Vegan

Back to the roots #3 – Festive recipes: Parsnip or celeriac oven chips with beetroot dip

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Photography by http://www.dangreenphotography.com
Do you find it hard to get your little ones to tuck into root vegetable other than potato? This is a festive recipe that make everyone happy and it will use up your Riverside Market Garden festive vegetable box contents rather nicely. These oven chips are tasty, nutritious and comforting. Serve with Lia’s Kitchen beetroot and feta dip as a snack or side. They are so easy and fuss-free to make and once you try these you might never go back to deep-fried, potato chips. And as always you can sprinkle some home made dukkah on this delight – guess what …we have a dukkah recipe too.

 

Ingredients (snack quantity or enough for two)

  • 350g parsnip, celeriac or turnip or a mix
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sweet or smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

Preparation (40min)

  1. Wash the vegetable well with a brush or peel and wash.
  2. Chop in long chip sticks and in a baking tray toss in the thyme, paprika, salt and olive oil.
  3. Roast for 30 minutes in a medium oven (180 centigrade) or until cooked enough to pierce with a fork but not falling apart.
  4. For Lia’s Kitchen beetroot dip please see www.liaskitchen.com.

Back to the roots #2 – Festive recipes: Parsnip and/or Jerusalem artichoke maple roasties

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Continuing with the festive theme, here is another roast vegetable recipe which can accompany any chosen Christmas dinner meats or veggie roast. I think it will particularly delicious with goose.Once again this is a stress-free recipe which does not require  extensive preparation. It is versatile enough for you to use with many of the white root vegetables that you can find in your Riverside Market Garden festive vegetable box. Personally I have great difficulty stopping myself from devouring these before I place them on the dinner table. Let’s hope I manage it this time for the family’s sake!

Don’t forget to order your festive Riverside Market Garden vegetable box by Wednesday 16 December here: https://store.buckybox.com/riverside-market-garden

Ingredients (feed 4-6 as part of a roast dinner)

  • 6 Jerusalem artichokes (around 250g)
  • 1 large parsnip (around 200g)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2-3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground salt to season
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil to dress

Preparation

  1. Wash the artichoke and parsnip well with a brush or peel. I prefer both vegetable with the skin on if you cut off any ‘hairy’ bits and chop the top and tail off.
  2. Roughly chop and mix well with all ingredients in a baking tray.
  3. Roast for 40 minutes in a medium oven (180 centigrade) or until cooked enough to pierce with a fork but not falling apart.
  4. Particularly delicious with roast goose, duck or a hearty nut roast.

Back to the roots #3 – December festive recipes: Parsnip or celeriac oven chips with beetroot dip

Back to the roots #1– Festive recipes: The Mixed Root Roast with Dukkah

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Photography by http://www.dangreenphotography.com
I am getting ready for Christmas, are you? Personally I don’t want to worry about getting the exact quantity of specific root vegetable for my Christmas dinner right – I rather like using what I have. So here is a recipe which is adaptable to any root vegetable at your disposal for your Christmas dinner. It is a moreish alternative to roast veggies you might have previously served at Christmas. And if you have already ordered a vegetable festive box from Riverside Market Garden you should have exactly what you need to make this dish which will complement your turkey, goose, pork or other roast of choice beautifully. I strongly recommend using a sprinkle of the delicious dukkah condiment, the recipe of which you can also find on Lia’s Kitchen website here.

Ingredients (feed 4-6 as part of a Christmas or other roast dinner)

  • 600g mixed root vegetable, coarsely chopped (use equal amounts of e.g. parsnip, carrot and Jerusalem artichokes or celeriac and or 200g of each)
  • 3 leeks, coarsely chopped
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp ajwain/carom seeds or dried oregano (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp Dukkah mixture (optional- see recipe here https://liaskitchen.com/2015/12/12/the-wonderful-dukkah-condiment/)

 Preparation

  1. Peel or wash the root vegetable well with a brush and coarsely chop it together with leek.
  2. If using celeriac and Jerusalem artichokes place these in a bowl of acidulated water to avoid them turning brown, i.e. water with some lemon juice or vinegar.
  3. In a baking tray pour enough olive oil to line its wide base.
  4. Stir fry the vegetable and leek for 5 minutes after adding the salt and thyme.
  5. Add the sesame, adjwein or oregano (optional) and stir to make sure all veg is coated well in the oil.
  6. Roast for 40 minutes in a medium oven (180 centigrade) until the veg is cooked enough to pierce with a fork but does not fall apart.
  7. Sprinkle with the Dukkah mixture generously once you have removed from the oven. If you do not want to add the Dukkah season to taste adding a couple of pinches of salt.

