Roast fennel-stuffed bream

Roast fennel-stuffed bream with fennel 
seed and orange oil

This roast fennel-stuffed bream is a very simple but stunning dish for a Sunday lunch. Cooked and served whole, the bream look really impressive. Buy the freshest fish you can and ask the fishmonger for smallish bream – you want one-per-person size. If you can only get large bream, serve 1 between 2 people and cook for a bit longer.

45 minutes Serves 2 Easy

  • gilt-head bream 2, whole but gutted, scaled and trimmed of fins
  • oranges 2
  • fennel 2 small bulbs
  • dill 1/2 bunch
  • capers 2 tbsp
  • rapeseed oil

  • fennel seeds 1 tbsp
  • flaky sea salt for seasoning

Heat the oven to180C/fan160C/gas 4. On a baking tray, lay out a sheet of foil and drizzle it with some rapeseed oil. Thinly slice the fennel (on a mandolin if possible) and put a layer of it on the foil. Slice one of the oranges and put the slices on top of the fennel and sprinkle on the capers. Put the fish on top and stuff in a bit of the fennel and orange into the gut cavity. Drizzle on a little more rapeseed oil and season with sea salt. Put a second layer of foil over the top and seal the fish up as if in a parcel. Put the tray into the oven at and bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through.

While the fish is in the oven, finely zest and juice the other orange. Put the juice and zest in a bowl and add 3 tbsp of the rapeseed oil and fennel seeds. Finely chop the dill and mix together into the dressing.

Remove the fish from the oven and put onto a serving plate. Add some of the cooked fennel and dress the whole fish with the orange and fennel seed dressing.

PER SERVING 421 kcals, protein 38.3g, carbs 10g, fat 26.5g, sat fat 1.3g, fibre 5.1g, salt 1.5g

Match this fish dish with Fiano, Surani Pietrariccia Fiano 2012, Puglia, Italy. This wine has its own citrus and herbal notes to chime perfectly with this fennel- flavoured fish.

Mini coffee and walnut bundt cakes

Mini coffee and walnut bundt cakes

One of the olive team got their hands on a bundt tin this week, so we thought we would share this recipe for mini coffee and walnut bundt cakes with you all. This distinctive ring-shaped cake is inspired by the European gugelhupf and is a perfect accompaniment to your Saturday afternoon tea or coffee.

You will need 6 mini kugelhopf or bundt tins for this. Find them in good cook shops or online at

  • instant espresso powder 3 tsp
  • cocoa 2 tsp
  • unsalted butter 175g, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • Billington’s Golden Caster Sugar 200g
  • Billington’s Light Muscovado Sugar 25g
  • soured cream 125g
  • eggs 2, 1 whole, 1 yolk
  • plain flour 175g, plus extra for dusting
  • bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp
unsalted butter 40g
  • walnuts 50g, finely chopped
  • plain flour 1 tbsp
  • Billington’s Light Muscovado Sugar 1 tbsp iCing
  • instant espresso powder 2-3 tsp
  • Billington’s Golden Icing Sugar 125g
  • chopped walnuts 50g

Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas
3. Butter the insides of the tins really well making sure that every nook and cranny 
is covered. Dust flour into the tins to coat the butter in a fine layer and tap out any excess.

Make the streusel first. Melt the butter,
 tip into a bowl, add the walnuts, flour and muscovado and mix well until it starts to clump together. Divide the streusel between the prepared tins.

To make the cake, bring 125ml water to the boil in a small saucepan, add the coffee powder and cocoa and whisk together. Remove from the heat, leave to cool for
a minute or so and then add the 175g butter and both of the sugars. Whisk to melt the butter and dissolve the sugars, add the soured cream, whole egg and egg yolk
and whisk until smooth.

Sift the plain flour, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt into a mixing bowl. Add the coffee mixture and whisk until smooth. Divide the batter between the tins and bake for about 25 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the
cakes comes out clean.

Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for
a couple of minutes and then turn out
on a wire rack until cold.

To make the icing, dissolve the espresso powder in 1 tbsp boiling water and leave to cool. Gradually add the icing sugar, whisking constantly until the icing is smooth and will just run off a spoon. Carefully spoon the icing over the top of each cake, allowing it to gently drizzle down the sides. Scatter with finely chopped walnuts then leave the icing to set before serving.

