Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Another Excellent Salad Dressing from the Moosewood

October 1, 2021 by General Administrator

Here is a good use of Canalside basil if you’re tired of pesto. The Moosewood describes this as a ‘creamy, green, slightly sweet dressing’ and note that customers sometimes ask if they can buy a couple of pints to take home. Try it on lettuce, grated carrot, and sliced cucumber for a simple side salad.

If you don’t have a set of cup measures, you can measure the carrots and onions in measuring jug. A US cup is 8 fluid ounces, so ½ a cup of grated carrots is 4 fluid ounces, and ¼ cup of chopped onion is 2 fluid ounces.

Moosewood’s Creamy Green Dressing
yields about 16 fluid ounces

Ingredients
¾ cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup packed fresh spinach
¼ cup packed basil leaves, or more to taste
¾ cup milk (I used oat milk)

Preparation
Combine all the ingredients except the milk in a blender and whizz until very smooth. With the blender running, pour in the milk in a steady stream. The dressing will thicken and turn a lovely shade of green. Taste and add more salt or basil to taste. (I in fact made this in a Nutribullet, so instead of pouring in the milk with the motor running, I simply added the oat milk to the vessel and gave it another whizz. That worked fine too.)

Recipe adapted from Moosewood Collective, Moosewood Restaurant Favorites: The 250 Most Requested Naturally Delicious Recipes from One of America’s Best-loved Restaurants (2013).

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: A Lot of Cucumbers

September 16, 2021 by General Administrator

What are you going to do with all those cucumbers? This salad is a tasty way to enjoy them. It combines a touch of sweetness from the dried fruit with feta’s salty kick, and the richness of toasted walnuts. Note the enormous quantity of sumac, which brings a bright, lemony note. We ate this for lunch along with some brown bread. It would probably also be good alongside a piece of grilled fish, or a little lamb chop.

Cucumber, Walnut, Feta and Dill
Serves 2 for lunch.

Image from https://jewishfoodexperience.com/recipes/cool-cucumber-salad-feta-walnuts/

Ingredients
Salad
500g (or about 2) cucumbers, cut into matchsticks or spiralised
20g dill (or mixed dill and parsley), chopped
50g currants or golden raisins
100g feta, crumbled or cut into small cubes
60g walnut pieces, toasted and coarsely chopped
Dressing
2 tablespoon olive oil
zest of 1 lemon—zest it before you cut it in half to juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon sumac
½ teaspoon salt
several grinds of black pepper

Preparation
Gently toss the salad ingredients in a serving bowl.
Combine the dressing ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake vigorously. Pour over the salad and toss gently. Taste, add more salt or pepper to your liking, and serve.

Recipe adapted from Shaina Shealy, at Jewish Food Experience, 2021, https://jewishfoodexperience.com/recipes/cool-cucumber-salad-feta-walnuts/

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Sue’s Courgettes

September 2, 2021 by General Administrator

My lovely sister in law Sue served this when we visited her this weekend, along with couscous and labneh (thickened yoghurt). It’s fresh, light and vibrant with the green chermoula, a flavoursome blend of fresh coriander, cumin, smoked paprika and lemon.

The recipe makes more chermoula than you’ll need for the recipe, but it’s very tasty and can be used on other vegetables; try it on boiled potatoes, or roasted carrots. It would probably also be delicious on a little escalope of grilled pork.

Courgettes, Sweetcorn and Green Chermoula
Serves 2-3 as a main

Ingredients
4 courgettes, topped and tailed
salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 ears of sweetcorn, outer leaves and ‘silk’ removed
squeeze of lemon juice
for the chermoula
10g garlic
15g red fresh chiles
1 preserved lemon
200g fresh coriander, roughly chopped
150ml rapeseed oil
10g ground cumin
4g smoked paprika
about 15ml lemon juice
salt to taste

Preparation
Slice the courgettes lengthwise and sprinkle with salt. Leave them 30 minutes in a colander to draw out the moisture. This will make the final dish more crunchy and fresh tasting.

While the courgettes are salting, make the chermoula: combine together the garlic, chile and preserved lemon in a blender or other blending device. Once it’s reduced to a paste add the coriander, oil and spices, and blend until smooth. Season to taste with the lemon juice and salt, and set aside.

