spring

Amy Chaplin’s easy pine nut sauce

11th April 2020

Don’t be deceived by the unassuming appearance of this sauce, it is delicious! I have replaced our weekly pesto sauce with this one.  It is quick, easy and any leftovers make a delicious salad dressing. Serve with homemade pasta, skillet roasted tomatoes and steamed greens.

~ sunlight and water drops~

easy pine nut sauce

Recipe – Whole Food Cooking Every Day by Amy Chaplin.

Makes 1 cup. 

Serves 3 – 4

ingredients

1 cup/120g raw pine nuts

6 Tbsp/65g olive oil

2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp fine rock salt

to serve

½-portion homemade pasta

skillet charred tomato (see below)

steamed or sauteed greens

grated parmesan or pine nut parmesan

preparation

1.  Warm a skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Toss in the pine nuts, reduce heat to low, and toast, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until fragrant and golden.

2.  Transfer to a mortar and pestle or mini food processor and add the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.

3.  Use a pestle to crush the nuts and grind until a paste forms. Or, if you’re using a mini food processor, blend until smooth, scrape down the sides, and blend again.  Use immediately, or store the sauce in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a week. Optional to garnish with lemon zest.

Note

  • Any leftovers can be used as a salad dressing the next day. When using as a salad dressing add a little honey.

to serve

skillet charred cherry tomatoes

serves 2

preparation – 7 minutes

ingredients

2 Tbsp olive or peanut oil

350g small cherry tomatoes

1 red bell pepper/135g, roughly chopped (optional)

One 5-cm sprig rosemary – leaves removed

½ tsp red chilli pepper flakes

preparation

1.   Place a medium skillet or wok over high heat, add oil, whole cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, and rosemary leaves, toss to coat in the oil. It is important to use a larger skillet to allow space for the tomatoes to cook without losing their shape. Don’t overcrowd the pan.

2.  Sautee for 5 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until charred in parts – don’t cook for too long, otherwise, the tomatoes will turn mushy.

3.  Remove from heat, stir in salt and chilli flakes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serve with your favourite pasta!

apple blackberry crumble tart (vegan & gluten-free)

22nd March 2020

The is a simple and foolproof tart. The dough is mixed in one bowl and pressed into a tart pan, so there is no kneading or rolling. The fruit can be changed to what you have on hand. Peaches, plums, pears or frozen berries are great, and the spices can be changed to suit the fruit. Delicious served warm with vanilla ice-cream!

~ first day of spring ~

apple blackberry crumble tart

recipe by Aran Goyoaga.

preparation – 20 mins

baking – 50 mins

serves – 10

base ingredients

1 cup/140g superfine brown rice flour

1 cup/100g almond flour

½ cup/100g light brown sugar

1 tsp fine rock salt

10 Tbsp/140g virgin coconut oil, not melted

2 Tbsp ice water

⅓ cup/25g pine nuts

filling ingredients

1½ cups/180g blackberries, fresh or frozen

3 small or 2 large apples/300g – halved, cored and thinly sliced (2-mm)

1 small lemon, juiced and zested

2 Tbsp light brown sugar

1 – 2 Tbsp tapioca or corn starch

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

½ tsp ground cinnamon

preparation

1.  Preheat the oven to 180C/375F. Grease a 9-inch tart mold.

prepare the base

2.  In a bowl, toss together the rice flour, almond flour, sugar and salt. Add the coconut oil and work it into the flour using your fingertips until you have a dough that resembles coarse sand. The dough should clump up but feel slightly dry. Add 2 Tbsp ice water and mix it with your hands until it comes together into a loose dough.

3.  Take approximately two-thirds of the dough and press into a 9-inch tart mold, bring it up around the edge.

4.  Mix the pine nuts into the remaining dough to make the crumble topping. Refrigerate both the tart crust and the crumble topping while preparing the filling.

prepare the filling

5.  In a large bowl, toss together the blackberries, sliced apples, lemon juice and zest, sugar, tapioca starch, vanilla and cinnamon. If the filling is very wet, add 1 more tablespoon of tapioca starch.

6.  Add the fruit filling to the tart mold and sprinkle with the crumble topping.

7.  Bake until the crust is golden and filling is bubbly, 45 – 50 minutes. Allow the tart to cool slightly before slicing.

variation

  • replace apples and berries with seasonal fruits.
  • Replace the rice flour with all-purpose flour.

zesty turmeric tahini dressing

2nd March 2020

I like to serve this sauce over sauteed broccolini or roasted vegetables. Any leftovers gets drizzled over leafy green salads or scooped up with home-made bread.

