Sometimes you have to wonder how you are going to use them all,as nothing is wasted.Something always comes to mind though. These recipes are great even if you do eat meat and fish.You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy them.
As the years go by I become more and more into vegetables and less into meat. I used to think that a meal was not complete without meat and that vegetables were an addition or to add colour. It has nothing to do personally with the animals more to do with realising how filling and versatile vegetable recipes can be.
Spinach,basil and pumpkin rice torte
You can add different layers to this if you like.one idea is layers of hard boiled eggs and mozzarella between the layers of rice.
2tbs olive oil
1 onion thinly sliced
400g/14oz fresh spinach
handful of chopped basil leaves
200g/7oz arborio rice cooked
100g/3 and half oz parmesan
2 eggs lightly beaten
50g/1 3/4 oz butter melted
9 sheets filo pastry halved
625g/1lb6oz pumpkin peeled,cut into slices and boiled
salt and pepper
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion over a low heat for 5 minutes until golden
- Add the spinach and basil and cook for 2 minutes until wilted
- Chop finely,then place in a tea towel and squeeze out the moisture.
- Divide the rice equally into two bowls ,add the spinach to one and divide the parmesan and the eggs between the two bowls.Mix well .
- Grease an 20cm/8in springform cake tin with a little butter.
- Brush the sheets of filo with butter and use to line the sides and bottom of the tin leaving a small overlap of filo.Reserve 6 half sheets of filo for the top.(keep them under a damp cloth until ready to use.)
- Layer the torte:place the spinach rice in the base,followed by the pumpkin,with the remaining rice on top.Season each layer.
- Cut the reserved pastry into strips ,brush with butter and use to decorate the torte.Bake for 50 minutes until golden.
- Turn out of the tin on to a baking sheet and bake for a few minutes longer to crisp the sides.Cool a little before serving.
What to do with beetroot
beetroot is one of my favourite vegetables and very underrated.It is sometimes a chore cooking and peeling but once done it is certainly worth the effort.
- Raw vegetables go very well with orange segments and watercress.
- Slice cooked beetroot and serve with sliced apple , celery and walnut halves for a waldorf salad
- finely slice peeled raw beetroot and allow to air dry until the surface of the slice no longer give off juice when touched. Heat vegetable oil to 190 degrees c and deep fry small handfuls until crisp . drain well on kitchen paper and sprinkle with salt and a little ground cumin.
- Toss thick slices of cooked beetroot in seasoned flour and fry in butter and olive oil for a few moments on both sides .
- Shred beet leaves and stir fry with garlic and soy sauce.
Wild mushroom risotto
I must admit if I could brag about anything that I cook well it would be my risottos..I just love cooking them nearly as much as I love eating them.This one is my very favourite.I have made this recipe many times and omitted the butter totally…I really don’t think it is a great loss!! Simmer the shallot in a little stock instead
25g/1oz dried porcini mushrooms
1litre/1 and 3 quarter pints chicken stock.
75g/ 3 oz butter (if on a diet omit)
50g/2 oz shallots finely chopped
225g/8oz mixed fresh mushrooms roughly chopped
275g/10oz arborio rice
50g/2oz fresh parmesan
salt and pepper
- Cover the dried mushrooms with half the chicken stock and allow to soak for half an hour.Strain the liquid through a sieve back into the remainder of the chicken stock.Pick out the dried mushrooms and roughly chop them
- Heat 50g/2oz of the butter ,add the shallots and cook them without colouring.Add the mushrooms and rice and stir to mix.
- Add the sherry and a ladle full of stock.Cook very gently over a low heat,gradually adding more stock.,ladle by ladle so that each addition of stock is absorbed before adding more.
- The risotto should retain a slight bite to each grain of rice ,but at the same time have a creamy texture.
- Once cooked mix in the grated parmesan and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Grilled vegetables with balsamic vinaigrette.
This is a great dish to try out on the BBQ and with a loaf of fresh bread it could be a main meal.The vegetables are good served cold with feta cheese.
4 plum tomatoes halved
2 courgettes cut into thick slices
1 aubergine (egg plant) cut into round thick slices
1 red pepper deseeded and cut into wedges
1 onion cut into wedges
4tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tsp ground black pepper
half tsp salt
4 cloves garlic very finely chopped.
- Places the tomatoes,courgettes,aubergine,pepper and onion into a container
- In a bowl mix the olive oil,balsamic vinegar,honey ,black pepper,salt and garlic
- Pour the mixture over the vegetables and cover.Marinate in the fridge for at least an hour turning the vegetables a couple of times during marinating
- Coat the grill rack with oil and grill the vegetables until the onion is tender,basting with the marinade.
- You can also bake these vegetables in a hot oven.
What a lovely way to serve fresh mushrooms!The more different mushrooms you use the more intense the flavour.