When the courgettes have had their thirty minutes, brush off the salt and drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil over the courgettes and sweetcorn.

Heat a griddle plan on high heat. When it’s hot grill the whole ears of corn, turning them regularly, until they are slightly charred on all sides. Remove and set aside.

Place as many courgettes as will fit without crowding in the pan, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until slightly charred on the bottom. Flip over, and cook for 2 minutes on the other side, or until cooked through but retaining some bite. Remove and set aside, and cook the other courgettes, if necessary.

Shave off the kernels off the now-slightly-cooled sweetcorn: hold each cob upright and use a sharp knife to slice down its length to remove the individual kernels. Place the kernels in a mixing bowl. Chop the courgettes into 2cm chunks and add them to the bowl. Toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive and a squeeze of lemon juice.

To serve, place some of the sauce on the bottom of a serving plate and top with the courgettes and grilled corn.

Recipe adapted from the Observer Food Monthly, 25 July 2021.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Courgette in a Hot Pan

August 19, 2021 by General Administrator

‘A zucchini and a steak may not have much in common, but, like steak, zucchini takes incredibly well to the method of quickly searing in a smoking hot pan’. So states Lidey Heuck in the New York Times, and she’s right. In this easy recipe courgettes are cooked fast to develop an appetising char, and then basted with butter, garlic and rosemary. We ate these topped with ricotta, alongside a tomato salad and some good bread.

Pan-Seared Courgettes
Serves 2-3

Photo from New York Times Cooking

Ingredients
3 small courgettes (6 to 8 inches each)
1 tablespoon grapeseed, safflower or other high-heat cooking oil
salt and pepper
1½ tablespoons unsalted butter, or more to taste
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
1-2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
To garnish:
coarse sea salt
lemon zest
red-pepper flakes

Preparation
Trim the ends off the courgettes and cut them lengthwise into planks about ½-inch thick. Pat them dry, pressing gently but firmly on both sides to absorb any moisture.

Heat a large (12-inch) cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet over medium-high. If you have a ridged pan this is a good opportunity to use it. Add the oil and heat until it’s almost smoking.

Add the courgettes to the pan and press lightly with a spatula so that the planks make contact with the pan. Don’t crowd them—if you do they will steam rather than sear.

Sprinkle the tops with salt and pepper, and cook for about 3 minutes, until the courgettes are nicely charred on the bottom. Lower the heat to medium, flip over the courgettes, and season again with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 more minutes, until the bottoms are charred. 

Turn the heat to low and add the butter, garlic and rosemary. Carefully tilt the pan, letting the garlic and rosemary cook in the butter for 30-60 seconds, until the butter has begun to brown. Spoon the butter over the courgettes, and cook for another minute, flipping them a few times to coat both sides with the butter. 

Transfer the courgettes to a serving platter, along with the garlic and rosemary, and spoon any butter that’s left in the pan on top. Garnish with sea salt, lemon zest and red-pepper flakes, and serve hot.

Recipe adapted from New York Times Cooking

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Too Hot to Cook

July 22, 2021 by General Administrator

Diana Henry includes this light and uplifting dish in a menu she calls ‘Too Hot to Cook’, which is exactly what it is right now. In truth the recipe involves a bit of cooking, since you have to sauté the carrots and beetroots, but only for about 2 minutes total, so it’s not too taxing. This is particularly good with the small, tender Canalside carrots we’re getting just now. She observes that ready-cooked beetroot is perfectly fine. (Just avoid the ones in vinegar.) Her version is a bit more elaborate insofar as it involves straining the yoghurt through a cloth for a few hours to make it a bit thicker before you mix it with the herbs and other seasonings. You can do that if you want.

In case you’re curious, the rest of her menu consists of roast tomatoes, fennel and chickpeas with preserved lemons and honey, and, for pudding, cherries in wine, with cardamom cream and rose pistachio shortbread. Yum!

