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.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Buckwheat dosa with coconut chutney and greens

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Buckwheat dosa with coconut chutney and greens

Another easy and delicious recipe from Meera Sodha. She writes: ‘This dish consists of three separate elements: the dosa batter, the coconut chutney and the vegetable filling. . . The key to success is to make [the dosas] in a nonstick pan on a very high heat – it needs to be very hot indeed – and make sure you leave them to crisp up properly before even thinking about flipping them with a spatula. The first pancake will inevitably fail – such is the universal law of pancakes – so make it a small one, so as not to waste too much batter’.

Buckwheat dosa with coconut chutney and greens
Serves 3

Ingredients
100g desiccated coconut
Salt
180g buckwheat flour
6 tbsp oil, plus extra for brushing
12 fresh curry leaves
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2cm ginger, peeled and grated
1-2 green chillies, finely chopped (or to taste)
400g chard or spinach, leaves shredded, tough stalks roughly chopped
200g frozen peas

Preparation
Put the desiccated coconut in a heatproof bowl with a third of a teaspoon of salt, cover with 275ml boiling water and leave to soak for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the buckwheat flour in another bowl with half a teaspoon of salt. Slowly pour in 450ml water, mix to a thin batter, then set aside.
Put the oil in a nonstick frying pan and get it really hot, then add the curry leaves, cumin, mustard seeds, garlic, ginger and chillies, and fry for two to three minutes, until the garlic turns a pale gold. Carefully tip into a jug to cool. Keep the pan for later.
When the spiced oil has cooled, stir two tablespoons into the coconut mix, and another two tablespoons into the buckwheat batter. Tip the coconut into a blender and blitz until really smooth (add a little more water, if need be).
Reheat the frying pan over a high heat and, when hot, add the rest of the spiced oil, followed by the chard or spinach stalks. Fry, stirring, for three minutes, then add the leaves and cook until wilted. Throw in the peas, cook for a couple of minutes, until everything is nice and hot, then stir through a couple of tablespoons of the coconut chutney. Scrape out into a serving dish, wipe the pan clean with kitchen paper and put back on the heat.
Once the pan is really hot, brush the surface with a fine layer of oil. Add a small ladleful of batter and swirl it into a thin layer – a few gaps and bubbles are fine, because they can help the dosa get crisp. Cook the dosa for two minutes, until the edges are visibly crisp and browning, then gently lever up with a spatula, flip and cook for a further two minutes on the other side, before turning it out on to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter, oiling the pan between each dosa.
Stuff the dosas with the greens and serve with the remaining chutney on the side.

Recipe adapted from Meera Sodha, The Guardian, 13 July 2019.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: An Egg-Lemon Sauce for Vegetables

According to Claudia Roden, this creamy, lemony sauce is ‘one of Turkey’s culinary signature tunes’. Warm and eggy, it provides a delicate contrast to more robust vegetables such as celeriac or poached leek. It’s as if they’ve been given a luxurious bath in something rich and comforting. I like to serve this on a base of shredded greens, but you can omit that if you’d prefer. It would also go well with rice, and Roden recommends serving it alongside a lamb stew. It’s very easy.

Celeriac with Egg-Lemon Sauce
Serves 2

Ingredients
800g celeriac
1 lemon
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper
2 egg yolks
Shredded greens, to serve

Preparation
Peel the celeriac with a sharp knife and cut it into ¾-inch cubes. Put the cubes into a pan and just cover with cold water. Add the sugar, some salt, and the juice of half the lemon. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until tender.

While the celeriac is cooking start to prepare the egg-lemon sauce: in a small saucepan whisk the egg yolks with the juice of the remaining half-lemon, some pepper, and a bit more salt. Set aside until the celeriac has finished cooking.

Put the shredded greens into a serving dish.

Drain the celeriac, but make sure to keep a few tablespoons of water to use in the sauce. Arrange the celeriac cubes on top of the greens.

Whisk 2 tablespoons of the cooking water into the egg-lemon mixture and place the pan over low heat. Stir constantly for a few minutes, until the mixture has just begun to thicken. Don’t let this get too hot, or stop stirring, lest the mixture curdle. Pour the egg-lemon sauce over the vegetables and serve.

