Our Vegetable Plot

A modern, fun take on old school crudites.

Ingredients

  • 1 bnch baby carrots
  • 1 bnch breakfast radishes
  • 1 bnch baby turnips
  • 1 bnch baby fennel
  • 50gms sugar snap peas
  • 1 pnt baby corn
  • 1 bnch baby beetroot
  • 1 string cherry vine tomatoes
  • 1 bnch spring onions
  • 1 pnt growing pea tendrils
  • 15mls balsamic vinegar
  • Little olive oil
  • 15mls cider vinegar
  • Salt & pepper

For the houmous

  • 400g canned chickpeas (drained)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • pinch salt
  • 30gms tahini
  • 50mls water
  • 60mls extra virgin olive oil

For the ‘soil’

  • 100gms pumpernickel bread
  • 20gms pumpkin seeds (toasted)
  • 100gms pitted Kalamata olives
  • 100gms cooked black quinoa

Mini plant pots to serve

  1. For the vegetables
  • Scrub the baby carrots and trim leaving some of the green stalk on
  • Trim radishes leaving as much stalk as is presentable
  • Clean baby turnip, cut in half and blanch in boiling salted water, drain, refresh and sit in the cider vinegar till ready
  • Cut baby fennel into 10cm lengths and blanch
  • Cut baby corn in half lengthwise and blanch lightly
  • Clean baby beets, cut in half and toss in a little olive oil, seasoning and balsamic vinegar, wrap in tin foil and bake in the oven till cooked but still firm. Allow to cool
  • Wash and trim spring onions and cut in half
  1. For the houmous
  • Blend all houmous ingredients in a food processor till smooth and creamy. Check seasoning
  1. For the soil
  • Dry the pumpernickel bread out lightly in the oven.
  • Blend the bread, olives and pumpkin seeds in a food processor to resemble coarse breadcrumbs
  • Mix with the cooked quinoa
  • Place back in oven for 10 minutes at 160oC to dry out. Allow to cool
  1. To Serve
  • Three quarter fill the mini plant pots with the houmous
  • Top each pot with a layer of ‘soil’
  • Insert the vegetables into the pots
  • Pick the pea tendrils and use to garnish each pot

Heritage tomato salad with black garlic and frozen goats cheese

This recipe takes a little effort but is a much more refined version of a tomato salad. The different techniques of drying, pickling and charring add layers of flavour and interest and black garlic adds ‘umami’

Ingredients

  • 1kg heritage tomatoes (including cherry varieties)
  • 100gms Belazu smoked semi dried tomatoes in oil
  • 500gms banana shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 100gms good quality soft goats cheese (e.g. Rosary Ash)
  • 100gms black garlic cloves
  • 3gms micro basil
  • Sea salt flakes and cracked black pepper

For the pickling liquor

  • 100gms caster sugar
  • 100mls dry white wine
  • 100mls white wine vinegar
  • 1tspn salt
  • 2 pieces of star anise
  • 2 bay leaves
  1. For the dehydrated tomatoes
    Select the larger tomatoes and slice appx 5mm thick. If you have a dehydrator set at 62oC. If you don’t, preheat oven to 80oC (and if combi set to zero humidity). Lay the tomatoes on lightly oiled silicone paper and sprinkle with a little sea salt and white wine vinegar. Slice the garlic cloves very finely and lay a piece on each tomato slice. Place in the oven and dry for appx 5 hours until crisp (between 6 and 12 hours in dehydrator). Remove from the tray, allow to cool and store in an airtight container. N.B. these can be made in batches and stored for later use
  2. For the pickled tomatoes
    Take some medium sized tomatoes (green ones work well for pickling if you have them) and cut into wedges. Peel and slice the shallots into 5mm rings. Place tomatoes and shallots into a sterilised Kilner jar with the bay leaves and anise. Boil together the pickling liquor ingredients until sugar is dissolved allow to cool slightly and pour over the tomatoes and shallots. Make sure the pickling liquor covers the fruit. N.B. these can be made in batches and stored in the fridge for future use
  3. For the scorched tomatoes
    Select some cherry varieties and place on a metal tray. With a blow torch scorch the tomatoes all over till the skins are blistered and tomatoes are slightly softened. Allow to cool
  4. For the black garlic puree
    Place black garlic, 50mls water, 10g sea salt and 1tspn white wine vinegar into a heavy based saucepan. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat and cover with a lid for 20-30 mins to infuse. Blend to a smooth paste in a food processor or with a hand blender and pass through a fine sieve. Put into a squeezy bottle with a fine nozzle or piping bag. As with the pickle this can be made in batches and stored in the fridge for later use
  5. To assemble – Freeze the goats’ cheese
  • Cut the tomatoes which haven’t been pickled or scorched into suitable sized pieces (e.g. diced, sliced, quartered appropriate to your style of presentation)
  • Arrange the fresh, pickled, scorched and smoked tomatoes on suitable plates or bowls. Drizzle a little of the oil from the smoked tomatoes over them and season with sea salt and cracked pepper
  • Pipe small blobs of black garlic puree amongst the tomatoes.
  • Place rings of pickled shallot on top of the tomatoes
  • Using a micro plane grater, immediately prior to service, grate the goats cheese over the salad, finish with micro basil and the tomato crisps

Asparagus, pea & feta fritatta

Ingredients

  • 1 lge red onion (peeled and cut into 10mm dice)
  • 350gms fresh British asparagus (cut into 2cm pieces)
  • 200gms fresh peas (podded and blanched)
  • 125gms barrel aged Feta (crumbled)
  • 50mls olive oil
  • 15mls Belazu aged balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 good quality free range eggs (e.g. Clarence Court Burford Brown)
  • Good pinch cayenne pepper
  • 500mls single cream
  1. Preheat oven to 200oC
  2. Toss the asparagus and onions in half the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season. Roast in the oven for approximately 5 minutes till slightly coloured but retaining bite
  3. Line a 23 x 33cm deep baking dish with baking parchment and brush with remaining oil
  4. Evenly distribute asparagus, onion, peas and Feta into the lined baking tray
  5. Whisk together the eggs, cream and cayenne and season well
  6. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and bake at 170oC for approximately 35 minutes until the egg mixture is set
  7. Remove from oven and allow to rest. Serve warm or cold

Cauliflower cous cous

A deliciously different, fresh and healthy way to eat cauliflower, this vegan friendly recipe also works well as an accompaniment to grilled meat and fish. If you are following a raw food diet you can omit the cooking element of the cauliflower and the dish will be equally delicious.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 4 spring onions (chopped)
  • ½ cucumber (deseeded and cut into 5mm dice)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon (unwaxed)
  • 30gms pomegranate seeds
  • 1 long Dutch chilli (deseeded and finely diced)
  • ½ Belazu preserved lemon (finely chopped)
  • 30gms dried apricot (finely chopped)
  • 20gms mint leaves (finely chopped)
  • 30gms flaked almonds (toasted)
  • 50mls cold pressed rapeseed oil
  • Salt & pepper
  1. Break the cauliflower into florets and blend in a food processor till the cauliflower resembles cous cous grains. Place in a non-metallic bowl with a tablespoon of water and a pinch of salt.
  2. Cover the bowl with cling film and microwave on full power for appx 2 minutes until the cous cous is just cooked but retaining some bite
  3. Allow the cous cous to cool and mix in all the ingredients
  4. Leave the cous cous for at least an hour to allow all the flavours to develop
  5. Serve at room temperature