Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Leek, fennel and smoked mackerel spaghetti

Interesting veg box experience today.  No onion, no potato - and with smoked mackerel to use up.

So, I came up with this, which also had the advantage of being quite quick ... which was useful, as the van has to go to the garage tomorrow, so I had to empty it ... it's amazing how much you can cram into a small camper van!

So, put the water on for the pasta (gluten free spaghetti in our case), then start the sauce,  when the water is boiling, and the leek and fennel have started softening ... all done inside 20 minutes.

Olive oil
1 leek, chopped into rings
1 bulb of fennel, finely chopped
1 glass of dry white wine
smoked mackerel, flaked
1 big tbsp capers in salt, rinsed and roughly chopped
black pepper

Spaghetti - or other pasta

1.  Sautee leek in olive oil for a few minutes (as previously suggested, get your pasta water on first, for the speediest serve), until the crunch lightens.
2.  Add chopped fennel, and continue to sautee.  The two vegetables will soften and go a bit translucent - now chuck in the white wine and simmer - gently - for a few minutes.
3.  Chuck in flaked fish and roughly chopped capers.
4.  When the pasta is done, drain.
5.  Drain pasta.
6.  Toss sauce into pasta, serve and grind on black pepper.  ( a glug of olive oil if it looks a little dry)

Could have added lemon - but the wine was dry, so no real need.  Could have added a spoonful of creme fraiche for silkiness - but trying to keep it lactose free.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Root vegetable nut crumble, with cabbage and peas

Recipe an adaptation of Leith's vegetable bible (or something similar).  Lovely, though, I think addition of a good tomato sauce would make it excellent.

Start the veg on the hob, but put the oven on to 180 after 5-10 minutes


Olive oil
Onion, chopped
Celery, chopped
Celariac, chopped into 1cm cubed (ish)
Turnip .. chopped into 1cm cubed (ish)
Potatoe - chopped into 1cm cubed (ish)
Mustard - 2 tsp
Garlic - 3 cloves, crushed
Apple juice (3/4 pint)
Veg stock, about a pint

Crumble topping

mixed nuts (hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts... today)
olive oil

Serve with:-

Savoy cabbage
Frozen petit pois

1. Sautee onion and celery in olive oil, until a bit soft.
2.  Add chopped root vegetables, and turn over in the oil for a few minutes.
3.  Add apple juice and stock, garlic and mustard .... simmer.

Make crumble:-

Zizz parmesan, nuts and seasoning.
Mix into a bowl of oats, with a little GF flour
Glug in olive oil (about 5 tbsp), and seeds
Mix .... all oats should have a film of oil on them

Tip veg into oven proof dish.
Top with crumble.
Bake for 30 minutes

Steam cabbage, in last 5 minutes chuck frozen peas into water under cabbage steamer.

Simple, wholesome, bloody delicious - loads left for seconds .

we' re thinking about tangy tomato or rich mushroom sauce :)

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Slashed root vegetables, butter beans and cabbage with roast tomatoes

Got home late, and wanted speedy dinner, nut veg in veg box didn't really lend themselves to that kind of concept ... as my immediate idea was spiced roast root vegetables, and that would have been over a hour.  I think I did this in 25 minutes, but frankly, I didn't time it.

1. Bung cherry tomatoes in a roasting tin, drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt,  whack up the oven to its highest setting.
2.  Peel and chop root vegetables (turnip, kohlrabi and carrots), boil.
3.  Chop and sautee onion and celery in olive oil, add rosemary and white wine, sautee until quite soft.
4.  Chop cabbage, steam over root veg.
5.  Add butter beans to onions, heat through.
6.  When root veg are soft, add olive oil spread and lots, no a bit more, lots of freshly ground black pepper.  Slice through quickly and thoroughly with a sharp knife (hence slashed, not mashed).  (Use butter here if you are not lactose intolerant/vegan).
7.  Mix cabbage with butter beans.
8.  Serve, scoff.

Delicious. Nutritious, Seasonal - what more do you want?

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

So, these are vegetables... and a happy new dinner

Get home late - open fridge - make dinner.  OK.  So, no veg box yet - and no onions ... ???

