Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Carrots with Pickled Raisins

Pickled raisins are very now, in case you didn’t know. This is a very good salad, in any case.

Carrot Salad with Yoghurt, Pickled Raisins and Nuts
Serves 2

Ingredients
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar (dark or light, as you prefer)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 handful raisins (or sultanas)
200g carrots, peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons preserved lemon, chopped
1 handful pistachios or cashews, toasted briefly in a dry pan and roughly chopped
1 handful fresh coriander (or other herbs), roughly chopped
3 tablespoons yoghurt

Preparation
Combine the sugar and vinegar in a small bowl. Add the raisins and leave to soak for at least 10 minutes, or as long as you like. (I marinated mine for 4 days, at room temperature.) These are the pickled raisins.
Using a vegetable peeler, shave the carrots into thin curls into a bowl, or grate them coarsely.
Dress the carrots with the oil, salt and pepper, and preserved lemon. Mix in the raisins and soaking liquid, nuts, and herbs. Drizzle with the yoghurt and serve.

Recipe adapted from Abra Berens, Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables (2019).

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Peas (and Salmon)

Peas cooked with onions and butter make an excellent dish to eat on their own. The peas in the share are sugar snaps, so you can eat the whole thing including the pod. Why not try cutting these up to add to this recipe? Add some pan-seared salmon fillets and you have an easy and very delicious meal.

(To pan-sear, dry the salmon carefully and then season liberally with salt. Heat a little neutral oil in a skillet, and when it is hot add the salmon, skin-side down. Press it into the pan with a fish so that it makes good contact with the heat. Cook, without moving the fish, for about 3 minutes, and then flip it over to cook the other side. Cook for an additional 1-4 minutes, depending on how cooked you like your fish.)

Peas with Parsley, Thyme, Butter and Onions
Serves 4 as part of a larger meal.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons neutral oil (rapeseed, sunflower seed etc.)
1 giant Canalside spring onion, thinly sliced (use the whole thing including the dark green leaves)
½ teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
4 cups frozen (or fresh) peas (or pieces of sugar snap peas including the pods)
4 tablespoons butter
¾ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
5 springs of fresh thyme, roughly chopped

Preparation
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and the salt. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the onion is translucent and soft, but not brown. Add the wine and allow to reduce until almost completely dry.

Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the peas and butter and cook until the stock has reduced, and the sauce is thick and silky with butter. Then add the parsley and thyme check for salt and pepper, and serve.

Recipe adapted from Abra Berens, Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables (2019).

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Spicy Coconut Cauliflower

Cumin-scented cauliflower, yellow from turmeric, cooks with Canalside chile and a subtle coconut-poppy seed glaze. The result is spicy, satisfying and beautiful. Eat it topped with toasted almonds, fresh coriander, yoghurt and a squeeze of lime. Yotam recommends serving with flatbread, but it’s pretty delicious just on its own.

Poppy-Seed Cauliflower with Coconut
Serves 2

Ingredients
40g poppy seeds
60ml sunflower oil
½ – 1 Canalside dried red chile, de-seeded if desired, and shredded
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced fine
1 large cauliflower and leaves, broken into 4cm-sized florets, leaves shredded
150ml coconut milk (approx.)
To serve
1 handful fresh coriander, shredded
1 small handful flaked almonds, lightly toasted in a dry pan
plain yoghurt
1 lime, halved

Preparation
Put the poppy seeds in a small bowl. Pour over just enough boiling water to cover them. Leave them for half an hour, and then whiz them in a blender or food processor, or crush them in a mortar and pestle, so that they begin to break up a bit. Set aside.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan for which you have a lid. When it is hot add the chile, turmeric, cumin and garlic. Turn the heat to medium and sauté for 4 minutes, stirring often, until the garlic starts to brown and the mixture gives off a nice smell.
Add the cauliflower leaves and florets and toss with the spices. Stir for 2 minutes, until the cauliflower has turned an attractive yellow.
Add the coconut milk and the poppy seeds. Add enough coconut milk to make a little sauce, but not so much that it is soupy. Turn the heat down a little and cover. Cook for 4 more minutes, until the cauliflower has begun to soften.
Uncover and turn the heat up to medium-high. Cook for 8 more minutes, stirring regularly, until the cauliflower is tender and has begun to caramelise and the liquid has evaporated.
Serve topped with fresh coriander, toasted almonds, yoghurt and a squeeze of lime.

