Tag Archives: apricots

Roast Squash and Chickpeas with Spicy Apricot Sauce

Surprise – I got new cookery books for Christmas! As usual this means I read through the recipes excitedly and have to cook something straight away.  Being that it’s January I dived into Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstalls book “More Veg” first and decided to cook this vegan dish.  Tbh I might have been a bit influenced by my friend Mags (whose an amazing cook and recommended this) but I am so glad I went with it as it’s delicious.  

The recipe itself is straightforward.   It roasts the squash, adding the chickpeas for a final 10 mins at the end, and serves them with the spicy fruity sauce!    Needless to say I like to adapt things slightly (to suit my taste) so I have cut down on the preserved lemons and upped the apricots in the sauce.  Although I used butternut squash this time I can see it would work swapping the squash out for aubergines, pumpkin, courgettes or even fennel (adjusting cooking times if needs be) and of course you can use any other canned bean you fancied or had in the cupboard.

If you want to get ahead roast the squash and make the sauce up to the end of stage 7.   This will then keep for a couple of days.   Do remember if you do choose the get ahead option to add a little extra heating time in the following stages

Continue reading

Poached Apricots with Lemon Verbena

Too often when you buy apricots they are a disappointment.    They are under ripe and tasteless.  Far from the sun warmed apricots whose intense juices explode in your mouth when you bite into them.    This apricot recipe goes a long way to helping fix that,  turning them into juicy deliciousness via a gentle poaching in sweet wine and a bit of sherbet from lemon verbena

The apricots are completely transformed into soft, juicy and fruit that are full of flavour.  The finished dish uses only four ingredients and is so versatile.  It’s even vegan if you make sure you choose a vegan wine.  This apricot recipe uses baking paper which is made into a cartouche rather than a lid which allows the apricots to stay submerged and juicy without any danger of bruising.

This poached apricot recipe uses lemon verbena.  If you don’t have it you could leave it out all together or use lemon balm or 3 strips of lemon zest instead both of which are much more readily available, but if you can use it, do!  It’s got a lovely sherbety lemon smell and flavour which gives a real depth to the syrup.

Serve the poached apricots with vanilla ice-cream or cream – or both!  I also like to add some texture to the finished dish by adding an almond biscuit.   Try Little Almond Biscuits or add an amaretti biscuit if you are short of time.

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 18 firm apricots
  • 500ml pink moscato (or any sweet wine)
  • 100g caster sugar
  • Lemon verbena leaves (optional) I used about 12 with extra for garnish


  1. Put wine, sugar and about 150mls water into a saucepan and heat until sugar has dissolved and syrup is gently simmering
  2. Halve the apricots, put in pan and cover with baking parchment shaped in a cartouche – for instructions see photos below.
  3. Simmer for 10 mins or until apricots are tender.
  4. Remove fruit from syrup and place in serving bowl.
  5. Return syrup to heat and boil until reduced and syrupy.
  6. Remove from heat, add lemon verbena leaves and leave to cool and infuse for 10 mins or so before pouring over apricots.  Serve any remaining syrup in a jug alongside.