Guacamole

Serves: 4;   Cals per portion: 177;   Prep time: 10 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 2 large ripe avocados, peeled, halved and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Step One – Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend for 30 secs. NB: If you don’t own a food processor, finely chop the ingredients and mash with a fork.

Step Two – Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and chill until required.

Other Mexican recipes can be found here.

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Sticky Tomato & Olive Aubergines

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine and is taken from the book : Salad Feasts: How to assemble the perfect meal by Jessica Elliott Dennison. 

The method for this salad is so simple, you can’t go wrong.  It pays to take the time to really brown the aubergines, allowing them to pick up a nice colour and go silky soft in the centre.

Sticky Tomato & Olive AuberginesIngredients (Serves 4):

  • 2 firm aubergines (500g)
  • 90ml olive oil
  • 1red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp capers, drained
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 30g sultanas
  • 1 ½ tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 50g pitted olives (any colour, drained weight)
  • 50g wild rocket
  • Small bunch (20g) flat-leaf parsley
  • Small bunch (15g) basil
  • 1/3 lemon
  • 4 slices sourdough bread (300g)
  1. Heat a large frying over a high heat while you cut the aubergines into large chunks (roughly 2.5cm). Add most of the oil to the pan along with the aubergine chucks and cook for 5-6 minutes until golden and beginning to darken on all sides.
  2. Meanwhile, peel and halve the onion then slice into thin half-moons. Peel the garlic and slice into thin slivers.  Add the remaining oil to the aubergine pan and reduce the heat to low, then fry the onion for 3 minutes until beginning to soften.  Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes, taking care not to burn the garlic.
  3. Add the capers to the pan along with the tomatoes, sultanas, vinegar, olives and a few splashes of water. Increase the heat to high, pop on a lid and cook for 7-10 minutes or until the aubergine is soft in the centre (keep an eye on the pan and add a few more splashes of water if it’s looking too dry).  Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.  Keep in the fridge if you’re making a day or two ahead.
  4. When you’re ready to serve, wash the rocket in a basin of cold water to freshen the leaves, pat dry and place in a large mixing bowl. Tear in the herbs, discarding the stalks, squeeze over the lemon and gently toss.  Toast the bread, then divide between four plates or a large serving board, as pictured.   Smear over the aubergines then top with the lemony rocket.

Kale Vichyssoise

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Jan 2018)

A twist on the classic, says Drew Smith in ‘Broth to Bow’ (Nourish Books, £20) but this version has more dimensions, and doesn’t have to be reinforced with chicken broth.

Serves:  4

Ingredients:

¼ head celery
2 carrots
1 onion
3 leeks
2 new potatoes
1 litre Potassium Broth*
Handful of kale
Bunch of fresh parsley
50ml double cream
Olive oil for frying
Bread cubes for croutons

Step One:  Wash, trim and peel the celery, carrots, onion, leeks and potatoes, then put in a saucepan.  Cover with the Potassium Broth* and bring to the boil.  Simmer for 40 minutes.

Step Two: Take off the heat and leave to stand.  Transfer all the vegetables and about half the liquid into a smaller saucepan, ensuring that you have roughly equal vegetables and liquid.  Add the majority of the kale, trimmed, and bring back to a simmer for 4 minutes.

Step Three:  Chop the parsley and add, then liquidise in a blender or food processor, and stir in the cream.  In a frying pan, warm some olive oil and fry a few bread cubes for croutons.  Using the same oil, fry a couple of kale leaves until they are crisp, and use to garnish.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with tahini and tomato salsa

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Spring 2018) and recipe taken from a booking called Feasting.

If you don’t have time to slow roast the cauliflower, parboil it until soft enough to pierce with a fork.

Serves:  4-6

Ingredients:-

1 large cauliflower head
1 tbsp saffron threads
1 tbsp sumac
1 tsp ground turmeric
1tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground chilli
90ml olive oil, plus extra if needed
1 tsp salt
540g Tahini dip, to serve
80g slivered pistachios, to garnish
2 tbsp pomegranate seeds, to garnish
2 tbsp chilli hair, to garnish

For the Tomato Salsa:-

1/4 red onion, finely diced
5 tomatoes, deseeded and finely diced
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice

Step One: Preheat the oven to 180oC / 350oF / Gas Mark 4.  Put the cauliflower head on a baking tray lined with baking paper.  Mix the saffron threads with 500ml of boiling water, then set aside to steep for 15-20 minutes.

Step Two: In a bowl, combine the saffron liquid with the sumac, ground spices, oil and salt.  Pour the mix over the cauliflower, making sure it is evenly coated.  Cover the tray with foil and roast in the oven for 2 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the saffron liquid.  Add more oil if needed.

Step Three: Remove the foil and roast for a further 10 minutes to brown the cauliflower.  While it is browning, make the tomato salsa.  Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix.  Season to taste with salt.

Step Four: To serve, spread the Tahini dip on a platter and place the cauliflower on top.  Cut out a generous wedge of cauliflower and pile the salsa inside and around the edges.  Garnish with the slivered pistachios, pomegranate seeds and chilli hair (find in speciality food stores.

 

 

Bacon & Mixed Root Vegetable Rosti

Serves: 4; Prep: 15 mins; Cook: 20 mins

Adapted from a traditional Swiss recipe based on potatoes, this variation can be eaten as a meal in itself.

