicken and Apricot Terrine is perfect for the summer months. Slice thickly and serve with crusty bread and a good chutney. Yum!
Panzanella – Tuscan Bread Salad

Panzanella – Tuscan Bread Salad

This delicious recipe for Panzanella Tuscan Bread Salad comes from my Aunt Peggi and it is a glorious summery meal. With ripe tomatoes, salty cheese and fresh basil, it’s perfect for a summer BBQ.
Garlic and Herb Roast Salmon

Garlic and Herb Roast Salmon

The ultimate quick and easy dinner, Garlic and Herb Roast Salmon ticks all the boxes. It’s super simple to prepare, packed with fresh flavour and loads of healthy omega-3 so it is even good for you too!
Eggplant Involtini

Eggplant Involtini

Eggplant Involtini or Involtini di melanzane is a classic Italian dish. Meltingly soft eggplant is rolled and stuffed with herby ricotta and baked in a rich tomato sauce. Topped with gooey melted mozzarella, this vegetarian dish is perfect for summer.
Fresh Oysters with Shallot Vinaigrette (Mignonette)

Fresh Oysters with Shallot Vinaigrette (Mignonette)

Fresh Oysters with Shallot Vinaigrette are truly one of life’s little luxuries. The contrast of creamy, briny oyster flesh with a tangy vinaigrette is a match made in culinary heaven and one I find completely irresistible.
Quick Thai Fish Cakes

Quick Thai Fish Cakes

Perfect for finger food or parties, Quick Thai Fish Cakes are packed with flavour and super quick to make. Served with a spicy, crunchy dipping sauce, these delicious morsels always disappear in a flash!
Minestrone Primavera or ‘Italian Spring Soup’

Minestrone Primavera or ‘Italian Spring Soup’

Full of fresh, bright green spring veg, this classic Italian soup recipe is healthy and delicious. Minestrone Primavera or Spring Soup will feed 4-6 as a light meal.
Homemade Sesame Bagels

Homemade Sesame Bagels

Perfectly chewy, golden-brown and topped with toasted seeds, these Homemade Sesame Bagels are best lavishly smeared with cream cheese, layered with smoked salmon and sprinkled with capers.
Asparagus and Lemon Risotto

Asparagus and Lemon Risotto

Creamy, rich risotto with fresh in-season asparagus and bright zingy lemon. The perfect meal for two.
Smoked Salmon Quiche

Smoked Salmon Quiche

A good quiche has to be one of my desert island foods, and to my mind, there is no better filling than luxurious smoked salmon. Paired with tangy creme fraiche, spring onions and fresh herbs, this is a seriously flavoursome quiche. Perfect for lunch or a light dinner, my Smoked Salmon Quiche can be made well in advance and eaten room temperature or gently warmed. A good quiche makes a little go a long way One of the best things about a quiche is that you can use quite luxurious ingredients like salmon or asparagus and still feed a crowd.…
Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup

Lightly spiced and full of delicious and healthy vegetables, Sweet Potato and Chickpea soup is a simple, healthy and flavoursome meal. Perfect as is, it can be bulked out with lean chicken breast for an extra protein boost.
Puff Pastry Mini Quiches

Puff Pastry Mini Quiches

Perfect for picnics, lunchboxes or even parties, Puff Pastry Mini Quiches are a fantastic way to make a few ingredients go a long way. Quick and simple to make, they are ready to eat in just half an hour. Yum!
Pork and Apple Sausage Rolls

Pork and Apple Sausage Rolls

A real crowd-pleaser, Pork and Apple Sausage Rolls are sure to be devoured as soon as they hit the table. A British classic recipe that has been whole-heartedly adopted by New Zealand and Australia, you can’t beat a buttery, flaky pastry sausage roll with plenty of tomato ketchup!
Turkish Bulgur Salad (Kısır)

Turkish Bulgur Salad (Kısır)

Hearty, delicious and filling, Turkish Bulgur Salad or Kısır is a terrific meal all year round. It is the perfect accompaniment to grilled and barbecued meat or as part of a Turkish or Cypriot inspired feast!
British Style Baked Beans

British Style Baked Beans

On the weekend there are few breakfasts I enjoy more than hot buttered toast, laden with tomatoey baked beans. Whether served simply, just as they are, or going the whole hog with a full English, baked beans will always set you up for the day. So much better than beans from a tin, Homemade British Style Baked Beans are rich and tomatoey – perfect for a weekend brunch. Make up a big batch when you have time and you can have your breakfast or brunch ready in a flash. There are a lot of recipes around that tell you to…
Garlic Butter Mussels au Gratin

Garlic Butter Mussels au Gratin

Herby, buttery, crumbed mussels are a French delight. Perfect as party snacks, these tasty Garlic Butter Mussels disappear in a flash!
Easy No Yeast Bread

