Bored with your lockdown staples? Try these simple but delicious recipes this weekend.

Have you, like us, found yourself living on a rotation of about four or five staple meals since lockdown? Our criteria, such as they are, are that they must be tasty, easy to make and mustn’t require too many ingredients. While, thankfully, the panic buying seems to have simmered down, there is still the perennial issue of not being able to secure delivery slots and trying to limit our shopping expeditions to one a week. Yet, without wishing to be too Pollyanna-ish about it, it is doubtless good for us to really consider our consumption, using what we have and making dishes that can be eked out over a couple of days rather than relying on simply buying more.

Here are three recipes that adhere to the tasty/easy/minimal ingredient holy trinity which, though simple, also feel like a treat for the weekend. It is, after all, these small joys that we must focus on right now – which is why we’ve also recommended a wine to go with each. Cheers to the weekend!

Pea, Potato, Lemon and Feta Traybake

Anna Jones

How we love Anna Jones. Having worked in an office job for years, she quit one grey day after reading an article about following your dreams, and promptly signed up to Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen apprenticeship scheme. She soon became an integral part of his team, styling, writing and working on his books.

Now, she has three of her own vegetarian cookbooks under her belt, the latest of which, The Modern Cook’s Year, scooped the coveted Observer Food Monthly Best Cookbook of the Year Award in 2018. The Sunday Times, too, has lavished praise on her work, hailing Anna as ‘the new Nigella’, a claim lent credence by her wildly popular weekly column in the Guardian, which is where she shared this superlative yet simple recipe for Pea, Potato, Lemon and Feta Traybake.

At this time of year when the weather is up and down, it’s perfect: hearty enough for the cold, exuberant enough for the warmth, especially when accompanied by an ice-cold glass of white. Most of the ingredients are store cupboards staples – who doesn’t have a squished bag of frozen peas lurking in their freezer? – so all you need in is potatoes, feta and lemon. Do make too much and save for an accompaniment to dinner the next day. If you plan to open a bottle to go with it, try a grassy, citrusy light wine in the excellently priced form of 2019 Fault Line Sauvignon Blanc, which will cut through the sharpness of the feta beautifully.

Linguine With Lemon, Garlic And Thyme Mushrooms


This is one of our core, make-it-every-week recipes because it is so quick, so easy and so very tasty. We sometimes throw a little cream and parmesan into the pan for a richer, more wintry take on the recipe (which is, we have to say, outrageously good) but this lighter version is wonderful for warm spring days – and for using fewer ingredients, as well as keeping on eye on healthy eating. Linguine is particularly lovely here, but you can use any pasta you happen to have, and do be very, very liberal with the parsley if you have enough of it to spare. Wash it down with a lovely, unoaked Chardonnay, such as the English-produced rendition from perennial favourite, Chapel Down.

Rhubarb Crumble

Olive Magazine

Field rhubarb – in other words, the non-forced variety – is in season right now, and we think there is no better way to eat it than in a simple, hearty crumble. It’s the perfect trans-seasonal dish, giving the classic winter pudding a zingy spring makeover. At a glance, this recipe has a slightly longer list of ingredients than we’re comfortable with right now, but rest assured, they are mostly store cupboard staples. If you have no star anise or fresh custard to serve? Fret not, it’s still going to taste pretty good. If you’re making a night of it, do accompany with a sweet wine, like this Riesling Auslese, which is delicious.

By Nancy Alsop
May 2020


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Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.