Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Lasagne with a difference

I can rarely bring myself to make lasagne but this recipe has got me interested. The question is whether the shops will actually have lasagne sheets in stock but fingers crossed!

Photo from Olive Magazine online

Kale, ricotta and leek lasagne

Ingredients
kale 300g, woody stems removed and leaves chopped
olive oil 1 tbsp
trimmed leeks 3 (about 400g), halved lengthways, washed and chopped
garlic 1 clove, crushed
ricotta 350g (try vegan version from https://www.bosh.tv/recipes/spicy-creamy-cannelloni)
vegetable stock 150ml
fresh pesto 4 tbsp
fresh lasagne 250g, about 8 sheets
parmesan (or veggie alternative) 30g, finely grated

Method
Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Drop the kale in boiling salted water, bring back to a simmer then cook for 5 minutes. Drain really well.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the leeks with a good pinch of salt. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until really soft.

Add the garlic to the leeks and cook for 2 minutes. Keep 4 tbsp of the ricotta aside then stir the rest into the leeks with the kale. Mix everything well then add enough vegetable stock to make it a little saucy but not watery. Take off the heat.

Put a 1/4 of the sauce in the bottom of an oiled baking dish approximately 18 x 25cm. Top with 1 tbsp pesto then 2 sheets of lasagne. Repeat 3 times, ending with lasagne.

Mix the rest of the ricotta with another splash of vegetable stock and spread over the top layer. Scatter over the parmesan and bake for 20 minutes until golden and bubbling.

From: https://www.olivemagazine.com/recipes/vegetarian/kale-ricotta-and-leek-lasagne/

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Three Salad Dressings for Kale or other Hearty Salad Greens

Several people have been asking for things to do with kale, pak choi, and other robust greens. Among other things you can make them into excellent salads. In all cases, it’s a good idea to manhandle the greens a bit to soften them up. Shred them fine and, using your hands, scrunch them up as hard as you can for a few minutes. Confronted with this vigorous treatment, they will become much softer and more tender. Pak choi does not need as much scrunching as kale or cabbage, but it will benefit from a bit body English.

Once you’ve scrunched your salad, you need an oomphy dressing to stand up to these greens. I thought I would offer a compilation of some of the salad dressings that I’d recommend to complement these hearty greens. All three are incredibly simple: you just whizz them up in a blender or mix them with a fork. And if you don’t mind doing your scrunching after you’ve dressed the salad, the tenderising effect will be even more noticeable. Once you’ve done that, you can add anything else you like: leftover boiled potatoes, toasted pumpkin seeds, shredded white or black radish, olives, chick peas….

(I was intending to present a fascinating but somewhat weird recipe for a beetroot-based vegan brownie, using a recipe I tore out of an Air France inflight magazine. Extensive testing on my colleagues at work led me to change my mind. The consensus was that the recipe must be part of a plot to denigrate vegans!)

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. It is also good on other greens.

Spring Onion and Tahini Blanket

Enough to dress a large 2-person salad

Ingredients

4 spring onions, including the green bits

2 tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons rapeseed oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons water

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation

Roughly chop the spring onions.

Place everything in a blender, Nutribullet, or the container for an immersion blender. Blend everything until smooth. Check to see if it needs more salt, pepper, or lemon juice. If it’s too thick for your liking you can add a little more water to thin it out, and then serve either as a salad dressing, or as a dip.

Super Turmeric Sauce

serves 2

Ingredients

2 tablespoons cashew butter

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

juice of 3 clementines

2 inch piece of fresh turmeric, peeled

5 tbsp olive oil

Preparation

Combine the ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: For the man who doesn’t like kale

Here is an excellent topping for punchy vegetables such as kale. The key ingredient is fresh turmeric root, which you can get at Gaia, on Regent Place in Leamington, and doubtless elsewhere. You whizz up the turmeric with cashew butter, the juice of a few of the clementines you have hanging around from Christmas, and a bit of mustard.

