Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Panzanella riffed

September 10, 2020 by General Administrator

One of the benefits of so many of us working from home is that there’s more time to make a fancy lunch. This week I’ve enjoyed riffing on Panzanella themed recipes – you can adapt the one below to suit what you have in the fridge and the time you’ve got to make it.

Panzanella

Ingredients:
3 tbsp olive oil
Splash red wine vinegar
day old bread, cut into 2cm cubes
1 tsp salt
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 2cm cubes
1 cucumber sliced 1cm thick
1 or 2 peppers cut into 2cm cubes
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
20ish large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tbsp capers, drained

Method:
Heat the bread either by pan frying in oil if you have time, or 30s in the microwave if not. Then mix thoroughly with all the other ingredients in a large bowl, season and serve.

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Maintaining Courgette Enjoyment

August 20, 2020 by General Administrator

Every summer I treat the first courgette with excitement but as I’m sure is the case for everyone, my enthusiasm begins to wane as the summer goes on. To try and help with this myself and Rebecca have been trying out some more courgette recipes. My favourite so far is courgette fritters (sorry there’s a bit of a fritter theme at the moment!), they made for a reasonably quick work-from-home lunch.

Courgette fritters

Image from https://www.tamingtwins.com/courgette-fritters-recipe/

Ingredients (8 fritters):
1 kg Courgettes Grated
100 g Feta cheese Crumbled into big chunks
2 Medium free range eggs
2 Cloves Garlic Peeled and crushed
15 g Fresh dill Chopped
15 g Fresh mint Chopped
1 tsp Dried oregano
75 g Plain flour
200 g Breadcrumbs
1/2 Red onion Peeled and finely chopped
Fry light spray or Olive oil for greasing

Method:
Preheat the oven to 220C

Take your grated courgettes and over a colander, squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can. Use the colander and your hands, there will be lots!

When you’ve squeezed out the liquid, put all of your courgette fritter ingredients into a large bowl and mix well with clean hands.

Shape into 8 patties and put onto a greased (or sprayed using Fry Light) baking sheet. I got the strongest shapes by compacting a firm ball and then squash down into a disc

Bake for about 30 minutes of until browned, firm and cooked through (I fried them instead to speed things up)

From: https://www.tamingtwins.com/courgette-fritters-recipe/

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Seared Courgettes with Black Pepper and Cheese

August 13, 2020 by General Administrator

This week’s recipe is from Matt. He says: ‘This is really simple but very tasty way of cooking courgettes to their best’. It’s based on a classic Italian pasta dish called caccio e pepe, in which the pasta is dressed with grated cheese and lots of black pepper. That combination turns out to work equally well on courgettes.

This dish is delicious served with sausages, or some grains tossed with pesto, which, incidentally, is a further good use of the bountiful crop of basil we’re currently enjoying from Canalside.

Seared Courgettes with Black Pepper and Cheese
Serves 3-4

Image from NYT Cooking

Ingredients
700g courgettes
3 tablespoons oil
Salt
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
4 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 pieces
50g hard cheese, grated
Handful of basil and/or mint leaves, torn into pieces

Preparation
Halve the courgettes lengthwise. If they are large, cut them into lengthwise quarters. Cut each length into 5-7cm sections. Sprinkle them with salt.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy frying pan for 2 minutes over medium-high heat. This will help you get a good sear on the courgettes. Once the oil shimmers, begin to sear the courgettes. You will need to do this in several batches so as not to crowd the pan—they need to be in a single layer. In batches, lay them cut side down in the hot oil and leave them undisturbed for 2-3 minutes, or until they begin to turn golden brown. Flip them over and cook for another 2-3 minutes on the other side, ensuring all sides are seared and golden brown. Remove them from the pan, setting them aside on a serving platter, and repeat with the remaining courgettes.

While the final batch cooks, add the pepper to a small saucepan and toast over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes, or until it becomes fragrant. Add the butter, which will quickly start to foam. Stir until the butter is melted and the foam subsides. Remove from the heat and quickly add the grated cheese. Stir vigorously, so the cheese doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. It will begin to melt, but will also cling together in pieces, which is the result you want.

Spoon the butter over the seared courgettes, making sure to include all the black pepper and melted cheese. Scatter the herbs over the top and serve.

Recipe adapted from NYT Cooking

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Lebanese Tabouli

July 30, 2020 by General Administrator

When I was growing up, tabouli formed part of my father’s very limited cooking repertoire, alongside steak tartare and chicken marsala. The recipe he used called it ‘non-lettuce salad’, and that’s a good description of this blend of parsley, mint, tomatoes, cucumbers and a little bulgar wheat. I dedicate this recipe to him!

