Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Warm herbed salad of Swiss Chard, lentil and chorizo

Apologies everyone, on my lack of blogging, but I'm back with some more recipes using the produce from the land. Today I'm cooking with Swiss Chard. For tonights dinner it's herbed lentil, chorizo and chard salad. I'm also adding roast beetroot, but feel free to adapt the recipe as you wish, with lemon zest, toasted nuts, goats cheese, caramelized endive....lots of options. It's nice to be healthy today, after way too much cheese and wine last night! 

So here we go... the recipe.Not the prettiest of dishes but it's packed with flavor. Adapted from The River Cafe cookbook.... Enjoy!xx

Warm herbed Salad of Swiss Chard, lentil and chorizo
Serves 4

800g of Swiss chard
150g of Puy lentils, rinsed
100g of chorizo, cut into small cubes
1 tbsp of marjoram
1 tbsp of chopped basil leaves
1/2 tbsp of chopped mint
1/2 tbsp of chopped parsley
Maldon sea salt and ground pepper
4 garlic cloves, 1 finely chopped
Extra Virgin Olive oil

1. Wash the chard, and cut the stalks from the leaves.

2. Cut the stalks into 1cm batons, and roughly chop the chard leaves.

3. Heat some olive oil in a saucepan and add 1 clove of bashed garlic. Over a medium heat saute the chard stalks until tender. Season with salt and pepper, remove and set aside on a plate.

4. Next, using the same pan, heat a little more olive oil, and quickly wilt your chard leaves. Remove and set aside on a plate.

5. Fry your chorizo until crispy( use the same pan and save on washing up). Set aside and make sure to keep all the lovely oil.

6. Place a medium saucepan of water on the hob, add the lentils, two cloves of garlic and the stalks from the herbs. Cook for around 3o mins on a simmer or until the lentils are soft but still have a slight bite.

7. Drain the lentils, reserving the cooking liquid.  Pick out the stalks of the herbs and the garlic. Pour in 2 tbsp of olive oil, your chorizo with it's spicy oil. Season with salt and pepper.

8. Now to reheat. Place a large heavy bottom saucepan on the hob, heat some more olive oil. Add the chopped garlic and cook briefly to soften. Add your chard stalks and allow them to cook for 3 mins, sprinkle over half your herb mixture. Stir to combine.

9. Add the wilted chard leaves, spoon in your lentils and mix together. Check for seasoning. If the mixture is a little dry, add two or three tbsp of the lentil cooking liquid.

10. To serve place the warm lentil and chard mixture on plates, sprinkle over the remaining herbs and drizzle with your best olive oil. Enjoy!x

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Good old Cavolo Nero

Hello there everyone,

Thanks for checking out our blog, and our recipes to make the most out of your box of vegetable delights! In yesterday's box you had a selection of potatoes, spring onions, mixed beets, yellow carrots, yellow beans, courgette, cavolo nero and parsley.

Cavolo Nero belongs to the brasicca family, and is Italian by origin. It's super healthy containing lutein, Vitamin's A, C and K it also has copper, fibre, iron, calcium, B vitamins and manganese. The other good news is it also tastes great, and is pretty versatile. 

With young leaves, they can be stir fried, steamed, boiled and made into a soup. If stir fried, dress with sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds, if steamed dress with olive oil and sea salt and cracked black pepper. Young leaves can be used whole, with larger leaves take out the central nerve and slice into strips. 

Cavolo Nero, keeps best in a zip lock bag in the fridge. If it goes soft, it can be refreshed in a bowl of cold water.

Now for the more exciting part.... the recipe. A classic Italian soup called Ribollita....

Ribollita.. The recipe
Serves 4


2 medium red onion, chopped into 1/2 cm dice

250 g of carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2 cm dice

1/2 head of celery , chopped 1/2 cm dice

2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped finely

40 g of flat leaf parsley, chopped finely

1 tin of cannelini or borlotti beans,drained

1x 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes

1 bunch of cavolo nero, washed, nerve removed and coarsely chopped

1/2 loaf of old bread

extra virgin olive oil

1. In a large saucepan on a low heat, sweat the onion, celery,carrot,garlic and parsley in olive oil. This should take around 20-30 mins. 

2. Add your tomatoes and cook for another 30 mins.

3. Next add your beans, cavolo nero, and just enough water or vegetable stock to cover. Simmer for 20- 30 mins.

4. Cut up your stale bread into small pieces and add to the soup.

5. If needed add some more stock or water however the soup should still remain quite thick.

6. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with extra virgin 
olive oil.

