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ROAST BUTTERNUT SQUASH, LABNEH, WALNUT GREMOLATA AND POMEGRANATE SALAD

by July 3, 2020

I made this delicious Salad for dinner during the week and even the committed carnivores in the house loved it !!!!

We ate the leftovers the next day for lunch and it tasted just as good.

It does require a bit of planning as you have to make the Labneh the day before.  The Labneh is delicious and creamy and you could use this for lots of other recipes, as a dip or as an accompaniment to a cheese board.  You can add herbs such as coriander, mint, parsley depending on what you want to serve it with.

Both the Dressing and Gremolata are delicious and could also be used with lots of other Salads.

It looks like it has a lot of ingredients, but each component is easy to put together and then the final dish comes together very quickly and easily.

 

LABNEH

  • 400g Greek Yoghurt (full fat)
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, crushed
  • good pinch of Sea Salt

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND SALAD

  • 1 large or 2 small Butternut Squash
  • 4 tablespoons  Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 5 cm Ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • juice of 1/2 small lemon
  • Salad leaves
  • bunch Coriander Leaves
  • seeds from 1 Pomegranate

GREMOLATA

  • 35g Walnuts
  • zest of 1 Lemon
  • 2 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • small bunch of Flat Leaf Parsley

DRESSING

  • 4 teaspoons Pomegranate Molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Lemon Juice

 

 

The day before you wish to eat the Salad, make the Labneh.    Line a sieve with a piece of muslin (or a brand new J cloth) and put it over a bowl.

Mix the Yoghurt with the Garlic and Salt.

Tip into the cloth, tie it up and put in the fridge.  The Yoghurt will lose its moisture over the next 24 hours, giving you a firm creamy garlicy “cheese”.

 

 

The next day !!!

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.   Cut the Butternut Squash in half lengthways, peel off the skin and scoop out the seeds.  Slice the Butternut Squash across the width into approx 1 1/2 cm slices.   Put onto a roasting tray.

Heat the 4 tablespoons of Olive Oil, Cinnamon, Cayenne and chopped Ginger in a small saucepan until just warm.

Pour the warm Olive Oil over the Butternut Squash pieces and make sure each piece is coated in the spicy mixture.  Season with Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper.

Roast in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes until they are soft and caramalised, turning them over every 15 minutes.  Once cooked to your liking pour over the Lemon Juice.

 

 

Make the Gremolata by toasting the Walnuts in the oven for 5 minutes, taking care that they do not burn.  Chop the toasted Walnuts and the Parsley and add to the Lemon Zest and crushed Garlic and mix thoroughly.

Make the Dressing by putting all the ingredients into a jar and giving a good shake.  Taste and make sure it has a good sweet-sour balance.

 

 

Take the Labneh out of the cloth and break it up into small pieces.

 

 

Pour the dressing over your salad and coriander leaves and toss to coat them.

 

 

 

Place the dressed Salad Leaves on a nice serving plate and place the Roasted Butternut Squash on top.  Sprinkle over the Gremolata and the Pomegranate Seeds.  Place pieces of the Labneh over the Salad.

Enjoy !!!!

 

This recipe is based on the Roast Pumpkin, Labneh, Walnut Gremolata and Pomegranate dish in the Diana Henry book, A Change of Appetite.  A lovely cookbook with delicious recipes, one for your cookbook shelf!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

ELDERFLOWER CORDIAL

by July 2, 2020

Using the pink Elderflowers from my garden I made this beautiful pink Elderflower cordial.  I just love the color.  It is delicious with sparkling water or as an addition to a glass of Prosecco.  I so enjoy using things from my garden to make delicious things to eat and drink.

 

  • 2 litres of water
  • 2 kg of Sugar
  • 25 heads of Elderflower (unwashed)
  • 2 Lemons, zested and cut into large slices
  • 85g Citric Acid

 

 

Dissolve the Sugar in the water.  Once the Sugar is dissolved bring the mixture to the boil and then allow to cool for approximately 10 minutes.

 

 

 

Add the Lemon Zest, Lemon slices, Elderflowers and Citric Acid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave to infuse for 24 hours.

 

 

 

 

Strain and put into sterilised bottles.

 

Dilute to taste.

 

This will last for ages if airtight.  Once you have opened a bottle it needs to be kept in the fridge.

