I love plain buckwheat pancakes for breakfast with a fresh fruit salad, but sometimes it’s nice to have a more spicy start to the day so these spiced up pancakes with a fresh tomato relish fit perfectly.
This amount makes enough pancakes for 6 servings
225 grams buckwheat flour
1 level teaspoon baking powder
1 heaped tablespoon garam masala spice
1 fresh red chilli – finely chopped
1 spring onion – cut in thin slices
pinch of salt
275 ml vegetable stock
Olive oil for frying
Mix all the dry ingredients together with the spring onion and chillis.
Break the egg into the stock and mix well.
Gradually add the liquid to the dry ingredients to make a smooth batter.
The batter can be used straight away but improves if kept in the fridge for a day or two, so if you don’t use it all at once the rest can be kept very well for another day.
Heat oil in a small frying pan and when hot pour in a small cupful of batter. Fry until golden before turning over and frying the other side.
For the tomato relish simply cut a well flavour tomato into dice and season with salt a finely chopped fresh coriander leaves.
Strozzapreti, meaning ‘priest strangler’ as it is reputed to be enjoyed so much and in such quantities by the holy fathers that it chokes them, is a rolled pasta that goes very well with this tomato sauce. You can of course use other pastas if you can’t get hold of Strozzapreti.
120 grams pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large clove of garlic – finely chopped
1 small onion – finely chopped
1/4 red bell pepper – cut into short slices
2 tablespoons chopped Florence fennel
125 grams button mushrooms – halved and then sliced
200 grams chopped plum tomatoes
2 heaped teaspoons tomato purée
fresh oregano finely chopped plus a few sprigs for garnishing
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese if you are making the vegetarian but not vegan version of this dish
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put salted water with a splash of olive oil on to boil for the pasta, and then cook the pasta according to the timings on the packet.
Meanwhile heat the oil in a frying pan and add the garlic and onion. Fry until translucent.
Add the red peppers and cook for á couple of minutes before adding the fennel and mushrooms. Stir well and leave to cook for five minutes.
Add the chopped tomato, purée and oregano. Cook slowly for 15-20 minutes until the sauce looks thick and richly red.
Season with salt and pepper.
If using the Parmesan cheese, add most of it now leaving a little to sprinkle on top of the pasta and stir into the sauce letting it melt.
Once the pasta is cooked but still with a little bite, drain from the water and add it to the sauce. Stir to mix.
Serve in shallow bowls with a grating of orange zest and a few sprigs of oregano to garnish. Of course if you are including Parmesan in your dish then add a garnish of grated cheese as well.
To start with – what a fab name for a restaurant! This cafe in Doncaster is one of my must do stops when I visit the town. The food is freshly cooked and super tasty, the service friendly and efficient, and the decor bright and cosy at the same time. You can eat lunch at a dining table or lounge on a comfy sofa with your coffee and cake.
I have my favourite dish that I like to order, The Naked Vegan Burger. Two burgers made from quinoa, beetroot and edename beans, served with yummy sweet potato fries, mixed salad and a pot each of hummus and sweet chutney.
If this is not for you, worry not, the menu has plenty to tempt all tastes – from breakfasts to sizzling pizzas. You can see the full menu on their website – http://www.theglassstrawberry.co.uk
This delicious breakfast dish was adapted and cooked for me by Richard from Doctor Rupy Aujla’s recipe for Tofu Scramble. I will now be experimenting with swapping tofu for eggs in all my favourite scramble recipes.
For two servings –
300 grams firm or silken tofu
70 grams mushrooms
3 spring onions
70 grams baby spinach
salt and freshly ground black pepper
A good pinch of mixed herbs
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
olive oil / coconut oil
Slice the mushrooms. Any type of mushroom will work in this recipe, shiitake are particularly good.
Drain the tofu and dry well with a clean tea towel or kitchen paper.
Put in a bowl and mash with a fork. Add the turmeric and seasonings.
Put the mushrooms into a frying pan with enough water to come up to just about half way up the mushrooms.
Cook on a medium heat until the water has been absorbed and the mushrooms are cooked to a softness.
Add half a tablespoon each of olive oil and coconut oil and then the sliced spring onions. Fry for two or three minutes to soften the onions.
Add the tofu and gently mix as it heats through.
Once the tofu is warm, add the spinach and continue gently mixing as the spinach wilts.
Serve on whole meal toast drizzled with a little olive oil.
