Posts Tagged ‘rocket’
I don’t really want to fall into the trap of short posts and unoriginal notes on the nature of dinner and cooking after work. We all understand. Some days you need something that will come together in 5 minutes or less; other days we just need a takeaway. When it’s the former and not the latter you could do worse than this cheeky little dish. Taken from stonesoup, a blog devoted to recipes with 5 ingredients or fewer (you’d be amazed how many recipes that encompasses), this is a nutritious dish that seems like random, healthy foods just thrown together, but when you eat it you realise you’ve unwittingly cooked yourself a proper meal. It’s fab. Perfect for those evenings when you’ve come in from tasting 30 19th century wines. Or something.
Lentil and smoked salmon hash
250g (about 2/3 of a 400g can) of puy lentils, cooked if they’re dried
100g smoked salmon trimmings
100g rocket leaves
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1. Heat a drizzle of oil in a frying pan. Add the smoked salmon trimmings and cook for a couple of minutes, just until they turn opaque. Add the lentils and cook for another minute, or until warmed through.
2. Add the rocket leaves to the pan, then the vinegar and lemon juice. Toss so everything is mixed together, then serve immediately. Eat, enjoy, feel full, and marvel at how well you can feed yourself in a hurry.
‘Tis the season for peas, and unlike redcurrants and blackcurrants they are very easy to deal with if you get them unprepared in a large bag. Instead of needing scissors and time to carefully top and tail each currant, you need a couple of large bowls and a thumb. Squeeze the pod until it pops, tear it open down the seam, and then just run your thumb behind all the peas in the pod, flicking them into the bowl as you go. Discard the empty pod and repeat. It’s very therapeutic and as you pick up speed you can easily pod a pound of peas in under 10 minutes. Small price to pay for perfectly fresh, sweet peas. And while those frozen bags of peas proudly state that they are just as sweet as fresh peas, because they went from field to freezer in under two hours, I remain unconvinced. There’s something just nice about having real peas. Seeing where they come from even. And then hearing them squeal as you blend them up into soup.
Pea, watercress and rocket soup
600g fresh peas, removed from pods (about 250g in all)
1 teaspoon chopped mint
500ml water or stock
100g mixed watercress and rocket, roughly torn
2 tablespoons parmesan
1. In a large saucepan bring the peas, mint and stock to a boil and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until just soft. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
2. Once cool add the watercress, rocket and parmesan and using an immersion blender blend the soup until almost smooth and creamy, or leave it slightly textured, so you get little bites of spicy rocket and pops of pea skin. Season well and return the soup to the hob to rewarm, or serve cold.
3. Serve with more parmesan cheese sprinkled on top and some cheese toasties.
No, I didn’t make pecans. I’ve not yet graduated to that level or Martha-esque back-to-basics style cooking. I was just making this meal away from home and didn’t have my camera with me. Or, more importantly my knife. David Lebovitz one said that he always takes his knives with him when he is expected to cook round a friend’s house, or even away on holiday, and I’m starting to see the attraction. Of course people who don’t have the same love and fascination of cooking as me aren’t going to spend their hard-earned cash on a beautifully balanced, full-tang, ice-hardened stainless steel German chef’s knife. Understandable. But having been spoilt with this beauty in my own kitchen it’s something of a shock when faced with a blade which bends and wobbles disturbingly as I try and force it to cut through a sweet potato. Imagine what would have happened if I’d been cutting squash instead?! Next time I’ll bring my camera and my knife.
Chopping aside, this is a ridiculously simple salad to throw together, taking mere moments. The flavours are not too strong (choose a nice mild goats’ cheese so it doesn’t overpower the other flavours).
Sweet potato, pecan and goats’ cheese salad
Inspired by Smitten Kitchen
1 large sweet potato
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon light olive oil
4 tablespoons pecans, crumbled
100g soft goats cheese, chopped or crumbled
Another tablespoon light olive oil
1 teaspoon white wine/cider vinegar
1. Wash and dry the sweet potato. Chop into small wedges, an inch or two in each dimension. Place on a large baking tray and drizzle with the olive oil and cinnamon. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on top and give the tray a couple of shakes so the pieces are fairly evenly coated. Roast in a 180 C oven for 30 minutes.
2. Remove the sweet potato from the oven and crumble the pecans over the top. The nuts don’t need to be chopped, they break apart quite readily in your fingertips. Give the tray another shake and return to the oven for 10 minutes.
3. Arrange the rocket on a plate. Throw the chopped goats cheese on top. Remove the sweet potato and pecans from the oven and tip them onto the plates.
4. Finish the salad with a light dressing of the tablespoon of olive oil whisked together with the vinegar and a pinch of salt; drizzle this over the salad and serve.