Food and recipes from London food stylist Nicolas Ghirlando

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    Apple and Blackberry Crumble

    Yesterday was a low-calorie day for me as I endeavour to return to the svelte, Adonis-like figure I had when young. Perhaps aiming for the slim figure I had when at art college…

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    Here’s Some Carrot Cake

    The carrots are past their best. No longer firm and snappable, they bend like a theatrical prop. No wonder really, they have been sat outside in the sun on the table for a day and…

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    Sri Lankan Beetroot and Coconut Curry

    First of all, if you don’t like beetroot, please leave the room because a: I don’t trust you b: you won’t like this curry. It tastes of beetroot. For those of…

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    Carrot and Pea Salad with Cumin Oil and Aïoli

    I’ve been a little less than enthusiastic about cooking the past week. It happens every now and then. Coming up every day with something exciting to eat for supper can be a…

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    Drunkard’s Noodles

    Yes, this is my second mushroom recipe this week, but I had to use them up somehow. And yes, it has noodles in it, but this couldn’t be more different to the fettuccine with…

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    Fungi To Be Around

    Just as I was packing away my shorts, chucking out the sun cream and darkly muttering about the “nights drawing in”, the bloody sun finally comes out. I was conceding…

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    Say Cheese

    When I was at art college back in the last century and life was in black and white, we’d often indulge in haloumi kebabs after a night out. That was the first time I’d…

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    Turnip for the Books

    I had a couple of packets of baby turnips in the fridge. I always struggle with them, as in, what is their point? I’ve always thought of them as a bulbous, soft crunch of…

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    Ramen Corner

    Before you start, this isn’t ramen in the proper ramen way, more of a broth with some things in, one of those things being a beautiful piece of seared sirloin. But as with…

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    Burgers of Calais

    Actually, this has nothing whatsoever to do with Calais, I’ve just always wanted to make that joke. And seeing as we’re being robbed of a decent summer here in London,…

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    Claws is Coming to Town

    My freezer is sometimes an Aladdin’s cave, sometimes a forgotten morgue. I’ve found pigs trotters, prawn and lobster shells, strange soups and chicken bones bagged and…

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    Gooseberry with Mackerel, Chilli and Galangal

    It’s been such a long time since I’ve eaten gooseberries. Perhaps since childhood, picked from the bushes in friends’ gardens. Maybe once in jam at…

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    Bass Player

    A warm July Monday morning and I have just deposited the children at school for the day. Peace and an unheard silence start the week and I feel almost a little lost. It’s…

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    For the Chop

    It’s not often I’ll cook pork at home. Or anywhere else for that matter. I’m not a huge fan really, apart from in sausages, which doesn’t really count. I…

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    Eggstatic 

    A simple one today to serve with an aperitif when you have friends round. You can buy quails’ eggs ready hard-boiled and peeled if you like, I often do. To be honest, in…

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    Everything’s Rosy

    I have a vague, dusty memory somewhere of my mum making coconut macaroons. Specifically, the rice paper underneath and the wonder that you could actually eat it. They…

  • Ail Be Back

    I seem to be roasting rather a lot at the moment. Maybe it’s down to this peculiar summer we’re having or perhaps in a counter-intuitive way because I’m busy. As…

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    Root One

    I suffer from low curry levels if I go more than four days without one. This clearly quite serious situation can result in either a delivery, a trip to Ganapati in Peckham or  a…

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    There May Be Truffle Ahead

    My friend Roberto, who runs http://www.trufflestories.co.uk brought me back a few black truffles from L’Isola d’Asti the other day while we painfully wait for the…

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    Scallops with Celeriac Remoulade

    Celeriac makes a great doorstop. If you have some time and patience on your hands (which you must be prepared to shred on the mandoline), a remoulade is another, and tastier way,…

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    Roast Squash with Juniper, Thyme, Garlic and Paprika

    Sometimes it’s the little things. The touches here and there that make a meal special. And they don’t have to be tricky or crazy, sometimes simple is best. I love the…

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    Salmon and Pearl Barley with Pesto and Wild Garlic Pods

    For those of you who regularly read my recipes (hello Mum!), you’ll know I love using wild garlic. Having used all that I had access to this year, all that remained were the…

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    Chive Talkin’

