» Cabbage

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: A Comforting Winter Meal

Spiky mustard and capers bring a little bite to the smooth, roasted squash, the crispy cabbage and unctuous cheese. A topping of crunch breadcrumbs finishes things off. You’ll feel properly nourished with this one-dish meal.
Anna Jones describes this dish as having ‘simple British flavours’. That set me thinking about the origin of the ingredients. Caraway and mustard seeds have been eaten in Britain since the Middle Ages, but squash didn’t reach these shores until the sixteenth century, when European sailors brought it back from the Americas, together with tomatoes, chile peppers, and much more, including (of course) potatoes. Savoy cabbages—‘Savoy coleworts’ as they were called in one English herbal—probably reached England from Holland around the same time.

Cheesy Roasted Savoy Squash with Crispy Breadcrumbs
Serves 4

Ingredients
For the Veg

About 800g squash or pumpkin
About 400g Savoy or other cabbage
Olive oil
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
50g dry bread (ideally rye)—about 2 thin slices—or use chunky breadcrumbs if you have some to hand
2 tablespoons capers
100g sharp cheese such as cheddar, crumbled

For the Dressing
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
3 tablespoons olive or rapeseed oil

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 220C.

Remove the seeds from the squash or pumpkin and slice into 2cm-thick wedges. Peel the slices if that’s what you prefer. Cut the cabbage into 8 chunky wedges.

Place both on a large oven tray and sprinkle with salt, pepper, olive oil and the caraway seeds. Spread them out so they will crisp up in the oven. You don’t want them to steam in a big heap.

Roast for about 35 minutes, until the squash is soft and the cabbage is golden and crisp and charred a little at the edges.

Meanwhile, make the caper breadcrumbs. Wizz the bread in a food processor to reduce to chunky, rough breadcrumbs. You don’t want a fine powder. Place the crumbs on a baking tray, drizzle with oil, and toss with the capers, salt and pepper. Toast in the oven for about 5 minutes or until they look pleasingly crunchy. Watch out that they do not burn. Set aside.

Make the dressing by shaking all the ingredients together in a jar. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

To serve, tumble the squash, cabbage and cheese on a platter. Drizzle with the dressing and toss. Top with the breadcrumbs and bring to the table.

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

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Lentil Soup with Spinach and Lemon

This is just the sort of restorative your body is crying out for after the holidays. It’s rich and satisfying without being heavy. You’ll feel good eating it.

You can also add some cooked potatoes, if you happen to have some lying about.

Ads bi Hamud
Serves 6

Ingredients
375g green lentils, soaked for 1 hour
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, cut in half and sliced thin
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced thin
1 tablespoon plain flour
1kg mixed greens (spinach, chard, kale, etc.)
Juice of 1.5 lemons

Preparation
Wash and drain the lentils. Put them in a pan with water to cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until they are very tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in another pan and sauté the onions until they are very soft, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until you detect a nice, garlicky smell. Add the flour and stir well. Add a teacup of water to the pan and stir to dissolve any tasty browned bits. Cook over a low heat to thicken a bit and then pour the whole thing into the lentils and mix. Heat gently so that the lentils and onions thicken a bit.

Wash the greens and chop coarsely. Add these to the lentils and cook for about 10 minutes.

Add the lemon juice and simmer a bit more, so that the soup is thick and hot.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: A Salad Dressing for Salt Fiends

This is pretty addictive. It delivers a big dose of umami and makes an outstanding dressing for robust vegetables. I’ve been eating it on a salad of finely shredded red or white cabbage, grated carrot, and chopped coriander. It would be good on grilled tofu or fish, or roasted butternut squash. Or use it as a dip for whole potatoes—the little ones we’re getting in our shares—roasted at 200C for 30 minutes.

Miso-Tahini Dressing
Serves 2

Ingredients
1 tablespoon miso paste
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon soya sauce
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Preparation
Combine the ingredients and blend well, using a fork. Taste to see if it would benefit from a little more vinegar. The mahogany-dark dressing is now ready to use. This makes enough for half a small cabbage, shredded, together with several grated carrots.