~Kasbah Bab Ourika, Atlas Mountains, Morroco~

zesty turmeric tahini dressing

Recipe from Amy Chaplin’s – Whole Food Cooking Every Day.

makes 1½ cups

preparation time – 15 minutes

ingredients

½ cup/115g tahini

½ cup/100g water

2 Tbsp/22g olive oil

2 Tbsp/25g freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ tsp fine rock salt, plus more to taste

one 4-inch(10cm)/30g piece fresh turmeric, peeled and finely grated (2½ Tbsp)

¼ cup/60g freshly squeezed orange juice

2 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped

1 tsp tamari (optional)

¼ tsp cayenne pepper, plus more to taste

preparation

1.  Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender and blend until smooth.

2.  Taste and adjust the salt and cayenne to taste.

The colour intensifies as it sits!

Use immediately, or store the sauce in the fridge for up to 2 – 3  days. Bring to room temperature before using and add water or orange juice to thin if needed.

Note

  • If using a high-speed blender, there is no need to grated the turmeric just roughly chop. Pit the dates and add whole to the blender.
  • If you have particular runny tahini, reduce the water by half and add more as needed to achieve the desired consistency.

rhubarb cardamom cake with rhubarb-vanilla compote (vegan)

19th May 2019

A recipe I make often based on these Raspberry Muffins. The sweet almond crumb adds a delicious crunchy texture which contrasts nicely with the sourness of the rhubarb. The maple syrup can be replaced with ½ cup brown sugar. If you don’t want to spend the time arranging the rhubarb, chop into 1 cm pieces and sprinkle over the cake.

rhubarb cardamon cake with a rhubarb-vanilla compote

Preparation – 30 minutes

Baking time – 45 minutes

Serves 8 – 10

for the millet

¼ cup/50g millet

¾ cup/185ml water

for the almond crumb

⅓ cup/25g flaked almonds

2 Tbsp coconut sugar

2 Tbsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp lemon juice

for the cake

4 rhubarb stalks (250-300g)

1½ cup/210g whole-spelt flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 tsp cardamom powder

¾ cup/220g maple syrup

 cup/65g mild-tasting olive/coconut oil

¼ cup/55g almond milk

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp grated ginger

zest of 1 lemon

¼ tsp fine rock salt

prepare the millet

1.   Rinse the millet, place in a pan with the water, bring to boil, simmer rapidly for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until water has evaporated. Remove from heat; let sit for 10 minutes before removing the lid. Measure out 1 cup/180g cooked millet – set aside.

2.  Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF and line an 11 x 7-inch baking tray or favourite cake tin with parchment paper.

prepare the almond crumb

3.  In a small bowl place the almonds, sugar, maple syrup and lemon juice, stir to combine and set aside.

prepare the rhubarb

4.  Unless the rhubarb stalks are very slender, cut them in half lengthwise, then cut the stalks at an angle, two pointing one way and the other two the opposite so that they will fit together in a herringbone pattern. Use your pan to do a trial run, cutting to size and arranging your stalks however you like – set aside.  

prepare the cake

5.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and cardamom – set aside.

6.  In a medium jug, whisk together the maple syrup, olive oil, almond milk, vanilla, ginger, lemon zest, salt and cooked millet.

7.  Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients, stir until well combined – be careful not to over-mix.

8.  Spread the batter evenly into the pan and arrange the rhubarb stalks on top. Spend a little extra time arranging your rhubarb – this is my favourite part! Don’t press the fruit into the batter – just place over the top and let it rest on the surface.

9.  Crumble over the almond crumb. 

10.  Bake for 40 – 45 minutes, until golden or a toothpick comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool.  Make the compote.

Serve with a generous dollop of Greek yoghurt or cream and a spoon of rhubarb-vanilla compote.

rhubarb-vanilla compote

Preparation – 25 minutes

Makes 1 cup

ingredients

2 cups/225g rhubarb, diced (use the redder part of the stems)

⅓ cup/90g maple syrup

½ tsp freshly grated ginger

½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise

preparation

1.  Place the rhubarb, maple syrup, ginger and in a medium saucepan.

2.  Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into a saucepan, adding the pod as well.

3.  Cook, covered over low heat. (It’s important to begin slowly so the rhubarb warms up and begins to release its liquid. Cook the rhubarb for about 15 minutes.

4.  Remove the cover and increase heat to medium. Cook for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally until the rhubarb is completely broken down. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

5-minute vegan salted caramel

2nd May 2019

A very simple sweet salty gooey 5-minute caramel sauce to drizzle warm over ice-cream, pancakes or crumble the base of a bowl with a 5-ingredient tahini almond cookie, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a sprinkling of toasted pistachio nuts, drizzle over the caramel sauce and garnish with fresh mint leaves. Perfect for Pesach Celebrations!

