Once a fortnight we hold a cook club at the Botanic Cottage. Anyone is welcome to join us to learn new cooking skills and to enjoy a healthy meal that’s been freshly prepared by the group. Sadly, the Botanic Cottage is closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but we won’t let that stop us! Cottage Cook Club tutor Ailsa has prepared some great recipes from store cupboard ingredients to encourage us to keep home cooking and keep eating right. Over to Ailsa…

Hello everyone,

I hope this finds you well and enjoying some warmer weather. I absolutely love having summery ingredients in the kitchen- plenty of tomatoes, asparagus and Scottish strawberries along with salad leaves. You’ll find all those ingredients in this week’s recipes. Asparagus on toast with eggs and greens, an abundance of tomatoes through a tasty pasta, and strawberries baked into muffins. There’s a bright soup recipe too which I just keep making. I hope you enjoy these recipes and have fun in your kitchen this summer.

Take care,


A tasty breakfast

Asparagus, egg and greens on toast

This makes a really delicious breakfast and is nicely balanced too, two of your 5 a day, plus carbohydrate and protein. If you don’t feel confident poaching eggs or your eggs aren’t super fresh then boil them instead and scoop the egg out on to the toast (I do 5 minutes for a medium egg).

A white dish serrved with Asparagus, egg and greens on toast.
A white dish served with Asparagus, egg and greens on toast.

A healthy lunch

Carrot, butterbean and tahini soup

This carrot soup is a bit different from my classic wintery one with lentils. This soup has butter beans, rosemary and a little chilli kick. It’s delicious hot or cold.

Tahini is a middle eastern sesame paste that you’ll find in the ‘world foods’ section of the supermarket. It’s also good in a salad dressing, drizzled over roast vegetables or used to make hummus.

A white bowl on a pine table and silver spoon serving Carrot, butterbean and tahini soup.
Carrot, butterbean and tahini soup.

A simple supper

Fresh tomato linguini

This time of year, I am obsessed with tomatoes. I order mine from the Isle of Wight but you can also get delicious summer British tomatoes in the supermarket too. This pasta recipe is a lovely way to enjoy them, and a quick easy supper for when you’d rather be outside than indoors cooking for hours.  If you can, use a mix of types and colours of tomatoes.

White dish on pine table serving tomato linguini.
Fresh tomato linguini

Something sweet

Strawberry and Almond muffins

I made these as an end of term treat, I think we all deserve one! There’s less butter and plenty of fruit in these so much better for you than a commercial cake. The roast strawberries on top are a really nice touch too if you have time. They won’t keep very long, a few days in a tin, but that’s unlikely to be a problem.

A black cooling tray on a pine table set with freshly baked strawberry and almond muffins.
Freshly Baked Strawberry and Almond muffins.

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