Recipe adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi, The Guardian, 16 Feb. 2019.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Sprouting Broccoli

A fresh green plate of spring broccoli, lemony parsley sauce and the unctuousness of soft egg yolk. Dried chile pepper adds a touch of red and extra bite to this easy mid-week dinner. Serve with toast, or a little rice.

Sprouting Broccoli with Parsley and Poached Egg
Serves 2

Ingredients
20g parsley
¼ cup olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
300g sprouting broccoli, ends trimmed and cut into similarly-sized lengths
2 eggs
Greek yoghurt, to serve
1 dried red chile, seeds removed, shredded (if desired)

Preparation
Remove any tough stems from the parsley. Whizz it together with the oil and lemon juice in a food processor or immersion blender until it makes a thick green purée. Season to taste with salt and pepper. It should be fresh and lemony. Add more oil or lemon juice until you’re happy with it.

Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook the sprouting broccoli until it’s tender, about 8 minutes. Fish out the broccoli and keep it warm, leaving the water in the pan. You’ll use it to poach the egg.

Add more water to the pan if necessary and bring it to a low simmer. Add a splash of white vinegar if you like (this helps the egg to retain a reasonably nice shape), and then crack the eggs one at a time into the water. Poach over low heat for about 2 minutes, or until the whites are set. Turn off the heat and leave the eggs in the pan while you plate up.

Arrange the broccoli onto two dinner plates. Spoon most of the parsley sauce artfully over the broccoli and around the plate. Top each mound of broccoli with a poached egg and decorate that with the remaining parsley sauce. Dot the broccoli and egg with several spoonfuls of Greek yoghurt and strew a little of the red chile pepper over the top—but watch out: the Canalside chiles are really potent! Grind a final sprinkle of black pepper over the top.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Salad Improvisation

I got home late last night so dinner was a spontaneous improvisation based on what was in the fridge. The result proved to be very tasty! The smooth roasted peppers (you could use sun-dried tomatoes, I think) combine with the crunch of the celery and the boiled potatoes to give a satisfying complexity. A salty miso dressing pulls it all together.

You could serve this with a poached egg, or some grilled meat or fish, or, to be honest, on its own. You could add some feta, as well. I’ve not given precise quantities; that would go against the entire spirit of this dish.

Potato-Pimento Salad with Miso and Herbs

Ingredients
The salad
Potatoes
Celery, sliced
Tinned Spanish pimientos de padrón, sliced, or sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
Lots of fresh parsley and/or coriander, coarsely chopped
Toasted pumpkin seeds, or almonds
The dressing
1 part miso paste
2 parts olive oil
1 part lime juice
Lime zest
Freshly-ground pepper

Preparation
Put the potatoes in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring slowly to the boil, and simmer very gently until the potatoes are tender.

While the potatoes cook, combine the other salad ingredients in a bowl and shake the dressing ingredients together in a jar.

Drain the potatoes and leave to dry off a bit for a few minutes. Once they’re cool enough to handle, cut them into chunks and add them to the salad. Toss well and serve with additional black pepper, to taste.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Coconut-Miso Salmon Curry

What are you going to do with the three million tiny red onions you’ve accumulated from Canalside over the past months? Use them in this in this delicious, vaguely Thai curry. They’re a bit of a nuisance to peel, but the result is worth it. (Ali suggests soaking in very hot water for 5 minutes to make for an easier peel.)

Serve this light and spring-like curry with rice and an additional squeeze of lime. It’s pretty quick, and very, very flavoursome.