    It’s officially the first day of summer and true to form here in England, the rain is torrential. Nonetheless, we carry on regardless, cheerfully wearing shorts, smiling and…

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    Matcha the Day

    I don’t think I’ve had a choc-ice since primary school. I’d forgotten the joy of the thin chocolate cracking as you chill your teeth on the ice cream. I wanted…

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    Roast Vegetables

    Throwing a load of vegetables in a tin with some herbs, oil, salt and pepper is about as easy as cooking gets. Easier than boiling an egg, even. It’s a great accompaniment…

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    Tomato Salad

    While I happily eat my way through bowl after bowl of dressed green leaves, some dishes call out for a tomato salad. Ripe just to the point where the juices burst out as you slice…

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    Taking Stock

    When I worked in the restaurant, every afternoon we made big simmering vats of stock which we would then reduce overnight. Each time, we would peel and halve kilos of onions,…

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    Hasselback Jersey Royals with Gribiche Sauce

    When I think of Jersey, instead of potatoes and cream, I think of Bergerac and John Nettles. And Hasselback obviously sounds like Hasselhoff, so this recipe should be…

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    Mayan Sandwich Loaf

    Every weekday Maya needs a packed lunch for nursery. That will come to an end as she moves into year one in the autumn, but until then, each morning I will continue to run around…

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    A King’s Ramson

    It’s a short-lived season, much like the elderflowers that grow at the bottom of the garden, but it’s one, rather like the flowering of the magnolia tree, that brings…

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    A Peach of a Pudding

    For me peaches are the fruit that means summer. There’s nothing quite like the taste and soft texture, and the juice which invariably runs down your chin is sticky, sweet…

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    Provençal Tomatoes

    Good food to me generally means simple food done well with thought and care. It makes sense that if you have good ingredients, you’re off to a good start. There’s…

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    The Perfect Omelette, or an oeuf is an oeuf.

    I always want chips and a green salad with my omelette. It may sound like something you’d get in the greasiest of London cafés, but my memory of it is sitting outside a…

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    French Tarts, or Taking the Pisaladière

    I love a French tart. As Barry Cryer once said, “if you want an innuendo, I’ll give you one”, but that is beside the point. I prefer them sweet, but I’m…

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    Argy-Bhaji

    I start to panic if I run out of onions. They’re an absolute necessity in our house. How something so pungent when raw can be so seductive when cooked is a mystery. From…

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    Salad Daze

    The more food I eat, and I do so with every passing day, the more I love the simple things. Last night we had spaghetti al pomodoro, using a jar of beautiful Italian plum tomatoes…

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    Scouts’ Honour

    When I was a little girl I used to dream of being a brownie. Sadly that never came true, and anyway, being a boy I was sent to The Scouts.  I hated it and thought it a complete…

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    Coda Alla Vaccinara

    I love meat that needs cooking for hours until it falls apart. Cheek, shin and brisket for example all go really well in the slow cooker. Five minutes work at the beginning of the…

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    Tart Me Up

    There is no competition for me when it comes to tarts. If I had to choose one, even over tart au citron, tart tatin, tarte aux poires and chocolate tart, it would be the little…

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    Aubergine or Egg Plant, or maybe Garden Egg?

    My grandparent's kitchen in Newcastle was either full of cigarette smoke, the smell of Craster kippers being cooked for breakfast or a big Sunday roast being cooked while a Sarah…

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    Who You Calling Chicken?

    When buying a few quick supper things for the children the other day (I don’t always have time to cook, you know), the ingredients on the chicken Kievs had so many things…

  • mizeria-Polish-cucumber-salad

    Mizeria Loves Company

    For me it's an impossible task to recreate this seemingly simple cucumber salad. I'm not just making a dish, I'm trying to make someone else's memory of time, place and people…

  • minestrone-vegetables-portrait

    Souper Minestrone

    With spring barking at the door like an excitable, just woken puppy it’s time for fresh flavours. We’ve not been eating gruel all winter, but we have relied somewhat…

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    Game of Squash

    Butternut squash is great to have around the kitchen. They normally hang around in mine for a while as I psych myself up to peel them. Fortunately, they keep for what seems an…

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    Springing a Leek

    On Thursday night we went out for my birthday supper at Olivio Carne, the sister to what is pretty much my favourite restaurant in London (Olivio near Victoria station) and I…

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    Rolling Avocado Stones

    We have a few jars of various powders on the kitchen shelf that promise us eternal life. They contain about a thousand tons of kale and everything else too. They’re great in…

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    On the Case

    Tomorrow the children go back to school after six years off for Easter. I think we’re all looking forward to it. It has been good having them around, though, and we’ve…

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    What’s up Doc?

