Archive for the 'vegetables' Category

Cinnamon spiced squash and butter bean stew

cinnamon spiced squash and butter bean stew

cinnamon spiced squash and butter bean stew

First of all apologies for the long absence from the blog but work interferes with my experimenting in the kitchen big time! I am turning into a sad person: all work and not much play. Anyway, I finally managed to try something new last weekend: this lovely, winter warmer stew, straight from the Mildreds cookbook. Lovely served with rice or cous cous. A must for all the veggies out there. Continue reading ‘Cinnamon spiced squash and butter bean stew’

Puy lentil salad with roasted vegetables

Puy lentil salad with roasted vegetables

Puy lentil salad with roasted vegetables

Time to blog something healthy. I fear we have had too many calory laden things lately. As I was entertaining guests for Christmas I made this gorgeous salad courtesy of the  cookery book which my son’s lovely girlfriend kindly gave me for Christmas to add to my collection. Thank you Lucy!! It is called “Mildreds, the cookbook” and it is basically the recipe book of this vegetarian restaurant in London called…surprise, surprise, Mildreds (which is fab, by the way).  The book is full of really interesting, mouth watering vegetarian recipes. I can see me blogging more recipes from it. The good thing about this super healthy  salad is that you can eat it hot or cold and you can add goat’s cheese or feta cheese  to it, if you wish, thus making it a complete meal. I will definitely make it again. I didn’t follow the recipe religiously as I didn’t have all the vegetables, however I am sure there is room for variation. This is definitely something I shall make again…. Here is the original recipe, straight from the book. Continue reading ‘Puy lentil salad with roasted vegetables’

Roasted summer vegetables

roasted summer vegetables

roasted summer vegetables

Let’s blog something healthy for a change… I love roasted vegetables! And this dish is really straightforward, pleasant to look at and also very tasty. Ideal as a side dish for a barbeque, a quiche, grilled fish or whatever takes your fancy. I let it cool right down and served it at room temperature. I think the flavours develop even more. The inspiration came from Jamie Oliver. Feel free to add/take away any veggies you want: courgettes, butternut squash, asparagus, aubergines, etc. I have made it twice already  in the last couple of weeks, varying the veggies combination. Lovely both times! Continue reading ‘Roasted summer vegetables’

Spiced red cabbage

braised spicy red cabbage

spiced red cabbage

Welcome back, dear Candi! How I missed you… I did patiently wait for you return but I do confess it was beginning to feel like a monologue. Well …merry belated Christmas and a happy Boxing day to you and everyone else who reads this blog. For my Christmas lunch yesterday I made a nice roast crown of turkey (my vegetarianism took a bit of a knock) but also a nut roast (recipe to follow). Of course I also made lots of lovely vegetables to accompany them. One of them was the spiced red cabbage you see here, which is traditional to make at this time of the year.  My sister in law Stefania asked for the recipe so I thought I might as well blog it. There are many similar recipes around. I used one from Riverford, the organic farms website. I am not a lover of cabbage, I have got to be honest,  but I have got to say this way of making it is rather nice. The good thing about it is that you can make it in advance and eat it cold as well as hot. It keeps really well. The only problem is I slightly overestimated the amount we would need. I could probably have fed a battalion with the quantities I made! :-) By the way another nice variation on the theme this year in the vegetables department was with the brussel sprouts. Instead of the ones with chestnuts I usually make  I cooked them with caramelised onions and blue cheese. Yummy! Definitely a success!  Continue reading ‘Spiced red cabbage’

Caponata siciliana

caponata siciliana

caponata siciliana

This is a famous sweet and sour Sicilian dish which I had been meaning to make for a very long time and somehow never got round to do until recently. There are several versions available out there, depending on what part of Sicily they are from (please Carmelita don’t shoot me down if this recipe is not how you make it :-)) . The basic ingredients are aubergines, celery, onions, tomatoes, sultanas, capers and olives. But I have also seen it with peppers and pine kernels and a few other things besides. The version I have made was a bit of a compilation of  the recipes I saw on line. In some of them you have to salt the aubergines beforehand in order to make them expel some of their liquid. I didn’t bother doing that. Life is too short. Caponata is better eaten the day after you have made it so that the flavours get a chance to develop. Also it shouldn’t be served hot but at room temperature. I served it as a starter with some homemade bread but it could accompany a variety of other dishes and dips. Ideal for a buffet. It’s really delicious!  Continue reading ‘Caponata siciliana’

