summer

lasagna tart

11th September 2018

sunkissed and content…

A very decadent and comforting dish for a special occasion. A bit rich on its own but goes well as part of the main meal, accompanied by a simple rice dish and a variety of salads. The parmesan crust is divine, crunchy and flavourful.

lasagna tart

Serves 6 – 8

Makes one 9-10 inch tart.

Recipe adapted from here. 

ingredients:

2 medium/350g zucchini, sliced into very thin coins

¾ tsp fine-grain rock salt

tart crust:

½ cup/75g unbleached all-purpose flour

½ cup/70g whole wheat flour

½ cup/115g unsalted butter, well chilled + cut into small cubes

2 cups/100g loosely packed grated parmesan cheese

½ tsp fine-grain rock salt

2 Tblsp ice cold water

tomato sauce:

2 Tblsp olive oil

1 tsp each of finely chopped fresh rosemary and oregano leaves

¾ tsp red pepper flakes

400g cherry tomatoes, finely chopped

½ tsp fine-grain rock salt

½ tsp brown sugar

 

1 cup/250g ricotta cheese

¼ cup small basil leaves

preparation:

Preheat your oven to 190C/375F. Oil a 10-inch tart pan and set aside.

prepare the zucchini:

Slice the zucchini using a mandoline or knife into 2 mm slices. Place in a bowl, sprinkle over the salt and gently toss until evenly covered with salt. Transfer to a colander and let drain while you make the tart shell and tomato sauce.

make the tart crust:

Place both flours, butter cubes, parmesan and salt in a food processor and pulse quickly about 25 times. You are looking for a sandy textured blend, with pea-sized pieces of butter. With a few more pulses, blend in the 2 tablespoons of ice water. The dough should stick together when you pinch it with your fingers. Pour the dough into the tart pan. Working quickly, press the dough uniformly into the pan by pressing across the bottom and working up towards the sides. Place in the refrigerator and chill for 15 minutes. You can use this time to finely chop the tomatoes.

bake the tart crust:

Pull the tart out of the refrigerator and poke a few times with the tongs of a fork. Cover the tart with baking paper and fill generously with pie weights (I used red kidney beans). Bake for 15 minutes, pull the tart out of the oven and gently remove the baking paper containing the pie weights. Place the uncovered tart back in the oven, weight free, and allow to cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

prepare the tomato sauce:

Stir the olive oil, red pepper flakes and finely chopped herbs in a saucepan, cook over medium-high heat until the herbs start to sizzle just a bit. Stir in the finely chopped tomatoes, bring to a simmer, cook the sauce down, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Stir in the salt and sugar, set aside.

to assemble the tart:

Use a spatula to spread half the ricotta cheese across the base of the tart shell. Now spoon half the tomato sauce over the ricotta and arrange half the zucchini in a single layer on top of the sauce. If your zucchinis are still quite wet, press them with a paper towel. Spoon the remaining ricotta over the zucchinis and push it around a bit with your fingers so that it forms a layer. Arrange another layer of zucchini and finish with the remaining sauce. You want the filling to nearly, but not quite fill the pan.

to bake the tart:

Place the tart on a rimmed baking sheet (in case you end up with an overflow) and bake for 40 minutes or until the tart is cooked through. Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle the top with fresh basil leaves.

slow cooked zucchinis with basil

4th September 2018

ZUCCHINI

This year I staggered my planting to have a continuous supply of zucchini throughout the summer, but I forgot how quickly they grow from seed to plant and now I have an endless supply.

Just when I think I have the zucchini under control, I venture out into the garden and miraculously there is another batch ready to be picked! I have been giving away a lot and trying many new recipes to use them up.

I have been returning to these zucchini fritters, a lot, and recently sitting in my drafts is this lasagna tart recipe from 101 Cookbooks which I will make for my daughter before she returns to University in London.

I have also been making a sweet zucchini palya to accompany any dal or sambar.

In the garden…..

slow-cooked zucchinis with basil

Serves 4, as a side dish.

