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Entries in cheese (63)


fennel and burrata salad


fennel and burrata is a combination i’ve made before, usually combining them with orange or grapefruit segments, toasted coriander seeds and watercress plus a drizzle of really nice fruity olive oil. this is based on a dish from yotam ottolenghi’s nopi restaurant and was an obsession of mine a few years ago.

this version was different, using lemon in place of the orange - just finely cut strips of zest and some juice which combines with the olive oil (again, choose something nice and fruity) to make a dressing for the thinly sliced fennel - plus mint, (purple) basil and some fennel leaves from the garden. it is much fresher tasting and definitely something i will alternate with nopi version.

i served it with some savoury muffins, flavoured with courgette, sundried tomato and cheese (feta and parmesan), that i had made to use up a few leftovers.


roasted squash and caramelised onion galette


i’m not a big fan of pastry but have found that smitten kitchen has some interesting pastries that are both easy to make and delicious – her empanada pastry is wonderfully light and flaky (it’s unusual for including vinegar) and, as i discovered last night, so too is the pastry she uses to make this roasted squash and caramelised onion galette.

in this case the unusual aspect is the use of sour cream (although i swapped this for greek yoghurt as that was all i had in) and lemon juice. again it is a light, flaky pastry and a great contrast to the soft sweet squash and onions. 

i’m looking forward to making different versions of this galette – spanakopita flavours of spinach and feta is an obvious choice but i also like the idea of roasted peppers, courgettes and aubergine; or something with lamb, pomegranate molasses and pine nuts. what do you think would be good?

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courgette and chickpea salad

i’ve been eating versions of this salad quite a lot recently – it has an eye towards brighter, warmer weather but still has enough bulk to make it suitable for a chilly day.

at it’s heart are courgettes, chickpeas, lemon, cheese and cumin. my chickpeas tend to come straight from the tin and if i want them warming through i just cover them with boiling water, after draining and rinsing them, while i prepare the rest of this dish. having said that, i don’t usually bother as adding the just-griddled courgettes to the salad tends to warm everything through just enough for me.

the courgettes are sliced, tossed with a little olive oil – 1 tablespoon is enough for 2 courgettes which, along with one tin of chickpeas and the rest of the ingredients tends to be enough for two people. i use the bowl that had the oiled raw courgettes in to assemble the salad as i go, so any excess oil forms part of the dressing. the cumin – 1 teaspoon of seeds, toasted and then ground, is sprinkled on the veggies and adds a depth of slightly spicy flavour to the dressing, which has the juice and zest of a lemon as it’s final components (just add these to bowl, while you cook the courgettes in batches, stirring as something new gets added).

for the cheese component i use whatever i have in – pictured are little cubes of smoked ricotta; last night i used some crumbled feta. other ingredients depend what i have in – crunchy red peppers as pictured above, or chery tomatoes are nice. you can also add garlic, chilli, shallots or spring onions for extra oomph and i always finish with a sprinkle of fresh herbs.  a nice and easy healthy dish. perfect too for fast days if you’re doing the 5:2 diet, coming in at c200-250 calories, depending how generous you are with the olive oil and cheese.


jerusalem artichoke and hazelnut tart


i haven’t managed to get hold of many jersualem artichokes this year but when i finally did, i wanted to try something different (although my usual first choice of jerusalem artichoke risotto is never not going to be delicious). thankfully i remembered a recipe for a jerusalem artichoke, hazelnut and goat's cheese tart, not least because hazelnuts are my favourite nuts and i rarely get to use them in savoury dishes.

the tart is quick and easy to pull together. my top tip would be to make sure that the jerusalem artichokes are properly cooked through when you boil them, as they don’t cook much more in the oven (a few of my thicker slices were a bit al dente).

i used a different cheese to that in the recipe – smoked ricotta, which was new to me. this is a semi-hard cheese and as you’ll see in the picture, the grated pieces didn’t melt much. they added a lovely smokiness to the tart though and i’d happily use it again for this dish, although i think i’d also like to try mixing it with something a bit more melty to get the extra texture contrast.  

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melting mozzarella and greens

london has become quite chilly over the past few days and stodge with gentle flavours is what i have been craving. in fact, this dish started off as an idea about stuffing cabbage leaves with a creamy leek and mushroom mix, but soon shifted towards pasta when i realised my cabbage was past its best.

it was also a great way to use up a random mix of other green vegetables that needed a bit of tlc. leeks and fennel were softened in melted butter with lots of garlic. i then added some reconstituted wild mushrooms and shredded sundried tomatoes plus a handful of marinated roasted artichokes and some leftover wilted spinach. a spoonful of flour was added and cooked for a minute and then i poured in the water from the mushrooms plus a couple of spoons of double cream (the dregs of a pot from the previous week) and some crème fraiche to lighten it all up. this was mixed with almost cooked pasta, chunks of mozzarella and then topped with breadcrumbs and grated cheese (a lurid red leicester!) before being heated through in the oven.

the greens made everything taste healthy whereas the stringy pockets of melted mozzarella made it taste decadent. perfect for a chilly sunday evening.