Pip’s Recipe of the Week: A Summer ‘Slaw

Our resident Recipe Meister, Rebecca Earle, is having a break during July, and so newly joined member Pip Smith has stepped forward to tantalise our tastebuds in Rebecca’s absence. Here’s Pip’s first recipe for us:

Beetroot, cabbage and spring onion in the veg share this week? It can only mean one thing…….slaw! I’ve been looking at lots of coleslaw recipes and it seems to me the general theme is either vinaigrette dressing or creamy mayonnaise/Dijon or horseradish. Pretty much anything can go into a slaw as long as there is a nice bite and balance of flavour in the main ingredients.

I’ve chosen a vinaigrette and will follow the rule of equal oil to vinegar. I’ve chosen not to massage the vinegar into the cabbage though this could be worth experimenting with to break down the fibres and change the texture.

Ingredients:

1 small cabbage
4 baby beets
2 – 4 spring onions
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Optional 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Method:
Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove core, then slice thinly.
Peel the beetroot then grate.
Trim and slice the spring onion
Put the oil, vinegar, mustard if using, salt and pepper into a lidded glass jar and shake.
Put the the slaw mix into a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette.

For a tasty addition you could toast some seeds and sprinkle on top.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Vietnamese Beef Salad

This main-course salad is based on what I gather is a classic Vietnamese sauce called Nước chấm. It’s a combination of lime juice, a bit of sugar, and fish sauce. It’s sharp, salty and addictive. The recipe combines slices of lightly-cooked steak with a salad of shredded vegetables. You can also make it without the steak, in which case I’d recommend adding some toasted peanuts. You can also make this more hearty still by serving it alongside some cooked rice, or rice noodles.

Vietnamese Beef Salad with Nước chấm
Serves 4

Ingredients

2 red chilli peppers (or to taste)
½ cup fish sauce
1 tablespoon lime zest
⅓ cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
2 tablespoons dark muscovado sugar
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
600g rump steak or ¾ cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
½ cucumber
6 carrots, peeled and shredded
½ medium white cabbage, finely shredded
8 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 bunch coriander, coarsely chopped
roasted peanuts (if you’re not using steak)
an additional lime half, for garnish (optional)

Preparation

De-seed and finely chop one chilli pepper. In a small bowl, combine the chopped chilli, fish sauce, lime zest, lime juice, brown sugar, ginger and garlic.

If you’re using the steak, then pour 1/2 of the mixture into a sealable plastic bag and add the steak, if you’re using it. Seal, and leave to marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes (or refrigerate for up to 24 hours). Let meat come to room temperature before cooking if necessary.

De-seed the second chilli pepper and slice it finely. Slice the cucumber into thin matchsticks. Toss the sliced chilli, sliced cucumber, shredded carrot and cabbage, spring onions and almost all the coriander together to mix. Keep a little coriander back to garnish the top of the salad.
If you’re not using the steak, simply add the peanuts, pour the dressing over the vegetables, toss, garnish with a little more coriander, and serve.

If you’re using the steak, toss the salad with the remaining dressing and then spread the salad out onto a serving platter and set aside.

When you are ready to eat heat a cast iron pan (or other sturdy frying pan) to very hot and add the steak. Cook for 75 seconds on each side, unless you don’t like your meat rare, in which case cook it for perhaps 2 minutes a side, or however long you favour cooking steak. I like steak very rare . . .

Remove the meat from the pan and let it sit for 3-5 minutes on a cutting board. Then slice the steak very thinly, and place the slices over the top of the salad. Scatter the sliced red chiles and reserved coriander over the top and serve with an additional sliced lime on the side, in case anyone wants more lime.

Recipe adapted from Melissa Clark, New York Times Cooking.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: A Saffron Salad

Saffron gives a beautiful colour and a rich, aromatic flavour to this simple winter salad.