Recipe adapted from `Spring´ by Skye Gyngell.

ingredients:

6 small/530g firm zucchinis

2 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil

2 Tblsp ghee/butter, melted

rock salt & freshly ground black pepper

preparation:

Trim the zucchinis and slice them into fine rounds, about 3mm thick. I used a mandoline for this.

Place a medium heavy-based pan over medium heat and pour in the olive oil and melted ghee. Add the zucchinis and stir well to coat the slices in the ghee and oil. Add a good pinch of salt.

Now turn down the heat to its lowest setting possible and cover the pan with the lid. Cook for 40-50 minutes, stirring every few minutes to ensure the zucchinis do not stick to the bottom or brown. As the zucchinis cook they will soften and their flavour will deepen. Eventually, they will begin to disintegrate, becoming almost like a thick mushy jam.

At this point, remove from heat and add half the basil leaves, plenty of pepper and a good pinch of salt. Stir well, sprinkle over the remaining basil leaves and serve. These zucchinis are surprisingly good eaten cold as well. Serve as an antipasto with crusty bread, stirred into pasta or as a vegetable side dish.

favourite rasam recipe – three ways

22nd August 2018

This is a recipe I fall back on as a twice or thrice weekly meal. It is the same recipe, same measurement of spices, using a variety of different dal and vegetables. The first two recipes include grinding the coconut-rasam mixture, while the third does not, making it a quicker dish to prepare. It’s a good example of how one recipe can be used in many variations to give a totally different dish.

In these three recipes, I alternate between using mung beans(whole moong dal)toor dal and split yellow moong dal.

whole mung beans with tomatoes & chard

ingredients :

½ cup/100g mung beans(whole moong dal)

1 litre/4 cups water

1 tomato(100g), finely chopped

1 cup/50g tightly packed chard leaves (can use kale/fenugreek)

2 heaped Tblsp sugar/jaggery

1 heaped tsp rock salt

sambar-coconut mix

¼ cup/25g dried shredded unsweetened coconut

1½ heaped tsp rasam powder (mildly spiced) 

½ – 1 tsp tamarind paste 

1½ cups/375ml water

voggarane :

2 tsp ghee

½ heaped tsp black mustard seeds

10 fresh curry leaves

⅛ heaped tsp asafoetida powder 

⅛ heaped tsp turmeric powder

preparation:

In a heavy based saucepan, wash mung beans with several changes of water until the water runs off clear – then drain.

Pour in the filtered water into the saucepan and bring to boil over a medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer. (Do not cover the pot with a lid, as this allows certain impurities or energetic imbalances to be eliminated.)  Simmer until mung beans are soft and have broken down – approximately 30 – 40 minutes.  Halfway through cooking add the chopped tomatoes.

prepare the rasam-coconut mix:

In an upright blender add the dried coconut, rasam powder, tamarind, and ¾ cup water, blend for 1 minute.  Pour into the mung beans rinsing the blender with the remaining ¾ cup water.

prepare the voggarane :

In a small pan/bandalei over medium heat, add the ghee and mustard seeds; when the seeds start to splutter and pop (make sure the mustard seeds have popped well), add the fresh curry leaves, asafoetida and turmeric powder, swishing the pan around to allow for the spices to fry evenly.

Pour the voggarane into the mung beans, add the salt, jaggery and stir in the chopped chard leaves.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes for the flavours to settle, the chard to soften and mung beans to thicken slightly.  Taste adding more sweet, tamarind or salt. Serve with rice, yoghurt and drizzle with a spoon of ghee.

 

 

split moong dal with charred okra & fenugreek

Serves 3 – 4

This dish requires frying the vegetables, in this case, the okra, in the voggarane until nicely charred, then stirring it through the cooked dal when ready to serve. I like to keep 1 cup of the okra aside to use as garnish. This method of cooking works very nicely with green beans as well.

ingredients :

½ cup/100g split yellow moong dal

3 cups/750ml water

2 Tblsp sugar/jaggery

1 tsp rock salt

rasam-coconut mix

¼ cup/25g dried shredded unsweetened coconut

1½ heaped tsp rasam powder (mildly spiced)

½ – 1 tsp tamarind paste 

1½ cups/375ml water

voggarane :

3 Tblsp peanut oil

½ tsp black mustard seeds

1 Tblsp bengal gram

1 tsp urad dal

400g okra

15 fresh curry leaves

⅛ heaped tsp asafoetida powder 

⅛ heaped tsp turmeric powder

2 cups fresh fenugreek/kale leaves – chopped

preparation:

In a heavy based saucepan, wash the dal with several changes of water until the water runs off clear – then drain.

