Saturday, June 21

Salad of Freekeh, Broad Beans, Radish, Peas, & Herbs

Freekeh is just starting to make an appearance in mainstream supermarkets. Similar to Bulgar, wheat is harvested early and so remains green. This makes it difficult to hull, so the wheat is carefully piled up and burned in the fields removing the chaff and giving the grain a smoky flavour. Perfect to compliment a BBQ which is exactly what I used it for. 

Freekeh - 100g
Broad beans - 100g podded weight
Peas - 100g
Radish - 10
1 clove of garlic - peeled and finely grated
Mint. Dill, Coriander - 1 small bunch of each
Lemon - 1/2
Olive oil

Blanch the broad beans for few minutes until just soft then refresh in iced water. Remove the leathery skin and set the beans aside. Remove the mint from the stems and finely chop with the remainder of the herbs. Bring 1 l of water to the boil and simmer the freekeh for 20 minutes until tender. Drain and allow to cool. 

In a large bowl juice the lemon and add the garlic, some seasoning and a large slug of oil. Mix well and add the freekeh tossing it through the dressing. Add the remainder of the ingredients, mix well, check the seasoning adding more lemon if you think it needs it. Serve.

Tuesday, June 3

Roast Chantenay Carrots, Butternut, Feta, Caraway, Cumin & Mint

I just bought the new Morito cookbook and I'm smitten. This is pretty much their recipe but with a few twists to adjust it to my palate. You don't need the butternut, up the quantity of carrots a bit - I just had too few carrots and a squash lurking in the fridge….!

A small butternut - peeled, deseeded and cut into 1cm dice
Chantenay carrots, 250g - washed and cut lengthways into quarters
Feta - half a block
Cumin seeds, 1 tsp
Caraway seeds, 1tsp
Smoked paprika - a few pinches
Honey - 1tbsp
Rosewater - 1 tsp
Mint - a small handful of leaves, shredded
Half a lemon
Good olive oil

Toss the carrots, squash caraway and cumin seeds with a good slug of olive oil and some seasoning. Roast gently at 160c until nice and soft stirring occasionally. Add the honey, rosewater, a squeeze of lemon and taste. Plate up, sprinkle with smoked paprika, crumbled feta and the shredded mint. Drizzle with more good olive oil to finish.

Sunday, May 11

Warm Salad of Jersey Royals, Radish, Asparagus & Avocado, Crème Fraîche & Chives

Is it possible to toss together a more seasonal fistful of ingredients in one dish than I have done here? No….it is not….

1 small ripe Hass avocado - stoned, peeled and roughly chopped
200g of Jersey Royal spuds, scrubbed
A bunch of English asparagus, woody stems removed.
A super fresh bunch of radishes
A little good olive oil

A small buch of chives
1/2 a small clove of garlic, puree'd or finely grated
A heaped tsp of dijon mustard
Zest of half a lemon, 1 tbsp of juice
3 tbsp of good extra virgin
1x 200ml carton of good quality crème fraîche
Salt and black pepper

Cook the spuds in gently simmering water until soft but not falling apart. Remove from the water and toss in the asparagus. After a minute or two, drain and set aside. Whisk together the dressing ingredients with 2/3 of the chives - season to taste.

Toss the warm spuds (halved if large), asparagus (chopped into bite sized pieces) and radishes (halved) in a little olive oil to glaze, season to taste. Spread half the dressing on the bottom of a serving plate and layer up the salad ingredients with the avocado (layering like this prevents the avocado breaking up and making the salad look messy). Drizzle over the remaining dressing and scatter over the last few chives.