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Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category

Spaghetti with Ricotta & Toasted Pine Nuts

Mondays are all about leftovers in our house and we’re determined to use all bits and pieces hanging around after the weekend. This pasta dish helped us out with the remains of a jar of sundried tomatoes and some ricotta cheese. Also great to use the chives that have recently sprouted up in the garden – a positive sign of things to come.

Wine Suggestion: Look for a good Verdicchio with a fuller body, but still fresh and balanced. Tonight an old favourite, the Sartarelli Tralivio.

Spaghetti with Ricotta Cheese & Toasted Pine Nuts – serves 4 (easily halved)

  • 6 tbsp pine nuts
  • 250g ricotta cheese
  • 100g sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and sliced into thin strips
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped, plus extra to garnish
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • 500g spaghetti

Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan until golden brown, then set aside.

Put the ricotta cheese, sundried tomatoes, chives, nutmeg, pine nuts and basil into a large bowl. Pour over the oil and hot water, season with salt and pepper, and mix together. Leave to rest at room temperature while you cook the pasta.

Cook the spaghetti in a large saucepan of boiling salty water until al dente. Drain and tip into the bowl with the ricotta mixture (don’t be too particular when draining as a little water will help to loosen the sauce). Gently fold everything together for 30 seconds to combine. Serve with the extra basil.

(Original recipe from Gino’s Pasta by Gino D’Acampo, Kyle Books, 2010.)

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Harissa & Goat's Cheese Buns

Try these at the weekend, they’re a good accompaniment for drinks, something fizzy perhaps. They taste best hot but you can have them all prepped on trays in the fridge ready to slide into the oven as people arrive. A nice idea from two of our very favourite cooks – Sarit Packer & Itamer Srulovich of Honey & Co.

Wine suggestion: a good crémant. For fun we opened the Taille Princess Blanc de Gérard Depardieu by Bouvet-Ladubay, a Chenin Blanc-Chardonnay sparkling from Saumur. We chuckle every time with the liberal use of Gérard’s branding and his portrait on the label and on the capsule. That said it is an excellent crémant and a good match to savoury cheese bites like these.

Harissa & Goat’s Cheese Buns – makes about 20 

  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 100g butter (at room temperature), diced
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked and divided into 2 small bowls
  • 60g grated pecorino or Parmesan
  • 125g ricotta
  • 125g soft, young, rindless goat’s cheese
  • 30g rose harissa paste
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds

Put the flour and butter in a mixer bowl with a paddle attachment and combine to a crumb-like consistency.

Add half the egg and half the grated pecorino or Parmesan, along with the ricotta, goat’s cheese, harissa paste and salt. Mix together to form a soft, pliable dough.

Divide the dough into two pieces and roll each one into a log about 20cm long. Brush each log all over with the other half of the egg.

Mix the rest of the cheese with the cumin seeds and sprinkle over the work surface. Roll the logs in the mixture until coated all over. Put the logs on a try in the fridge to rest for at least an hour or up to 48 hours.

When ready to bake, heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

Cut each log into about 10 slices, about 2cm thick, and lay them on a lined baking tray. Bake for 13-15 minutes until teh cheese is golden but the buns are still soft. Serve hot.

(Original recipe from Honey & Co. At Home by Sarit Packer & Itamar Srulovich, Pavilion, 2018.)

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Radish Raita

This makes a nice change from the usual cucumber variety. Good with barbecued lamb or pork and dishes with Greek flavours. We liked it on the side of our giant beans and spinach rice.

Radish Tzatziki – serves 2

  • 100g Greek yoghurt
  • ½ tbsp chopped dill, plus extra to serve
  • 8 small radishes, roughly chopped or sliced
  • ½ clove of garlic, crushed
  • juice of ½ lemon

Mix all the ingredients together and season. Garnish with some extra dill.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Giant Butter Bean Stew

This Greek butter bean stew can be served on it’s own either as a starter or as a veggie main. The kitchen smells fab as it cooks and you can have it ready in advance and just reheat to serve. We like it served on the side of some barbecued lamb, spinach rice and radish tzatziki.

Wine Suggestion: This dish shines with light and fresh red wines with little or no oak. Good on it’s own with the Rocca delle Macie Chianti Vernaiolo, an unoaked and youthful wine. However, the other night we served it with lamb, as part of a larger meal so chose the vibrant Gulfi Cerasuolo, a Nero d’Avola and Frappato blend from Sicily. Bright red fruits, an earthy depth and fresh finish complimented the lamb to the dill and feta. I think we’ll be drinking more of this wine in future.

