Le Creuset must-haves at the ready. Get cooking up a storm in the kitchen with our favourite sides, main dishes and, if you have room, dessert!
Vegetable Swirls with English Pesto
These pretty vegetable swirls are a beautiful addition to the table. Make the pesto in advance for a quick yet impressive side dish, simply bake in the oven and serve straight to the table.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
For the Pesto
- 100g walnuts
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 100ml rapeseed oil
- 100g cheddar cheese, grated
- 60g parsley, roughly chopped
For the Swirls
- 8 sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 carrots
- 1 large courgette
- Red cabbage, separated into leaves
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C/ Fan 160˚C/ Gas Mark 4.
- First make the pesto. Put all the pesto ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Season to taste and spoon a tablespoon of pesto into the bottom of each Stoneware Petite Casserole.
- Using a mandolin or a Y-shaped peeler, make long strips of carrot and courgette. Take the red cabbage leaves and slice them into strips the same width as the courgette and carrot.
- Lay two sun-dried tomatoes on top of the pesto in each casserole. Take the vegetable strips and roll them into a swirl, alternating between vegetables and tucking the start of the next strip into the last to overlap. Place the swirl on top of the sun-dried tomatoes.
- Brush the swirl with a little oil and bake in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes until the vegetables have cooked through.
- Serve immediately.
- Struggling with swirling the vegetables? On a clean surface, lay out a strip of carrot, then overlap a strip of courgette at the end, and then finally the red cabbage slice. Continue the vegetable strip with another carrot, courgette and red cabbage slice. Then starting with the carrot, roll the long vegetable strip up into a coil. Place the coil in the casserole then the outer layers of vegetables are easier to add individually.
Tear ’n’ Share Purple Sweet Potato Bread
Makes 1 loaf
Sweet potato is not only nutritionally beneficial, but these purple varieties also add great natural sweetness and a vibrancy to this loaf. Twisted and turned into the bread, the sweet potato's vivid purple colour really makes this a simple showstopper. This recipe uses a Dutch oven method, making for a perfectly risen and airy loaf.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: Over 2 hours
- 200g purple or orange sweet potatoes
- 1 - 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 packet white bread mix
- Flavourless oil, for greasing
- Milk, to wash
- 1 tablespoon of black sesame seeds
- Prick the sweet potatoes and place in the microwave for 4 - 6 minutes to steam-cook. Scoop out the potato flesh and mash with the milk until smooth. Set aside to cool completely.
- Prepare the bread mix according to the packet instructions. Place the Signature Cast Iron 20cm Round Casserole, including the lid, in the oven on the lowest temperature setting to warm through for approximately 20-30 minutes.
- Once the bread has proved according to the packet instructions, divide the bread into 6 equal balls. Flatten each ball and spoon an equal amount of sweet potato into the centre of each portion. Fold up the edges to enclose the sweet potato.
- Roll each ball into 20cm long sausages. Slice longways down the middle of the sausage ensuring you leave 2cm of dough at the top to hold the two strands together. Twist the two strands round each other to create a basic plait exposing the purple potato inside. Wind each plait up into a roll and tuck the end underneath for form a bun. Repeat for all 6 balls.
- Remove the casserole from the oven and lightly grease, including the lid, with a little oil. Nestle the plaited buns into the casserole, replace the lid and allow to prove for a second time for approximately 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven up to 210˚C/ Fan 190 ˚C/ Gas Mark 7.
- Remove the lid from the casserole, brush the loaf with a little milk, then sprinkle with the black sesame seeds and place the casserole uncovered into the oven to bake for 30 - 35 minutes until the loaf is golden brown and a crust has formed.
- Serve as a sweet or savoury bread - great for breakfast with peanut butter or good quality salted butter. Alternatively, serve alongside a steaming bowl of soup or Thai-style curry.
- Be careful when you milk-wash your loaf - if too much milk drips down the side it will make it harder to release your loaf from the casserole. It is best to use a pastry brush for this job.
- This recipe is very simple and can be altered as desired. If you have a sweet tooth, try adding white chocolate chunks and macadamia nuts. If you prefer savoury, add mix nuts and seeds to the second prove and sprinkle with parmesan before baking.
- If you would prefer you can steam cook the potatoes for 40 minutes instead.
Blueberry & Blackberry Hazelnut Crumble Pie
A cross between a classic crumble and fruit pie, this blueberry and blackberry hazelnut crumble pie is the best of both worlds. With its sweet, buttery short crust base and nutty topping this pie not only looks good but is the perfect showstopper dessert.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 55 minutes
For the Pastry
- 300g plain flour
- 150g unsalted butter
- 50g icing sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 - 2 tablespoons water
- 500g Le Creuset Ceramic Baking Beans (for blind baking)
For the Fruit Filling
- 300g blueberries
- 300g blackberries
- 100g caster sugar
- ½ lemon, juice and zest
- 2 tablespoons corn flour
For the Topping
- 100g flour
- 50g unsalted butter
- 50g caster sugar
- 100g blanched hazelnuts
- First, make the pastry. Measure the flour into a large bowl before cutting the butter into cubes. Using the tips of your fingers, rub the butter into the flour to form a breadcrumb texture. Sieve in the icing sugar and stir through.
- Add the egg yolk and water and bring the mixture together to form a soft dough. Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C/ Fan 160˚C/ Gas Mark 4. Remove the pastry from the fridge and allow to soften slightly. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface just bigger than casserole. Lightly grease the dish with a little butter and lay in the rolled-out pastry. Allow the pastry to overhang the edges of the casserole and trim off the excessive pastry - reserve for decoration.
- Prick the pastry with a fork and line with parchment paper and fill with the ceramic baking beans. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the baking beans and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes until the pastry is golden.
- Combine the fruit filling ingredients in a large bowl before spooning into the baked pastry case, before making the topping.
- Sieve the flour into a large bowl and rub the butter in using your finger tips to form breadcrumbs. Stir through the sugar. Blitz the hazelnuts in a food processor until finely chopped before adding to the crumble mixture.
- Sprinkle the crumble topping over the fruit evenly. With the pastry off-cuts, make pretty floral pie toppers and place on top of the crumble. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the crumble topping is golden and the fruit bubbling.
- Serve with ice cream, cream or custard.
- If you can’t get hold of fresh fruit, frozen fruit will work well too. Ensure the fruit is defrosted in a colander to remove excess liquid and add an extra tablespoon of corn flour to soak up any extra moisture.