Pour in the water into the saucepan and bring to boil on a high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer. (Do not cover the pot with a lid, as this allows certain impurities or energetic imbalances to be eliminated.)  Simmer until dal is soft and has broken down – approximately 30 minutes.

Top, tail the okra and cut into 1 cm pieces. Set aside.

prepare the rasam-coconut mix:

In an upright blender, add the rasam powder, tamarind, dried coconut and ¾ cup water, blend for 1 minute.  Pour into the dal rinsing the blender out with the remaining ¾ cup water.

prepare the voggarane :

In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the peanut oil and once it’s hot, add the mustard seeds and fry until they turn grey and start popping, add the bengal gram and urad dal, keep frying, stirring constantly until they start to brown, a minute or so. Add the chopped okra and keep everything moving in the pan until all the okra starts to char around the edges, this could take five minutes. Turn off the heat and fold in the chopped fenugreek leaves. Set aside 1 cup of the okra mixture for garnishing and stir the remaining into the dal.  Taste adding more sweet, sour or salt.

This dish is best served immediately as the okra can become gooey, otherwise, keep the okra and dal separate until ready. Serve with rice and drizzle with ghee.

 

 

toor dal with carrots and green beans

This is the same procedure, using a different dal and vegetables, however, the rasam and coconut are not ground, just added directly into the dish.

ingredients :

½ cup/100g toor dal

1 ½ litre /6 cups water

1 medium/100g carrot – finely chopped

½ cups finely chopped beans (can use cabbage in Winter)

¼ cup/25g dried shredded unsweetened coconut

1 ½ heaped tsp rasam powder (mildly spiced) 

½ – 1 tsp tamarind paste 

2 Tblsp sugar/jaggery

1 tsp rock salt

¼ cup chopped fresh coriander

voggarane :

2 tsp ghee

½ tsp black mustard seeds

10 fresh curry leaves

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder 

tsp turmeric powder

preparation :

In a heavy based saucepan, wash dal with several changes of water until the water runs off clear – then drain.

Pour in the water into the saucepan and bring to boil on a high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer. (Do not cover the pot with a lid, as this allows certain impurities or energetic imbalances to be eliminated.)  Simmer until dal is soft and has broken down – approximately 30 – 40 minutes. Halfway through cooking add the chopped carrot & green beans.

When the dal is soft, stir in the coconut, rasam powder, tamarind, salt and jaggery, mix to combine well.  Simmer for 4 -5 minutes.

prepare the voggarane :

In a small pan/bandalei over medium heat, add the ghee and mustard seeds; when the seeds start to splutter and pop (make sure the mustard seeds have popped well), add the fresh curry leaves and turmeric powder, swishing the pan around to allow for the spices to fry evenly.

Pour the voggarane into the dal, and stir in the fresh coriander leaves.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes for the flavours to settle and dal to thicken slightly.  Serve with rice and drizzle with ghee.

ginger peach muffins

24th July 2018

New MOON dip.

“The leaves of the lotus are emergent, meaning that they rise above the water level whereas the leaves of water-lily are found floating on the water surface. Same is true for their respective flowers; lotus flowers are emergent and water-lily flowers are floating.”

Monserrate Pond, Sintra

ginger peach muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Adapted from ‘Good to the Grain’ by Kim Boyce.

