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Posts Tagged ‘Walnuts’

Fig, Blue Cheese & Walnut Salad

There are figs going cheap everywhere at the moment and we’re trying to find lots of things to do with them. This salad by Thomasina Miers is delicious and full of autumnal flavours.

Wine Suggestion: if you feel like wine with your salad choose a fresh, unoaked white. There’s plenty of options but we like Jean-Michel Gerin’s le Champine Viognier from the northern Rhone which sits nicely with all the components here.

Roasted red onion, fig, blue cheese & walnut salad – serves 4

  • 2 red onions, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4-5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp soft brown sugar
  • 6 ripe figs, sliced in half widthways
  • 75g walnuts
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1 head radicchio, finely shredded
  • 100g watercress
  • 120g blue cheese, we used Gorgonzola as we had some for another dish

Heat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.

Scatter the onions over a large baking tray, season generously and drizzle with a tablespoon of the vinegar and olive oil to coat. Toss with your hands, lightly scatter with brown sugar, then roast for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the figs cut side down on a different tray, and season with salt, pepper, a little brown sugar and a drizzle of olive oil. Roast in the oven with the figs for another 10-12 minutes or until the figs are slightly softened and releasing their juice and the onions are crisp at the edges.

Drizzle the rest of the vinegar over the figs. Put the walnuts in a small baking tray and roast for 5 minutes. Roughly chop.

Pour the juice from the fig roasting tray into a small cup, then whisk in 2-3 tbsp of oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Season to taste.

Arrange the leaves on a large plate, top with the red onions and figs and dot around the cheese. Scatter over the walnuts and drizzle over the dressing.

(Original recipe by Thomasina Miers in The Guardian.)

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Syrian Spiced Fish

This Syrian fish dish is bursting with delicious herbs and spices. We loved it! Really great with spinach & sumac and spicy potatoes. One of the best meals we’ve had in ages!

Wine Suggestion: Our choice tonight was the Rustenberg Five Soldiers Chardonnay which had power and complexity but also elegance and a beautiful, supple balance so it finished light and persistent. An excellent wine well worth seeking out and a great match for this dish.

Spiced Fish (Samaka Harra) – serves 2

  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 red chillies, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 40g walnuts chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra
  • 2 whole fish e.g. sea bream or snapper (we used bass)
  • a bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped, including stems
  • 1 lemon, plus ½ a lemon, sliced

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Mix the garlic, chillies, cumin, walnuts and 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Stuff the fish with the mixture, keeping 2 tbsp aside for later, then add a handful of coriander, saving some to garnish.

Squeeze the lemon over both fish, then drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Marinate in the fridge for a good half hour.

Put the fish into a large oven tray with the reserved stuffing sprinkled over the top and some lemon slices, then bake for 30 minutes.

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

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Fesenjoon

We love this Persian dish, so rich and full of unusual but intriguing flavours. We’ve tried to make it before with limited success but this version by Yasmin Khan was much more like the dish we remembered. Serve with steamed basmati rice and salad.

Chicken with Walnuts & Pomegranates – Fesenjoon – serves 4

  • 250g walnuts (fresh is best)
  • 1.2 litres of cold water
  • 100ml pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 800g skinless chicken thighs, on the bone
  • a handful of pomegranate seeds to garnish

Grind the walnuts in a food processor until extremely fine – they will eventually turn into a smooth paste. Transfer the ground nuts into a large casserole pot with a litre of water and mix well. Bring to the boil and cook over a high heat for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour, partially covered. Stir occasionally to make sure the walnuts don’t stick.

Stir in the remaining 200ml of water and simmer for another hour with the lid on. Add more cold water if the sauce starts to look dry – in the end it should have a thick, porridge-like consistency.

By the end of the time the sauce should have thickened and darkened in colour. Add the pomegranate molasses, tomato purée, cinnamon, sugar, salt and pepper and stir well. Add the chicken, put the lid back on the pot and cook over a low heat for 45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked and the sauce is dark and glossy.

Taste the sauce and season, you might like to add more sugar or pomegranate molasses to adjust the sweet/sour balance. Cook for a final 10 minutes with the lid off so the sauce thickens around the meat. Serve over rice and sprinkled with the pomegranate seeds.

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

 

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Cheeseboard soufflé

Another useful recipe for all the leftover cheese following the holidays. The soufflé is deliciously light and the pear and walnut salad (scroll down for recipe) is the perfect accompaniment.

Wine Suggestion: a classic, and to our mind excellent wine match is bubbly, and at the moment we’ve been exploring the different Cremant’s found around France. Tonight it was the Domaine Manciat-Poncet Cremant de Bourgogne from the Maçonnais (chosen and provided by our friend Michelle), and a good choice indeed.

