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Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category

Caponata Spaghetti

A really healthy mid-week pasta dish but with heaps of flavour. Don’t be tempted to use  more oil than specified, as you really don’t miss it in this dish.

Caponata Spaghetti – serves 4

  • 2 aubergines, cut into 3cm cubes
  • 4 tsp vegetable oil
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • 2 sticks of celery, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • a small handful of raisins
  • 1 tsp capers
  • a handful of kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 300g wholewheat spaghetti
  • a small bunch of parsley, chopped

Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7.

Toss the aubergine with 2tsp of oil and a little seasoning and tip into a large non-stick baking tray. Roast for 20 minutes or until charred and soft.

Meanwhile, heat the rest of the oil in a large pan and cook the red onion and celery with a large pinch of salt for 10 minutes or until softening and caramelised a little. Add the garlic and oregano, and cook for a minute before adding the tomatoes and 100ml water. Tip in the roasted aubergine and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the raisins, capers, olives and red wine vinegar, and season. Keep on a low heat while you cook the pasta.

Cook the pasta according to the time on the pack, then drain, reserving a mug of the water. Tip the pasta into the caponata with the parsley, add a splash of water to loosen if needed. Stir well and serve.

(Original recipe by Adam Bush in Olive Magazine, February 2019)

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Aash-e reshte

This soup, from Yasmin Khan’s Saffron Tales, is delicious and also very filling – perfect for lunch on a cold day and a lesson in how to use dried herbs.

Aash-e reshte – serves 4 to 6

  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 x 400g tin of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 150g green lentils, rinsed
  • ½ tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp dried dill
  • 1 tbsp dried mint
  • 1 tbsp dried coriander
  • 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (methi)
  • 500ml water
  • 1 litre good chicken stock or veg stock
  • 100g spaghetti, broken in half
  • 200g spinach, roughly chopped
  • 25g bunch chives, finely chopped
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

For the toppings:

  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced into half-moons
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 200g Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp dried mint

Heat the sunflower oil in a large heavy-based pan with a lid. Add the onion and fry over a low heat for 10-15 minutes. When softened, add the garlic and fry for another 2 minutes.

Add the chickpeas, beans, lentils, turmeric, dried herbs and water. Stir, cover with a lid, and leave to simmer over a low heat for 40 minutes. Stir occasionally and add another cup of water if it shows signs of sticking.

Add the stock and spaghetti to the pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the fried onion topping. Dust the sliced onion with the flour and salt. Heat the oil in a frying pan until sizzling, then add the onion and fry over a medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Drain on some kitchen paper and sprinkle with a little more salt.

Add the spinach, chives, lemon juice, soy sauce, olive oil, salt and pepper to the soup. Leave to simmer for another 10 minutes, then taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Serve with a spoonful of yoghurt, the crispy onions and a sprinkling of dried mint.

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

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Dill potatoes

We’re always banging on about food waste but can honestly say that at least half the recipes we try, are chosen solely on the basis that they use an ingredient left over from another dish. This is precisely how we came to try this potato dish from Caroline Eden & Eleanor Ford’s beautiful book, Samarkand. Dill is one of the herbs we find most difficult to use up and it’s also one we haven’t had a lot of success growing ourselves. Never again will we shy away from recipes using fresh dill, instead we will look forward to melting potatoes with dill the following day.

Melting Potatoes with Dill – serves 4

  • 50g butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 500g waxy potatoes, unpeeled and cut into 1cm slices
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp cracked black peppercorns
  • a small handful of dill fronds, chopped

Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan and cook the onions very slowly until soft and golden. Add the potato slices and garlic and stir into the buttery onions. Season well with salt and cover with a lid.

Cook the potatoes over a very low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes. Stir through the peppercorns and a handful of fresh dill before serving.

(Original recipe from Samarkand by Caroline Eden & Eleanor Ford, Kyle Books, 2016.)

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Turnip & Gruyere Gratin

Turnip (or swede as some of you call it) gets a lot of bad press but we absolutely love it and even more so when cooked with lots of cream and cheese. Jono has declared this his favourite turnip dish and has demanded we cook it again.

