Put spring on your menu

The Irish Times Magazine - - FOOD- FILE -

Brighter weather brings with it a de­sire to eat dif­fer­ently – hearty soups, stews and casseroles giv­ing way to some­thing fresher and lighter. Stuck in a cook­ing rut and un­able to see be­yond my slow cooker and Le Creuset casse­role pots, I found in­spi­ra­tion in an un­ex­pected place re­cently.

Writ­ing with her sis­ter Jas­mine as Hem­s­ley + Hem­s­ley, Melissa Hem­s­ley fell fair and square into the “clean eat­ing” cat­e­gory. But, for 2018, the duo have di­verged. Jas­mine pub­lished a cook book at the start of the year in­spired by her ex­plo­rations of Ayurveda, and Melissa fol­lowed with Eat Happy: 30- Minute Feel­good Food ( pub­lished by Ebury Press, ¤ 23).

Tasty, easy, nour­ish­ing and thrifty were the cri­te­ria for recipe in­clu­sion in this book, she writes. The sal­ads drew me in – par­tic­u­larly a recipe for hot- smoked trout with beet­root and fen­nel salad and a Scandi- style dress­ing – but it was the “bowl food” chap­ter that I’ve been re­turn­ing to, for colour­ful, Span­ish chickpea and al­mond stew; lime and av­o­cado gaz­pa­cho; ginger miso sun­shine soup, and cour­gette “risotto” ( made with quinoa), with a pesto swirl.

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