A recipe inspired by the way Iranians make their open omelette or frittata, known as Kuku. It uses March’s seasonal vegetable like carrots and spinach still abundant at Blaencamel farm and in their weekly organic vegetable boxes. This type of frittata uses a generous quantity of ingredients so don’t be surprised when you see how much vegetable goes in it – it is what sets it apart from other open omelettes.
You can find Blaencamel farm vegetables at both Farmers’ markets in Cardiff, Roath and Riverside, on Saturday and Sunday respectively, but also in Aberystwyth and their own farm shop. Order their boxes here.
Ingredients (4 portions)
- 250g (3 medium) carrots, coarsely grated
- 150g spinach, finely chopped
- 15g (half a small bunch) parsley, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 50g sundried tomatoes or mixed antipasti e.g. peppers and artichokes, finely chopped
- 30g cashews, chopped
- 3 Tbsp. Goji berries (optional)
- Fresh mandarin or orange juice
- 100g (half a pack) feta cheese, crumbled
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- A generous pinch of smoked or regular sweet paprika
- ½ tsp oregano
- 1 generous pinch of saffron strands
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 6 eggs
- 2 generous pinches of salt
- ½ tsp. sugar
- Olive oil
Preparation (30 minutes)
- Add enough fresh mandarin or orange juice to cover the goji berries in a small bowl or mug. Infuse whilst prepping.
- Add a tablespoon (or two) of olive oil to a 20 to 25cm non-stick pan, and sauté the onion on low heat with a pinch of salt and the sugar until it caramelises (5-10 min).
- Pound the saffron in a bowl with a rolling pin, beat in the eggs and allow time for the saffron to infuse in them.
- Remove the onions from the pan, add another tablespoon of oil, add the carrots and cumin. Sauté until soft (5 min).
- Return the onions to the frying pan, add the goji berries, cashews, sundried tomatoes and antipasti. Mix well.
- Add the spinach and parsley little by little so that it slightly wilts. You don’t need to cook your spinach much or at all but you might choose to wilt it a bit of you are using a smaller pan.
- Add the flour, pinch of salt, baking powder, paprika and oregano to the eggs and beat until the flour is mixed well and to give the eggs some volume and softness.
- Mix into the pan gradually and carefully making sure the beaten egg goes to the bottom of the pan and mixes in well between the abundant ingredients to hold them together. The pan should remain on low heat all this time.
- Make sure that the ingredients are spread evenly on the pan and sprinkle the feta cheese on top.
- After firming up the frittata on the hob for a couple of minutes, you can cook the frittata in two ways: a) If your pan is heat resistant place it in a preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes at 180-200 degrees –cover with a lid or aluminium foil for half the time, or b) Cover the pan with a lid or plate. Continue cooking on the hob on low heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Then place under a preheated grill for a couple of minutes or until golden and risen.
- If using a 20cm pan it should be at least 5cm dip to make a cake like frittata that will rise.
- You can choose to omit or include ingredients on this list. It is also very easy to replace them. For example goji berries can be replaced with cranberries or even barberries if you prefer an authentic Iranian taste.
Most of the people I know in Britain talk about how much they love Greek spanakopita (spinach pie) but my all-time favourite is actually Greek leek pie (prasópita). What best way to bring together my two homes other than in this wholesome, winter recipe?
Leeks are currently in season and Blaencamel Farm’s boxes and market stalls showcase this wonderful Welsh ingredient. You can make this pie using a couple of organic bunches of leek and one onion. And you will thank me for it as the flavour of Blaencamel’s leeks is special. Every bite will make you feel nourished and shun away the winter blues. Happy pie eating!
Join Lia’s Kitchen cooking classes on 3 and 10 February to find out more and savour Greek cuisine. Book here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/lias-kitchen-7901836356
Ingredients (4-6 portions or 12 pieces)
- 2 bunches Blaencamel Farm leeks (around 700g)
- 1 onion
- 200g Feta cheese
- 2 organic eggs
- 15g fresh dill (optional)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- 250g filo pastry (packs available at most supermarkets)
- Olive oil for cooking and pastry basting
For the glazing
- 1 espresso cup milk
- 1 tsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
Preparation (up to an hour)
- Peel, halve and slice the onion finely.
- Rub the salt and sugar in the onion slices with your finger until they are well separated.
- Let the onions sweat for ten minutes.
- Meanwhile trim the leeks and halve lengthwise. Place in a basin filled with water and rinse well to remove all dirt from between the layers. Repeat at least twice.
- Coat the base of a wide pan or pot with enough olive oil and preheat. The pot or pan should have a lid.
- Add the onions and slowly fry, covered until they caramelise.
- While the onions caramelise slice the leeks finely or roughly.
- When the onion is ready add the leeks and stir fry for ten minutes on medium heat until softened.
- Remove from heat (and pan if possible) and cool down.
- In a big bowl beat the eggs lightly and crumble the feta cheese.
- Add the leeks and onion mix to the eggs and feta. Add the pepper and mix well.
