Slow cooked lamb shank with herb polenta


This autumn is the strangest I’ve ever experienced, weather-wise. Apart from the dip in temperature at the beginning of this week it’s been very warm for November. Not that I’m complaining (I hate the cold!), it just feels strange not having to wear gloves when Christmas is just around the corner!

The warmth outside hasn’t really put me in the mood for warming soups and hearty stews, in fact this recipe of slow cooked lamb shank is the most autumnal dish I have accomplished the last few months.

The recipe for herb polenta is courtesy of my Swedish food blogger colleague Annika and works with all sorts of tender meats.


Slow cooked lamb shank, serves 2

1 lamb shank

a knob of butter

1 onion, unpeeled, cut into wedges

1 carrot, cut into chunks

2 bay leaves

salt, pepper

1/2 bottle red wine

Pre-heat the oven to 150C. Melt a knob of butter in an oven-proof casserole dish with a lid. Brown the meat on all sides and season. Remove from the pan and add the onion and carrot pieces. Fry for a few minutes then remove from the heat. Put the lamb shank back into the casserole dish and add the wine and bay leaves. Put the lid on and place in the oven for 2 1/1 hours; you want the meat to be very tender and fall off the bone. Check on the meat every half an hour. Add more liquid if needed and turn the shank once in a while. To serve, take the meat off the bone and serve in chunks with polenta and vegetables.

Creamy herb polenta, serves 3

Translated from and adapted after Annika’s recipe (which I have halved)

700 ml vegetable stock

50 g butter

300 ml polenta

a handful finely chopped mixed herbs (rosemary, oregano, sage etc)

150 ml finely grated parmesan 

Bring the stock to simmer (not boil) in a large saucepan. Add the polenta while whisking. Add butter. Whisk until the polenta starts to boil. Whisk regularly while the polenta cooks for another 15-20 minutes. Add the herbs but save some for decoration. Add more stock if needed. The polenta needs to be thinner than you think as the parmesan will thicken it. Add the parmesan when the polenta is cooked. Season to taste and maybe add another knob of butter. Serve immediately.

Onthebab, Covent Garden


My friend Gaby introduced me to Onthebab one evening when we wanted to catch over a cheap and cheerful meal one evening. I’ve been there once more since, for lunch, and more or less ordered the same food as I really enjoyed what I had the first time.

Onthebab is not a fancy place, but it’s great if you want a quick bite. The prices are friendly too, which helps. The food is of Korean street food type and they’ve made it very accessible here (gyozas, bibimbab, filled buns) and really nice.

I had the gyozas (chicken and prawn respectively) which were really nice (much nicer than say Wagamama’s and other chains), and the buns with spicy pork which were delicious too. They were also very helpful, serving mine without cabbage, and the table’s are stocked with several dipping sauces, including gochujang.

Onthebab, 36 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7BD

Butternut squash with Persian pesto, feta and pomegranate seeds


I found this gorgeous (and easy!) recipe on the BBC Food website and just instantly knew I had to make it. It’s courtesy of Sabrina Ghayour who’s lovely cookbook Persiana I absolutely adore. The Persian pesto with pistachios contains dill, a herb that’s very Scandinavian for me, and I like exploring new ways of using it.

I had this for supper one day, but it works just as well at a mezze table, as a starter or on a buffet.

Butternut squash with Persian pesto, feta and pomegranate seeds, serves 4

Adapted from Sabrina Ghayour’s recipe

1 large butternut squash, quartered lengthways (skin-on), and seeds removed 

4 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

150 g feta

100 g pomegranate seeds

For the pesto:

100 g pistachios

70 g parmesan

100 ml olive oil

1 small bunch coriander

1 small bunch parsley

1 small bunch dill

1 red chilli

1 lemon, juice only

2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Rub each wedge of butternut squash with oil and season generously. Place on the lined baking tray. Roast the squash for about 45-50 minutes, just until the edges have begun to brown slightly. Check the squash is cooked by inserting a knife – if it slides in easily the squash is cooked.  

For the pesto, add the pistachios and cheese to a food processor. Pulse to break them into small pieces and add enough olive oil to slacken the mixture to your desired consistency (you may not need all the oil). Add all the herbs and a little more olive oil. Season generously with sea salt and give the mixture one last pulse. Taste the pesto, to make sure it has enough salt and acidity, and allow it to rest in the fridge until you need it. 

To serve, place the butternut squash on plates, drizzled generously with the pesto. Crumble your feta over the top and scatter some pomegranate seeds over to finish. 