‘Ripe peaches, cooked briefly in ginger syrup, are spooned over muffins made with soft, mellow oat flour and minced candied ginger. Be sure to use peaches that are slightly tart and not so ripe that they’ll break apart in the pan. Allow time for the muffins to cool before eating, as the oat flour can be moist when warm’. – Kim Boyce. 

ingredients:

2 Tablespoons chia seeds

½ cup nut milk (almond, rice etc.)

peach topping :

2 medium/310g firm, ripe peaches

1 Tblsp ghee/coconut oil

2 Tblsp brown sugar/maple syrup

1 heaped tsp freshly grated ginger

dry ingredients :

¾ cup/75g oat flour

¾ cup/100g whole wheat flour

¾ cup/120g unbleached white flour

1 Tblsp baking powder

¼ cup/50g light brown fine sugar

½ cup/75g dark brown sugar

¼ tsp fine rock salt

wet ingredients :

¾ cup/185ml nut milk (almond, rice, etc)

 cup/80ml mild-tasting olive/coconut oil

1 Tblsp vanilla essence

2 heaped Tblsp freshly grated ginger

3 Tblsp/35g finely chopped crystallized ginger

preparation :

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.  Rub a muffin tin with butter or oil.

Whisk the chia seeds and almond milk together in a medium bowl; set aside for at least 10 minutes to thicken.

Grate the ginger, you will need 2 heaped tablespoons plus 1 tsp – divided.

for the peach topping:

Halve the peaches, remove the seeds, cut into quarters and then each quarter into three slices about ¼-inch thick. Set aside. In a large skillet over a medium heat, add the ghee/oil, sugar and 1 heaped teaspoon freshly grated ginger, melt the mixture, stirring to combine. Cook until the mixture begins to bubble, about 2 minutes. Add the peaches, toss the pan to coat them with syrup, cover and allow to simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

for the cake:

Whisk together the oat flour, whole-wheat flour, unbleached white flour, baking powder, sugars and salt in a mixing bowl.  Set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine the chia mixture, nut milk, olive oil, vanilla essence, grated ginger and finely chopped crystallized ginger.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients.  Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon; do not over mix. Scoop the batter into 12-muffin cups, using a spoon or an ice-cream scoop, fill only a little bit over halfway, as the batter will rise when the peaches are placed on top.

Toss the peaches to coat them with the pan juices and individually lay one slice of peach over each of the muffins, tucking the second slice partway into the batter. Any extra peaches can be served with the muffins. Spoon the pan juices over the muffins.

Bake until golden for approximately 35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. The muffins are ready when they are golden and the edges of the peaches are caramelized. These muffins are best eaten the day they are made. Serve with a dollop of cream or Greek yoghurt and remaining peaches.

okra & fresh fenugreek palya

5th May 2018

Growing fenugreek (methi) in the garden or in a pot on a balcony is one of the easiest things to grow. The seeds miraculously start to pop up in 3 -5 days and in four weeks the fenugreek is ready to harvest.

Fenugreek grows well in Spring to early Autumn, especially when the soil is warm. It can be grown in full sun or part shade. The fenugreek can be grown in the soil directly or in a pot. I stagger my planting both in a pot and in the soil every 2 – 3 weeks for a constant supply.

To plant, prepare the ground with some compost and well-rotted manure mixed into the soil. You can buy the seeds from the sprouting section in the health food store or as I do, buy from your local Indian store, the seeds grow very well. I sprinkle the seeds directly in the soil, however, you can sow in straight line trenches and cover with soil. The fenugreek seeds don’t need to be evenly spaced apart like other plants in order to grow. The seeds also don’t need to be buried deep in the soil, so a scattering of soil on top to cover the seeds are all it needs. Keep the soil moist and within in 3 – 5 days little buds will appear.

I start harvesting around 4 weeks when the plant is about 6 inches high. To harvest cut the plant with a pair of scissors a few centimetres at the stem above the soil. This will encourage new growth enabling you to get a new crop in 2 – 3 weeks.

To harvest your own seeds, wait for the pods to turn yellow before harvesting.

~Fenugreek or methi~

okra & fresh fenugreek palya

ingredients:

2 Tblsp peanut oil/coconut oil

½ tsp black mustard seeds

1 Tblsp channa dal

1 tsp urad dal

500 g okra/ladyfinger

3 tightly packed cups chopped fresh fenugreek

½ cup/45g dried shredded coconut

1 tsp jaggery/brown sugar

½ tsp fine rock salt

preparation:

Cut the tops off the okra and cut into uniformed 1 cm pieces. Set aside.

Wash the fenugreek leaves, pat dry and roughly chop. Set aside.

In a large wok or similar pan over high heat. Add the peanut oil and once it’s hot, add the mustard seeds and fry until they turn grey and start popping, add the channa and urad dal, keep frying, stirring constantly until they start to brown, a minute or so. Add the chopped okra and keep everything moving in the pan until all the okra starts to char around the edges, this could take five minutes. Turn off the heat and fold in the fresh fenugreek leaves, leaving the pan on the stove to continue to cook even though the fire is off. Once the fenugreek is wilted, stir in the coconut, add the salt and jaggery and mix well. This dish is best eaten immediately with chapati, rice and accompanied by a simple dal.

golden pistachio cardamom cookies

15th March 2018

Because these cookies contain very little flour, they are a bit crumbly to mould.  I used a heaped round Tablespoon measure of the mixture and then flatten them out with damp fingers.  If you find the mixture sticking, dip the spoon in water and then use damp fingers to push the edges in if they are breaking away.  If you prefer a cookie crunchy on the outside and softer texture on the inside – just scoop to keep the dome-shape and skip the flattening process.  You can easily replace the sultanas with gojji or cranberries berries.

 golden pistachio cardamom cookies

Makes approx 31 cookies – two trays.

Grind your own cardamom as the taste is so much more fragrant. An easy way to do this is to place 18 cardamom pods in a high-speed blender or coffee grinder, and roughly grind. Use a strainer to sift the ground pods, discard the shells and grind bigger chunks again to a finer powder.

Inspired by these cookies and this recipe.

ingredients:

⅓ cup/60g golden sultanas

½ cup/65g raw unsalted pistachio nuts

cup/120g whole-spelt flour

1 ½ cup/130g fine regular rolled oats

3 Tblsp/25g sesame seeds

¼ tsp fine rock salt

½ tsp aluminium-free baking powder

1 tsp cardamom powder

1 tsp ginger powder

cup + 1 Tblsp maple syrup

½ cup coconut oil/olive oil

zest of two oranges

preparation:

Preheat oven 180C/350F.

Line two baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the sultanas in a bowl, add boiling water to cover and soak for 10 minutes. Pour through a strainer, and set aside to drain well. (The extra moisture will help prevent them from burning and drying out when baking.)

Place the pistachio nuts on a tray and toast for approximately 8 minutes.  Allow to cool, roughly chop and place in a medium bowl, along with the spelt flour, oats, sesame seeds, salt, baking powder, cardamom and ginger powder.  Mix to combine and set aside.

Melt the coconut oil over a low heat until liquid, mix with the maple syrup; whisk until emulsified.  Pour into the dry ingredients and stir well, add the drained sultanas, orange zest and mix until well combined.

Use a slightly wet round Tablespoon measurement to scoop the cookie dough pressing against the side of the bowl to compact and place onto the baking sheet, flatten with damp fingers. If the mixture starts to stick, dip the spoon between intervals into the water. It is helpful to have a bowl of water nearby.

Bake for 16 – 18 minutes, rotating the baking tray halfway through. The cookies are ready to come out when they are deeply golden. Cool the cookies on a rack while you bake the rest of the dough. They will firm up when completely cool and are best eaten the day they are made.

Goodness shared by Stacey

a mostly wholewheat challah (revisited)

5th October 2017

challah - 1 (5)

I  always look forward to sharing this bread when the four of us are all together.  And, especially if we are lucky enough to have our family or friends join us on these Friday nights. This is where we savour the opportunity to pause, bless and reflect on the week just passed and to light the candles as a reminder of that inner light inside all of us.

What is left-over, we spend the weekend eating with all sorts of delicious spreads.

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Freshly pressed sugar cane juice – Mysore, South India.

challah - 1 (3)

a mostly whole wheat challah

Makes one large, challah.

The recipe uses a mixer with a hook dough, but you can easily use your hands. 

ingredients :

2 Tbsp flaxseed, plus 6 Tblsp water, whisked together

1 cup warm milk/almond milk

60 grams butter – room temperature/6 Tblsp olive oil

1 tsp active dry yeast

150g wholewheat flour

350g regular all-purpose flour

40g brown sugar/coconut sugar

1½ tsp fine rock salt

preparation :

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.  Whisk together the flax seeds with 6 tablespoons water.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes.  Add the warm milk/water, soft butter and sprinkle in the yeast, leave undisturbed until the mixture is foaming, about 5 – 6 minutes.

