Tag Archives: rosemary

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Chestnut & Pancetta Soup

This is a wonderfully robust soup – with a great mixture of flavours from the sweet, earthy chestnuts, the salty pancetta and the aromatic rosemary. It makes a lovely lunch-time soup for 4 – or a evening bowl for 2. And if your toddler can tolerate nuts, it’s guaranteed to be a hit with him or her.

If you’re lucky enough to be able to forage or get some fresh chestnuts, all good. Simply cut a cross in the top of them and roast in the oven at 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 for about 10 minutes. Then just peel and use. Or, of course, you can use the vacuum-packed chestnuts you can buy in packets. With these you just soak the packets in boiling water for a minute or so, before opening.

gluten-free, wheat-free, yeast-free, dairy-free, soya-free, egg-free, seed-free, citrus-free

Preparation time 5 minutes     Cooking time 20 minutes     Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g/7oz pancetta
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • ½ leek, sliced
  • 2 tbsp chopped rosemary leaves
  • 400g/14oz cooked chestnuts
  • 1.2l/42fl oz/scant 5 cups stock made with gluten- and dairy-free stock powder
  • sea salt (optional as the pancetta is already salty) and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat until hot. Add the pancetta and fry for 5–6 minutes until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and leave to one side.
  2. Put the onion in the saucepan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Fry for 2–3 minutes, stirring frequently, until just starting to turn golden. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring all the time. Add the carrot, celery and leek and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes, until the leek starts to turn translucent. Stir in the rosemary and chestnuts and cook for a further 5 minutes until the carrot is starting to soften. Add the cooked pancetta and pour in the stock. Season lightly, turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and leave to simmer for 15 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender.
  3. Using a immersion blender or blender, whiz the mixture to make a slightly textured soup. Serve hot.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Roast Leg of Lamb with a Pine Nut & Herb Stuffing

It’s totally true that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach – well, certainly my husband’s. And if Peter’s reaction to this recipe is anything to go by, then THIS recipe is the way to his heart. I knew Peter would like this – he likes strong, robust flavours and loves red meat (a true Aussie bloke!) but, to be honest, I was surprised by quite how much he liked it. This wasn’t just awesome, it was apparently the best thing I’d ever cooked him. Wow!

We eat lamb at Easter, like many people, but as the season for Welsh lamb starts in March and English lamb in April, I find it’s nice to focus on eating lamb in springtime, anyway. Red meat is sometimes viewed by people as an unhealthy choice. The BSE and Foot and Mouth crises seem to have turned people away from eating red meat, and the fear of high amounts of saturated fat in those meats seem to have kept them away. But if you buy good-quality meat (I always buy organic meat because I want to eat meat that has been humanely reared and doesn’t have residues of pesticides, chemicals or antibiotics), and either buy meat that is lean or remove the fat after cooking, then you are eating something that is incredibly good for you. Meat is truly full of goodness – and is crammed with protein, the building block for our bones, tissues and teeth – which keeps us strong and healthy.

As well as being rich in protein, lamb is also an amazing sourced of two vital minerals – iron and zinc. Iron keeps us strong and full of energy (when you’re low in iron, you can become anaemic, and this will make you feel tired and weak). Zinc is probably the most important mineral in terms of your immune system. (If you get a cold or infection, it’s always worth increasing your zinc intake as it will help to fight these infections.)

Lamb is also a great source of many vitamins, including vitamin B3 (which helps boost your memory) and vitamin B12 (which is key to the production of red blood cells and cell metabolism). Lamb also contains selenium (great for your heart) and sulphur (good for your hair, nails and joints).

This is an incredibly easy recipe to make. You just whizz the stuffing ingredients up, stuff the joint and into the oven. Serve with lots of veggies and I promise you’ll love every mouthful!