Carrot, Cabbage and Saffron Salad

Ingredients
0.5g saffron (on whole little packet)
50 ml rapeseed oil
1 medium cabbage, coarsely shredded
500g carrots, peeled and coarsely shredded
1 red onion, coarsely shredded
50 ml cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1½ teaspoons salt
black pepper to taste

Preparation
Combine the saffron and oil in a mortar and pestle, and leave to soak for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the cabbage, carrots and red onion in a bowl.

When the saffron has soaked for 15 minutes use the pestle to crush the saffron into the oil, to release its flavour. Tip the saffron-y oil into a small bowl and whisk in the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the vegetables and, using your hands, vigorously scrunch and squeeze everything together to mix.

Place a plate over the top of the salad and weigh it down a bit by putting a couple of tins, or some kitchen weights, on top. The goal is to press the salad together to encourage the flavours to blend.

Leave it for at least an hour, and then serve.

(Recipe courtesy of Ulrika Andersson.)

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Savoy Cabbage, Black Kale and Potatoes

Meera Sodha’s Fresh India won the Observer Food Monthly’s 2017 ‘best new cookbook’ award. Cook this and you’ll appreciate why. She recommends serving with ‘a fiery pickle, hot chapattis and yogurt, or with dal and rice’.

Savoy Cabbage, Black Kale and Potato Subji (Savoy Aloo Gobhi)
Serves 4 to 6 as part of a main course.

Ingredients
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
3 tablespoons rapeseed oil
15 curry leaves
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
800g potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
200g savoy cabbage, finely shredded
200g black kale, finely shredded
1¼ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon chilli powder
¾ teaspoon ground turmeric

Preparation
Lightly grind the coriander and cumin seeds with a pestle and mortar. Put the oil into a large lidded frying pan over a medium heat and, when hot, add the curry leaves and mustard seeds. When they crackle, add the onion. Cook for around 10 minutes, until golden and sweet, stirring occasionally.

Add the crushed coriander and cumin, followed by the potatoes. Cook for 10-15 minutes, turning every now and then until crispy. Add a couple of tablespoons of water, cover with the lid and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and no longer resist the point of a knife.

Finally, add the shredded cabbage and black kale to the pan with a couple of tablespoons of water and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the salt, chilli and turmeric, mix well, cover with the lid, reduce the heat to low and cook for another 4 minutes, or until the cabbage and black kale have wilted. Enjoy!

(Recipe adapted from Meera Sodha, Fresh India.)

Rebecca’s recipes of the week: Cabbage and Kohlrabi Salad

There isn’t kohlrabi in the share next week, but you may still have yours from this week’s share (especially as this is coming to you early this week).

What is a kohlrabi? What should you do with it? The answer is: put it in a cabbage and kohlrabi salad. Delicious and crunchy. Actually, the salad is pretty good without the kohlrabi too.

The recipe is from Yotam Ottolenghi, who has this to say about the kohlrabi: ‘People always ask me what to do with kohlrabi, an often unwanted child in the organic vegetable box. It seems too healthy, too weird, too German! In actual fact, this is a wonderful vegetable. When mixed with floury root vegetables you can use it in gratins; you can shallow-fry it in olive oil and serve with garlic and chives; and you can add it to an Oriental stir-fry. But in this salad I think I have found the absolute best use for a kohlrabi. It is wonderfully fresh-tasting, with a good lemony kick and some sharp sweetness.’

Cabbage and Kohlrabi Salad
Serves 4.

Ingredients
1 medium kohlrabi (about 240g)
½ white cabbage (about 240g)
1 large bunch of dill, roughly chopped (about 6 heaped tablespoons)
120g currants or dried whole sour cherries
grated zest of 1 lemon
90ml lemon juice
60ml olive oil
salt and pepper

Preparation
Peel the kohlrabi and cut into thin matchsticks.
Shred the cabbage into fine strips.
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Massage everything together for a few minutes to allow the flavours to meld. Use your hands to scrunch up the kohlrabi and cabbage a bit if you don’t like super-crunchy raw vegetables. This will make them a bit softer. Let the salad sit for at least 10 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

(Recipe adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty.)

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