Courgette and Aubergine Stroganoff

A very hearty tomato stew, thickened by cashew cream. Is it Stroganoff? Strictly not of course, but then again sometimes a close brush with reality is all we need to anchor ourselves to the thin crust of sanity.

The day this dish entered our damaged and seemingly deranged world the overnight air had frozen the heavy dew on the roof at Ridgesong and long, thin tongues of ice slid off the eves as the morning sun broke weakly threw the heavy mist. Brrr….. At that, my little lovely, is what a fire is for!

Serve with Garlic Bread. Enough for two for a hearty stomach full.


  • 2 medium courgettes
  • 1 medium aubergine
  • a fistful of green beans
  • 1 small onion
  • lashes of garlic
  • 1 tin tomatoes, or equivalent of fresh
  • 1 medium red capsicum (roasted)
  • a BIG dab of sweet miso
  • some white wine
  • about 1/2 litre of stock
  • 1 cup of cashews, soaked for at least four hours in a cup of boiled water
  • 1 cup of chickpeas
  • lots of rosemary from the garden, chopped
  • lots of parsley from the garden, chopped
  • 2 to 3 tspns of hot cayenne
  • 4 to 5 tspns of sweet paprika
  • 1 tspn of smoked paprika
  • 1 tspn of ground black pepper
  • 1 tspn of ground cumin
  • a generous pour of olive oil

To make:

  • wizz the cashews with the liquid to cashew cream and reserve
  • Barmix the onion, garlic, tomatoes, capsicum, miso, and wine. Use some of the stock too if needed
  • chop the aubergine, courgette, and beans into big chunks
  • lightly saute the spices to release the flavours
  • add the vegetables, chickpeas, herbs, wine, stock, and sauce
  • simmer for hours on a low heat (preferably on top of the lovely warm fireplace). The vegetables should be well cooked but not mushed
  • stir through the cashew cream
  • serve with garlic bread and red wine

Black Bean casserole

Some beans really contribute to the taste of a dish while others are more subtle and tend to just round out the flavours of everything else in the meal. Black Beans don’t like to stand on the sidelines – they’re definitely an “Individual Contributor”.


  • However many Black Beans you get from pressure cooking one cup of dry beans (maybe two standard tins worth?)
  • 1 large onion, halved
  • 3 or 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 medium potatoes, halved
  • Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • Handful of fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 TBSP ground pepper
  • 2 TBSP miso
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • Generous splash of olive oil
  • Water


  • In a large, lidded baking dish…
  • Add the herbs, garlic, pepper, oil and miso
  • Next add the spuds and the onion (try not to separate the onion halves into rings)
  • Tip the beans over
  • Add the wine, and enough water to cover everything
  • Bake at a medium heat until the liquid is well reduced.


Boddington Casserole

Boddington is an English beer with a creamy head and smooth body that can purchased in a widget enabled can. According to beer historians, Boddingtons has been around for over 200 years, and is now sold in over 30 countries worldwide.

To quote one online review: “Boddingtons is not the most complex or interesting English bitter, but a great session beer nonetheless. This is a pleasant, easy drinking, nicely satisfying, everyday beer. With an alcohol content of 3.8%ABV, it’s a beer that can be drunk in quantity on a night at the local without re-arranging your brain cells drastically. It’s also a good thirst quencher, a refreshing pint that calls for another and another and maybe just one more after that and then….”

Well there you have it, which must explain why there was a single can of it that has been sitting in the fridge for months. Must have been waiting for a “session” to occur on the calendar. Instead, it went into this simple and hearty casserole.

What you need..

  • 1 can of Boddingtons
  • 10 brussel sprouts
  • 4 medium potatoes; halved
  • 1 small onion; roughly chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1 cup of cooked black beans
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet, light miso
  • 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns. Crush with a mortar and pestle.
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped, fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon of tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Corn flour (for thickening the sauce)

What to do..

  • Combine all ingredients except the corn flour into a lidded casserole dish. Try to keep the sprouts submerged or they may dry out during cooking
  • Bake in a moderate oven for about an hour
  • Remove from oven. Spoon out a small amount of the liquid and dissolve about 1 teaspoon of corn flour in it. Using a fork, mix until an even, light paste forms. Spoon out as much of the remaining liquid from the casserole as possible and add to this mix, stirring thoroughly to ensure an even consistency.
  • Return the (now thickened) sauce back to the casserole, and stir until evenly distributed
  • Return to the oven and bake for an additional five minutes on low

Serve with steamed vegetables of your choice.