Preparation time 10 minutes     Cooking time 1 hour 11 minutes, plus 10 minutes resting time     Serves 6–8

gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, seed-free, citrus-free


2–3 slices gluten-free bread (or 100g/3½oz gluten-free breadcrumbs)
12 drained stoneless black olives in brine
3 garlic cloves
3 drained, bottled anchovy fillets in oil
8 drained, bottled sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1 small handful of rosemary leaves
1 small handful of thyme leaves
1 large handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 handfuls pine nuts
1 leg of lamb, approximately 2.5kg/5lb 8oz with the H bone and thigh bone tunnel-boned and removed (ask your butcher to do this)

1    Preheat the oven to 250°C/500°F/gas 9. Put the bread in a food processor and blend until the mixture becomes fine breadcrumbs. Remove from the food processor and leave to one side.
2    Rinse the olives and drain them. Put in a mini food processor and add the garlic, anchovies, sun-dried tomatoes, rosemary and thyme. Blend to form a finely chopped paste. Transfer to the food processor and add the parsley. Pulse until the parsley is finely chopped, then add the pine nuts and breadcrumbs and pulse until the pine nuts are chopped.
3    Spoon the stuffing mixture into the cavity of the lamb, pressing down well with the back of a spoon to pack the stuffing in, and secure by tying with string. (Next time I make this recipe, I’ll use more string and tie it up more!) Rub the olive oil over the lamb then transfer to a baking tray.
4    Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 200°C/400°F/gas 6 and cook for a further 55 minutes – 1 hour 10 minutes, depending on how pink you like the meat. Remove from the oven and cover with baking parchment, ensuring the ends of the paper are tucked under the tin. Leave to stand for 10 minutes, then remove the baking parchment and serve.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Rustic Italian Bread

Making gluten-free bread is much easier than you might imagine. Generally I use a lot more liquid than in normal bread, so that the bread doesn’t burn or go too brown on top. And I find that potato flour works brilliantly in bread. This is based on a classic Italian rustic bread which is often filled with pieces of pancetta and cheese. But I’ve gone for a simpler version, using just some rosemary and oil.

Preparation time 15 minutes, plus 1½ hours rising time     Cooking time 45–50 minutes     Makes 1 loaf

gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, soya-free, nut-free, seed-free, citrus-free

  • 1 tbsp easy-blend dried yeast
  • 200g/7oz/heaped 1 cup rice flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 200g/7oz/1¾ cups gram flour
  • 100g/3½oz/⅔ cup maize flour
  • 100g/3½oz/heaped ½ cup potato flour
  • 2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1½ tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp sea salt, crushed
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary leaves
  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the yeast and 350ml/12fl oz/scant 1½ cups warm water and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Sift the flours, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt into the bowl of a food processor with the dough blade attached and blend to mix together. Add the eggs and 4 tablespoons of the oil and blend again, then add the yeast mixture and process for 5 minutes to aerate the dough. The dough will be sticky.
  3. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for 1 hour.
  4. Liberally dust a clean surface with rice flour and transfer the dough onto the surface. Cover your hands with flour and gently roll the dough on the floured surface until you have shaped it into an oblong sausage shape. Gently pat the dough with the palms of your hands to flatten it into a thick rectangular piece, dusting the surface with more rice flour whenever needed. Sprinkle the rosemary over the top and drizzle the remaining oil over. Taking one side of it in your hands, carefully roll the dough like a Swiss roll. Transfer to a piece of baking parchment and place on a baking sheet. Cover with cling film, leaving room for the dough to rise and leave for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Remove the cling film and bake for 45–50 minutes, until it is golden brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely before serving.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Potato Dauphinoise


There are excellent dairy-free products available now, especially soya products. And I really like using soya cream when I’m cooking. This morning, Zoe and I used it to make a thick batter for Sweetcorn Pancakes (you can find the recipe in my recent book, Simply Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free) and it’s also great in this recipe, a Potato Dauphinoise. The key to cooking with soya products is to know what ratio of soya to other ingredients (and mixing it with stock is a great way to get a good balance of flavours) – as it makes all the difference to the end taste. This goes beautifully with roasts such as lamb and beef, for a Sunday lunch, as well as slow-cooked casseroles.

