Spicy chicken and split-pea traybake
Kitchen Aide: This dish is a great example of the joys of the traybake. It requires barely any prep, and it’s endlessly adaptable: use yellow or red split peas instead of green, if that’s all you can get hold of; honey, molasses and agave nectar are more than useful stand-ins for maple syrup; and substitute fresh parsley for the coriander, if need be. And if you’re making it for children or for the spice-averse, simply leave out the jalapeño altogether and use paprika instead of chipotle.
One-tray pork and mushroom pasta
KA: Again, use what you have – shiitake mushrooms are a good swap for oyster (they’re cheaper, too), ditch the paccheri for another large-ish pasta tube such as tortiglioni or rigatoni, and try beef mince instead of pork if you have to – it won’t be the same, but needs must.
Herby cabbage and potato gratin with gruyère and ricotta
KA: If the local supermarket’s run out of desiree potatoes, another good all-rounder such as estima or vivaldi will also do the trick. If there’s no gruyère in the chiller cabinet, try comté, beaufort or emmental, and for ricotta, go for fromage frais or good old cottage cheese.
Baked cauliflower with spices, spinach and tomato
KA: If you can’t find black mustard seeds, use yellow, or three-quarters of a teaspoon of mustard powder, or up to a tablespoon of ready-made mustard. Again, parsley makes a decent stand-in for the coriander, while you can replace the spinach with any other delicate green, or use frozen.
Traybake harissa shakshuka
KA: There’s no reason you have to cook this favourite brunch on the stovetop. It works just as well in the oven, which if anything makes it easier to prepare, too. Use any tinned white beans you have to hand, and in the absence of harissa use dried or fresh chilli to taste instead.
Roast roots with butter alla diavola
KA: If you can’t get turnips, this treatment work on just about any other root veg, too, from carrots and potatoes to celeriac and parsnips; failing them, squash would make a handy sub as well.
Tomato and chicken traybake
KA: Swap tinned tomatoes or passata for fresh, if need be, and swap the thyme for any other soft herb you have to hand (oregano or marjarom, ideally, though there’s nothing wrong with parsley or coriander if that’s all you can get; dried oregano or herbes de Provence would be another option). This treatment also works a treat on fish – whole or fillets, fresh or frozen and defrosted – though if you do go down that road, bake the tomatoes and seasonings alone for the first 10 minutes, then add the fish and, depending on size and cut, scale down the remaining cooking time as required.
Braised hispi cabbage with chorizo and chickpeas
KA: If the shops are out of hispi (it’s also known as pointed and sweetheart cabbage), try any other green cabbage you can find, even a young, firm savoy. Soured cream or Greek yoghurt can take the place of the creme fraiche if all else fails.
Date traybake with toffee
KA: Dried figs will do the job of the mejdool dates, if need be, while honey, maple syrup, or molasses will all add the caramel sweetness of date syrup if that proves hard to get hold of.
Indian bread pudding
KA: The warm milk infusion is good enough to drink just as it is, and you can easily mix and match the spices used to suit availability and personal taste (if you can’t find cardamom, say, add a touch of nutmeg to the mix – combined with the cinnamon, it makes an OK substitute – while allspice can take the place of the cloves).
A messy Eton traybake
KA: Any soft fruit or berries will top off this sponge cake version of the British summer classic in style.