Recipe adapted form Claudia Roden, Arabesque (2009).

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.

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Celeriac Pasta Ribbons

Since we’re getting celeriac this week I thought I would share this recipe with you since I thought it was amazing last time we got it in the share (my first taste of celeriac in fact!) I guess the chard in the recipe can be replaced with the spinach this week too 🙂

Celeriac ribbons tossed with chard, garlic & pumpkin seeds

Photo courtesy of BBC Good Food website

Ingredients
1 small celeriac, peeled
1 lemon, juiced
40g pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
15g butter
4 thyme sprigs, leaves removed
2 finely chopped cloves of garlic
½ tsp of dried chilli flakes
1 bunch of chard, leaves separated from stalks, stalks sliced and leaves shredded
20g pecorino

Method
Using a good vegetable peeler, cut long, wide strips (about the width of pappardelle) around the circumference of the celeriac, into a bowl of water and lemon juice, until you have lots of ribbons. Allow for more than you would if using pasta.

Dry-fry the pumpkin seeds in a pan until they’ve puffed and popped. Set aside.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the celeriac for 1 min, drain and reserve the water. In a non-stick frying pan, heat the oil and butter until the butter has melted and foamed up. Add the thyme, garlic and chilli.

Cook the garlic mixture for 5 mins until fragrant and almost golden, add the chard stalks and stir, cooking for a couple more mins. Add the pumpkin seeds and the chard leaves, season and squeeze in some lemon juice. Turn up the heat and stir in half the grated cheese. Add the celeriac and a slosh of the cooking water and toss, shaking the pan until the sauce looks glossy. Divide between plates, top with more cheese and serve.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, October 2017 and available online at: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/celeriac-ribbon-pasta-tossed-chard-garlic-pumpkin-seeds

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Three Bruschettas

Welcome back to Rebecca – here’s her first recipe after her break in July:

A bruschetta is an Italian open-faced sandwich. To make it you grill some good sourdough bread, rub it with a bit of garlic, drizzle it with olive oil, and add a topping. Roast courgette, grilled aubergine, and chickpeas with Swiss chard all make tasty and quick toppings. Make just one, or serve all three for a fresh and summery dinner.

Basic Bruschetta
For each bruschetta you need:

Ingredients
1 generous slice of a decent sourdough bread
1 garlic clove, peeled
Olive oil, to drizzle

Grill the bread on both sides. Grilling gives a better result, but you can use a toaster if need be. Rub the grilled bread on one side with the garlic, and drizzle with olive oil. Your bruschetta base is now ready for a topping.

Roast Courgette
Enough to top 1-2 bruschetta

Ingredients
1 medium courgette
Olive oil to drizzle
¼ fresh red chile, chopped, or to taste
Several sprigs of fresh mint, chopped

Preheat oven to 200C. Cut the courgette lengthwise into 5mm slices. Place slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Turn the slices over part-way through so they get crisp on both sides. Mix the roast courgettes with the chopped chiles and mint, arrange on the bruschetta, add a final drizzle of olive oil, and eat.

Grilled Aubergine
Enough to top 2 bruschetta

Ingredients
1 Canalside aubergine (i.e. one very small aubergine. . .)
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Small handful of fresh basil, shredded
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ fresh red chile, chopped, or to taste

Preheat the grill. Cut the aubergine into very thin slices and arrange in the grill pan. Grill on both sides until tender, about 10 minutes in total. Don’t forget to turn them over halfway through. Toss the grilled aubergine with a tablespoon or two of olive oil, a good squeeze of lemon juice, the shredded basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Arrange on the bruschetta, top with the chopped chile, and serve.

Chickpea Chard
Enough to top 2 bruschetta

Ingredients
About 200g Swiss chard (or spinach)
Olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ fresh red chile, chopped, or to taste

Boil the chard in water until tender, about 3-6 minutes. Drain and chop roughly. Return the cooked chard to the pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil and the garlic, and braise for another 5 minutes or so. Season and set aside.
Heat the chickpeas in a pan with another tablespoon or two of olive oil and the lemon juice, just until warm. Purée or mash the chickpeas and season to taste. Spread some of the puréed chick peas over part of each bruschetta, and arrange some chard alongside it, so that the two toppings are next to each other, rather than one on top of the other. Sprinkle the chile over the top, drizzle with a little more olive oil and eat.

