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Food And Nutrition

Tuna melt



This classic tuna melt can be made in a frying pan! If you like a little more texture to your toastie, it also works well with a tablespoon of finely diced celery folded through the filling.


  • 80g tinned tuna, drained
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 heaped tsp diced red onion or shallot
  • 50g/1¾oz extra mature or mature cheddar, grated
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • tiny squeeze lemon juice
  • 2 thick slices white or wholemeal bread
  • 1 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Tip the tuna into a bowl with the spring onion, red onion and cheddar. Use a fork to flake apart the tuna and mix everything together. Add the mayonnaise, lemon juice, lots of pepper and a little pinch of salt and fold together.

  2. Sandwich the filling between the two slices of bread, then butter the outsides of the sandwich.

  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a low heat. Add the sandwich and immediately sit a clean, small, flat-bottomed saucepan on top with a tin inside to squash the toastie down. Fry for 4–5 minutes, or until the bottom is crisp and golden and the filling is starting to ooze – if it browns quicker than this the filling won’t be melted enough. Flip and repeat to cook the other side. If it’s perfectly toasted but the filling is not quite melted enough, pop in the microwave for a minute. Serve immediately.

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Food And Nutrition

Grilled Fig and Arugula Pizza




It’s a known fact that figs and arugula work really well together. Factor in a nicely grilled pizza crust, and the end result is perfection. Choose a good, sharp cheese to round out the flavor of this dish. You can serve this pizza as the main course or cut into smaller pieces and serve as appetizers. The more rustic this looks, the better.


  • 1 (48-ounce) frozen pizza dough, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 fresh figs
  • 1 cup baby arugula
  • 1/2 cup shaved manchego cheese, or Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat grill for medium-high heat.

  3. Cut pizza dough in half. On a floured surface, roll out both pieces into 8-inch circles (or oblong shapes, depending on preference).

  4. Wash, dry and slice the figs in half, lengthwise. Brush cut sides with a little vegetable oil.

  5. Place dough and figs on the grill. Grill one side of dough only, about 2 minutes, until it starts to brown. Grill figs for 2 to 4 minutes. Watch for burning. Remove crusts and figs.

  6. Once figs have cooled a bit, cut once more lengthwise. This will allow you to place them onto the crust with a little more ease.

  7. Using a pastry or sauce brush, apply olive oil to the cooked side of the dough, carefully add figs on top.

  8. Place pizza (raw side down) once more onto the grill grate. Close lid and cook for an additional 2 to 4 minutes, or until dough is golden brown and cooked through.

  9. Remove from heat and place onto a large cookie sheet.

  10. Top pizzas with baby arugula, shaved Manchego or Parmesan cheese, and drizzle with your favorite balsamic vinegar. Slice and serve.

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Food And Nutrition

Six Easy Recipes for the Ultimate Picnic Spread




Imagine a painting of a pastoral scene on a fair summer day, a splendid feast laid out, fine carpets for lounging and guests nibbling on carefully transported morsels — a proverbial picnic in the grass, with dogs and children at the edges.

That’s one kind of picnic, but there are so many ways to picnic. Even the simple gesture of moving dinner outdoors on a balmy evening can feel picnicky, which is to say, nice.

That picnics are movable feasts adds to the experience. It’s the collecting and wrapping of the food, the carrying of the meal to a particular place and the anticipation of serving it that make picnics a kind of special event, be it a leisurely trip to the beach, an hourslong tailgate or a buffet lunch in a lush garden. (The frugal city lunch you eat on a bench by a tree is a kind of picnic, too — savor it.)

Use a dense European-style rye bread for these open-faced sardine sandwiches.

If I have to lug the basket, I want it to be filled with things I like.

Sandwiches are my favorite picnic food, so I offer a couple of them here. I’ve had a thing for sardines out of the tin since I was a kid, but now I want them served atop thinly sliced dense, dark rye bread, generously spread with good butter, sprinkled with sea salt and black pepper, a few arugula sprigs and a tiny squeeze of lemon, no more. Some would add a little Dijon mustard, but not me. Take all the ingredients to the picnic site and build the sandwiches there, or pack them to go. They look nice open-faced, but they could, of course, be made in a two-slice format.

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An utterly simple and refreshing combination of a spicy, herbed cucumber salad and creamy ricotta, served on halved ciabatta rolls, is another option. Aside from good cucumbers, there are just two requirements: freshly baked bread, with a crisp crust and tender crumb, and the best ricotta you can find, preferably basket ricotta. (You could also use natural cream cheese or queso fresco.)

This cucumber-ricotta sandwich is enhanced with soft herbs.

Next, I want a couple of substantial salads that are always nice to have on hand, picnic or not. For that, I packed white beans tossed with oven-charred cauliflower and a zesty vinaigrette, flecked with celery hearts and ground fennel, and cherry tomatoes and olives dressed with olive oil, a little oregano, vinegar, garlic and chile flakes, and spooned over slices of fresh mozzarella. Just before serving, I toss in a handful of basil leaves and coat them in the dressing. Serve them right out of the container, if you wish. It’s all meant to be finger food.

Known in Mexico as agua de Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean as sorrel, this drink of simmered hibiscus blossoms is deliciously thirst-quenching over ice.
Credit…Kate Sears for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Monica Pierini

Dessert at a picnic is always wanted, expected and deserved. Anything cookielike is a sure bet, especially if you’ll be crossing rough terrain, and pecan shortbread is my current favorite — crumbly, salty and buttery, with a touch of cardamom. Augment, if you wish, with a bowl of cherries, nectarines and peaches. And ice cream, if you’re clever enough to keep it frozen in your travels.

Then, wash it all down with a summery red hibiscus punch. Known in Mexico as agua de Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean as sorrel, the drink is made by simmering and steeping dried hibiscus blossoms with spices. The resultant ruby liquid, lightly sweetened, has a pleasant tannic quality and is deliciously thirst-quenching over ice. If you want your punch to live up to its name, add your spirit of choice. Read: rum. It’s a picnic, after all.

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Food And Nutrition

Cheap and cheerful chana masala




A real store cupboard favourite, these curried chickpeas are easy to throw together. Serve them with plain rice on their own or with another curry to feed the family. This recipe doubles easily and can be frozen (minus the yoghurt) or kept in the fridge for another meal.


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2–3 tsp curry powder, depending on taste
  • generous pinch dried chilli flakes
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 100g/3½oz plain yoghurt
  • salt and black pepper


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan or wide-based saucepan and fry the onion over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until softened, stirring regularly.

  2. Add the remaining oil, garlic, curry powder and chilli flakes. Continue to fry for 1–2 minutes more, stirring constantly, then add the chickpeas and tomatoes.

  3. Season with plenty of salt and pepper and simmer over a medium heat for about 12 minutes, stirring regularly. Add a splash of water towards the end of the cooking time if needed. Serve topped with yoghurt.

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