7. Chop over a little more finely chopped parsley and serve. 

NOTE- If made 1 or 2 days in advance the soup will taste even better. 

Bon Appetit!

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Something to try with yellow beans

           Yellow bean and tomato stew

Yellow beans can be used exactly like a green Haricot bean. They can be roast, steamed, boiled and stir fried. Add them to curries or turn them into delicious salads. Try an Ottolenghi style salad, by roasting the beans till slightly golden, dressing with an orange and hazelnut vinaigrette, adding some orange zest and  some chopped hazelnuts and lots of chopped parsley. Yellow beans love all soft herbs such as chervil, tarragon, parsley, basil, chives, coriander and marjoram. One of my personal favs is dressing them with a herbed butter, adding a pinch of nutmeg, some pan fried lardons and a good healthy grating of Parmesan 
(by healthy I mean lots)!! DELICIOUS!!

However here is another little recipe to try. As featured in today's veg boxes... yellow bean and tomato stew. Feel free to bulk out with some pan fried courgette, a handful of mange tout....or whatever takes your fancy. Just think Mediterranean style flavors!! 

The Recipe

Serves 2

1 garlic clove

400g of ripe sauce tomatoes like SAN MARZANO,(they stock in Migros Verbier)

300g yellow beans

1 tbsp of thyme leaves

2 tbsp of olive oil

1/2 a red chilli, deseeded and finely diced

1 tbsp of basil leaves chopped, reserve the stalks to flavor the sauce

1. First prepare your beans. Take the tops of each bean(this is the part where the bean was attached to the stem). Chop the beans across in two. In a pan of boiling, salted water cook the beans till tender, this normally takes 6 mins. Check by inserting a knife.

2. When cooked drain your beans and run under cold water. Ideally if you have some ice, place your beans in iced water to cool fast.

3. In a saucepan, sweat of your garlic in a little olive oil for 1 minute.

4. Roughly dice your tomatoes and add to the garlic along with the basil stalks, two tbsp of olive oil, thyme and the chilli.

5. Cook over a medium heat for around 20 mins or until your sauce starts to thicken slightly. 

6. Taste for flavor, add some sea salt, pepper and more olive oil, until you are happy with the taste.

7. Add your cooked yellow beans, and stir through to reheat for a couple of minutes.

8. Finally add your chopped basil and drizzle with olive oil.  

Friday, 2 August 2013

Warm salad of pan fried baby turnips, lardons, toasted hazelnuts and apple with a sweet mustard dressing

Serves 4-6 depending on how hungry you are!!

1 bunch of turnips, washed
1 bunch of radishes, washed
2 tbsp of hazelnuts
1 granny smith apple
1 pack of lardons
salad leaves

1 tbsp of granary mustard
1 tbsp of white wine or cider vinegar
2 tbsp of best quality olive oil
1 tbsp of maple syrup

1. Prepare your dressing. Place the mustard, vinegar, olive oil and maple syrup in a bowl. Whisk together and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

2.Preheat your oven to 170 oc, toast your hazelnuts for 10 mins or until golden brown. Leave to cool then rub off the skins. This is best done using a clean tea towel, pop your hazelnuts in the middle, gather up the ends of the tea towel and rub on your worktop to remove the skin. Crush with the back of your knife and set aside. 

3. Finely slice your apple, squeeze a little lemon juice over to prevent browning. Set aside.

4. Wash your radishes, slice finely and set aside.

5. Quarter your turnips. Over a medium to high heat, melt a little butter in a frying pan, when foaming add your turnips. The aim is to get some nice colour on them. Turn occasionally, when ready season with salt and pepper and tip onto a plate.(This should take around 5mins)

6. In the same frying pan, add your lardons, cook till golden brown and crispy.

7. Now compose your salad, place your washed leaves in a bowl, add some dressing, just enough to coat the leaves. Add the radishes and apple and mix well.

8. Serve the leaves on a plate, topped with the warm turnips, toasted hazelnuts and crispy lardons. Drizzle over a little more dressing and sit back and enjoy! xx
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Thursday, 1 August 2013

Courgette, parsley and mint soup.. delicious hot or cold...

Courgette, mint and parsley soup, with sage crutons and sautéed courgette....

serves 4

4tbsp of oil
1 knob of butter
2 garlic cloves
1 onion
4 courgettes
300g peas
a handful of mint
a handful of parsley
500ml vegetable stock
100ml of cream

stale bread for croutons
garlic for croutons
sage leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 170 oc for the croutons. Cut the bread into whatever size chunk you want. Place on a tray and sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper, add your sage leaves and a couple of bashed garlic cloves.

