Tag Archives: vegetarian

Recipe of the Week – 22nd May 2017 – Cauliflower and Cashew Biryani


I have always felt that the cauliflower is one of the most maligned and neglected vegetables, yet it is very versatile. It’s proper use in a number of dishes is a long way away from the over-boiled mush that some people may remember from their childhood. This recipe really highlights it’s subtle flavours whilst adding great texture, and it’s very filling!

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients 

300g basmati rice, rinsed and drained

1 medium cauliflower cut into small florets

2 tbs sunflower oil

1 onion, sliced

3 garlic cloves, crushed

25g root ginger, grated

1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp ground turmeric

600ml hot vegetable stock from bouillon

1 x 200g bag young-leaf spinach

50g cashews, toasted and chopped

3 tbs coriander leaves, roughly chopped

3 free range eggs

Salt and pepper

Mango chutney, to serve

Method

1. Place the cauliflower florets in a large pan of boiling water and simmer for 2 minutes only. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan then fry the onion, covered, over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli, cashews and spices and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, then add the rice and stir. Add the cauliflower and pour over the hot stock. Bring to the boil, cover and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes until the rice and cauliflower are tender. 

3. Add half the spinach to the pan, remove from the heat, cover and set aside for 2-3 minutes until the spinach has wilted.

4. Meanwhile, beat the eggs with 1 tbs water, season and fry in a small saucepan with 1 tbs sunflower oil until set as a thin omelette. Set aside.

5. Season, add the remaining spinach and coriander and top with a slice of the omelette. Serve immediately with mango chutney.

Recipe of the Week – 7th May 2017 – Pea and Asparagus Risotto


I have recently come back from a trip to see my family in East Anglia, and a bonus to going at this time of year is that it’s asparagus season – there’s something about going to remote farms and buying bunches of the stuff that I love. This is a nice straightforward recipe that really brings out the best in the flavour of asparagus and complements it well with the subtle herbs and flavour of the rice – real comfort food!

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

1 large bunch of fresh tender asparagus, roughly chopped, retaining 6 stems whole for decoration

2 medium white onions, finely chopped

4 tbs extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

250g Arborio risotto rice

100g frozen peas

100ml white wine

750ml good quality vegetable stock from bouillon

1 tbs dried mint

1tbs dried marjoram 

20g vegetarian Parmesan style hard cheese, grated (optional if vegan)

Salt and pepper to taste 

Method

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion and garlic and fry gently until the onion is soft, ensuring it doesn’t brown.

2. Add the asparagus pieces and rice and stir continuously for two minutes to ensure the rice doesn’t stick and is coated evenly with the oil.

3. Add the herbs, vegetable stock and wine, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes, stirring regularly.

4. Add the frozen peas and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, in a griddle pan gently fry the whole asparagus stems in a little water until tender and set aside.

6. Season the risotto to taste, top with the whole asparagus stems and grated cheese if using, and serve immediately with a side salad or toast.

Recipe of the Week- 10th April 2017 – Moroccan Vegetable Gratin


This recipe is a spicy variation on the traditional French gratin, substituting spices for some of the herbs, and as such is a sort of tagine/gratin hybrid! This is really simple to prepare and make, and is open to lots of changes of ingredients to suit whatever is in the fridge or cupboard!

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

3 tbs olive oil

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and finely sliced

2 aubergines, sliced

3 large carrots, peeled and sliced at 45 degrees

2 large onions, sliced

100g quinoa, rinsed (red split lentils work well too)

500ml good quality vegetable stock from bouillon 

2 tbs ras el hanout

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

2 tsp dried cumin

2 tsp Herbes de Provence

50g mature cheddar cheese, grated (optional)

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, and add the aubergine slices. Gently fry until lightly brown only (3 minutes or so each side). Set aside.

3. In a large casserole dish, layer the sweet potatoes, onions, carrots and aubergine slices in alternate layers until used up. 

4. Sprinkle the quinoa, herbs and spices over the top then pour over the hot vegetable stock to ensure all is mixed through the dish. Cover with tin foil and place in the oven for 25 minutes.

5. If topping with cheese, add this after 20 minutes, and continue to bake uncovered for 5 minutes until brown.

6. Serve immediately with couscous, fresh bread and a green salad.

Recipe of the Week – 3rd April 2017 – Smoky Cauliflower Frittata


Since adopting our four chickens last year we are generally inundated with eggs at our house, so I am always looking for new ways to do them justice. This recipe is adapted from one by Yotam Ottolenghi and is a nice variation on the classic fritatta. It also another way to use one of the most under-rated vegetables, the cauliflower.

