Red Cabbage with Pears and Dried Cranberries (4)

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Probably not a combination you have thought of but it works well and is naturally a little sweet because of the pears and dried cranberries. I layered this dish starting with cabbage then onions then I sandwiched the pear slices and cranberries in the middle before adding another layer of onions and finishing with cabbage on the top. The addition of apple cider vinegar keeps the cabbage looking red and a little broth provides enough moisture for the mixture to braise in the oven either in a lidded dish or an ovenproof dish covered with aluminum foil.  Goes well with pork.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

1 smallish red cabbage – sliced quite thinly

1 large onion – finely sliced and then the rings separated

2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup of chicken/vegetable broth

2 pears – peeled, quartered and sliced

A good handful of dried cranberries

Place half the cabbage on the bottom of an ovenproof dish. Cover with half the onion.

Pour over 1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup of broth.

Add a layer of pears and sprinkle with the cranberries.

Follow this  with the rest of the onion, top with cabbage and pour over the remaining vinegar and broth.

Cover the dish and cook in oven for 45 minutes

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Haddock with a Tomato-Red Pepper Sauce and Parslied Potatoes (4)

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White fish needs a sauce otherwise it can be very bland. The tomato-red pepper sauce is easy to make and cooks in just about the same time as the fish as do the potatoes so all is on the table in about half an hour. The haddock is poached with lemon juice and olive oil. The recipe for the sauce is a good one to keep on hand as it goes well with pasta  and, if diluted with some broth, makes a nice soup. New potatoes cooked in their skins are then squashed with a potato masher before being sprinkled with parsley and lightly sauteed in oil.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

4 pieces of haddock (about 5 oz. per person)

Juice of 1 lemon

3 – 4 tbsp. olive oil

1 medium onion – roughly diced

2 cloves of garlic – grated

1 can of diced, roasted tomatoes

1 red pepper – diced

10 oz. new potatoes

2 tbsp. parsley – finely chopped

Place the fish on a piece of aluminum foil on a baking tray, pour over the lemon juice and 1 – 2 tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook in oven for 25 minutes until cooked through.

Pour 1 tbsp. oil into a frying pan and when sizzling add the onion and let soften and brown slightly. Add the garlic and stir in well. After a couple of minutes pour in the        tomatoes and add the diced pepper. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil then simmer for 25 minutes. Process mixture in a food processor.

Place potatoes in a pan of boiling water and cook for 20 minutes. Heat 1 -2 tbsp. oil in a frying pan and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Squash the potatoes slightly with a potato masher and when the oil is sizzling add them to the pan and sprinkle the parsley over them. Cook until slightly brown and crisp.

 

 

 

Black Beans and Quinoa (4)

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Just as I substitute rice noodles for pasta, I do the same thing with quinoa for rice. It is like a blank canvas and soaks up flavors whilst at the same time providing protein. Tomatoes, black beans, garlic and some spices (depending on how spicy you like your dishes you can use less than I do) round out this recipe.

2 cups of boiling water

1 cup quinoa

1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 medium onion – finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic – grated

2 cups of canned chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp. harissa paste (or less)

1 tsp. cumin (or less)

1 x 15oz. can of black beans

1 1/2 cups chicken or veg. broth

Pour the boiling water into a saucepan, add the quinoa, bring to a boil and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff through with a fork and leave to stand for 15 minutes.

Place oil in a frying pan and when sizzling add the onion and let soften and brown slightly, then add the garlic and cook for another few minutes.

Pour in the tomatoes, mix in the harissa paste and cumin , add the beans and broth and bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in the cooked quinoa and serve immediately

Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary (4)

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I once stayed in a farmhouse in Italy and the garden was planted with huge borders of rosemary and each bedroom had, instead of a flower arrangement, a little bouquet of fresh herbs. It was quite charming and gave a great aroma to the room. Rosemary, along with sage was used frequently in their recipes and these little roasted new potatoes are just perfect with roast meats or grilled steaks and with many other things too – I can imagine them with eggs or a selection of roasted vegetables. Easy to make – really all you need is a good hot oven. I would only use fresh rosemary for this recipe.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

1 1/2 pounds new potatoes – rinsed, skin left on, cut into quarters

2 tbsp. fresh rosemary – finely chopped

3tbsp. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and toss well together.

Transfer to a metal baking tray or dish and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, turning once or twice to make ensure they are evenly browned.

Serve potatoes straight away.

Chickpea, Spinach and Harissa Stew (4)

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Harissa paste is a staple of Tunisian cooking and is their equivalent of tomato ketchup. It is made from a combination of chilis, roasted red peppers, spices, herbs and garlic. It adds a zing to soups and stews. My recipe can either be served as a vegetarian or vegan main course or as a side dish.

1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 medium sized onion – finely chopped

1 large garlic clove – grated

1 tbsp. harissa paste

1 and 1/2 cups passata

1 cup chicken/vegetable broth (add more broth at the end of cooking if you want a thinner sauce)

4 oz. baby tomatoes

1 x 15 oz can of chickpeas

5 oz baby spinach

Heat seasoned olive oil in a cast iron casserole dish with a lid and when sizzling add onion and let soften and brown, then add the garlic and cook for a couple more minutes.

Add harissa paste, passata, broth, tomatoes, chickpeas and spinach. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer with the lid on for some 20 minutes until tomatoes are bursting their skins.

Oven-Cooked Vegetables and New Potatoes Dotted with Herbed Goat’s Cheese (4)

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The simpler the better but no compromise on flavor. For that a tray bake is the answer. Place everything on a metal tray, toss in olive oil and season – in this case baby asparagus, artichoke hearts and new potatoes. Peas and herby goat’s cheese are added afterwards as they wouldn’t do so well in the oven.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

12 oz. new potatoes – quartered

8 oz. baby asparagus – use the top two thirds of the stem and cut that in half

1 x 14 oz. can of artichoke hearts – drained and quartered

3 tbs. olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4. oz. frozen peas

1 – 2 oz. herbed goat’s cheese – cut into little pieces

Place potatoes, asparagus and artichoke hearts on a metal baking tray. Pour over the olive oil, season and toss well.

Cook in oven for 30 minutes.

5 minutes before the veg. are cooked, boil the peas.

Remove tray from oven, sprinkle over the peas and dot with goat’s cheese.

 

French Green Beans and Baby Tomatoes with Tapenade (4)

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French green beans or haricots verts as they are known in France are a thinner version of the traditional green beans found in the US and UK and I much prefer them. In France haricots verts and tomatoes are often combined, whether it be in a salad or a hot dish such as this. I have added tapenade – a traditional Mediterranean appetizer often served on toasted bread in a similar way to bruschetta or used as a dip for crudites – and stirred it in with the vegetables. Tapenade at its most basic combines black olives, capers and olive oil. My version also includes anchovies, garlic and lemon juice. If you don’t want to make it yourself you may be able to find it in your local supermarket. Goes well with lamb or firm white fish.

8 oz thin green beans – topped, tailed and cut in half

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 oz cherry tomatoes – cut in half

1 tbsp. tapenade (or more if you want)

Boil the green beans for just a few minutes until ‘al dente’, then drain.

At the same time put 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. When sizzling add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes become soft and browned on both sides.

Add the beans and 1 tbsp. of tapenade to the pan with the tomatoes and the juices and toss well together.

TAPENADE (makes approx. 1 cup – which is more than you need for this recipe)

1 x cup pitted black olives

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 heaped tbsp. curly parsley

1 tbsp. capers – drained

1 large clove garlic – cut into small pieces

4 anchovies

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Place all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend to your desired consistency.

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