Per serving 796 kcals, protein 8.2g carbs 85.6g, fat 47g, sat fat 23g, fibre 2.2g, salt 0.6g

Got a bundt cake tin but not mini ones? Why not try this extremely light cake with passion fruit frosting

olive wine club

Wine club: Food-friendly reds

Food-friendly reds

Twelve, smooth, delicious reds, chosen for their food-matching versatility for only £71.48. Includes a FREE steak knives set. O has teamed up with Laithwaite’s Wine, to bring you the O Wine Club, offering a range of exclusive offers with unbeatable savings. O Wine Club members will have access to Laithwaite’s Wine’s range of 2,000-plus wines from more than 20 countries and its award-winning customer service team. To celebrate this partnership with the UK’s number one home delivery wine merchant, we have an exclusive selection of twelve food-friendly reds at the special price of £71.48 a case (usually £131.48). That’s just £5.96 each and a saving of £60 on the price of the bottles if bought individually. You will also receive FREE delivery and a set of six steak knives worth £12.99.

 Star of the dozen is the Equestrian, a barrel-aged Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia’s Coonawarra region, perfect with roast lamb. With juicy steaks, try the velvety Don Cayetano Merlot from a leading Chilean family estate. Enjoy the mature, vanilla-scented 2007 Gran Reserva from Spain and Southern Italy’s Il Brutto with slow-cooked casseroles. Beautifully rich and smooth, it’s crafted from the fruit of ancient, sun-drenched Negroamaro and Primitivo vines. The selection rounds off in style with two southern French classics. The special cuvée Minervois from Château Portal has lovely complex flavours of berries and spice while Puech Arnaud is a plummy, Gold Medal-winning Merlot from the Amla Cersius vineyard.

For more information click here:

aubergine and chilli pide

Friday night treat: Aubergine and chilli pide

Treat yourself to a night in front of the TV with this aubergine and chilli pide. Don’t be put off by the exotic name, pide is just a flatbread (think Turkish pizza!). The chilli and spices add heat, flavour and a dash of colour. For a meaty version of this pide, why not add fried minced lamb alongside the aubergine before popping into the oven? Easy as pizza, just that bit more exotic for a Friday night treat!


  • strong flour 500g
  • dried active yeast 1 tbsp or 2 x 7g sachets
  • sugar 1 tsp
  • Greek yoghurt 2 tbsp, plus extra to serve olive oil
  • aubergines 2 medium, sliced
  • garlic 1 clove, finely chopped
  • saffron a pinch
  • cinnamon a large pinch
  • sesame seeds 1 tsp
  • red chillies 2, finely chopped
  • kalonji (nigella seeds) 1 tsp
  • coriander a bunch, chopped
  • yoghurt to serve

Mix 100g flour with the yeast, sugar and 150ml warm water, and leave it until the mixture froths. Tip it into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, and add the rest of the flour, the yoghurt, 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp salt, as well as another 200ml water. Knead for 10–15 minutes until the dough is smooth and springy, add a little more flour if you need to. Alternatively, you can mix this by hand, then knead it for 10–15 minutes. Tip the dough into a bowl, cover and leave it to rise for an hour or until it has doubled in size.

Meanwhile, brush the aubergine slices liberally with oil, and grill them on both sides until they’re tender and browned.

Heat the oven to its highest setting. Divide the dough into two, and press and roll out each piece to an oval, then put it on a baking sheet. Lay the aubergine on the pide. Put the garlic, saffron and cinnamon in
a mortar, and grind with a pestle. Add a good slug of olive oil and lots of seasoning, and mix everything well. Brush this over the aubergine and sprinkle on the sesame seeds, chilli and kalonji. Bake each for 10–12 minutes or until they are crisp and brown. Scatter on the coriander and serve with a dollop of yoghurt.

PER SERVING 590 KCALS | PROTEIN 16.5G | CARBS 99.8G | FAT 14.9G | SAT FAT 2.8G | FIBRE 12G | SALT 1.3G

We have matched this recipe with a refreshing wine, El Guia Rosado 2013, Utiel-Requena, Spain. This wine has a touch of spice to enhance the chilli on the pide.

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 12.38.43

Find a local food blogger

How do you do your research when you’re planning a trip to a new city and you want to find out where to eat? Besides leafing through your back copies of olive to find a relevant Weekender, of course. Well, Chowzter is one site to bookmark. Listing recommendations for (largely street) eats from local food bloggers, it comes up with some interesting suggestions. And, although the majority of destinations covered are North American, its global reach is growing, with 11 UK cities now covered. We just hope its reviewing skills are better than its geography (which puts Cardiff in England).