Cheeseboard Soufflé – serves 4

  • 50g butter
  • 25g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 200ml milk
  • 300g hard cheese, cut into chunks (we used Comté, Cheddar & Parmesan)
  • 100ml double cream or crème fraîche
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • grating of nutmeg
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

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

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Brush a 20cm soufflé dish with a little of the melted butter, then dust with flour.

Stir the rest of the flour into the melted butter in the saucepan, then bubble together for 1 minute. Gradually pour in the milk to make a white sauce, then add two-thirds of the cheese and continue to stir over the heat to melt.

Leave to cool slightly, then mix in the rest of the cheese, the cream and the egg yolks. Season and add the nutmeg and cayenne pepper.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Fold into the cheese sauce, then carefully transfer into the soufflé dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until puffed up and golden.

Serve with the winter salad below.

Winter seasonal salad

Pear, blue cheese & walnut salad – serves 4

  • 110g bag of mixed salad leaves
  • 100g blue or goat’s cheese, crumbled
  • 50g shelled nuts – we used walnuts
  • 1 pear, sliced
  • 3 tbsp of salad dressing

Toss the salad ingredients together. Once the soufflé is cooked, dress the salad and serve.

Cheese board soufflé 2

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Akhrote ka raita

We’re sad to say that we’ve finally used up the enormous stash of walnuts we couldn’t resist at a French market. When we got home we thought we’d never get through them. This dish was a fitting end for the last few handfuls and we need to plan another trip. Try this raita with Indian dishes as a refreshing change from the usual cucumber raita.

Yoghurt with walnuts & coriander (Akhrote ka raita) – serves 6

  • 600ml plain yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • ½ a fresh hot green chilli, very finely chopped
  • 1 scallion, very finely sliced
  • 65g shelled walnuts, roughly broken into small pieces

Put the yoghurt into a bowl and beat lightly with a fork or whisk until smooth and creamy.

Add the rest of the ingredients plus a good grinding of black pepper and about ½ tsp of salt. Stir to mix.

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

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Duck & Orange Salad

We cooked this while camping in the Dordogne where duck is plentiful and you can buy fabulous fresh walnuts in all the local markets. What a treat!

Wine Suggestion: we can suggest a glass of the walnut liqueur “Liqueur de Noix” for dessert. The Tante Mïon we found from Sarlat was definitely artisanale, but had great character and smoothness. A holiday treat.

Duck & Orange Salad – serves 2

  • 2 x 150g duck breast fillets with skin on
  • 1 baguette
  • 15g shelled unsalted walnuts, chopped
  • 3 oranges or blood oranges
  • 30g watercress

Score the duck skin with a sharp knife, then rub all over with sea salt and black pepper. Place the duck breasts skin side down in a large non-stick frying pan on a medium-high heat. Sear for 6 minutes or until the skin is dark golden, then turn over and cook for another 5 minutes (or longer if that’s your preference). Remove to a board to rest but leave the pan on the heat.

Slice 10 thin slices of baguette. Put the slices of bread into the hot pan with the walnuts and toast in the duck fat until golden, then remove and arrange the toasts on a serving plate.

Meanwhile, top and tail the oranges, cut away the peal, then slice finely into rounds (remove any pips as you go).

Finely slice the duck and put the slices on top of the little toasts. Scatter any extra duck and the oranges around, then dress the watercress with any resting juices on the board and sprinkle over. Scatter over the toasted walnuts, season, and serve.

(Original recipe from Jamie Oliver’s ‘5 Ingredients’, Michael Joseph, 2017)

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Cherry tomato salad with wholegrain mustardSuch a nice tomato salad with lots of delicious dressing for which you will require some crusty bread. You do need to skin the tomatoes but it actually takes no time at all if you follow the instructions below and it allows them to soak up the dressing so don’t be tempted to leave that step out.

Cherry tomato salad with wholegrain mustard – serves 4 to 6

  • 900g cherry tomatoes
  • 50g walnuts, coarsely chopped

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • small bunch of tarragon
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 heaped tbsp wholegrain Dijon mustard
  • 125ml walnut oil or olive oil

Peel the tomatoes by cutting a slit in the base of each then putting them into a large bowl. Pour over some boiling water from the kettle and immediately drain – the skins should peel of easily.

Keep a sprig of tarragon to garnish and remove the rest of the leaves from the stalks. Coarsely chop the leaves and discard the stalks. Whisk the vinegar and mustard together with some salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in the oil so the dressing thickens slightly, then whisk in the chopped tarragon.

Pour the dressing over the tomatoes,  mix gently and taste for seasoning. You can leave at room temperature for a couple of hours at this point. Pile into a salad bowl and sprinkle with the walnuts and the reserved tarragon just before serving.

(Original recipe by Anne Willan IN: BBC Good Food Magazine, April 2002)

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