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Archive for the ‘Vegan’ Category

A colourful spring side dish that goes really nicely with roast lamb. You can cook the beans in advance and just warm through with the tomatoes and balsamic when you’re ready to serve.

Tomato & Balsamic Green Beans – serves 6-8 as a side dish

  • 650g green beans 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Trim the beans and cook in boiling salted water for 6-8 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and cool under running cold water. Store in the fridge until needed.

Heat the oil in a pan, then add the tomatoes and fry gently for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Season well, then splash in the balsamic vinegar. Warm through, then tip the beans into the pan. Stir well, then cover and warm through for a few minutes.

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We made this with red onions as we had no Spanish onions to hand which worked well; if you have the Spanish onions it works even better!

New potatoes Lyonnaise – to serve 6 as a side dish

  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large Spanish onions, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 1kg large new potatoes, halved

Heat the butter in a large pan until foaming. Add 2 tbsp of the olive oil and the onions and cook on a fairly low heat until soft and golden, about 30 minutes. When the onions have softened, stir in the garlic and thyme and set aside.

Heat the oven to 200C/180 fan/gas 6. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the potatoes and boil for 5 minutes, then drain well.

Mix the potatoes with the rest of the oil and some seasoning in a large roasting tin. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing halfway, until golden. Stir in the onion mixture and roast for a further 10 minutes.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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A stir-fry of Sprouts; Brussels & Bean. A delight and a real treat as a healthy midweek supper.

Sprouts with Sesame & Spring Onions – to serve 2 (or 4 as a side)

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • thumb-size piece ginger, cut into matchsticks
  • 300g Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 250g beansprouts
  • small bunch spring onions, sliced diagonally
  • 1 tbsp clear honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce, plus extra to serve
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Heat the oil in a wok. Fry the ginger and Brussels sprouts, tossing, for 5-6 minutes, until slightly browned. Add a few tbsp water while they’re cooking if you need to stop them sticking, though the odd crusty bit will only improve things.

Add the beansprouts, spring onions, honey and soy sauce, then stir-fry for 1 minute. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and serve with some extra soy sauce.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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A Lebanese twist to tomato sauce with gentle spices and almonds; a lovely variation on a theme. The proportion of sauce to spaghetti is also very different to how the Italian’s make pasta so there is a lot of sauce for this dish. This worked for us but you could use the same amount of sauce for a greater quantity of pasta and therefore serve more people if you’d like.

The spices are subtle and warming and the pinches can be generous if you like.

Spaghetti with a Rich Tomato Sauce & Toasted Almonds – serves 2 generously

  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground allspice
  • pinch grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch ground pepper
  • 200g spaghetti
  • 50g flaked almonds, toasted
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley

Put the tomatoes, tomato purée, garlic and sugar into a pan and simmer over a low heat. Stir frequently and simmer for 30 minutes.

Stir in the olive oil, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, salt and pepper and cook for a further 20 minutes.

Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the spaghetti and cook according to packet instructions (usually between 10-12 minutes). Reserve 3 tablespoons of the cooking water and then drain the cooked spaghetti.

Return the spaghetti to the cooking pot with the reserved cooking water and the tomato sauce.

Toss well and then serve sprinkled with the almonds and parsley.

Wine Suggestion: we drank a Valpolicella Ripasso with this dish and the ripe, juicy spices went well with the warming spices of the sauce.

(Original recipe from The Lebanese Kitchen by Salma Hage, Phaidon, 2012.)

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Such a good recipe for hummus we couldn’t stop eating it and had to make another batch! Once you’ve bought the tahini you may as well use it up.

  • 2 x 400g tins of chickpeas
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 tbsp tahini
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • best extra virgin olive oil
  • 50g pine nuts, toasted

Drain the chickpeas, keeping 50ml of the juices from the tin, and rinse.

Put the chickpeas into a food processor, add the garlic cloves and tahini, and process for a few minutes.

Add the reserved can juices, then half the lemon juice and the sea salt, and process until smooth.

Taste and add some more lemon juice, if you like.

Scrape the hummus into a dish, drizzle generously with your best olive oil, sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts, and serve as a starter, with  breadsticks and crudités for pack lunch, or with a selection of other mezze dishes.

(Original recipe from The Lebanese Kitchen by Salma Hage, Phaidon 2012.)

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Green Olive Salad

We can’t encourage you enough to try this salad. The list of ingredients is not instantly inspiring but the result is fabulous!

You will have far too much dressing left over but it will keep in the fridge for up to 6 months and can be used on any salad (it will separate but just give it a good shake each time before serving).

Crushed olive salad – Insalata di olive verdi schiacciate – to serve 4-6

  • 450g good quality green olives in brine
  • 6 celery stalks, with leaves, all finely chopped
  • the leaves from 10-12 stalks of mint, finely chopped
  • 40ml dressing (see below)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE DRESSING (makes approx. 375ml): 

  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 300ml extra virgin olive oil

First make the dressing:

Put the salt into a bowl, then add the vinegars and leave aside for a minute or two to allow the salt to dissolve. Whisk in the olive oil and 2 tbsp of water until it emulsifies. Pour into a clean bottle and keep in the fridge (it should last for about 6 months); it will separate but just give the bottle a good shake before serving.

Drain the olives and pat dry with kitchen paper. Cut the flesh away from the stone (try slicing 3-4 times from end to end then carefully cutting away each segment). Put the olive pieces into a bowl and add the celery, celery leaves, and mint. Toss with 40ml of the dressing, season and serve.

(Original recipe from Georgio Locatelli’s Made In Sicily, Fourth Estate, 2011.)

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Sometimes the simple recipes are the best.

Spaghetti with raw tomato and rocket – to serve 4

  • 4 plum ripe plum tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 dried hot chile
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 3 tbsp black olives
  • 3 tbsp rocket
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 300g spaghetti

Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze out the excess juice and seeds, and chop the flesh coarsely. Crush the garlic with a teaspoon of sea salt with the flat of a knife. Rinse the capers, and pit the olives. Roughly chop the rocket.

Combine the tomatoes with the garlic, the crumbled chile, capers and olives. Season really well, add the olive oil and leave aside for 30 minutes.

Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, and stir the pasta into the tomatoes. Add the rocket. Toss to coat and season with black pepper.

Serve with some more olive oil.

Wine Suggestion: You want to find a wine as fresh as the ingredients being used, so try a youthful Dolcetto from the Piedmont region in north-west Italy.

(Original recipe from Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers’ Italian Two Easy, Clarkson/Potter, 20o6.)

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