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Vegan Tasty. Buttermilk-crusted okra with tomato and bread sauce recipe, plus cannellini bean salad. Buttermilk-crusted okra with tomato and bread sauce (V) I was inspired to make this batter after a recent trip to Chez Panisse, the iconic California restaurant that, way before the current Scandinavia-led trend, inspired so many to cook simply and rely on local veg.

Buttermilk-crusted okra with tomato and bread sauce recipe, plus cannellini bean salad

Chef Cal Peternell used a similar batter with some young spring onions. You'll get more basil oil than you need here – keep the rest in the fridge and use it to dress roasted veg or grilled white meat. Serves four. 75g flour25g polenta¼ tsp caster sugar200ml buttermilk3 tbsp sparkling waterAbout 350ml sunflower oil250g okra, trimmed4 tbsp soured creamSalt and black pepper For the tomato sauce2 tbsp olive oil1 garlic clove, sliced200g fresh tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped200g tinned Italian tomatoes12 large basil leaves, shredded1 small slice sourdough or other good white bread, crustless For the basil oil25g basil3 tbsp olive oil1 big garlic clove, peeled and crushed Cannellini bean salad with boiled egg Serves two.

How to make perfect salt and pepper squid. I still remember the thrill of my very first Chinese meal, in a restaurant in exotic St Albans back in the late eighties.

How to make perfect salt and pepper squid

There were banana fritters and hilarious chopstick lessons, pancakes you could eat with your hands and carrots carved to look like flowers; in short, it was an eight-year-old's dream meal ticket. My tastes have changed slightly since then – I'm likely to be the one pushing for the pock-marked Mother Chen's bean curd, or the chilli tripe (while secretly hoping someone else will insist on the crispy duck), but one thing I'm unable to resist, if it's on the menu, is salt and pepper squid. And it usually is, because whatever part of China they're from, restaurateurs are canny operators, and Cantonese spicy, salty fried food is always a winner. The problem is, Chinese meals are all about sharing, and even people who claim to be scared of tentacles usually end up polishing off more of the portion than I'm strictly comfortable with. The cephalopod itself The batter The garnish. Readers' recipe swap: Easter.

Easter always means roast lamb, simnel cake and chocolate for me – a trio of seasonal treats ably represented here, along with a couple of lovely, and unusual, Easter-egg recipes from Portugal and Liguria.

Readers' recipe swap: Easter

Natalie Wong's rich, nutty cake is a just winner though – and far more impressive than a chocolate egg. Sadly there wasn't space for all your wonderful celebratory dishes – but if my hot cross buns ever get the chance to go stale, I'll certainly be giving Piggy Fair's decadent-looking hot-cross bun pudding a whirl. And I'm dying to try Katharine Roberts's Italian lamb with pecorino and eggs ... lucky Easter's a four-day weekend, eh? The winning recipe: hazelnut chocolate cake This flourless, hazelnut and chocolate cake, inspired by German praline Easter eggs, will definitely be enough for a family to feast on over the Easter break. Makes 1 large cake For the ganache300g chocolate (½ milk, ½ dark), in pieces150ml double cream 1 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Pao de lo Serves 12. Oking conversions article. Winter food and drink: Angela Hartnett's simple seasonal standby recipes.

Christmas comes but once a year… And thank heavens for that, sighs the designated cook in just about every household in Britain: all those extra hungry mouths to feed for what seems like weeks on end; fridge and freezer so overflowing that it's often impossible even to locate the milk for that much-needed restorative cup of tea; not to mention the extra washing-up. And that's before you've even started on the main event itself, the Christmas lunch that every year seems so fraught with potential pitfalls, but that, fingers crossed, works out fine in the end.

But fret not: when it comes to feeding the troops in the days before and after the big day, there's no law that says you always have to push the boat out, or to come over all Delia and calmly feed the 5,000 without so much as breaking sweat. No, at times like this, it pays to have a few quick and easy old faithfuls.