Fennel coleslaw

 

 

One particular ingredient that I love to pop into my shopping basket is a white cabbage. I know what you are thinking…It isn’t the most exciting of vegetables but I feel it’s a little underrated as most people walk past it and look for some sort of kale like cavolo nero. But you see in most places it is incredibly cheap to buy one, they go into so many different recipes and last for an insanely long time.

 

 


 My Grandma used to use white cabbage for her side dish of boiled cabbage, as you would say with a savoy on your Sunday roast. I always enjoyed eating it there on a particular dish she used to cook…but I won’t reveal that yet.
 
  What I use white cabbage for mainly is for doing batches of coleslaw as it will last a good few days kept in an airtight container in the fridge and is so much better than shop bought. 
 I’ve done many versions over the years and have done fennel ones before but usually adding fruit to it. I decided to keep this really simple and didn’t expect it to taste as good as it did. I wasn’t going to post it either on here with it being so simple but this could just be the accompaniment you are looking for. 

 
 
 
Fennel Coleslaw:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ingredients:
 
–  1/4 white cabbage shredded fairly finely 
–  1 small red onion finely sliced
–  1/4 – 1/2 fennel sliced finely ( outer leaves de-string )
–  a good handful of flat leaf parsley chopped
–  2-3 tbsp mayonnaise, I used a french style. ( don’t have it too thick/wet )
–  4-5 grinds of cracked black pepper
–  a pinch of sea salt. ( I used ground down pink himalayan but not a necessity ) 
–  5-6 fennel frond tops ( chopped down if needed )
–  A good spritz of fresh lemon juice. 
 
 
Method:
 
 
 
*  Simple:  Put all ingredients together, stir, taste, stir, taste…maybe season more and serve! *
 

Veg, chickpea and coconut kale curry



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:




Ingredients:
  • 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
Method:
  • 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.





  

Tomato, Barley and vegetable soup

This recipe sent me back thinking to my childhood, not because it was something we always ate, but because it reflected on something that happens all over our country at this time of year, in Churches, schools, Farm shops and that is of course…The Harvest festival. 
   
  Farmers and vegetable growers of all levels gather their crops in Autumn as a celebration to show the general public where their food comes from and also it’s a chance to raise money for Charity. 
  Last Saturday was also the start of British food Fortnight, (19th Sep-4th Oct 2015) so the two fit perfectly together.

  This soup is packed full of most vegetables that are being harvested now and they certainly were from my little Kitchen garden that Im so very proud of. 


   Soup always makes me feel good inside and warm,when Ive had it. Maybe after a long day or when a cold is drawing near. With this recipe, Im sure it will give you quite an amount of your Five-a day.

  This is a one pot dish that is so economical but with the added pearl barley and lots of vegetables it will keep you feeling full –  Fit for the Harvest festival! 








Tomato Barley and vegetable soup:
Ingredients:
( Serves 4 approximately)
  •   1-2 tbsp rapeseed oil 
  •   a couple of handfuls of pearl barley
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1  Large carrot finely diced
  • 1  large celery stick finely sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped or grated
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1-2 tbsp of tomato puree
  •   Pinch of sugar
  • 1 leek  finely sliced 
  • 1 gel pot of vegetable stock or Chicken stock
  • handful of fresh herbs : Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary finely chopped
  • 1-2 runner beans sliced
  • 1 courgette chopped finely
  • salt and cracked black pepper to season
  • Handful of finely chopped fresh basil to finish
Method
  • Cook Pearl barley to packet instructions but add in some stock to your water, whichever you are using.
  •   Sweat off your carrot and celery with your rapeseed oil in a pan for a minute or two, then add in your onions. Cook until starting to soften.
  •   Then add in your sliced leek, stir and sweat down for about 2 minutes. Add in your Garlic and stir again.
  •   Pop in your chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and sugar and turn down the heat slightly. Stir in your stock and add about 1/2 litre of water. (I prefer to add as I go) 
  •   Leave this now to simmer away for about 15-20 minutes allowing your veg to soften. Keep checking and if it needs more water, add a little more.
  • After this point, add in your courgettes and runner beans and cook for about 3 minutes.
  • Then add in your cooked pearl barley and herbs, stir, add more water if it needs it and cook until your beans and courgettes are softened.
  • Taste and see if it requires seasoning or sometimes a little sugar if tart.

–   Serve into bowls, sprinkle on the basil and dive in with some crusty bread.




Summer roast vegetable salad





This may seem like JUST a Roasted vegetable salad to you, but to me it screams out a whole lot more. One might say this resembles a Panzanella, a Tuscan bread salad with tomatoes, olive oil and herbs served in summer, maybe it is?

  Throughout summer I always roast off a medley of these vegetables as the produce is pretty much all  in season now and to me its just like summer in a bowl. I love the colours it gives off and the flavours are just immense. Another great thing regarding this little dish is that if you are a Kitchen gardener like myself, at some point, such as now in summer some of your homegrown vegetables will be used in it if not all. Its great for a glut of tomatoes, courgettes or peppers.