- Pick a baking tray (around 36cmx40 but can be a bit bigger) and using a brush or your hands oil its base and sides well.
- Layer half the filo pastry sheets one by one (6-8 depending on the pack), lightly oiling each sheet with olive oil using a brush or your clean fingers.
- Don’t oil the last sheet and pour the leek pie filling spreading it evenly across the tray with the back of a spoon.
- Repeat the layering process over the filling.
- Heat up the milk and butter in a small pot until the butter melts.
- Pour on top of the pie, starting from its edges but making sure that the full surface of the top sheet is also moistened. Tuck the corners in to seal the pie.
- Using a sharp knife slice the pie into twelve portions.
- Sprinkle the sesame seeds and bake in a medium oven (180 Celsius) for 30-45 minutes until golden.
Last week the amazing We Are Cardiff blog asked me to develop a recipe for them! And here it is together with the full blog.
Remember to find out more about Greek food join one of Lia’s Kitchen intimate cooking classes on 3 and 10 February. I will be introducing participants to Greek Kitchen basics but will also be sharing Greek flavours and recipes that are not yet widely known in the UK. You can book online here www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/lias-kitchen-7901836356.
Or contact Lia for more information at email@example.com.
Cima di rapa is a star ingredient grown organically in our very own patch by the fantastic Blaencamel Farm this January. It is a broccoli sprouting (Broccoli raab/Rapini) loved in Southern Italian/Puglian cooking, typically in anchovy and butter sauce combinations and served with orecchiette pasta. Together with the other greens offered in Blaencamel vegetable boxes and at farmers’ markets this January, Cima di Rapa has inspired a Lia’s Kitchen dish that takes me back to my Greek – greens – loving roots but also uses coconut milk, an ingredient I have come to love through my travels in India and Cambodia. Good and ample sea salt is essential for your recipe, as Cima di rapa loves a salty kick.
Ingredients (4 portions)
- 700g mixed Blaencamel farm greens, such as 2 bunches of Cima di Rapa, half a bag of spinach and half a bag of winter sproutings
- 5-10g peeled ginger (size of the top of your thumb)
- 1 big peeled garlic clove
- 1.5 cups of coconut milk for drinks OR 1 tin of coconut milk for cooking (400ml)
- 4 tbsp. coconut oil, if using coconut milk for drinks OR 1 tbsp. coconut oil, if using tinned coconut milk for cooking
- 1 heaped tsp. Oliveology’s truffle salt or Pembrokeshire Beach company Seaweed Salt
- 1 heaped tsp sea salt
- A pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
- 1 tsp Pembrokeshire Beach Company Kelp Seaweed (optional)
* You can source Pembrokeshire Beach Company products at Penylan Pantry.
Preparation (20 minutes)
- Wash all the greens really well. To ensure all dirt is removed leave the greens in a bowl or basin for around 10 minutes after the first wash.
- In a big pot add enough boiling water to cover the greens (stalks included) and boil for around 10-15 minutes on low heat, or until the stalks are cooked.
- Whilst the greens are cooking, heat the coconut oil and fry the ginger and garlic for a few minutes (roughly chopped in 2-3 three chunks each).
- Then add the coconut milk of your choice, the specialty salt and the kelp seaweed salt and chilli flakes if you are using.
- Lower the heat and simmer the coconut sauce for 5-10 minutes or until the greens are cooked.
- When the greens are ready, drain them keeping the liquid from the boiling process. You can use the liquid to boil pasta or noodles in it (if that’s a serving preference) and you might need a little bit of the liquid to thin the sauce of the dish, particularly if you are using tinned coconut milk.
- Return the greens in your big pot and pour the thin coconut sauce over them, simmering for another couple of minutes.
- If the coconut sauce has thickened use some of the liquid (kept after draining) to thin it. This is a dish for which you should have a runny, thin sauce to serve the greens in. The end result should be something between a thin soup and a stir fry.
- Cool down for 5 minutes and serve with bread or noodles to enjoy the flavoursome and nourishing sauce.
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
- Wash the vegetable well with a brush or peel and wash.
- Chop in long chip sticks and in a baking tray toss in the thyme, paprika, salt and olive oil.
- Roast for 30 minutes in a medium oven (180 centigrade) or until cooked enough to pierce with a fork but not falling apart.
- For Lia’s Kitchen beetroot dip please see www.liaskitchen.com.
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!
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
- 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.
- Roughly chop and mix well with all ingredients in a baking tray.
- Roast for 40 minutes in a medium oven (180 centigrade) or until cooked enough to pierce with a fork but not falling apart.
- 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
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/)
- Peel or wash the root vegetable well with a brush and coarsely chop it together with leek.
- 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.
- In a baking tray pour enough olive oil to line its wide base.
- Stir fry the vegetable and leek for 5 minutes after adding the salt and thyme.
- Add the sesame, adjwein or oregano (optional) and stir to make sure all veg is coated well in the oil.
- 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.
- 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.