    If you’re getting a bit fed up of sweet potato fries, or are avoiding potatoes in general, these carrots are a great alternative. I’d choose them over fries nine times…

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    Raising the steaks

    Sometimes on the weekend I can spend the afternoon in the kitchen, prepping lots of ingredients and dishes, enjoying the calm of a Saturday or Sunday. Tonight, however, we have…

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    Salmon Like It Hot

    That’s a whole month now with no carbs or sugar. A whole month. And one that had Easter in it as well. It has been pretty tough watching the children stuffing their faces…

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    Snack of the week

    If you are hungry and need a quick pick me up, this snack has won my coveted ‘snack of the week’ award. It’s an amazing, classic combination and if you have…

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    Baked eggcellence

    It has been a fairly uneventful week in the kitchen, which means it’s been quite tidy. The children made their own tomato, sweet potato and carrot soup which they promptly…

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    Fruit smoothie

    About an hour after I’ve had my jasmine tea in the morning,  I’m ready for breakfast, which almost every morning is a Nutribullet smoothie. Usually I will start with…

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    Love and hake

    Still off the carbs and sugar, mealtimes are becoming much more interesting. While I have craved the odd sandwich or snack, and with weekends being particularly tricky with the…

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    Herb Salt, or Amkräuter salz

    Not much happened in Suffolk last week. I’m not sure it ever does. That’s what made our stay in the cottage so rejuvinating. Lighting fires, reading books, walks on…

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    Roast chicken with mashed potato, creamy leeks, fennel seed and peas

    I think it far better to buy a whole good chicken and roast it all than buy expensive packaged bits. At the very least you can make a really good chicken stock, let alone all the…

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    Vietnamese deep-fried summer rolls

    Our long-lost family restaurant, The Mekong in Pimlico (disclaimer: I snorted when I first went and now claim it as my own) closed perhaps a year ago with what seemed like no…

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    Breakfast smoothie

    I use a nutribullet for my smoothies. The great thing here being that your bananas may be on their way out, your spinach may not be at its freshest, but there is no need to waste…

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      Five minute fish curry

    Fry the curry spices in the coconut oil, add the fish chunks. Cook for a few minutes then add the remaining ingredients and a little coriander. You could use coconut milk rather…

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    Quick barbecue sauce recipe

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    Quick children’s meals and how to get them to eat vegetables

    How times have changed. Wasn’t it only yesterday I was able to stay up past 10 in the evening and function the next day? My friends and I would get up to all sorts of…

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    Sugar and dairy-free gelato heaven

    I don’t remember anyone ever having said a bad word about Italian ice-cream. Its texture is creamy and rich, soft and smooth on the tongue. The flavours sing purely, as if…

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    Sweet mango, lime and chilli

    It’s August here in London, the height of summer. Looking out of the window, the unrelenting monsoon makes me wonder if it will ever get light. Instead of turning to slow…

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    Cauliflower, turmeric and garlic mash

    I love cauliflower raw in salads, pickled, picalillied, turned into ‘cous cous’ or ‘rice’ or comforting cauliflower cheese. It also makes a great mash. You…

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    Low-carb suppers: Seared tuna with warm bean salad

    If you were to find me in a restaurant in the early 2000s, chances are I would be eating seared tuna on a ‘bed’ of le Puy lentils. I couldn’t get enough of it. It seemed to…

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    Miso soup with prawn, scallop and samphire

    This is one of the simplest and quickest meals you will ever make. And one of the most delicious. To make it work, though, you must get absolutely fresh tiger prawns and plump,…

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    Breakfast ice lollies

    As a supposed grown-up, I feel I can eat whatever I want, whenever. Cold pizza for breakfast and such. While I try and promote a healthy diet to the children, that…

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    Cured mullet with pickled radish

    At the back of my fridge you’ll find a jar or two of pickled herring from Ikea. I always stock up when I go, it’s the highlight of the trip. I get excited about any food that…

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    Sugar free yoghurt, cardamom and elderflower bundt cake.

