We get it, cooking a dinner party can be stressful and you haven’t even decided what’s on the menu yet. Our friends at Abel & Cole have done all the hard work for you. From starter to dessert, we’ve got the dishes you should be making next time you want to impress:

Starter: Beautiful Beetroot and Blood Orange Salad

Time: 30 mins

Serves: 2-4 people

Beetroot & Orange Salad (Starter)

Tastes as stunning as it looks. A gorgeous salad to serve up as a side, starter, snack or a healthy light meal.


  • 4-5 beetroot, peeled
  • 4tbsp olive oil, plus a little for cooking the beetroot
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4-5 oranges
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • A pinch of mixed spice or ground cinnamon
  • A pinch of chilli powder
  • A large handful of walnuts, roughly chopped
  • A handful of fresh mint leaves


1. Cut your beetroot into wedges about the size of orange segments. Heat a large lidded pan. Add a gloss of oil, just enough to coat the bottom. Spread your beetroot out on the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cover. Cook till tender, about 15 mins, turning once.

2. Pour 4 tbsp of olive oil in a jam jar. Add a pinch of salt. Squeeze in 4 tbsp orange juice from one of your oranges, 1 tsp of the honey and a pinch of each spice. Pop a lid on the jar. Shake till well mixed.

3. Top and tail your remaining oranges. Cut the peel off the sides and slice into rounds.

4. Toast your walnuts in a frying pan. Once fragrant, gloss with the remaining honey and then add a pinch of salt. Mix and remove from heat. Tip the walnuts on a cutting board. Let them cool.

5. Arrange the beetroot and orange slices in a bowl or plate. Drizzle over the dressing. Scatter the walnuts and mint leaves over. Serve.

Main: Orange and Tea Rubbed Trout

Time: 25 mins

Serves: 2-4 people

Trout (Main)

Rainbow trout is the star of the show. Cook up a speedy supper with citrusy, smoky flavours to cut through the rich, buttery fish.


  • 2 whole rainbow trout
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 tsp Earl grey or black tea leaves (loose leaf or from a tea bag)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey


1. Heat your oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/Gas 7. Rinse and pat your fish dry. Cut 4 diagonal slashes across the length of each fish, on both sides.

2. Zest the oranges. Mix the zest with the tea leaves and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Scoop ½ tsp of the mix into little bowl or jam bar. Rub the remaining mix all over the fish, getting right inside the cuts you made and inside the belly.

3. Thinly slice one of your oranges. Arrange the slices on a roasting tray. Set the fish on top. The orange slices will add flavour and help the fish from sticking to the pan. Drizzle over 1 tbsp oil.

4. Slide onto the top shelf of your oven. Roast for 10 mins on each side.

5. Squeeze 3 tbsp juice from the remaining orange in the bowl/jar with the zesty tea you set aside. Whisk with 3 tbsp olive oil, the honey and a pinch of salt and pepper.

6. The fish, once roasted, should easily come off the bone – cut along the back bone of the fish and you should be able to just lift the fillet on each side, away from the skeletal structure.

7. Serve a whole fish or a fillet to each person. Drizzle over the dressing before serving.

Side: Garlicky and Almond-y Seasonal Greens

Time: 25 mins

Serves: 4 people Garlic Greens (Sides)

You can use pretty much any green veg for this. But, it’s particularly great with cavolo nero or kale.


  • A few glugs of olive oil
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • A handful of almonds, roughly chopped
  • A good pinch of sea salt
  • 4-6 large handfuls of roughly chopped seasonal greens


1. On a board, use the flat of a wide-bladed knife or a hammer to flatten the garlic cloves. Get rid of the skins.

2. Add a good splash of oil and the garlic to a large wok or frying pan, on high heat. Lower the heat. Gently stir-fry the garlic till it starts to turn a light brown. If you fancy, add a pinch of red chilli or chilli powder.

3. Add the chopped almonds. Gently toast for a bit. Add a pinch of salt and the greens. Mix. Fry for a bit, till the greens turn bright and glossy.

4. Add a splash of water to cook and steam the greens till tender, and start to sweeten up. Taste, adjust 5. seasoning and serve warm.

Side: Any Veg Lentils with Cumin Yogurt 

Time: 55 mins

Serves: 2-4 people

Lentils with Cumin Yogurt

These lentils and yogurt can play host to just about any veg in your box.


  •  A few splashes of olive oil
  • 2 small or 1 large onion (red or white), finely chopped
  • 200g speckled green lentils
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 400g water or veg stock
  • 6–8 carrots, halved lengthways
  • 1/2 mug of natural yogurt
  • 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds, toasted
  • A pinch of chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • A handful of fresh coriander or parsley


1. Heat a pot over high heat. Add the oil and the onions. Lower heat. Cook till glossy and tender. Stir often.

2. Increase heat. Add and cook the lentils for a mo. Pour in the water. Let it bubble up. Lower heat. Cover. Cook for 40 mins, or till the liquid is absorbed.

3. Warm a roasting tray in a 220°C/Gas 8 oven. Mix carrots in a little oil. Season well. Roast in the warmed tray till golden, turning once.

4. Mix the yogurt, cumin seeds, a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.

5. Stir in the cooked lentils, carrots, and a pinch of chilli powder. Finish with a spritz of lime juice, zest and lots of fresh herbs. Taste. Serve the yogurt alongside to dollop over as you eat.

Pudding: Zest Ever Brownies  

Time: 40 mins

Serves: 16 people

Zest Brownies (Pud)

Astonishingly virtuous. These brownies not only are butter-free, they’re also packed with wholegrains and fruit. Tasting them, you’d never know it.


  • 250g spelt flour
  • 250g brown sugar
  • 100g cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • A pinch of chilli powder (optional)
  • 2 oranges, grated zest
  • 50g dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 5 fresh dates, stone, or 1 smallish banana, peeled
  • 250ml orange juice, water or a combo
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 large handfuls of almonds, roughly chopped (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas 3. Line a rectangular baking dish (approx. 32cm x 24cm) with greaseproof paper or foil.

2. Mix all the dry ingredients, zest and chocolate in a large bowl.

3. Purée or mash the dates/banana to a smooth paste.

4. Gently warm the juice, oil and vinegar in a saucepan – the heat will activate the bicarb, helping it rise.

5. Make a well in the centre of the flour mix. Pour in the warmed oil/juice mix and the banana/date paste. Gently fold everything together, the liquid should just moisten the mix and bind it all, giving you a thick batter.

6. Spoon into the dish – the batter shouldn’t be more than 3–4cm deep. Smooth the top. Scatter almonds over. Bake for 20 mins, or till the top is firm and it looks set. Cool for at least 30 mins before cutting. It’s even better if you make it a day or two before.