28 July 2015

Courgette, feta, flatbread

More of a lunch, or even a packed lunch, than a supper. Easy cooking and even easier eating.
Makes 2 filling wraps
courgette 1
extra-virgin olive oil 4 tbsp
salt and pepper
cloves garlic 3, chopped
fresh peas (shelled weight) 130g, but frozen are fine
feta cheese 80g
Greek yoghurt 80g
lemon 1, very finely grated zest and a squeeze of juice
spring onion 1, sliced
flatbreads 2, the smaller size, white or wholemeal
cos lettuce leaf 1 big, or a couple of baby gem leaves
mint leaves a handful, washed
red chilli, chopped quantity is a personal matter
Get your griddle pan good and hot (or you can do it under the grill – timings should be just a little bit longer though).
Top and tail the courgette, slice it in half lengthways then cut each half into three very long triangular-shaped batons (elongated Toblerones … or something like that). Gently give them a roll in half the olive oil, seasoning and the chopped garlic.
Lay them on the griddle, loosely cover with a piece of foil and cook for 4 minutes before turning them over and doing the same on the other side (you only need to cook them on the two cut sides – no need to griddle the skin side, which tends to burn more easily).
If you have fresh peas, fill a small pan with salted water and bring to a rolling boil – 4 minutes is plenty – then drain. Now, whether using fresh or frozen, run a masher over the peas a few times to break them up a bit. Stir in the rest of the oil with some seasoning.
In a bowl mush the feta into the yoghurt. Stir in the peas, lemon zest, spring onion and some seasoning. If your flatbread is not the freshest, soften it in the oven for a minute or two, then lay on the lettuce, then the feta mix, grilled courgette, mint leaves, lemon juice and a bit of chopped chilli. Try to roll it up good and tight – it makes a difference to the pleasure of the eating. (Alegra McEvedy at Leon)

27 July 2015

Cold melon soup

This one is very simple folks. 
Cut a nice, ripe melon in 4 quarters. One to make the cute balls, the flesh of the rest to be pureed with the juice of one orange and (the secret)! a splash of pastis. 
Prepare well in advance so you have plenty of time to chill in the fridge. Serve with some cured ham. Or not...

22 July 2015

Vegetarian Boeuf Bourguignon

Work in progress. Will freeze this, then add mushrooms when it's time to serve unexpected guests. But for you, here's the recipe:
Serves 4
extra-virgin olive oil 4 tbsp
brown onion 1, chopped
garlic cloves 4, finely chopped
small beetroot 8, peeled and quartered
carrots 6, sliced into large pieces
bay leaves 3
thyme 2 sprigs
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
tomato purée 2 tbsp
red wine (use vegan wine if you like) 250ml
vegetable stock 500ml
puy lentils 400g
portobello mushrooms 2-3, sliced
crimini mushrooms 10
pearl onions 10, peeled
arrowroot 2 tsp, dissolved in 2 tbsp water
thyme a few sprigs, to garnish
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a thick-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic and sauté until soft. Toss the beetroot, carrots, bay leaves, thyme and salt and pepper into the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the tomato purée, red wine and stock and simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse the lentils under running water. Bring 1 litre of water and the lentils to the boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes. When almost cooked, add a pinch of salt. Drain off any excess water, cover and set aside.
Heat the rest of the olive oil in a large frying pan, lower the heat and sear the mushrooms and pearl onions, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden. Season to taste and set aside.
Taste the stew and add more wine, stock or herbs if you like. Add the arrowroot mixture. Stir gently until thickened and clear. Add the mushrooms and onions and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs, spoon the stew and lentils into four bowls, and sprinkle with the fresh thyme.
From The Green Kitchen by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl 

18 July 2015

Bruschetta, broadbeans, goats cheese

Delicious bite on a hot summer night.
Use a garlic press and squeeze 1 clove into some olive oil. Soften on a low heat.
Brush the oil over the bread.
Fry the bread in a dry pan. Mix the fresh peas and beans with olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and chopped mint.
Crumble the goat's cheese.
Serve as shown

13 July 2015

Beetroot Carpaccio

Recently we had lunch at our friends Jappe and Susanna and when she served this I couldn't wait till the beetroots in my garden were ready. Today some of them were big enough, so I boiled them for 45 minutes. While they were cooling I whipped up a dressing with champagne vinegar, honey, walnut oil, olive oil and salt&pepper. Finely sliced a spring onion. Peeled the beetroots under the tap with my thumbs and sliced them very thinly with the mandoline. I arranged them in a circle on a plate. Then put the onion, goat cheese and almond slivers over it and finally the dressing.

8 July 2015

American Cobb Salad

 A truly fabulous, sunny-looking salad. From Simon Hopkinson in The Guardian
For the blue cheese dressing
30g roquefort
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
Juice of ½ lemon 
2 tbsp red-wine vinegar
150ml olive oil
2 tbsp soured cream
2-3 tbsp warm water (optional)
For the salad
Inner leaves from 3-4 round lettuces
1 avocado, peeled and diced
2 large handfuls picked watercress
3 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped
3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
8 slices pancetta, grilled until crisp
40g roquefort
1 tbsp snipped chives
Freshly ground black pepper
Put all the dressing ingredients bar the water in a food processor and whizz smooth. If the dressing is too thick for you – I prefer it pourable – loosen with a little water. Put to one side. Arrange the lettuce on a dish and scatter the avocado, watercress, eggs, tomatoes and pancetta over it. Spoon over the dressing, crumble the cheese on top and sprinkle with chives. Trickle over a little oil, to give the salad a glossy look, and grind on lots of pepper. Serve without delay.