Friday night

We had friends round for supper last night. I was in work for most of the day so there hadn’t been much time beforehand to get everything ready. So I got organised the night before.

This involved me taking a chicken out of the freezer to defrost and cooking the odd bag of vegetables I found in the basement – potatoes, carrots and beetroot.

When I got home I took a sharp knife to the chicken and cut it into eight pieces. These went into a shallow roasting tin together with three chopped preserved lemons, a generous sprinkling of sumac, salt, pepper and olive oil.

That all went into a hot oven together with the potatoes which I had broken into pieces and doused in hot oil.

The beetroot were peeled, sliced and covered in a mixture of yogurt, olive oil and garlic.

The carrots were sliced and mixed with a mixture of roasted ground cumin, more olive oil and lemon juice.

I cooked some lentils and when they were done and cooling I stirred in some good feta cheese and roasted red pepper.

The most challenging part of the meal was coming up with a vegetarian ‘main’ dish to compete with the chicken. The Ottelenghi cookbook helped out with a recipe for cauliflower fritters.

We drank beer and red wine and listened to The Owl Service.

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