Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Onion Glut Soup

Last winter was my first at Canalside and followed an extremely hot and dry summer (with a poor onion harvest as a result of the dry conditions) which means I’ve been quite shocked at the number of onions in my share this winter – so much so that I have quite the pile accumulating at home. What better way is there to get through them than onion soup? The recipe is from another good youtube chef Binging with Babish (and is featured in Netflix’s The Chef Show S2E6) – see if you can spot his catchphrase “Let the flavours get to know each other” (although they have to do that a lot with onion soup!). I doubt beef stock is essential in this recipe so adapt it for a veggie/vegan diet as required.

Image from https://basicswithbabish.co/basicsepisodes/frenchonionsoup

Shopping List

For the soup:

1350g Onions (yields 4 servings)

6 cups high quality beef stock (or amped up store bought stock, see below) (or veggie stock)

2 Tbsp flour

Soy sauce (optional)

Fish sauce (optional)

Day old French baguette (for topping)

Gruyere cheese, shredded (for topping)

For Amped-Up Store Bought Stock

1 bunch parsley

Sliced carrots

Thyme sprigs

3 garlic cloves, halved

2 bay leaves

Sprinkle of peppercorns

2 cloves (optional)

Parmesan cheese rind

Method

Start by preparing your onions. Peel them and then cut in half from pole to pole – through the root and stem. Remove the tough root part by cutting it away with your knife. Then thinly slice them pole to pole – like cutting with the grain of the onion. This gives the slices more structural integrity so that they stand up to the slow cooking method.

Next prepare your stock. Ideally you would use homemade beef stock, but you can also “soup” up a store bought version. To do that, add your beef broth to a stock pot and bring to a simmer. Add aromatics like parsley, sliced carrots, thyme sprigs, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves, and parmesan rind. Let it simmer for 1 hour.

In a large dutch oven (any large thick based pan) drizzle 2-4 Tbsp olive oil and let heat up for one minute. Dump in the sliced onions. It will look like way too many, but just trust me.

Slowly caramelize the onions over medium heat. Keep them moving constantly, and scrape down the sides of the pot. The onions are done when they are soft, jammy, and caramelized with a lot of fond on the bottom of the pot.

Add 2 Tbsp flour to the onions and cook for 1-2 minutes then deglaze the pot with 1 cup of dry sherry and cook, scraping up fond from the bottom of the pot.

Once the alcohol is cooked off, add the beef broth. Make sure to strain it first if you added aromatics.

Let the whole thing simmer for 5-10 minutes to let the flavors get to know each other. Optional: add umami boosters. I like to add a splash of fish sauce and soy sauce to richen the flavors.

Cut thick slices of day-old french baguette. Put them on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and top with salt and pepper. Toast bread in a 200°C oven for 5 minutes. Slice a clove of garlic in half and rub down each piece of bread with the garlic.

Check the soup for salt and pepper and season as necessary. Ladle soup into broiler-safe cups. Top with sliced baguette and shredded cheese. Put the bowls onto a baking sheet and put into an oven preheated to broil. Broil for 3-5 minutes until golden brown.

Garnish with chives and serve and enjoy!

From https://basicswithbabish.co/basicsepisodes/frenchonionsoup

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Simple Salsify

Still got that salsify from a week or so ago hanging about in your fridge? These strange, shaggy parsnip-lookalikes have a mild, delicate flavour that is sometimes compared to oysters. Here is a simple way to prepare them. Serve them as a side in place of potatoes; they’re much lighter but very satisfying.

Salsify with Butter and Herbs

Ingredients
Salsify
Lemon juice
Butter
Fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives or dill, chopped
Salt and pepper

Preparation
Fill a bowl with cold water and add a tablespoon or so of lemon juice. This ‘acidulated water’ will stop the salsify from turning brown once it’s peeled. Bring a pot of water to the boil.
Peel the salsify and trim off the ends. As you proceed, drop the peeled parsnips into the acidulated water.
Drop the peeled salsify into the boiling water, turn down the heat a little, and simmer for 7-12 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork.
Drain and cut into 1-inch chunks. Dress with butter and herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Road trip pasta

This week I’m keeping it simple and taking a little inspiration from a recent roadtrip to Italy. The spinach and tomato are pretty core to the dish but feel free to pick and choose from the rest of the list depending what you’ve got – I use an app called plant jammer to figure out what things might go well together.

