Tag: Vegetables

If there’s one thing that unites us in the UK, it’s a love for drizzling or dolloping sauces over and alongside our meals. In fact, a poll commissioned by Waitrose last summer found that over a third of us have 5-6 jars or bottles of different condiments in their fridge.

a handful of scotch bonnet chillies

As we hit peak summer, lots of us are also trying to find ways to utilise the crops from our veg patches and greenhouses. Last year a friend and I developed a recipe for an absolutely banging smoked chilli sauce that you can buy bottles of from the cookery school or Cove Café. We’re talking Cornish chillis that have been fermented for a fortnight, local apple cider vinegar, confit garlic, and smoking peppers, onions and tomatoes over cherry and oak wood. We went deep on this one!

harvesting chillies in a greenhouse

If you can’t get your hands on a bottle before it all sells out, and if you’ve been growing chillies at home this year like our friend Matt (pictured), then I’ve got a simpler recipe for you to try so that you can put the fruits of your greenhouse or windowsill to good use and cook up a batch of this smokey chilli sauce. It’s incredible poured over…. absolutely everything.

bottles of chilli sauce at philleigh way cookery school


Sterilising your jars or bottles
Wash your jars and lids in warm soapy water and leave to dry on a draining rack – don’t touch the insides! You can dry the lids with a clean, dry, tea towel.
Place the jars and lids in a preheated oven at 180c/160c fan/gas 4 for fifteen minutes.
Remove, allow to cool, and use!

See here for how to make a biscuit tin smoker to put on your barbecue.


500g Chillis (a couple of handfuls, or about 20 chillis, but go steady if you grew Scotch Bonnets like Matt)
1 red onion
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 vine of cherry tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
Thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger (grated)
300g castor sugar
250ml apple cider vinegar
1 – 1.5l water (you can use half and half cloudy apple juice if you like)
1 bay leaf
Rosemary – sprig
Thyme – small bunch

charring red peppers on a barbecue


Whether you have a biscuit tin smoker that you can pop on your barbecue (see here for how to make one yourself) an offset smoker, or are keeping it as simple as a barbecue with a lid, smoke the chillis and garlic for an hour or two. If you have any fruit wood or shavings (apple or cherry) that’d be ideal. Whilst your barbecue is lit, char the peppers, onions and tomatoes.
Remove the skin from the charred veg, and roughly chop with the smoked chillis. Put it all into a large pot or casserole, add the rest of the ingredients going easy on the water or diluted apple juice (start with a litre and add more later if required) and bring up to the boil.
Simmer for an hour over a low heat. Season and taste to check – you can adjust the water, vinegar and sugar to get the balance you’re after.
Blend it with a stick-blender or in batches in a food processor – you can keep it fairly rough or blitz it for a while and then push it through a sieve with the back of a spoon if you want a super smooth sauce. It’s up to you!
Check the seasoning and balance one last time, allow to cool, then decant into your sterilised jars or bottles.Store in a cool cupboard for up to a couple of months, and once opened keep it in the fridge and use it with a week or two. Which won’t be hard.

philleigh way chilli sauce splashed over a marble work top

This tasty salad is really easy, can be prepared in advance (like, the day before) and works amazingly as an accompaniment to so many dishes, particularly at barbecues. This recipe makes a large quantity, perfect for a socially-distanced barbecue with family and friends, but you can easily halve the quantities to make less.


  • 10 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 oranges Zest and juice
  • 3 tsp cumin seeds
  • 100g Sunflower seeds (optional)
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 6–8 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 4 tbsp coriander leaves
  • 4 tbsp mint leaves
  • Sea salt


  • Peel and grate the carrots and zest and juice the oranges.
  • Mix the carrots and orange juice and zest in a bowl.
  • Toast the cumin seeds in a dry frying pan for a few minutes.
  • In a pestle and mortar, grind the cumin seeds with a pinch of sea salt, then stir into the carrot mixture.
  • In a jug or bowl, stir the white wine vinegar into the sunflower oil.
  • Tear the coriander and mint leaves into the dressing.
  • Pour it over the carrot salad and mix well, then serve or cover and store in the fridge.
carrot, orange and fennel salad

Mechouia salad (also known as slata mechouia in Tunisian Arabic) is a simple grilled vegetable salad that ticks every box for Mediterranean food. As with so many of these classic regional dishes, recipes vary from village to village and family to family. Mechouia has a base of char-grilled tomatoes, onions, peppers, chillis and garlic, which are coarsely chopped and seasoned before being dressed with olive oil. Traditionally the salad is often then topped with fresh herbs, olives, hard-boiled eggs or tuna. This is an amazing summer dish, and whilst it can be made in the kitchen it really comes into its own if you char grill your vegetables over the coals of your barbecue. It makes a great side (pictured below served with pork tenderloin that was offset grilled over the coals and then seasoned with smoked paprika and fennel from our Better Barbecuing course) or can be enjoyed as a stand-alone meal with crusty bread.

mechouia salad with grilled pork


  • 4 Medium Tomatoes
  • 2 Red Peppers
  • 2 Large Jalapeno Peppers
  • 2 Small Onions, the outer paper leaves removed
  • 1 Teaspoon Caraway Seeds
  • ½ Teaspoon Coriander Seeds
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, finely minced
  • ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
cooking veg on coals


  • Using either a grill or BBQ fire, char the outsides of the tomato, peppers, and onions until they’re completely blackened and blistered, turning frequently to char all sides. You can put the onions directly into the coals of the fire. Place the vegetables in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap to allow them to steam in their own heat for 15 minutes.
  • Peel the char off of the vegetables, coarsely chop them and place them in a bowl.
  • Toast the caraway and coriander seeds in a dry pan for a few minutes until they become fragrant. Grind them into a powder in a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle.
  • Add the spices with the olive oil and vinegar to the chopped vegetables and stir well. Salt and pepper to taste.
mechouia salad

We are looking for enthusiastic local gardener(s) to lend a helping hand with our vegetable patch here at Philleigh Way.  If you live on the Roseland Peninsula or nearby, and either enjoy growing or want to get started, or are on the waiting list for an allotment, then we’d love to hear from you.

Philleigh Way’s Vegetable Patch

Our vegetable patch, which sits just behind the cookery school, measures approximately six metres square.  It was somewhat neglected through 2019, due to the time pressures involved in taking on and developing the business, but we’d really like to see it green and growing in 2020.

What We’re Offering

It’d be ideal for an individual looking for a space to grow vegetables but who doesn’t want to take on a whole allotment, or perhaps even for a small group interested in sharing the workload and the produce as a community garden effort.  You can grow what you like and have first pick of the harvest, then we’ll make sure that the rest is put to good use here at the cookery school.  We’ll also provide some Philleigh Way style perks to the person or group who help us to turn our vegetable patch into a productive plot (something along the lines of a decent discount on our regular dining events, or a deal on courses).

If you’re interested in finding out more or coming to take a look at the plot then please call me (Rupert) on 01872 580893.

Wishlist 0
Continue Shopping