This fresh light salad can be made with many different vegetables depending on the season, I will give you the recipe of exactly what I put in this time, and at the end of the recipe a list of the other vegetables that like this type of marinade. The salad is made in a large glass jar which is put on a sunny windowsill for a couple of days to lightly ferment and tenderise the vegetables. The fermentation also adds to the prebiotic qualities of the vegetables.
50 grams sea salt
20 grams sugar
750 ml water
400 ml cider vinegar
romanesco cauliflower – cut into smallish florets
carrots – peeled and very thinly sliced
radishes – very thinly sliced
Spring onion and garlic – sliced diagonally
In a large jug, mix the water and vinegar with the salt and sugar. Stir well.
Layer the vegetables in a large jar adding a sprinkling of mustard seeds as seasoning with each set of layers.
Push the layers down to compact the vegetables and then see if you need more layers. Once the vegetables soften they will naturally compact down, so it’s a good idea to firm them down at this stage.
Once the jar is full, add the brine and vinegar, fill to the top of the jar.
Stand the jar in a container to catch any overspill of liquid. You will need to put something in the neck of the jar to weigh down the contents and stop them rising above the liquid. I use a small round plastic container to fit inside the jar neck, and a jar of beans as the weight.
Place the whole contraption on a sunny window sill for 2-3 days to ferment. The vegetables will emit bubbles of gas as they marinade, which will push some of the liquid out over the top of the jar, hence the need to have a container to catch the excess.
Once the bubbling has stopped remove the weight, top up the jar with the overspill liquid and more of the brine mix if necessary. Put the lid on the jar. Wash the outside of the jar.
Leave the salad to continue marinating in the fridge for a couple more days and then it will be ready to eat.
The salad will keep for a couple of weeks, so doesn’t need to be eaten all in one sitting.
Other vegetables that can be used for this salad are: white cabbage, Chinese leaves, red peppers, bean sprouts, cucumber and courgettes, broccoli and white cauliflower. The spice and seasoning can be varied too, I used mustard seeds to complement the cauliflower. Dill is traditional in Eastern Europe, coriander, caraway seeds, fresh herbs, citrus peel. If you want to give the salad a more oriental flavour, then add fresh ginger, lemon grass and chilli….and maybe a splash of Nam Pla. Have a play with flavours and see which ones you like!
Not much is better than a sweetcorn fritter. They can be made with several types of flour, although I prefer them made with either buckwheat or chickpea four, which add protein to the dish. The addition of onion and garlic gives a more savoury taste to balance the sweetness of the corn, and of course a little finely chopped fresh chilli goes well.
50 grams flour – buckwheat/chickpea/wheat
90 grams sweetcorn – either cut straight from the cob/ frozen/or tinned – keep any liquid from the tin
10 grams green pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
salt and freshly ground black pepper
oil for frying
Mix the flour with the sweetcorn, pumpkin seeds, and onion and garlic.
Add enough water, including any water from the tin if using tinned corn, gradually to make a thick but spreadable batter.
Season with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a frying pan until quite hot then add a tablespoon of the batter to make a smallish fritter. I like to make a trail one to check that the batter is not too thick or thin. If the batter is a bit thin there is no problem adding a little extra flour at this stage to thicken it up. Likewise add a small amount more water if it seems too thick.
When you are happy with the consistency of the batter, go ahead and make several smallish fritters.
When the critters are brown and crispy on one side, turn over and cook the other side. Once done remove and drain excess oil onto kitchen paper.
A dish that is so simple but the combination of ingredients tastes better than you would imagine. This used to be a springtime dish that celebrated the first and sweetest peas and lettuce of the season, now with frozen tiny sweet peas and year round lettuce from this warm region of Spain it can be made any time of the year.
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or the same amount of butter
1 spring onion
1/2 spring garlic
1 small lettuce
150 ml small sweet peas
100 ml vegetable stock
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cut the onion and garlic in diagonal slices
Warm the oil or butter in a shallow pan that has a lid.
Add the onion and garlic and fry for a couple of minutes until translucent.
Cut the lettuce into quarters and add to the pan then add the peas and the stock.
Cover and leave to cook on a low heat for 3-4 minutes.
Carefully turn over the lettuce to ensure even cooking.
Let cook a further 3-4 minutes, by which time the lettuce should be wilted but still with a bit of bite.
Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve.
