All posts filed under: Sides

Warm Sicilian Cauliflower Salad

Sicilian Cauliflower Salad Happy New Year! With a new baby in the household, we didn’t stay up for the bells last night. However we were beautifully rewarded with plenty of energy this morning, as we awoke to perfect blue skies and winter sunshine. I don’t feel like I sinned very much over the festive period, hardly a drop to drink, and only a few Christmas treats passed my lips. I just don’t have the time to pig out with a new baby! I didn’t even manage to do any holiday baking, like I usually do – such as this yummy Christmas Spiced Beer Cake. But I did succeed in hosting Christmas dinner for 9 (crazy crazy with a new baba!)…but my new 8 ring cooker came in very handy! Bring on industrial sized cooking equipment, yeah! But, never the less, I thought I’d share a delicious and healthy vegan recipe for Sicilian Cauliflower Salad, which is easy to make, after you’ve just had enough of cooking… Salads aren’t just for summer, you can get very creative experimenting with …

Homemade Red Onion Marmalade

As a vegetarian, I eat a very varied diet. Not only is that a good thing, ensuring I get all the nutrients needed, but it also makes me happy. I couldn’t eat the same thing every day. But having a few preserves on hand to brighten up a sandwich, pop into a tart recipe, or add to other dishes, really does make a lot of difference in the flavour department. As I work from home most of the time, that means I eat from home most of the time. So I like to have a fridge full of ingredients that I can whip up fast into something tasty for lunch, without having to drive into town to pick things up. This Red Onion Marmalade is up there with the best preserves I’ve made, sweet sticky and perfect with a ploughman’s lunch, a slice of quiche or topped on crisp bread.   Red Onion Marmalade Makes 4-5 x 370g jars 2kg red onions   4 garlic cloves, minced  150g butter  160g golden caster sugar  1 tbsp fresh thyme leaf   375ml …

Beer and Honey Roasted Winter Carrots

As we are getting closer to Christmas, I thought I would share another great recipe for you to adorn your winter table with i.e.. Roasted carrots done in beer and honey! The carrots go really tender using this roasting method. And the sweetness of the root vegetable is really enhanced. They are buttery, slightly beery and very delicious! We still have carrots in the garden, and you can tell these are homegrown by the little kinks and bends, which I find cute, rather than off putting. They won’t be growing anymore in the cold earth, but they are safe to stay in the ground and overwinter, unless we get a very hard bout of frost.  I like to leave a little top on my carrots, its purely aesthetic, but it does look good!     Beer and Honey Glazed Carrots Serves 4   500g/17oz carrots with tops 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 3 tbsp butter 4 sprigs thyme 70ml/2.4 fl oz beer 3 tbsp honey salt and freshly ground black pepper   1. Preheat …

Portuguese Chickpea Salad

For the first two night of our Portuguese Honeymoon we stayed in Caldas de Monchique, a mountain spa town, nestled into a lush green subtropical jungle – a perfect get-away for a newly wed couple. It’s a little rough round the edges, but it is full of charm and amazing flora and fauna. We took the time there, to just decompress after a very busy 3 months of wedding arrangements. We loungeing by the pool, had massages and romantic dinners in the 16th century courtyard. We also sampled a delicious Cod & Chickpea Salad in their tapas bar, which is a traditional Portuguese summer dish, served with crusty bread and lots of wine! After our stay in the mountains, we travelled to the south coast of Portugal where my criteria for accommodation included a kitchen. I can’t not cook on holiday..!       And the first thing I whipped up was a vegetarian/vegan version of that delightful Chickpea Salad we sampled in Monchique. Everywhere you go in Portugal you’ll see orange sellers, and often they will also be …

Homemade Organic Tomato Ketchup

This summer has produced a fabulous amount of tomatoes in my greenhouse. We have been eating fresh organic tomatoes in our salads all summer long. But about 3 weeks ago, I just couldn’t keep up with the bumper crop, so I took to slow roasting my tom’s at 50 degrees for 2 hours in the oven with garlic and olive oil, and then freezing them for sauce later on in the year. We ate tomato pasta…tomato tarts..and finally I also made two large batches of tomato ketchup, one yellow and a classic red. And they are amazing! This homemade tomato ketchup recipe is sweet, tangy and very aromatic. Adding star anise, cloves and fennel seeds makes this ketchup sit in a league of its own. Since making this delicious condiment, I’ve been looking for excuses to make all kinds of breakfast eggs, just so we can have more of this wonder sauce! And of course you can add it to veggie burgers, hot dogs and other things too. But it is best served over eggs, with …

