Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Roast Parsnips, Lentils, Cheese

January 14, 2021 by General Administrator

Here we have a warm, sustaining main-course salad made bright with greens and the bite of mustard. It’s a good use of that parsnip that’s still in your fridge. You can make a meal of this, along with some good bread and a glass of red wine.

Image from Guardian Lifestyle

Roast Parsnip, Watercress and Lentil Salad
Serves 3

Ingredients
Salad

5 medium parsnips
2 tablespoons oil
salt and pepper
125g Puy or green lentils
2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, unpeeled
several parsley stems (optional)
several big handfuls of watercress or rocket
any hard cheese, to shave over the top

Salad dressing
1 clove garlic
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon English mustard
2 teaspoons runny honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons rapeseed oil

Preparation
Preheat your oven to 190C.

Peel the parsnips and cut them into chunky batons. Toss them with the oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Tip them onto a baking tray and roast for 30-40 minutes, or until they are tender and a bit golden. The time will depend on how large they are. You can poke them with a fork to see if they are soft inside. Remove from the oven and leave them to one side.

Meanwhile, prepare the lentils: cover them with boiling water and bring back to a boil. Boil for one minute, and then drain.

Return the drained lentils to the pan and add just enough water to cover them. Add the bay leaves, onion and parsley stalks (if you have any to hand). Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and remove the bay leaves and parsley. It’s up to you either to remove the onion or to leave it in the finished salad.

While the lentils cook and the parsnips roast prepare the salad dressing. Mash the garlic with the salt in a mortar and pestle to make a smooth paste. Whisk in the other ingredients.

When the parsnips and lentils are finished, toss them, still warm, with the dressing and add the watercress or rocket. Pile onto a serving platter and shave some hard cheese over the top before serving.

Recipe adapted from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, River Cottage Veg Every Day! (2011) – online at rivercottage.net

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Celeriac Soup

January 7, 2021 by General Administrator

I wasn’t sure Celeriac soup was a good choice, but we’ve had a few Celeriacs recently and I fancied a change. It was a pleasant surprise, then, that this turned out to be super tasty in an intensely savoury way. Even better was that we risked eating it after forgetting to put it away overnight and so far we have survived!

Cream of celeriac soup

Image from BBC Food

Ingredients
For the soup
75g/3oz butter
1 onion, finely chopped
50g/2oz streaky bacon, cut into small pieces (optional)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 leek, white only, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
2 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
700g/1lb 8oz celeriac, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 litre/1¾ pint vegetable stock
200ml/7floz double cream
salt and white pepper

Method
For the soup, heat a large frying pan or saucepan until medium hot, add 25g/1oz of the butter, the onion and bacon and fry for a couple of minutes to just soften. Add the garlic, leek, celery and thyme sprigs and fry for another minute; then add the chopped celeriac. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the celeriac is just tender.

Blend the soup to a fine purée using a stick blender or a blender. Return to the heat in a pan. Add the cream and whisk in the remaining 50g/2oz of butter.

Season with salt and white pepper. Serve the hot soup in bowls.

There is an optional garnish which can be found at the link to the recipe.

From BBC Food.

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.

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Mini stuffed squash

November 5, 2020 by General Administrator

I can’t remember the name of the mini squashes we got this week, but I felt they were too special just to cube and roast like normal, so here I’ve found a fun stuffed squash recipe which although aimed at a different variety, I hope will translate across. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS
3 sweet dumpling squashes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
8 dates, coarsely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup cooked quinoa
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 190C.

Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. (The seeds can be roasted like pumpkin seeds.)

Place squash face-down in an oiled baking dish. Bake until tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes. Remove squash from oven but keep oven on.

Prepare the stuffing while the squash is baking. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until onion is translucent. Add pistachios, dates, lemon zest, and cinnamon and sauté for another minute. Stir in the cooked quinoa and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Turn the squash upright in the baking dish and stuff with the quinoa mixture.

Cover dish and bake for another 20 minutes.

Serve warm, garnished with extra pistachios or lemon zest, if desired. The peel of sweet dumpling squash is generally tender enough to be eaten.

From https://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-quinoa-stuffed-sweet-du-72643

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Peas (and Salmon)

October 1, 2020 by General Administrator

Peas cooked with onions and butter make an excellent dish to eat on their own. Add some pan-seared salmon fillets and you have an easy and very delicious meal.

