Harissa grilled aubergine ‘steak’ with freekeh, roasted peppers and zhoug

North African spices bring life into the earthy flavour of aubergine. A great plant based dish for summer barbecues

Ingredients

  • For the aubergine
  • 2 large aubergine cut lengthwise 1 cm thick (appx 6 steaks)
  • 50mls Belazu extra virgin olive oil
  • 40gms Belazu rose harissa
  • Salt & pepper

For the Freekeh

  • 200gms Belazu
  • Freekeh wheat
  • 200gms red pepper (deseeded and cut into roughly 20mm dice)
  • 200gms red onion (peeled and cut into roughly 20mm dice)
  • Little olive oil
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • Zest & juice 1 large un-waxed lemon
  • 30mls Belazu Early Harvest olive oil
  • 50gms Belazu Zhoug paste
  • 30gms green pistachios (roughly chopped) – optional
  • Hand full of flat parsley leaves

For the yoghurt

  • 200mls natural yoghurt (N.B. unsweetened soya, coconut or almond yoghurt can be substituted for a vegan dish)
  • 10gms fresh mint leaves (finely chopped)
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 gms ground cumin
  • 1 clove garlic (finely chopped or grated)
  • 1 pomegranate (seeds only)
  • 5gms micro coriander

 

Method

For the Freekeh

  1. Boil the freekeh in lightly salted water or vegetable stock till tender but still holding shape (appx 10 mins) and drain. Keep warm
  2. Mix the peppers, red onion, garlic, little olive oil and seasoning together and roast in a hot oven (220oC) till starting to colour but retaining shape
  3. In a large bowl mix together the early harvest olive oil, zhoug paste, lemon juice and zest
  4. Toss in the freekeh, roasted vegetables and pistachios, check seasoning and keep warm (but not hot)

For the aubergine

  1. Pre heat char grill, skillet pan or barbecue till hot
  2. Mix the harissa paste and olive oil and brush lightly on the aubergine steaks. Keeping some of the marinade back
  3. Place steaks on grill and cook. Turn over once one side has bar marked and brush again with the marinade. Repeat once more and season –  N.B. take care that the spices do not burn too much
  4. When the steaks are cooked through remove and keep warm

For the yoghurt

  1. Whisk together the yoghurt, garlic, salt and cumin and allow to stand for at least an hour for flavours to develop

To Serve

  1. Pile the freekeh mix into the centre of plates and top with the aubergine steaks
  2. Drizzle yoghurt over the aubergine and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and micro coriander
  3. Serve with grilled flatbread and green salad

Courgette, lemon and poppy seed loaf

A great way to incorporate vegetables into a sweet treat and to use up excess courgettes when you get a glut of home-grown produce

Ingredients

  •     200g grated courgette
  •     150g caster sugar
  •     1 egg
  •     125ml vegetable or cold pressed rapeseed oil
  •     200g plain flour
  •     1/2 teaspoon salt
  •     1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  •     1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  •     5ms ground cinnamon
  •     Zest and juice of 2 unwaxed lemons
  •    15gms poppy seeds

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160 C / Gas mark 3. Grease a loaf tin or line with silicon paper.
  2. In a bowl, beat together the sugar, egg and oil.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and cinammon
  4. Gently fold the flour mixture into egg mixture until just blended (do not overbeat)
  5. Gently fold in the courgette, lemon zest and juice and poppy seeds
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared tin.
  7. Bake for appx 45 minutes in the preheated oven until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  8. Remove from heat and cool about 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Top with simple lemon glace icing if desired (optional)

Scorched mackerel with Jersey Royals, samphire and capers

A truly seasonal summer dish, celebrating the best of British ingredients in a simple but delicious recipe. If Jersey Royals aren’t available by the time you want to cook this then Cornish mids or a good salad variety such as Charlotte, Anya, Pink Fir Apple or even Salad Blue (for a real splash of colour) will do just as well.

Ingredients

  • For the mackerel
  • 4 super fresh mackerel fillets (pinboned)
  • 200gms caster sugar
  • 200gms fine sea salt
  • Zest and juice of 3 limes

For the potatoes

  • 400gms Jersey Royal mids (scrubbed)
  • 120gms samphire (picked and washed twice)
  • 30gms Belazu fine capers in vinegar (drained)
  • 50mls Belazu extra virgin olive oil
  • Zest & juice of 1 lemon
  • 200gms cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the watercress oil

  • 200gms watercress
  • 200mls cold pressed rapeseed oil
  • ice

For the fish

  1. Blend together the salt, sugar and lime zest and juice in a food processor
  2. Lay the fillets of mackerel in a plastic or china dish, coat with the curing mixture and place in the fridge for 10 minutes
  3. After 10 minutes remove fillets from the tray, rinse in cold water to remove the ‘cure’ and pat dry with a clean J cloth or kitchen paper. The fillets need to be as dry as possible

For the potatoes

  1. Cut the potatoes in half and boil in salted water till ¾ cooked and drain
  2. Blanch the samphire in boiling (un-salted) water for 5 second, drain and refresh quickly

For the watercress oil

  1. Blanch the watercress in boiling salted water for 10 seconds. Remove watercress from the boiling water and plunge into ice water to stop cooking and retain vibrant green colour. Drain watercress and squeeze dry. (the watercress needs to be as dry as possible) roughly chop
  2. Blend the oil and watercress together in a food processor or blender till very smooth and emulsified.
  3. Strain through a very fine sieve and place in a squeezy bottle
  4. N.B. the oil can be made in larger quantities and stored in the fridge for up to a week

