Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Getting through the ‘taters Hasselback style

January 22, 2021 by General Administrator

The potato haul was very good this year and this seems to have resulted in a slowly growing bag of potatoes in our house. So this week I’ve been thinking about some new ways to get through them all. Today’s recipe may not be new for all of you but I’ve never tried it and I’m excited to give it a go!

Hasselback potatoes

https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/hasselback_potatoes_27064

Ingredients (serves 4)
½ tsp dried thyme, rosemary or mixed herbs
½ tsp flaked sea salt
½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
3 tbsp sunflower, vegetable or olive oil, plus extra for greasing
8 small–medium potatoes, each one approx. 75g/2¾oz, scrubbed (ideally, all-rounders or floury potatoes)
small knob of butter, approx. 15g/½oz (optional)

Method
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Lightly oil a baking tray. Mix the herbs, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Pour the oil into a second bowl.

Place two wooden spoons or chopsticks on a chopping board, about 5cm/2in apart. Place the potatoes one at a time between the handles. Using a sharp knife with a thin blade, cut the potatoes very thinly and vertically almost all the way through – the knife will stop slicing when it meets the spoons. Each slice should be a little narrower than a pound coin.

As you prepare each potato, add it to the oil and turn to coat, then add to the seasoning mix and rub all over the potato, making sure a little of the seasoning mix gets in between the slices.

Place the potato on the baking tray, cut-side up. Prepare the remaining potatoes in the same way. Drizzle any remaining oil over the potatoes and bake for 40 minutes.

Take the tray out of the oven and dot each of the potatoes with a little butter, then bake for a further 10 minutes, or until golden, crisp and tender. Check for tenderness with the point of a knife or the tip of a skewer. (If you don’t want to use butter, cook the potatoes for around 50 minutes in total.) Serve immediately.

I’ll probably try slotting some cheese in between the slices, and maybe topping with bolognese or sour cream.

Adapted from BBC Food

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Roast Parsnips, Lentils, Cheese

January 14, 2021 by General Administrator

Here we have a warm, sustaining main-course salad made bright with greens and the bite of mustard. It’s a good use of that parsnip that’s still in your fridge. You can make a meal of this, along with some good bread and a glass of red wine.

Image from Guardian Lifestyle

Roast Parsnip, Watercress and Lentil Salad
Serves 3

Ingredients
Salad

5 medium parsnips
2 tablespoons oil
salt and pepper
125g Puy or green lentils
2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, unpeeled
several parsley stems (optional)
several big handfuls of watercress or rocket
any hard cheese, to shave over the top

Salad dressing
1 clove garlic
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon English mustard
2 teaspoons runny honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons rapeseed oil

Preparation
Preheat your oven to 190C.

Peel the parsnips and cut them into chunky batons. Toss them with the oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Tip them onto a baking tray and roast for 30-40 minutes, or until they are tender and a bit golden. The time will depend on how large they are. You can poke them with a fork to see if they are soft inside. Remove from the oven and leave them to one side.

Meanwhile, prepare the lentils: cover them with boiling water and bring back to a boil. Boil for one minute, and then drain.

Return the drained lentils to the pan and add just enough water to cover them. Add the bay leaves, onion and parsley stalks (if you have any to hand). Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and remove the bay leaves and parsley. It’s up to you either to remove the onion or to leave it in the finished salad.

While the lentils cook and the parsnips roast prepare the salad dressing. Mash the garlic with the salt in a mortar and pestle to make a smooth paste. Whisk in the other ingredients.

When the parsnips and lentils are finished, toss them, still warm, with the dressing and add the watercress or rocket. Pile onto a serving platter and shave some hard cheese over the top before serving.

Recipe adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, River Cottage Veg Every Day! (2011) – online at rivercottage.net

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Celeriac Soup

January 7, 2021 by General Administrator

I wasn’t sure Celeriac soup was a good choice, but we’ve had a few Celeriacs recently and I fancied a change. It was a pleasant surprise, then, that this turned out to be super tasty in an intensely savoury way. Even better was that we risked eating it after forgetting to put it away overnight and so far we have survived!

