Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: A Surprising Salad Dressing

September 23, 2021 by General Administrator

This very delicious recipe is from the Moosewood, a pioneering vegetarian restaurant in Ithaca, New York State, where I (mostly) grew up. The carrot makes the dressing a beautiful bright orange. The sesame oil, ginger and soya sauce balance the carrot’s sweetness (although you can add additional sugar if you like). The Moosewood Collective note that if you use this dressing on iceberg lettuce you will make ‘that Japanese restaurant bento box salad’. They also recommend it as a topping on grilled fish, or as a dip for green beans or sugar-snap peas.
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.

Japanese Carrot Dressing
Yields about 10 ounces.

Ingredients
½ cup carrots (about 2 medium-sized carrots).
¼ cup onion or shallot, chopped
8 ounces vegetable oil
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1.5 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon soya sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons water
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
black pepper

Preparation
Combine all the ingredients except the sugar and pepper in a blender and whizz. Start on low and the gradually increase the speed until the purée is smooth. Taste the dressing; add the brown sugar if you’d like this a little sweeter, and also add pepper and more salt, to taste.

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: 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: Carrots, Lentils, Coconut, Spinach

March 4, 2021 by General Administrator

Very good straight off the stove, and even better the next day. The grated carrot and spinach lighten the dhal, and also add beautiful little green and golden flecks to the duller gold of the lentils. The coconut milk stays in the background, adding sweetness and rich flavour without overwhelming the balance of tastes. This is good served with rice or bread, yoghurt and a pickle.

Quick Carrot Dhal
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 cloves garlic, peeled
thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled
1 green chile, chopped—remove the seeds if you prefer
1 red onion, peeled
vegetable or coconut oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
200g red lentils
400ml coconut milk
600ml water
6 medium carrots, peeled and topped and tailed
2 large handfuls of spinach, coarsely chopped, or about 8 ‘cubes’ of frozen spinach
Juice of 1 lemon
Big handful of coriander, coarsely chopped

Preparation
Finely grate the garlic and ginger. Mince the onion.

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and then add the oil. When it is hot add the garlic, ginger, chile and onion. Turn the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes until everything is soft but not browned. Stir periodically, so that it does not stick.

Meanwhile, toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry skillet for a few minutes, until they release a lovely smell. Set aside to cool for a few minutes, then put them into a mortar and crush them a little—they needn’t be ground.

Add the crushed cumin and coriander to the pan along with the other spices and salt. Turn up the heat to medium and cook for a minute or two. Now add the lentils, coconut milk and water and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low, cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Add more water if it seems dry, and stir every one and then so it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

While the lentils are cooking, grate the carrots coarsely and add to the lentils after they’ve cooked for about 20 minutes.

Once the lentils are tender, add the spinach and cook for a new more minutes until the fresh spinach wilts, or the frozen spinach defrosts and amalgamates into the dhal.

Stir in the lemon juice and the coriander. Taste, add more salt if you feel it necessary, and serve.

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

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).

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.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Pasta with Creamy Carrot Miso Sauce

October 15, 2020 by General Administrator

Another very good recipe from Slyvia Fontaine. The creamy carrot sauce colours the pasta a beautiful gold, while the fresh, herby gremolata adds vibrant green. Toasted breadcrumbs provide a contrasting crunch against the richness of the sauce. You would certainly not guess that this is vegan, but you’ll see right away how beautiful it looks in your bowl. The flavours work really well together and I recommend this highly.

Pasta with Creamy Carrot Miso Sauce
Serves 4

Image from feastingathome.com

Ingredients
Carrot Miso Sauce
2 shallots, rough chopped (or 1/2 an onion)
3 large garlic cloves, rough chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
150g carrots
450ml water
40g cashews
Freshly-ground pepper
3 tablespoons white miso paste

Gremolata
60g fresh coriander or parsley (Sylvia notes you can also use carrot tops)
1 tablespoon lemon zest ( zest from one medium lemon)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 fat garlic clove
70-100ml olive oil

Toasted Breadcrumbs
1 thick slice of good bread, grated, to make about 50g breadcrumbs

250g pasta (Sylvia Fontaine recommends orecchiette)

Instructions
Cook the sauce: Heat oil in a medium pot, over medium heat. Saute shallot and garlic until fragrant and golden, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add carrots, cashews, water, and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat to low and simmer gently until carrots are fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the 3 tablespoons of miso and let cool for 5-10 minutes.

While the carrots simmer make the Gremolata: Place coriander or parsley, lemon zest, salt and garlic in a food processer and pulse repeatedly until finely chopped. Add 70ml oil, pulsing a few more times until incorporated (but not too smooth). Add more oil if you prefer a looser version.

Now make the breadcrumbs: place the breadcrumbs in a frying pan over medium heat and toast, stirring frequently, until the crumbs are golden brown. Set aside.

Bring some water to the boil, and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.

While the pasta is cooking blend the sauce: place the carrot-cashew sauce in a high-speed blender or food processor and blend on the lowest setting, gradually increasing speed, until fully blended, creamy and silky smooth, which will take between one and two minutes. Slyvia writes: ‘Take your time here and get it SMOOTH!!!’

Drain the pasta and pour the sauce over. Heat it gently if needed. Taste and adjust salt.

Divide among bowls, and sprinkle with toasted bread crumbs and spoon the gremolata over top. Enjoy with a glass of chardonnay.

Recipe adapted from Sylvia Fontaine, Feasting at Home

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Fast (and veggie) Bourguignon

September 24, 2020 by General Administrator

You’ll have to nip to the shops for some mushrooms but otherwise, put with mash and greens, this recipe makes good use of lots of this week’s share. I’ve never made bourguignon so I’m looking forward to it!