Cardamom and chocolate choux buns

Great British Bake Off inspired: Cardamom and chocolate cream puffs

Did the savoury and sweet choux creations conjured up on Great British Bake Off last night get your imagination running wild? Why not try making our cardamom and chocolate puffs to impress your friends at afternoon tea…

50 minutes+ cooling time, Makes around 30 puffs, A little effort

  • whole milk 125ml
  • water 125ml
  • unsalted butter 110g
  • salt 1/2 tsp
  • plain flour 130g
eggs 3, large
cream Filling
  • double cream 350ml
  • icing sugar 30g
  • ground cardamom 1/4-1/2 tsp
  • vanilla extract 11/2 tsp chocolate Sauce
  • dark chocolate 170g, chopped
  • double cream 180ml
  • unsalted butter 15g

Heat the oven to 200c/fan180/gas 6. Line two large baking trays with baking paper.
 Put the milk, water, butter and salt in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the flour and remove from the heat. Stir until the dough becomes shiny. Using a handheld mixer, beat the dough at low speed for two minutes to cool it a little. Increase the speed and beat in the eggs one at a time. (it will initially look sloppy, but just keep beating until it comes back together.)

Put generously heaped teaspoons of the dough in mounds on the baking tray a couple of centimeters apart. You’ll need a second teaspoon to scrap it off. (You could use a piping bag, but this is the way I’ve watched my mum doing it for years, and it works just as well.)

Bake for about 25 minutes, until the puffs are golden. Turn off the oven. Using a skewer, poke a small hole in the side of each puff and return them to the oven, leaving the door open, so they can cool in the oven for at least an hour.

To make the cream filling, whip the cream, icing sugar, cardamom and vanilla extract.

Slice the puffs in half, but not all the way through, spoon the cream into the centre, stick back together and stack them on plates or a cake stand.

For the chocolate sauce, bring the double cream to the boil then remove from the heat. Tip in the chocolate and butter and stir until melted and smooth. Spoon over the buns to serve.

PER SERVING 177 kcals, protein 1.9g, carbs 7.9g, fat 15.3g, sat fat 9.3g, fibre 0.4g, salt 0.1g

If you’re looking for a more classic eclair recipe, these colourful mini eclairs are delightful. These baked pears in pastry are also a fun and more hearty treat.

Spiced shepherd's pie with parsnip mash

Spiced shepherd’s pie with parsnip mash

This spiced shepherd’s pie with parsnip mash is an easy recipe for a mid-week fix of comfort food with a twist. Why not give it a go tonight?

1 hour 15 minutes Serves 4 Easy

  • onion 1 large, diced
  • celery 2 sticks, diced
  • carrots 2, diced
  • oil for frying
  • lamb mince 1 pack, about 500g
  • ground cumin 1 heaped tsp
  • cinnamon 1/4 tsp
  • chilli flakes a good pinch (use more if you like heat)
  • plain flour 2 good tsp
  • tomato purée 2 tbsp
  • lamb or chicken stock 400ml


  • parsnips 1kg,peeled and cut into chunks
  • butter
milk, cream or crème fraîche

To make the mash, put the parsnips in
 a pan of cold water, season with salt and bring to the boil then simmer for 15-20 minutes until completely tender. Parsnips can be quite fibrous, so err on the side of breaking up. Drain really well then mash with a big knob of butter, some seasoning and a good splash of milk, cream or crème fraîche.

To make the filling, heat 1 tbsp of oil in
a pan then cook the onion, celery and carrot with a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes until softened. Add in the lamb and cook until browned all over. Add the spices and cook for 1 minute, then stir in the flour and cook for another minute until it disappears.

Stir in the tomato purée and stock and simmer for 10-15 minutes until thickened but still saucy.
Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Tip the lamb mix into a baking dish and top with the parsnip mash. Fork to roughen the surface and dot with a little more butter. Cook in the oven for about 25-30 minutes until bubbling and golden.

PER SERVING 575 kcal, protein 32.8g, carbs 42.4g, fat 30.9g, sat fat 13g, fibre 14.3g, salt 1.5g

Got a bit longer and fancy something equally as comforting? Click here to try our meatball melt lasagne, or here for a veggie version to use up the last of those courgettes!


Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 11.01.27

Three reasons to visit… Sligo

The philosophy behind Myles and Jane Lambeth’s latest book, Surf Cafe Living, is “contemporary Irish cooking with a soupçon of salty air”. Combining cooking, entertaining and other snippets of life by the sea on the West Coast of Ireland, the book (£17.99, Orca Publications) is peppered with casual-sounding but sophisticated recipes that will have you yearning for a trip to Sligo.

If you’re inspired to head west, here are three suggestions from Jane for culinary must-dos in the local area:

Have an organic hot chocolate with gooey marshmallows at Shells Cafe, run by Myles and Jane and set overlooking Strandhill Beach.

Do a seafood safari and barbecue your catch on Aughris Head Beach at the end of the day.

Try the Yeats homemade sausage by Sheerins Butchers - find them every Sunday at Strandhill People’s Marketa haven for food-lovers right beside the sea.

Alternatively, cook up a Sligo-inspired feast at home with Jane and Myles’ recipe for cola-pulled pork, pictured above (photo: Mike Searle):

Continue reading