Green veggies stir fry with egg-fried rice

green veggies stir fry with egg fried rice

green veggies stir fry with egg fried rice

I don’t know why I don’t make stir fries more often, particularly now that I am the proud owner of a fabulous non-stick ceramic wok (thanks to a massive hint dropped in my husband’s ear before my birthday). :-) Stir fries are quick, they are easy to make and they are healthy. Not to mention cheap. Now, thanks to the aforementioned wok, I won’t end up with an almighty burnt mess at the bottom of the pan.  A massive plus point there, then! This recipe is from the mighty Hugh (Fearnley- Whittingstall. Who else?)’s River Cottage book Eat veg every day, which I LOVE.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is vegetarian. So many appealing recipes in there! In the book it  goes by the name of Summer Stir-fry but I couldn’t call it that, being November! So I re-christened it. Why not? By the way I have tried it with egg-fried rice as the recipe suggests, as well as with rice noodles. I liked them both. Of course you can add other ingredients like mushrooms, broccoli florets, cashew nuts,  prawns, etc..  and I might just do that next time. The only faff (if we can call it that) is that you have to chop all vegetables beforehand and have everything ready, which means stacks of little bowls/plates/chopping boards all over the place. Still, definitely worth the effort and the mess in the kitchen! Continue reading ‘Green veggies stir fry with egg-fried rice’

Mujaddara

mujadarra                                                                                                    mujaddara

Although I confess I had never heard about this dish until my son waxed lyrical about it and urged me to add it to my vegetarian repertoire (I think I have already mentioned I have more or less dropped meat from my diet ), it is apparently very popular in the Arab world. It’s a one pot dish made with lentils, rice and caramelized onions as a base. It’s great to make as it’s a complete meal : it contains proteins, carbohydrates and vegetables. And it’s dead simple as well as being cheap, filling and surprisingly very tasty. What more can anyone want? I have seen different spellings of it as well as different recipes on line. What I am blogging is a combination of what I’ve found. It worked for me but feel free to experiment with spices and herbs. My son’s recipe for example was a bit simpler than the one I ended up making. And by the way, isn’t it nice when one gets ideas of things to cook from her own son? I must have brought him up well then… :-) By the way it’s nice served with a dollop of Greek yoghurt. Continue reading ‘Mujaddara’

Fiori di zucca in pastella di farina di ceci (la pastella vegana)

DSC_0125 Ecco qua un altro prodotto dell’orto condiviso di Matteo e dei suoi amici. Non solo i crochi viola dello zafferano, ma anche questi bellissimi fiori gialli di zucca. E allora avanti con le pastelle. Del resto è da poco che Lucina ha postato una deliziosa combinazione di verdurine in pastella. Ma oggi, complice quello che c’era in dispensa e il desiderio di limitare le uova, mi è venuta l’idea di provare una nuova pastellina. E poi… una delle mie bimbe preferite è diventata vegana. Allora ecco qua una pastella per lei e per la sua mamma. Si può usare naturalmente con altre verdure. E chissà anche con pesce e gamberetti… se non sei vegano naturalmente.

A casa è piaciuto molto il suo sapore di farinata…

Continue reading ‘Fiori di zucca in pastella di farina di ceci (la pastella vegana)’

Breadcrumbed fennel

breadcrumbed fennel

I don’t know about you but I adore fennel! I love its aniseedy flavour. I often steam it and then add a bit of crème fraiche and grated parmesan to it. Simple and delicious. But today I was in the mood to try something new. Cast your eyes on the left hand side of the picture to see what the final result looked like. Ignore the rest. I was impressed with how nice this way of cooking fennel was. Ok, I confess: it’s a bit of a faff and your kitchen will look  like a bomb site by the time you have finished ( you have to dip it in three different things before frying it) BUT it’s worth it. I had it with salmon and mangetout, as you can see, but I think these delightful slices of breadcrumbed fennel  would go equally  well with some sort of dips as a starter or indeed as an  accompaniment to any roast. Try it for yourself! Continue reading ‘Breadcrumbed fennel’

Patate Hasselback

Mi lancio nei luoghi comuni. Il tempo è impazzito, non ci sono più le stagioni di una volta… E infatti Laura a Bruxelles mi guarda dallo schermo Skype in canottiera mentre io le rispondo con una bella felpetta a maniche lunghe. Lucina in Inghilterra sceglie dal florilegio del blog tutte le ricette rinfrescanti e io penso a qualche bel piattino caldo per le fresche serate di questa mezz’estate con l’ombrello. Il cielo ha più di 50 sfumature di grigio e la programmata gita in montagna da fare col sole dovrà aspettare, mi sa, dicembre. Ecco dunque questo piatto tradizionale per niente estivo ma che noi abbiamo gradito. Ok, molto burro, ma per una volta… (ahi, mi sa che anche la prossima ricetta che posterò non sarà molto light…). Ah, dimenticavo: pare che Hasselback fosse un ristorante svedese (quindi ecco una ricetta degna di entrare nelle tradizioni di famiglia). E la foto? C’era, c’era ma l’ho cancellata per sbaglio! Continue reading ‘Patate Hasselback’