You can buy ready mixed versions of this spice mix easily enough, but will you have it on hand when you need it for pizza toppings, pasta sauces, grilled steaks, barbecue mixes – and many more? It’s so easy to make your own. Just mix the dried herbs and spices and store the mix in a tightly closed container (a recycled jam jar is fine) in a dark place. It will keep for about 6 months. Use at your discretion, but as a guide, a dessertspoon gives a lift to a tomato pasta sauce and a teaspoon is usually enough for a chicken casserole. Sprinkle a dessertspoon on to roasties for an additional zesty tang. If you want an even touch, grind the herbs in a spice grinder to make them more powdery. The exact mix doesn’t matter too much – experiment with what you have to hand or can find in your local supermarket. Depending on the season you can also grow and dry your own herbs.

Fresh vegetables

1 onion

5 large chestnut mushrooms

Green top of 1 leek

1 carrot

4 garlic cloves

5 sundried tomatoes in oil

1 cup orange lentils

1 dessertspoon soy sauce

3 cups water

1½ teaspoons salt

Freshly ground pepper

6 fresh sage leaves (or ½ teaspoon dried sage or oregano)

3 eggs

½ cup dried white breadcrumbs, eg Panko

A little butter to prepare the loaf tin

Mix them all together!