2. Place in the oven for around ten mins, or until golden and crispy!

3. Finely dice your onion and crush the garlic. Heat the butter and oil in a heavy based saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion, garlic and some salt, cook until soft but no color.

4. If using parsley from gerwins greens, take of the stalks and tie them with a little string. Add to the saucepan to flavor the base of the soup. ( this will be taken out before being blended)!!

5. Slice 3 courgettes, and add to the saucepan. Cook gently for 5 mins and then add your veg stock.

6. Bring up to a gentle boil before adding your peas, cook for 3 mins and finally add the majority of the parsley,the mint and cream.

7. Remove your parsley stalks, and blitz the soup in batches in a blender till smooth.

8. Check for seasoning, I normally add salt and cayenne pepper. 

9. Finally dice your courgettes, place a non stick frying pan on the stove and over a high heat sautee the courgette until you have some color.

10. Place the soup in your bowls, add some croutons and gently pile up some courgette chunks. Drizzle with olive oil and add some chopped parsley and mint....Enjoy!xxx

If you want to eat your soup chilled, cool down over ice when ready. To serve  place in bowls that have been refrigerated. I would also omit the croutons. 

Friday, 26 July 2013

A little twist on hummus

Beetroot and cumin hummus with lime and coriander.


1 tin of chickpeas washed and drained

300g cooked beetroot( roast, braised etc)

1 crushed garlic clove

1 tbsp of tahini

1 tsp  ground cumin

1 bunch of coriander

juice of 1 lime

50 ml of your good olive oil ( Alexis from Migros is pretty yummy, or an Arbequina variety)

1. Place your drained chickpeas in the blender, add the tahini,beetroot, garlic, cumin, coriander, lime juice and some olive oil. Blitz.... if needed add the remaining  olive oil until you get the consistency that you prefer. ( the beetroot will release quite a bit of liquid.

2. Serve piled in a bowl, with some cumin seeds on top, a drizzle of olive oil and some chopped coriander. Serve with veggie crudities, toasted pita bread, tortilla chips or whatever takes your fancy! xx

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Veggi boxes.....oh la la!

Veg Box Picking, washing and packing....all in a mornings work....(when the alarm goes of at 5.30am)

The veg boxes are getting popular and for good reason... feast your eyes on these beauties..... 

 Fancy munching on some of the following....mangetout, broad beans, spinach, salad, yellow carrots, orange carrots, three different types of beetroot, pak choi, turnips, radish, courgette and parsley.

Large box- 50 francs
Small box- 30 francs 

Next delivery SATURDAY....with recipe ( there may be some Swiss Chard on the way). 
Courgette, broad bean and mange tout

Beetroot and turnips

Baby spinach and the famous salad leaves

Yellow and candied beetroot washed and ready to be packaged up

Boxes ready to be sent off

Friday, 19 July 2013

The best way with beetroot.......simple as .... enjoy xxx

The beetroot is growing well, we have red, yellow and candied to choose from....

 Roast Beetroot with thyme and garlic ( River Cafe Recipe)

Simple ingredients. Freshly pulled beetroot, lemon thyme, garlic....olive oil... salt and pepper
 Ingredients for 6 

*18 small summer beetroot
*100ml olive oil
*Maldon sea salt and black pepper
*3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
*1 large bunch fresh thyme, picked from the stalks
*lemon juice from 2 lemons

1. Preheat oven to 220 0c
2. Prepare beetroots, wash well and cut of leaves 5cm from the bulb.
3.Cut tin foil into 18 squares, big enough to wrap around the beetroot.
4. Place beetroot in the middle of the foil, drizzle olive oil and sprinkle with garlic and lemon thyme. Add some salt and freshly ground pepper.
5. Repeat with each beetroot and wrap them up individually in their tinfoil parcels.
6. Place on baking tray for around 45 mins... depending on their size.... test by inserting a knife, they should feel soft. 
7. Serve drizzled with olive oil, lemon juice and herbs of your choice. Here I have used, dill, marjoram and borage flowers...the choice is yours! Delicious on their own with salad and a minted yogurt or served with a piece of pan fried salmon and a large glass on wine! xxx 
Getting ready to be packaged up and popped in the oven......

Ready.... and easy as.......

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Recipe for amazing wild strawberry muffins.... rest your batter overnight and bake off the next morning for a breakfast fit for a queen..or king! xxx

Wild Strawberry,acacia honey and almond streusel muffins.....