Preparation time 10 minutes     Cooking time 1 hour 15 minutes, plus 15 minutes resting time     Serves 4

gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, seed-free, citrus-free


  • 1 kg/2lb 4oz potatoes, peeled and finely sliced
  • 50g/1¾oz dairy-free margarine, cut into small pieces
  • 250ml/9fl oz/1 cup soya cream
  • 100ml/3½fl oz/scant ½ cup gluten-free and dairy-free stock
  • 5 rosemary sprigs, plus 2 more sprigs, finely chopped (optional)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F/Gas 4 and grease a large baking dish. Cover the base of the dish with a layer of potato slices placed vertically and repeat with a layer of slices placed horizontally. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and repeat until all the potato has been used.
  2. Pour the soya cream and stock into a jug, add the extra chopped rosemary if using, and whisk to mix together. Sprinkle the margarine over the top of the potatoes and pour the cream mixture over the top. Bake for 40–45 minutes until starting to turn golden brown and the potatoes are tender. Serve hot.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Beef & Celeriac Pie

This is comfort food at its very best. Meltingly tender beef, with delicious herbs, covered with a crispy golden crust. I recently got a tip from an amazing chef, Daniel Galmiche – to rub the herbs between your fingers before using them. This releases the aromas and flavours even more and gives you a moment of pure bliss as you anticipate the eating!

gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, seed-free, citrus-free

Serves 4     Preparation time 25 minutes, plus 30 minutes chilling the pastry     Cooking time 45–50 minutes



  • 100g/3½oz/heaped ½ cup rice flour
  • 50g/1¾oz/scant ½ cup gram flour
  • 50g/1¾oz/⅓ cup maize flour
  • ½ tsp sea salt, crushed
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 125g/4½oz chilled dairy-free margarine, diced
  • 1 large egg, beaten


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g/1lb 2 oz casserole steak, fat removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp rice flour
  • 1 small celeriac, about 600g, trimmed, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • 350ml/12fl oz/scant 1½ cups gluten-free & dairy-free beef stock
  • dairy-free margarine, for greasing
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. To make the filling, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan or wok over a medium heat and add the onion. Fry for about 3–4 minutes until starting to turn golden, then add the garlic and fry for about 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and leave to one side. Roll the steak in the rice flour then add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan and heat over a medium-high heat. Add the steak and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5–6 minutes until lightly browned. Return the onion and garlic to the pan, add the celeriac, herbs and stock and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid, bring to the boil over a high heat, then turn the heat down to low and leave to simmer gently for 1 hour until the beef is tender.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the pastry, sift the flours, salt and xanthan gum into the bowl of a food processor with the dough blade attached and blend to mix together. Add the dairy-free margarine and blend until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and blend for 20–30 seconds until the mixture comes together to form a sticky dough. There should be a little extra moisture at the base of the bowl. If it is too dry, gradually blend in 1–2 tablespoons chilled water. If too sticky, add a little rice flour.
  3. Shape the pastry into a ball, wrap it in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. When the beef is almost ready, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 and grease a medium-sized casserole dish, about 1.5 litres size, with dairy-free margarine. Liberally dust a large chopping board with rice flour and roll out the pastry into a shape about 3mm/1/8in thick and 3cm/1¼in wider than the casserole dish. Be careful as the pastry will still be slightly sticky.
  5. Remove the bay leaf from the filling and transfer into the casserole dish. Ease the pastry onto the top of the casserole and cover the filling. If the dough seems too fragile to lift, simply turn the chopping board over to drop the pastry onto the casserole. Press the edges of the dough down gently around the edges and neaten the edges with a sharp knife. Cut a small cross in the centre to let the steam out.
  6. Bake for 35–40 minutes until the pastry is a rich, golden brown and serve hot.