(To pan-sear, dry the salmon carefully and then season liberally with salt. Heat a little neutral oil in a skillet, and when it is hot add the salmon, skin-side down. Press it into the pan with a fish so that it makes good contact with the heat. Cook, without moving the fish, for about 3 minutes, and then flip it over to cook the other side. Cook for an additional 1-4 minutes, depending on how cooked you like your fish.)

Peas with Parsley, Thyme, Butter and Onions
Serves 4 as part of a larger meal.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons neutral oil (rapeseed, sunflower seed etc.)
1 giant Canalside spring onion, thinly sliced (use the whole thing including the dark green leaves)
½ teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
4 cups frozen (or fresh) peas
4 tablespoons butter
¾ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
5 springs of fresh thyme, roughly chopped

Preparation
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and the salt. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the onion is translucent and soft, but not brown. Add the wine and allow to reduce until almost completely dry.

Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the peas and butter and cook until the stock has reduced, and the sauce is thick and silky with butter. Then add the parsley and thyme check for salt and pepper, and serve.

Recipe adapted from Abra Berens, Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables (2019).

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Panzanella riffed

September 10, 2020 by General Administrator

One of the benefits of so many of us working from home is that there’s more time to make a fancy lunch. This week I’ve enjoyed riffing on Panzanella themed recipes – you can adapt the one below to suit what you have in the fridge and the time you’ve got to make it.

Panzanella

Ingredients:
3 tbsp olive oil
Splash red wine vinegar
day old bread, cut into 2cm cubes
1 tsp salt
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 2cm cubes
1 cucumber sliced 1cm thick
1 or 2 peppers cut into 2cm cubes
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
20ish large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tbsp capers, drained

Method:
Heat the bread either by pan frying in oil if you have time, or 30s in the microwave if not. Then mix thoroughly with all the other ingredients in a large bowl, season and serve.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Mexican Greens with Potatoes and Flatbreads

September 3, 2020 by General Administrator

In case you are wondering what to do with the mysterious ‘huauzontle’, here is the answer! Huauzontle, also known in Mexico as ‘quelites’, is a flavoursome green a bit like sprouting broccoli. In this recipe it is mixed with juicy tomatoes and cubed potatoes to make a superlative filling for a tortilla or other flatbread. Serve topped with thick yoghurt.

Quelites a la Mexicana
Serves 2

Ingredients
250g potatoes
250g huauzontle
200g onions
150g tomatoes
½ to 1 Canalside chile, deseeded if desired
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Yoghurt and flatbreads, to serve

Preparation
Put the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and cook until tender. Depending on the size of the potatoes, this can take between 20 and 40 minutes. Drain and let cool
Put the huauzontle in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and cook until it’s tender, about 8 minutes.

Peel the onions and chop coarsely. Chop the tomatoes into chunks roughly the same size as the onions. Slice the chile.

By now the potatoes should be cool. Cut them into cubes, about 2cm or thereabouts.

Heat the oil in a frying pan or casserole pan. Add the onions, tomatoes and chile, and sauté for a few minutes. Add the cooked huauzontle, cubed potatoes and cumin, and sauté for a few more minutes to heat through.
Serve topped with yoghurt in flatbreads (tortillas would be traditional).

Recipe freely adapted from this fantastic video by Mexican internet sensation Doña Ángela. Many thanks to Ricardo Aguilar for his advice about cooking quelites and for telling me about Doña Ángela.

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Maintaining Courgette Enjoyment

August 20, 2020 by General Administrator

Every summer I treat the first courgette with excitement but as I’m sure is the case for everyone, my enthusiasm begins to wane as the summer goes on. To try and help with this myself and Rebecca have been trying out some more courgette recipes. My favourite so far is courgette fritters (sorry there’s a bit of a fritter theme at the moment!), they made for a reasonably quick work-from-home lunch.

Courgette fritters

Image from https://www.tamingtwins.com/courgette-fritters-recipe/

Ingredients (8 fritters):
1 kg Courgettes Grated
100 g Feta cheese Crumbled into big chunks
2 Medium free range eggs
2 Cloves Garlic Peeled and crushed
15 g Fresh dill Chopped
15 g Fresh mint Chopped
1 tsp Dried oregano
75 g Plain flour
200 g Breadcrumbs
1/2 Red onion Peeled and finely chopped
Fry light spray or Olive oil for greasing

Method:
Preheat the oven to 220C

Take your grated courgettes and over a colander, squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can. Use the colander and your hands, there will be lots!

When you’ve squeezed out the liquid, put all of your courgette fritter ingredients into a large bowl and mix well with clean hands.

