» Carrots

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Carrot-Nut Porridge

I was recently at an event where everyone was asked what they had for breakfast. 8 of the 10 people replied ‘porridge’. Clearly porridge is having a bit of a moment. Here is a surprising, satisfying and toothsome variant. Cooked with oat milk, shredded carrot becomes soft and sweet, blending perfectly with the oats to make a rich, thick breakfast. The peanut butter, berries and hemp hearts add further sweetness, depth and crunch.

Carrot-Nut Porridge
Serves 2

Ingredients
100g porridge oats
100g carrot, peeled and shredded
600ml oat milk
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
2cm vanilla pod
2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
Blueberries or blackberries, to serve (frozen are fine)
2 tablespoons hulled hemp seeds, to serve
2 tablespoons date syrup, mulberry syrup, maple syrup or honey, to serve (if desired)

Preparation
Place the oats, shredded carrot, oat milk, nutmeg and vanilla pod in a saucepan and bring slowly to a simmer. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until it’s thick and the carrot is soft. Stir in the peanut butter.

Divide into two serving bowls and top with berries and hemp seeds, and drizzle with syrup to taste.

Recipe adapted from Meridian Foods.

Ali’s Recipe of the Week: One for the Store-cupboard

Rebecca’s having a break this week and hopes to be back with another recipe next week.

With the cauliflower crop getting going, the moment may have arrived to do the first preserving of the year (that is, if you haven’t already made marmalade, perhaps using some delicious La Jimena seville oranges).

Piccalilli is as versatile as any savoury preserve in that you can flex the recipe according to what is available. Most piccalilli recipes call for courgettes, green beans, tomatoes, and other summer veg. However, if all you have is roots and PSB (purple sprouting broccoli) that combination will also make a perfectly good version of this tangy preserve. Luckily my book of preserves from the Women’s Institute can oblige with a suitably flexible recipe for any time of year! I’ve been know to make a version with cauliflower, onions (admittedly these are perhaps the two essential vegetables), carrot and swede!

Many piccalilli recipes call for the vegetables to be brined overnight, but this one breaks that rule, which simplifies the recipe and results in a delicious accompaniment for a ploughman’s lunch. And unlike chutneys which rely on evaporation of the liquid to thicken the preserve (which can sometimes take hours), as this one is thickened with flour it has a much shorter cooking time.

Accommodating Piccalilli from the W.I.
Makes about 2.7kg (6lb) = 6 average sized jam jars
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
1 large cauliflower, broken into florets
450g (1lb) pickling onions – if you’ve still got any little Canalside onions left, they’d be perfect!
1.4L (2 1/2 pints) white malt vinegar (apple cider vinegar also works well)
900g (2lb) mixed vegetables, diced or cut into 2.5cm (1 inch) lengths
2 fat cloves of garlic
450g (1lb) caster sugar
50g (2oz) dry mustard (i.e. mustard powder)
115g (4oz) plain white flour, sieved
25g (1oz) ground turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp salt

Preparation
In a large preserving pan, summer the cauliflower and onions in 1.1litres (2 pints) of the vinegar for 10 minutes.

Add the other vegetables, garlic and sugar and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Mix the mustard, flour. spices and salt with the remaining vinegar and add to the cooked vegetables, stirring all the time to prevent lumps from forming.

Stir well and simmer for a further 10 minutes.

Spoon into cooled and sterilised jars and cover with vinegar proof tops. Label and store for at least 2 weeks before using. It will keep for months (I think I’ve even kept it for more than a year) with the flavour improving and mellowing as it ages.

From ‘Best Kept Secrets of the Women’s Institute: Jams, Pickles and Preserves’ by Midge Thomas

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.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Diana Henry’s Uzbeki Carrots

Carrots simmered in warm spices with dried fruit, topped with pistachio nuts and salty yoghurt. You will enjoy this. I served it with a surprisingly complex beetroot salad dressed with balsamic vinegar and maple syrup, mixed with shredded daikon radish, a root-vegetable hat trick, but that’s for another day.

The recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of barberries, which, amazingly, I happened to have. I think you can leave it out. You could also serve this over pasta, or in a pita with a shredded hard-cooked egg.

Uzbeki Carrots
Serves 2-3.