Beetroots & Carrots with Cumin and Yoghurt
serves 4-6 as a starter

Photo from https://nationalpost.com

Ingredients
400g plain (full-fat) yoghurt
4 tablespoons olive oil
15g dill or coriander, roughly chopped
2 garlic gloves, peeled and crushed to a paste with a little salt in a mortar and pestle (optional)
¼ teaspoon Aleppo pepper (or to taste)—or use part of a chopped Canalside chile pepper
800g carrots
600g cooked beetroot
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
½ tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
½ lemon
25g walnuts, lightly toasted (optional)

Preparation
Mix the yoghurt with 2 tablespoons olive oil (i.e. not all of it!), most of the chopped herbs (keep a little back for a garnish), the crushed garlic and pepper. Swirl the yoghurt over the bottom of a serving plate and set aside.

Peel the carrots and cut them into thin matchsticks. Peel the beetroot and cut into slim wedges.

Heat 1 more tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When it’s hot add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds (i.e. not all of them!) and sizzle for about 30 seconds, then add the carrots. Stir-fry for about 1-2 minutes, or until they lose their rawness but still have some crispness to contrast with the soft beetroot. Add the white balsamic vinegar and a generous squeeze of lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and return the pan to the heat.

Add the final tablespoon of olive oil and heat up as before. Add the remaining cumin seeds and again let sizzle before adding the beetroot. Cook for about 30 seconds, until they are heated through but not hot. Squeeze some more lemon juice over the top and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Array the beetroots over the yoghurt and then spoon on the carrots. Sprinkle the remaining herbs over the top and garnish with the walnuts (if you’re using them). Decorate with a final drizzle of olive oil and serve.

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

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Peckham Salad

July 8, 2021 by General Administrator

This salad is in honour of my younger son Isaac, who has moved to Peckham, home of Sally Butcher’s wonderful restaurant Persepolis. The recipe is adapted from Butcher’s 2011 Veggiestan. The combination of crispy, raw carrot and sweet, roasted beetroot works well with the orangey balsamic dressing. The original recipe includes several sweet potatoes alongside the beetroot. If you’d like to include these, peel and boil for about 15 minutes, and then toss with the other ingredients.

Beetroot and Orange Salad
serves 4 as a side dish

Ingredients
Salad

2 large beetroots
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1 big handful of parsley, coarsely chopped (you can use all parsley or all mint if you prefer)
1 big handful of mint leaves, coarsely chopped (you can use all parsley or all mint if you prefer)
Dressing
zest and juice of 1 large orange
2cm of ginger, peeled and grated
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon orange flower water
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the whole beetroot in the oven and roast for between 45 and 90 minutes, or until it is soft when poked with a fork. Remove and let cool.
While the beetroot roasts, prepare the dressing: put all the ingredients into a jar and shake vigorously until well mixed. Don’t forget to zest the orange before you cut it in half to juice it!
Once the beetroot is cool enough to handle, peel it and cut into 1.5cm cubes. Combine it with the grated carrot and chopped herbs, and then pour the dressing over and toss.

Recipe adapted from Sally Butcher, Veggiestan (2011).

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Beetroot, Lentils, Cheddar

May 20, 2021 by General Administrator

Beetroot with feta, or goat cheese, is a classic combination, but other cheeses are available. Cheddar, for instance. Lentils add bite and substance to this salad, and the mustard brings a complementary zing that combines well with the cheddar. You can use either red or yellow beetroot in this salad, which makes a good lunch or simple supper.

Beet and Lentil Salad With Cheddar
Serves 4

Photo from New York Times Cooking

Ingredients
For the salad
:
500g beetroot
300g green lentils, rinsed
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 teaspoon salt
approx. 2 cups rocket or another green such as shredded Swiss chard
5g dill, parsley, mint or coriander, roughly chopped
50g Cheddar, roughly crumbled
handful walnuts or hazelnuts, toasted in a dry frying pan for a few minutes
For the apple cider vinaigrette:
1 small garlic clove, grated
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup or brown sugar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
several grinds of freshly ground pepper

