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Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category

Burrata with burnt orange, pistachio and pomegranate

A dish of vibrant colours and flavours that may not be for everyone as the texture of the nuts and pomegranate is a little unusual (a bit like rubble); we ate everything on the plate with gusto and wished we had more.

Wine Suggestion: we picked the Biancardi Insolito which is made from the rare Minutolo grape. This grape had for years been mistaken for Fiano but has been proven to be a distinct variety, so if you can’t find this exact wine/grape try a good Fiano instead. Full of pear, green apple, citrus and floral characters it is as fresh as the sea breezes that cool it’s vineyards and made a good match.

Burrata & Brunt Oranges with Pistachios & Pomegranate – serves 4 as a starter

  • 1 orange or blood orange, cut into segments
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 200g ball of burrata
  • 60g pomegranate seeds
  • 25g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 pinches of nigella seeds
  • ½ tsp sumac
  • a handful of mint leaves, torn
  • maldon sea salt flakes and black pepper

Use a blow torch to burn the orange segments or heat a frying pan on the highest heat until hot, brush a little bit of oil on to the segments and cook for 1 minute on each side, or until starting to blacken.

Place the burrata in the centre of the serving plate. Arrange the burnt orange around the cheese and scatter over the pomegranate seeds, pistachios, nigella seeds and sumac. Drizzle generously with some nice olive oil, season with salt and pepper and scatter over the mint.

(Original recipe from Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour, Mitchell Beazley, 2017.)

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Blue cheese gnocchi

We’ve been seeing more good quality pre-prepared fresh gnocchi around and it’s really handy for a quick dinner. Here’s how to make it tasty with some blue cheese and spinach.

Wine Suggestion: this was a little tricky given blue cheese’s affinity for sweet wine, and we didn’t want this with our meal. A glass of Oloroso sherry was considered but we ended up with a Puglian Primitivo-Nero do Troia blend from Michele Biancardi which is both savoury and fruity. The fruity, plummy sweetness was the foil for the cheese and the savoury tannins played a dance with the gnocchi and spinach.

Blue Cheese Gnocchi – serves 4

  • 500g fresh gnocchi
  • 250g bag baby spinach
  • 100ml/3½ fl oz crème fraîche
  • 4 tbsp grated parmesan
  • 100g blue cheese – a soft variety would be good but use whatever you have

Cook the gnocchi in a large pan of boiling salted water according to the timings on the pack. Stir the spinach into the pan with the gnocchi, then immediately drain in a colander and shake well to get rid of the water.

Put the crème fraîche and grated Parmesan into a small ovenproof dish. Add the hot, drained gnocchi and spinach and stir. Crumble the blue cheese over and season with black pepper.

Put the dish under a hot grill until the cheese is bubbling and golden.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Wild mushroom soup

Make this with wild mushrooms while you get them but it also works well with ordinary chestnut mushrooms.

Wine Suggestion: an old favourite with mushrooms for us is complex and nutty Oloroso sherry. The best are round and rich while remaining dry but if you have one with a touch of sweetness it should work just as well too.

If sherry is not your style then a lighter, earthy red like the Höpler Pannonica red, a blend of Zweigelt, Blaufrankisch and Pinot Noir from Burgenland in Austria is a good pick. Earthy and spices this wine has character and presence while remaining medium bodied and fresh.

Creamy Mushroom Soup – serves 4

  • 25g dried porcini (ceps)
  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced
  • thyme sprigs
  • 400g mixed wild mushrooms or chestnut mushrooms
  • 850ml vegetable stock
  • 200ml tub crème fraîche
  • 4 slices white bread, about 100g, cubed
  • chopped chives

Put the dried porcini in a bowl and pour over boiling water to just cover.

Heat 25g of the butter in a saucepan and gently cook the onion, garlic & thyme for about 5 minutes or until softened and starting to brown.

Drain the porcini (keep the liquid) then add to the onion along with the fresh mushrooms. Leave to cook for another 5 minutes. Add the stock and the reserved mushroom juice (discard any grit at the bottom), bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Add the crème fraîche and simmer for another few minutes then whizz with a hand blender (or similar device) before passing through a fine sieve.

Heat the remaining butter in a frying pan, fry the bread cubes until golden, then drain on kitchen paper. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle over the croûtons and chives.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

 

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Maroccan kale, chickpea and squash stew

So here we are in October which in our house means thoughts are turning towards Autumn veg, warm casseroles and roast dinners. Here’s a really delicious, but healthy, idea for your first butternut squash.

Wine Suggestion: A little tricky this match but we have two suggestions: a juicy and spicy, Californian Zinfandel – get a good one if you can, like Cline or Ridge; or the Altos de Torona Albariño, a richly fruited white with spices and textures to complement the spices in the dish.