Measure out the flours, sugar and salt, whisk together and sprinkle over the yeast & milk mixture, turn the machine on the lowest option and knead on medium speed for about 5 minutes or 10 minutes by hand.  The dough should be elastic and smooth.  If the dough seems too sticky, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time or if seemly too dry, add more liquid, a tablespoon at a time.

Cover with a damp tea towel and allow the dough to sit in a warm place for 1 – 1½ hours until well risen and doubled its size.  The longer it sits the better the final bread. I usually start in the early morning and it sits for 4 – 5 hours before proceeding to the second rise.

Take out the dough, knead a little with the heel of your hands and work it into a ball.

plaiting the dough :

Divide the dough into three equal pieces with a sharp knife or bench scraper.  Using your palms, and starting from the centre and working outward, elongate 1 piece by rolling it gently against the work surface with even pressure until you have formed a rope the desired length.  Repeat with the remaining 2 pieces. Place the three side by side.  Now pinch together the top ends and carefully braid the three, like you would if you were braiding or plaiting hair.  As I braid, I gently pull them length-wise to keep them as even as possible. Pinch together the ends and tuck them slightly under.

Transfer the plaited loaf to the baking tray and brush with ghee/oil and sprinkle with poppy & sesame seeds.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and set in a warm place to rise for 1½ hours.

About 10 minutes before the dough has finished rising, preheat an oven to 200C/400F with a rack in the lower third of the oven.  Remove the plastic wrap or towel and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Allow to cool completely before cutting into it.

When it is just the four of us, we have been enjoying the challah with a simple vegetable soup, a salad and a bowl of guacamole, and for dessert, slathered with homemade jam.

challah - 1 (6)

Goodness shared by Stacey

Jonathan´s Sunday night pasta sauce

8th September 2017

garden tomatoes & marigold - 1 (1)

Sunday night is pasta night and has become a regular for years now, mostly because we cook a lot of Indian and it was requested by our children to be guaranteed a  ‘normal’ non-Indian meal at least once a week! It started off as a special weekend dish my husband would cook and slowly my son started helping out by chopping vegetables and now he is in charge and has taken on the important role of making the pasta sauce. This past year, focaccia has become a regular at the pasta table and recently I have been making my own vegan pasta.

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~Marigold (Tagetes patula flowers).  The genus name for marigold (Tagetes) gets its name from the Etruscan god ‘Tages’ – the god of wisdom. It’s common popular name ‘marigold’ comes from “Mary’s gold” after Mother Mary.  In Hinduism too, the flower symbolizes auspiciousness. The saffron/orange colour signifies renunciation and hence is offered to God as a symbol of surrender.

The plant’s odour and root hormones scare away many animals and insects from the garden.  Marigolds are often used in companion planting for tomato, eggplant, chilli pepper and potato.

jonathan´s pasta sauce - 1 (3)

sunday night pasta sauce

Serves 6 – good for 500g pasta

For everyone who has joined us for pasta night!

ingredients:

⅓ – ½ cup peanut/olive oil or to generously cover the base of a large saucepan

½ heaped tsp asafoetida powder

1½ cups/155g celery

2 heaped Tblsp finely chopped ginger

2 cups/220g carrots

1½ cups/125g red bell pepper

1 x 140g tube tomato paste

1.5 kg/16 medium plump Roma tomatoes

3 heaped tsp fine rock salt

3 heaped tsp jaggery

to serve :

half portion home-made vegan pasta

pine nut parmesan

bowl steamed broccoli & kale, or grilled zucchini slices.

preparation:

Wash the vegetables and finely chop the celery, ginger, carrot and red pepper.  Set aside in their own piles on a chopping board.  Cut the base off the tomatoes, and cut each tomato into quarters. Set aside.