Easy No Yeast Bread

As November begins with another round of lockdowns and restrictions, we are seeing a repeat of the panic buying of groceries that happened earlier in the year. This sort of shopping (the Germans call it Hamster-Kauf, or Hamster shopping) led to the supermarket shelves being stripped of yeast, among other necessities. While there still seems to be enough of everything to go around, it’s useful to have an Easy No Yeast Bread recipe up your sleeve for when you can’t get any yeast. It surprises many people to discover that you can make perfectly delicious bread without yeast, using common…
Pork Meatball Soup

Pork Meatball Soup

It’s November and soup season has officially started in my household. With all the doom and gloom in the papers and the second wave of lockdowns sweeping across Europe, I felt like something spicy and fresh to banish the start-of-winter-blues. Today’s recipe for Pork Meatball Noodle Soup is just what the doctor ordered: juicy, garlicky meatballs and a rich broth, packed with ginger, chilli and fresh herbs. This is not based on any authentically Asian recipe, rather, it’s more a combination of flavours and spices that I enjoy and often have in the fridge. This is a brilliantly speedy recipe,…
Bavarian Potato Salad ‘Kartoffelsalat’

Bavarian Potato Salad ‘Kartoffelsalat’

We are bang in the middle of the Oktoberfest season, and while no Oktoberfest is being held in 2020, that doesn’t mean we can’t have our favourite Bavarian foods at home! If you’ve been following along you will have learnt how to cook the perfect Oktoberfest Roast Chicken, and today we are cooking one of the real staples of Bavarian cuisine, ‘Kartoffelsalat’ or Bavarian Potato Salad. If you have ever travelled to this part of the world you are guaranteed to have eaten Bavarian Potato Salad as it is served with nearly every meal. Being married to a Bavarian, this…
Thai Tom Yum Goong

Thai Tom Yum Goong

Our run of cool days here in Munich continues, with cool, drizzly weather keeping us mostly inside, apart from short sprints to the markets. I am definitely not complaining about the temperature, as it is the perfect excuse to start the soup-making season. And what better soup to start with than Thailand’s most famous soup recipe: Tom Yum Goong, hot and sour prawn soup. I learnt to make Tom Yum or Tom Yam at a wonderful cooking school in Bangkok. Tucked inside a tiny old colonial house in a sidestreet of the Silom Road, our class sweated over gas cookers…
Italian Caprese Pasta Salad

Italian Caprese Pasta Salad

Yesterday it rained properly for the first time in weeks, and today we woke up to cool misty weather. It wasn’t long, of course, before the sun burst through, but it was a little hint that my favourite season of all, autumn, is on the horizon. Don’t get me wrong, I love summer as much as the next person, but the cool mornings and sunny days of early autumn are when I am happiest. The farmers here in Italy are rushing to bring in the tomato harvest, with the markets overflowing with bright red produce. Every second vehicle on the…
Tomato and Rosemary Focaccia

Tomato and Rosemary Focaccia

At the very first restaurant I ever worked in, we would bake up huge trays of focaccia every evening, varying the topping throughout the week, from classic sea salt and rosemary, through caramelised onion with feta, or even red onion and romesco. Sliced and served with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping, it was the perfect way to begin your meal. Focaccia is fantastically easy to make, even if you have never made bread before and infinitely variable. Today I am sticking with a real summer classic: Tomato and Rosemary Focaccia. Focaccia is a brilliant beginners bread, as…
Lemon Sage Ricotta Gnocchi

Lemon Sage Ricotta Gnocchi

Hands up if you’ve ever eaten chewy, gluey, reheated gnocchi? I think we’ve all been disappointed by gnocchi before, to the point where I avoid ordering it in restaurants as it is so hit and miss. In fact, I find traditional potato gnocchi a bit heavy, which is where this recipe for Lemon Sage Ricotta Gnocchi comes to the rescue. Ricotta gnocchi, sometimes known as ‘gnudi’ are beautifully soft and light little dumplings and they are so easy to make at home. Served with a gloriously rich brown butter sauce with sage, lemon and crunchy walnuts, this is comfort food…
Vietnamese Prawn Spring Rolls

Vietnamese Prawn Spring Rolls

We are finally getting the sort of hot days and nights where all I want to eat is lovely cold food. Salads, sandwiches and quiches are all very good, but sometimes I crave a little spice – and what could be better than the spicy little morsels known as Vietnamese Prawn Spring Rolls? Not deep-fried like their famous Chinese cousins, but rather filled with fresh herbs and chilled. Served with spicy peanut dipping sauce, this is hot weather food done right. Vietnamese Prawn Spring Rolls have a bit of a reputation for being fiddly, though that’s not really the truth.…
Homemade English Muffins

