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Cheese Souflé

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 94

A fluffy souflé with a lovely cheesy flavour- great served with a green salad or steamed greens.

With this recipe it seems that I have gone full circle: it was the first recipe I ever tried from this book when I bought it in 1992. Do not ask me why a teenager who does not have much experience with cooking would choose a souflé of all recipes as a first, but I remember that it did work well and that my family enjoyed it very much. Perhaps it helped that Linda wrote in her book that you need not be afraid of making souflés and that her children would make great souflés… who knows?

Anyway, I did make a cheese souflé today and it really was quite easy. As there was some Dutch pesto cheese (green!) in my fridge that needed using up, I made a green souflé which also looked very unusual but pretty. The pesto flavour was really nice in the souflé and worked well with the green veg we had to go with it.
I baked the souflé in a 2 pint souflé dish (Linda suggests a 1 pint dish) and it did rise way above the top of the dish. Luckily, it did not collapse or run down at the sides.

A delicious and quite impressive dish that is easy enough to make. Great to use up any leftover cheese.

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Linda's recipes

New Orleans Okra

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 138

Sautéed okras, simmered in a tasty tomato sauce.

Okras were another of the vegetables not usually found in our grocery store around the corner. So when I discovered some while visiting a small greengrocer’s in the city center (yes, I do like looking around grocery shops and could spend ages discovering all the vegetables, fruit, pulses and spices to be found there…) I knew that this recipe would be next.

I was a bit worried as the okras are chopped before cooking, which makes them release a slimy juice that is usually not wanted in okra dishes. Surprisingly, with this recipe the okra juice just blended with the tomato sauce and the consistency was find. As the sauce is simmered for quite some time it gets a very round taste and the sliced okras are just beautiful to look at: on the cut they look like little flowers.

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Hearts of Artichoke with Mushroom Sauce

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 101

Boiled artichoke hearts, served with a creamy mushroom and tarragon sauce.

This recipe has been on my list to try out for quite some time, but I was a little afraid of preparing artichokes as I have never done this before. However, when I spotted nice-looking artichokes in a small vegetable store in town, I decided to give it a go.
With the help of the internet and Linda’s description, I managed to cook the artichokes sucessfully and my family and I enjoyed dipping the leaves into the sauce and eating the tender artichoke at the bottom of the leaves. The artichoke hearts are very small, so I would recommend to serve this dish as a starter and I would certainly also serve the leaves along with the hearts (in Linda’s recipe, the leaves are not used). Dipping and eating the leaves is a very social and nice start for a meal with friends or family!

Alternatively, you could serve the hearts of artichoke and the leaves with a mustard and honey vinaigrette- great for a summer dinner party.

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Burgers Chop Suey

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 89

Veggie burgers covered with asian-style veg and baked in the oven.

This is one of the many burger-based dishes in the book and I have to admit that I do tire of all those burgers. To make a change (and also because it goes well with the asian-style veg) I used smoked tofu instead of the burgers. The combination of veg and tofu was great, but baking the veg after cooking did overcook it and it lost some of its taste and all of its bite. I also did not like the starchy sauce the veg gets mixed with and would have preferred a lighter version with just soy sauce and maybe some curry powder. Why not stir-fry the veg and tofu next time and season with soy sauce and some light spices and serve with some rice or rice noodles?

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Green Beans and Mushrooms in Sour Cream

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 137

Sautéed mushrooms and steamed beans, served in sour cream.

This is a very quick recipe for a veg dish with no surprises but also no disappointments 😉
As usual, I would recommend using less sour cream and if you do not like the slightly sour taste of sour cream you could try using cream cheese (vegan, if you like) instead.

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Favourites Linda's recipes

Tomato Pie

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 128

A pie filled with cooked tomato and courgette, topped with a crust of beaten egg and cheese.

This pie is another one of the surprises in this book that is not easy to spot. Only when making it did I realize that there is no pie crust on top but instead a layer of beaten egg and cheese. This is not only really tasty but also very quick to make and saves you the trouble of rolling out some pastry to put on top. My parents (it was my Dad’s birthday!) and brother who came around for dinner loved the pie and named it “Ratatouille Pie”…. I think you could in fact add other ratatouille ingredients such as peppers, aubergine or even mushrooms to this recipe, depending on what you have in your fridge. Delicious!

Serve warm with a green salad- and be sure to make enough as this is so tasty 🙂

For a gluten-free pie, see my shortcrust pastry recipe.

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Fresh Tomato Sauce

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 145

A classic tomato sauce that lives from the flavour of fresh, ripe tomatoes, simmered for as long as possible.

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Beer Rarebit

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 88

Spiced melted cheese, spread on toast or rice- great for a quick lunch for hungry people.

After painting our new garden shed, there was the need for a quick and satisfying meal for my family- the rarebit was perfect. It reminds me of the Swiss cheese fondue but is much easier to make. The spices used in the recipe round it off nicely. My husband has asked me for the recipe and even requested I introduce a rating-system for my blog so that he can give this recipe 10 out of 10 stars 🙂

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Burgers with Parsley Butter

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 91

Ready-made burgers, served with parsley butter- just what the recipe promised 🙂

I made this recipe using home-made black bean burgers, and served it with a green salad. It tasted good but this would be the kind of meal I do not need a recipe for- frying a burger and adding some flavoured butter is not magic… But still, my family did enjoy it and the chances are that I would not have cooked this had it not been for my project…

Vegan and gluten-free: The recipe can be both vegan and gluten-free if the burgers are vegan and/ or gluten-free.

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Cream of Tomato Soup

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 53

A creamy tomato soup with lots of tomatoes, celery, onion, and a milky béchamel sauce, finished with a little double cream.

I was curious about this soup as I had heard that this was a favourite of Linda’s. Yesterday, I got some great-looking tomatoes and decided that the time had come to try out this recipe. The veg and tomatoes are slowly simmered and then sieved too make a smooth paste. This paste is then mixed with a creamy béchamel (using one pint of milk) and finished with a couple of spoonfuls of double cream.
I did like the smoothness of the soup, but would have preferred to have even more tomato flavour. Next time, I think I will try adding some tomato paste and maybe a can of chopped tomatoes to the soup. I would also omit the béchamel sauce and just use a little plant-based cream to serve. I did try using plant-based milk but still thought the milky taste to be too dominant.

Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free flour, e.g. rice flour.

Vegan: Use plant-based milk and cream.