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Figs & Fennel

I’m Ruth and I live in Brighton, UK. Cooking and writing (still editing that first novel) are two of my favourite things. I am passionate about creating exciting, satisfying and (mostly) healthy food to share with friends and family. On this blog I will post recipes, all beautifully photographed by my husband Simon Colmer. All the recipes are vegetarian, many are vegan. I am neither. However, given the totally unsustainable reliance human beings have on production and consumption of animal products combined with my ethos that meat is unnecessary for creating exciting and satisfying food, I maintain a predominantly vegetarian diet.

We have an allotment and by some miracle given that we do not put in anywhere near the hours that we should, it still produces providing a modest flow of seasonal and fresh fruit and veg to our kitchen which I make use of in the recipes I create. My travels for work and pleasure have opened my eyes to new flavours and techniques and are a constant influence on my cooking. In addition I am wheat intolerant and so I cook gluten free.

  • Quinoa Mexicana Salad

    This Quinoa Mexicana Salad is quick, easy and nutrient rich making it perfect lunchtime fare to get you through the winter months.

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  • Chestnut, Black Olive and Thyme Pate

    This chestnut, black olive and thyme pâté is super quick and easy to make. I make the whole thing in a pestle and mortar but a bowl and a fork would work just as well. The dense almost fudgy texture of the chestnuts means you don’t need to add any fat and the heat of the raw garlic and cayenne pepper combined with the kick of the brandy help make for a lively feast.

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  • Beetroot, Butterbean and Mint Dip

    In this dish the fabulous magenta of the beetroot is striking against the butterbean base with the mint adding freshness as well as colour. The base of this dip is similar to houmous but by using butterbeans you get a lovely creaminess that means you can get away with addition only a little, if any tahini in order to achieve a rich puree. If serving as a dip rather than as part of a meal look for vegetables you can serve whole. French radishes are longer than their English counterparts making them ideal candidates for dipping.

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  • Avocado, Watercress and Dill Summer Rolls with Orange and Soy Dipping Sauce

    Rice wrappers provide an excellent – and entirely wheat free – vehicle by which to get fresh salady ingredients from plate to mouth without the aid of cutlery. Genius. This version works well as a delicate starter leaving space for a more hearty meal or as part of a platter of nibbles before an evening out providing satisfying flavour without being too filling.

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  • Red Cabbage, Walnut and Pear Salad with Date and Balsamic Sauce

    This is a bold and hearty salad for the winter months. As well as being a rather cheerful colour the purple-red leaves of the cabbage are full of vitamin C – great for fighting off the sniffles. The cabbage, celery and walnuts work together to give a satisfying crunch while the slightly spicy date and balsamic sauce adds a richness which, combined with the sweetness of the pear make for a sumptuous salad to bring cheer to cold and gloomy days,

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  • Lemony Courgette Soup with Mint Pesto

    This lemony courgette soup packs a serious citrus punch combining with the mint pesto to create an aromatic and revitalising dish. If you are not a fan of soup or courgettes then you could just make the pesto. It takes two minutes to prepare and, spread on crackers and accompanied by a glass of wine, makes for a very happy supper or snack.

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