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Archive for the ‘Vegan’ Category

Ginger & Miso Soup

Pumpkins are everywhere and the evenings have got dark and chilly. This delicious soup by Melissa Hemsley looks like sunshine and tastes warm and comforting. Don’t omit the topping as it really brings the soup to life.

Ginger miso sunshine soup – serves 6

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or ghee
  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 5cm piece of ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 4 large carrots, chopped into 1.5cm cubes
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped into 2cm cubes
  • 1.5 litres stock or bone broth or water – we used Marigold Bouillon powder
  • 2 tbsp miso
  • juice of 1 lemon

CHIVE TOPPING

  • 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp chives, chopped
  • 4 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Melt the oil in a large, wide saucepan. Add the onions and cook over a medium heat for 4 minutes, then add the garlic, ginger and turmeric and cook for another minute.

Add the carrots & squash, followed by the stock. Bring to a simmer, then cover with a lid and cook for 15-18 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the topping in a small bowl. Add the miso and lemon juice to another bowl and add a few tablespoons of the hot liquid from the soup and stir or whisk until you have a smooth paste.

Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the miso paste. Blend the soup until smooth and season to taste. Serve with the chive topping.

(Original recipe from Eat Happy by Melissa Hemsley, Ebury Press, 2018.)

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Spicy Green Beans - Madaledar sem

These green beans are full of Indian flavour and make a great side for curries and other Indian dishes but they would also add interest to a roast chicken. Chopping them up small changes the texture in a nice way too.

Spicy Green Beans (Masaledar sem) – serves 6

  • 750g green beans, trimmed and cut into 5mm lengths
  • 4cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 350ml water
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 dried hot red chilli, lightly crushed in a mortar
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 medium tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped (to peel the tomatoes drop into boiling water for 15 seconds after which the skins should come off easily)
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1 tsp ground, roasted cumin seeds

Put the ginger and garlic into a blender or food processor with 120ml of the water and blend until fairly smooth.

Heat the oil in a wide, heavy pot over a medium-high heat. When hot put in the cumin seeds, and 5 seconds later the crushed chilli. As soon as it darkens add the ginger-garlic paste, then stir and cook for a minute. Stir in the coriander, then add the chopped tomato. Stir and cook for 2 minutes, mashing the tomatoes with the back of a spoon.

Add the beans, about 1¼ tsp salt and the rest of the water, then bring to a simmer. Cover, turn the heat to low, and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the beans are tender.

Remove the cover. Add the lemon juice, the ground roasted cumin seeds, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Increase the heat and boil away the liquid while gently stirring the beans.

(Original recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking, Barron’s Educational Series, 2002.)

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Roasted butternut squash & red onion with tahini & za'atar

A divine vegetable dish from Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi’s bookJerusalem’ – still one of our absolute favourites. We served this on a platter as a light starter but it would also work really well as a vegetarian/vegan main or as a side with other dishes. There were happy diners at our table!

Wine Suggestion: this worked excellently with Massaya’s le Colombier from the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon, a very Rhône blend with a touch of  Tempranillo which gives it hints of North African / Eastern spices.

Roasted butternut squash & red onion with tahini & za’atar – serves 4

  • 1 large butternut squash, cut into wedges (about 2cm x 6cm)
  • 2 red onions, cut into wedges
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 3½ tbsp light tahini paste
  • 1½ tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 30g pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp za’atar
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat your oven to 240C/220C fan/Gas 9.

Put the squash and onion wedges into a large mixing bowl and toss with 3 tbsp of oil, 1 tsp of sea salt flakes and some black pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet with the skin facing down and roast in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through and starting to crisp and brown at the edges, leave to cool.

Make the sauce by putting the tahini into a small bowl with the lemon juice, 2 tbsp of water, the garlic & ¼ tsp of sea salt. Whisk until the sauce is “the consistency of honey”. You may need to add more water or tahini.

Pour the rest of the oil into a small frying pan and warm over a low-medium heat. Add the pine nuts with ½ tsp of sea salt and cook for 2 minutes, stirring, until golden brown. Remove from the heat and pour the nuts and oil into a bowl so that they stop cooking.

Spread the vegetables out on a serving platter and drizzle over the tahini. Sprinkle with the pine nuts and their oil, the za’atar and parsley.

(Original recipe from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, Ebury Press, 2012.)

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Marinated mushrooms with lemon

These mushrooms, from Claudia Roden’s fantastic book The Food of Spain, are served cold and make a great nibble to serve with drinks. Some bread and olives would be good too.

Wine Suggestion: Jono purchased a bottle of the delicious Valdespino Inocente Fino Sherry from a friend and this was the perfect Tapas dish to go with it.

