Category Archives: A love of food

Yogurt & roasted butternut salad

This dish is guaranteed to fill your kitchen with the scent of spices, as the butternut squash roasts in the oven. This is creamy comfort food which can be eaten from a bowl with a spoon. Serves 4
1 tsp ground fennel [I used seeds instead]
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried mint
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
1 butternut squash, peeled, halved & cut into wedges
Spray olive oil
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Juice of 1 lemon
6 tbsp 0% fat natural Greek yogurt
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 x 400g tin cannellini beans [I used a tin of flageolet beans]
2 tbsp pinenuts, dry-toasted
1 tbsp fresh chives, snipped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.

Mix together the fennel seeds, ground coriander, dried mint and chilli flakes.

Put the prepared butternut squash into a roasting tin, spray lightly with olive oil then dust with the herb mixture. Lightly sprinkle with cinnamon. Take a sheet of baking parchment, spray with oil on one side and place the sheet oil-side down on top of the butternut. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, remove the baking parchment and roast for a further 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

To make the dressing: combine the lemon juice, yogurt and mustard.

Fold the dressing into the beans and pinenuts. Gently mix the butternut into the bean mixture, taking care not to break-up the squash. Season to taste and garnish with chives. If you like this, try:-
Harissa Salmon Salad
Cauliflower Salad with Spinach Yogurt
Punchy Leeks on Toast

5 to remember
garantizado – guaranteed
el olor de – the scent of
adornar – to garnish
tijereteado – snipped
el libro de cocina – the cookbook

 

This recipe is by TV chef Anthony Worrall-Thompson.
‘The Essential Diabetes Cookbook’ by Antony Worrall Thompson [UK: Kyle Books]

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Yogurt & roasted butternut salad #Recipe by @AntonyWT via @Spanish_Valley http://wp.me/p3dYp6-27X

Is it a soup? Is it a stew?

It’s pistou. A kind of main meal version of the Italian soup minestrone. The name comes from the sauce, drizzled over the top before eating. Pistou is similar to pesto, but without the pine nuts, and adds a kick of fresh green intensity.

Serve it in a deep bowl and eat with a spoon. Ultimate comfort food. It is very forgiving. Adapt the ingredients according to what is in the cupboard or the fridge. I forgot to buy green beans and courgettes, so added more carrots and frozen peas. Try it with different beans, red kidney beans turns the soup a darker red.

Serves 4
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 leeks, roughly chopped
4 new potatoes, roughly diced
2 carrots, sliced
1.3 litres vegetable stock
3 bay leaves
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 tsp tomato puree
2 courgettes, thickly sliced
85g French beans, cut into 1cm pieces
50g frozen peas
1 400g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 400g tin flageolet beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the pistou sauce:-
4 garlic cloves
40g Parmesan, grated
14 fresh Basil leaves Heat half the oil in a large saucepan then add the onions and leeks. Cook over a medium heat for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the potatoes, carrots, stock, bay leaves, tomatoes and tomato puree and stir. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the courgettes, French beans, frozen peas and tinned beans. Return to the boil, cook for a further five minutes. Season to taste.

Meanwhile, make the pistou. With a hand blender, or in a pestle and mortar, blend the garlic, Parmesan and basil with the remaining oil. If it is thick, add a touch of water to loosen into a smooth paste.

Serve, with a small dollop of pistou on top. If you like this, try:-
Salt Cod Fritters
Blue Cheese Coleslaw 
Cauliflower Salad with Spinach Yogurt

5 to remember
una versión de – a version of
es parecido a – is similar to
según – according to
me olvidé de comprar – I forgot to buy
un montón de – a dollop of

 

This recipe is by TV chef Anthony Worrall-Thompson.
‘The Essential Diabetes Cookbook’ by Antony Worrall Thompson [UK: Kyle Books]

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Pistou, made in #Spain, a French #recipe by @AntonyWT http://wp.me/p3dYp6-2dm via @Spanish_Valley

Citrus cake

If you have a few sorry-looking satsumas or lemons languishing in the fruit bowl, then this is the cake recipe for you. It can be made with any combination of citrus fruit, the recipe adapts its sweetness according to the type of citrus used. And as it uses ground almonds, and no flour or raising agent, it is naturally gluten-free. About 270g citrus fruit, your choice [2 small oranges; 1 grapefruit; 3 lemons; or 1 orange, 1 lemon, 1 lime]
6 eggs, separated
250-350g depending on your choice of citrus [for an orange, 250g; for a mixture, 300g; for either all lemons, or limes or grapefruit, 350g]
300g ground almonds
a handful of flaked almonds

Put the whole unpeeled fruit into a saucepan and add enough cold water to cover. Put a small sheet of baking parchment on top of the water, pop the lid on, and place the pan over a gentle heat for 1½ to 2 hours until completely soft [the time depends on the size of the fruit]. Leave to cool completely. We did this the night before.