Preparation
Place the beetroot in a microwave-proof bowl. Add 1 cup water to the bowl and cover the bowl tightly with clingfilm. Microwave for 20 minutes. By now the clingfilm should have collapsed tightly onto the beetroot, creating a sort of vacuum-seal. With your finger prod the beetroot through the clingfilm to see how soft it is. If it feels tender, the beetroot is done. If not, put it in for another 5 minutes and test it again. Keep going until the beetroot feels tender. Once it’s done, remove it from the microwave, peel back the clingfilm, drain, and set aside.
Meanwhile, cook the lentils: in a medium pot, add the lentils, salt, garlic and 1 litre of water. Bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until just tender. (The lentils should still have some bite). Drain in a colander and stir to break up and evenly distribute the garlic. Let the lentils cool slightly.
Once the beetroot is cool enough to handle, set about peeling it. The peel should come off fairly easily with a knife. Cut the beetroot into 1cm cubes, or slice into small wedges.
While the lentils cook, prepare the vinaigrette: in a large serving bowl, whisk the garlic, vinegar, oil, maple syrup and mustard with the salt and pepper. Add the warm lentils to the serving bowl, then add the beets, greens, nuts and herbs. Toss together and then stir in the the cheese. Don’t stir too vigorously, because you don’t want the cheese to turn crimson from the beets, and serve.

Recipe adapted from Hetty McKinnon, New York Times Cooking

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Sicilian Pasta

May 6, 2021 by General Administrator

This is a bit of a production, but the flavours you will create are remarkable. The dish tastes of the sea, of warm evenings outdoors, of blue skies. Make it now.

Pasta with Cauliflower, Currants, Pine Nuts and Saffron Onions
Serves 4

Ingredients
80g currants (or raisins)
230ml white wine
60ml olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons more
2 medium onions, peeled and diced
salt
1 teaspoon saffron threads
100g coarse breadcrumbs
700g cauliflower, cut into very small florets
3 garlic cloves peeled and chopped
8 anchovy fillets, rinsed and chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
handful of parsley, large stalks removed and coarsely chopped
12 sprigs of marjoram, coarsely chopped
450g short pasta shapes

Preparation
First plump the currants: put the currants and wine in a small saucepan over low heat. Bring to the boil and—as soon as it reaches the boil—remove from the heat and set aside for at least 30 minutes. The currants will absorb the wine.
Now prepare the saffron water: put the saffron and 60ml of water into a small bowl. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds or so, or until the water boils. The moment the water boils remove and set aside for at least 5 minutes. (Of course you can do this on the stove.)

Now make the saffron onions: put 60ml of oil into a frying pan over low heat. When hot add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook for about 8 minutes, or until the onions are beginning to soften, but still remain golden.
Add the saffron water and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 more minutes, or until the onions are very soften and have turned a beautiful saffron colour. Don’t let them burn.

Toast the breadcrumbs: toast the breadcrumbs in a dry frying pan for 5-8 minutes, or until they are a golden colour. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. You can add some oil if you prefer. You can also make them in a 150C oven—they’ll take about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the cauliflower: put the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 60ml of water into a separate pan. Bring to the boil and then add the cauliflower. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is extremely soft. Check every now and then to make sure there is enough water—don’t let this boil dry—and add more if necessary.

Once the cauliflower is soft, make a well in the middle of the cauliflower and add the garlic, anchovies and pepper flakes. Sizzle over low heat until the anchovies have broken down and merged with the rest of the ingredients in the pan.

Now add to the cauliflower the saffron onions, currants (and any remaining wine), parsley and marjoram.

Your sauce is now ready.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions whenever you are ready to eat. Reserve about 60ml of the cooking water when you drain it. You will add this to the finished dish.

To serve, combine the pasta and sauce and toss well. Add the reserved cooking water and heat over a low flame for a minute or two until it’s hot and well blended. Top with the breadcrumbs and serve with a glass of white wine, imagining yourself on a balcony in Sicily.

Recipe adapted from Christopher Boswell, Pasta: Recipes from the Kitchen of the American Academy in Rome (2013).

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Parsnips, Squash, Capers, Parsley

April 22, 2021 by General Administrator

Everyone knows roasted vegetables are good. Adding a punchy caper and parsley vinaigrette makes them even better. You can use different vegetables (potatoes, say), and you can also vary the vinaigrette by adding harissa paste, or using basil or mint instead of parsley.
Served with rice or another grain to soak up the vinaigrette, this makes a good weekday dinner. You can add some salted yoghurt if you want additional creaminess (and protein).

