Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Image: Colin Campbell for the Guardian

Image: Colin Campbell for the Guardian

While out on my foraging expedition at the end of April (which netted me enough wild garlic that we’re still eating the same batch now), my husband happened to point out the stinging nettles growing nearby. Most people give nettles a good wide berth–and for good reason: those itty bitty stingers hurt like hell and they sting for hours–but the thing is, nettles are incredibly good for you. They’re super high in iron–think spinach on steroids–as well as protein, calcium, and vitamins and they’re said to help with skin conditions such as eczema and can allegedly make your hair brighter, thicker, and shinier. The leaves, which are best in the early spring, can be brewed into a tea or tossed into quiches or frittatas or sauteed up like other leafy greens.

(more…)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

A few weeks ago, our favourite veggie stall at the farmer’s market started selling wild garlic leaves in bags. I’d never tried wild garlic before, but we gave it a go out of curiosity and immediately started kicking ourselves for not seeking it out earlier. It’s fantastic, and versatile, great straight-up sauteed, like any other green, or torn up into a salad or stirred into soups. I started putting it in everything. We got a bag every week.

Fast forward to this past Friday. The weather’s improved and our elderly dog was feeling frisky, so I took her for a walk along the Waters of Leith, which were all sunshine-sparkly and lined with some very late-blooming snowdrowps. About 2/3 of the way through the walk, I took a closer look at one of those snowdrops and said, ‘hang on a sec–that’s not a snowdrop! That’s an allium head if I ever saw one!’ Yep, sure enough, the banks of the river were absolutely covered with wild garlic.

Nature's Smorgasboard

Nature’s Smorgasbord

My eyes practically popped out of my head. I gathered as much as I could take and immediately started considering what to do with it. I could go the usual route, or maybe try something new. Something like…a savoury muffin, perhaps?

Yes, muffins aren’t just for breakfast anymore. I adapted a recipe for goat cheese and spinach muffins, substituting the wild garlic for spinach, and these puppies were the delicious result. Tangy goat cheese played nicely off the subtle onion/garlic flavour of the greens, and they paired beautifully with some stewed and spiced flageolet beans served with a bit of leftover duck confit and quick-sauteed chard. An astonishingly quick and delicious dinner. They’d also go very well with pork chops, I suspect, or chicken. A milder meat that won’t overpower the muffins’ flavour.

Goat Cheese and Wild Garlic muffins

***A word on foraging. The nice thing about wild garlic is it’s one of those foraging plants that’s really easy to identify just by smell. Break or bruise a leaf and breathe in–they’ll have a slightly oniony/garlicy scent. But if you’re not sure, don’t risk it. Also, make sure you’re not foraging on private property, and it might be a good idea to go slightly off the beaten path (where dogs may have trod less) to gather. Wild garlic tends to grow in damp areas and in woodlands, and they have long, sword-shaped leaves and grow pretty little white flowers towards the end of the season (which is usually in early spring). You can find the leaves at some farmers’ markets; in the States, they’re usually sold as Ramps.

Goat Cheese and Wild Garlic Muffins

yield: 9 muffins

Adapted from Delicious Magazine

25g unsalted butter
200ml milk
100g (a little more than 2 cups) wild garlic leaves, chopped
125g plain flour
125g whole wheat flour (you can also use all white or all whole wheat, if you prefer)
1T baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1tsp hot smoked paprika (optional, but adds a nice kick if you use it)
1 egg, beaten
120g soft goat’s cheese, crumbled

Melt the butter with the milk in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic leaves and simmer for about 1 minute, until wilted. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. When cool, blend in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Preheat the oven to 190°C.

Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add the egg and garlic mixture, then the cheese, and stir gently until just combined. Fill greased muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes, until risen and a cake tester inserted in the middle of one comes out clean. Turn onto a rack to cool. Try not to eat them all in one sitting.

Read Full Post »

754_3_3373728_01_444x250Previously on The Borgias: Well, let’s see. Juan got so out of control that even Lucrezia wanted him dead, but it was Cesare who finally succeeded in offing him, mostly to save his own family. Caterina Sforza refused to knuckle under, and has sworn to bring down the Borgias. Micheletto’s gay, and just as badass as ever; Lucrezia chose a new fiancé; and last but not least, Della Rovere hatched a plot to poison Alexander that may have succeeded.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Hot Cross Buns, image from Spitalfieldslife.comHot cross buns!
Hot cross buns!
One a-penny, two a-penny
Hot cross buns!

It’s Easter, which means hot cross buns have been everywhere for at least the last month and a half. Traditionally eaten throughout Lent, these sweet, fruit-filled buns are a special tea-time treat, especially if you give them a quick warm in the oven or toast them up and slather them up with butter. Although there are, apparently, good ones you can get in the shops, as is typically the case, homemade is exceptionally delicious.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Irish Stew, image courtesy BBCHappy St Patrick’s Day! It’s the day we all get to pretend to be Irish, and don’t you think that a man who dedicated his life to religion and winning over the rough tribes of a country he wasn’t even native to would be happy to know that his feast day is now an excuse to get embarrassingly wasted on green beer? Let’s find another way to mark the day, shall we?

(more…)

Read Full Post »

05015_054_scottish shortbread_3139.jpg.470x466_q85_crop-smartThe gang’s heading to Scotland (which made perfect sense in an episode that ran as a Christmas special in the UK)! I could direct you to a traditional haggis, neeps, and tatties, but I’m pretty sure I’d lose about half my viewership if I did. Instead, let’s go back to dessert—delicious, delicious shortbread, all crumbly and buttery. Want to take it up a notch? Add a bit of jam. Soooo good. My decision to run shortbread here will probably make sense outright; the jam, well, that’ll probably make a bit more sense towards the end of the episode. It’ll almost certainly make more sense if you read my recap of it. For now, let’s just say that these two things go really well together and leave it at that.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

sea bass in champagne sauce by Jim FrancoThere’s a lot going on at Downton these days, but one of the more intriguing plotlines is the slow-motion trainwreck that is Thomas’s crush on Jimmy. I never thought I’d say this, but oh, Thomas, you poor man. O’Brien has you in her sights and she’s going to squash you like a bug. And honestly, did the whole Oscar Wilde trial (which would have all gone down within your lifetime) teach you nothing?

It’s impossible (for me, at least) to watch this without thinking of the great wit and writer, so this week’s recipe is inspired by him. Unsurprisingly, his favourite tipple was champagne—he drank it constantly, but I’ve already done champagne cocktail, so let’s go a different route, shall we? Champagne is more than just a delicious drink; the Edwardians loved using it in sauces, like this one. It’s also said to be an aphrodisiac, so it’s perfect for Valentine’s Day! Surprise your sweetie with this delicious, sophisticated dish.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »