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Drop off dinners: five easy-to-reheat dishes to cook for your neighbours

A pot left on a doorstep is a simple act of neighbourly solidarity during this coronavirus crisis

These stories are designed to offer practical advice, provide some entertainment, foster a sense of social cohesion, and remind people of the good in the world during these strange and isolating times.

These drop-off dishes can be hygienically reheated (or finished off) on a stovetop, in the microwave or oven. Give the person that you’re cooking for a heads-up, set them by the front door then back at least 1.5m away.

Vegan creole rice with burnt capsicum

This rice dish makes for delicious leftovers, writes New Vegan columnist Meera Sodha. It’s made with capsicum (currently in-season and plentiful) and pantry-store staples, and has “a good, smoky flavour”.
Cook and prep: 55 minutes
How to reheat: In the microwave

Berbere lentils and tomatoes

A warming, Ethiopian- and Eritrean-inspired side dish from Yotam Ottolenghi, these lentils are flavoured with spice rack staples like ginger and cardamom. Take it off the stove early and leave a little extra liquid in the pot before dropping off, so your neighbour can bring the dish back to a boil themselves without sacrificing the texture.
Cook and prep: 45 minutes
How to reheat: On the stovetop

Lamb and pearl barley broth

Tom Kerridge’s one pot take on Scotch broth actually tastes better when it’s been left to sit in the fridge for an evening. Score bonus points by picking up yoghurt, capers, parsley and mint and leaving them by the door in a separate bag – they’ll probably be put to good use elsewhere too.

Cook and prep: Approximately one hour
How to reheat: On a stovetop or in the microwave

Zucchini, tomato and pesto gratin

It may be autumn, but there are still plenty of fresh zucchinis around. Make the most of them with this traybake from Yotam Ottolenghi. It requires three stages of baking, so do the first two at home, sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture on top, and then drop it off so the final 15 minutes in the oven can be finished by its recipient.

Cook and prep: Approximately one hour
How to reheat: Bake for 15 minutes in a 200C oven

Whiskey marmalade brioche pudding

We could all use a little extra sweetness right now – and if it’s served with a healthy slug of liquor, like Thomasina Miers’ sophisticated bread pudding, all the better. This dish needs to rest for at least 30 minutes before baking, enough time to pop round the corner and drop it off at its new home. From there, the recipient can put it in the oven and enjoy the dish fresh-baked and piping hot.

Prep and rest: One hour
How to reheat: Not so much reheating as cooking fresh, bake in a 180C oven for 35-40 minutes

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