Shape into 8 patties and put onto a greased (or sprayed using Fry Light) baking sheet. I got the strongest shapes by compacting a firm ball and then squash down into a disc

Bake for about 30 minutes of until browned, firm and cooked through (I fried them instead to speed things up)

From: https://www.tamingtwins.com/courgette-fritters-recipe/

Rob’s Recipe of the Week: Huauzontle fritters

August 6, 2020 by General Administrator

This week we’re getting an unusual vegetable, Huauzontle. After a fair bit of digging it seems it’s impossible to talk about Huauzontle without mentioning the dish “Tortas de Huauzontle”, which are small battered and deep fried fritters of Huauzontle and cheese, so that has to be my recipe for this week. If this doesn’t take your fancy though it seems the best alternative is to treat it like broccoli, maybe by sauteing with onion/garlic/cumin/vinegar.

Tortas de Huauzontle

Photo from https://us.kiwilimon.com/recipe/main-dishes/huauzontle-pancakes-with-sauce-from-chile-pasilla

Ingredients (will need scaling according to your share):

Tortas:
1 1/2 liters Water
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups huauzontle, clean, without branches
190 grams cream cheese (or alternative)
1/2 cups flour
4 egg whites (For batter. For vegan alternative try a gram flour batter)
4 egg yolks
enough oil, to fry

Sauce:
3 pasilla chili peppers (deveined and soaked – try canalside dried chilis but beware they’re much hotter)
2 tomatoes
1/4 onions
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cups Water
2 tablespoons oil
salt

Method:

Cook huauzontles in salted water for 5-10 minutes (cook time varies wildly from recipe to recipe, cook for longer if you’re only shallow frying I think)
Place the huauzontles in a bowl of water with ice.

Remove the huauzontles and dry on a tea towel to remove moisture.
Strip everything from the bitter stalk and discard this.

Form a burger like patty in your hands by squeezing the huauzontle around a chunk of cream cheese, flouring the outside.

In a blender beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt, until peaks form
Add the yolks and beat for 1 minute more to integrate.

Dip the huauzontle pancakes in the batter.

Heat the oil over medium heat and fry 2 minutes on each side. (Make the sauce first)

For the sauce, blend the chilies, tomato, onion, garlic and water for 3 minutes.

Heat the oil over medium heat, pour the sauce, season with salt and let it cook for 15 minutes.

Serve the huauzontle pancakes bathed in pasilla sauce.

Recipe adapted from:
https://us.kiwilimon.com/recipe/main-dishes/huauzontle-pancakes-with-sauce-from-chile-pasilla
https://www.atastefortravel.ca/3408-huauzontle-puerto-escondido-mexico/#wprm-recipe-container-12833

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Why Eat Normal Things When You Can Eat Weird Things?

June 19, 2020 by General Administrator

A while ago I tried a recipe for whole broad beans cooked in a tomato sauce, and it was pretty good. It set me thinking whether you could actually cook the normally-discarded pods (husks?) that are left over when you shell broad beans. It turns out you can. I mentioned this to several friends, who variously told me I’d gone nuts, or that it sounded like the sort of thing people eat in Siberia. What can I say? I thought it was pretty good. We ate this with brown rice and a topping of salted yoghurt, and a shredded carrot salad on the side.

If you would like a normal recipe for broad beans, I strongly recommend this one: spaghetti with broad beans, bread crumbs and marjoram.

Broad Bean Stew
Serves 2

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
Salt and pepper
Leftover husks from about 500g young broad beans (that’s about 300g of broad-bean husks)
Juice of half a lemon
2-3 tablespoons fresh herbs (I used lemon thyme, sage, and dill)
½ cup water

Preparation
Heat the olive oil over low heat and add the sliced onion and a pinch of salt. Cook for 10 minutes, until the onion is soft but not brown.
Meanwhile assess the broad bean husks. You want bright, green, fresh-looking ones. Discard any that look discoloured. Remove any stringy bits along the sides, rather as you’d remove the strings from off the sides of runner beans. Cut the husks into 1-inch pieces.
Add the broad beans to the onions, stir, and cook for a minute.
Add the water, stir, cover, and simmer gently for about 15 minutes, or until the husks are tender. Top up with more water if it seems to be drying out.
Once the husks are tender, add the fresh herbs and lemon juice, and season with freshly-ground black pepper.
If you wish, you can also mix in some cooked broad beans, to make a double-broad-bean stew.
Serve on brown rice with a topping of salted yoghurt mixed with preserved lemon (if you happen to have any to hand).

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