Garden Salad with Elderflower Vinaigrette

The peak of the growing season is upon my garden. I am now able to harvest more that 2 or 3 bits of produce from the plot at any one time, as this Garden Summer Salad demonstrates perfectly. This is a salad to be proud off, as everything ( eggs-cept the eggs, get it?!) has been grown or harvested by me. The olive oil, is strictly not our own, but is from our friends own olive grove in Italy, and as they put it- is 3 times Extra Virgin Organic olive oil, and it tastes heavenly too. The peas, potatoes, dill, salad leaves, cucumber, and edible nasturtium flowers and corn flowers were all picked this morning, in preparation for lunch. I love how you can tuck into a portion of food, knowing that is was growing barley an hour ago, cool right?     The peas are an exciting rare variety called Champion of England, dating from the 1840’s and are from The Real Seed Company, an innovative British family business who see the soil as a living organism …

Panzanella – Italian Summer Sour-dough Salad

Panzanella – Italian Summer Sour-dough Salad Its hot! And its gorgeous outside! And when it’s hot for days on end, my tastebuds always hunger for light ‘salady’ type foods, that are fresh, aromatic and seasonal. This ‘salad’ could almost be called a de-constructed Bruchetta,  and is an absolute winner if you are hungry rather than peckish, as the bread is already inside the dish. The chunky sour-dough soaks up all the rich olive oil and vinegar, and combined with fresh tomatoes from the garden, you have yourself the perfect salad. _______________________________________ Serves 4 1 organic loaf of sour dough bread or ciabatta 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 750g ripe tomatoes, halved 100ml organic extra virgin olive oil 2tbsp white wine vinegar 10 or so basil leaves salt and pepper   ___________________________________ Combine the halved tomatoes and garlic in a bowl, with the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix well using your hands to release the flavours. Stir well, then leave the salad for 10 minutes, to infuse. Meanwhile chop the bread into cubes, and lightly fry …

Roasted Cherry Tomato and Aubergine Bruschetta with Rocket

  Roasted Cherry Tomato and Aubergine Bruschetta with Rocket   Its hard to beat freshly picking your own salad leaves, and rocket is at the top of the list for flavour and bite.  Last spring my good friend and ‘Bridesmaid to be’ sent me a packet of wild rocket seeds, and being a lover of variation, I sowed them beside my already thriving lettuce’s. Well, 12 months later and the rocket is still thriving, having survived the mild winter, it is looking and tasting better than ever. Add rocket to these warm and juicy bruschettas,  and you have a match made in heaven, with the sweet tomatoes,  and lovely fresh pepper punch from the rocket. I like my bruschetta oily and warm with lots of garlic, so if you are like me, dont hold back on the organic extra virgin olive oil. ________________________________________ Serves 4 as a starter or 2 for lunch   250g grape or cherry tomatoes, halved 6 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp sugar 1 tbsp oregano 2 cloves garlic, …

Pear, Leek and Veggie Sausage Stuffing

So we have started the new year, and the festive season is over. We can all breathe easy again! I made it through the holidays in good health, and just as new year passed, I got a big old nasty cold! I think the whole country has a cold this week. So, I thought I’d share with you a recipe that I did for Kitchen Garden Magazine this month, on juicy pears. And this stuffing is perfect for enjoying under the covers on the couch, watching daytime TV, and generally feeling sorry for yourself….! When its cold outside, and you’re stuck indoors, comforting food is the way forward, especially when you have a cold! With sweet pear, and tangy leeks, it’s a delicious winter warming dish to try out. I use veggie sausages, but if you eat meat, try using free-range pork sausages. Serve as a side dish, or as a main. _____________________________________________ Pear, Leek and Veggie Sausage Stuffing Serves 4   4 free range pork sausages, or 4 vegetarian sausages, chopped 2 slices of …

Wild Garlicky Mushroom Toast & Wild Mushroom Foraging

With autumn comes a whole range of new foraging opportunities, including bramble picking, rose hip picking and mushroom foraging. I have in fact never foraged for mushrooms before, largely due to my fear of picking something poisonous as I think a lot of mushrooms look like all the other mushrooms! But ever since I met my good friend Helle, who’s husband happens to be a Mycologist, that’s a fungi specialist to you and me, I have been interested in trying my hand at scouting out those little fungi’s. Helles husband, Nevil Kilkenny is at the centre for Scottish fungi research and runs mushroom forays at Shepherds Cottage each year teaching people how and where to forage, and most importantly- how to do so safely. Please do not use my limited knowledge as a guide to identify mushrooms, rather get a good book and go on a course if you are keen on experiencing how fun finding mushrooms really is. On our little outing we managed to find, Hedgehog Mushrooms, Chanterelles, and Purple Deceivers, all of …