These are a lovely savoury twist on a sweet tea-time classic. You don’t have to limit them to afternoon indulgence though – these have proved very popular for breakfast and brunch topped with fried or poached eggs. You can use any hard, medium-fat cheese you […]
Every year Mr C convinces me to cook Burns Night supper for him, playing on his Scottish heritage. I’m always very happy to do so on the proviso that we have a veggie-friendly haggis. With only two of us, cooking a haggis each would seem pretty extravagant.
Whilst we were living in the states I came up with this recipe (or roughly this one anyway) for a vegetarian haggis so that we could carry on the tradition. It’s worth noting that I’ve never tried real haggis so I’ve based the flavours of this recipe on the veggie versions that I’ve eaten in the past. The vegemite and miso work wonders at adding some savoury, umami notes and using white pepper as well as black really helps with the seasoning.
50g pearl barley
50g red lentils
1 tbsp oil
1 medium onion
1 medium carrot
1 heaped tsp shiro miso
100g kidney beans (canned)
2 tsp vegemite
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tbsp dark brown sugar
pinch of seasalt and plenty of black and white pepper to season
Bring a pan of water to boil and add the barley, cook for 15 minutes. Add the lentils and cook for 10 minutes more, until the pulses feel tender. Turn off the heat, drain away any excess liquid, add the oats and leave them to absorb the last of the moisture.
Whilst you’re waiting for the pulses to cook finely chop the onion, carrot and mushrooms and fry them in the oil until the onion is golden and the vegetables are tender, add the miso and cook for a moment or too longer. Once they’re cooked pop the veggies into the bowl of a food processor and add the kidney beans, vegemite, sugar, thyme, nutmeg and seasoning. Whizz it up to combine everything but don’t make it too smooth. Add the pulses and briefly blitz it again.
Take a longish length of clingfilm and pile the mixture onto it. Wrap it up and roll it into a fat sausage shape, twisting the ends tightly. Wrap the haggis in foil and fold over the ends to seal it. Now you can either leave the haggis to chill until you’re ready to cook it or place it in a steamer over a pan of boiling water. Steam the haggis for 45 minutes, then unwrap and serve with neeps, tatties and whisky sauce.
Have you carved a pumpkin for Halloween? Did you toss away the seeds? I hope not, those babies are delicious roasted and hulled. They’re also a delicious (and cheaper) alternative to pine nuts in pesto.
Pesto isn’t just for pasta though. I actually ate this on our recent trip to Croatia, where it was served on sourdough toast and topped off with some local cheese and dried figs. It really was rather yummy! It also makes a very tasty topping for fish, especially salmon.
This will keep in the fridge for quite a few days. I think the parmesan makes this salty enough but you can obviously add a little extra pinch if you like.
60g hulled roasted pumpkin seeds
1 clove of garlic
juice of one lemon
50g fresh basil (including stalks)
3-4 tbsp olive oil
twist of freshly ground black pepper
Add the pumpkin seeds, garlic and parmesan to a food processor and grind them until they look fairly fine. Add the basil (stalks and all), lemon juice, oil and black pepper and pulse it until it is quite smooth. Store in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
Before I lived in the States I only ever really thought of tacos as the hard, crunchy shells you buy from the supermarket and fill with chilli and cheese. I was utterly oblivious to the world of deliciousness which ‘proper’ tacos provide, there are so […]
When you get really good ingredients it’s worth using them in a recipe that really shows off their full potential. That’s how I feel about these beautiful heirloom tomatoes anyway.
So often the fruits you find in supermarkets are insipid and disappointing but if you come across tomatoes like these, or are lucky enough to be green fingered and grow your own then you’ll know they’ll be packed with flavour and worthy of a bit more love than just tossing them into your Bolognese!
Look at how pretty the colours look in this tart, it’s a picture perfect summer dish. It tastes pretty wonderful too. The fennel seeds in the buttery pastry crust really bring out the sweetness of the tomatoes. Delicious!
150g plain flour
50g wholemeal flour
pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp fennel seeds
splash of ice cold water
5-6 heirloom tomatoes (different varieties if you can)
3 tbsp polenta/semolina
1 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
seasalt, black pepper and fresh oregano
Whisk together the flours and then lightly rub in the butter until it looks like breadcrumbs. Mix through the salt and fennel seeds and then use a little splash of water to bring it all together to form a soft, but not sticky, dough. If you prefer then you can do all this quite quickly and easily in a food processor, which also means there’s less chance of over-working the dough and ending up with tough pastry. Wrap the dough in some cling film and pop it in the fridge to rest for at least 15 minutes.
Pre-heat your oven to 230°c and cover a large baking sheet with some baking parchment. Wash, dry and slice the tomatoes, so that the slices are about 5mm thick. A serrated knife is the best thing to use here.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until you have a large roundish shape, a few millimetres thick. Carefully place this on the prepared baking sheet. Scatter the polenta or semolina (whichever you’re using) over the pastry, leaving a few centimetres gap around the edge. This will help soak up all those lovely tomato juices and stop the pastry becoming a soggy mess. Arrange the tomato slices on top, overlapping them as you go. Season really well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and then dot the surface with a little butter. Sprinkle over the parmesan and a little chopped fresh oregano. Carefully fold up the edges of the pastry, gathering it a little where you need to.
Bake the tart for 20 minutes before reducing the oven temperature to 190° and baking for a further 25 minutes. The pastry should be crisp and slightly golden when it’s done. Leave to cool to room temperature before serving.