The secret to this tabouli is the Lebanese 7-spice blend. For an absolute feast, serve it with Lebanese 7-spice chicken. It’s pretty good on its own, too.

Lebanese Tabouli
Serves 4

Photo from https://www.feastingathome.com/lemony-tabouli-aka-tabbouleh/

Ingredients
7 Spice Blend Ingredients

1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Tabouli ingredients
250ml dry medium grain bulgar wheat
4 spring onions
1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley
1 cup mint leaves
1 small bunch dill
3 medium tomatoes
1 cucumber
1 tablespoon lemon zest
70ml lemon juice, or to taste
125ml cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon 7-Spice mix

Preparation
First prepare the 7-spice blend. This will make more than you need for the tabouli, but that shouldn’t be a problem since it’s so delicious. You can add it to lots of other things, including this splendid Lebanese 7-spice chicken. To make the blend combine all the ingredients together. If you want really to go to town with it, you can roast whole coriander and cumin seeds and then grind them, before combining with the other ingredients. This gives an added warm depth to the spice blend.

To make the salad, first prepare the bulgar wheat. Put it in a small bowl and pour 250ml boiling water over it. Cover with a plate, and set aside for at least 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the salad. This allows the grains to soften.

Slice the spring onion and place in a large serving bowl.

Chop the parsley as fine as you can. It’s ok to include the thinner stems. Add to the bowl. Chop the mint and dill and add them as well.

Dice the tomatoes and cucumbers into small cubes and add them to the bowl, along with all their juices.

Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and 1 teaspoon of the 7-spice mix. Give it all a good stir.

By now 30 minutes have probably passed, so the bulgar wheat should be al dente. Once it is, add it to the salad as well and mix again.

If you have time, let the salad sit for a few hours to allow the flavours to meld. The parsley will soften and the bulgar will soak up the flavourful juices. It will in any event be very good the next day if there is any left over.
Before serving, give a stir and taste for salt, lemon and 7-spice. Adjust to your liking. Slyvie Fountaine, whose recipe this is, says ‘You want just the faintest whiff of the spices, like a whisper’.

Recipe adapted from Sylvia Fountaine, ‘Feasting at Home’. https://www.feastingathome.com/lemony-tabouli-aka-tabbouleh/

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Swedish Summer Sandwich

July 10, 2020 by General Administrator

This week’s recipe is a little niche if you stick to the vegan recipe, especially now that IKEA has closed in Coventry, but it can be adapted with other seafood flavours (the most obvious being actual seafood e.g. prawns). At worst, at least I’m giving you a quick and easy vegan mayo recipe… It’s another that I picked up in Sweden and is an adaptation of the dish “Skagen” which is a sort of seafood toast topper/sandwich filler (£6 for a baguette in the Volvo canteen ouch!). For a while it was my absolute favourite breakfast when combined with cucumber, salad and tomatoes all of which will be abundant in the shares over summer.

Vegan Skagen

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 jar Seaweed pearls (AKA veggie caviar, available at IKEA)
  • Bunch of dill
  • 1 pack of tofu, drained and squeezed as much as possible whilst maintaining solid chunks

Mayo:

  • 100ml Soya milk (must be soya – I’ve tried with others but they refused to emulsify with the oil)
  • 1 tbsn lemon juice
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 200 ml oil (preferably rapeseed, other veggie oils work but again can have trouble emulsifying)

To serve:

  • Toast
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Cucumber
  • Wedge of lemon (optional)

Method:
For the mayo, combine milk, lemon juice and mustard in a blender (handheld will do) before SLOWLY adding oil as a thin stream whilst blending on a fairly high speed. As you get to the end of the oil the mixture should thicken up to a mayonnaise texture.

Then combine all ingredients in some Tupperware and serve with toast, sliced cucumber/tomato and lettuce. A lemon wedge is a nice addition if you have it.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Why Eat Normal Things When You Can Eat Weird Things?

June 19, 2020 by General Administrator

A while ago I tried a recipe for whole broad beans cooked in a tomato sauce, and it was pretty good. It set me thinking whether you could actually cook the normally-discarded pods (husks?) that are left over when you shell broad beans. It turns out you can. I mentioned this to several friends, who variously told me I’d gone nuts, or that it sounded like the sort of thing people eat in Siberia. What can I say? I thought it was pretty good. We ate this with brown rice and a topping of salted yoghurt, and a shredded carrot salad on the side.

If you would like a normal recipe for broad beans, I strongly recommend this one: spaghetti with broad beans, bread crumbs and marjoram.