  Roasting mediterranean vegetables can be the basis of creating so many other dishes from it. Here is just a short list of examples for you:
  • Use it as a topping for Pizza or on bruschetta’s 
  •   Turn into a gratin by adding cheese on top and placing back in the oven
  •   Make quiche or tarts
  •   Add chickpeas and some Moroccan spice or Indian spices to make a curry
  •   Also adding feta cheese and olives gives a greek feel
  •   Mix through Rice
  •   By adding it to Pasta, popping on a rich cheese sauce with some dijon mustard in will make an amazing Pasta Bake.
  • I could go on…
Or simply of course this dish can be the great accompaniment for barbecued/grilled meats or fish.
  However going back to the dish alone, Ive added fennel to mine and lots of herbs which give it that extra flavour. I personally love to sit outside with a big bowl of this and of course a large glass of wine to wash it down.  As I said…Summer in a bowl.




Ingredients:
  •   2 tbsp Rapeseed oil or Olive
  •   2 Cloves of Garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 small courgette trimmed
  • 1 red pepper and yellow pepper 
  • 1 Baby fennel trimmed , cut through the middle into 4-5 pieces 
  • 2 handfuls of cherry/baby plum/piccolo tomatoes halved, I used British Vittoria ones
  • 1/2 Aubergine trimmed
  • 1-2 red onions
  • Handful of fresh herbs finely chopped: Oregano, Lemon thyme or normal thyme, Basil, parsley
( If you don’t have Lemon thyme, use normal and then grate about a 1/4 of lemon zest)
–   Sea salt and cracked black pepper to season
Croutons for the Salad
  • 2 Slices of Bread ( couple of days old) chopped into squares
  • 1-2 tbsp of rapeseed oil
  • 1 clove of garlic bashed
  • Salt and cracked black pepper to season
  •   Sprig of Rosemary finely chopped
Method:
  • Preheat oven to 200c 
  • Chop all vegetables into similar size chunks, 2-3 cm
  • Place all vegetables ( not tomatoes )into an oven proof dish add the oil, garlic and season. mix through with your hands
  • Pop into the oven for 15 minutes.
  • Drizzle oil over croutons, season and coat with the rosemary. Dry fry in a pan until golden brown.
  • After 15 minutes add your most of your fresh herbs and tomatoes and pop back in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until cooked through.
*  Toss the croutons through, add the rest of your herbs, a good drizzle of oil and serve in a large bowl.





Potato and pea tart

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I have found myself baking a lot of these style of tarts over the last couple of months, as It’s that time of year when a lot of British produce is in abundance and the weather is starting to warm up. So we find ourselves entertaining a lot more outside and wanting lighter meals. If I’m invited to somewhere such as a garden party or a BBQ this is a great alternative to turn up with.
This style of tart is also very easy to swap your ingredients around. I, in fact did a tomato and aubergine one with lots of herbs on the other week and it went down a storm. However this one I feel is much better for this time of year as our peas are in season now so you can even pod them yourself for it. Also with the added pea shoots on top, there’s an extra burst of sweetness.
If you are growing your own vegetables like me and you’ve got a row of Peas, maybe not quite as many as you hoped for, then do this recipe.
This is quick and simple to make, great for using up odd potatoes that you have and possibly that Packet of Pastry that’s in the freezer. A dish that shows Seasonality at its best.



Potato and pea tart

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Ingredients:

Small handful of plain Flour for sprinkling
– Half a block of ready to roll Puff Pastry ( 250g)
– 4 medium sized Potatoes sliced very thinly
– 2 tbsp Rapeseed oil
– 2 Spring onions chopped finely
– 1 finely chopped garlic clove
– A good handful of British podding peas blanched for a minute or 2 or you can use
Petit pois defrosted and drained
– Sea Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
– Handful of grated mozzarella to sprinkle on top
– Handful of pea shoots to finish with





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Method:

* Preheat Oven to 200c

* In salted boiling water blanch your potato slices for only 2-3 minutes, drain and run cold water over them to allow to cool

* Half your 500g black of pastry, Roll out half on a floured work surface with a rolling pin until about 3-4 ml thick.

* Place some baking parchment on a baking tray and pop your pastry on top

* About a cm 1/2 in make a border around the edges with a knife but only slightly ( not all the way through) and then prick your tart within those boundaries with a fork

* Place your sliced potatoes on top some salt and pepper and brush with a little rapeseed oil. Pop into the oven for 10-15 minutes (once the potatoes start to brown around the edges)

* Then pop on your Garlic, spring onion and cheese and cook for a further 5 minutes. If you feel your pastry is cooking too quickly then turn the oven down slightly to 190c.

* After 5 minutes pop on your peas and pop back into the oven for approximately another 5 minutes or until your pastry is nice and golden brown and cooked in the middle.

* Sprinkle with your pea shoots and you’re done!

 

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