Archive for the 'Verdure' Category

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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’

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’

Verdurine fritte in pastella

verdurine fritte in pastella

Once again I resort to the Italian title which sounds a lot nicer than its English equivalent. Basically these are vegetable strips fried in a light batter. The novelty is that they include courgettes’ flowers (in the picture they are the blobby things in the  bottom right corner). Oh yes! These are a delicacy in Italy and something I have always wanted to try making. You can stuff them, fry them or indeed use them in other recipes. The only problem was they don’t sell the flowers here in the UK (they do in Italy). So imagine my delight when the courgette I planted  and  nurtured this year started growing like mad and producing lots of courgettes as well as flowers! I have never seen anything as big as this plant! It has basically taken over my mini vegetable patch (which I created in an old whisky barrel). Every day I look and another couple of courgettes have sprung up. Unbelievable! Do they all grow as fast as that? Anyway I had 4 flowers to use today so I decided it would be a bit of a waste to make the batter just to fry them, hence the idea of adding other vegetables. I used courgettes (of course), carrots and asparagus. Of course you can try other vegetables too. Peppers would be very nice for example, as well as aubergines or cauliflower. The recipe for the batter, which I thought was very light, came from the Giallo Zafferano website. By the way: you must eat them as soon as you have cooked them or they lose their crunchiness. Needless to say the diet will start tomorrow…ha ha 😉 Continue reading ‘Verdurine fritte in pastella’

Lentil and mushroom curry

lentil and mushroom curry

The idea to make this wholesome curry came from my son Tom, who, just like his mother, enjoys experimenting in the kitchen. We often swap ideas and recipes over the phone. I kind of made up this recipe as I went along: I looked at what ingredients I had available and used them so I’m sure you can alter/adapt/add. It’s a very simple dish to make and surprisingly tasty.  It was even nicer the following day. I served it with a home made naan (see recipe here) as you can see from the picture.  By the way I have effectively become vegetarian. I  still eat meat when I go to people’s houses , etc. but I have stopped buying it. I only buy fish. I’m sure I’ll be all the better for it. Anyway, the point is that I have to make sure to eat a balanced diet which doesn’t mean a slice of cake in both hands. 😉 That’s why I like eating pulses: they are a good source of proteins , they are  cheap, low-fat and also contain precious fibre, vitamins and minerals. What more can we want? Continue reading ‘Lentil and mushroom curry’

Roasted ratatouille

roasted ratatouille

I said I would use again the Chocolate & Zucchini book and here I am , true to my promise, sharing a nice, healthy vegetables recipe ( long overdue, after all the cakes blogged recently!).  Everyone will be familiar with the traditional ratatouille. I’ve got to admit I am not a fan: I find it a bit bland, in truth. But not this one! Roasting the vegetables definitely adds to the flavour. Plus it’s even easier to do than the traditional one made on the hob as you put everything in a roasting dish and bang it in the oven, without the need to stir. It can be eaten hot or cold, so it’s ideal if you want to make it in advance. I had some leftover and tossed it in some pasta the following day. It was even nicer! I would definitely recommend it. Continue reading ‘Roasted ratatouille’

Involtini agrodolci di melanzane e zucchini

Ho preso questa ricetta dal sito di Io Donna, il magazine cosidetto femminile del Corriere., cambiandola un po’ ed estendedola anche alle zucchine.  Giusto un modo di acchiappare la coda dell’estate che se n’è andata prima di immergerci nelle mille varietà di cavoli che ci offrono l’autunno e l’inverno. In effetti è molto fresca ed è più adatta alla stagione calda. Continue reading ‘Involtini agrodolci di melanzane e zucchini’

Red lentils dal

red lentils dal

Nothing for ten days and then two recipes all at once? What’s going on? Well….why not, eh? I like living on the edge, me! Seriously, the reason for my absence was simply that I have not been in residence. Like previous years I went to spend a few days in Edinburgh for the fringe festival. Brill! While I was there I met up with my youngest son Tom and , as it’s often the case, we ended up talking about food. Like mother, like son…He loves cooking too and this dal recipe is one of his favourites. So much so that apparently he “inflicts” it on his girlfriend at least once a week (I’m sure she is getting a bit fed up by now, good though it is!).! Anyway, dal is a very common Indian dish made with pulses. This simple but flavoursome version is based on red lentils. What I like about this recipe is that it’s very straightforward and can be used as a base. You can try adding other vegetables to it such as chick peas, potatoes, cauliflower, spinach, tomatoes etc.. I have seen many variations on the internet. Served with the naan bread I have just blogged works really well! :-) Continue reading ‘Red lentils dal’

Torta salata di catalogna, pere e pecorino

Sono sempre alla ricerca di una pasta brisèe o simile che mi soddisfi senza usare troppo burro e che usi qualche farina alternativa per variare. Questa con un po’ di farina di riso e con il formaggio magro cremoso mi ha molto soddisfatto. Poi la si può riempire nei soliti o insoliti modi.

Questa volta ho riempito la pasta con la catalogna che ho pulito, fatto bollire in acqua salata per 10 minuti, sciacquato in acqua fredda (per farle perdere l’amaro) e fatto appassire per un’altra decina di minuti con un po’ di olio e aglio. L’ho poi messa su un disco fatto con la metà della pasta steso il più sottile possibile, ci ho messo sopra il pecorino a fettine e poi una pera tagliata sottile. Ho ricoperto con l’altra metà della pasta e infornato a 180° per 35-40 minuti.

Ingredienti per la pasta

50gr burro

200 gr formaggio cremoso

100gr farina 0

100 gr. farina di riso

1 cucchiaino di sale

2 cucchiaini di bicarbonato di sodio

Ho messo tutto nel mixer e ho azionato il minimo indispensabile per formare una palla di pasta che poi ho messo in frigo almeno per un’ora, meglio di più. Quando il ripieno è pronto, stendo i due dischi, confeziono la torta e poi rimetto nel frigo per un’altra mezzoretta. Più rimane fredda meglio.

 

 

Roasted roots with mustard, rosemary and honey

roasted roots with mustard, rosemary and honey

At the beginning of January I promised you I would try out a recipe from every cookery book I have got and never used as a new year’s resolution BUT here I am blogging a recipe from the trusted River Cottage Everyday book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Oh well! Must try harder next recipe.  I decided to blog a vegetable dish because humble vegetables often get overlooked and people end up cooking them in the same old, boring way. But there’s no need for that. I love roasted vegetables and the combination of mustard, honey and rosemary works really well, I think. I will certainly make these babies again. They are ideal to serve with meat, fish, etc. I have used parnsips, celeriac and carrots but as parsnips don’t exist in Italy you could perhaps use turnips or sweet potatoes instead. Continue reading ‘Roasted roots with mustard, rosemary and honey’