Monthly Archives: July 2016

Recipe: Leek, spinach and pea risotto

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Risotto is one of my favourite comfort foods, and I almost licked the plate when a friend and I inhaled bowls of spinach, leek and pea risotto (but made with barley) at Taurus Crafts near Lydney. So my mission was to recreate it at home. And it turned out to be about the easiest dish ever …

Except, I didn’t have any barley, so it was bog-standard risotto rice called in to play. What with a handful of frozen peas and two twirls of frozen spinach, it required a minimum of chopping. I approve thoroughly. Next time I might be inclined to try it with fresh thyme in.

If you make too much and can resist it cold, you can have risotto balls shallow-fried the next day. If you’re vegetarian, put a chunk of melty cheese in the middle; if you’re vegan, try them with salsa.

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Ingredients (serves two, or one plus generous leftovers)

Half a leek

Knob of butter or tbsp of olive oil

120g of risotto rice 750ml of vegetarian stock (you may not need all of it)

Handful of frozen peas

Handful of fresh spinach, or a couple of lumps of frozen

Vegetarian-style parmesan

Sea salt

Black pepper

Finely chop the leek and soften in the butter or oil. Add the rice and stir to coat it. Once it starts crackling, add the stock gradually. Stir often to stop the rice sticking.

Once the rice is almost cooked (keep testing it), throw in the peas and spinach – and remember that if you’re using frozen spinach that it will release liquid. Once the liquid is absorbed and the vegetables cooked, remove from the heat and season with salt and black pepper.

If you’re vegetarian, add the parmesan substitute; if you’re vegan, try some nutritional yeast flakes. You can add a knob of butter or vegan spread to make the dish even more creamy. Let the risotto rest for a few minutes, then serve.

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Recipe: Veggie ‘pulled pork’

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Don’t worry – we haven’t gone over to the dark side and started eating meat again! This jackfruit burger recipe comes courtesy of Sharon’s friend Lou Licourinos, who is an inventive veggie cook (and an awesome artist as well!)

Prep time
10 mins

Cook time
45 mins

Ingredients (serves two)
1 20 oz can of young jackfruit (in brine NOT syrup)
1 tsp. olive oil
½ onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
1½ tsp smoked paprika
250mls veggie stock
2 tablespoons vegan BBQ sauce
Buns or corn tortillas
Veggie coleslaw

Pulled pork jackfruit image

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees or gas mark 6. Drain and rinse the jackfruit, remove the hard core from the outside rims and cut each piece in half. Remove seeds and pat it as dry as possible. The seeds tend to pop out like peas and are about the same size as a pea.

Saute the onion in olive oil over medium heat for about five minutes until translucent, then add the garlic and saute a minute or so longer.

Dry fry some smoked paprika for a few minutes in a separate pan until you can smell it roasting.

Add the jackfruit and spices including the smoked paprika and stir until the jackfruit is evenly covered.

Add the vegetable stock cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.

Use a fork and spoon to mash and divide the jackfruit until it looks similar in
appearance to pulled pork.

Spread the jackfruit out on a baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and cover with bbq sauce.

Return the jackfruit to the oven and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until the jackfruit is lightly browned.

Serve in a bun or taco with avocado, coleslaw or soured cream.