Ingredients: 1 lb /450g potatoes; 8oz/225g parsnips; 8oz/225g carrots, peeled and grated; 4 rashers smoked back bacon, diced; salt and fresh ground black pepper; 4 tbsp/60ml chopped fresh chives; 1oz/25g butter; 2 tblsp/30ml olive oil.

  • Cook the potatoes in their skins in boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Drain and leave to cool.
  • Cook parsnips in the same way until tender, drain and leave to cool. Peel both the vegetables, coarsely grate them and mix with the carrots.
  • Fry the bacon until crisp and mix with the grated vegetables. Season well and mix in the chives.
  • Heat the butter and half the oil in a 23cm;/9in heavy based (preferably non-stock) frying pan. When hot, spread the vegetable mixture evenly into the pan. Lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes. To turn the rosti over, place a plate that fits snugly over it. Turn the rosti out onto the plate.
  • Add the remaining oil to the pan and, when it’s sizzling, slide the rosti back into the pan, cooked side uppermost.
    Cook for a further 10 minutes, adding the remaining oil to the pan. Turn out onto a plate and serve hot.

Tip: The rosti can be cooked in the oven in which case you don’t have to reverse it onto a plate. Simply cook as described for the first 10 minutes, then put in a hot oven for 10-15 minutes, until golden.

Okra with Green Mango and Lentils

If you like Okra, otherwise known as ladies fingers, you’ll love this spicy, tangy dish

Serves: 4

Ingredients: 115g (4oz) yellow lentils (toor dhal); 3 tbsp corn oil; 1/2 tsp onion seeds; 2 onions, sliced; 1/2 tsp ground fenugreek; 1 tsp ginger pulp; 1 tsp garlic pulp; 1 1/2 tsp chilli powder; 1/4 tsp turmeric; 1 tsp ground coriander; 1 green mango, peeled and sliced; 1 lb (450g) okra, cut into 1 cm (1/2 in) pieces; 1 1/2 tsp salt; 2 fresh red chillies, seeded and sliced; 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander; 1 tomato, sliced

* Wash the lentils thoroughly and put in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to the boil and cook until soft but not mushy. Drain and set on one side.
* Heat the oil in a deep round-bottomed frying pan or a Karahi and fry the onion seeds until they begin to pop. Add the onions and fry until golden brown. Lower the heat and add the ground fenugreek, ginger, garlic, chilli powder, turmeric and ground coriander.
* Add the mango slices and the okra. Stir well and add the salt, red chillies and fresh coriander. Stir-fry for about 3 minutes, or until the Okra is well cooked. Finally, add the cooked lentils and sliced tomato and cook for a further 3 minutes. Serve hot.

Baked Cod Fillet with Vegetables

If you’re planning a buffet and would like to offer your guests one hot dish, this recipe works just as well hot or cold. Simply add the chickpeas, oregano and wine vinegar to the vegetable mixture while it’s still hot.

Serves: 12; Prep: 3 mins; Cook: 30 mins; Cals: 154

Ingredients: approximately 4 tsp salt for the aubergines; 2 aubergines, diced into 1 cm / 1/2 in cubes; 120ml / 4 fl oz virgin olive oil; 1.8kg/4lb thick cod fillets, skinned; 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped; 6 courgettes, diced into 1cm / 1/2 in cubes; 2 x 400g cans whole peeled plum tomatoes, drained, seeded and roughly chopped; 1 x 420g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed; 1 x 15g pack fresh oregano leaves only, chopped; 75ml/3 fl oz red wine vinegar; salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Preheat the oven to Mark 4/350oF/180oC. Lightly salt the aubergines, put into a colander set over a bowl and leave for about an hour. Discard any juices and gently squeeze the aubergines with kitchen paper to soak up any excess liquid.
  • Oil a roasting tin with 25ml/1 fl oz of the olive oil. Cut the cod into 7.5cm / 3in pieces, removing any bones, and place in the tin. Cover with foil and bake for about 20 mins or until the fish is just cooked. Using a fish slice, carefully transfer the fish to a serving dish. Drain off and discard any excess liquid.
  • Heat 50ml/2 fl oz olive oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic. Sauté over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes, then add the aubergines and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Remove aubergines from pan, add remaining oil and courgettes and sauté for about 2 minutes until softened. Add the tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Cool mixture slightly, then stir in chickpeas and oregano. Add the vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the vegetable mixture over the fish and serve hot or just at room temperature.

Tasty Ways with Mushrooms

  • Peel and dice 1 large potato and fry in a little melted butter for 10 mins until golden. Set aside, then fry 250g (9oz) mushrooms and 6 rashers of unsmoked chopped bacon in the pan until bacon is crisp and the mushrooms are soft. Drain potatoes, mushrooms and bacon on kitchen paper. Toss in a large bowl with the contents of a 142g (5oz) packet of spinach salad, a light dressing and garnish with fresh basil.
  • Stir-fry a little crushed garlic and grated root ginger in hot oil for 1-2 minutes, then add 1 bunch of chopped spring onions and 450g (1 lb.) mixed mushrooms. Stir-fry until the mushrooms begin to soften, then add 60ml (4 tbsp) teriyaki sauce and 30ml (2 tbsp) light soy sauce. Simmer for 2-3 mins then serve with rice or noodles.
  • Stuff flat mushrooms with a mixture of cooked white rice, chopped tomatoes, diced mozzarella cheese and fresh chopped basil. Season and drizzle with a little virgin oil and bake in a hot oven for 10-15 mins until tender. Serve with salad or crusty bread.