Champiñones marinados – serves 4

  • 500g button mushrooms
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • grated zest of ½ a lemon
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Wipe the mushrooms clean with some damp kitchen towel. Trim the stems and cut into halves or quarters.

Heat the mushrooms in a large, non-stick frying pan, over a medium heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring until they release their juices and the juices have evaporated.

Mix the lemon juice & zest with the oil and some salt and pepper in a wide, shallow bowl. Add the hot mushrooms to the bowl and mix well.

Cool, then cover and refrigerate for at least 5 hours (or you can make a day ahead). Serve at room temperature with the parsley sprinkled over.

(Original recipe from The Food of Spain by Claudia Roden, Michael Joseph, 2012.)

 

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Pistachio pesto

Our fabulous friends have a weekender in the country with loads of space for growing herbs and veg. We are the very happy recipients when there’s more produce than one family can eat and we put it to good use. So if you have a prolific bed/windowsill with parsley and basil growing you should make this delicious variation on classic pesto. It’s especially good with roast chicken (drumsticks for us) but would also be nice with fish or vegetables.

Pistachio Pesto – serves 4

  • 50g pistachios
  • 25g flatleaf parsley leaves
  • 25g basil leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • zest and juice of a lemon
  • 100ml olive oil

Put the nuts in a bowl and cover with just-boiled water. Leave for a few minutes then drain and tip onto a clean tea towel. Give the nuts a good rub with the tea towel and skins should slip off. Throw the skins away and save the bright green nuts.

Put the nuts in a dry frying pan and toast over a medium heat until lightly coloured all over and smelling fab. Keep a watchful eye as they can turn from toasty to burnt in an instant. Put the nuts on a plate to cool.

Put the herbs and pistachios in a food processor and whizz until finely chopped (you could pound in a pestle and mortar but parsley is much more difficult to pound than basil so we recommend the processor if you have one). Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse briefly – you want to leave a bit of texture. Taste and season. Cover with oil and put in the fridge until needed.

(Original recipe from ‘The Hairy Bikers’ Mediterranean Adventure’ by Si King & Dave Myers, Seven Dials, 2017.)

 

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Winter root vegetable soup

So here we are almost March and we are experiencing an artic blast. The snow is piled up at the back door and Dubliners have been advised to stay indoors tomorrow as more is on the way. Soup seems like our only defence. Nothing fancy here but full of fresh vegetable flavours. It will protect you against almost all weather eventualities, or at least both fill and warm you up.

Winter Root Vegetable Soup – serves 6 to 8

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 litres vegetable stock
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 parsnip, chopped
  • 1 small celeriac, peeled and chopped

Melt the butter in a large pot over a medium to high heat. As soon as it has melted and started to froth, add the onion, leek and potatoes. Sauté for a couple of minutes, then cover and sweat over a low heat for 8 minutes.

Add the stock, the rest of the vegetables and some salt and pepper (white pepper would be our preference), then lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, partially covered. Taste the vegetables to check that they are completely soft, then check the seasoning before serving.

(Original recipe from Fresh by Donal Skeehan, Hodder & Stoughton, 2015.)

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Sweet potato vindaloo

It hasn’t happened just yet but there will come a time when we will grow tired of all the winter root veg and will be hankering for spring and some lighter dishes. If you start to feel this way we recommend turning to cookbooks inspired by India which often contain some of the most interesting and delicious veggie dishes. Don’t be put off by the fiery connotations of ‘vindaloo’, this is a spicy dish but nothing too scary and is tamed by the additions of fluffy white rice and cool yoghurt.

Sweet potato vindaloo – serves 4

  • 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 4cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 5 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ¾ tbsp chilli powder (feel free to adjust to your own tolerance level)
  • 2 medium onions, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 x 400g tin of plum tomatoes
  • 1kg sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
  • yoghurt, to serve
  • steamed white basmati rice, to serve

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large frying (for which you have a lid) over a medium heat, then add the cloves, star anise, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick and cumin seeds. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes until fragrant and then remove from the heat and grind in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar. Add the garlic, ginger & vinegar and continue to grind to a smooth paste, then mix in the chilli powder.

Heat the remaining 3 tbsp of oil in the same pan over a medium heat, then add the onions. Cook for 15 minutes or more until brown and caramelised. Add the spice paste, salt and sugar, then cook for another couple of minutes before tipping in the tomatoes and crushing with a wooden spoon. Fill the empty tomato tin half full with water and add to the pan. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for around 5 minutes, then add the sweet potatoes.

Bring the curry to the boil, then cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the sweet potato is completely tender. Serve with cool natural yoghurt and hot basmati rice.

(Original recipe from Fresh India by Meera Sodha, Penguin, 2016.)

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