Food & Drink

3 recipes to make from the new Hairy Bikers cookbook

Simple and healthy Mediterranean-inspired recipes from The Hairy Dieters’ Fast & Fresh by Si King and Dave Myers.

The Hairy Bikers’ new cookbook puts the spotlight on fresh Mediterranean ingredients
The Hairy Bikers’ new cookbook puts the spotlight on fresh Mediterranean ingredients

A new cookbook from the Hairy Bikers tends to be a moment of celebration, but this release feels a bit different.

At the end of February, Dave Myers, one half of the cooking duo, died aged 66 following a battle with cancer. In a statement on social media, co-star Si King said he “will miss him every day and the bond and friendship we shared over half a lifetime”.

The duo had been cooking together, writing recipes and filming TV shows since their 2004 debut, The Hairy Bikers’ Cookbook.

Their latest cookbook, The Hairy Dieters’ Fast & Fresh, was developed and written before Myers’ death, with King writing on Instagram: “Dave and I loved working on this book last year, we are incredibly proud of it and we hope you enjoy it.”

The recipes are inspired by ingredients of the Mediterranean, with dishes including a red pepper salad with feta, black bean soup, spinach and halloumi curry, and beef ragu with mushrooms.

1. Stuffed aubergines


(Serves 4)

4 medium aubergines

2tbsp olive oil

300g lamb mince

1 onion, finely chopped

1 red pepper, diced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1tbsp ras-el-hanout

1tsp dried mint

400g can of chickpeas, drained

200g chopped tomatoes (canned are fine)

Zest and juice of ½ lemon

Salt and black pepper

For the topping (optional):

100g halloumi, coarsely grated

Leaves from a small bunch parsley, finely chopped

1 preserved lemon, very finely chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Cut the aubergines in half lengthways, then use a sharp knife to score cross-hatching through the flesh of each half. Brush the aubergines with olive oil and season with salt.

2. Place the aubergines in a couple of roasting tins and roast them in the oven for 35–40 minutes until lightly browned and fairly soft but not completely tender.

3. Meanwhile, cook the filling. Heat a frying pan and add the lamb mince. Let it sear on the underside before breaking it up and browning it all over – it will start rendering out fat very quickly. When the base of the pan is coated with some of the fat, add the onion and red pepper and sauté over a medium heat for five minutes. Stir in the garlic, ras-el-hanout and mint, then season with salt and pepper.

4. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes along with 200 mililitres of water, then bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer, uncovered, until everything is tender and the sauce has reduced.

5. Scoop out the flesh from the aubergines, leaving a relatively thick layer behind – about half a centimetre. Roughly chop the scooped-out flesh and add it to the lamb, together with the lemon zest and juice. Cook for a further five minutes, then taste a little of the mixture to check the seasoning and adjust as necessary.

6. Spoon the filling into the aubergines. If using the topping, mix the halloumi with two-thirds of the parsley and all of the preserved lemon and sprinkle over the top of the aubergines. Put the aubergines back in the oven for another 10 minutes until piping hot, then serve sprinkled with the remaining chopped parsley.

2. Pulled chicken tacos


(Makes 12)

1tbsp olive oil

2 medium red onions, cut into slim wedges

2 red peppers, sliced into strips

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2tsp chipotle paste

1tbsp tomato purée

2 cooked chicken breasts, pulled into long strips

Salt and black pepper

For the spice mix (or use 1tbsp of taco seasoning):

½tsp dried oregano

½tsp ground cumin

½tsp ground coriander

½tsp garlic powder

½tsp ground cinnamon

½tsp ground allspice

To serve:

2 avocados

Zest and juice of 1 lime

A small bunch of coriander, finely chopped

12 corn tortillas

2tbsp finely chopped pickled jalapeños (optional)


1. If making the spice mix, combine all the ingredients and stir well, then set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and add the onions and peppers. Sauté over a high heat until they are starting to brown and just al dente. Stir in the garlic and sprinkle over the spice mix.

3. Whisk the chipotle paste and tomato purée with 150 mililitres of water and pour it over the vegetables. Add the chicken to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer, uncovered, until the liquid has reduced.

4. Peel and dice the avocados, then toss them with half a teaspoon of salt, the lime zest and juice and the coriander. Warm the tortillas and load them with the chicken. Top with avocado and the jalapeños, if you want extra heat.

3. Blueberry cheesecake


(Serves 8)

100g granola (with no added sugar)

25g butter

150g cream cheese

125g buttermilk

1tbsp honey

25g icing sugar

Zest and juice of 1 lime

Pinch of salt

200g blueberries


1. Line a deep 15 centimetre-diameter cake tin with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4.

2. Put the granola into a food processor and blitz until it’s well broken down. It doesn’t have to be fine crumbs, though – it’s good to have some texture. Melt the butter, add the granola and stir to combine, then press the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for 15 minutes until the granola is lightly coloured, then remove from the oven and leave to cool.

3. Put the cream cheese into a bowl and beat until smooth. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the blueberries, and mix well. Sprinkle the blueberries over the granola base and pour the cream cheese mixture over the top. Smooth the mixture out as much as you can, then drop the tin on your work surface a couple of times to get rid of any air bubbles.

4. Leave the cheesecake in the fridge for several hours, or overnight, until set and well chilled before slicing and serving.

The Hairy Dieters’ Fast & Fresh by Si King and Dave Myers is published by Seven Dials, priced £18.99. Photography by Andrew Hayes-Watkins. Available now.