Heat the oven to 160°C/180°C non-fan]. Grease and line a deep 23cm round cake tin.

Drain the cold fruit. Cut off any woody ends, chop the skin and flesh into small pieces. Rub through a sieve/fine-mesh strainer to remove any pips then transfer to a food processor and blitz to a purée. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale and mousse-like [you can use the same whisk]. Whisk the fruit pulp and ground almonds into the egg yolk mixture. Next, fold in the egg whites.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin, level the top and scatter with a few flaked almonds.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely before turning the cake out.

This recipe is from Too Good to Waste by Victoria Class [UK: Nourish]

If you like this, try these:-
A Silky, Dense Chocolate Cake
A Sweet and Sour Cranberry Cake
Cupboard Cake

5 to remember
los cítricos – the citrus fruit
una toronja – a grapefruit
la pulpa – the pulp
la yema de huevo – the egg yolk
la clara de huevo – the egg white

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Cake: start with a whole orange & a whole lime #Recipe by @victoria_glass #Spain via @Spanish_Valley http://wp.me/p3dYp6-21k

A cassoulet of aubergines

The first day of October rain is welcomed with relief by the olive farmers around here. It has been a dry summer and spring, and the olive trees need rain for the last couple of months of the year so they fatten up. So, cozy inside while the autumnal rain does its stuff, we wanted something warming to eat. So we made good use of the bag of aubergines brought by our neighbour. This is a vegetarian Spanish-y version of the traditional French dish cassoulet. The recipe is by Nigel Slater. It is the sort of dish to eat with a fork, serve yourself a generous helping.

Serves 4-6
2 aubergines
Olive oil
2 onions, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
250g fresh tomatoes, skinned and roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
A little tomato puree
2 400g tins haricot beans, drained and rinsed
250ml vegetable stock
For the crust:-
120g white bread
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
Olive oil

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/Gas6. aubergines-browning-in-panFirst prepare the aubergines. Discard the stems, slice in half lengthways, and then in half again. Warm 3-4 tbsp of oil in a deep, heavy-based casserole dish. Fry the aubergines in the oil until they are soft and nicely golden on the cut sides. Remove from the casserole, and set aside. aubergines-browned-set-asideadd-herbs-to-panAdd the onions to the same pan, add a little more oil if necessary. Cook gently for 10-15 minutes until soft and pale honey-coloured. Stir in the sliced garlic.To the casserole dish, now add the tomatoes, bay leaves, whole sprigs of thyme and rosemary, and tomato puree. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. haricot-beans-drainedadd-beans-to-panAdd the haricot beans, aubergines, a seasoning of salt and black pepper, and vegetable stock. Partially cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the crust. Turn the slices of crusty bread into breadcrumbs in a food processor, then stir in the thyme leaves. spoonful-of-toppingready-to-go-into-the-ovenWhen the casserole is ready to go into the oven to bake, scatter the breadcrumb mixture over the top, and drizzle over a little olive oil. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the crust is crisp and the cassoulet is bubbling around the edges. just-out-of-the-ovenThis is delicious and has quickly become a favourite in our house.

5 to remember
engordar – to fatten up
el puré – the puree
claro/a – pale
alrededor de los bordes – around the edges
la corteza – the crust

If you feel hungry, try these recipes:-
Cheesy scone bake
A sweet creamy frittata
A non-classic tortilla

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
A cassoulet of aubergines #recipe by @NigelSlater via @Spanish_Valley http://wp.me/p3dYp6-1So

Harissa salmon salad

This recipe can be made two ways: quickly by opening two tins and a jar, or more leisurely by poaching a salmon fillet, making your own harissa paste and cooking lentils. It is a creamy spicy salad which can be made hot hot if preferred by increasing the amount of red chilli added, and can even be served hot in winter.

Serves 4
4 new potatoes, cut into ½ cm dice
1 tin 400g brown lentils
120g 0% fat natural Greek yogurt
1 tbsp harissa chilli paste
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
Large handful of fresh parsley [we added fresh chives]
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 200g tin of wild red salmon, flaked [we used freshly poached salmon]
Freshly ground black pepper

Boil the potatoes in lightly salted water for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile cook the lentils if using dried, or heat the tinned lentils in a saucepan.