To serve

  1. Heat the oil for the potatoes in a thick based saute pan, add the part cooked potatoes and fry till golden brown
  2. Add the tomatoes and cook till softened but not mushy
  3. Add the blanched samphire, capers and lemon juice and zest and remove from heat – N.B. do not overcook the samphire as you want to retain the slight crunch
  4. Check seasoning and keep warm
  5. Lightly oil the mackerel skin, place on a baking sheet and with a blow torch lightly cook the mackerel fillets. You want the skin to be slightly blistered and charred but not burnt. – N.B. this will only take a few minutes as the fish is already ‘cooked’ with the curing mixture.
  6. Place the potato mix on warmed plates, top with the mackerel fillets and dress with the watercress oil

 

Roasted butternut squash with feta and chilli

Delicious as a dish in its own right or as a side dish, particularly with herb roasted chicken and green salad

 Ingredients

  • 1kg butternut squash (peeled and cut into 30mm dice)
  • 1 bnch spring onion (trimmed and sliced at an angle 5cm thick)
  • 200gms barrel aged Feta (roughly crumbled)
  • 1 or 2 (depending on desired heat level) long, red Dutch chillies (sliced)
  • 100mls Belazu extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 120gms fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 20gms finely chopped flat leaf parsley

Method

  1. Pre heat the oven to 200oC
  2. Blanch the butternut in lightly salted boiling water for a few minutes till lightly softened (but not fully cooked), and drain thoroughly
  3. Toss the butternut in the ½ the olive oil with the Feta, chilli and spring onion and season (go lightly on the salt a the Feta will be salty)
  4. Lightly oil an ovenproof serving dish with a little olive oil. Put the butternut and cheese mix in the dish and place in the oven
  5. Cook for approximately 15 minutes until butternut is starting to colour
  6. Meanwhile mix the breadcrumbs with the parsley and remaining olive oil
  7. Remove the butternut from the oven and sprinkle over the breadcrumb mix
  8. Place back in the oven and cook for a further 15mins till breadcrumbs are crispy and butternut is cooked through
  9. Serve as a side dish or as a main dish with green salad

Chinese crispy mushroom pancakes

Another vegan alternative to the favourite Chinese crispy duck pancakes. You may even find it hard to tell the difference

 

Ingredients

  • For the mushrooms
  • 250gm oyster mushroom
  • 250gms shi-take mushroom
  • 1 clove garlic (crushed)
  • 30mls vegetable oil
  • 60mls dark soy sauce
  • 5 gms five spice powder
  • 30 mls rice wine
  • 20mls toasted sesame oil
  • 15gms light brown sugar

To serve

  • 12 -16 Chinese pancakes
  • 4 large spring onions (cut into 5cm fine strips)
  • ½ cucumber (cut into 5cm matchsticks)
  • 100gms moili (peeled and cut into 5cm matchsticks)
  • 50gms carrots (peeled and cut into 5cm matchsticks)
  • 120mls hoi-sin or plum sauce

For the mushrooms

  • Tear the oyster mushrooms into 5 cm strips, slice the shi-take into 3cm thick slices
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy based frying pan
  • Add the garlic and fry till starting to colour, then add the mushrooms and fry gently until starting to soften
  • Add the remaining mushroom ingredients and cook gently until the mixture is quite dry and coated with a light glaze. Keep warm
  • Heat a deep fat fryer to 180oC. Take one third of the mushroom mix and deep fry till crispy (be careful as the oil will spit furiously.)

o   N.B. if you don’t want to deep fry you can crisp the mushrooms in the oven at 240oC on a silicon mat or oiled baking paper for appx 10mins

To serve

  • Heat the pancakes in a microwave or steamer
  • Serve all elements in separate bowls. Top the cooked mushroom with the crispy mushroom to replicate the crispy duck skin

Prime ‘beet’ burger

Vegan alternative for a ‘meaty’ burger if you’re trying to do reduce your meat intake but still want the ‘dirty burger’ experience.

Ingredients

  • For the burger
  • 10g Chopped Parsley
  • 350g Grated beetroot
  • 150g grated carrot
  • 120g Oats
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 250g cooked green lentils
  • 1 tblspn miso paste
  • Salt & pepper

For the garlic mayo

  • 250mls cold pressed rapeseed oil
  • 125mls unsweetened soya milk
  • 25mls white wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1 tspn Dijon mustard
  • Salt & pepper

2 beef tomatoes

  • 1 little gem lettuce
  • 1 red onion (sliced)
  • 8 slices vegan cheese
  • 8 burger buns

To garnish

  • tomatoes
  • lettuce
  • onion
  • a few home-pickled cucumbers

For the burger

  • In a large bowl, combine the carrot, beetroot, oats, parsley, seasoning, miso and shallots.
  • In a food processor blitz the cooked green lentils.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or preferably up to 24 hours).
  • Combine the cooked green lentils with the chilled mixture.
  • Shape into round burgers – Makes 8 medium sized (quarter pound) burgers

For the garlic mayo

  • Using a stick blender blitz together soya milk, vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper
  • Slowly pour in oil whilst blending till sauce emulsifies
  • Check seasoning
  • N.B. this recipe will make more than you need for the burgers the remainder can be kept in the fridge for use in other dishes

To serve

  • Pan fry the burgers with a little oil to get a caramelised outside and place on a baking tray into a preheated oven (180oC) to cook through (appx 10 mins)
  • When almost cooked put a slice of cheese on each burger to melt slightly
  • Toast the buns, spread the mayo on the base of each bun
  • Top with washed lettuce leaves, tomato, sliced onion and finally the burger and bun top