Thursday, 16 December 2010

Triple Pumpkin Pasta

Serves 4

1 large butternut squash
pasta of your choice
4 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
toasted pumpkin oil
extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt
frehsly grated parmesan
1 sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and very finely choppped

1. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Cut into segments.
2. Place the squash segments in a roasting tray, season with pepper and salt and drizzle with olive oil.
3. Place in the oven and roast for 30-45 minutes at gas mark 6-7/ 220 °C until soft.
4. Boil the pasta in salted water.
5. In the meantime, chop the squash into bite-sized chunks.
6. Distribute the pasta and squash evenly into four bowls.
7. Drizzle with a little olive oil and pumpkin oil and sprinkle with fresh rosemary, pumpkin seeds and freshly grated parmesan.

Use any pumpkin variety you fancy apart from the really large ones. They're great for carving and soup but not that tasty otherwise.

Mixed Green Salad with Broad Beans and Beetroot

When I went to the supermarket today, they had ready-washed organic lettuce mix greatly reduced. I don't normally buy those but they looked good and at half price what did I have to lose?

1 bag of organic salad cress, baby spinach and rocket mix
2 pre-cooked beetroot, very thinly sliced
a couple of handfuls of broad beans, fresh in summer, frozen in winter
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.

1. Bring a bit of water to the boil and cook the broad beans, seasoned with pepper and salt, for 5 minutes. Drain and leave to cool.

2. For the dressing, mix pepper, salt, balsamic and olive oil. You probably won't need all of this.

3. Place the beetroot slices, lettuce and broad beans in a wide bowl. Serve dressed or let everyone dress their own bowl of salad.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Roasted Pepper Soup

Serves 2-3.

3 peppers, if using mixed peppers no more than one green pepper
8 cherry vine tomatoes
4 small garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 small red chilli, halved and deseeded
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 l vegetable stock

1. Quarter and core the peppers. Season with pepper. Place skin-side up into a roasting tray.
2. Add the garlic, tomatoes and chilli.
3. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic.
4. Roast at full whack for about 30 minutes or until the peppers and tomatoes start to brown.
5. Transfer all veg except the garlic into a saucepan.
6. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skin and add to the saucepan.
7. Pour the boiling vegetable stock over the veg.
8. Purée, check seasoning and serve.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Raspberry Ricotta with Rosemary

250 g fresh or frozen raspberries (defrosted)
1 tsp very finely chopped fresh rosemary
zest of a lime
juice of 1/4 lime
2-3 tbsp maple syrup
25 g of shelled unsalted roasted pistachios, chopped
250 g of ricotta

1. Purée the raspberries and stir in maple syrup to taste.
2. Set aside a couple of tablespoons of the puréed rapsberries as well as 1/4 of the pistachios.
3. With a fork blend in the ricotta.
4. Add the rosemary, lime zest, lime juice and the remaining chopped pistachios.
5. Serve drizzled with rapsberry purée and sprinkled with pistachios.

1. Fold in a couple of spoons of whipped cream for a richer flavour.

2. Substitute the ricotta with mascarpone.

Frozen Raspberry Yoghurt

250 raspberries, defrosted in the fridge for 1-2 hours
2 tbsp maple syrup
300 g plain yoghurt
toasted flaked almonds or chopped roasted, unsalted pistachios to sprinkle over the top
mint leaves if at hand

1. Set aside a couple of tablespoons of whole raspberries. Thoroughly defrost in the fridge.

2. With a handheld blender or food processor puree the raspberries.

3. Add maple syrup and yoghurt and mix together with a spoon. Check the taste and add more maple syrup if required.

4. Either freeze for later or serve immediately with the whole raspberries, mint leaves, if used, and sprinkled with almond flakes or pistachios.

Try this with any frozen fruit substituting maple syrup for honey and trying out different herbs.

If using strawberries, served with a twist of freshly ground black pepper.