Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Vegan ‘omelette’ for filling

I picked up this recipe whilst living in Gothenburg and it has great connotations for me with sunny breakfasts on the pier… Hopefully I don’t just see it with rose tinted glasses!

Vegan chickpea flour (kikärtsmjöl) omelette
Ingredients

1 cup (120 g) chickpea flour
1 Tablespoon flaxseed meal or chia seed meal (optional)
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) salt
1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) each of turmeric garlic powder, baking soda, cumin powder
1ish cup of water

Fillings!
Fried tomato, onion, mushrooms, lots coming in our shares that could suit!

Method is simple, mix the all the dry ingredients then add the water slowly and mix with a whisk until they take on the same consistency as whisked eggs. Fry up the fillings, then poor on the omelette mix and reduce pan to a medium to low heat. Make sure you cook it slower and longer than an egg omelette – it tends to burn before solidifying enough to flip if you rush it.

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: French Leeks

Another recipe from Diana Henry’s superb How to Eat a Peach.

Leeks with Breton Vinaigrette
Serves 4 as part of a spread

Ingredients
For the vinaigrette
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Pinch of ground mixed spice
Salt and pepper to taste
8 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of caster sugar
1.5 tablespoons capers, rinsed and dried
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
3-4 tablespoons chopped parsley

For the rest of the salad
6 medium leeks, or 12 small leeks

Preparation
First prepare the vinaigrette: mix the vinegar, mustard, mixed spice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil until the mixture is thick and well-blended. Add the sugar, capers, shallot and parsley, and tip into a serving bowl. If you can make this 30 minutes in advance so the flavour can meld, so much the better.

Remove the tough outer leaves from the leeks and discard them. Slice off the tufty bit at the base and also the dark green tops. Slice into 4cm lengths and wash well to remove any sand.

Steam the leeks over boiling water for 4-6 minutes; this is better than boiling as it stops them becoming soggy. Once they’re tender all the way through (test with a sharp knife) drain them and then blot them dry on a tea towel.

Immediately toss them in the serving bowl with the vinaigrette. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from Diana Henry, How to Eat a Peach (2018).

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: Leeks for Lunch

This is what I ate for lunch today. It’s easy, satisfying, and makes good use of the Canalside leeks you’ve accumulated in the fridge. The leeks meld with the vinaigrette to create a sumptuous, slippery mass. Toasted nuts contrast with the soft strands of leek. You could also add little cubes of cheese, or use this as a topping for a piece of toast.

Leeks Vinaigrette
Serves 1

Ingredients
4 leeks
1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar
big pinch of salt, and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of walnut oil, or, failing that, olive oil
handful of hazelnuts or walnuts, coarsely chopped
handful of fresh parsley, chopped

Preparation
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil.

Meanwhile, trim the ends off the leeks, and peel off the outer layer. Cut off and discard the tough, dark green upper bit. Slice each leek in half vertically.

Plunge the halved leeks into the boiling water and simmer for 8-10 minutes.

While the leeks are cooking prepare the vinaigrette in a serving bowl: pour the vinegar into the bowl, and add the salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking all the while with a fork. Set aside until the leeks are cooked.

After 8 minutes check the leeks to see if they’re tender when poked with a fork. Once they’re tender drain them and then add them while they’re still warm to the bowl with the vinaigrette. Toss together and leave to cool, or until you’re ready to eat them.

Heat a small frying pan over medium heat and add the nuts. Toast for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally so that they toast on all sides, and taking care that they do not burn. Once they smell appetising and have begun to turn a toasty colour, add them to the leeks.

When the leeks are cool, or you wish to eat them, add the chopped parsley, stir, check to see if it needs more salt or pepper, and enjoy.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Nigel Slater’s Pappardelle with Leeks

‘Ribbons of silky pasta merge marvellously with soft, salty leeks’, writes the Guardian—and so they do.

Pappardelle with Leeks
Serves 2.

Ingredients
3 large leeks
100g butter
10 sprigs of thyme
salt and pepper
250g pappardelle, or other ribbon-shaped pasta
100g gruyère, sliced thin

Preparation
Cut the leeks in half lengthways and then in half the other way. Wash them thoroughly under cold running water.

Melt the butter in a pan and then add the leeks. Let them stew slowly until they are soft and tender.
While they are stewing, remove the leaves from the thyme and add the leaves to the leeks. Season lightly.

Cook the pappardelle in generously salted, boiling water until al dente. Drain, leaving a bit of water to cling to the pasta, and add to the leek pan. Toss the pasta with the buttery leeks.

Scatter the gruyère slices on top, letting them melt in the warmth of the butter and leeks, and serve.