Coconut-Miso Salmon Curry
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
200g red onions, peeled and sliced ¼-in thick
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons miso (the recipe calls for white miso but I used brown rice miso)
½ cup coconut milk
600g salmon fillet, cut into 2-inch pieces
About 5 cups of baby spinach or some other soft greens
1-2 tablespoons lime juice
½ cup coriander, coarsely chopped
¼ cup basil, coarsely chopped
1 chopped red chile, to serve (if desired)
Additional lime juice, to serve

Preparation
In a large pan heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, ginger and garlic. Stir and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, or until softened. Add the miso and continue to stir until the miso begins to caramelise a bit on the bottom of the pan. This will take about 2 more minutes.

Add the coconut milk and 2 cups of water. Bring to the boil over high heat and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the liquid had reduced a little.

Add the salmon and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer gently for 3-5 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked to your liking. Stir in the spinach and lime juice. Turn off the heat and stir in most of the herbs, keeping a little back to garnish the top of the dish.

Serve with rice, topped with the fresh herbs , chopped chile, and additional lime juice, if you like.

Recipe adapted from New York Times Cooking.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: French Leeks

Another recipe from Diana Henry’s superb How to Eat a Peach.

Leeks with Breton Vinaigrette
Serves 4 as part of a spread

Ingredients
For the vinaigrette
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Pinch of ground mixed spice
Salt and pepper to taste
8 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of caster sugar
1.5 tablespoons capers, rinsed and dried
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
3-4 tablespoons chopped parsley

For the rest of the salad
6 medium leeks, or 12 small leeks

Preparation
First prepare the vinaigrette: mix the vinegar, mustard, mixed spice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil until the mixture is thick and well-blended. Add the sugar, capers, shallot and parsley, and tip into a serving bowl. If you can make this 30 minutes in advance so the flavour can meld, so much the better.

Remove the tough outer leaves from the leeks and discard them. Slice off the tufty bit at the base and also the dark green tops. Slice into 4cm lengths and wash well to remove any sand.

Steam the leeks over boiling water for 4-6 minutes; this is better than boiling as it stops them becoming soggy. Once they’re tender all the way through (test with a sharp knife) drain them and then blot them dry on a tea towel.

Immediately toss them in the serving bowl with the vinaigrette. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from Diana Henry, How to Eat a Peach (2018).

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Taming the Spanish Black Radish

As you may well still have your Black Spanish Radish from this week’s share, here are some recipes from Rebecca that have been waiting in the wings for the BSR’s first appearance of 2019!

These are fierce! They need some sweetness to balance their peppery bite. A dressing with honey and sherry vinegar does the trick. Combined with dried fruit and nuts in a salad, this will temper the outspoken radish.

Another option is to braise them. They emerge from a bath in butter and white wine softened, like a turnip’s more assertive older brother. Toss them with parsley and serve with roast chicken.

Green salad with Spanish black radish, pistachios and fig
Serves 2

Ingredients
dressing

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
Juice and zest from 1 lime
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon runny honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
Black pepper

salad
150g salad mix
1 black Spanish radish, peeled and grated coarsely
1 big handful pistachio nuts, toasted in a dry pan and coarsely chopped
4 dried figs, cut into 6 pieces each

Preparation
(Leave the grated radish in a sieve to allow any liquid to drain off while you prepare the dressing.)

Put the dressing, put the ingredients into a jar with a lid and shake vigorously until the ingredients are combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary by adding a little more salt, or honey, etc., to balance the flavours.

Place salad ingredients in a serving bowl, and toss with the dressing. Serve.

Braised Carrot and Black Radish with Parsley
Serves 4

Ingredients
100g onions
350g carrots
2 black radishes
2 tablespoons olive oil
150ml white wine or vermouth
3 bay leaves
6 pepper corns
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons butter
25g parsley, chopped

Preparation
Peel the onions and cut into chunks. Peel the carrots and cut into batons.

Peel the black radishes and cut into batons of roughly the same size as the carrots.

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for a few minutes until they start to brown. Add the carrots and onions and toss everything together.

Pour over the white wine or vermouth, and add the bay leaves and pepper corns. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. (This will depend on the size of your batons.) Check it occasionally to ensure it’s not sticking. If it seems dry add some water, stock or more wine.