Mushroom bourguignon

Image from BBC Good Food

Ingredients
1½ tsp olive oil
3 shallots, peeled, quartered and layers separated
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into slices on an angle
100g/3½oz button mushrooms, quartered
50g/1¾oz chestnut mushrooms, quartered
3 Portobello mushrooms, roughly chopped
7 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves only, or 1½ tsp dried thyme
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
150ml/¼ pint fruity vegan red wine
200ml/7fl oz vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp yeast extract
1 tbsp cornflour, or plain flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method
Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the shallots and carrot and fry gently for 5 minutes.

Add all the mushrooms and most of the thyme and cook for 5–6 minutes (note, an alternative is to dry fry the mushrooms before the other ingredients – they cook in their own juices, enhancing the flavour). Add the garlic and fry for a further minute.

Add the wine and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2 minutes, then turn the heat down and add the stock, bay leaves, tomato purée and yeast extract and stir. Sift in the cornflour and ½ teaspoon salt and whisk in well.

Cook for 7–8 minutes, then season with salt and pepper and add the rest of the thyme if preferred.

Serve with creamy mashed potatoes or a crunchy slice of crusty bread.

Taken from: BBC Good Food

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Crushed Carrots

July 17, 2020 by General Administrator

This is a spectacular recipe: the combination of carrots, harissa, and lemony yoghurt is inexplicably delicious. It looks particularly lovely served on a blue plate, and makes an ideal accompaniment to another Ottolenghi showstopper: his warm lentils with tahini.

Crushed Carrots with Harissa and Nuts
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra to finish
1 tablespoon butter
1kg carrots, peeled and sliced 2cm chunks
200ml water
grated zest of 1 orange
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons harissa paste, or to taste
grated zest of 1 lemon divided into two portions
1 tablespoon lemon juice
150g Greek yogurt
25g shelled unsalted pistachios or cashews, coarsely chopped
Salt and black pepper

Instructions
Place the olive oil and butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and sauté for 6 minutes, stirring often, until they’re soft and take on colour. Add the water, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and cook for another 25 minutes, until carrots are completely soft and perhaps a little caramelised, and there is hardly any liquid left.
Transfer the carrots to a food processor, add 3⁄4 teaspoon salt, and blitz to form a coarse paste. Leave to cool, then add orange zest, garlic, harissa, one portion of the lemon zest and the black pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
Mix the yogurt, lemon juice, remaining lemon zest, and 1⁄4 teaspoon salt.
Spread the yogurt mixture on a blue serving platter and spoon the carrots on top. Sprinkle with nuts, drizzle with a little olive oil, and serve.

Recipe adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty More (2014).

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: A Very Elaborate Borscht

June 4, 2020 by General Administrator

In case you have a little time on your hands just now, here is an excellent use of a few hours. The result is the best borscht I, at least, have ever tasted. Alissa Timoshkina, whose recipe this is, notes that if you can make the broth 24 hours in advance, ‘you will be rewarded with an even better tasting soup, but a few hours of resting will also do the trick’.

For the red cabbage sauerkraut, I recommend you get in touch with Canalside member Erica Moody, who makes superb sauerkrauts of all sorts.

Borscht
Serves 4

Ingredients
unrefined sunflower oil, for frying and roasting
1 large onion, finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and grated
6 raw beetroots
2 red peppers
2 tablespoons tomato purée
2 litres cold water
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
4 garlic cloves, peeled
bunch of dill
small bunch of flat leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves, grated
500g red cabbage sauerkraut
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 red onion
1 tablespoon brown sugar
400g can red kidney beans
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
4 tablespoons soured cream
salt

Preparation
Heat up a tablespoon of sunflower oil in a large pan and fry the onion and carrot for about 8 minutes until golden. Meanwhile, peel and grate 2 of the beetroots and core, deseed and thinly slice 1 red pepper. Add the vegetables to the pan together with the tomato purée and a splash of water. Season with salt to taste and fry for a further 5–8 minutes.

Top with the measured cold water, add the bay leaves along with the peppercorns and all the seeds, whole garlic cloves and half the bunches of dill and parsley. Season with a tablespoon of salt and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, add the grated garlic and half the sauerkraut with its brine and simmer, covered, over a low heat for 40 minutes–1 hour.
Turn off the heat and let the borscht rest for another hour, while you prepare the rest of the elements.

So far, so good, but here is where the recipe starts to deviate from the norm quite a lot: to prepare the vegetables that will grace the plate and also add extra flavour and texture to the soup, you will need to do a bit of roasting.
Start by preheating the oven to 160°C fan/Gas Mark 4. Peel the remaining 4 beetroots, cut into wedges and dress with oil, salt and the pomegranate molasses. Peel the red onion, cut into wedges and season with salt and the brown sugar to bring out their sweetness and promote caramelization. Place on a roasting tray with the beetroot and roast together for 30 minutes. Drain the kidney beans, then dress them with salt, oil and the smoked paprika. Core and deseed the remaining red pepper, then cut into thin strips and dress with salt and oil. Roast the beans and pepper together, as they will need only 10–15 minutes.

When ready to serve, strain the broth through a sieve or a muslin cloth, discarding the solids. All we need is that rich broth! Reheat again if necessary. Next, create layers of texture and flavour in each bowl by adding a heaped tablespoon of the remaining sauerkraut to each, as well as a handful of roasted beetroot, onion, kidney beans and red pepper. Top each bowl with the hot broth and add a dollop of soured cream and a generous sprinkle of the remaining dill and parsley, chopped. The intensity of the flavours and textures of this dish is beyond words, while the look of the bowl will seduce the eye without a doubt.

Recipe from Alissa Timoshkina, Salt & Time: Recipes from a Russian Kitchen (2019).

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