Categories
Breads, muffins etc Love food

Wild garlic scones

The first sign of spring is daffodils and the second sign is wild garlic. We are blessed in Mill Hill with an abundance of freely available wild garlic. There are so many different ways to use it – pesto, wild garlic and quinoa cakes, simply wilted through with new potatoes or my very favourite – these wild garlic and cheesy scones.

Recipe link

The scones make a good accompaniment to soup or can be eaten on their own as a savoury tea with cream cheese and smoked salmon. Oh and they freeze brilliantly.

Categories
Love food Salads

Kale, halloumi & crispy pitta salad

This is my new favourite salad. No one element is on its own special but as a combo it just works. Everything but the haloumi can be made in advance, the night before, or first thing in the morning so it makes a great weekday lunch.

The other thing I love about this salad is that there are no out of season fruits or vegetables in it. It won’t be long now though until spring will bring asparagus and rhubarb among others. Most excitingly, we can soon forage for wild garlic.

Recipe link

Categories
Love food Other

Coconut braised potatoes

I recently tried a new recipe from a favourite book – Maria Elia’s The Modern Vegetarian – Coconut braised potatoes. If Thai flavours are your thing then this is for you. This dish was a perfect match for our fish goujons.

I’m going to give you the recipe as it is, however, I have each time only used one tin of 450 ml of coconut milk but kept the quantities of everything else the same. You can of course adjust the quantity of chilli and ginger to suit your own taste. This is not a recipe you have to be exact, go with what suits you.

The pic here is before the dish was cooked. Once cooked, it will thicken and caramelise. Not so great for photographing but a truly scrummy side dish.

Recipe

  1. 1 tbsp veg oil
  2. 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  3. 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  4. 1 red chilli, deseeded & finelty chopped
  5. 1.5 cm fresh ginger, grated
  6. 30g coriander – chop roots and leaves separately
  7. 700 ml unsweetened coconut milk
  8. 500g baby potatoes, halved lengthways
  9. 2 tbsps Thai sweet chilli sauce
  10. 1 tbsp soya sauce
  11. 2 tbsp Thai basil, chopped (optional)

Method

  • Preheat oven to 190 C
  • Heat oil in a saucepan, then add shallots, garlic, chilli and ginger. Cook for 1 min
  • Add chopped coriander roots to the pan, cook until softened
  • Add coconut milk, potatoes, sweet chilli & soya sauce.
  • Stir and bring to the boil. Pour into a roasting tin or ovenproof dish & cook in the oven for about 50 mins until the potatoes are tender. The dish will darken a little in the oven
  • Stir through the basil and coriander (if using) and enjoy this delicious dish.
Categories
Love food Sweet stuff

Blood orange cake

Blood oranges are in season. Like anything that has a relatively short season (think rhubarb, artichokes and asparagus) I get quite excited and make sure I make the most of them while they are here. For the most part, that means simply eating these wonderfully red coloured oranges as they are. I am more than happy though to give up a few of my oranges for this rather delicious cake.

I have made it in a bundt tin, just because it looks fabulous – and that’s what the recipe suggested! I don’t imagine though that many of you have this particular tin but that wouldn’t be a reason not to make it – any cake tin will do. Consider whether you need to adjust your quantities to fit your tin if using a loaf tin, or a small round tin.

Recipe link for you to try

Categories
Love food Main event

Creamed corn peppers

Ottolenghi has done it again and scored a hit on our dinner table. For anyone put off by the mere mention of Ottolenghi (all those ingredients!!!), this is a pretty simple recipe – both in the making and the list of ingredients. I promise you there is nothing that you will need to hunt for, everything can be found in any major supermarket.

Having followed Ottolenghi’s suggestion of roast potatoes, my recommendation is to serve them with a side of green veg or salad, or a selection if you like. But each pepper is fairly substantial and so I would keep my sides a bit lighter next time I make it.

Recipe link

We were so excited to dig into this new dish that I forgot to add the garnish of pickled jalapenos when I took the original photo below. Each pepper looked so much better with the garnish as per the picture above but I thought I would share my original photo with you here so you can see what they looked like in my dish. The pickled jalapenos are not just for looks, they taste great too. Of course, I skipped the coriander garnish though – evil stuff.

Categories
Love food Sweet stuff

Banana peanut butter cake

Both bananas and peanut butter are akin to marmite – you either love them or hate them. I love peanut butter, and particularly love this combination. An old favourite toast sandwich of mine is peanut butter, honey and banana. It is a full-on sandwich, particularly recommended for when you’re really hungry.

The same peanut butter and banana combo in a cake is a also a winner. With a cream cheese and peanut butter icing to boot, I have full cake happiness.

Recipe link

Categories
Love food Salads

Spelt & squash salad

While many of us are pretty bored with winter by now (although we have passed the shortest day of the year – yippee), I am still able to share with you another salad recipe using veg that hasn’t been flown half way across the world.

The recipe link is below but you really don’t have to be a slave to every ingredient. As I can’t grow basil and parsley in the winter I left that out; I swapped the goats cheese for feta; and the spinach can be swapped out for kale. If you do use kale, massage the dressing into the kale before mixing everything together.

Recipe link

Categories
Love food Main event

Caramelised garlic tart

This recipe introduced me to caramelised garlic – a new and rather special taste. Everything else in this tart is as you would expect (cheese, squash, eggs etc) but raised to a new level by the garlic. Congratulations and thank you to the Hemsley sisters.

Link to recipe.

For some, this tart also has the added advantage of being gluten free.

Tips:

  • Prepare your garlic, pastry base and roast squash ahead of time – the day before is ideal
  • Substitute feta for the goats cheese if preferred
  • I don’t bother rolling out the pastry but distribute small pieces around the tin then mould it into the case; I also don’t use all the pastry as I find it is too thick.
  • Any left overs freeze well.

Categories
Love food Main event Other Vegan

Carrot pancakes

These are not really pancakes as you and I know them but more of a fritter. They are an amazing combination of flavours with an Indian vibe. The recipe is one by Maria Ella and genuinely very easy to make. I have served them exactly as Maria suggests for a classy looking starter but most commonly have them together with salads or other veg sides for a main course. I often make a double batch of these and freeze them. They reheat brilliantly in the oven, defrosted or straight from frozen.

One more feather in the cap of these wonderful carrot panackes/fritters is that they are totally vegan.

Recipe link

Categories
Love food Salads

Red cabbage, carrot & smoked almonds

As I promised last week, here is another winter salad for you to try out. This one comes from Nigel Slater’s Greenfeast book: autumn, winter. Winter can feel quite long and tedious, none more so than this year, so I am very pleased to have this book for fresh new ideas that use seasonal vegetables. This salad has a bit of a Scandi feel with the pickled onion and sour cream. It keeps pretty well in the fridge for a few days, good for lunches.

When you take a look at the recipe on the link below and compare it with mine you’ll notice it looks a little different. This I think that this is due to food photography not truthfully following the recipe instructions. In the official photography, the soured cream has not been folded into the salad. The photo may look better but I don’t like this playing with the truth. It’s like air brushing but for food.

Recipe link

Tip

When making this recipe you may find the pickled flavour a little strong so I recommend starting with half of the 4 tablespoons pickling liquor when making the dressing. Add the rest a little at a time to allow you to check the taste as you go – and stop when the flavour is just right for you.