Over a medium heat, pour the oil to fill the base of a large heavy-bottomed pot, sprinkle the asafoetida powder evenly over the oil and fry for 30 seconds.  Add the chopped celery –  fry until the celery starts to soften.  Add the ginger and finely chopped carrot, simmer for 3 – 4 minutes or until the carrots are soft. Add the chopped red pepper, simmer for 3 – 4 minutes more.  Clear a space in the middle of the vegetables and squeeze in the concentrate, add the tomatoes and give everything a good stir.

Simmer, uncovered over medium heat for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally. Toward the end of cooking, stir in the salt and jaggery.

If the sauce is very liquid, leave uncovered. Not very liquid, leave covered but with the lid ajar.

Once the sauce is ready, roughly puree using an immersion blender.  Serve with your choice of pasta, a sprinkling of pine nut parmesan and grilled zucchini, steamed broccoli or beans.

jonathan´s pasta sauce - 1 (2)

Goodness shared by Stacey, Jonathan & Elijah

pasta dough without eggs

29th August 2017

homemade vegan pasta 4 - 1

Once you get the feel of the dough, making pasta without eggs is easy, it is a little softer, more delicate, however, the texture is divine. Homemade pasta is much lighter on the system and easier to digest.

The durum wheat flour helps absorb the flavours. It makes a softer, silky, smooth dough, that you will not get from other flours it also absorbs more water then ordinary flour, so keep that in mind if swapping the flours around.

This is a recipe that has developed over trial and error, as time goes on I am sure it will evolve even more and I will update accordingly. So far, I found when rolling and thinning the dough I used a liberal amount of flour – this may have something to do with where we live as there is a lot of moisture in the air in Sintra. I found using an icing sugar shaker very handy for this purpose, a sifter or sieve will work just as well to get a fine layer of dusting. The process is quite time-consuming, however the more confident you become with the process the quicker it is. The results are so delicious and worth the effort and impossible to go back to a box of dried pasta.  Making your pasta from scratch is a very satisfying process.

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pasta dough without eggs

Serves 6 

Recipe inspired by Kusama via Elegantly Vegan.

If attempting for the first time halve the dough recipe.  It comfortably serves 3 – 4.  The best way to get good at making fresh pasta is to make it again and again. 

ingredients:

480g/4¼ cups finely ground semolina flour from durum wheat

2 tsp fine rock salt

4 Tblsp olive oil

300 – 360 ml warm water

extra flour for dusting

special equipment :

pasta making machine

preparing the pasta dough:

In a medium bowl, measure out the flour, sprinkle in the salt and whisk to combine. Create a well in the centre of the flour, drizzle in the olive oil and slowly pour in 300ml (about 1¼ cup warm water). Using your hands, combine the dry into the wet, adding water a tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together into a ball. Dust your work surface with flour and knead the dough, begin gently folding the dough on itself, flattening, and folding again, for about ten minutes.

When you finish kneading, cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for at least half an hour to an hour. For best results knead and allow the dough to rest for as long as possible.

rolling out the pasta dough:

Unwrap the dough and divide it into quarters, and then each quarter in half again so you have eight equal portions, weighing approximately 90 – 100 grams. Work with one portion at a time, and cover the rest. Flour your work surface and flatten one piece of dough a little less than the width of the pasta maker. Feed it through the thickest setting on the machine – #0.  Lightly dust both sides of the sheet of pasta with flour and fold this piece of dough into thirds, like folding a letter, dust again and feed the pasta crosswise between the rollers.  Repeat this step 5 – 6 times. This helps strengthen the gluten in the flour, giving it a chewier texture when cooked. Change settings to the slightly thinner setting – #1, dust with flour and feed it through the machine without folding it; then set it on #2 and so forth until achieving the desired thickness – I finished at #5.

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If your pasta sticks at all, dust both sides with more flour or is too lengthy to manage, lay on a cutting board and cut in half.  Don’t tug or pull on the pasta as it goes through the machine. Let the rollers do the work. With practice, you will become familiar with your machine and with the dough and will be able to manoeuvre the dough by slightly moving it left or right so that it doesn’t go in crooked.

Now cut the sheet of pasta crosswise into pieces about 25 cm long and lightly dust them with flour again. I like to air dry the sheets for 15 – 20 minutes before cutting.

