Lockdown, Recipe

Lockdown recipe: aubergine and artichoke ‘risotto’

Based on a BBC Good Food recipe
Serves 3
Takes about 45 mins



  • Olive oil
  • 1 aubergine, cut into chunks
  • 150g mushrooms cut into large chunks (leave whole if small button)
  • 1 red pepper, cored and cut into large chunks
  • 1x 175g pack grilled artichoke hearts
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 200g arborio rice
  • 750ml veg stock
  • 1x 400g tin pulses of choice, drained (chickpeas and red kidney beans both work well)
  • Lemon juice (opt)

1. Place the aubergine, mushrooms and pepper on a baking tray, mist with oil and cook for 20 mins at about 180C.
2. Meanwhile, sauté the onion and garlic until softened, stir in the spices and rice, and cook for 2 mins.
3. Add half the stock; simmer, uncovered, for 20 mins (stir every so often).
4. Add the other half of the stock, the veg (including artichokes) and pulses, and simmer (uncovered) for another 20 mins – stir every so often and you might need to add a little water to stop it sticking.
5. Add a little lemon juice to taste, and serve.

(Is also v nice cold for lunch the next day!)

Archie and Dexter, Pipsqueak posts, Writing life

The Pipsqueak Posts, Episode 31: the one with the first visit to the park [video]

Archie: Pipsqueak, Pipsqueak, we’re off to the park!

Dexter: What’s the park?


Archie: It’s a place of wonder. Lots and lots of grass to run around on and play ball, a river to paddle in, and there’s a cafe that does sausages for dogs. Mum or Dad will carry you when you get tired. They’ll put you on the extending lead so you don’t get scared or lost. Just follow me.

(a few minutes later)

Dexter: All the smells! I must sniff every blade of grass. I must run! Run!

(a few minutes later)

Archie: Time for a paddle in the river!

Dexter: This is even better than the paddling pool. 


Archie: And now for ball!

Dexter: I’m tired, now. I want to sit down. But you’re right. The park is GREAT!