Making vegetable stock is easy especially if you have the tougher leaves from your own vegetables or buy them from a market where they are not trimmed down to the cleaner more tender parts. Don’t be rigid about what goes into the stock pot, pea and bean pods are fine, the tough stems of broccoli and cabbage, the sad vegetables in your bin at the end of the week including wrinkly tomatoes and peppers and, failing all that, one of those mixed stew packs will make good stock. I generally like to include onion and carrots, and then whatever else is available, the more variety the better.
The stock for this soup was made with –
the pods from some broad beans
the green tops of a bunch of spring onion and a bunch of spring garlic
the base and tough stems of one of those green cauliflowers with pyramids
the white stems of a bunch of Swiss card
the thick stem of a broccoli
a couple of soft carrots
Wash everything and scrub rather than peel the carrots. Trim dirty ends off then roughly chop everything and put in a large pan.
Pour in boiling water to just cover, bring to the boil then turn down the heat and leave to simmer for an hour.
Don’t add salt at this point as when you come to use the stock you may want to add salty flavourings or reduce the stock in which case you would end up with a dish that’s too salty.
Turn off the heat and leave to cool.
MUSHROOM CONSOMMÉ – three servings
1.2 litres vegetable stock
50 grams Fresh enoki mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon marmite
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
2 slices fresh ginger
finely chopped parsley
Put the cool stock in a pan and add the mushrooms and ginger.
Stir in the Marmite and soy sauce.
Leave the soup for at least an hour for the flavours to blend.
Ten minutes before you are ready to serve the soup, bring it slowly to the boil and let simmer for a couple of minutes.
I love grilled vegetables, especially grilled broccoli. This method of cooking seems to concentrate the flavour of each vegetable. I crush a clove of garlic with some coarse salt with a pestle and mortar, and then add olive oil to make a garlicky oil with which to paint the vegetables.
Romesco Sauce originated in Tarragona, Cataluña and traditionally is served with fish, but can make a great dipping sauce for vegetables. It is slightly spicy, garlicky and almondy.
35 grams almonds
1 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon sweet and sour smoked paprika
1 tablespoon chilli jam
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons vegetable stock or water
Lightly toast the almonds in a thick bottomed pan on a low heat, stirring from time to time until light golden. Remove to the bowl of a small food processor.
Finely chop the garlic and fry in olive oil until golden brown. Add to the almonds.
Whizz these until the almonds are finely chopped
Add the rest of the ingredients except the stock or water, only add a tablespoon of this and whizz the mix again until a thick mayonnaise consistency.
Add a little more stock or water if the consistency is too thick.
I was inspired by the tomato pasta of my last post to cook something similarly fresh tasting. So this quick to prepare dish is the result, using ingredients that I already had in the store cupboard. I give you the recipe exactly as I did it, but of course if you don’t have Aliolli and/or Chilli Jam in your cupboard, change for fresh garlic and chilli to taste.
A perfect lunch for one or a light colourful starter if you halve the amounts per person.
LINGUINI WITH FRESH & SUNDRIED TOMATOES, GREEN OLIVES & BASIL
Per person –
30 gms linguini
10 ml olive oil
1 large tomato
3 sundried tomatoes
6 green olives
1.25 ml aliolli
2,5 ml chilli jam
Fresh basil leaves
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Get a pan of water heating up for the pasta. Add to it 5 ml of the olive oil and half a teaspoon of salt.
When the water is boiling, add the sundried tomatoes to the water and let simmer for a couple of minutes. Scoop out and leave to cool.
Add the linguini to the water and leave to cook at a medium simmer.
Put the other 5ml of olive oil in a shallow pan. Add the aliolli and chilli jam.
Slice the sundried tomatoes and add to the pan.
Remove stones from the olives and cut each olive in half. Add to the pan.
Halve the tomato across its equator and using a fine grater grate the pulp into a bowl until you are left with just the skin in your hand. If the grater is fine enough it should sift out the majority of the seeds. If the odd seed makes it into the sauce, it is not the end of the world.
Add the fresh tomato pulp to the shallow pan.
Roughly chop the basil leaves.
When the pasta is two or three minutes from the al dente stage of crookedness, slowly heat the sauce stirring to mix all the ingredients.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the sauce. Mix well to coat the pasta with the sauce. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and two thirds of the basil leaves. Turn again to mix in.
Turn into a pasta bowl and garnish with the rest of the basil leaves.