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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

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

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

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

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

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

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: Stir-Fried Spinach

This is really good! The bright green spinach looks fabulous against the pale ivory sauce. The fermented tofu gives the dish an intense, creamy flavour, as well as some protein. We ate it with some Szechuan-style fried potatoes (shredded potatoes stir-fried with garlic, ginger and Szechuan pepper, and then doused with soya sauce, sesame oil and rice-wine vinegar mixed with a pinch of sugar) but it would be excellent with plain boiled rice, or accompanying a little pork chop. It’s worth the trouble of seeking out some fermented tofu, which you can buy in the Oriental Supermarket on Bath Street, Leamington.

Stir-fried spinach with chile and fermented tofu
Serves 2

325g spinach
2 cubes white fermented tofu
¼ teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons rapeseed, groundnut or sunflower oil
2 teaspoons finely-chopped garlic
½ fresh red chile, finely sliced

Wash and trim the spinach, separating the leaves from the stems. Shred the leaves and chop the stems into 2-inch pieces.

Mash the tofu and sugar with some of the liquid from the tofu jar, to create a mixture with the consistency of double cream.

Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the spinach stems. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the leaves. After about 30 seconds drain and run under cold water to stop it from cooking further. Squeeze out any excess water and set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Add the garlic and chile and stir-fry for some seconds until the garlic is fragrant but not burnt. Add the tofu mixture and bring to a boil. Then add the spinach and stir-fry briskly.
When the sauce has been incorporated into the spinach and everything is hot, tip it onto a plate and serve.

Recipe adapted from the Financial Times Magazine, 22/23-Sept. 2018.

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: A Super Paella

I made this on Monday, for a couple of colleagues who were coming round before the start of the new academic year. I thought it was pretty delicious. Serve with tomato salad and a glass of red wine. The recipe is a bit lengthy but it’s not complicated or demanding.

Paella de Cerdo con Chorizo y Espinaca [Paella with Pork, Chorizo and Spinach]
Serves 6

2 dried, mild chile peppers (the recipe calls for Spanish ‘ñoras’ peppers; I used Mexican ancho chiles), or an additional teaspoon of paprika
7 tablespoons olive oil
350g pork tenderloin, halved lengthwise and then sliced into 7mm slices
Salt and pepper
120g mild cooking chorizo, peeled and cut into little pieces
2 large onions (or about 8 minute Canalside onions), finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
250g paella rice
1 teaspoon sweet smoked Spanish paprika, or 2 teaspoons if you’re not using the dried chiles
900ml hot water
500g spinach, washed and chopped roughly
1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve

Tear the dried peppers, if you are using them, into small pieces and put them into a bowl. Cover them with boiling water and leave them to sit so that they soften up a bit while you prepare the rest of the dish.

In a 30-40cm paella pan or a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over a high heat, and then stir-fry the pork for a minute, until it is still a bit undercooked but has browned on the outside. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the pan with a slotted spoon. Set the pork aside for later.

Turn the heat to low and add the chorizo. Fry for a minute and then add the onions and peppers. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is soft and sweet. Add the garlic and cook for 10 minutes more.
Add the rice and stir well. Cook for a minute, stirring, so that the rice picks up the flavours. At this point the cooking can be paused—the remaining steps will take about 20 minutes more.

Season the pan with more salt and pepper, and add the paprika and peppers, drained of their water (if you’re using them). Toss. Pour in the hot stock. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until there is just a thin layer of liquid around the rice. Stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook the spinach: put it in a pan with a bit of water and cook it until it’s just wilted. Drain.
Scatter the spinach and the cooked pork over the top of the rice, and stir to mix. Cover with a lid or some foil and leave for an additional 5 minutes.

Serve garnished with lemon wedges and the tomato salad.

Recipe adapted form Sam and Sam Clark, Moro: The Cookbook (2001).

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


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: Japanese-Inspired Spinach

This is so easy it’s hardly fair to call it a recipe. Spinach drizzled with sesame oil makes a fresh companion to a piece of fish and a bit of rice. If you’re feeling adventurous, get some sushi-grade salmon from Regency Fishmongers, cut it into thin strips, and serve it (raw) with this salad, and a little dipping sauce of soya mixed with wasabi. Yum!

Possibly Japanese Spinach Salad
Serves 1-2

1-2 teaspoons sesame seeds
All your Canalside spinach and spring greens
sesame oil, to drizzle

Bring a half-kettle of water to the boil.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and toast for 3-4 minutes, or until they start to turn an attractive golden colour. Set aside. You can in fact toast a larger quantity of seeds and then keep some for future use.
Remove any enormously tough stems from the spring greens. The tender stems on the young spinach don’t need to be removed.

Put the greens in a large pan with a lid, over medium heat. Pour the boiling water over them so that there is about an inch of water in the bottom. Put the lid on the pan and bring to the boil. Cook for 2-4 minutes, or until the greens are wilted. They should still be bright green.

Tip the greens in a colander and leave to drain a bit. Press them down with a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Using a pair of scissors snip the cooked greens up a little, and press them down again with the spoon.

When you’re ready to eat, put the drained greens in an attractive serving dish and drizzle with sesame oil. Sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds over the top, and serve.

Rebecca’s recipe of the week: A Pink Risotto for Spring

Pink beets make a pretty risotto. The crunchy toasted walnuts contrast with the smooth rice, and also add protein.

Beetroot Risotto
Serves 4

1/3 cup walnuts.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup risotto rice
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
½ cup white wine
3 cups peeled, finely chopped beets
½ teaspoon salt
2½ cups vegetable or chicken stock (or, in a pinch, water)
5-6 cups shredded spring greens and/or spinach
½ cup goat cheese, crumbled

Heat a large-ish saucepan over medium heat. When it is hot, put in the walnuts (don’t add any oil) and toast them for a few minutes until they are fragrant. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn and stir them about to toast them evenly. Remove from the heat and set aside. Once they’re cool chop them roughly.

Add the oil to the pan and when it is hot add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes—turn the heat down a bit if it’s starting to burn. Then add the rice, ginger, and rosemary. Stir around and sauté for another minute or two, until the rice is nicely coated with the oil. Add the wine and let it sizzle, stirring all the time. When the wine has been more or less absorbed, add the beets and salt. Stir them around too.

Start adding the stock or water, about a half a cup at a time, stirring constantly; it’s the stirring that gives a risotto its signature creaminess. When one dose of stock/water has been absorbed, add another half cup. Carry on like this for about 25 minutes, by which time the beets and rice should be tender, and all the stock/water incorporated into the risotto. If the beets and rice aren’t tender enough for your taste add a bit more water and cook for a bit longer.

Once you’re happy with the al-dente-ness of the rice and beets, sir in the greens and let cook over very low heat for a few more minutes, until the greens are wilted. Stir in the cheese and serve, garnished with the chopped walnuts.

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

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

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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