Gruyère and turnip gratin – serves 4

  • 700g turnip/swede (the large, orange-fleshed variety)
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 100g gruyère, grated

Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas4.

Peel and thinly slice the turnip – a mandolin or food processor works really well for this.

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil then add the turnip and cook for 4 minutes. Drain really well.

Whisk the cream, mustard and garlic together and season. Layer the turnip and mustardy cream alternately and sprinkle in half the cheese. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until very tender, browned and bubbling.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe, Olive Magazine, January 2017)

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Pea & Mint Soup

It’s getting close to that time of year when we start to really crave some daylight and spring veg. Fresh peas are a long way off yet but this hearty pea and mint soup is full of promise. Leave out the swirl of cream to keep it vegan.

Pea & Mint Soup – serves 4 generously

  • 80g yellow split peas
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large onions, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1.2 litres vegetable stock
  • 700g frozen peas
  • 2 handfuls of mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 4 tsp single cream (optional to garnish)

Put the split peas into a saucepan and add 800ml of water. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until just tender. Remove any scum from the surface as they cook.

10 minutes before the split peas are cooked, heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes to soften, add a splash of water if they start to stick. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

Drain the split peas and add to the onions along with the vegetable stock. Bring the boil, then simmer gently for 5 minutes.

Stir in the frozen peas and chopped mint and season with salt and black pepper. Simmer for another 5 minutes, then remove from the heat.

Whizz the soup with a blender until smooth (or smoothish if you prefer) – you might have to do this in batches.

Ladle into warm bowls and drizzle with cream if you like.

(Original recipe from Lose Weight for Good by Tom Kerridge, Absolute Press, 2017.)

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Jules' granola

We love granola but often find it too sweet. This home-made version by Tom Kerridge is a super-flavoursome breakfast option. Serve with plain yoghurt and fresh fruit.

Homemade Granola 

  • 300g rolled oats
  • 100g mixed seeds -e.g. pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds
  • 50g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 50g pecans, roughly chopped
  • 50g pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 50g flaked almonds
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 125ml maple syrup
  • 50ml honey
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 50g coconut flakes
  • 150g mixed dried fruits e.g. cranberries, chopped apricots, chopped dried apple, raisins

Preheat the oven to 170C/Fan 150C/Gas 3.

Line two baking trays with baking parchment.

Mix the oats, seeds, chopped nuts and flaked almonds together in a big bowl.

Put the coconut oil, maple syrup, honey, vanilla and spices into a small saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until the coconut oil has melted. Pour over the oat mixture, add the salt and mix well.

Spread the mixture out in a thin layer on the baking trays and bake for 15 minutes. Add the coconut flakes and dried fruit. Mix well and bake for a further 8-10 minutes or until the coconut flakes have browned. Remove from the oven and leave aside to cool.

Store in an airtight container and serve with yoghurt and fresh fruit.

(Original recipe from Tom Kerridge’s Fresh Start, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018.)

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Mushrooms baked on toast with herbs, butter & garlic

Roasting this entire dish in the oven is such a good idea. The mushroom juice soaks into the toast and it all comes together in a truly magical way. Yet more breakfast inspiration from Gill Meller.

Mushrooms baked on toast with garden herbs, butter & garlic – serves 5

  • 5 slices of good country-style bread or sourdough
  • 10 large open-cap mushrooms e.g. Portobello
  • 50g cold butter
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • a small bunch of parsley, leaves finely chopped
  • ½ a small bunch of chives, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, skin on and bashed with the flat of a knife
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve

Heat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 6½.

Arrange the bread on a large baking tray. Put the mushrooms on top; no matter if they hang over the edges.

Slice the butter thinly and put pieces on each mushroom. Scatter over the herbs and garlic. Season generously with salt and pepper and drizzle with oil.

Bake the mushrooms for 15-20 minutes or until the mushrooms are completely soft and the toast is crunchy at the edges.

(Original recipe from Time by Gill Meller, Quadrille, 2018.)

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