This vegetarian showstopper is great with a green salad, but it will also go with your roast lamb

I think about cooking in colours and those colours always reflect the changing seasons. Earthy tones for autumn and winter are the turnips, beetroot, carrots and parsnips that suit the slow cooking that I love. These make the ultimate comfort food that we crave in the cold, dark winter months.
Summer is all glorious red. I lighten my cooking to reflect a  summer of sunny days on the beach (hopefully), and I let Mediterranean flavours dominate. Fruity olive oil replaces butter as my staple, teasing the flavour from the summers bounty.
Spring is a revelation. All green. Asparagus, peas, broccoli, spinach, broad beans. Its all fresh and determinedly perky, a welcome brightness after the long months of slow cooking.
My mind turns to lamb, and Easter. Not that Im giving you a lamb recipe today. Theres an abundance of those around this weekend. But all of my recipes this week can be served with it.
There are certain times of the year that are all about family, Christmas being the obvious one, but people love Easter too. Easter Sunday for most of us Irish meant the end of Lent. There was always a big dinner. I celebrated by eating as many Easter eggs as I could lay my chubby little hands on. Competition with my siblings for the eggs was fierce. 
My dad usually took us to the Whitechurch House Hotel as a treat at Easter. The food was reliably lovely, but of course we could hardly eat a thing being queasy with all that chocolate. Dad got annoyed, those were not times when people could afford to waste money, but he always forgave us.
The potato cake recipe is a real special occasion centrepiece. Sometimes I put some salami, mortadella or smoked bacon into it. Here Im suggesting serving it with lamb. Its equally good on its own, served warm, with a lovely salad.
You dont have to make the goats cheese mousse to go with the caponata but it is an extra-fancy starter if you do. Just use your favourite soft goats cheese instead if you dont make the mousse.  
The carrots can be served as a side dish, or add some feta cheese and toasted sunflower seeds to them to make a complex-flavoured, warming vegetarian main course.
Potato, parmesan and red pepper cake. Photograph: Harry Weir
Serves four  
Ingredients2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into 1cm chunks3 tbsp olive oil2 cloves garlic, finely sliced1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped1 tsp smoked paprika850g potatoes, peeled, boiled and drained100g butter150ml milkSalt and pepperPinch of nutmeg150g freshly grated Parmesan4 eggs1 mozzarella ball, sliced
For the base and the top:40g butter4 tbsp white breadcrumbs
1 Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees, or gas mark 6.
2 Cook the red peppers gently with the olive oil, garlic, rosemary and smoked paprika. Allow them to become soft and jammy. This will take about 15 minutes over a low heat. Season and set aside. 
3 While they are still warm, mash the potatoes with the butter and milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Allow to cool a little. Beat the eggs and add to the potatoes, along with the Parmesan. 
4 Butter a 20cm spring-form cake tin and sprinkle in some of the breadcrumbs. Spoon over half the potato mixture into the tin.  
5 Layer the red peppers on top, followed by the mozzarella, then spoon the remaining potatoes on top of the peppers. 
6 Smooth over the potatoes with the back of a spoon.
7Sprinkle the remaining breadcrumbs on top and dot with the butter.
8Bake for 30 minutes, until golden and crisp. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before unclipping the tin. 
Ingredients1kg of mixed carrots, scrubbed and cut into 3cm chunks (or leave whole if small; and if you cant find heritage carrots just use organic carrots)50ml olive oilA thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated.100ml waterSalt and pepper
For the cardamom butter sauce:Juice of 1 orange10 cardamom pods, crushed1 sprig of rosemary200g cold butter, dicedSalt and pepperA few sprigs mint
1Pre-heat your oven to 185 degrees.
2To roast the carrots, mix everything together in a roasting tray, add the water then roast for 20 minutes or so until caramelised and cooked through.
3For the cardamom butter sauce, reduce the orange juice slowly by half, by simmering gently along with the cardamom and rosemary.
4Whisk in the butter over a low heat. Pass through a sieve and set aside.
5To serve, warm the carrots and divide them into bowls. Drizzle the butter sauce over the carrots, tear the mint leaves on top.
Goats cheese mousse with caponata bread salad. Photograph: Harry Weir
For the goats cheese mousse:1 x 12g sachet of powdered gelatine200g of soft goats cheese275g crème fraîche125ml cream1 tbsp honeySalt and pepper
For the caponata bread salad:2 slices white bread cut into 1cm dice5 tbsp olive oil1 aubergine, cut into 1cm dice1 red onion, cut into 1cm dice2 sticks celery, diced1 red and 1 yellow pepper, seeded and diced2 cloves garlic, chopped400g tinned plum tomatoes2 tsp sugar60ml red wine vinegar1 tbsp capers20 stoned black olives, roughly chopped½ bunch basil leaves, torn
For the goats cheese mousse:1Dissolve the gelatine in a little warm water.
2Whisk the goats cheese into the crème fraîche and make it as smooth as you can.
3 In a separate bowl, whip the cream to a smooth peak, add the honey, salt and pepper.
4Fold the crème fraîche and goats cheese mixture into the cream along with the gelatine
5Chill for four hours.
For the caponata:1Bake the bread with a drizzle of the olive oil until golden and crisp.
2Cook the aubergine, onion, celery, red and yellow pepper and garlic slowly in the olive oil, for 15 minutes, until soft. 
3Add the tinned tomatoes, sugar and red wine vinegar. Reduce until thick and syrupy around the vegetables.
4Add the capers, and olives. Allow to cool, then season and add the basil leaves.
5When serving, fold through the crispy bread and serve with the goats cheese mousse.
A little tip heat a spoon before scooping the goats cheese to give it a lovely professional finish.