Rob’s Road Trip Pasta

Core Ingredients (for 1 person):
Pasta of your choice, 2 handfuls
Fresh Tomatoes, 1 large handful
Spinach (or other greens depending on share), 3 handfuls
Basil, small handful
Garlic, 1 clove
Lemon Juice 0.5-1 tablespoon or to taste
Olive Oil, 2-3 tablespoons or to taste
Mixed herbs, 1 teaspoon

Optional extras:
Black olives, small handful
Walnuts, small handful
Onion, 1 medium
Green/French Beans, about 3cm bundle

Method:
First chop all your veg; tomatoes into quarters, spinach may need stems chopping down to manageable size, garlic minced or thin slices, onion diced

Next get the pasta on the boil – when it’s ready remember to keep the water!

Whilst the pasta cooks, fry off onion and garlic, then add tomatoes, spinach and any optional extras and fry at a medium heat.

The pasta should be ready about the same time as the veg is cooked. Before draining, add the olive oil to the veg and then add a few sloshes of the pasta water – the starch helps make a good sauce! Then add the lemon juice, basil and mixed herbs and stir it all together until you have a nice shiny consistent sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

Drain the Pasta and add to the pan, mix and serve with some salad on the side and a little chopped coriander on top.

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Vegan ‘omelette’ for filling

I picked up this recipe whilst living in Gothenburg and it has great connotations for me with sunny breakfasts on the pier… Hopefully I don’t just see it with rose tinted glasses!

Vegan chickpea flour (kikärtsmjöl) omelette
Ingredients

1 cup (120 g) chickpea flour
1 Tablespoon flaxseed meal or chia seed meal (optional)
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) salt
1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) each of turmeric garlic powder, baking soda, cumin powder
1ish cup of water

Fillings!
Fried tomato, onion, mushrooms, lots coming in our shares that could suit!

Method is simple, mix the all the dry ingredients then add the water slowly and mix with a whisk until they take on the same consistency as whisked eggs. Fry up the fillings, then poor on the omelette mix and reduce pan to a medium to low heat. Make sure you cook it slower and longer than an egg omelette – it tends to burn before solidifying enough to flip if you rush it.

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: For the last of the broad beans

If you’re a Saturday collector, you’ll be getting the last of the broad beans – why not try them in this recipe?!

I’ve had this recipe waiting in the sidelines for a while, expecting it to take ages but it turned out to be super easy! The fritters turned out pretty tastey and all that veg helped make me feel a little better about the deep fat frying… The recipe I got this from has instructions for homemade labneh, but I swapped that for  lemon minted yoghurt. Since I had the frier out I decided to go all out and make courgette fritters, deep fried brie and onion rings as well, not a healthy night! Note the recipe is scalable for smaller shares but i’d keep the spice measures fairly high to avoid them getting lost in the frier.

Chilli broad bean fritters with homemade labneh

Ingredients:
Fritters:
600g broad beans (or 1¼kg in their pods), skinned to reduce bitterness (I didn’t bother and can’t say I noticed)
small bunch mint, roughly chopped
small bunch parsley, roughly chopped
small bunch dill, roughly chopped
1 tbsp self-raising flour, plus a little for dusting
1 red chilli (deseeded if you don’t like it too hot), roughly chopped
zest 1 lemon
2 small garlic cloves
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp sumac

Yoghurt:
1/4 a bunch of fresh mint , (7.5g)
1/2 lemon, (juice and any remaining zest after fritters)
4 tablespoons natural yoghurt (Alpro-style alternative will work great too)

Method:
Fritters:

To make the fritters, put the ingredients in a food processor, season and blend until smooth. Using 2 dessertspoons, scoop and shape the mixture into 16 quenelle shapes – or roll with floured hands. Place on a plate and chill for at least 1 hr, or cover loosely with cling film and chill for 24 hrs. (I chilled in freezer for 1h, they weren’t quite sticky enough but I managed by squeezing them hard with my hands).

When you’re ready to serve, heat at least 6cm oil in a wide, deep pan (or put a deep fat frier on 190°C). The oil is ready when a piece of bread dropped into the oil sizzles and turns brown within 30-40 secs (if the oil is too cool, the fritters will fall apart). Dust the fritters with a little flour and roll around the plate to coat the outside. Carefully lower 4-6 into the pan at a time and cook in batches, for 5-6 mins, until deep golden brown. Drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt. Put the fritters in the oven on low heat while you cook the next batch.

Yoghurt:
Mix yoghurt, mint and lemon, adding salt and pepper to taste.

If you fancy them, courgette fritters or onion rings just need some batter making up in a bowl, about 50/50 self-raising flour (to get good bubbly batter) and water to a pancake batter consistency, add salt and pepper (and dill if you like) for a better taste. Chop courgette into sticks and onion into rings, rub them in a plate of flour (coat fully) then dip in the batter then into the frier. Fry until golden (1-3 minutes) then remove and drain, making sure to add salt and pepper whilst they’re fresh out of the frier! (This makes a BIG difference).

From: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/chilli-broad-bean-fritters-homemade-labneh

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: 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: 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.

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