I hope you enjoy these recipes x
Quinoa, Roasted Veggies, Marinated Chickpeas and Feta Salad
Soak 1 cup of chick peas over night.
1 1/2 hours before serving:
Drain the chick peas and refill with water. Add a 3 cm piece of Kombu. Boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 1 hour or until tender.
While the chick peas are boiling, peel 1 medium whole Butternut squash or 1/4 to 1/3 of a Queensland Blue squash and cut into 1 1/2cm cubes. (I prefer these squashes because they remain whole even when roasted.)
Peel 3 carrots and cut into match sticks.
Peel 2 beetroots and cut into 1cm cubes.
Place all on a roasting tray. Lightly sprinkle with olive oil, salt and fresh thyme.
Roast in a 180 oven for about an hour, turning occasionally so that all sides brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for ten minutes.
Rinse and drain 1 cup red quinoa. Place in a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock. Cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the quinoa seed has split, a little white "tail" comes away from the kernel. This is the sign that the quinoa is soft. Place in a bowl to cool.
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Dessert Spoon fresh lemon thyme
1/2tsp salt and generous grind of cracked pepper
Use seasonal greens. Mixed lettuce, spinach, rocket, beetroot greens, mizuna. Rinse and spin dry. This salad is delicious with as few or as many as you have.
Once chickpeas are tender, drain and mix immediately with the marinade. As they cool, they soak up the marinade. If there is no marinade left in the bowl with them, make a bit more.
Once cool, add about 100grams of feta cheese cut into 1 cm cubes. Stir to coat with marinade and let sit for ten minutes.
Place greens in bowl. Top with quinoa, then roasted vegetables then chickpeas and feta.
Leek and Nettle Tartlets
I adapted this recipe from Linda Woodrow's Leek Tartlets with Olive Oil Pastry (I used to use a short crust pastry but tried her yogurt, olive oil pastry and much preferred it.)
Makes 6 large muffin sized tarts. Recipe doubles fine.
Into a food processor or a bowl, put 1 cup of wholemeal plain flour and a good pinch of salt.
Put a couple of good dessertspoons of low fat Greek yoghurt in a cup, then top it up to half full with olive oil. You want it about half and half – ¼ cup of each. You don’t need to mix them.
Tip the cup all at once into the processor or bowl and blitz them together. In a food processor it’s just a couple of seconds, but you can do it just by stirring. Knead just enough to combine into a dough. It needs to be quite moist so don’t add any more flour than necessary, and don’t overwork the dough or it will get tough. Put the dough in a plastic container in the freezer to cool while you make the filling.
Sauté 2 cups of chopped leeks (white and pale green part) in a little butter or olive oil. Do this over low heat for about twenty minutes which caramelises the leek. When they are almost done, add 1 cup chopped nettles.
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup white wine or 1/4 cup milk or 1/4 cup cream or 1/4 water with a squeeze of lemon
- a dessertspoon of lemon thyme
- a good grating of black pepper
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Assembling and Baking:The pastry is quite fragile. The easiest way to roll it out is to put a sheet of greaseproof paper on your bench top, put the ball of dough on it, and cover with another sheet. Roll the pastry out between the two sheets, turning once or twice to un-wrinkle the paper. You can then peel the top sheet of paper off, cut the dough to fit your muffin tins, flip the lot and peel the other sheet off. Roll the scraps out between the greaseproof paper again.
If you have a round bowl the right size to fit the muffin tins, use it to cut your rounds. I do not so I cut the dough into squares which then stick up out of the tins.
Grease the baking tins lightly, line with pastry. You can pre-bake empty for five minutes or just put a few dessert spoons of the leek and nettle mixture into each cup, pour the egg mixture, dividing between the cups and top with parmesan cheese.
Bake in a medium oven for around 20 minutes till the pastry is golden.
Read more about nettle written by Robin here.