Sticky liquorice carrots
Serves 6 Prep 10 mins Cook 30 mins 99p a portion 117 kcals, 8g fat, 5g sat. fat, 9g sugar
50g soft black liquorice 50g salted butter 800g carrots, cut into batons
1 Finely chop the liquorice and put in a small pan with about 5cm water. Boil for 30 mins, topping up with water to keep the liquorice covered at all times, mashing and stirring occasionally, until nearly all the lumps of liquorice have disappeared and you’re left with black, syrupy water. Sieve into a new pan, add the butter, and gently bubble until you have a consistency between clear honey and gravy.
2 Boil a saucepan of water. Add the carrots and cook for 2 mins until tender. Drain, then tip back into their pan and add the liquorice syrup. Toss to coat. Season. Tip into a dish.
TIP If you’re short of hob space, you can make the liquorice syrup ahead of time and reheat in a microwave to melt.
Green beans with wholegrain mustard
Bring a large pan of water to the boil, then drop in 500g trimmed French green beans and cook for 4-5 mins until they are just cooked but still bright green and with a slight crunch. While the beans are cooking, heat the butter in a large shallow pan and soften1 finely chopped shallot. Add 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard and 3 tbsp crème fraîche, and bring to a simmer to combine. Add the drained beans and the juice of 1 lemon, stir until evenly coated. Serves 6.
Roasted sprout gratin with bacon-cheese sauce
Serves 6 Prep 15 mins Cook 40 mins £1.22 a portion 339 kcals, 18g fat, 9g sat. fat, 8g sugar
800g Brussels sprouts
1 tbsp sunflower oil 85g bacon lardons 85g fresh breadcrumbs 25g butter 400ml milk
500g plain flour 2 tsp English mustard powder 100g Gruyère, grated 25g Parmesan, grated
1 Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Halve any large sprouts and toss them with the oil and some seasoning in a roasting tin or ovenproof dish. Roast for 20 mins until the sprouts are tender and turning golden.
2 Meanwhile, put the bacon lardons in a cold frying pan and place over a medium-low heat. Gently fry the lardons so the fat melts out into the pan as they crisp. When golden brown and crisp, remove from the pan with a slotted spoon. Add the breadcrumbs and crisp up in the bacon fat until golden and crunchy. Remove from the pan, then clean the pan.
3 Melt the butter in the pan with 2 tbsp of 2 mins to make a paste. Gradually whisk in remaining milk, until you have a smooth sauce. Stir and cook until the sauce comes to the boil and thickens. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese until melted. Taste and season.
4 Tip the sprouts into a baking dish, scatter with the crisp bacon lardons, then spoon over the sauce and scatter with the crispy crumbs. Can be cooled, covered and chilled for up to 48 hrs before baking. Bake gratin for 10 mins (or 20 mins from chilled) at 200C/180C fan/ gas 6 until piping hot and bubbling.