    I bore my wife every year with constant updates on the elder state, and my excitement and her relief peaks when the buds start to open into flowers. Pick them first thing on a…

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    Morning Smoothie

    I tend to start every morning with a Nutribullet smoothie. I was never a great breakfast eater, but this has proven an easy way for me to get the day off to a good start. Some…

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    North African chickpea and tomato stew

    I say North African, but this really is a mix of store cupboard items that could be Asian, Indian, Turkish, Moroccan and Mediterranean. Chickpeas were a staple growing up and my…

  • Nettle prawns

    Nettle and wild garlic pesto with prawns and sweet potato

    Nettles grow like mad this time of year. Now, after many childhood tears, it’s time for revenge. They have a grassy, earthy flavor that goes well in risotto or soup and if you…

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    Kasha with spiced roast vegetables

    This vibrant dish can be served warm or cold. Kasha, or roast buckwheat is so good for you and has a nutty taste and texture that complements the sweet roast vegetables. What I…

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    Hawthorn tea

    It’s hawthorn blossom season in London at the moment and while the trees are in bloom it’s a great time to make fresh tea or dry the flowers for future use. The tea has…

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    Spicy filo vegetable parcels

    Bourek, samosa, pasty or empanada? They’re all good ways to eat a messy filling with your hands. I first had bourek in a cous cous restaurant in Paris and loved the delicate…

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    Quick carb-free crab ‘courgetti’

    This is a take on one of my favourite pasta dishes. It’s a great way to cut out carbohydrates if you’re on a health kick, and it really stands out as a dish in its own…

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    Jasmine-cured mackerel fishcakes

    Fishcakes are a great way of either using up fish trimmings or making fish a bit more accesible for the children. I’m a big fan of Thai fishcakes. Full of zingy flavours,…

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    Infused oils: getting more flavour into your meals

    Here’s a quick and easy way to add a little more flavour to your cooking. Depending on what you’re making, using infused oils to cook with can make the difference between a…

  • Red hot chilli sauce that doesn't disappoint

    Fiery homemade chilli sauce that’s full of flavour

    Chilli sauce has been a source of constant disappointment in my life. It’s either not as hot as it says it should be, or it’s hot but without much flavour. I remember trying a…

  • Lentil balls

    Dhal Vadai: spiced Indian lentil balls

    I have talked about my love of lentils in an earlier post. Like the Swedish are never too far away from a herring, dhal is never too far from my mind. Lentils are comfort food…

  • Kofte beef

    Delicious beef kofte skewers with yogurt, cumin and mint dip

    A good kebab is a great thing. It’s almost the ultimate in balanced meals with the meat, salad, vegetables and carbohydrates. It can either soak up a night’s excesses or…

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    Meatballs with spiced tomato sauce and courgette ‘spaghetti’

    I love meatballs more than almost anything in the world. It’s hard to beat a bowl of them served with spaghetti, but for this version I thought I’d make a healthier…

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    The beautiful lentil

    My favourite part of an Indian meal is most often the dhal. Dipping homemade naan into the silky, slightly spiced comforting refuge of the tarka-ed lentils is to me a little like…

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    Curried spelt with salmon

    Apart from the smell of onions and garlic cooking in a little butter and oil, I don’t think anything beats the aromatic and almost mysterious smell that comes from toasting a…

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    Rabbit terrine with asparagus, pancetta and peas

    This dish is so pretty, but essentially my rabbit terrine is a big slab of meat, freshened by the addition of peas and asparagus. Served with a pickled salad and a few truffle…

  • Beautiful whole sea urchin

    Sea urchin spaghetti with lemon and olive oil

    One of the greatest meals I’ve ever had was a sea urchin pasta, eaten overlooking a beach in Paxos. We were at a cookery demonstration by Spiros, owner of Bar Taxidi in Loggos…

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    Roast lamb with garlic, baby aubergines and anya potatoes

    Lamb – whether spiced and charred in the tandoor, coated with a herb crust and roasted, or simply sliced thinly and served in a sandwich with mustard, parsley and cucumber…

