Wild garlic is at is peak now for foraging and should be in most places over the UK in flower. I Love wild garlic and this year I have been experimenting more with it. I think people who come into my kitchen recently must be sick of smelling it, or even on me for that matter! ( Never thought about that until now! ) Also what is coming up great in my kitchen garden are the herbs. My fennel has lasted all through winter and is still going strong.
One recipe that really stood out through developing was this one on how quick it takes to prepare and cook. Plus it is super healthy.
I don’t usually buy salmon purely on its cost and sustainability but I couldn’t get Loch trout which I would have used instead. I managed to find some Scottish salmon that was MSC certified which had a lovely taste.
Combining the lovely subtle fresh flavours of the wild garlic and herbs in the couscous makes this dish so light. I didn’t overpower the salmon either, just gives it a little gentle heat against everything else. This dish is perfect for lots of occasions and especially with Easter coming up it’s a lovely alternative if you don’t want to have Lamb or any other meats. One key factor to remember…Do not overcook the Salmon then it will keep it’s lovely flavour and just flake away nicely.
I paired this up with some lovely British tomatoes that look fantastic on the dish but if Im completely honest I don’t think they go with the rest of the dish. They have a beautiful taste roasted though. So that’s your choice on whether you put them on the dish or not.
- 2 responsilbly sourced Salmon fillets ( I used Scottish )
- 1 tsp of dry Harissa spice mix/rub ( I use Spice Kitchen )
- 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil
- Sprinkle of sea salt to season. I use pink himalayan salt on mine but any good quality will do.
Wild garlic and herb Couscous:
- 150g of Couscous ( you might even have more left over for Lunch the next day )
- 250ml of vegetable stock ( boiling water )or enough to just cover the Couscous
- a handful of freshly picked wild garlic leaves, stalks off, washed and finely chopped ( Chiffonade )
- A good handful of fresh herbs finely chopped such as: Chives, mint, green fennel or fronds of, chervil and parsley. If you can’t get the fennel or chervil use a little tarragon or dill.
- A little salt and cracked black pepper to season if needed.
- 1 small red onion roughly diced
- 1 small red pepper diced roughly
- 1 small yellow pepper roughly diced
- 1 stick of celery chopped roughly
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- Small handful of lemon thyme, (if you can’t get this use normal thyme and a little lemon zest at the end of roasting)
- Salt and cracked black pepper to season.
- British Vittoria tomatoes on the side ( optional )
- Preheat oven to 180c fan.
- Place vegetables in a roasting tin/dish with the lemon thyme and place in oven for 5 minutes.
- Place Salmon after 5 minutes in a roasting dish, smother the harissa and oil over it, season and place in the oven also for approximately 12-15 mins or when salmon is cooked.
- Continue cooking the vegetables also.
- Whilst these are in the oven together Pop your dry couscous into a bowl, cover with the vegetable stock and cover with cling film for 10 minutes. Leave aside.
- At this point pop your tomatoes in the oven if you want to use them.
- Then when all is ready in the oven, flake your couscous with a fork and will be fluffy at this point. Then add in your herbs and wild garlic, stir and leave to stand until all dished up together.
- Serve altogether and enjoy!
I cook lots of traditional Italian ragu at home as I love the fact it just cooks for many hours on a slow cook and boy is it worth the wait at the end! I will post one at some point. However there are sometimes midweek when I love a “British” style bolognese but using turkey mince, it’s a lovely lighter alternative and great for children nutritional wise. Even better for adults! More to the point, its quick to make and cheaper.
I’ve actually been meaning to post the recipe for sometime, truth be told I thought I had until I looked! This recipe is a slightly different version that I made by using up some peppers and chillies I had. My partner loved it and said it was better than the first version, I agree, but if you don’t want the peppers or chillies in it then follow the recipe and take those out.
If I’m making the “British style” bolognese like this one, I actually now prefer it with Turkey so If your young ones struggle a little with beef mince then give this recipe a try. Let me know how it went?
Also if you have any left either freeze it down or pop it on a jacket potato for your Lunch the next day.
( Serves 4 )
- 450g Turkey Mince
- 2-3 tbsp Rapeseed oil
- 1 onion diced
- 1/2 large carrot or 1 small carrot finely diced
- 1/2 stick of celery finely chopped
- 1/2 red pepper finely chopped
- 1/2 yellow pepper finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1/2 mild chilli chopped finely
- 4 chestnut mushrooms sliced
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1/4 of chicken stock gel pot
- a good splash of dry white wine ( optional )
- Handful of fresh herbs chopped finely = Rosemary, sage and oregano
- A good splash of Worcestershire sauce
- 250ml of water to hand if needed
- Pinch of sea salt and cracked black pepper to season
- Heat up your rapeseed oil for a few seconds in a frying pan until hot then fry your onions, carrot and celery. Cook for about 2 minutes then add in your mushrooms and stir.