*200g Frozen Wild strawberries (or use normal strawberries or blueberries)COAT YOUR BERRIES IN A LITTLE FLOUR..THIS PREVENTS THEM BLEEDING AND COLOURING THE BATTER

*195g plain flour

*3g baking powder

*3g baking soda

*2 g salt

*96g unsalted butter

*96g sugar

*94g acacia honey

*1 egg plus 1 yolk

*1/4 tsp vanilla paste

*57g buttermilk ( add some lemon juice to milk...not as good but its the best compromise)

Streusel Topping

*120g plain flour
*120g ground almonds
*120g caster sugar
*120g cold unsalted butter cut into 1/4 inch pieces
*pinch of salt

1. Start by making your topping, combine flour,ground almonds, sugar and salt in bowl
2. Add your butter, and combine as if your making a crumble topping, do not over mix mixture, you want it fairly lumpy.
3. Place in fridge and chill ( the remains can be frozen up to 1 month)

Now for the batter....

1.Place your butter in the bowl of your kitchen aid fitted with paddle attachment
2. Cream butter on medium speed till you have the consistency of mayonnaise. 
3. Add your sugar and continue to mix, scrape down the sides of bowl until the mixture is fluffy.
4. Add your honey and continue to mix.
5. Now add the egg and vanilla paste
6. Add 1/2 the sieved flour and  rising agents,mix for 1 minute and then add 1/2 the buttermilk... repeat with remaining dry ingredients followed by buttermilk.
7.Remove the bowl, and scrape the bottom of the bowl until everything is well combined.
8. Transfer the batter to a covered container and refrigerate overnight.

THE FUN PART...making the muffins!

1. Preheat your oven to 210 0c
2. Line your muffin pan with papers.
3. Remove your batter from the fridge and let it soften a little..around 10 mins.
4.Stir in your frozen berries and then spoon the batter into your  muffin papers... be generous...stop just before the top.
5. Sprinkle your almond streusel on top.. about 3 tbsps.
6. Place in oven and REDUCE THE TEMPERATURE TO 160 0C.
7. Bake for 20mins and then turn the tray... set your timer for another 10 mins and check if the muffins are ready (they are ready if an inserted skewer comes out clean). They can take between 30mins- 40 mins depending on the oven) 
8. Allow to cool then enjoy with coffee, tea...or whatever takes your fancy!

Friday, 12 July 2013

A Gardener's life....

Getting ready to transplant more seeds

Tomatoes...Coeur de boeuf, comue des andes, green zebra, gardeners delight cherry tomato, black russian, yellow cherry and san marzano. 

Potatoes looking good!

Beautiful courgettes

Runner beans


Another busy week in the garden, the patch is starting to look green and pretty lush now! The mange tout , potatoes and tomatoes have all started to flower.... however right now the star of the show has to be the courgette. Not only stunning to look at but beautiful stuffed with quinoa and served with a homemade tomato sauce ( recipe coming soon). Super healthy and perfect for these warm summer evenings.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Braised lentil, Tomato, Spinach and Radish Salad...The recipe...perfect for a summer's evening!!

Lentil, Drowned Tomato, Radish and Spinach Salad

Serves 4 as a starter

 200g puy lentils
 200g tomatoes
 1 courgette
 1 bunch of radishes
 2 cloves of garlic
 2 sprigs of thyme
 20 g mint
 30 g flat leaf parsley
 10 g tarragon
 feta or any other cheese of choice (a hard goat's cheese would work too)

1. If using dried lentils, cover in cold water, add a little olive oil, and some aromats. ( Normally carrot, celery, bay, onion and thyme) The lentils will absorb the flavours whilst they are cooking.

2. Gently cook till the lentils are soft but still have a little bite.

3. Prepare the tomatoes, cut in half and place in a small baking tray, cut side down. ( the tomatoes should fit neatly). Cover generously with good olive oil, about half way up each tomato ( this will form a sauce for the lentils). Add the sliced garlic and a few thyme sprigs. Cook at 170 oc for 30 mins. Set aside.

4. Slice your courgette, salt and leave aside for 10 mins. ( This will remove the moisture) Wash the salt off then pat dry.

5. Heat a griddle pan till super hot, add the courgettes and chargrill each side, until your have nice deep coloured lines.

6. Chop all herbs finely and slice radishes.

7. Now compose salad. Mix the tomatoes and their juices through the lentils ( add little by little) to a correct consistency is achieved. Mix in the chopped herbs and spinach. Check for seasoning

8. Layer up on plates, with your lentils and then the chargrilled courgette, radish and feta on top.

Next batch of salad leaves are ready!! Contact me for more information!