All posts filed under: Spring

New Potatoes with Spring Vegetables and Honey Lemon Dressing

New Scottish potatoes have hit the shelves in the shops recently. Potatoes that I assume are grown in poly tunnels, in order to get a head start on the short Scottish season. But I’ve still got a few months to wait yet, before my own seed potatoes are ready out in my garden. So until I can dig up some fresh tatties of my own, here is a new potato recipe to tie you over with. It’s really good served with fish, as the sweet and sour dressing really adds bite to the otherwise delicate flavours of spring vegetables. ____________________________________________________________________________________ 500g new baby potatoes 3 small carrots, halved lengthways 1 leek, chopped For the dressing: ½ lemon, zested and juiced 1 tsp dijon mustard 2 garlic cloves, crushed 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp honey a few pepper corns, roughly crushed ____________________________________________________________________________________ Boil the potatoes in a pan of water for 10 min, then add the carrots and leek, simmer for a further 5 min, until the potatoes are tender. Meanwhile make the …

Nettle Pancakes – Sweet or Savoury

Spring has arrived, and with it, has come the best season for foraging. This is a great time of year to get your hands on some earthy, fresh deep green nettle leaves. Choosing these early leaves ensures a pungent taste as well as a rich supply of vitamins. Nettles have an array of uses, from tea to soup. But for a different use for this wonderful weed, I’ve chosen to pop them is some delicious thin pancakes. These nettle pancakes can be eaten as a sweet treat, an after dinner desert or as a savoury dish. ______________________________________________________________________________________ Batter: 50g organic plain flour 50g organic spelt flour 50g butter, melted 500ml milk 50g nettles 2 eggs ‘ For the savoury filling: 1 courgette 2 small carrots 1 small onion 1 tin of butter beans 2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes 1 tsp turmeric 1 tsp cumin seeds 100g greek feta salt and pepper to taste ____________________________________________________________________________________ Start by foraging for the nettles, choosing the youngest and lushest looking leaves. Be sure to wear thick gloves, to avoid …

White Chocolate and Pumpkin Seed Flapjacks

As a quick look at the weather forecast revealed the weather to be mild over the weekend, we decided to spend it in the garden, getting the veg plots sorted. And as I knew a lot of digging was going to take place, a portion of flapjacks wouldn’t go a miss, to keep the biceps working. With lots of chewy oaty goodness and a little added white chocolate and pumpkin seeds, these are great for re-fueling on. They are also really good taken on a walk, and enjoyed up a hill, with a flask of tea. ______________________________________________________________________________________ 300g unsalted organic butter, plus extra to grease 75g soft brown sugar 6 tbsp golden syrup 400g organic oats 50g pumpkin or other seeds 50g white chocolate chips pinch of salt ____________________________________________________________________________________ Preheat your oven to 160C/150C fan/ gas 2, and grease and line a square tin roughly measuring 25×25 cm. Melt the butter, sugar, golden syrup and salt in a small pan on low heat. Pour over the oats and mix well, add the chocolate and seeds …

Potato Duaphinoise with Cabbage and Cheddar with a Side of Portobello Mushrooms

I get most of my veg at a great little farm shop, The Ardross Farm Shop, near Elie in Fife. They mainly stock vegetables that are in season, so its a great way to stay in touch with British seasonal produce, and eat accordingly. As its still cold (I know I keep banging on about it) they still have cabbage in supply. And I love cabbage, mainly because when all the summer crops have been eaten, cabbage matures and is ready for eating during the winter. A real trooper of a vegetable, a little hero full of vitamins that are essential when the days are still cold and grey. Here is a tasty variation of the traditional Potato Dauphinoise, with cheese and cabbage. ____________________________________________________________________________________ 6 large waxy potatoes, such as King Edward ½ head of green cabbage 400ml double cream 400ml milk 2 cloves of garlic 100g cheddar cheese ½ tsp nutmeg salt, pepper to taste ____________________________________________________________________________________ Preheat your oven to 200°c/fan 180°c/gas 6, and prepare a baking dish by rubbing it with butter. Slice …

Wild Garlic Quiche.

The foraging season has begun, at last! It is still cold here, with temperatures not going above 4 degrees, but the spring hardy leaves of the Ramson, or Wild Garlic are now to be found all along the woodland floor. As a relative to the chive, wild garlic, as its name would indicate has a lovely delicate garlic flavor and smell. It is ideal for using in the kitchen, tossed through a salad for some depth or as I’ve done, in a quiche. Pick the young leaves of the Ramson, as they are more tender and fresher than the mature leaves. When out picking bring a basket or plastic container with a damp tea towel or paper napkin to keep the leaves fresh, whist you make your way home. Wild Garlic is very easy to identify, but do familiarise yourself with the plant using a good foraging book. They can be mixed up with Lily of the Valley, but are easy to distinguish by crushing a leaf  with your fingers, if it smells like garlic, …

Champagne Truffle Easter Cake

We have been kept very occupied with our house move, but Easter won’t go by unnoticed in this house. In Denmark, where I grew up, Easter is a big deal, rivalling Christmas, with as many traditions and edible goodies. I think many European countries are the same, however the most you can expect from a British Easter is a chocolate egg… Never the less, I am in ‘ the Easter mood’ and have decorated eggs, gathered spring branches and made Easter dishes, like my Champagne Truffle Easter Cake. Its a simple sponge recipe that I have adapted to be a little more special with the addition of chocolate truffles with champagne. The cake is frosted with a delicious brown sugar butter cream, that tastes of caramel and decorated with ‘hand blown’ dyed eggs. To make the egg decorations, first scold the required amount of eggs under boiling water to clean them, then carefully prick a hole in either end of the egg using a large needle. Then blow as hard as you can on one …

Iced Café Frappé

We have been busy packing up boxes this week, ready for our move out of our old house into a new one. I have managed to do most of the kitchen, but have left out some vital tools, like my blender, that I know I cant substitute with a fork! And as the sun was shining from a beautiful blue spring sky, I felt the need for a cool refreshing beverage, all be it a caffeinated one. So I whipped up a delicious Café Frappé and was instantly given the promise that summer must arrive soon! ‘ I use frozen coffee cubes instead of regular plain ice, as I hate when you get half way through your drink, and it gets all diluted with stale water! Instead of getting weaker, my recipe gets stronger! Cheers! ____________________________________________________________________________________ Makes two drinks For the ice cubes: make roughly 300ml fair-trade coffee of your choice, and pour into ice trays, or one ice cube bag. (there is enough coffee cubes for 4 frappés, just freeze the rest for later, …

Harissa Spiced Carrot and Spinach Soup

There is at last hopeful signs that spring is on its way up here in Scotland, with the snowdrops glistening amongst the frosty undergrowth and the shoots of the daffodils appearing. But a warming spicy soup is still a welcomed thing, as the days are still chilly, and the nights even more so. I really enjoy carrot soup, with its slight sweet notes and simple preparation. It also lends itself quite well to be spiced up with a little harissa paste for extra warmth. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Serves 3-4 4 medium organic carrots 1 large white onion 3 handfuls of spinach 1 tsp harissa paste 1 tsp cumin seeds 500ml organic vegetable stock a drizzle of olive oil salt and pepper to taste plus a little cream for the top ____________________________________________________________________________________ Prepare the veg, by washing and peeling the carrots, chop alongside the onion. In a large pan, heat  the olive oil and toast the cumin seeds for 30 sec on medium heat. Then add the onion and soften for 5 min, then add the harissa paste …