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Archive for the ‘Side dish’ Category

Spaghetti with crab, cherry tomatoes & fresh chillies

This is really simple and fresh and we love it on a Friday night with a glass of chilled white wine. By all means cook a crab but our local fish shop sells cooked and picked crabmeat which makes this extra quick and easy.

Wine Suggestion: One of our stand-by wines for seafood is Muscadet and for this dish it was a good choice. A long standing favourite, the Domaine de la Chauviniere Muscadet sur lie always has good fruit, great texture and freshness and accentuated the flavours of the crab in a very nice way.

Spaghetti with Crab, Cherry Tomatoes and Chillies – serves 4

  • 500g spaghetti
  • 8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 medium hot red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 100ml white wine
  • 200g white crabmeat
  • 3 tbsp freshly chopped chives

Cook the pasta in a very large pot of boiling salty water until al dente.

Meanwhile, gently heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the garlic and chilli for 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes before adding the wine and bringing to a simmer. Add the crab and cook for a minute to just warm through.

Drain the pasta well and tip into the pan with the crab sauce. Stir to combine, sprinkle over the chives, and serve.

(Original recipe from Pronto! by Gino D’Acampo, Kyle Books, 2014.)

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Broadbeans with pancetta

A tasty side dish that works at any time of the year provided you’ve a stash of broad beans in the freezer.

Broad beans with pancetta – serves 4

  • 500g frozen broad beans
  • 70g cubetti di pancetta
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • a small bunch of flatleaf parsley, chopped

Cook the beans in boiling water for 2 minutes then drain and remove from the skins.

Fry the pancetta in a dry pan until the fat runs, then turn the heat up and brown well. Add the shallots for a couple of minutes to soften, then add the broad beans to heat through. Stir through the parsley and season before serving.

 

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Cherry tomato salad with wholegrain mustardSuch a nice tomato salad with lots of delicious dressing for which you will require some crusty bread. You do need to skin the tomatoes but it actually takes no time at all if you follow the instructions below and it allows them to soak up the dressing so don’t be tempted to leave that step out.

Cherry tomato salad with wholegrain mustard – serves 4 to 6

  • 900g cherry tomatoes
  • 50g walnuts, coarsely chopped

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • small bunch of tarragon
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 heaped tbsp wholegrain Dijon mustard
  • 125ml walnut oil or olive oil

Peel the tomatoes by cutting a slit in the base of each then putting them into a large bowl. Pour over some boiling water from the kettle and immediately drain – the skins should peel of easily.

Keep a sprig of tarragon to garnish and remove the rest of the leaves from the stalks. Coarsely chop the leaves and discard the stalks. Whisk the vinegar and mustard together with some salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in the oil so the dressing thickens slightly, then whisk in the chopped tarragon.

Pour the dressing over the tomatoes,  mix gently and taste for seasoning. You can leave at room temperature for a couple of hours at this point. Pile into a salad bowl and sprinkle with the walnuts and the reserved tarragon just before serving.

(Original recipe by Anne Willan IN: BBC Good Food Magazine, April 2002)

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Watercress & Scallion salad

We love this green salad with barbecues as the scallions taste amazing and you’re not likely to get the barbecue out just for a green salad.

Watercress & scallion salad – serves 8 to 10

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 shallots, sliced into fine rings
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 bunches scallions, trimmed
  • 4 bunches of watercress (or failing that a bag of mixed salad leaves as we had to resort to this time but it we prefer it with watercress)

Heat a pan over a medium heat, then fry the shallots for a few minutes with a splash of oil, then add the sugar and vinegar. Bring to the boil, then set to one side.

Toss the scallions in a little oil then cook on a hot barbecue for a a couple of minutes on each side (use a griddle pan if that’s easier). Put the scallions in a bowl with the shallots and the rest of the olive oil. Season and toss with the watercress.

(Original recipe by James Martin IN: BBC Good Food Magazine, April 2008)

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Broad Beans, Peas, Chorizo & Mint

If you are yet to be convinced of the merits of frozen broad beans then surely this will convert you. A dish sure to become a regular feature in our kitchen as we can think of loads of mains to pair it with. Slipping the skins off the beans is a bit of a fiddle but definitely worth it and not the worst kitchen job – that would be cleaning mussels or mushrooms.

Peas, broad beans & chorizo with mint – serves 4 to 6

  • 250g frozen peas
  • 250g frozen baby broad beans
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 150g chorizo sausage, cut into small chunks
  • a good squeeze of lemon juice
  • leaves from 5 sprigs of mint

Cook the peas and beans in separate pans of boiling salted water until tender, then drain and remove the skins from the broad beans.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the chorizo until golden. Add the peas and beans and heat through. Season, add the lemon juice and mint, then serve.

(Original recipe from Food from Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2010.)

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Shirazi salad

This Iranian salad works really well with rich, spicy stews and middle eastern dishes. Try and cut everything the same size so that you get a bit of everything in each bite.

Salad Shirazi – serves 4 as a side dish

  • 300g Middle Eastern or regular cucumber
  • 300g tomatoes, halved and seeds removed
  • ½ red onion
  • 4 radishes

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

If you are using small Middle Eastern (Lebanese) cucumbers, then half them lengthways. If using a regular cucumber, peel, half and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon.

Finely dice the cucumber and tomato into ½ cm cubes. Cut the red onion and radishes into similar sized pieces and tip everything into a large salad bowl.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together, then pour over the salad and mix well. Serve immediately.

(Original recipe from The Saffron Tales by Yasmin Khan, Bloomsbury, 2016.)

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Cheesy Kale Bake

Kale is everywhere and not our choice to put in a smoothie, but absolutely delicious when smothered with cheese sauce.

Cheesy kale bake – serves 4

  • 400g curly kale, remove the stalks and thickly shred
  • 25g butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • 400ml milk
  • 250g Cheddar or Gruyère cheese (or a mixture), grated
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Put a large pan of water onto a high heat, add a tsp of salt and bring to the boil. Tip in the kale and cook for a couple of minutes or until almost tender. When it has cooled a bit squeeze the leaves with your hands to remove excess water and spread out in an ovenproof dish (20 x 25cm).

To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the flour and cook for a minute or until bubbling. Gradually add the milk, whisking or stirring all the time, then reduce the heat and cook for 3-4 minutes or until thickened. Remove the sauce from the heat, add half the cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Pour the cheese sauce over the kale and sprinkle over the rest of the cheese, then bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and bubbling.

(Original recipe from Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen by Rachel Allen, HarperCollins, 2013.)

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