Lemon Thyme Olive Tapenade

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This recipe is for the Pequito-Cruz family

This tapenade is inspired by Summer and it featured on the menu of our first popup lunch on 22 June. Themed after the Mediterranean and Iberian cuisines we paired this zesty but sweet tapenade with a Classic Italian bruschetta for a special appetiser. Easy and fuss free it’s the perfect dip or spread. A perfect surprise for barbecues and the summer season.

Ingredients

160g drained and pitted black olives
1 garlic clove
2 T lemon juice
1 handful fresh flat leaf parsley
Leaves of two twigs of fresh lemon thyme
1 T honey
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Preparation

Add all ingredients in a blender and blend to a chunky consistency.

Lia’s tips

Don’t cream the tapenade as it’s much better if it’s chunkier. I used the Vitamix of the venue I cooked at, at the highest setting. The tapenade was still delicious but I prefer it chunkier.

Add a tablespoon of oil if you wish so that the tapenade binds better.

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Moorish Mint Sauce

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This is a recipe for Suzanna and Andre. Thank you for the Easter visit, and the wonderful start to Spring.

This sauce will not let you down. You can use it as a salad dressing. It can add sharpness and a crescendo to dips or rice dishes when sprinkled over them as a finishing touch. And for the carnivores it is the perfect companion to roast lamb.

The freshness of mint reminds of summer. It is a herb so loved and an essential ingredient in Greek , North African , Arabic but also Caribbean cuisines which are amongst my favourite.

Not only does mint pair beautifully with cinnamon, lemon and lime, in drinks , foods and condiments but it’s medicinal properties are renowned. Mint is an antiseptic, it calms stomach upset, it decongests and helps us breath easy, but it also stimulates the mind.

Mint has many varieties, plain mint, peppermint and spearmint are the best known. As the summer sneaks in why not try to add mint to more of your drinks and food, it will lift you up and accentuate all flavours like no other herb , trust me.

Ingredients

1 large handful of fresh mint
1/2 cup olive oil
3 T white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove roughly chopped
1/2 t salt

Preparation

Add all the ingredients in a blender

Pulse until the mint is finely chopped and turned into a creamy sauce.

Add toasted almonds for an extra special flavour .

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Red quinoa with sweet potato

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Quinoa with sweet potato is becoming a real favourite at Lia’s Kitchen both when we are receiving guests but also when we are touring. This is an easy to make but very nutritious dish. It was on our September supperclub menu and last night this was a side dish at our dinner table when our Braunton family visited.

I am writing down this recipe for Miss Lyra May, or more accurately for her mom Beth, because she promised me that if her mommy cooks this recipe for her she will keep eating  quinoa.

Now I know that this nearly four year old lady is a smart negotiator but , my dear Beth, I still think it is worth giving this a go. After all Miss Lyra’s one year old brother never objected at all to eating the quinoa.

Ingredients

Yield 6-8

1 cup red , mixed or plain quinoa

2 cups vegetable stock

1 large sweet potato coarsely grated

1 large onion finely chopped

1 (fresh) bay leaf

1/2 t mixed spices of cinnamon, cloves, pepper or a small pinch of each (optional)

1 garlic clove mashed (optional)

150 gr mince quorn (optional)

a couple of squeezes lime or lemon (optional)

1 small bunch parsley finely chopped

salt

Preparation

30 minutes

Boil two cups water  and make vegetable stock.

Simmer the quinoa for up to twenty minutes, until cooked but not sticky.

Add enough olive oil to cover the base of a frying pan.

Add the onion and the bay leaf and sauté for a couple of minutes.

Add a pinch of salt.

Add the sweet potato and stir fry until soft -5 to 10 minutes.

Add the quinoa , parsley and if you need to some more olive oil.

Taste and season is necessary.

If you are using citrus juice add last.

Stir well and enjoy.

 

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What to do with ten kilos of onions

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Have you ever ordered something in a half-asleep kind of way?

A few weeks ago when ordering pie ingredients from Cardiff Market  I ended up with about 10kg of onions in excess even after cooking many caramelised onion pies. In the process of making the order I was wearing my astute-business-woman face, hiding tiredness from a long day at work. And the only thing I heard the helpful man say was ‘very little money for a lot of onions’ to which of course I said ‘yes’. It is unlike me to be imprecise with orders (on food or anything really) but this wonderful mistake gave me the opportunity to experiment cooking with a lot of onions within a short period of time.

Admittedly Dan and I will not have onion soup again for a while. But we gratefully savoured its thyme and wine flavours during a May week when the weather had turned bad, we got ill and the heating came on again.  French onion soup recipes online are plenty but my version is closest to Elise Bauer’s one on Simply Recipes because I also use no butter. And on occasion I choose to leave out the garlic and also make Gruyere cheese toast on granary bread instead of baguette croutons.

