Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Gingery Green Noodles

This is another very fast dish of delicious slurpy noodles, spiked with basil, lime juice and sesame oil.

Ginger-Poached Noodles
Serves 2-3

Ingredients
4 cups vegetable broth (I used water with 2 tablespoons of white miso)
2 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
8 ounces firm tofu or tempeh, cut into small cubes
approximately 2 cups of sprouting broccoli or shredded spring greens
4 ounces dried noodles of your choice (I used soba noodles)
1-2 tablespoons soya sauce
¼ cup fresh basil, shredded
¼ cup fresh mint, shredded
juice of half a lime
crushed red pepper flakes (I used part of a shredded Canalside chile)
toasted sesame oil

Preparation
Place the broth and ginger in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, and simmer gently for ten minutes or so. Meanwhile, bring some water to the boil to cook the noodles.

Cook the noodles in the boiling water until they are tender, drain them, and set them aside.

After the broth has simmered for ten minutes add the and tofu or tempeh and the greens. Return to a boil, and then turn the heat back down to a simmer and cook for 5-8 minutes, or until the greens are tender.

Add the drained pasta to the broth and heat for a few more minutes, stirring regularly. Stir in the soya sauce, basil, mint, and lime juice. Before serving, if you have the energy you can fish out the slices of ginger, which are perfectly edible but a bit chewy.

Serve in bowls with a few pinches of crushed red pepper flakes, and a drizzle of sesame oil, to taste.

Recipe adapted from 101 Cookbooks.

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.

Ali’s Recipe of the Week: One for the Store-cupboard

Rebecca’s having a break this week and hopes to be back with another recipe next week.

With the cauliflower crop getting going, the moment may have arrived to do the first preserving of the year (that is, if you haven’t already made marmalade, perhaps using some delicious La Jimena seville oranges).

Piccalilli is as versatile as any savoury preserve in that you can flex the recipe according to what is available. Most piccalilli recipes call for courgettes, green beans, tomatoes, and other summer veg. However, if all you have is roots and PSB (purple sprouting broccoli) that combination will also make a perfectly good version of this tangy preserve. Luckily my book of preserves from the Women’s Institute can oblige with a suitably flexible recipe for any time of year! I’ve been know to make a version with cauliflower, onions (admittedly these are perhaps the two essential vegetables), carrot and swede!

Many piccalilli recipes call for the vegetables to be brined overnight, but this one breaks that rule, which simplifies the recipe and results in a delicious accompaniment for a ploughman’s lunch. And unlike chutneys which rely on evaporation of the liquid to thicken the preserve (which can sometimes take hours), as this one is thickened with flour it has a much shorter cooking time.

Accommodating Piccalilli from the W.I.
Makes about 2.7kg (6lb) = 6 average sized jam jars
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
1 large cauliflower, broken into florets
450g (1lb) pickling onions – if you’ve still got any little Canalside onions left, they’d be perfect!
1.4L (2 1/2 pints) white malt vinegar (apple cider vinegar also works well)
900g (2lb) mixed vegetables, diced or cut into 2.5cm (1 inch) lengths
2 fat cloves of garlic
450g (1lb) caster sugar
50g (2oz) dry mustard (i.e. mustard powder)
115g (4oz) plain white flour, sieved
25g (1oz) ground turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp salt

Preparation
In a large preserving pan, summer the cauliflower and onions in 1.1litres (2 pints) of the vinegar for 10 minutes.

Add the other vegetables, garlic and sugar and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Mix the mustard, flour. spices and salt with the remaining vinegar and add to the cooked vegetables, stirring all the time to prevent lumps from forming.

Stir well and simmer for a further 10 minutes.

Spoon into cooled and sterilised jars and cover with vinegar proof tops. Label and store for at least 2 weeks before using. It will keep for months (I think I’ve even kept it for more than a year) with the flavour improving and mellowing as it ages.

From ‘Best Kept Secrets of the Women’s Institute: Jams, Pickles and Preserves’ by Midge Thomas

Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Sprouting Broccoli

A fresh green plate of spring broccoli, lemony parsley sauce and the unctuousness of soft egg yolk. Dried chile pepper adds a touch of red and extra bite to this easy mid-week dinner. Serve with toast, or a little rice.

Sprouting Broccoli with Parsley and Poached Egg
Serves 2

Ingredients
20g parsley
¼ cup olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
300g sprouting broccoli, ends trimmed and cut into similarly-sized lengths
2 eggs
Greek yoghurt, to serve
1 dried red chile, seeds removed, shredded (if desired)

Preparation
Remove any tough stems from the parsley. Whizz it together with the oil and lemon juice in a food processor or immersion blender until it makes a thick green purée. Season to taste with salt and pepper. It should be fresh and lemony. Add more oil or lemon juice until you’re happy with it.

Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook the sprouting broccoli until it’s tender, about 8 minutes. Fish out the broccoli and keep it warm, leaving the water in the pan. You’ll use it to poach the egg.

Add more water to the pan if necessary and bring it to a low simmer. Add a splash of white vinegar if you like (this helps the egg to retain a reasonably nice shape), and then crack the eggs one at a time into the water. Poach over low heat for about 2 minutes, or until the whites are set. Turn off the heat and leave the eggs in the pan while you plate up.

Arrange the broccoli onto two dinner plates. Spoon most of the parsley sauce artfully over the broccoli and around the plate. Top each mound of broccoli with a poached egg and decorate that with the remaining parsley sauce. Dot the broccoli and egg with several spoonfuls of Greek yoghurt and strew a little of the red chile pepper over the top—but watch out: the Canalside chiles are really potent! Grind a final sprinkle of black pepper over the top.

highslide for wordpress