Broad Bean Stew
Serves 2

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
Salt and pepper
Leftover husks from about 500g young broad beans (that’s about 300g of broad-bean husks)
Juice of half a lemon
2-3 tablespoons fresh herbs (I used lemon thyme, sage, and dill)
½ cup water

Preparation
Heat the olive oil over low heat and add the sliced onion and a pinch of salt. Cook for 10 minutes, until the onion is soft but not brown.
Meanwhile assess the broad bean husks. You want bright, green, fresh-looking ones. Discard any that look discoloured. Remove any stringy bits along the sides, rather as you’d remove the strings from off the sides of runner beans. Cut the husks into 1-inch pieces.
Add the broad beans to the onions, stir, and cook for a minute.
Add the water, stir, cover, and simmer gently for about 15 minutes, or until the husks are tender. Top up with more water if it seems to be drying out.
Once the husks are tender, add the fresh herbs and lemon juice, and season with freshly-ground black pepper.
If you wish, you can also mix in some cooked broad beans, to make a double-broad-bean stew.
Serve on brown rice with a topping of salted yoghurt mixed with preserved lemon (if you happen to have any to hand).

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: A Very Elaborate Borscht

June 4, 2020 by General Administrator

In case you have a little time on your hands just now, here is an excellent use of a few hours. The result is the best borscht I, at least, have ever tasted. Alissa Timoshkina, whose recipe this is, notes that if you can make the broth 24 hours in advance, ‘you will be rewarded with an even better tasting soup, but a few hours of resting will also do the trick’.

For the red cabbage sauerkraut, I recommend you get in touch with Canalside member Erica Moody, who makes superb sauerkrauts of all sorts.

Borscht
Serves 4

Ingredients
unrefined sunflower oil, for frying and roasting
1 large onion, finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and grated
6 raw beetroots
2 red peppers
2 tablespoons tomato purée
2 litres cold water
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
4 garlic cloves, peeled
bunch of dill
small bunch of flat leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves, grated
500g red cabbage sauerkraut
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 red onion
1 tablespoon brown sugar
400g can red kidney beans
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
4 tablespoons soured cream
salt

Preparation
Heat up a tablespoon of sunflower oil in a large pan and fry the onion and carrot for about 8 minutes until golden. Meanwhile, peel and grate 2 of the beetroots and core, deseed and thinly slice 1 red pepper. Add the vegetables to the pan together with the tomato purée and a splash of water. Season with salt to taste and fry for a further 5–8 minutes.

Top with the measured cold water, add the bay leaves along with the peppercorns and all the seeds, whole garlic cloves and half the bunches of dill and parsley. Season with a tablespoon of salt and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, add the grated garlic and half the sauerkraut with its brine and simmer, covered, over a low heat for 40 minutes–1 hour.
Turn off the heat and let the borscht rest for another hour, while you prepare the rest of the elements.

So far, so good, but here is where the recipe starts to deviate from the norm quite a lot: to prepare the vegetables that will grace the plate and also add extra flavour and texture to the soup, you will need to do a bit of roasting.
Start by preheating the oven to 160°C fan/Gas Mark 4. Peel the remaining 4 beetroots, cut into wedges and dress with oil, salt and the pomegranate molasses. Peel the red onion, cut into wedges and season with salt and the brown sugar to bring out their sweetness and promote caramelization. Place on a roasting tray with the beetroot and roast together for 30 minutes. Drain the kidney beans, then dress them with salt, oil and the smoked paprika. Core and deseed the remaining red pepper, then cut into thin strips and dress with salt and oil. Roast the beans and pepper together, as they will need only 10–15 minutes.

When ready to serve, strain the broth through a sieve or a muslin cloth, discarding the solids. All we need is that rich broth! Reheat again if necessary. Next, create layers of texture and flavour in each bowl by adding a heaped tablespoon of the remaining sauerkraut to each, as well as a handful of roasted beetroot, onion, kidney beans and red pepper. Top each bowl with the hot broth and add a dollop of soured cream and a generous sprinkle of the remaining dill and parsley, chopped. The intensity of the flavours and textures of this dish is beyond words, while the look of the bowl will seduce the eye without a doubt.

Recipe from Alissa Timoshkina, Salt & Time: Recipes from a Russian Kitchen (2019).

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: A ‘Harvesting Gap’ Salad

May 14, 2020 by General Administrator

I tried a variation of this recipe tonight and it went down very well, it used a lot of Canalside produce and felt like an incredibly healthy meal! Feel free to adapt to what you have – I swapped the salad for boiled greens, the canned lentils for boiled red lentils and omitted the pomegranate seeds. I would be tempted to suggest some soy sauce on the lentils to cut through the sweetness of the other components (rocket probably does this job if you have it).