Cream of celeriac soup

Image from BBC Food

Ingredients
For the soup
75g/3oz butter
1 onion, finely chopped
50g/2oz streaky bacon, cut into small pieces (optional)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 leek, white only, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
2 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
700g/1lb 8oz celeriac, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 litre/1¾ pint vegetable stock
200ml/7floz double cream
salt and white pepper

Method
For the soup, heat a large frying pan or saucepan until medium hot, add 25g/1oz of the butter, the onion and bacon and fry for a couple of minutes to just soften. Add the garlic, leek, celery and thyme sprigs and fry for another minute; then add the chopped celeriac. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the celeriac is just tender.

Blend the soup to a fine purée using a stick blender or a blender. Return to the heat in a pan. Add the cream and whisk in the remaining 50g/2oz of butter.

Season with salt and white pepper. Serve the hot soup in bowls.

There is an optional garnish which can be found at the link to the recipe.

From BBC Food.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: A Restorative Soup

December 31, 2020 by General Administrator

This is what you need if you have eaten a lot of rich food over the holidays. The lentil soup is soothing, but not at all boring, enlivened as it is with marinated artichoke hearts and a swirl of yoghurt. You will feel better after eating this, I promise. Note, too, that it uses some of those leeks, carrots and celery that have accumulated in your fridge from the double share.

Lentil Soup with Artichoke
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, trimmed, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
3 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
4 celery sticks, sliced thin
1 heaped tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 Canalside chile, left whole
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
250g green lentils
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1.5l stock or water
1 teaspoon salt
5 heaped tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley
120g artichoke hearts from a jar, drained and sliced thin, to serve
plain or Greek yoghurt, to serve (if desired)

Preparation
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large saucepan with a lid. When it is warm add the leeks, carrots, celery, ginger and chile. Fry for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened and are starting to colour.
Add the garlic and stir for a few minutes more.
Stir in the lentils, and add the vinegar and water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the lentils are tender—20-30 minutes, probably. Add some more water if they seem dry.
Purée about a third of the soup in a liquidiser or food processor, and then stir this back into the pan. Add the salt and stir in most of the parsley, keeping back a little for a garnish.
Dish into bowls and place a sliced artichoke heart in the centre of each bowl. Sprinkle the remaining parsley over the top. Serve with a spoonful of yoghurt on top, if desired.

Recipe adapted from Annie Bell, Plant Power: Protein-rich Recipes for Vegetarians and Vegans (2020).

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Caramelised Cabbage

December 18, 2020 by General Administrator

This recipe isn’t so Christmassy, but I did enjoy it. I found the liquid took a lot longer than stated to reduce, but in the end I would actually have preferred a bit more sauce when serving. Goes well with mash!

Ingredients
¼ cup double-concentrated tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, finely grated
1½ tsp. ground coriander
1½ tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium head of green cabbage
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Salt
3 Tbsp. chopped dill, parsley, or coriander
Full-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream (for serving)

Method:
Preheat oven to 180°. Mix tomato paste, garlic, coriander, cumin, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.

Cut cabbage in half through the core. Cut each half through the core into 4 wedges.

Heat ¼ cup oil in a large oven safe frying pan (or similar) over medium-high. Working in batches if needed, add cabbage to the pan cut side down and season with salt. Cook, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer cabbage to a plate.

Pour remaining ¼ cup oil into pan. Add spiced tomato paste and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until tomato paste begins to split and slightly darken, 2–3 minutes. Pour in enough water to come halfway up sides of pan (about 1½ cups), season with salt, and bring to a simmer. Nestle cabbage wedges back into skillet (they should have shrunk while browning; a bit of overlap is okay).

Transfer cabbage to oven and bake, uncovered and turning wedges halfway through, until very tender, liquid is mostly evaporated, and cabbage is caramelized around the edges, 40–50 minutes.

Scatter dill/other over cabbage. Serve with yogurt alongside.

From BonAppetit.com

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Pumpkin, Barley, Fennel, Cheese

December 10, 2020 by General Administrator

This is a very attractive dish—so attractive, in fact, that you could consider it for a vegetarian Christmas. In any event, it’s extremely tasty. The cheese and roasted fennel blend with the soft, chewy barley to make an indulgent filling for the baked squash. Crunchy toasted oat flakes provide a pleasing contrast on the top.

It is an excellent use of the charming small squashes we’re getting in our shares these days.