Once the vegetables are tender, stir in the butter and give the vegetables a good toss. Add salt to taste, mix in the parsley, and serve.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Squash and Pink Peppercorns

‘Wow—that looks delicious!’, exclaimed a friend as we unpacked our lunches yesterday. It was. The ribbons of orange squash soften in lime juice spiked with the sweet spiciness of pink peppercorns. (These are essential; substituting black pepper will not work.). You can make this well in advance if you like.

Anna Jones recommends serving with tofu crisped in a pan with honey and soy, and brown rice, to make a dinner.

Squash and Pink Peppercorn Salad
Serves 2

Ingredients
500g pumpkin or squash, peeled and deseeded
1 lime
1 tablespoon pink peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
Big handful of mint, dill, parsley or coriander, roughly chopped

Preparation
Shave the squash into thin ribbons, using a vegetable peeler or whatever specialist gear you happen to have. Place the ribbons in a bowl.
Zest the lime over the ribbons, squeeze in the juice, and toss together with the salt.
Put the pink peppercorns in a mortar and crush them roughly before adding to the salad.
Stir in the herbs and serve.

Recipe adapted from Anna Jones, The Modern Cook’s Year (2017).

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Spicy Pumpkin with Barley

My friend Sharon gave me a copy of Diana Henry’s beautiful new cookbook. It consists of a series of menus. This magnificent recipe is from the menu called ‘Midnight at the Oasis’. She recommends serving it alongside some pickled vegetables with other nibbles, semolina bread with orange and aniseed, olive oil braised leeks with harissa and dill, roast sprouting broccoli with chile, feta and preserved lemon yoghurt . . . well, I’ll stop there but it’s a pretty mesmerising list of dishes, no?

This particular dish combines the buttery crunch of barley with the melting texture of roast pumpkin, all topped with very spicy red shatta. (I’d not heard of it either, but it’s apparently a first cousin of zhug.) It turns out to be a thick, chile-hot blend of fresh green herbs with tomato and cumin. It’s very good.

I have no idea where you get black barley, so I used ordinary pearl (not instant) barley, and it was delicious.

Pumpkin with shatta and black barley
Serves 4

Ingredients

For the pumpkin
3 tablespoons olive oil
10g butter
1.5kg pumpkin
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, roughly crushed in a mortar
3cm ginger, peeled and grated
3 garlic cloves, finely sliced

For the barley
10g butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 small onions or shallots
250g barley
5 tablespoons dry white vermouth
700ml water or stock
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the shatta
5 red chiles, 4 de-seeded and all roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
50ml olive oil
50ml water
50g tomato purée
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Juice of ½ a small lemon
30g coriander and parsley in any proportion

Preparation
To make the pumpkin, preheat the oven to 190C. Put the olive oil and butter into a roasting pan large enough to allow the pumpkin to lie in a single layer, and melt in the oven while you prepare the pumpkin. Halve the pumpkin and remove the seeds. You can peel it or not as you prefer. Cut it into slices about 3cm thick.

Toss the pumpkin in the melted butter and oil, and roast for 20 minutes.
Add the fennel, ginger and garlic, toss, and roast for another 20 minutes or so, or until the pumpkin is tender and begins to caramelise on the edges. Set aside.

To make the barley, heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onions (or shallots) until they are soft but not coloured. Add the barley and stir it about for about 2 minutes so that it gets coated with butter. Add the vermouth and cook until about half of it has evaporated. Add the water or stock, bay leaves, and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook, with the lid on, for about 40 minutes, or until the barley is al dente. The liquid should be absorbed but check a bit beforehand and if it’s still very liquidly, take off the cover and raise the heat a bit so that some of the liquid can evaporate.

To make the shatta, purée everything except the herbs in a blender and pulse into a chunky purée. Add the herbs and pulse it again so that you have a red purée flecked with green—don’t over-blend this. Set aside

To serve, arrange the barley on a big platter and set the pumpkin on top. Spoon some of the shatta over the top, and serve the rest on the side, in a little bowl.

From Diana Henry, How To Eat A Peach (2018).

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