Entries in carrots (9)

Friday
Oct032014

red lentil and carrot kofte

i have a new cookery book and have been cooking up a storm. the book is diana henry’s a change of appetite and i love it. i have a few of her books – crazy water, pickled lemons plus the wonderful salt, sugar, smoke – and love thes way her flavours pack a punch, whether they are fresh and zingy or softer and gentle.

cooking for friends was the first reason to get stuck in and we kicked off with these red lentil and carrot kofte, topped with pomegranate and drizzled with a tahini dressing.  they are perfect if you’re hosting a meal as they can be prepared in advance and are eaten at room temperature. i say that but actually mine were a bit cooler as they needed some time in the fridge to firm up a little. leftovers the next day were also delicious.

the other dishes i served, all from the book, were chicken shawarma served on on a bed of chickpea puree with flatbreads and a salsa of pomegranate, sumac and onion plus, for pudding, earl grey poached pears with greek yoghurt. i loved the chicken but need to experiment with the pears as the bergamot perfume of the earl grey was missing.

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Friday
Jul182014

za’atar chickpeas and flatbread

regular readers of this blog will know how much i love fennel. having been obsessed with anna hansen’s method for roasting it with strips of lemon zest and adding crunchy capers, i’m now back to experimenting with it raw. thinly sliced as part of a salad always makes me happy and i loved it in my version of this roasted chickpea with za’atar salad.

as far as the salad goes, the thing i take from this recipe and will use again is the dressing for the chickpeas – olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, za’atar plus salt and pepper. in the recipe the chickpeas are tossed with this and then roasted. i don’t think the roasting has much of an impact other than to kind of “dry on” the dressing (despite me forgetting about them in the oven for over twice as long as the recipe stated, the texture didn’t change much) so next time i think i’ll just heat the through in a saucepan until the mix dries out, rather than use the oven.

i kept my vegetables raw and loved the combination of za’atar chickpeas tossed with shredded carrot and mint plus thinly sliced fennel and cabbage; i also added a little extra olive oil and lemon juice to oomph the flavour. it’s well worth making extras if you try this as leftovers kept well in the fridge for almost a week.

i’ve been eating this for lunch with flatbreads, the easiest of which are these ones made with a 1:1 mix of plain yoghurt and flour (about 75g of each is enough for two), plus bicarbonate of soda (to create a little bit of a rise) and spices/seasoning. seasoning the dough is quite important – salt is the most important thing but i’ve also liked it when i added spices. ground fennel and coriander. or, today, za’atar in the mix and sprinkled on top as the breads started to cook. the flatbreads are rolled out and cooked in a dry pan and really remind me of when i was little and went camping with brownies. i’m sure we didn’t use a flour/yoghurt mix but the flavour is similar and would be even more familiar if i made these over an open fire, i’m sure!

Friday
Jul112014

tahini slaw

 

i’ve never liked the traditional coleslaw that is often served at bbqs, buffets and delis – shredded cabbage and carrot with a creamy dressing, usually mayonnaise of some sort. despite liking the idea, it’s yet to get past being disappointing. i’ve tried making my own, thinking that last minute assembly and homemade mayo might be the key – it wasn’t. lightening the dressing with yoghurt or crème fraiche also failed to win me over so i stuck to slaws with non-creamy dressings.

however, this tahini and greek yoghurt combination really hit the spot. i think it’s the nuttiness of the tahini, which also creates a really nice texture to the dressing - its not grainy but its definitely not silky smooth either. the lemon and herbs also help keep things fresh.

i based this on a recipe that proposed using it to top a chicken “burger” but given i was feeling nervous about how it would be, i kept mine on the side; and then went back for seconds. delicious.

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Wednesday
Feb222012

carrot and coconut bars 

 

sorry for the quiet blog, i’ve been in bed ill and not cooking, eating or doing very much at all as a result. however, despite feeling dreadful, these little lovelies caught my attention. or to be more precise, the smell of them cooking did – david knocked up a batch for his colleagues at work and the smell of buttery, cinnamony coconut made my mouth water whilst i lay in bed feeling sorry for myself!

i managed to snaffle one and they instantly went onto my list of new favourite things. there is so much to like about them - the crust is slightly chewy, the cinnamon, coconut and walnut combination works really well (i forget how much i like walnuts in a cake), and there is enough dried fruit and carrot that you can pretend it is a healthy snack.

discovering these is perfect timing as i’m getting a little bored of the multiseed peanut butter flapjacks that i make most weeks as a lunch-box treat. i also fancy tinkering with the recipe – the types of fruit and nuts are obviously easy to swap but i think grated pear or apple might also be worth a try. plus a bit of orange zest. and i really should find out more about using something like apple puree to reduce the fat and sugar content – who knows, maybe i will be able to justify these as a weekly treat!

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Tuesday
Jul122011

thai prawn noodle salad

the warm weather is making me want warm weather food which means light fresh flavours. asian flavours are high on my list and this salad was a winner, largely due to the thai dressing that i made. it was based on a rowley leigh recipe – he serves it with lobster (which i'd love to do) but i went down-market with my rice noodles, grated carrots and prawns!

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