This is lovely for summer salads and BBQs.
100g very finely chopped radishes
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
Splash of red wine vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
100ml Greek style yoghurt
1. Mix all the ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper if required. Refrigerate for at least 30 mins and served chilled. Can be made the night before it’s eaten.
I decided to set myself a challenge for May to cook recipes using ingredients that I don’t normally cook with. I like pretty much all vegetables, but I do know that there are some I gravitate towards, particularly in the kitchen, so I’ve drawn up a list of some fruit and veg that I want to experiment with this month.
The first recipe I’m posting uses Brussels Sprouts and is based on a recipe in Thomasina Mier’s Book ‘Home Cook’. The original recipe uses Rosetta sprouts and anchovies.
Sprout, marscapone and pine nut pasta (serves 2)
50g pine nuts
200g finely shredded Brussels Sprouts
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
A generous pinch of chilli flakes
The needles from one Rosemary sprig, finely chopped
75ml white wine
30g finely grated vegetarian Parmesan
Zest of half a lemon
1. Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling water.
2. While the pasta is cooking, toast the pine nuts in a dry pan until they develop a golden brown colour and then set to one side.
3. Heat the oil in a pan and add the garlic, chilli flakes and rosemary. After 1 minute, add the finely shredded Brussels Sprouts and stir well to combine. Pour in the wine and cook over a medium heat until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the marscapone cheese, vegetarian Parmesan cheese and lemon zest.
4. Once the pasta is cooked, drain well and mix into the sauce, adding half of the toasted pine nuts. Stir well to coat the pasta in the sauce. Serve with the remaining pine nuts sprinkled on top, also no with extra vegetarian Parmesan, if desired.
It’s raining and grey here in Yorkshire so I needed some food that is full of sunshine to cheer me up. This is a Mexican inspired recipe that’s easy to throw together.
Avocoda and Sweetcorn Salsa (makes one small bowl full)
225g canned sweetcorn, drained
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
8-10 cherry tomatoes, quartered, and de-seeded if you don’t like the insides like me!
A handful of fresh basil, finely chopped
1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon of lime juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together well. Leave in the fridge for a couple of hours before eating.
Fresh coriander is a good substitute for basil.
This is also nice mixed with cooled pasta shapes to make a pasta salad for lunch.
These little nibbles are great if you’re having friends around for drinks. They’re also lovely for a picnic. Don’t forget to make sure you’re using vegetarian parmesan.
Parmesan and Mixed Seed Bites
250g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
A generous pinch of salt
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoon caraway seed
20g finely grated vegetarian parmesan cheese
100ml cold water
1. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt together. Mix in the seeds and the parmesan cheese.
2. Cut the butter into small cubes and rub the butter into the flour mixture until it looks like breadcrumbs.
3. Add 100ml of cold water and mix well until the mixture forms a firm dough. If you need to, add a splash more water. Lightly knead the dough into a ball, but don’t overwork the mix.
4. Lay out two long sheets of clingfilm. Place the ball of dough onto one sheet and cover with the second sheet. Roll the dough out between the two sheets. The dough needs to be quite thin, around 2mm. Pull back the top sheet of cling film and prick the dough all over. Recover with the clingfilm. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
5. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.
6. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Use a small star-shaped cutter to cut out shapes from the dough. Spread the shapes across the baking tray. Bake in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
These nibbles will keep in an airtight tin for a few days.