Roasted Parsnips and Squash with Caper Vinaigrette
Serves 3-4

Photo from The Guardian Food

Ingredients
For the roast veg
700g parsnips, peeled
700g squash or pumpkin
120ml olive oil
4 medium red onions (optional)
4 sprigs of thyme
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
Several grinds of black pepper
1 whole head of garlic
10-20 small tomatoes, cut in half
For the dressing
1 large lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped if they are large
1.5 teaspoons honey or maple syrup
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
big handful of parsley, chopped fine
½ teaspoon salt
Several grinds of black pepper

Preparation
Prepare the roast veg:
Preheat oven to 190C.

Cut each parsnip into batons about 5cm long and 1.5 wide—but if they are small it is fine to leave them whole. They will look amusing in the finished dish.

Using your hand, scoop the seeds out the squash. (You can use these to make a nice nibble: https://www.101cookbooks.com/toasted-pumpkin-seeds/.) Peel the squash and cut it into chunks roughly the same size as your parsnips.

Peel the onions (if using) and cut each into 6 wedges.

Cut the head of garlic in half horizontally. Don’t break it into individual cloves or try to peel it! Just cut the whole thing into two pieces, horizontally.

Place the parsnips, squash, onions and garlic into a roasting tin and add 120ml olive oil, the thyme and rosemary, 1teaspoon salt, and some pepper. Mix well and spread it out in the pan so the vegetables are not all heaped on top of themselves. Place in the oven and roast for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables look golden and are pretty tender.

After 20 minutes add the tomatoes, and roast for another 10 minutes or so, until the vegetables are completely tender when prodded with a fork and the tomatoes have softened.

While the vegetables are roasting prepare the vinaigrette: zest the lemon and then cut it in half so you can juice it. Combine the lemon juice (about 2 tablespoons) and zest with the other ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
Finish the dish: Once the vegetables are done, remove them from the oven and pour the vinaigrette over the hot vegetables. Toss to combine and serve with rice or some other grain.

Recipe adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty (2010).

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Beets and Chard from the Share

April 16, 2021 by General Administrator

As always I continue to try to find new ways to enjoy roasted beetroot as it takes us through the winter and this week I think I’ve found a good one. Either a fun lunch or a dinner padded out with some nice bread, you choose!

Warm lentils with roasted beets, wilted chard & goat cheese

Photo from https://www.feastingathome.com/warm-lentils-wilted-chard-roasted-beets-and-goat-cheese/

Ingredients

3–4 beetroot ( enough for 2 people)
2 cups cooked lentils
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ a red onion- diced
3 garlic cloves- rough chopped
4 cups (packed) swiss chard or rainbow chard- chopped (or sub beet greens, spinach)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, more to taste
¼ cup goat cheese crumbles
2–3 tablespoons fresh basil, or parsley.

Instructions
Preheat oven to 220C. Scrub and trim beetrot and cut into ½ inch slices or wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and roast until tender, about 25- 30 minutes.

If cooking lentils, place ¾ cup dried lentils in a small pot and cover with 3 inches of water and a pinch salt. Bring to a boil, cover and turn heat down to a simmer, cook about 25-30 minutes or until tender but still hold their shape. Drain.

In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium high heat. Add diced onion and saute 3-4 minutes. Turn heat down to medium, add garlic and cook 2 more minutes, until golden and fragrant.

Lower heat to medium low. Add chard and gently wilt, just slightly, about 2-3 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add 2 cups cooked lentils to the frying pan, gently folding them in and warming. Season again with salt and pepper.

Add beetrot and splash with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Let vinegar cook down for just a couple of minutes so it’s not so acidic. Taste, add more vinegar if you like, cooking it down. Sprinkle with goat cheese and herbs. Taste again, if it tastes bland it most likely needs salt. Serve immediately.

From https://www.feastingathome.com/warm-lentils-wilted-chard-roasted-beets-and-goat-cheese/

highslide for wordpress