- Once your mushrooms are starting to colour add in your peppers and turkey mince. Then add in your garlic and fry until your mince is cooked.
- Once the mince is cooked pop in your chillies, herbs, stock, wine and tomato puree. Stir for a further 2 minutes.
- Then add your chopped tomatoes, stir and simmer for about 10 minutes. If it starts to go dry, add in a little water. *** A good tip from me is pop your water into the chopped tomato can then none is wasted! ***
- After this add in your Worcestershire sauce and simmer for a further 5 minutes or until your sauce is lovely and thick. Season if needed.
- Serve up with spaghetti or the pasta of your choice and add parmesan if you wish. Try a bit without first though.
I love a “Fridge raid” dish as you know by now. Something where you look at what you have got in the fridge and come up with something amazing. I tend to do this normally on a Monday or Tuesday when I’ve had lots of Meat or fish over the weekend when maybe you’ve had a roast or similar to takeaway food. I always then thrive on having a vegetarian meal.
Now, One might say this is a Keralan dish or a Sri Lankan Curry as there are some resemblances to it. I just know its a warming curried dish that makes me feel happy when I eat it!
It has a lovely subtle coconut flavour to it which cools along side the spices.
I wanted to show you a recipe that is so easy and quick to make but still makes you feel full after it and believe it or not, its vegan and dairy free!
A dish that will warm your cockles and still give you the satisfaction of being quite a healthy curry.
Veg chickpea & coconut kale curry:
- 1 Onion diced
- 2 tsp Sri Lankan spice mix ( I use Spice Kitchen, all other ground spices and seeds below are too. )
- 1 hot green chilli chopped
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- 1 tsp Ground Coriander
- Sea Salt to season
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1 thumbnail size of ginger grated
- 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Coconut oil
- 1/2 400g tin chickpeas drained
- 1 courgette chopped into chunks
- 2 bell peppers diced into inch size pieces
- 1/4 butternut squash chopped into chunks
- 3 handfuls of kale
- 30g red lentils
- 1/2 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Coconut flavour soya yoghurt
- Little bit of water if needed ( If a little dry )
- Long grain Rice to serve
- Cook the butternut squash in boiling water until just starting to soften and then drain and set aside.
- In a frying pan or wok, start to fry off your onions, then after a minute add in all of your spices including the garlic and ginger also. Stir, allowing not to burn your garlic.
- Add in all your veg ingredients except your kale and butternut squash to the pan, the lentils and chopped tomatoes plus a little water and simmer for 15 minutes, not allowing it to dry out.
- Add in your butternut squash, kale, stir and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
* Season to taste if needed, add in your coconut yoghurt and serve with your long grain rice.
Meatballs don’t always have to come in tomato sauce, around pasta or in a Sub Roll. Being a little more creative with your dishes by a slight change can create a dish so different and fantastic, you’ll never want to turn back.
You may not always associate a meatball with Chinese food, but it’s allowing your food to go a little further, using a cheaper meat alternative and to get your taste buds tingling to new flavours.
This weekend, why not get the Children involved in making the meatballs to create a meal together.
I have teamed this dish by using ribbons of seasonal Courgettes and carrots, again, so easy for the children to make as you just use a potato peeler.
This is my take on that takeaway classic thats normally swimming in a heavy sweet and sour sauce. It’s healthier, cheaper and if you make too many Meatballs at the raw stage, just freeze down for another meal.
Chinese spiced meatballs with seasonal veg and wild rice:
(Serves 4 approximately)
– 1-2 Tbsp Rapeseed oil
- 5oog Pork Mince
- Salt and cracked Black pepper to season
- 1 heaped Teaspoon of Chinese Five Spice I used Spice Kitchen’s own blend
- 1/2 a large Green chilli ( mild) diced finely or 1 small one
- 1 clove of Garlic finely chopped d or 2 if small
- 2x Thumbnail size amount of fresh ginger finely grated
- 3-4 spring onions chopped as finely as you can get them
- Small handful of chopped coriander
– 1-2 tbsp of Rapeseed oil
- 1 onion sliced
- 1-2 carrots ( depending on size )ribboned with a potato peeler
- 1 Courgette Ribboned with a potato peeler * Don’t peel the skin away, thats the best bit!