Tom’s Kitchen, Chelsea – revisited


Tom’s Kitchen is one of those homely restaurants, almost with a pub feel, serving nice food you can count on. It’s basically where I want to go when I don’t want to go to a fancy restaurant. And it was exactly where my parents and I wanted to go on their last evening in town in September, when we after a long day of exploring London just wanted to sit down to a really nice meal but without the fuss.

It was fairly quiet at the restaurant that Sunday evening, but the staff was getting ready to pack the restaurant in boxes for refurbishment.

We started with a lovely dressed crab and toasted bread to start. We all love seafood and one each. Such a treat!

Mum and I continued the seafood theme and had fried lemon sole with seaweed butter, with potato mash and spinach on the side. I forgot to take a picture, but the fish was truly lovely. I was just a bit annoyed as we had to wait about 10 minutes for the sides, and had to remind the staff. But once it had all arrived on the table we had a lovely meal.


Dad had the burger, which is really really nice, and enjoyed it immensely! The service could have been a bit more focused this evening, but the food was great!

Tom’s Kitchen, 27 Cale St, London SW3 3QP

Hazelnut macaroons


Macaroons. The boring looking cousin to French macarons? At least that’s how I see them. But looks aren’t everything as we know, and they do have a few advantages compared to their beautiful pastel-coloured cousins:

1. They’re so ridiculously easy to make. No piping, getting rid of air bubbles or aged egg whites.

2. They’re really yummy!

That’s really all you need to know. The recipe is below.


Hazelnut macaroons, makes 16-20

Adapted after and translated from Leila Lindholm’s recipe.

50 g butter

200 g ground hazelnuts

80 g caster sugar

1 egg

16-20 whole hazelnuts for garnish

Pre-heat the oven to 175C. Melt the butter. Combine the ground nuts, melted butter, sugar and egg in a bowl. 

Shape the mixture to little cones and place on parchment paper on a baking tray. Place a hazelnut on the top of each macaroon. Bake in the middle of the oven for approx 18 minutes or until golden. Leave to cool on the baking tray. 

Lunch at Mishkin’s, Covent Garden


One of my trusted London restaurants is Opera Tavern on Catherine Street. I’ve been there lots of times and every time I have thought to myself that I need to visit the place next door soon, because it just looks so nice.

Soon seems to be a relative term for me; it took me a few years to actually go but a while back I finally went to Mishkin’s! I had lunch here with my friend Marie-Louise who also works in the area and it was just as nice as I had hoped it would be (company included).


Although part of the Italian restaurant empire Polpo, this is a kind of Jewish deli (at least that’s what it says on their website), so expect things like Reuben sandwiches and salt beef. The whole menu looked great but most irresistible was the mac ‘n cheese with salt beef and mustard, so we ordered one small each and some other nibbles to share. The mac ‘n cheese was really nice with a cheesy layer on top and soft macaroni underneath.


The sliders with lamb, white bean hummus and feta were also great, and perfect in size.


We also shared the cod cheek popcorn which were nice, although a little bland without the tartar sauce.

Now that I’ve finally been here, I will definitely take turns between Mishkin’s and Opera Tavern. Might see you around!

Mishkin’s, 25 Catherine Street, London WC2B 5JS

Another lunch in Rome


My last day (of two) in Rome started with hardcore sightseeing of The Colosseum and Foro Romano, and I also had time to visit Crypta Balbi before my lunch reservation at Ditirambo near Campo de Fiori.

I don’t know how I heard about the restaurant, but it seemed like one of the better restaurants in the area I knew I’d be in for lunch, so I booked a table. And I’m glad I did; it was just as full for lunch as Armando al Pantheon (even though the restaurant had twice the amount of tables).


I chose a trio of starters as I couldn’t make my mind up on what to have, but two of the dishes were rather disappointing. The ricotta filled deep-fried courgette flower was rather soggy and didn’t taste of much and the steak tartar with truffle was also under-seasoned. The slices of smoked duck with melon and nuts was wonderful though. I wished I got a larger plate of that.


I inly had the starter and a pasta as I’d had so much (too much!) to eat the previous day. I actually asked for a half portion of cacio e pepe, a wonderful Roman pasta dish with pecorino and black pepper. And it was absolutely gorgeous! A glass of wine with my meal and an espresso afterwards and I was ready to take on my last afternoon in Rome.

Ditirambo, Piazza della Cancelleria, 74-75, 00186 Roma, Italy