To serve, stand these proudly on a platter, topped with their little squash-top berets.

Image from The Guardian online

Whole roast squash
Serves 4

Ingredients
A mixture of whole squashes: about 750g squash per person
4 fennel bulbs—keep the lacy fronds at the top
1 garlic bulb (leave it whole)
Olive oil
Salt and black pepper
250g pearl barley
125g sharp cheddar or other cheese
1 lemon, zested
1 red chilli, deseeded if you like
A knob of butter
50g rolled oats
1 tsp fennel seeds

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 180C. Use a big, heavy knife to cut off the base of each squash, so they sit upright on a tray. Cleanly cut the top off each one in a single piece (you are going to put the tops back on) about 3-4cm from the top. Use a metal spoon to scoop out the seeds and the fibres until you have a neat hollow.

Trim the fennel, removing any tough outer leaves, then cut the bulb into a few big wedges. Keep those fronds!

Put the squash in a large roasting tray or two. Scatter the fennel wedges around and put the bulb of garlic on too. Drizzle the lot with olive oil, making sure you get inside the squash, and season with salt and pepper. Put the tops back on the squash. Roast for 45-60 minutes, or until the squash are tender and the fennel has started to soften and brown. If your squash take a little longer, you can remove the fennel once it’s nicely soft and brown around the edges, as you don’t want it to overcook.

Meanwhile, put the pearl barley in a medium pan and cover with cold water. Add a big pinch of salt, then bring to the boil and simmer until al dente (about 25-30 minutes). Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

Remove the garlic and fennel from the roasting dish. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the roasted garlic out of its papery skins, into the barley. Roughly chop the fennel and add it to the bowl along with the cheese, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Chop the fennel fronds to make about a quarter cup. Chop the chilli and add both. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning.

Divide the mixture between the squash and return them to the oven for 10 more minutes. Meanwhile, heat some butter in a small pan. Toss in the oats, fennel seeds, and a little salt and pepper. Stir for about 5 minutes, until the flakes are golden. Drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper.

Once the squash are out of the oven, sprinkle over the toasted oats and serve.

Recipe adapted from Anna Jones, The Guardian, 24 Oct. 2016

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Pumpkin with Noodles

November 26, 2020 by General Administrator

Here is a simple salad with pumpkin and soba noodles. Thomasina Miers recommends this as a weekday lunch, and observes that it is equally good warm or cold. She also points out that the dressing is tasty on grilled chicken or fish, or sprouting broccoli.

Miso-roast Pumpkin with Noodles
Serves 4

Photo from Guardian Food

Ingredients
750g pumpkin
3 tablespoons white miso
2 tablespoons olive oil
125g soba noodles
500g red cabbage, shredded
1 large handful coriander, coarsely chopped
2 spring onions, finely sliced
Chile oil, to serve

For the dressing
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons light soya sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons tahini or other sesame paste
1 tablespoons honey
1 clove garlic, peeled and grated
1 inch ginger root, peeled and grated
A splash of water

Preparation
Heat the oven to 220C. Wash the pumpkin (peel if you prefer) and cut into wedges. Whisk the miso and olive oil and toss onto the pumpkin. Tip onto a baking sheet and roast for 30-35 minutes, or until tender and golden at the edges. Leave to cool.
Meanwhile bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet, until al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water.
Mix the noodles, cabbage, most of the coriander, and spring onions in a bowl.
Make the dressing: whisk all the ingredients together.
Tip the dressing onto the ingredients in the bowl and blend.
Array the dressed vegetables on a serving platter and top with the roasted squash. Decorate with the remaining coriander and serve with chile oil on the side, for those who want this a bit spicy.

Recipe adapted from Thomasina Miers, Guardian, 31 Oct. 2020.

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Chard Tzatziki

November 19, 2020 by General Administrator

Chard is a common green throughout the winter, but with this recipe I hope to bring back a taste of the summer. I haven’t tried it yet but I’m expecting it to make a good tasty lunch!

Tzatziki yogurt dip

Photo from simplyrecipes.com

Ingredients:
3 to 4 large leaves of Swiss chard, ribs removed
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Pita chips:
3 (9-inch diameter) pita breads, cut like a pie into triangles
Olive oil for drizzling on to the pita bread

Method
1 Blanch and chop the chard: Bring a 1 or 2 quart saucepan, half filled with water, to a boil. Add the chard leaves. Cook until tender, about 3 minutes.