Ingredients
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, cut into thin wedges (or several tinned tomatoes)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ Canalside chile, seeded and shredded (or to taste)
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cumin
salt and black pepper
500g carrots, peeled and cut into batons
75g currants
1 tablespoon dried barberries (entirely optional)
¼ teaspoon saffron
350ml water (or use some of the tomato juice from the tin if you’ve used tinned tomatoes)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons honey, or to taste

To serve:
2-3 tablespoons shelled unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
Salted yoghurt
Fresh coriander, chopped
4 spring onions, sliced

Preparation
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion over medium heat until golden brown, then add the tomatoes and cook until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and chile and cook for another minute, then the cinnamon and cumin and cook for another minute. Add a couple pinches of salt and pepper, and then add everything else, except garnishes. Bring to a gentle boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer the carrots until completely tender, 20-25 minutes. The mixture should remain moist but not be swimming in juice. If it gets too dry, add a little more water. If it is too sloppy, turn up the heat and boil off some of the liquid. Taste for seasoning and balance; the mixture should be sweet and savoury.

Serve topped with a generous dollop of yogurt, pistachios, coriander, and spring onion.

Recipe adapted from Diana Henry, A Change of Appetite: Where Healthy Meets Delicious (2014).

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.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Pancakes for Supper

Crispy chickpea and carrot pancakes make a quick and tasty base for a variety of toppings. The chickpea flour creates a rich and moist interior that’s satisfying without being heavy. We ate these with spinach and avocado dressed with lemon and olive oil, and some grated goat cheese. You could also try roasted tomatoes topped with basil and a fried egg.
If you use two frying pans you can make two pancakes simultaneously, and the whole thing will take under 15 minutes.

Chickpea and Carrot Pancakes
Serves 2

Ingredients
125g chickpea flour (aka gram flour)
125g carrots, grated
175ml milk or oat milk
1 tsp roasted ground cumin, or coriander, or caraway, or fennel or mustard seed, as you prefer
Salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 tablespoons olive or rapeseed oil, for frying

Preparation
Mix the pancake ingredients aside from the oil in a blender—I used a Nutribullet—and blend until the mixture is smooth.

Heat two frying pans over medium heat and add the oil. Swirl the oil around to coat the bottom of each pan and let the oil get hot. Once it’s hot (test by adding a drop of water and seeing if it sizzles), pour half the batter into each pan and cook for 2 minutes. As it sets the colour will darken a bit and some bubbles will begin to appear on the top. Adjust the heat if you think it’s starting to get too brown on the bottom. Using a fish slice turn each pancake over and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes on the other side, until it looks firm.

Remove each pancake from the pan, and place on a plate. Top with your selected topping (see below) and enjoys.

Pancake Toppings

Spinach with avocado and goat cheese
Toss baby spinach with sliced avocado and dress with an olive oil and lemon vinaigrette (50% olive oil, 50% lemon juice, salt and pepper). Arrange some dressed spinach on each pancake, and top with grated goat or sheep cheese. Garnish with additional slices of avocado and a grind of black pepper.

Tomato, basil and egg
Drizzle cherry tomatoes with olive oil and roast in a 200C oven for 30 minutes. Toss with shredded basil and lemon zest. Arrange on pancake and top with a crispy fried egg.

Brussels sprout slaw with avocado and cheese
Trim the bottoms off several handfuls of Brussels sprouts and shred them finely. Dress with a lemon vinaigrette and toss with chopped parsley or coriander. Arrange on top of each pancake. Garnish with sliced avocado, freshly ground black pepper and lots of grated cheese.

Recipe adapted from Anna Jones, Guardian 6 Oct. 2018.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Turmeric and Lime Leaf Broth

‘A combination of lifting aromatics and wintery earthy roots, roasted until crisp around the edges and sweet’, writes Anna Jones. This flavoursome broth is satisfying and unctuous without being cloying or heavy. I think you will enjoy it. ‘Definitely one for a Canalside recipe’ said Matt when I made this.

Anna Jones notes that you can use any root vegetables that you like—beetroot or potatoes could be substituted for the carrots, parsnips and swedes.

Turmeric and Lime Leaf Broth with Roasted Roots
Serves 4.

Ingredients

200g carrots, peeled and halved if big
350g parsnips, peeled and quartered
500g swede, peeled and roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
coconut oil
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger root, peeled
1 thumb-sized piece of turmeric root, peeled
1 bunch of coriander
2 large shallots, finely sliced, divided into two portions
1 clove garlic, finely sliced
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, roughly smashed
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 x 400g tin of coconut milk
4 lime leaves

To Serve
200g cooked grains
1 lime, halved

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 220C.

Place the prepared roots into a baking tray with a big pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Put in the oven. After 5 minutes remove it and toss everything together. Return it to the oven and roast for about 35 minutes, or until everything is golden. Toss it periodically while it’s roasting.
Meanwhile prepare the broth: first grate the ginger and turmeric.