- 1 yellow pepper sliced lengthways
- 1-2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- Thumbnail size amount of grated fresh ginger ( Wang Fung Hong )
- 1 -2 tbsp superior light soy sauce ( Mine was from the Chinese supermarket Wang Fung Hong in Leicester )
- 1 tbsp Oyster sauce ( Wang Fung Hong )
- 1-2 tsp of Chilli Bean sauce ( Wang Fung Hong )
- 1-2 tsp of honey ( I used the non clear )
- A good spritz of lime juice
- a handful of chopped coriander to finish
Wild basmati rice to serve.
* Cook rice to packet instructions.
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl for your meatballs together and form meatballs, place aside.
- In a frying pan fry off your meatballs turning after a few minutes. They should take about 10 minutes in total approximately or when cooked through.Pop aside when done.
- In a separate wok , start to stir fry your onions and peppers, then after a minute or two add your courgettes, tossing the vegetables around the Wok continuously.
- After about a minute, add the carrots, garlic and Ginger, be careful the ginger doesn’t burn.
- After a minute or two add your soy sauce, Chilli bean sauce, oyster, 1 tsp of honey and a small spritz of lime. Stir and taste to see what sauces you need to add more of.
- Add in your meatballs and coat them with the sauce. They need to be fully warmed through.
- When you are happy with the taste of your sauce, add in chopped coriander and serve on a bed of hot Wild rice.
NB: If you didn’t want to add in too much chilli bean sauce then reduce the amount, if you want more spice add in extra fresh chilli to your sauce.
So last weekend was August Bank Holiday weekend, the last of the year. I was on BBC Radio Leicester for my regular cooking slot with Ben Jackson on his show on the Friday and I was determined more than ever to keep summer alive for one last time at least this year. I’d met Ben for Lunch earlier on that week and already Ben was talking about Blackberries, chutneys etc… The reaction from me was just not yet, not THIS weekend.
As you know by now, all of my spices are from Spice Kitchen and they have sent me recently some extra Middle Eastern and African spices to develop with. One in the pack is Berbere which is an Ethiopian spice and is amazing! Lovely flavours with a slight kick of chilli as you’ll hear in the recording.
I used salmon as I just happened to still have more in the freezer from the Whole one I bought for only a fiver! But you could use other fish such as Loch trout, pollack, coley or even turkey or chicken. I teamed this up with a melange of colourful, garden, summer vegetables to try and keep that summer feeling alive.
Little did I know how quickly the weather would change this week. So if you aren’t ready to bring out the casserole pot out yet, this is for you.
Listen here to hear myself and Ben on the Radio:
Berbere spiced salmon with warm summer garden vegetables:
* Please excuse some of the pictures as I sometimes forget to take photos and just dive into the food! Including Ben.
(2 people approximately)
– 2 salmon fillets
– 2 tsp of Berbere spice ( Ethiopian spice ) Or you could use, piri piri, cajun, jerk etc Mine is from Spice Kitchen
– salt and cracked black pepper to season
– a couple of slices of red chilli chopped finely
– Few sprigs of fresh coriander
– 1 slice of lemon
For the Garden Vegetables:
– 1 tbsp Rapeseed oil
– 1 red pepper sliced lengthways
– 1 orange pepper sliced lengthways
– 1 courgette sliced into ribbons
– 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
– 1 small red onion sliced
– 1 Corn on the cob ( kernels taken off when cooked )
– handful of cherry tomatoes sliced
– a couple of slices of red chilli chopped finely
– handful of fresh herbs: Oregano, lemon thyme and mint chopped finely
– Salt and cracked black pepper to season
– chopped fresh coriander to finish
– Marinate salmon fillets with berbere spice and season a little for at least an hour ( the longer you can the better)
– Preheat oven to 190c
– Pop on a pan of water to boil for your Sweetcorn and cook until tender
– Pop salmon into foil in a ceramic/metal baking tray. Pop a little water into the foil. Place lemon, coriander and chilli on top of salmon and create a little parcel. Place into the oven for approximately 10- 12 minutes
– Drain off your sweetcorn and pop aside to cool slightly
– Fry of peppers in a frying pan, stir for a couple of minutes. Add your onion and cool for a further minute or two.
– Add to your mix your Garlic and Tomatoes. Then your Courgette ribbons. Cook for a minute or two and stir.
– Take off your sweetcorn kernels with a knife and add to your vegetable mixture. You could even grill the sweetcorn or bbq.
– Add the fresh herbs and chilli, season to finish if needed.
– Take out your salmon, serve vegetables on a plate, pop on salmon and juices and finish with fresh coriander.