For a feast without a fuss – or much washing-up – all you need is a roasting tin. The Quick Roasting Tin recipes are your new weekday staples.
This tart is inspired by the Disney Pixar film Ratatouille, when Remy spears rosemary, a mushroom and a piece of cheese together to toast over a chimney. I’m sure he would have approved of the addition of pink peppercorns. Find them next to black pepper at the supermarket. They add a wonderful aromatic flavour as well as a pop of colour.
This is a lovely, easy way to prepare scallops, which work beautifully with the punchy chorizo and creamy leeks. If you have little individual ceramic dishes, by all means use those for smart presentation. Though if your date isn’t impressed by a giant dish of crunchy-topped gratin brought to the table as it is, you may wish to rethink your dinner companion.
This crispy baked cod is such an easy weeknight dish, with mostly store-cupboard ingredients: pesto, breadcrumbs, frozen peas. Adding a tin of butter beans (by all means use cannellini, haricot or puy lentils if that’s what you have) picks up all the flavour from the roasting tin. Serve with crusty bread for an additional carb.
This chicken pie went through several elaborate variations (saffron and pearl barley, anyone?) before I came up with this very simple version and rather nervously handed platefuls to my friends Ruby and Leah. Fortunately, it turned out beautifully and was by far the easiest to make. A new staple.
Think about your favourite stir-fry. Now think about making it without having to stand and stir. This dish has gone straight to the top of my list – not only does the beef, pepper and sweetcorn combination cook beautifully in the oven, but the peanut-soy dressing is addictive – and I’d happily eat it in sandwiches.
Sausage bakes work well with fresh courgettes, tomatoes and broccoli for a light dinner.
This stunning traybake delivers on all fronts: the artichokes, olives and rosemary and garlic roasted lamb work beautifully together, while the cannellini beans soak up all the wonderful flavours from the tin at the end. Perfect for easy entertaining. If you’re prepping in advance, just stick everything in the tin, pop it into the fridge and take it out 15 minutes before you’re ready to cook, bearing in mind that if it’s all super cold, it’ll take a little longer in the oven.
An easy, all-in-one chicken traybake for a casual dinner with friends, packed with flavourful vegetables. Rather than a long list of spices, I like to use ras-el-hanout for this. It’s a readily available Middle Eastern spice mix that adds a lovely warming flavour to the dish. It isn’t hot in the way that chilli is, so if your guests like spicy food, add a teaspoon of chilli flakes as well.
The woman behind the one-hit wonders
These recipes are taken from best-selling cookery writer and food stylist Rukmini Iyer’s new book The Quick Roasting Tin (Square Peg, £16.99). To order a copy for £10.99 with free p&p until 12 January, call 01603 648155 or go to mailshop.co.uk. Rukmini’s fee for this feature has been donated to Crisis, Shelter and Rape Crisis South London.