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets

2 tbs olive oil

100g frozen peas

6 free-range eggs

3 tbs natural yoghurt or crème fraîche

2 tbs fresh chives, finely chopped

2 tbs Dijon mustard

1 tbs sweet smoked paprika

100g mature Cheddar cheese, grated

salt and black pepper

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

2. Place the cauliflower florets in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water, and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

3. In a large bowl mix together the eggs, yoghurt, paprika, chives and mustard. Season and beat well.

4. Add the olive oil to a large frying pan then sauté the cauliflower florets for 5 minutes until light brown.

5. Grease a large casserole dish then add the cauliflower, peas, half of the grated cheese and the egg mixture. Stir well to combine, top with the remaining cheese and place in the oven for 20 minutes until set and brown.

6. Carve the frittata into slices or wedges and serve immediately with new potatoes.

Recipe of the Week – 20th March 2017 – Tagliatelle with Oven Baked Aubergines


This is a nice recipe if you fancy a quick but satisfying midweek tea. Ok, I know it’s cheating a bit using bought tagliatelle rather than making it from scratch, but often fresh supermarket pasta is just as good (in fact often better than the pasta I make!). This does however use freshly-made pesto, which is really required and much better than most that is available in jars. Once you get a taste for freshly made pesto, there really is no turning back!

Serves 4

Ingredients

250g fresh tagliatelle

2 large aubergines, cut to 1cm wide slices

For the pesto;

100g fresh watercress

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

50g cashew nuts, lightly toasted

25g vegetarian Parmesan-style hard cheese, grated

5 tbs extra virgin olive oil

Small handful of basil leaves 

For the tomato sauce;

1 x 400g tin good quality chopped tomatoes

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tbs dried Herbes de Provence

Salt and pepper

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

2. Put the tomato sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer gently for 5 minutes to combine.

3. In a large casserole dish, arrange the aubergine slices, alternating with the tomato sauce to cover each layer until all is used up. Cover with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, add all of the pesto ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth-ish (I like a bit of crunch).

5. Place the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes until cooked. Rinse and drain.

6. Stir the pesto into the tagliatelle and arrange the pasta over the slices of baked aubergine. Garnish and serve with fresh bread.

Recipe of the Week – 13th March 2017 – Red Lentil Dhal with Garam Masala Aubergines


A good dhal can be just as warming and satisfying on a cold day as a mug of soup, and this recipe is no exception, with the added bonus of having my favourite vegetable in it – aubergines! These provide a great variety of texture as well as little explosions if taste when you find one. Also, this is very easy to make, so no excuses!

Serves 6

Ingredients

600g red split lentils, rinsed

4 tbs sunflower oil

1 large onion, sliced

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 large aubergines, cut into 2cm dice

3 tbs lemon juice

1 large bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped

1 litre good quality vegetable stock from bouillon 

1 x 400ml can of coconut milk

2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp ground turmeric

3 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp ground coriander

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. Put the aubergine cubes in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and leave to soften for 20 minutes. Rinse well and drain.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, add the stock to the lentils and bring to the boil before simmering for 20 minutes.

3. In a large frying pan, gently dry fry the spices for 1 minute before adding the oil, garlic and onions. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the aubergines and the garam masala, stir to coat well then simmer, covered, for a further 10 minutes.

4. Add the aubergine mixture to the lentils, stir well, then add the coconut milk.

5. Simmer the mixture for a further 10 minutes. Take off the heat, add the lemon juice and coriander and serve immediately with rice or naan.

Recipe of the Week – 27th February 2017 – Potato and Broccoli Brunch Frittata

Sometimes recipe ideas come from necessity, in other words, what I manage to find in the fridge! This recipe is a nice simple one which can be used as a quick brunch or as a satisfying lunch with a green salad. It started off as a frittata using an omelette base, but I then combined it with the pan-fried potatoes and broccoli to make it more like a rosti. Anyway, it was very tasty and I hope you like it!

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

3 large baking potatoes, left unpeeled if the skins are ok, and cubed

1 large head of broccoli, cut into large florets

3 tbs sunflower oil

2 garlic cloves, sliced

2 tbs thyme leaves

100g mature cheddar cheese, grated

6 eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. Place the potato cubes in a large pan of salted boiling water and bring to the boil. Par boil for 5 minutes then add the broccoli. Return to the boil for a further 1 minute. Drain and set aside.

2. Put the sunflower oil in a large deep frying pan then add the potatoes, broccoli, garlic and half of the thyme leaves. Gently sauté for 10 minutes, stirring often.

3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the remaining thyme, season, the pour over the vegetables. Sprinkle the cheese over then cover. Allow to simmer until the eggs are set (about 10 minutes) then place under the grill to brown.

4. Serve immediately with bread and a salad.