Moroccan chickpea, squash & cavolo nero stew – serves 4

  • 4 tomatoes, halved
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g butternut squash, peeled and chopped into large chunks
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 x 400g tins chickpeas, drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp harissa
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 100g feta, crumbled
  • 1 lemon, zested and cut into wedges
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds, toasted in a dry pan and lightly crushed
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 200g cavolo nero, shredded
  • a handful fresh coriander leaves, to serve

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

Put the tomatoes on a baking tray lined with baking parchment, drizzle over 2 tbsp olive oil, season well and roast in the oven about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour 2 tbsp oil into a large saucepan and add the squash, thyme, garlic and onion. Season well and cook over a low heat for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables start to soften.Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, bay leaf, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric and harissa. Season and pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 30-35 minutes or  until the liquid has reduced.

Mix the feta with the last tbsp of olive oil and the lemon zest in a small bowl.

Add the ground coriander and cavolo nero to the stew and cook for a couple of minutes. Put the stew into bowls and top with feta, some coriander leaves and fennel seeds, and some seasoning. Serve with the lemon wedges.

(Original recipe by Romilly Newman for BBC Good Food)

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Courgette lasagne

It’s the season where vegetables seem to come in waves of excess. Here’s a nice weekday lasagne for any of you that are still harvesting courgettes.  Our friend Nicola also dropped by with some home-grown salad ingredients including these pretty nasturtiums.

Wine Suggestion: We think fresh, crisp whites work with courgettes really well and when combined with pasta and cheese naturally lean towards young Semillon, Chenin Blanc or Chablis. To mix it up a bit, however, we tried the Villa Sparina Gavi di Gavi from Piedmont in Italy, another good option.

Courgette Lasagne – serves 6

  • 8 plum tomatoes, halved
  • 2 garlic cloves, lightly bashed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • ½ tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 leeks, sliced into rings
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 100g baby spinach
  • 500g courgettes, grated
  • 10 lasagne sheets
  • 250g tub of ricotta
  • 125g mozzarella, torn
  • 50g Parmesan, grated

Heat the oven to 200C/180 fan/gas 6.

Put the halved tomatoes onto a baking tray with the garlic, oil, rosemary and season well. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until soft, then discard the rosemary and remove the skin from the garlic. Put the tomatoes and garlic in a blender and blitz a few times to make a chunky sauce.

Meanwhile, put the leeks in a pan over a low heat, add the butter, season and cook for about 10 minutes or until soft. Add the spinach and grated courgettes, and continue to cook for another couple of minutes to wilt and soften. Set aside.

Layer the ingredients in a large ovenproof dish starting with a layer of tomato sauce, then some pasta, followed by ricotta and vegetables. Repeat until all the ingredients are used, finishing with a vegetable layer. Scatter over the mozzarella and Parmesan, then bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling.

(Original recipe by John Torode in BBC Good Food Magazine, August 2016.)

 

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Watercress, cucumber & radish salad A lovely later summer salad. We used mixed radishes from our garden – red, white and everything in between. Freshly picked they had a wonderful peppery kick that we never seem to get from shop bought radishes.

Watercress, cucumber & radish salad – serves 8

  • 1 cucumber
  • 200g watercress
  • 300g baby radishes, halved if large

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • 6 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 sprig of dill, leaves only, chopped

Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together in a bowl, then season.

Peel the cucumber into long, thin strips using a vegetable peeler. Discard the seedy part.

Toss the watercress, cucumber and radishes together in a serving bowl and toss with the dressing.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food.)

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Summer berry jam

Now’s the time to make a big batch of jam with the last of the summer berries. It’s worth seeking out jam berries which tend to be odd shapes and sizes and are sold off cheap. We used a mixture of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries & aronia berries – small black berries that look a bit like currants and are apparently very good for us.

Summer Berry Jam – about 8 jam jars

  • 1.8 kg mixed summer berries (see our suggestion above)
  • 1.5 kg jam sugar with pectin
  • juice and pips of 1 lemon
  • tiny knob of butter

Start the night before by layering the berries and sugar together in a very large bowl, then cover and leave at room temperature. Stir the fruit in the morning, then leave until you are ready to cook.

Put a small saucer in the freezer before you start. Tip the berries and any sugar into a large wide-based pan or preserving pan. Stir in the lemon juice, then collect the pips and put into a muslin cloth or tea-leaf strainer before adding to the pan.

Put the pan over a gentle heat until the sugar has completely dissolved, then bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and put a teaspoon of jam onto the chilled saucer. Wait for it to cool, then push with your finger – if it wrinkles it’s ready. If it’s too runny, put the pan back over the heat and boil for another 2-3 minutes before checking again. Continue like this until the jam wrinkles. If you have a jam thermometer you should wait until the jam reaches 105ºC.

Skim the scum off the top of the jam, then stir in a very small knob of butter (this will help to dissolve any remaining scum). Leave the jam for 15 minutes before ladling into sterilised jars.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food.)

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