While the chard is cooking, prepare a bowl with ice water for an ice bath. When the chard is cooked, remove it with a slotted spoon and put into the ice bath to stop the cooking.

When the chard has cooled, remove it from the ice water and bunch it into a ball. Wrap it in a paper towel and squeeze hard to remove excess moisture.

Chop up the chard.

2 Combine tzatziki ingredients: Put the Greek yogurt, chopped chard, chopped mint, garlic, salt, olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Chill until ready to use (can make up to 3 days ahead).

3 Toast the pita bread: Cut the pita bread into triangles and layout in one layer in a grill pan (use a sturdy sheet pan or grill pan, not a thin baking sheet or your baking sheet will warp).

Drizzle olive oil on one side of the pita wedges. Use a pastry brush to spread the olive oil more evenly.

Place under the grill. Grill for 5 minutes or until the pita bread starts to toast. Remove and let cool for a minute.

4 Serve: Drizzle the tzatziki with a little olive oil and serve with toasted pita wedges.

Adapted from: https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/swiss_chard_tzatziki_yogurt_dip/

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Pumpkins, Lentils, Ginger

November 12, 2020 by General Administrator

The zingy, fried ginger topping gives this dal an invigorating freshness. Absolutely don’t leave it out!

The ratio between the pumpkin and the carrots does not need to be precise and overall I used a good deal more pumpkin than the 200g called for in the original recipe. Plus I didn’t have a Kashmiri red chilli so I used a dried Canalside chile and that worked just fine. Serve with flatbreads or rice.

Red lentil dal with carrots, pumpkin, and fried ginger
Serves 4

Photo from Guardian Food

Ingredients
210g red lentils
3 tbsp coconut oil
150g onion, cut into half moons
100g carrots, finely diced
200-300g pumpkin, peeled and diced into 2cm pieces
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ teaspoon ground red chilli powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice
2 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
2 teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds
5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 Kashmiri red chilli
10g chopped fresh coriander leaves

Preparation
Clean the lentils for any debris, rinse under cold running water, then put in a bowl, cover with 500ml cold water and set aside.

Heat a tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Add the onions, and saute until they turn translucent – three to four minutes. Add the carrots and pumpkin, and saute until tender – about eight minutes. Stir in the turmeric and red chilli powder, and cook for a further minute.

Add the lentils and their soaking water to the vegetables, stir in a teaspoon of salt and bring to a rolling boil over a medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover and leave to simmer until the vegetables are completely tender and cooked – about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lime juice, taste and season with salt as needed.

Heat the remaining coconut oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the coriander and mustard seeds, and cook until the seeds start to pop. Add the ginger to the hot oil, cover the pan with a lid and swirl for 30 seconds, until the mustard seeds stop sputtering.

Break the Kashmiri chilli in half and toss it into the hot oil. Remove from the heat and swirl the contents of the saucepan for another 30 seconds, until the chilli turns crisp. Pour this hot mixture over the lentils. Garnish with the fresh coriander leaves and serve warm with buttered flatbread or plain rice.

Recipe adapted from Nik Sharma, Guardian 31 Oct. 2020.

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Mini stuffed squash

November 5, 2020 by General Administrator

I can’t remember the name of the mini squashes we got this week, but I felt they were too special just to cube and roast like normal, so here I’ve found a fun stuffed squash recipe which although aimed at a different variety, I hope will translate across. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS
3 sweet dumpling squashes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
8 dates, coarsely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup cooked quinoa
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 190C.

Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. (The seeds can be roasted like pumpkin seeds.)

Place squash face-down in an oiled baking dish. Bake until tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes. Remove squash from oven but keep oven on.

Prepare the stuffing while the squash is baking. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until onion is translucent. Add pistachios, dates, lemon zest, and cinnamon and sauté for another minute. Stir in the cooked quinoa and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Turn the squash upright in the baking dish and stuff with the quinoa mixture.

Cover dish and bake for another 20 minutes.

Serve warm, garnished with extra pistachios or lemon zest, if desired. The peel of sweet dumpling squash is generally tender enough to be eaten.

From https://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-quinoa-stuffed-sweet-du-72643

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