To make the process easier, roll out all the dough at once before cutting it into the desired shape. Dust the sheets of pasta generously with flour and overlap them on a floured board or hang them over racks. When ready to cut use the sheets which were rolled out first and have been sitting longer to dry.

cutting the pasta :

If making filled pasta or lasagna, proceed with shaping.  If cutting into noodles, switch from the pasta roller to the noodle cutter, dust again with flour and run the sheet of pasta through the cutter. As soon as the pasta comes through the cutter, dust generously with flour and gently fold into loose rounds to make a nest. Dust again with a little flour and continue with the remaining dough. Leave the pasta to air dry for 15 minutes – 3 hours before using. This helps the pasta to not clump together while cooking.

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Once cut and sitting in mounds, cover loosely with a cloth and every hour gently pick up the mounds to loosen the noodles, gently replacing them into their mounds again.

to cook the pasta :

To cook the pasta immediately, bring a pot of well-salted water to a rollicking boil. Add the pasta to the water and cook for about 1 – 2 minutes – don’t overcook!  The pasta should float to the top of the pot when it’s ready and be al dente. Be gentle with it when you lift it from the water. Drain and then just drizzle it in olive oil or toss it with your favourite pasta sauce, and it’s ready to serve.

To dry, allow to air dry until completely brittle, turning the nests from time to time. Depending on the humidity it should take 5 – 6 hours.

To freeze, gather the bundles in a single layer separated with baking paper and freeze, in an airtight container, up to three months. Do not thaw them – place them directly in boiling water – may take 2 – 3 minutes to cook.

Enjoy!

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fig & ginger cluster granola

17th August 2017

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quietness

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Just now I went out into the garden, it was so quiet and still out there, except for a single bird, melodious and sweet.

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tara o’brady’s fig & ginger cluster granola

Makes approximately 8 cups.

The recipe is taken from Taro O’brady’s Seven Spoons Cookbook, with a few small changes.

Tara goes on to say ‘This recipe is my standard and is intended only as a starting point. By all means, add, substitute, or subtract ingredients (add ground nutmeg or ginger, cardamom; or take away the seeds and go heavy on the nuts; swap pistachios for pecans, or dried apricots and dried cherries for the figs) as long as the general guidelines are loosely followed.”

ingredients:

¼ cup/60g ghee or unsalted butter

3 Tblsp olive oil

3 Tblsp maple syrup

½ cup/100g packed jaggery/light brown sugar

½ cup/120ml hot water

1 tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

5 cups/455g old-fashioned rolled or quick-cooking oats

1½ – 2 cups/180g slivered almonds & hazelnuts (I roughly chop my own into thick slivers)

¾ cup/65g flaked coconut

¼ cup/35g raw, hulled sunflower seeds

¼ cup/35g sesame seeds

1 heaped tsp cinnamon powder

½ cup/70g finely chopped candied ginger

1 cup/150g chopped dried figs & sultanas

preparation:

Preheat an oven to 325F/160C and with racks in the upper and lower thirds.

In a saucepan set over medium heat, melt the ghee into the olive oil and maple syrup. Turn off the heat add the brown sugar, hot water, and ½ tsp of the salt. Cook, stirring often until the sugar dissolves. Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir in the vanilla extract, and set aside to cool.

In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, grind 2 cups/180g of the oats into flour. Transfer this oat flour to a large bowl. Stir in the remaining 3 cups/275g whole oats, the remaining ½ tsp salt, and the nuts, coconut, seeds and cinnamon powder.

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Pour the ghee and sugar mixture over everything and stir to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes, to give the oats the opportunity to lap up the sugar syrup.

Line 2 half sheet pans with standard baking sheets. using your hands, drop the oat mixture in clumps onto the pans, then bake in the preheated oven until dry, light golden, and evenly toasted 45 to 50 minutes, gently stirring and turning the granola with a large spatula every 15 minutes or so and rotating the pans once from the top to bottom and front to back.

Remove from oven and leave the granola in the pans. The granola will continue to crisp as it stands. After 5 minutes, stir in the candied ginger. Once the granola has cooled completely, stir in the figs.

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Transfer the granola to an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

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