New (oldish) greens

New (oldish) greens

It’s always interesting to find a new product, especially when it’s a new kind of vegetable! Yes while strolling though Mark & Spencer picking up some ingredients for a Sunday roast, I noticed a pack marked “flower sprout” I had never heard of this before. Further reading confirmed this is indeed a “new and exclusive vegetable”, and interestingly that it “arouse naturally from a crossing of Brussel sprouts and kale”. Finally there is a bold promise on the package of “a mild nutty flavour that will appeal to all”. Now I like Brussel sprouts and I like kale, but I also know a lot of people don’t like either of these greens. So how do they taste? Well I loved them! The small sprouts look like wildly unfolded Brussels, and have a mixed light and dark green colour. First off they taste mildly of Brussel sprouts, then the flavour changes leaving an aftertaste closer to the strong chlorophyll and iron of kale. It has a good texture too, the stalk of the sprouting leaves kept some “bite” while the leaves themselves held up well not going too soggy like sprouts can, but not quite having all the bite and firmer texture like kale. So taste and texture are both good. It certainly went well with my roast chicken Sunday dinner, and would be great in stir fries. Another way to try them is with cheese sauce. On the packet it says the flower sprouts were grown by George Read in Lincolnshire, but a quick look at their website doesn’t give any further clues about this new vegetable. In fact flower sprouts aren’t mentioned...
Courgettes, tomatoes and mint

Courgettes, tomatoes and mint

This makes about 4 portions and can be served hot or cold. It will keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days too – or you could freeze. Goes well with meat or fish.  Use small green, yellow courgettes.  Scoop out seeds if the courgettes are large. Ingredients 700g courgettes 1 medium onion 2tbs olive oil 1 yellow pepper 1 clove garlic 4 large tomatoes 2tbs concentrated tomato paste 1tsp demerara sugar 1tbs red wine or balsamic vinegar Seasoning Handful of mint Method Trim and thinly slice courgettes and onion and cook in olive oil until softened. Deseed and thinly slice yellow pepper and stir in with crushed clove of garlic. Continue to cook over low heat. Cover tomatoes with boiling water and leave for 5 mins. Drain, slip off the skins, cut into quarters and remove the seeds. Add to the pan with tomato paste, sugar, vinegar and seasoning. Stir well and cook over low heat for 15 min or until thickened. Stir in handful of fresh mint. Enjoy     photo credit: Great British Chefs via photopin...

Roasted asparagus with sunblush tomatoes

Visiting the South of England Show last weekend, I was amazed at the Asparagus Stand.   Alongside the asparagus they were selling was a wild fresh garlic pesto which was delicious.  And they were advocating eating it with roasted asparagus. Here’s my take on roasted asparagus. Ingredients 2tbsp olive oil 4 asparagus spears per person 55g sun blush tomatoes Salt & freshly ground pepper 2tbsp chopped chives 2tbsp chopped coriander 2tbsp balsamic vinegar Method Place asparagus in roasting dish [I use a oven proof serving dish] and add the olive oil Add the asparagus and sun blush tomatoes Season to taste Place in hot oven for 10-15 minutes When cooked, scatter with chives and coriander Boil balsamic vinegar for 20 seconds or so until slightly reduced and pour over asparagus Serve immediately   BTW Ingredients for the Fresh Wild Garlic Pesto are as follows and to make the pesto, I guess you just whiz it all together in a liquidizer! Wild garlic Pine and cashew nuts Parmesan cheese Organic olive oil Sussex rape seed oil Lemon juice Salt...

New Potatoes

I love this time of year, Jersey Royals and other new potatoes hit the High Street. They are so versatile. Some different recipes for you to try Hasselbacks Ingredients 36 even-sized new potatoes – all scrubbed and clean Knob of butter Dash of olive oil Sea salt Preparation Preheat oven to 200c/400F/Gas6 Using a wooden spoon as a guide to ensure that you don’t cut right through the potato, cut small slices at regular intervals Heat the butter and oil in a pan. Add potatoes and stir to coat in the oil and butter. Transfer the potatoes to a baking tray, sprinkle with sea salt and transfer to oven to cook for 10 minutes Remove from oven and turn each potato and return to oven to cook for further 30-40 minutes. Gratin of New Potatoes with Parmesan Cook 450g of new potatoes in boiling salted water until tender Roll in tea towel to remove moisture Tip into a buttered shallow dish Season 130ml double cream, pour over potatoes and generously sprinkle with finely grated Parmesan Bake at 180 for 15min or until rich golden brown   Stir Fried New Potatoes Cook 450g new potatoes as above and drain well. Heat a generous knob of butter and 2tbs of olive oil in a wok with 3 crushed cloves of garlic and 1tbs grated fresh root ginger cook min, add a good pinch of cumin, caraway seeds and then the potatoes Cook over a high heat, stirring until potatoes are golden brown Season and serve   And for a simple salad why not try Crunchy New Potato Salad Cook 25og new potatoes in boiling salted water...
Couscous

Couscous

Two words – couscous  So good they named it twice?  It’s an easy grain to for quick cooking Couscous cakes are a great school lunch pack filler. Prepare 125g cous cous with 150 ml of boiling stock. Stir in 2 beaten eggs then make 6 patties.  Fry in a little oil for 203 minutes on each side until golden!   Couscous roasted veg quiche Prep – 10 mins Cook – 50-55 mins Serves 4 Ingredients ½ red pepper deseeded and in chunks ½ yellow pepper deseeded and in chunks 1 red onion cut into wedges 1 courgette sliced on diagonal 4 cherry tomatoes olive oil vegetable stock cu be 200 g couscous 50 g butter 3 medium eggs 1 tbsp fresh grated Parmesan 100 g crème fraiche 3 sprigs thyme ½ mozzarella ball Method Preheat the oven to 200 C fan180 gas 6, place all veg in a roasting tin, drizzle with oil and season with pepper. Toss together then roast for 20 minutes turning half-way. Meanwhile dissolve stock cube in 240 ml boiling water. Place cous cous in a bowl and pour hot stock over. Cover and let sit for 5 mins. Fluff up with a fork and stir in butte. Spoon the couscous into a 20 cm flan dish, pressing evenly into the base and side. Place the cooled roasted veg on top. Beat the eggs together and mix in the Parmesan, crème fraiche and thyme. Pour over the veg and top with torn mozzarella. Bake 30-35 mins, until set. Serve with a rocket salad....