Indonesian for comfort food, gado gado is a staple throughout the country, with each region offering their own twist to the recipe. Add some chillies to the peanut sauce if you like things spicy.
2 small carrots, diagonally sliced
85 g (3 oz) green beans, trimmed
125 g (4 oz) Chinese cabbage, cut into wedges
2 small boiling (waxy) potatoes, such as desiree, scrubbed and cut into quarters
50 g (1 3/4 oz) bean sprouts, trimmed
2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
1/3 cup (80 ml) coconut milk
2 teaspoons kecap manis
Bring a saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add the carrots and cook for 4 minutes, until just tender. Using a slotted spoon, remove the carrots and refresh under cold water.
Blanch the beans and Chinese cabbage in the boiling water for 2 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and refresh under cold running water or in a bowl of cold water. Add the potatoes to the boiling water. Cook for 8 minutes, until tender, then drain.
Meanwhile, make the peanut sauce. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until softened. Stir in peanut butter, coconut milk and kecap manis. Cook, stirring, for a further 2–3 minutes, or until thickened.
Arrange the vegetables, bean sprouts and eggs on a serving plate. Serve drizzled with the peanut sauce.
The hollows in hard–boiled egg halves make perfect containers for a tasty filling – here carrot and chive – and the eggs look attractive served on a bed of ribbon vegetables and lamb's lettuce. All you need is some bread to make a satisfying lunch.
Couscous is extremely versatile and can be used for both savoury dishes and for sweet ones, such as this quickly made, delicious hot cereal. The couscous is mixed with dried fruit and soaked briefly in hot milk, then topped with fresh fruit, to create something a little different to start the day.
For this savoury version of a classic French batter pudding, sweet cherry tomatoes are baked in a light, fluffy batter flavoured with grated pecorino cheese. Make individual clafoutis, or one large one, and serve for a simple lunch or dinner with bread or boiled new potatoes and green beans.
For these delectable chilli–flavoured omelettes, the eggs are whisked with cornflour to give them a slightly firmer texture, suitable for folding round a colourful and tasty filling of stir–fried vegetables and rice noodles.