Recipe adapted from Nigel Slater.

Rebecca’s recipe of the week: ANOTHER Quinoa Salad, Quinoa Salad With Roasted Carrots and Frizzled Leeks

I know I offered you a quinoa salad only a few weeks ago, but this one is also so good, and really different. And salads are perfect for warmer weather.

This one combines rocket and roasted carrots with crunchy quinoa tossed with currants and a pomegranate-molasses dressing. The whole thing is topped with crispy ringlets of frizzled leeks. It’s ever so tasty.

Quinoa Salad With Roasted Carrots and Frizzled Leeks

Serves 10

Ingredients
1 leek, trimmed
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for frying leeks and for serving
salt and pepper
2½ tablespoons lemon juice
2½ tablespoons pomegranate molasses, plus more for serving
1kg carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick coins
2 cups quinoa
⅓ cup dried currants
150g rocket

Preparation
Cut leek in half lengthwise and rinse away any grit. Slice into thin strips. In a small skillet over medium heat, warm 1/4 inch of olive oil. Add a handful of leeks and fry until golden brown, 15 to 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Repeat with remaining leeks.
In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, molasses, 1 teaspoon salt and a large pinch of pepper. Whisk in 3/4 cup oil.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Toss carrots with 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt and some pepper. Spread on one or two large baking sheets so they fit in one layer. Roast carrots, tossing occasionally, until tender and golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.

While carrots roast, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add quinoa and cook until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain.

In a large bowl, toss warm quinoa with currants. Add carrots and half the dressing and toss well. Taste and add dressing or salt (or both) if needed.

In a separate bowl, toss rocket with enough dressing to lightly coat. Spread the rocket on a serving platter and top with the dressed quinoa and the frizzled leeks. Drizzle with more pomegranate molasses and a little olive oil before serving.

(Adapted from New York Times Cooking.)

Rebecca’s recipe of the week: A Chicken and Leek Pie

This week’s recipe is a comforting, warm pie. The leeks and chicken blend beautifully with the tarragon and cream to make a fine suppertime dish. Accompany it with a salad or some cooked spring greens and spinach.

Chicken and Leek Pie
Serves 4.

Ingredients
1 pie crust
60g flour
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
500g boneless chicken breast or thighs, cut into 2cm pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
25g butter
2-3 leeks, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
80ml white wine
250ml chicken stock
125ml single cream
2 teaspoons fresh tarragon, chopped
1 tablespoon parsley and/or chives, chopped
1 egg, beaten

Roll out the pastry and line the bottom of a 20cm pie dish. Cut out enough for the top, as well, while you’re at it.

Place the lined pie dish and rolled pastry top in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Mix the flour, peppers and salt in a bowl. Add the chicken and toss well. Shake off the excess flour.

Heat the oil and butter in a pan over high heat. When it’s hot sauté the chicken until it’s lightly browned. It does not need to be cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Lower the heat to medium. Add the leeks and garlic to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, until wilted. Add the wine and boil for a minute. Add the stock and cream and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Add the herbs and return the chicken to the pan. Cook for a minute longer and then remove from the heat.

Put the filling into the pie dish and cover with the top. Slash the top in several places to let out the steam, and then brush with the beaten egg to give it a shiny glaze. Bake for about 35 minutes or until golden brown.

(Recipe adapted from Bill Granger, Bill’s Sydney Food.)

Rebecca’s recipe of the week: Greek Leeks

This week’s recipe combines leeks with tomato-y rice to make a lovely salad.

Leeks à la Grecque
Serves 4 as a starter or part of a mezze.

3-4 leeks
300ml water
150l olive oil
1 heaped tablespoon tomato purée
1 heaped teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper (to taste)
60g white rice
1 lemon
12 black olives
parsley, chopped

Cut the ends off the leeks and slice them into 4cm lengths. Wash them well.

Put the leeks, water, olive oil, tomato purée, sugar, and salt and pepper into a medium-sized pan and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the rice to the pan and turn the heat down a little so it’s not boiling too furiously. Cover the pan again and cook for 8 minutes more. The rice should have absorbed most of the liquid.

Turn off the heat but leave the pan on the stove, covered, for another 10 to 15 minutes. After this time the rice should be cooked but firm.

While the rice is resting cut the lemon in half. Juice one half and slice the other half into thin slices.

Season the rice-leek mixture with the lemon juice and check whether it needs more salt or pepper. Once you’re happy with it put it into a nice dish and chill. When you’re read to serve it, garnish it with the lemon slices, olives and chopped parsley.

(Adapted from Jane Grigson, Good Things)

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