 

CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP WITH GINGER AND SESAME DRESSING

by June 26, 2020

I had left over Roast Chicken and Chicken Stock made from the roast Chicken bones and vegetables, so thought I would make this Chicken Noodle Soup with a delicious Ginger and Sesame Dressing.  This served 4 of us!  It is very easy and quick to prepare.  If you use Tamari instead of Soy Sauce it is Gluten Free.

  • Left over Roast Chicken, finely sliced
  • 1 packet of Rice Noodles – cooked as per the packet instructions.
  • 1 1/2 litres of Chicken Stock
  • 3 tablespoons of Sesame Seeds – toasted in a frypan
  • 1 bunch of Spring Onions – finely sliced
  • 2 Red Chillis – finely sliced
  • Large bunch of Coriander Leaves – taken off the stem

 

The Ginger and Sesame Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons of Soy Sauce (I used Tamari which is Gluten Free)
  • 2 tablespoons of Sesame Oil
  • 2 inch knob of Ginger – peeled and finely grated
  • 3 Spring Onions – finely sliced

Combine all the Dressing ingredients and mix well.

 

Heat the Chicken Stock in a large saucepan, and add in the chopped Chicken.  Let it simmer away for a couple of minutes to heat the chicken through.

 

Add the cooked Noodles to the Chicken Stock and stir around to heat through.  (Generally the packet instructions tell you to refresh the Noodles in cold water till you need them.  But if you just add them to the bowl directly it will make your soup cold, so I reheat them gently in the stock).

 

 

Divide the Soup and Noodles between your bowls and top with the Ginger and Sesame Oil dressing.

Add the toasted Sesame Seeds, Red Chilli, Spring Onion and the Coriander Leaves to each bowl and serve !!!

 

This recipe is based on a Chicken Noodle Bowl recipe from Donna Hay’s Basics to Brilliance cookbook.  A great cookbook to have on your shelf !!!

FRUIT AND NUT CHEESE ROLL

by June 25, 2020

A lovely Summery addition to a Cheese Platter, or great to take on a Picnic!!!  Very easy to make, just takes a little time to soak the fruit and then let it firm up in the fridge before eating.  You can use any combination of fruit you like really, and either add nuts or not depending on your requirements.  This is the combination I used.   You could also use Port or Brandy instead of the Orange Juice to soak your fruit, depending on which fruits you were using.

 

  • 250g Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Grated Mature Cheddar Cheese
  • juice of 1/2 Orange
  • 1 teaspoon fine Orange Zest
  • 6 dried Apricots – finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 dried Figs (depending on size) – finely chopped
  • 10 dried Cherries – cut in half
  • 10 Macadamia Nuts – cut in half
  • Poppy Seeds

Combine the chopped Fruit in a bowl and cover with the Orange Juice.  Leave to marinate for up to 2 hours.  After the marination period, if there is still a lot of liquid, then strain the fruit.

 

Beat the Cream Cheese and grated Cheddar together with an electric mixer.  Stir in the Orange Zest, strained marinated Fruit and the Nuts.  Refridgerate for 1 hour to firm up a bit.

 

Using a piece of non stick baking paper, place the cheese mixture in the middle and form into a log shape.  You can make the log thicker or thiner depending on your preference.  Take another clean piece of baking paper and put some Poppy Seeds on it, place the Cheese Log on the Poppy Seeds and move backwards and forwards to cover the log in Poppy Seeds.  You need to keep gently rolling and moving the Poppy Seeds on the paper to ensure that it is totally covered.

 

 

 

Place the covered log back into the fridge and chill for at least 3 hours before serving.

 

This lasts very well in the fridge and can easily be prepared the day before you want to use it.

 

Serve with Cheese Biscuits or finely sliced toasted pieces of Baguette are delicious with it.

 

ROASTED VEGETABLE CURRY

by June 1, 2020

Made this very tasty Roasted Vegetable Curry and it got the thumbs up from all the family.  It has Chickpeas in it which are a good source of protein.  It is Dairy Free, Gluten Free and Vegan, so ticks lots of boxes !!!

I served this with Brown Rice and Fresh Coriander.

I based this on a recipe I tore out of the Business Post on the 24th May, as it used Rainbow Chard and I have lots growing in the garden.  Unfortunately I am not sure who the original author is as the page I kept does not have their name (sorry), but I modified it for our taste, so here is my version of it.