2tbs olive oil
50g/2oz shallots or a small onion
2 cloves garlic crushed
1tsp black peppercorns crushed
2tbs chopped corriander
150g /5oz mixed mushrooms sliced
25g/1oz any british hard cheese grated
25g/1oz white breadcrumbs
- Heat the butter and olive oil in a frying pan (omit the butter if you are on a health kick)add teh shallots,garlic , peppercorns,paprika,coriander and mushrooms.Cook for 10 minutes.
- Mix the eggs, grated cheese and breadcrumbs,season with salt and beat lightly .
- Add the mushroom mixture to the beaten eggs and mix througfh.
- Pour the mixture into a lightly greased ovenproof dish and cook in a preheated oven at 190c/gas5 for 18 – 20 minutes until set.Finish by colouring the top of the frittata under a hot grill until golden brown.
Cabbage with soured cream
Serve this hot cabbage dish as an unusual accompaniment to lamb or pork roasts.
1 large green cabbage about 750g – 2kg/1 – 2lb
half tsp carraway aseeds
freshly ground black pepper
half tsp paprika
150ml/qtr pint soured cream
half tsp carraway seeds to garnish.
- Bring 2.5cm/1inch salted water to the boil in a large saucepan and add the cabbage.Cover and cook over a moderate heat for 5 – 6 minutes or until barely tender.Drain well.
- Melt the butter in the rinsed out pan,add the drained cabbage,with the carraway seeds and stir well..Season to taste with salt and pepper,then stir in the paprika and soured cream.
- Cook over the lowest possible heat ,with out boiling,for 3 minutes until cooked through.
- Transfer to a warmed serving dish and scatter with carraway seeds and serve.
500g/1 lb and a qtr onions peeled and sliced
2 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped
2 tbs oil
1tbs white wine or cider vinegar
1 tbs paprika
salt and pepper
soured cream to garnish (optional)
- Lightly oil a large casserolle dish and put in the onions,garlic,oil,vinegar,paprika,sugar,salt and pepper.
- Cover the casserolle and put in a preheated moderate oven for about 2 hours,stirring occasionally.
- Transfer the onions to a serving dish and serve with soured cream.
Red cabbage with chestnuts
This is great served with pork or game
Red cabbage is never boiled or steamed,but cooked slowly in a casserole with plenty of spices and flavourings.Vinegar helps to preserve the cabbages bright colour during cooking.
175g6oz prunes.soaked overnight,stoned,and roughly chopped.
175g/6oz cooking apples peeled cored and chopped
1 medium onion peeled and finely chopped
1 x 1kg/2lb red cabbage shredded
salt and pepper
1tbs soft brown sugar
2tbs cider vinegar
200ml/7fl oz beef stock
1 tsp ground corriander.
- Prick the chestnuts and cook in a saucepan of boiling water for 20 minutes.Drain and leave until cool enough to handle,then peel and halve.
- In the casserole,make layers of the chestnuts,prunes,apples,onion and red cabbage.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- ombine the suagar,vinegar,stock and corriander and pour over the vegetables.
- Cook in a preheated low oven for 2 hours stirring occasionally.Taste about 30 minutes before serving ,if too bland add a little more vinegar and sugar.
- Transfer to a heated serving dish.
Stir fried courgettes with herbs and spices
This is great served with curried chicken,fish or veal,marrow cut into chunks can be used instead of courgettes/zucchini
500g/1 lb courgettes peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
3tbs sunflower oil
1tbs chopped curry leaves
3 spring onions chopped
1 garlic clove peeled and chopped
1tbs chopped fresh ginger root
1tbs fresh coriander
1 tsp light soy sauce
2 tbs chicken stock or hot water.
- Put the courgettes into a colander and set over a large plate or dish.Sprinkle the courgettes with the salt and leave to drain for 30 minutes,then pat dry with paper towels .
- Heat a wok or deep frying pan,add the oil and heat again.Add the curry leaves and fry for 1 – 2 minutes until they turn brown,then add the spring onions,garlic,ginger and coriander.Stir fry over a brisk heat for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Add the courgettes and stir fry for a further 2 minutes,cover the wok and simmer for a further 2 minutes over a gentle heat.
- Add the soy sauce and stock and stir fry for 30 seconds.
Celeriac, potato & leek bake.
This recipe is like most tasty ones an accident….well more like ….what can I do with these left overs?
1 lb potatoes peeled, and thinly sliced.
1lb celeriac peeled and thinly sliced
4 leeks washed very well and cut into small pieces.
salt and lots black pepper
good pinch of cayenne pepper.
For the sauce
1 oz flour
1 oz butter
half pint milk
6 oz grated cheese
- put a layer of each vegetable in a deep dish and in between sprinkle each layer with grated parmesan and salt and pepper.
- Make the sauce by melting the butter over a low heat in a saucepan and adding the flour and mixing well witrh a wooden spoon.
- slowly add the milk a little at a time until you have a smooth sauce,just thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.(if it is lumpy use a whisk )
- add lots of salt and pepper and the grated cheese and mix well.
- pour over the vegetables , cover with foil and bake in an oven gas 6 for about 40 minutes.
- Take off foil and sprinkle vegetables with grated cheese and return to the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden on top.