Homemade English Muffins

Is there any brunch more tempting than Eggs Benedict? The sight of a perfectly poached egg, cloaked in buttery hollandaise sauce, perched atop a lightly toasted English muffin is enough to get most stomachs rumbling. Whether you like it with bacon or salmon, it is a classic for a reason. We are so used to buying English muffins from the supermarket, we never even consider making them at home, but I am here to tell you that Homemade English Muffins are not only much better than the store-bought kind, they are super easy to cook – you don’t even need…
Chicken and Noodle Soup

Chicken and Noodle Soup

Is there anything more comforting when you are feeling under the weather than a big bowl of Chicken and Noodle Soup? Even the aroma of chicken soup cooking in the kitchen is enough to lift the mood. Even though it is made from the simplest of ingredients, it seems to have magical restorative powers. Whether you are talking about the ajiaco of Colombia, the torijiru of Japan, ‘Jewish Penicillin’ or simple chicken and noodle soup, it seems one thing the whole world can agree on is our love of this comforting dish. I like to make chicken soup using chicken wings This is for…
Roasted Feta Stuffed Mushrooms

Roasted Feta Stuffed Mushrooms

I love mushrooms. Truly, mushrooms would have to be one of my desert-island foods. Whether fancy shiitake, the prized porcino, colourful pfifferlinge or plain old button mushrooms, they are all delicious, with their earthy flavour and delicate texture. Whatever time of year it is, mushrooms will find their way into my shopping basket, ready for risotto, a salad, a quiche, or in a creamy sauce to go with steak. This week I spotted some glorious, gigantic, Portobello style mushrooms, just begging to be taken home and turned into Roasted Feta Stuffed Mushrooms. These gigantic mushrooms are so good just by themselves, brushed with butter and…
Vibrant Wild Garlic Pesto

Vibrant Wild Garlic Pesto

We’ve had three days of glorious sunny weather here in Bavaria. It seems hard to believe all the goings-on in the world when the sky is a brilliant blue, the birds are singing and the first tender leaves of wild garlic are pushing through the ground. Currently, we have been ordered to stay inside our homes as much as possible, though we are still allowed to walk outside and enjoy the sunshine (alone!) At this time of year, the Bavarian woods are full of Bärlauch, literally ‘Bear Leek’ or wild garlic. Sometimes known as ‘ramsons’ these bright green leaves are…
Quick and Easy Hummus

Quick and Easy Hummus

Wow, it’s been a crazy start to the week and it’s only Monday evening! Reading the papers each day seems to bring more alarming and alarmist stories from across the globe, however life here in Munich seems to be carrying on much as usual so far. I did notice the other day when I was at my local supermarket that the shelves had been stripped of pasta, rice and tinned fruit and veg, but there were no fistfights over loo roll! (I’m looking at you Australia). I love a well-stocked pantry and always have tins and bags of things tucked…
Spicy Herby Calamari Rings

Spicy Herby Calamari Rings

It’s the middle of the week, we’ve been on the road the last two days and I had a craving for some quick and easy seafood for dinner. Definitely a night for some Spicy Herby Calamari Rings. Living in Munich where the nearest ocean is around 600 kilometres away, I’ve made my peace with the lack of fresh seafood available. Luckily for me, while frozen squid is never going to beat fresh, with a bit of careful handling it can still be perfectly tender and delicious. A quick soak in some acidic buttermilk helps to soften it up, while a…
Perfect Chicken Liver Pâté

Perfect Chicken Liver Pâté

This Chicken Live Pâté recipe is absolutely fool-proof. Chicken livers are gently poached with flavourings before being whipped into silky, buttery, utterly moreish pâté. Topped with white wine and green peppercorn jelly, this is the perfect pâté for your next party.
Asparagus and Bacon Quiche

Asparagus and Bacon Quiche

I am looking out the kitchen window watching huge fluffy snowflakes drift down from the sky. Just two days ago it was so gorgeously warm and sunny that I thought maybe, just maybe we’d escaped winter and spring was on the way. It’s not that I mind winter, but as it reaches the tail end I find myself longing for everything fresh. The first strawberries. Asparagus; both white and green. The first crisp radishes served with a frosty cold beer at the beer garden and all those other signs that spring and summer are on the way. Still, I’m warm…
Easy Sweetcorn Fritters

Easy Sweetcorn Fritters

Easy sweet corn fritters are so quick and simple to make and are full of delicious vegetables. Bursting with zingy, fresh flavour they’re always popular for breakfast, brunch or a light supper.
Cranberry Orange Cured Salmon

Cranberry Orange Cured Salmon

With beautifully bright colours Cranberry Cranberry Orange Cured Salmon is a wonderful dish to serve as a starter at your festive table. It’s so simple to make at home and so delicious with a creamy horseradish sauce.