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    Fig and goat’s cheese tart with onions, tomatoes and honey

    When I was at my parents’ last weekend for my dad’s birthday, I wanted to contribute something to the lunch, and brought in the figs I happened to have left over from the day…

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    Welcome to The Modern Husband

    Welcome to The Modern Husband, where I post a wide range of recipes and writing about food I love to make – from quick family suppers to Michelin-style cooking for special…

    img_7679

    Say Cheese

    When I was at art college back in the last century and life was in black and white, we’d often indulge in haloumi kebabs after a…

    img_7586-1

    Burgers of Calais

    Actually, this has nothing whatsoever to do with Calais, I’ve just always wanted to make that joke. And seeing as we’re being robbed of a decent…

    artichoke

    Bass Player

      A warm July Monday morning and I have just deposited the children at school for the day. Peace and an unheard silence start the week…

    img_7455

    For the Chop

    It’s not often I’ll cook pork at home. Or anywhere else for that matter. I’m not a huge fan really, apart from in sausages, which doesn’t…

    img_7444

    Eggstatic 

    A simple one today to serve with an aperitif when you have friends round. You can buy quails’ eggs ready hard-boiled and peeled if you like,…

    img_7354-1

    Everything’s Rosy

    I have a vague, dusty memory somewhere of my mum making coconut macaroons. Specifically, the rice paper underneath and the wonder that you could actually eat…

    Ail Be Back

    I seem to be roasting rather a lot at the moment. Maybe it’s down to this peculiar summer we’re having or perhaps in a counter-intuitive way…

    img_7341

    Root One

    I suffer from low curry levels if I go more than four days without one. This clearly quite serious situation can result in either a delivery,…

    Attachment-1

    Chive Talkin’

    It’s officially the first day of summer and true to form here in England, the rain is torrential. Nonetheless, we carry on regardless, cheerfully wearing shorts,…

    img_7029-1

    Matcha the Day

    I don’t think I’ve had a choc-ice since primary school. I’d forgotten the joy of the thin chocolate cracking as you chill your teeth on the…

    tomato-salad-header

    Tomato Salad

    While I happily eat my way through bowl after bowl of dressed green leaves, some dishes call out for a tomato salad. Ripe just to the…

    stock-header

    Taking Stock

    When I worked in the restaurant, every afternoon we made big simmering vats of stock which we would then reduce overnight. Each time, we would peel…

    IMG_6782

    A King’s Ramson

    It’s a short-lived season, much like the elderflowers that grow at the bottom of the garden, but it’s one, rather like the flowering of the magnolia…

    bhajis-portrait

    Argy-Bhaji

    I start to panic if I run out of onions. They’re an absolute necessity in our house. How something so pungent when raw can be so…

    vinaigrette-final-crop

    Salad Daze

    The more food I eat, and I do so with every passing day, the more I love the simple things. Last night we had spaghetti al…

    tart-header

    Tart Me Up

    There is no competition for me when it comes to tarts. If I had to choose one, even over tart au citron, tart tatin, tarte aux…

    mizeria-Polish-cucumber-salad

    Mizeria Loves Company

    For me it’s an impossible task to recreate this seemingly simple cucumber salad. I’m not just making a dish, I’m trying to make someone else’s memory of time, place and people come alive on a plate.

    minestrone-vegetables-portrait

    Souper Minestrone

    With spring barking at the door like an excitable, just woken puppy it’s time for fresh flavours. We’ve not been eating gruel all winter, but we have…

    IMG_5791

    Springing a Leek

      On Thursday night we went out for my birthday supper at Olivio Carne, the sister to what is pretty much my favourite restaurant in London…

    DC598BB8-93B0-43DB-97FB-5144CEFB5939

    On the Case

    Tomorrow the children go back to school after six years off for Easter. I think we’re all looking forward to it. It has been good having…

    img_5712-1

    What’s up Doc?

    If you’re getting a bit fed up of sweet potato fries, or are avoiding potatoes in general, these carrots are a great alternative. I’d choose them…

    flour-scales-fougasse

    Fougasse

    Sometimes I get whims. A baguette here, a tray of soft buns there. This morning I was taken by the desire to bake some fougasse. I…