blog > tag > vegetarian
March 8, 2013
I have raved before about Yotam Ottolenghi and his fantastic cookbooks. I think Plenty is my favourite as despite not being a vegetarian, I love the abundance inspiring ways to cook vegetables that make them the star of a meal, packed full of fresh flavors and interesting textures.
One recipe we turn to again and again is green pancakes with lime butter. I made it last Saturday when my friend Carly visited for the weekend, and I’m making it again tomorrow for a little Mother’s Day brunch I’m throwing at home.
They are great simply served with the lime butter and rocket salad, or as more of a meal – with smoked salmon, sautéed garlic prawns or a poached egg. The recipe is a little involved and washing up heavy (you use three mixing bowls and a frying pan) but definitely worth the effort.
I’m not normally one for this style of thicker pancakes but the whisked egg white makes them nice and light rather than heavy and stodgy, which completely wins me over.
The lime butter recipe tends to make more than you need for the pancakes, but we relish the leftovers melted on scrambled eggs or smeared on toast. Delicious.
Find the recipe, originally featured in the Guardian, right here.
Other recipes you might like:
November 1, 2011
How often do you eat something new? Not just a new recipe, but a completely new food that you’ve never had before? I absolutely love trying out new things and have tried a few in Slovakia and Hungary this year, but back home I don’t think I have tasted something new since around this time last year when I had Jerusalem artichokes for the first time. And what a revelation that was. I fell for their unusual rich and earthy taste but as quick as they arrived on the supermarket shelves they seemed to disappear and I’ve been longing for their return.
This year they came from Gav’s dad TJ’s vegetable patch in all their nobly shaped weirdness, particularly this odd little one which gave me quite a shock! Jerusalem artichokes appear to be a confusing little tuber – no relation to artichokes or Jerusalem but actually part of the sunflower family – that scares people off knowing what to do with them. Do you treat them like a potato or a parsnip, raddish or root ginger? Well of course, the choice is yours, but I think they deserve to be treated in their own special way that celebrates the gloriously distinctive rich taste.
So today I’m sharing not so much a recipe, but more of a preparation idea that you can play around with to create a unique vegetarian main or side. It is adapted from the Jerusalem artichoke and nettle gratin recipe from River Cottage Every Day, from which I have reduced the quantity of cream and omitted the nettle tops (or spinach).
Finely peeling and slicing the root, stirring into golden soft onions and cooking with stock and a touch of cream creates a deeply flavourful creamy mush (which I decided not to photograph as it isn't pretty, but please don't let that put you off) that can be turned into a soup, pie, savory crumble or gratin by simply switching the main players in your favourite recipes. I also think it would be a delicious side to roast meat in place of potatoes.
Creamy Jerusalem artichokes
Adapted from River Cottage Everyday
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- A knob of butter
- 2 onions, finely sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 500g Jerusalem artichokes
- Few sprigs fresh thyme
- 100ml double cream
- 200ml vegetable stock or water
- Sea salt and ground black pepper
Heat the oil and butter in a pan, add the onions, garlic and thyme and cook gently until soft and golden, but not browned. Meanwhile, rinse and peel the artichokes, and slice to the thickness of a £1 coin. Add to the onion mix, season with salt and pepper, and pour over stock and cream. Simmer until the liquid has reduced by half and the artichokes are tender.
Now the creamy vegetable is ready to use as you like. You could cover with a crumble of oats, crushed nuts, breadcrumbs and grated cheese like the River Cottage recipe, or cover with pastry to turn into a pie. You could add a little more stock or water and blitz with a food processor into a soup, or layer with other root vege like fennel or parsnips and top with cheese to make a gratin. Go on, give this technique a try - I'm so sure you'll love it.
August 26, 2011
If you’re not normally a broccoli fan, please don’t skip over – I promise you’ll be converted after this recipe. And if you like broccoli anyway? Well, it will become your new favourite way to eat it. Seriously, my lunch consisted solely of this dish the other day - basically an entire large head of broccoli - and I was very happy indeed.
It is based on Yotam Ottolenghi’s famous chargrilled broccoli with chilli and garlic, which I fell hard for after sampling it at the Notting Hill shop. It is true that brocolli is quite hard to get excited about but cooked like this it becomes crunchy and flavourful and far removed from any other way of serving brocolli. Ottolenghi says customers come in just for this dish and you can really see why.
While the recipe from Ottolengi: The Cookbook is completely delicious, it is a little more involved with the blanching, drying and chargrilling in batches. It is crucial for the broccoli to be completely dry to get the charred flavor, but I took the lazy approach buying the pre-washed stuff, which was dry and ready to go.
I switched the chargrilling for roasting in a hot oven for 10 minutes, which while maybe not quite as smoky, certainly created the tasty blackened edges which give the dish its character. It has become a staple in our house as a side to chicken or fish, thrown into a salad or greedily eaten on its own. Easy, delicious and healthy, what’s not to love?
Roast broccoli with garlic and chilli
(adapted from Ottolengi: The Cookbook)
What you’ll need:
- 2 x heads of broccoli separated into florets. (if washing, ensure it is bone dry before you start)
- 3 x tbsp olive oil
- 4 x cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 x red chillies, thinly sliced
- A generous pinch of sea salt and black pepper
What you'll need to do:
- Pre-heat the oven as high as it will go. Toss the broccoli with other ingredients on a roasting tray and roast for 10 minutes – giving a shake half way through.
- Tip into a serving bowl and devour.
July 1, 2011
When we have people over for dinner, it tends to be a pretty relaxed affair. It's either close family or good friends, so I like to keep it casual with a help-yourself feel. So I tend to avoid formal starters, and instead go for something we can pick at while we catch up over drinks. This recipe is just right for that - perfect to make ahead so you're not faffing around at the last minute, and it looks striking on the table (particularly with pink napkins - my first attempt at fabric dying!). Its also pretty light on calories and an inexpensive way to feed a crowd - a win-win all round.
A food processor would be the best option to blitz up the puree - I only had a blender, which worked ok, although required a lot more stop, start and mix to get the right consistency - something resembling hummus. My recipe is the result of tweaking several different ones - including this one from Chocolate and Zucchini (awesome food blog) and this one from Big Girls, Small Kitchen - who now have a very exciting book out. I'm now confident to call it my own and a firm favourite.
Pea & mint crostini
What you'll need:
- 1 x bag of frozen peas
- 1 x small onion, diced
- 1 x clove garlic, finely chopped
- Large knob of butter
- 1 x heaped tbsp tahini (optional)
- Handful of mint leaves (half chopped, half left whole for garnish)
- Salt and pepper
- Your favourite baguette, sliced and lightly toasted
- Handful of grated parmesan
What you'll need to do:
Melt the butter in a frying pan, and sauté the onion over a low heat until soft - about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for a further minute, and add the frozen peas.
Stir gently until thoroughly defrosted and cooked through, transfer to a food processor or blender with the chopped mint and tahini, and blitz until the consistency of hummus. Taste and season as needed.
Spread generously on the crostini, top with sprinkling of parmesan and a mint leaf - and watch as your guests devour them.