The bulk of my excess onions however I turned into a spiced onion chutney. I almost followed a recipe from Allotment Growing Recipes   but did not use as much sugar and added ground pimento berries, bay leaves, port and red wine. The result is a fragrant onion chutney that compliments strong and piquant cheeses competently and also works well with beef burgers.  I converted and amended the recipe below for you.

Ingredients
Make up to 9 medium jars and about 4Kg of Chutney.

5kg onions (peeled and chopped)
800gr dark brown sugar
9 Tbsp olive oil
3 lemons, juiced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tsp ground nutmeg
3 tsp ground ginger
6 tsp ground coriander
3 tsp ground cloves
6 tsp salt
3 tsp black pepper and pimento berries ground together
9 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
6 Tbsp malt vinegar
1 shot of red wine
1-2 shots of port

Preparation and jarring
At least 4 hours

Heat the oil in a 5lt pot, add onions and sauté for at least 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add the vinegars, lemon juice and spices and cook for 2 minutes.

Add sugar and then simmer uncovered for at least 3 hours.

Half way through cooking add the wine and port.

The chutney is ready when the liquid is reduced even if not fully evaporated- it will thicken when you stir.

About half an hour before the chutney is done sterilise jars.

Boil clean jars and their lids in bubbling water for 10 minutes.

Whilst doing that preheat the oven at 110 centigrade.

Line a baking tray with a clean towel.

Place the jars upside down on the tray using metal tongs.

Leave in the over for 15 minutes.

Ladle the chutney into hot, sterilised jars and seal immediately.

Label the jars when fully cool.

The chutney should keep for a year.

Lia’s Notes:

  • Be prepared to peel and chop 5 Kg of onions for about hour if you have as small a kitchen as mine.
  • I added the vinegars and lemons half an hour in the cooking process is as I was adding and sautéing onions gradually.
  • Leave the lid off!
  • Keep on low heat and stir regularly. Caramelised is good and burnt is bad.
  • I put 800gr sugar but next time I’ll use less.
  • Keep the jars in the oven if you have to wait a bit longer for the chutney to cook. The jars need to be hot if you are filling with hot chutney.
  • Good instructions for sterilising can be found on Taste.com, an Australian website.
  • The simple rule of jarring is to never add hot chutney to a cold jar and vice versa.

Lemons and how to preserve them

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Today I am writing about an experiment. I have no clue whether it will work or not in its virginal attempt but I thought I’d tell you anyway because … I am excited. I have had a go at preserving lemons, which I can then use to accentuate the flavours of tagine dishes. And apparently I could even exepriment with cakes and deserts that use preserved lemons.

Lemons, their colour, their scent, their flavour, their overall character brightness, mean happiness to me. My friend Becks loves the Forsythia hedge in our garden for its yellow flowers and the tone of happiness they bring into our house. They light up the scene. Lemons and their sunshine hue have the same effect on me.

So on a gloomy day like this, when the sun might have gone on holiday to Spain, what better idea than to surround yourself with the colour yellow and cheer your self up! Have a lemonade and wear something yellow!

Ingredients for preserved lemons

Enough for a 10cm diameter jar and about 8 cm height

4 Lemons for preserving

1 Lemon for juice

1 Bay leaf

Some peppercorns

4 Heaped tbsp coarse salt

Additional coarse salt for jar layering


Preparation

20min and 1 month preservation (at least)

Wash unwaxed lemons really well.

Juice the juiciest of lemons. Then slice the leftover skin in strips.

Layer the bottom of the jar with a couple of heaped tbsp of coarse salt.

Cut the four lemons in four but avoid cutting through them. Cut along the middle of the lemon first and then across.

Pull the flesh of each lemon open and add 1 or more tbsp of heaped salt inside it.

Add lemons to the jar snuggly and top with more coarse salt.

Sprinkle with peppercorns between layers.

Add bay leaves to the sides of the jar.

Top with strips of the juiced lemon flesh and top with more salt.

Pour the lemon juice over the contents of the jar.

Push down lemons with a wooden spoon to bring lemon juices out.

Seal and wait patiently for at least a month for your lemons to preserve.

