Side dishes

Creamy Fennel

Fennel is a flowery, perennial herb in the carrot family, indigenous in the Mediterranean shores. Because of its aromatic taste it has become famous both in culinary and medicinal uses. It is extremely rich in fibre and vitamins C and B-6.

I love eating fennel both raw and cooked. This is a simple recipe but makes a really tasty side dish.


2 big onions
2 big fennels
EVO oil
1 teaspoon of ground sweet pepper
1 teaspoon of curcuma
1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
125gr of soya cream

Cut the onions in thin slices then fry in a pan with oil until the reach a golden colour. Then add the fennel previously cut in slices.

Add the spices, salt to taste and a glass of water then let cook for about 15 minutes. In case it needs doing for longer you can add spoonfuls of water to avoid it burning.

Add the soya cream and simmer for a few more minutes. Serve hot.

Main dishes, Side dishes


More than a main dish or a side dish this is a deliciously refreshing starter in Spanish cuisine. There’s nothing better than a fresh gazpacho on really hot summer days and it has usually saved me when going to a restaurant in Spain with friends and there really aren’t other options on the menu. I’m sure everyone gets the feeling. Here in Spain if you ask for a green salad in most restaurants you might even get it with Tuna on top and anchovies inside the green olives. In a lot of places tellin the waiter you are vegan doesn’t help much so you have to start giving details of what exactly you don’t eat to get a simple reply: “what do you eat then?” 😊

Ingredients :

(Eat 4)
For the cream:
4 rape tomatoes
1 green pepper
1 small onion
1 cucumber
1 garlic clove
EVO oil

For the topping:
1 cucumber
1 small onion
some cherry tomatoes
1 green orbyellow pepper
a few toasted or fried slices of bread (for gluten free options use gluten free bread slices or avoid the bread)

After washing all the ingredients for the cream chop them and place in a high bowl, add salt to taste and 2/3 spoonfuls of oil. Mash it all using a food mixer until you obtain a soft cream. Keep in the fridge.

Separately chop all the ingredients for the topping in small dice or pieces so that they can be taken to the table in small bowl and everyone can choose what to decorate their gazpacho with or you can serve a bowl of gazpacho with a bit of each on top.

Side dishes

Broad beans

This was my nanny’s recipe to cook broad beans which I now use to make them with a variety of cereals, pasta or rice.


1/2 kg of fresh broad beans
2 big onions
EVO oil
1 glass of white wine

Peel the onions, chop them in slices and put them with some olive oil and salt to cook slowly until they reach a light brown colour. 
Add the boroad beans to the onion, then the wine and salt. If they’re not cooked when all the wine has evaporated add a little water so they don’t burn.

Side dishes

Kale chips

Kale chips can be a really tasty and healthy snack or an original side dish. It’s extremely rich in nutrients, and very easy to make. 

Pre heat the oven at 175°C. Meanwhile wash and dry the leaves of kale, strip them throwing the leafstalk away, place them on an oven tray and add salt to taste and some olive oil on top. Let cook in the oven until the sides of the kale start getting a light brown colour. Once cooked it feels like burned paper, light and crispy. It can be eaten either hot or cold.

Side dishes

Friar’s beard (agretti)

The Italian name agretti is commonly used in English to refer to Salsola soda which is an edible, succulent shrub native to the mediterranean basin. Being a halophyte, salt-tolerant plant, it grows on coastal regions and can be irrigated with salt water.

It is a refreshing side dish with mint sauce or can be done in a pan to make pasta or risotto.


A bunch of fresh agretti
EVO oil
fresh mint leaves

Cut out and use only the green leaves, wash them in a big bowl in cold water then boil for about 10 minutes.
Separately wash the mint leaves and mix them into a cream with some olive oil and salt. You can add a pinch of nixed coloured peppers to the mixture.
Once the leaves are ready put the oily cream on top.
They can be eaten hot or cold according to ypur tastes.
Another way to serve them is by adding olive oil and some lemon juice or vinegar instead of the meant leaves mix. Although this is how my nanny Emma used to make them for me.

Side dishes

Green beans in fresh tomato sauce.

How many children won’t eat their veggies? They will love this option!


Eat 2/3 people

1/2 kg of fresh green beans
4/5 rape tomatoes
2 big onions
EVO oil
1 glass white wine

Cut the 2 ends of each bean and cut them in 2/3 parts each. Wash in fresh water and boil in a big cooking pot.

While the beans are being cooked wash the tomatoes and mash them until you obtain a cream using a food mixer. 

Separately peel the onions and chop them in thin slices. Put them in a casserole with some olive oil and cook until they get a nice light brown colour, then add the glass of wine and leave on heat until there is no liquid left in the casserole.

Once the onions are ready pour the tomato cream into the casserole with the onion, stir and let cook. I usually add a few fresh basil leaves to the tomato sauce to improve its taste.

Finally add the cooked green beans to the tomato sauce, let it cook altogether for a short while and it’s ready. 

Side dishes

Bread with mint sauce


This is not actually a recipe but an idea for a side dish or a snack. It might be a pleasant and easier to digest substitute for the British version of garlic bread especially for those who, like me, can’t stand the smell of garlic. Moreover it is a refreshing option in the spring and summer when the weather is nice or hot, also nice to have with a salad or boiled veggies.

My parents didn’t let us eat Nutella and similar stuff ( I can now understand why, but I couldn’t as a child) so for breakfast or afternoon snack my nanny would give us bread with healthy olive oil and a variety of veggies and this was one of my favourite.


About 20 leaves
1/2 a glass of EVO oil

Put all the ingredients in a tall glass, use a food mixer to obtain an oily cream.
Put an amount of mint oil according to your tastes on top of a slice of bread or toasted bread.