Braised Lettuce, Peas and Bacon (4)

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Lovely, light summery dish made using shallots, buttery lettuce, peas, bacon and a good dollop of mustard.

3 rashers of bacon – cut into small pieces

2 x shallots – finely chopped

1 large head of buttery lettuce – finely sliced and chopped

2 cups of frozen peas

1 cup chicken broth

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

Heat a skillet/frying pan and when nice and hot add the bacon and let brown for a few minutes, then add shallots and let them brown a little too.

Then add lettuce, peas, broth and mustard. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

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Jo’s Vegetable Pie (4)

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What to do with a surfeit of lentils? Had already made soup. How about a veggie version of Shepherd’s Pie? To lentils I added peas, cannellini beans, carrots and ‘passata’ (tomato sauce). The topping was horseradish mashed potato

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

1 medium onion – finely chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

2 medium carrots – cut into slices and then each slice cut into quarters

3 cups cooked lentils

1 can of cannellini beans

1 cup frozen peas

24 oz passata (I use the ‘Flora’ brand)

Heat oil in cast iron casserole dish and when sizzling add the onion and let brown, then add garlic and carrots and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add rest of ingredients one at a time, bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

Place mixture in ovenproof serving dish, top with horseradish mash (see below) and cook in oven at 350 degrees for another 20 minutes.

For the mashed potato topping I took 2 largish potatoes and mashed them with 4 tsps. of prepared horseradish (Gold’s brand).

Flaked Salmon Salad on a Bed of Watercress (serves 4)

Flaked Salmon Salad on a Bed of Watercress (serves 4)

Cold salmon embodies summer (think whole poached salmon with cucumber slices down the middle – a memory from childhood celebrations). Peas – fresh from the pod – are a summer treat if you can get them. Also in the salad are shelled edamame, but if you have baby broad beans you could substitute those. Then there is some English cucumber and some finely chopped scallions. Served on a bed of super healthy watercress and tossed in a lemon vinaigrette (special ingredient to vinaigrette is juice from cooked salmon).Add some new potatoes or else quantities are for a ladies’ lunch. Vegan or vegetarian if you omit salmon.

2 oz watercress – torn into little pieces

1 x good size piece of salmon

1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/8 cup of water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place salmon on a piece of tin foil big enough to wrap around salmon.

Pour over lemon juice and water and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Cook in oven for 20 minutes or until salmon is cooked through and then let cool.

Retain juice.

Place 1/2 cup peas and 1/2 cup edamame beans in pan with boiling water and cook for 3 minutes or so, then drain.

1 bunch scallions/spring onions – finely chopped

1/2 English cucumber (English because no seeds) – chopped into small chunks

1/2 lemon juice freshly squeezed

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Poach salmon in aluminum foil in an oven proof dish with the lemon juice, water and seasoning – make a kind of parcel.

Cook for 20 minutes or so in oven until salmon is cooked. Then let cool.

At same time cook peas and edamame beans/baby broad beans in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse.

Place torn up watercress in bottom of serving bowl and add scallions/spring onions and chopped cucumber.

Add cooled pea/edamame mixture

Add flaked salmon

Vinaigrette – juice of 1/2 lemon, 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper AND lemon/water juice from poaching the salmon (makes all the difference).

Celery and Pea Soup with a Dollop of Mustard (serves 4)

Celery and Pea Soup with a Dollop of Mustard (serves 4)

Due to a large packet of frozen peas being neglected and hence thawing out I have been scrambling to use them up, hence this soup. I love peas but they are sweet (which is why I like pea and ham soup) which is why I added some mustard and this solved the ‘sweet’ problem. I still have half a packet of peas left so watch this space!

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

1/2 a large onion – chopped

1 large garlic clove – chopped

1 head of celery – chopped

2 cups of frozen peas

3 cups of veg. broth/stock

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

Heat seasoned olive oil in a cast iron casserole dish and when sizzling add onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes until onion is a little softened.

Then add celery, peas and veg. broth/stock, bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

Puree in food processor along with mustard.

Indian Cabbage and Peas (serves 4)

Indian Cabbage and Peas (serves 4)

Encountered this at an all-you-can-eat Indian Buffet the other day. Very nice, so have been busy with my spices this morning. Apartment smelling very aromatic! Not having a pestle and mortar any more, I made do with a rolling pin to crush the coriander seeds.

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, seasoned with salt

1 x bunch of scallions/spring onions – finely chopped

1 teasp. cumin

1 teasp. curry powder

1/2 teasp. coriander seeds – crushed

1/2 teasp. garam masala

1/4 teasp. cardamom

1/2 cabbage – shredded

1 cup of peas

1 cup veg. broth/stock

Heat oil in a skillet/frying pan and when sizzling add scallions/spring onions and all spices and cook for a couple of minutes.

Turn heat down a little and add cabbage, peas and broth/stock.

Turn cabbage and peas to coat with oil and spices.

Cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes, stirring a few times.

Braised Celery and Peas (serves 4)

Braised Celery and Peas (serves 4)

Came up with this when I was wondering how to use up the celery I had bought too much of and didn’t have enough veg. broth/stock to make soup. I softened an onion, added the chopped celery, some broth and a cup of frozen peas. Key is to not let celery get too mushy. I served this side dish with pork tenderloin, fingerling potatoes and an onion marmalade. The veg. looks nice and green and Spring like, too.

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

1 medium onion – chopped

1 medium head of celery – chopped

1 cup veg. broth/stock

1 cup frozen peas

Heat oil and when sizzling add onion and let soften and brown a little.

Add celery, peas and broth/stock.

Bring to boil, then simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.

Spring Lamb Stew with Peas (serves 4)

Spring Lamb Stew (serves 4)

Spring Lamb Stew is a lovely dish – half comfort food but with hints that better weather is round the corner. To the lamb, I added carrots, peas and snow peas (fresh, if possible) and served new potatoes with mint. The carrots were all different colors – orange, yellow and purple which I found at the Farmer’s Market and they livened up the color. When I saw something similar being served (on a cold, windy Spring day in the UK!) it came in a large soup plate with a large rim and that seemed a nice way to serve it.

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

1 x onion – chopped

2 pounds of lamb – cut into bite size pieces

3 x carrots – sliced

6 oz. fresh peas

6 oz. fresh snowpeas/mangetout

2 cups veg. stock/broth

Place oil in cast iron casserole dish and season with salt and pepper.

When sizzling add onion and cook will just a bit brown.

Remove onion for casserole dish, add lamb and sear on all sides (add more oil if  you need, I didn’t)

Place onion back in dish when lamb is seared, then add carrots, peas, snowpeas/mangetout and veg. broth.

Place in oven at 350 degrees for 1/2 and hour, then turn down heat to 250 degrees and cook for a further hour.