The original recipe (from The First Mess) combined this with raw, shredded Brussels sprouts, toasted sesame seeds, sliced spring onions and fresh dill to make a very good slaw but I think this will go well on top of anything in the brassica family. This recipe is dedicated to the nice person at Canalside just before Christmas who swapped his unwanted kale for my unwanted rosemary.

Super Turmeric Sauce
serves 2

Ingredients
2 tablespoons cashew butter
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
juice of 3 clementines
2 inch piece of fresh turmeric, peeled
5 tbsp olive oil

Preparation
Combine the ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth.

Recipe adapted from The First Mess, where you can find the recipe for the Brussels sprouts slaw, and also a salty maple-roasted squash and ginger rice which goes very well with it.

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: 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.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: An Approachable Kale Salad

Kale tossed with dried fruit, nuts and Greek yoghurt makes a surprisingly delicate accompaniment to a more robust main course. We ate this with a whole roasted cauliflower. (I’ll give you the recipe for that the next time we get a cauliflower in the veg share.)

You can use either the dark green cavolo nero kale (aka lacinato kale), or the ordinary frilly kale. Massaging the leaves with oil converts these assertive greens into tender mouthfuls of flavour.

Creamy Kale Salad
Serves 2

Ingredients
150g kale
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon full-fat Greek yoghurt or mayonnaise
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons currants or dried cranberries
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds or cashews

Preparation
First prepare the kale: remove the tough central stalk by running each leaf between your thumb and forefinger to separate the leaves from the stalk. Discard the central stalk and shred the leaves. Wash and dry the shredded leaves and set aside in a serving bowl.

Add the oil to the kale and use your hands to massage the oil into the leaves for several minutes, until the leaves turn a darker green. This makes them softer and more tender. Squeeze in the lemon juice, toss, and add the yoghurt or mayonnaise. Toss again, and season to taste. Sprinkle in the dried fruit.

Heat a small frying pan over medium heat and add the pumpkin seeds or cashews. Toast gently until the seeds start to pop, or the cashews turn golden. Add the nuts or seeds to the salad, toss a final time, and serve.

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: 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 recipe of the week: Warm Kale Salad with Quinoa and Balsamic Roasted Beets

serves 4

Ingredients

for the roasted beets

500g beets, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (this is not the occasion to use your super-pricy, genuine-from-Modena balsamic vinegar)
3 tablespoons demerara sugar
2 tablespoons grape seed oil (or some other neutral oil)
salt and pepper

for the rest of the salad

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 tbsp grape seed oil (or some other neutral oil)
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
all the Canalside kale in your share (say, 180g), stems removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces
salt and pepper
1 handful of pecorino cheese shavings (or use parmesan)
1 handful toasted hazelnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Place the trimmed beetroot in a 2-inch deep ceramic or glass dish. Pour the balsamic vinegar and grape seed oil over the beets. Sprinkle the muscovado sugar, salt and pepper around the beets. Cover the dish with foil and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, stir the beets up a bit and continue to roast, uncovered, for perhaps another 15-20 minutes. They should be quite tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, prepare the quinoa: place the quinoa, 1 cup of water, and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once it reaches a boil reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes or until quinoa is mostly cooked and the little tails start to pop out. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a large pot, heat the 2 tbsp of grapeseed oil over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and smoked paprika. Stir around until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the quinoa, a splash of water and half of the kale. Stir around until kale begins to wilt a bit. Add the remaining kale, season with salt and pepper and keep stirring. The kale should all be slightly wilted, but still firm. Take off the heat and transfer kale and quinoa mixture to your serving bowl.

Arrange the roasted beets on top of the greens and quinoa. Drizzle the salad with the balsamic cooking liquid from the pan in which you roasted the beetroot (there should be about 1/4 cup of it left). Scatter the pecorino shavings and hazelnuts (if you’re adding these) on top and serve.

(Recipe adapted from The First Mess.)

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