Lots of garlic though, and some green beans, and some mushrooms .... ideas began to form, and door to table - just under an hour, including proper crispy crust on potatoes.... yum

Olive oil
Potatoes, sliced
Celery, chopped
Green beans, chopped
Mushrooms (button and chestnut)
White wine
Stock (cube in water)
Frozen peas
Little gem lettuce, cut into wedges

1.  Turn oven up to full whack.
2.  Slice potatoes into 1/2 cm slices and arrange in microwavable/ovenproof dish, with olive oil splished into the bottom.  Drizzle a little more over the potatoes.  Nuke for about 8 minutes - until the potato slices are nearly cooked.
3.  Meanwhile ... chop celery and green beans, and simmer gently in white wine and stock, with a clove of crushed garlic.
4.  Transfer potatoes to hot oven, to cook fully, and crisp up the tops.
5.  Chop mushrooms, cook gently in olive oil, over a low heat in a saucepan until they have released their liquid and concentrated down again.  Season with black pepper.
6.   Let everything tick over for 20 minutes or so ... making sure that nothing gets too dry.  If the mushrooms are all done - transfer to an oven dish and put in under the potatoes.
7.  Add frozen peas and lettuce to the green veg, allow to cook to 5 minutes.

Serve, scoff.... squeeze on lemon juice if you like it.  Honestly, this was brilliant.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Leek and potato gratin

We arrived at our home from home for a few days - not late, but quite tired - and there was an Aga... yay!  There was also quite a lot of house to explore, and a fire to light and curl up in front of ... so, a nice comforting bowl of yumminess...

Olive oil
2 big leeks
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
Fennel seeds
Green beans
Dry white wine
Cheese, grated
Sliced tomatoes
Soya milk
Corn flour

1.  Chop and wash the leeks, sautee in olive oil, add fennel seeds and crushed garlic.
2.  Chop and boil the potatoes, steam chopped green beans on top of potatoes.
3.  When leeks are nearly soft add dry white wine, simmer for a few minutes.
4.  Drain potatoes.
5.  Make a sauce of leeks by adding soya milk, a fork full of cornflour slaked in water, and grated cheese.  Simmer for a few minutes, stirring while it thickens.
6.  Mix potatoes and leek sauce mixture in ovenproof dish.
7.  Top with sliced tomatoes, and grated cheese.
8.  Bake in lower part of hot Aga oven for 30 minutes.

Explore holiday home....

Scoff.  Have seconds.  And another glass of wine.  And ...... relax!

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Caribbean roast vegetable and chickpea soup

Yesterday, a lovely wedding - this meant a night in a hotel - therefore, the compulsory full english breakfast (I'm not going to name and shame - it wasn't brilliant) - leaves you quite full, or at least wanting something tasty and nutritious and not swimming in grease.  I looked in the fridage and found the remains of the veg box (nearly) were sweet potato, butternut squash, red pepper and pak choi.  Add a tin of chickpeas, tin of tomatoes and some yogurt and tadah!

Olive oil
Sweet potato, peeled and chopped into biggish bits
Red pepper, chopped and deseeded
Butternut squash, peeled and prepared
blackenned cajun seasoning
garlic, lots of it, crushed and the tough peel removed (papery bits can be left)
tin of tomatoes
tin of chickpeas, drained

lemon, zest and juice
natural yogurt

olive oil

1.  Roast prepared vegetables and garlic in olive oil, whit a good sprinkling of cajun seasonning - in a hot oven, until soft and slightly singed.
2.  Meanwhile gently soften a chopped onion in olive oil.
3.  Add roast vegetables and garlic to onion, add a pint or so of stock.
4.  Bring up to simmer.  Add 1/2 tin drained and rinsed chickpeas and a tin of tomatoes.  Heat through.
5. Zizz to a smoot soup - add more stock/water to taste.
6.  Tip in the remaining chickpeas, and heat through.
7.  Just before serving squeeze in lemon juice (1/2 lemon)

Top with yogurt, which has a big pinch of salt, the zest of the lemon, and the other half of the lemon's juice mixed in.

Top that with shredded and fried in olive oil, pak choi.


Monday, 24 November 2014

Autumnal "spanish" omelette, with roasted vine tomatoes

Start with the tomatoes ... put them in the oven in an oven dish with a splash of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.


1 leek, chopped and washed
Mushrooms, chopped
8 medium potatoes
cavolo nero, shredded
broccoli, florets separated and stalk peeled and chopped
8-10 eggs, whisked

1.  Soften leek in olive oil, then add mushroom pieces, fry gently in a big frying pan, which you can put in the oven.
2.  At the same time boil chopped potatoes, and steam cavolo nero and broccoli.
3.  When the potatoes are done, and the greens are soft - add them all to the frying pan, and mix together.
4.  Add the eggs, shake the pan to even out and cook in a medium oven for about 20-30 minutes.

This was a fabulous use of the end of the veg box.  Filling, delicious and quite easy. "First class is too trite" was my provided quote.