Recipes adapted from Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers, River Cafe Cook Book Easy (2003).

Pip’s Recipe of the Week: Magic Pasta Pot

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 this week’s recipe:

Magic one pot pasta with tomato and greens

This is a lovely dish slightly adapted from Anna Jones ‘a modern way to cook’. In this recipe you will only need to use one pot and pretty much everything gets thrown in at the start so not only is it super tasty, it’s also super easy. Initially I was unsure about eating the pasta water as part of the sauce after years of habit of discarding the starchy water. However, I have since learnt that this starchy water helps to bind the sauce to the pasta and improve the texture. It’s a good idea to always save some of the starchy water and add it to your sauce before stirring in the pasta. There are many other uses for the starchy water so it’s worth draining into a container then deciding how you want to use it. Anyway, in this recipe it ends up in your tummy.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

400g wholemeal spaghetti
500g fresh tomatoes, chopped
200g spinach, roughly chopped
160g kale, stalks removed and leaves chopped
Zest of 2 lemons
2 tsp salt
1 litre of boiling water
100mls olive oil

Add everything to the pan except the spinach and kale. Bring to boil and simmer for 6 minutes, add the kale and spinach and cook for a further 2 – 3 minutes.

Boom – enjoy!

 

Rebecca’s recipe of the week: An Easter Pie

This Easter I am going to try a new recipe: a Torta Pasqualina, or Italian Easter Tart. It combines creamy ricotta with fresh greens baked in a flaky crust—so it’s a bit like a Greek spanakopita. To give it an Easter twist you crack some whole eggs onto the greens before baking. When the finished tart is sliced you get a lovely mass of green with little pockets of soft-cooked egg nestled under the crust. Very seasonal! I’ve been meaning to try this for ages.

Ricotta, Spinach and Egg Easter Tart (Torta Pasqualina)
Serves 6-8

pastry
160g cold butter, diced
250g plain flour
200g ricotta
pinch of salt
a little beaten egg or milk to brush over the top of the tart

filling
600g kale, spinach, chard or other mixed greens
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large onions, chopped
300g ricotta
6 eggs plus extra for brushing
Salt and black pepper
80g parmesan, grated
A pinch of nutmeg

Make the pastry: Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the ricotta and a pinch of salt, mix and bring together into a soft ball. Turn the pastry on to a floured work surface and knead until smooth. Cover with clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.

Make the filling: Bring a pot of water to the boil. Meanwhile pick over the greens, discarding any tough stalks and discoloured leaves, then wash them. Working in batches, add some of them to a pan. Bring back to the boil and cook for a few minutes, just long enough to wilt the greens. Remove the cooked greens to a colander and repeat with the remaining greens. When they’re all cooked let them drain for at least 10 minutes. Once they are cool enough to handle, use your hands to squeeze out as much water as possible, and then chop roughly.

Heat the olive oil in a pan until warm and then add the chopped onion. Sauté for 5 minutes, and then add the greens. Stir and heat for a few minutes and then remove from the heat. Mix in the ricotta, 2 lightly beaten eggs, salt, pepper, parmesan and nutmeg.

Butter and flour a 26cm round tin, preheat your oven to 190C and put a flat baking tray in to get hot.

Cut the dough into two pieces, one twice the size of the other. On a floured surface roll the larger piece into a circle large enough to fill the tin, come up the sides and hang over the edge. Lift the dough into the tin and press it in. Add the filling. Using a spoon, make four deep indents in the mixture. Break the remaining four eggs into these indentations.

Roll the smaller piece of dough into a disc large enough to generously cover the top of the tin. Place it over the top of the tart and, using wet fingertips, press the dough to make a firm seal, and then fold any excess dough back towards the centre to make a little fringe. Prick or slash the centre of the tart. Paint the top with beaten egg or milk, put onto the hot baking tray, and bake for 50 minutes or until golden.

Allow to cool a little before turning out. Serve warm or at room temperature.

(Recipe adapted from Rachel Roddy, The Guardian and New York Time Cooking.)

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