Roasted beets and squash with tahini

Image from The Happy Foodie

Ingredients:
2 large raw beetroots, peeled and chopped
1 medium squash, deseeded and chopped (no need to peel our squash)
Leaves from 2 rosemary sprigs, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp maple syrup (I used honey)
1 × 400g tin brown lentils, drained and rinsed
200g mixed rocket and other salad leaves
200g cherry tomatoes, quartered
4 tbsp sunflower seeds
Handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
4 tbsp pomegranate seeds
Salt and black pepper

For the tahini vinaigrette:
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp tahini
1 tsp maple syrup (I used golden syrup)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1–2 tsp balsamic vinegar (to taste)

Method:
Preheat the oven to 200°C fan.

Place the beetroot, butternut squash and rosemary in a large baking tray or roasting tin and toss in the olive oil, maple syrup and some salt and pepper until evenly coated. Spread out the vegetables in a single layer and roast in the oven for 40–50 minutes, stirring once halfway through the cooking time, until tender and slightly crisp.

Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the tahini vinaigrette together in a bowl, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

Place the lentils and salad leaves in large bowl with the cherry tomatoes and a small drizzle of the tahini vinaigrette and toss until evenly coated.

Transfer the dressed salad to a serving dish and add the still-warm roast vegetables in layers with the sunflower seeds, parsley and pomegranate seeds. Finish with a generous drizzle of vinaigrette.

Adapted from: https://thehappyfoodie.co.uk/recipes/roasted-beets-and-butternut-squash-with-tahini

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Spring Dal

May 1, 2020 by General Administrator

We’re getting some huge spring greens at the moment and I’ve discovered a few new recipes involving them as a result. I make Dhal fairly regularly but rarely follow a recipe. This one is a really good introduction though, I was quite amazed at how rich it tasted and I’m really not sure what the difference was to my usual attempts! Make sure you cook until the lentils are soft, I’m often too impatient.

Spring Green and Coconut Dal

Photo from Riverford

Ingredients (Serves two)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, finely sliced
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped, grated or crushed
4cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 red chilli, finely sliced
1 tsp black mustard seeds
¼ tsp ground turmeric
1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
100g yellow mung dal lentils, rinsed in a sieve (I used red lentils)
1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
200g spring or summer greens, tough ribs removed (sliced them and fired with the onion), leaves finely shredded. Feel free to go heavy on the greens I found they worked well.
handful of coriander leaves
a squeeze of lime or lemon juice
toasted coconut chips or toasted desiccated coconut, to garnish
salt

Method
Prep time: 5 min
Cooking time: 50 min

Melt the coconut oil in a large pan. Add the onion and fry on a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Turn up the heat a little and add the garlic, ginger, chilli, mustard seeds and turmeric. Stir for about 1 minute, until you hear the mustard seeds start to pop. Stir the coconut milk in the can then pour into the pan with the lentils and ground coriander and cumin. Fill the coconut milk can half full with water and add that too.

Bring up to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the greens, stirring in small handfuls at a time, then cook for a further 5–10 minutes, until the lentils are tender and the greens wilted. Keep an eye on the liquid and add more water if needed.

Season the dal with salt, stir in the fresh coriander and add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice to taste. Serve the dal prinkled with toasted coconut and a few extra coriander leaves.

Adapted from: https://www.riverford.co.uk/recipes/spring-green-and-coconut-dal

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Gingery Green Noodles

April 24, 2020 by General Administrator

This is another very fast dish of delicious slurpy noodles, spiked with basil, lime juice and sesame oil.

Ginger-Poached Noodles
Serves 2-3

Ingredients
4 cups vegetable broth (I used water with 2 tablespoons of white miso)
2 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
8 ounces firm tofu or tempeh, cut into small cubes
approximately 2 cups of sprouting broccoli or shredded spring greens
4 ounces dried noodles of your choice (I used soba noodles)
1-2 tablespoons soya sauce
¼ cup fresh basil, shredded
¼ cup fresh mint, shredded
juice of half a lime
crushed red pepper flakes (I used part of a shredded Canalside chile)
toasted sesame oil

Preparation
Place the broth and ginger in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, and simmer gently for ten minutes or so. Meanwhile, bring some water to the boil to cook the noodles.

Cook the noodles in the boiling water until they are tender, drain them, and set them aside.

After the broth has simmered for ten minutes add the and tofu or tempeh and the greens. Return to a boil, and then turn the heat back down to a simmer and cook for 5-8 minutes, or until the greens are tender.

Add the drained pasta to the broth and heat for a few more minutes, stirring regularly. Stir in the soya sauce, basil, mint, and lime juice. Before serving, if you have the energy you can fish out the slices of ginger, which are perfectly edible but a bit chewy.

Serve in bowls with a few pinches of crushed red pepper flakes, and a drizzle of sesame oil, to taste.

Recipe adapted from 101 Cookbooks.

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