Cut off the stalks of the coriander and chop these roughly. Keep the leaves to garnish the soup.
Add another tablespoon of coconut oil to a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add half the shallots and sauté for about 5 minutes, until they begin to brown. Add the grated ginger and turmeric, the chopped coriander stalks, the garlic, coriander seeds and chile. Sauté for a few more minutes.

Add the coconut milk and the lime leaves. Fill the empty tin with water and add this to the pan as well. Season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes.

While the broth is simmering heat another tablespoon of coconut oil in a sauté pan over high heat. When it’s really hot add the remaining shallot and cook until it’s crispy and golden—but don’t let it burn. Remove the crispy shallots from the pan onto some kitchen paper. Spread them out so they don’t all stick to each other and go soggy.

Once the roots are ready, spoon the grains into four bowls. Place the roasted roots over the grains and ladle the soup over the top. Garnish with the coriander leaves and crispy shallots. Serve with the lime halves for an extra lime kick.

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

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: A Wild Soup

Now that the snow is gone and spring has sprung, you can start foraging.* There are young nettles everywhere, so start picking. Wild garlic is in season as well, and if you can find any it combines magnificently with nettle to make a sumptuous, bright green soup whose vibrant colour alone will lift your spirits. Eat this with bread and some cheese for an easy dinner.

Wild Garlic & Nettle Soup
serves 4.

Ingredients
500g mixed nettles and wild garlic leaves
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil, plus extra for drizzling
25g butter
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 leek, cleaned and chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 large potato, chopped
salt, to taste
1.5 litres flavourful stock
3 tablespoons milk

Preparation

Wearing gloves, strip the nettle leaves from the stalks. Roughly chop the wild garlic and nettles and set aside.

Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion, leek, carrot, potato and a good pinch of salt, and stir until everything is well coated. Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring every so often to make sure that the vegetables don’t catch on the bottom of the pan.

Pour in the stock, and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are very soft. At this point you can turn off the heat and leave the pan until you’re ready to eat.
When you are ready to eat add the nettles and wild garlic in several batches, stirring to blend everything together. Cook over low heat for about 2 minutes.

Turn off the heat and blend using a stick blender. Add the milk, and then warm over very low heat until it’s a pleasant temperature. Check to see if it needs any more salt.

Serve, drizzled with a little extra oil over the top, if you like.

Recipe adapted from Barney Desmazery, https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/wild-garlic-nettle-soup

* Brandon Marsh Nature Centre is offering a foraging course on 27 May, in case you’d like to sign up. They promise wild garlic, among other delicacies. http://www.wildfooduk.com/events/warwickshire-coventry-brandon-marsh-spring-foraging-course-1/

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.

Dom’s Recipe of the Week: Frittata from the oven

This is a great way to use up odds and ends of fresh veg, and leftovers too. You can use more or less whatever you fancy from the list, though I do think some kind of onion is essential. As the egg is poured straight into the roasting dish full of hot veg, you don’t need to fry this frittata at all, but it helps to have a heavy ceramic or cast-iron dish, which retains the heat well. And the eggs should be at room temperature, not cold from the fridge.

Oven-roasted roots frittata

Ingredients

About 600g mixed winter veg, such as onions, carrots, squash or pumpkin, parsnip, celeriac, beetroot, jerusalem artichokes, black spanish radish, potatoes
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
3 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
7 large or 8 medium eggs
A handful of mixed herbs, such as curly parsley, chives and thyme, finely chopped
About 20g Parmesan, hard goat’s cheese or other well-flavoured hard cheese, grated
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas Mark 5. Meanwhile, prepare your chosen veg: peel shallots or onions and quarter or thickly slice; peel carrots and cut into 5mm slices; peel squash or pumpkin, deseed and cut into 2–3cm cubes; peel parsnip, celeriac and beetroot and cut into 1–2cm cubes; cut potatoes into 1–2cm cubes.

Put all the veg into an ovenproof dish, about 23cm square. Add the garlic, oil and plenty of salt and pepper and toss well. Roast for about 40 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the veg are all tender and starting to caramelise in places.

Beat the eggs together with the chopped herbs and some more salt and pepper. Take the dish from the oven, pour the egg evenly over the veg and scatter over the grated cheese. Return to the oven for 10–15 minutes until the egg is all set and the top is starting to colour. If your oven has a grill, you can use that to accelerate the browning of the top.

Leave to cool slightly, then slide the frittata out on to a plate or board. Serve warm or cold. Perfect lunchbox fare…

Thanks to River Cottage

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