To make the dressing: combine the yogurt with the harissa and garlic.

When you are ready to eat, fold the dressing into the lentils, add the onion, herbs, chilli and potatoes. Season to taste. Spoon into a serving bowl, and scatter salmon flakes over the top.

If you like this, try:-
A Super Green Salad
Smoky Spring Onions and Asparagus with Lime
Cauliflower Salad with Spinach Yogurt

5 to remember
desecado – deseeded
la pasta de harissa – the harissa paste
combinar – to combine
cuando estes listo – when you are ready
dispersar – to scatter

 

This recipe is by TV chef Anthony Worrall-Thompson.
‘The Essential Diabetes Cookbook’ by Antony Worrall Thompson [UK: Kyle Books]

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Warm & spicy harissa salmon salad #Recipe by @AntonyWT via @Spanish_Valley http://wp.me/p3dYp6-27H

Double-cheese mushrooms

This is a fantastic supper dish, easy and quick. Depending on how hungry you are, it works well with either crusty bread or a generous helping of boiled salad potatoes. Serves 4-6
6 large Portobello or flat mushrooms
25g butter, softened
For the filling:-
180g full-fat cream cheese
75g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 tomatoes, peeled, de-seeded and diced
2 tbsp snipped chives
Paprika, a little
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Peel the skins from the mushrooms and remove the stalks if they are chunky. You can chop the stalks and add them to the filling. Spread the peeled top of each mushroom with the softened butter and place, buttered side down, on the prepared baking sheet. To make the filling, put the cream cheese and 50g of the Cheddar into a bowl with the garlic, tomatoes and chives. Mix together and season with salt and pepper.

Spoon this filling onto the gill side of each mushroom, spreading evenly. Top with the remaining Cheddar and a sprinkle of Paprika. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until bubbling and golden on top. Check the mushrooms to make sure they don’t overcook. Overcooking mushrooms means liquid is released and flavour is lost. If you like this, try these:-
Cheesy Nutty Herby Mushrooms
Creamy Mushroom Pasta
Mushroom Bourguignon

5 to remember
el tallo – the stalk
fornido/a – chunky
ablandado/a – softened
cortado/a – snipped
cortado en cubitos – diced

 

This recipe is from Mary Berry’s Everyday cookbook [UK: BBC]

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Double-cheese mushrooms: recipe by #MaryBerry #Spain via @Spanish_Valley http://wp.me/p3dYp6-1Z7

Cauliflower salad with spinach yogurt

I have discovered a new favourite vegetable: roasted cauliflower. And not just in winter, but in summer salads. This is a warm salad with gentle Indian spices and a cooling spinach yogurt.

Serves 4-6
2 heads of cauliflower, broken into florets
1 tbsp ground cumin
3-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
300g puy lentils, rinsed
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
15g fresh coriander leaves, chopped [I used parsley]
15g mint leaves
3 tbsp flaked almonds, toasted
Sea salt
Black pepper
For the spinach yogurt:-
1 tsp capers, rinsed and finely chopped
375g natural Greek yogurt
15g mint leaves, finely sliced
100ml extra virgin olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
Sea salt
Black pepper
100g baby spinach leaves, washed and finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.

Place the cauliflower florets on a large baking tray and sprinkle over the cumin. Drizzle over 1-2 tbsp oil and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes until golden.  Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the lentils and bay leaf. Cook for 20-25 minutes until the lentils are just tender. Drain.

Make the spinach yogurt: whizz together the spinach, capers, yogurt, mint and olive oil in a food processor. Squeeze over the lemon juice, season well with salt and pepper.

Fry the lentils: Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic, chopped coriander, paprika and cooked lentils. Season well with salt and sauté over a medium-high heat, shaking the pan to move the lentils around. Fry until the lentils are slightly crispy. To serve: spread the spinach yogurt onto a serving platter. Combine the roasted cauliflower with the fried lentils and herbs, drizzle with olive oil, season again to taste. Spoon the cauliflower mixture over the yogurt, and top with the toasted flaked almonds. If you like this, try:-
Mustardy Salmon Salad
Linguine with Broad Beans
Roasted Cauliflower Salad

5 to remember
suave – gentle
indio – Indian
las especias – the spices
una llovizna de – a drizzle of
servir – to serve

 

This recipe is from Neighbourhood: Salads, Sweets and Stories from Home and Abroad by Hetty McKinnon [UK: Shambhala]

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Cauliflower & spinach: a warm spicy salad #Spain #Recipe by @hettymckinnon via @Spanish_Valley http://wp.me/p3dYp6-25j