Lia’s Notes:

  • You can also use limes. I added one lime to make the experiment more interesting.
  • Salt takes away the lemons bitterness. Same effect it has on aubergines when you prepare them for cooking.
  • You can keep preserved lemons for about a year.
  • My tinterweb research reveals thta Meyer lemons are the best for preserved lemons. I just used what I had.
  • I decided to use flavourings inspired by Snowflake Kitchen’s Blog and as I have bay leaves in abundance all year around.
  • Zoe English makes the best preserved lemons I have tried. Fact. She has ecnouraged me to do my own. Who she is I am sure you will find out soon 🙂
  • Punk Domestics, a directory of cooks and community activity and a gateway to cookery blogs, is how I learnt to preserve lemons.
  • Through Punk Domestics, I filtered down my preferred preserved lemon recipes which in addition to Snowflake Kitchen’s Blog can be seen on the One tomato, two tomato, The view from the Island (with star anise) and Head Space Canning blogs.
  • Enjoy preserving sunshine!

 

Lemons and how to preserve them on Punk Domestics

Tourlou!

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Spring is here! I am writing to you from one of our local cafés. Its wide French doors are open to an outdoor terrace. It’s still light and warm and a soft breeze just brought in scents of blossom (and something delicious cooking in a kitchen).

I have chosen to share with you the recipe for Tourlou, a mixed vegetable dish that tastes like spring and summer to me. A fridge chilled portion of it with some crumbled feta (surprise, surprise!) is just as nice to eat as straight after cooking or cooled to room temperature. But I’d prefer the chilled version today because it makes me think of Vourvourou, my friend Maria and resting in the shade in her company sipping a chilled beer (sigh!).

Back to cooking! Tourlou is an easy recipe and great for using a medley of vegetable. It can be a light evening dinner on its own or served with rice, a delicious side dish or alternative to salad, and a fantastic tapa or meze. And apparently Tourlou is the same as briam only it’s cooked on a hob- here’s something new for food geeks like me.

Ingredients
Serves 2 for main and more as a meze or side

1 aubergine
2 courgette
2-3 potatoes
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
1 pepper, chopped (optional)
1 carrot (optional)
200g ripe tomatoes, finely chopped or chopped in blender
OR
1 can chopped tomatoes (400g mixed weight)
Small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
Pepper (to taste)
Olive oil

Preparation
Takes up to an hour

Wash all vegetable, peel the potatoes, and dice it all in five centimeter (large) chunks.

Sauté the onion and a pinch of salt in about two Tbsp olive oil for a couple of minutes.

Add one or two more Tbsp olive oil, the vegetable, toss and fry for about five minutes.

Add the garlic, let it fry for a minute without burning and add the tomatoes.

Add the sugar and also season with salt and pepper.

Stir well and cover.

Lower the heat and simmer for forty minutes or until the potatoes are soft.

Add the chopped parsley at the end or half way through the cooking.

Lia’s Notes:

  • For a good Tourlou do not to stir during simmering to avoid breaking the vegetable as it softens.
  • The tomatoes should have enough juice for all the vegetable to cook but halfway through cooking check if you need to add a couple of Tbsp of water to make sure the potatoes cook.
  • Replace potatoes with other root vegetable such as parsnip if you like.
  • I prefer cooking Tourlou with more aubergine and one courgette.
  • Use any vegetable you like. Okra is fantastic in tourlou but might take a bit longer to cook.
  • For Briam use the same ingredients, add a little bit of water and cover a baking tray with foil. Slow cook for about an hour in the oven.

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Scrambu

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An alternative to scrambled eggs. It’s nice to imagine recipes for ingredients you did not know how to cook with. Scrambu has made Tofu part of our regular diet easily.

Ingredients

Serves up to 4

350gr Tofu, plain or smoked
1 onion finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika, plain or smoked
½ tsp salt
2 tsp mustard seeds
100gr baby plum or cherry tomatoes (handful)
100gr grated cheddar cheese
1 small bunch of fresh coriander or basil
Garam massala spices (optional if you are using coriander)
pepper
Oil

Preparation

Sauté the onion in a bit of oil until translucent. Season with a pinch of salt.

Add the mustard seeds until they start popping.

Add the tomatoes sliced in half or quarters and cook for a few minutes until softened.

Crumble the tofu with your hands into the mixture.

Add the turmeric and paprika and stir with a wooden spoon. Add as much turmeric as you need to make the tofu look like scramble eggs.

Cook the tofu with your spices for about five minutes. Season with the rest of your salt and pepper.

Turn the heat off and add the grated cheese. Toss until the cheese it melts nicely.

Taste and season more if required, tofu is very bland and might need more salt than you thought it does.

Be creative with your spices in tofu. You can make Indian, Thai or Italian flavoured scrambu as we do or make your own version. Coriander goes really well with garam massala spices and you can add a chilli pepper too. But the basil and tomato version is very tasty too with a pinch of cinnamon or pimento berries.

Enjoy on warm buttered toast.

 

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