Giant Butter Bean Stew – serves 6 as a side

  • 2 x 400g tins good quality butter beans
  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 large carrot, finely sliced
  • 1 celery stalk with leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 sundried tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 x 400g tins plum tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • small pack flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • small pack dill, finely chopped
  • 100g feta, crumbled

Drain the butter beans and reserve 100ml of the liquid.

Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish and cook the onions, carrots and celery until tender and the onions are soft and transparent, but not coloured. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, reserving half of the chopped herbs and feta, and season. Squeeze the tinned tomatoes with your hands as you add them to the dish to break them up.

Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

Cook over a gentle heat for another 5 minutes, then add the reserved liquid. Cover the dish and bake in the oven for 40 minutes. Check occasionally and add more water if the dish looks dry.

Remove the lid and cook for another 10 minutes. Stir through the reserved herbs, season to taste, then crumble over the remaining feta.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

 

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Spinach Rice

This rice is seriously delicious. The spinach is cooked with the rice from the start, rather than stirred through at the end, which makes it really flavoursome. We served with some barbecued lamb, Greek butter bean stew and radish tzatziki.

Spinach rice – serves 6

  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 500g baby spinach leaves, finely chopped
  • bunch of dill, finely chopped
  • 300g basmati rice
  • juice of a lemon

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and cook the onion gently until softened but not coloured. Add the spinach and half the dill. Cook over a high heat until the spinach has wilted and any liquid has evaporated.

Stir in the rice and add 600ml of water, then bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to a very gentle simmer, cover the pan with a tight lid (or some tinfoil and a lid) and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the water absorbed. Check and stir after the first 15 minutes and add some more water if needed.

When the rice is cooked, stir in the remaining dill, season well and add the lemon juice to taste.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Jono's Seville Orange Marmelade

There is a batch of this made in our kitchen every year and this year there were two batches (we bought too many oranges). There are lots of fancy marmalade recipes but we find the classic version the best. This also requires a large preserving pan. If you think your pan may be too small then the recipe can easily be halved.

Jono’s Seville Orange Marmalade

  • 1.3kg Seville orange marmalade
  • 2 lemons, juice only
  • 2.6kg preserving or granulated sugar

Put the whole oranges and lemon juice in a large preserving pan and cover with 2 litres of water (if the water doesn’t cover the fruit you need to try a smaller pan). Use a heat-proof plate to keep the oranges submerged as they tend to bob to the surface; we use a second, smaller pot lid. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer very gently for about 2 hours or until the peel can be pierced easily with a fork.

We find we have to weight down the saucepan lid with heat-proof items to keep the lid pressed down and the oranges submerged; a small mortar and an iron teapot usually get drafted for this role.

Warm the sugar in a very low oven. Pour the cooking water from the oranges into a jug and tip the oranges into a bowl. Return the cooking liquid to the pan. When the oranges are cool enough to handle, cut them in half and scoop out all the pips and pith and add to the orange liquid in the pan. Bring this to the boil and continue to boil for 6 minutes, then strain the liquid through a sieve into a bowl and press the pulp through with a wooden spoon.

Pour this liquid into a large preserving pan. Cut the peel into fine shreds and add to the liquid in the preserving pan with the warmed sugar. Gently stir over a low heat for about 10 minutes until the sugar has completely dissolved. This is very important as undissolved grains effects the outcome. Bring to the boil and bubble rapidly for 15-25 minutes or until setting point is reached. A jam thermometer is useful here, but you can also test the set by checking if the marmelade wrinkles when put onto a cold plate

Remove the pan from the heat and skim any scum from the surface. The remaining excess scum can be dissolved by dropping a small knob of butter on to the surface and stirring gently. Leave the marmalade to stand in the pan for 20 minutes, then pot into sterilised jars.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Spinach with Sumac

This simple Syrian side dish has fantastic flavour. We ate it with some spiced fish but it would complement many things. Also great on its own with some plain yoghurt and flatbreads.

Spinach with Sumac (Spanekh wa Sumac) – serves 4

  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • oil, for frying
  • 350g baby spinach
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • a squeeze of lemon

Fry the onion over a very low heat for 20-30 minutes or until softened and almost caramelised. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from the heat, sprinkle with the sumac, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

(Original recipe from Syria: Recipes from Home by Itab Azzam & Dina Mousawi, Trapeze 2017.)

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