  • 1 large Sweet Potato – peeled and cut into chunks about 2 inches big
  • 2 large Carrots – peeled and cut into large chunks
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 Yellow Peppers – cut into chunks
  • 2 Red Peppers – cut into chunks
  • 2 Onions – diced
  • 2 Celery Sticks  –  finely sliced
  • 6 cloves of Garlic  –  crushed
  • 3 inch piece of Ginger  –  peeled and finely grated
  • 2 Red Chillies – finely sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Chilli
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Coriander
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon Chilli Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 3 large Tomatoes – chopped into chunks
  • 1 can Coconut Milk
  • 1 can Chickpeas – drained and rinsed
  • 400 mls Vegetable Stock
  • large bunch Rainbow Chard –  roughly sliced (you could use normal Swiss Chard or Spinach)
  • Zest and juice of 2 Limes
  • Fresh Coriander

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Place the Sweet Potato and Carrots into a bowl and drizzle over some Olive Oil.  Toss around till they are coated and put on a large baking tray and put into the hot oven for 20 minutes.

Toss the Cauliflower Florets and the Yellow and Red Peppers in some more oil and add to the partly cooked Sweet Potato and Carrots in the oven.  Cook for another 20 minutes.

Meanwhile:  Heat a large heavy bottomed pan over the heat and add 3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Add the Onions and Celery and saute until they begin to soften.

Add the Garlic and Ginger, cook for another few minutes.

Add the spices, – Ground Coriander, Ground Cumin, Tumeric, Cinnamon, Chilli Powder –  the 2 sliced Chillies and the Dried Chilli Flakes.  Add the Tomato Paste and stir well until combined.

Add in the chopped Tomatoes, Coconut Milk, Chickpeas, Vegetable Stock and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

 

 

Add the Roasted Vegetables to the sauce and gently simmer for about 10 minutes.

Take out the Cinnamon Stick and add in the sliced Swiss Chard, cook until it is wilted.

Take the curry off the heat and add the Lime Juice and Zest and stir to combine.

I served mine with Brown Rice and sprinkled the fresh Coriander over the top.

 

BAKED CHEESECAKE

by May 28, 2020

My husband is not really a dessert eater, but he loves this cheesecake, so for his birthday I just had to make it for him.

It is small but rich so you only need a small portion, but it is delicious.  This will easily serve 8 people with leftovers if no one has seconds!!!!

  • 150 g Digestive Biscuits
  • 50 g Butter – just melted
  • 85g Seedless Raisins
  • Grated Zest and juice of 1 large Lemon
  • 450 g Mascarpone Cheese (almost two tubs)
  • 200 ml Sour Cream (1 tub)
  • 100 g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Egg Yolks, beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornflour

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Grease a 20 cm springform cake tin and line it with baking paper.

Put the Raisins and Lemon Juice into a small saucepan and simmer gently for 5 minutes.  The Lemon Juice by this time will have been absorbed by the Raisins, but if you have liquid left over, then drain it off and leave the Raisins to cool.

Place the Digestive Biscuits into the food processor and whizz around until they are crumb like.

Add the Melted Butter and whizz a little more until it is incorporated.  The crumbs should stick together when pressed.

Press the crumbs down well into the base of the cake tin, making an even base for the Cheesecake.

Bake for 7 minutes then take out and leave to cool whilst making the rest of the Cheesecake.

 

 

In a large bowl beat together the Mascarpone and Caster Sugar until nice and smooth.

Stir in the beaten Egg Yolks, then the Cornflour, Sour Cream and Lemon Zest.

 

 

Carefully stir in the Raisins.

Pour the mixture into your cake tin, over the precooked biscuit base.

Cook for 45 to 50 minutes until nicely brown on top.

It will still be very wobbly looking but don’t worry, when it cools down it will firm up.

As it cools, it will sink a little into the middle, but this is perfectly normal.

Allow it to cool completely in the cake tin, otherwise it will fall apart.

Once cool, carefully remove the  Cheesecake from the tin, carefully remove the greaseproof paper and place the Cheesecake on your serving plate.  It is easy to do, the paper comes away very easily, but it is delicate so be careful!!!

Just before serving, sprinkle over a fine dusting of Icing Sugar (I forgot to do this in this picture!!)

 

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