1. Is there a vegetable you hated as a child, but came to love as you got older?
Tomatoes, believe it or not. I couldn’t manage to eat even one slice of the very first pizza I ever ordered because I could not stomach the tomato base on it. I still can’t eat raw tomato (unless marinated in oil and garlic like a bruschetta) but I simply could not live without cooked ones in all their forms.
2. Most underrated vegetable?
Cabbage. My childhood was spent eating overcooked cabbage boiled for hours in bacon or ham water (the traditional Irish way of cooking it) and it was years before I discovered it as the versatile, delicious vegetable it is – cooked or raw.
3. Name one favourite summer vegetable dish.
Tuna Nicoise. Done the cheater’s way with tinned tuna (don’t ask me why, I just prefer it that way). With lots of black olives and new potatoes and green beans and proper cos lettuce (none of your new-fangled rocket or mesclin).
4. And one for winter?
My vegetable curry.
5. What vegetables are in your fridge and freezer right now?
None in fridge. We have been away for the weekend. Baby sweetcorn and garden peas in the freezer. Pathetic.
6. Is there a vegetable you really like but don’t make much yourself?
Pumpkin. It seems to be Australia’s national vegetable but we just don’t eat much of it in Ireland/England. I learned to make a good pumpkin soup when I was here years ago on a serious budget, but haven’t touched one since in my own kitchen. Maybe this winter will be a new beginning.