~spring vegetable garden~

5-minute vegan salted caramel

Recipe inspired here.

Preparation time 5 minutes.

Makes 1 cup

ingredients

⅓ cup/75g hulled tahini 

⅓ cup/70g coconut cream

⅓ cup/50g coconut sugar

¼ tsp fine rock salt

2 Tbsp coconut oil

2 tsp water, or more for desired consistency

½ tsp vanilla extract

to serve

vanilla ice-cream

5-ingredient tahini almond cookies

toasted pistachios

preparation

1.  Mix all the ingredients together, except the vanilla in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, until sugar is dissolved, stirring continuously.

2.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

3.  For a more syrupy, drippy consistency, once cool, whisk in water 1 tsp at a time until desired consistency is reached. Enjoy immediately!  Can be stored refrigerated up to a week.

The sauce will set once it is cooled so you will need to reheat it to regain a pourable consistency or add in hot water until the desired consistency.

beetroot palya

11th April 2019

I prefer to keep this palya simple and the flavours subtle, as it is normally served with other complex dishes. Use fresh, small-medium sized beetroot with lots of flavour and preferably with their greens attached – a reliable sign of freshness. Always give them a squeeze to avoid buying old spongy beetroot that has been stored too long.

~ vegetable garden and blossoms ~

beetroot palya

Preparation – 40 minutes

Serves 4, as a side dish.

ingredients 

4-5 medium/450g beetroot

voggarane 

2 Tbsp peanut oil

½ tsp mustard seeds

15 small curry leaves

½ tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp jaggery

3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill

3 Tbsp freshly grated coconut – can replace with dried

to serve 

whole moong dal with garden greens

yoghurt

rice

preparation 

1.  Scrub the beetroot and place in a pot of boiling water – simmer for 30 minutes until tender but still firm.

2.  Drain and allow to cool slightly. Using vinyl gloves (this will keep your hands clean while working with beets) slip the skin off. If the skin doesn’t slip off easily, use a knife to scrape the skin away. Finely chop into small uniformed cubes and place in a serving bowl.

prepare the voggarane 

3.  Heat the oil in a small pan, add the mustard seeds; when they turn grey and pop, remove from heat, add in the curry leaves, swishing the pan around for the leaves to fry evenly. Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 1 – 2 minutes, then stir in the salt and jaggery.

4.  Pour the voggarane over the beetroot – toss until well-incorporated.

5.  Add the finely chopped dill and sprinkle over the coconut – stir to combine. Garnish with a handful of small beetroot leaves.  Serve warm, or at room temperature.

variations 

  • Stir through 1  cup full-fat yoghurt.

suggestions 

  • If buying beets with their greens still attached, lightly steam the greens when boiling the beet, double the voggarane and stir through.

no knead bread

17th February 2019

No knead bread gives a gorgeous, crusty loaf, with very little hands-on time. The use of a dutch oven (cast iron pot with a lid) creates a moist environment for the bread as it bakes, I use an old Le Creuset pot for this, however, I have read that an enamel, Pyrex or ceramic pot works just as well. The wet dough and long fermentation are the keys to success. The rough seam, when placed in the hot pot, creates unexpected beautiful results, so there is no need to slash or score the bread.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt and yeast.

Pour in the water.

Then stir with a wet hand or a wooden spatula to form a sticky dough.

Cover the bowl with cling film or beeswax sheet and leave overnight or for at least 12-18 hours in a warm place.

With oiled hands, pull the sticky dough out onto a well-floured surface and fold it over a few times forming a ball.

Lightly dust a proofing basket or a medium bowl with flour and place the dough inside, seam side down and cover for another 2 hours.

About 45 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 260C/500F and place your dutch oven inside (with the lid on) to heat up.

After the second rise, take the preheated dutch oven out (taking care and wearing oven mitts) and lightly flour the bottom surface.

Invert the dough into the floured dutch oven. If the dough didn’t land evenly, give the pot a shake and it should right itself.

Cover the pot with the lid, and pop it back in the oven. Bake the bread for 30 minutes covered and then 10 – 15 minutes uncovered.

Tip the bread out of the pot and cool on a wired rack. Allow the bread to cool completely, to fully establish the crust and set the crumb.

no knead bread

Preparation – 15 hours

Serves 8

ingredients

3 cups/390g unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tsp fine rock salt

½ tsp/2g dry yeast

1¼ cups warm water

preparation

1.  In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt and yeast, pour in the water, then stir with a wet hand or a wooden spatula to form a sticky dough.

2.  Cover the bowl with cling film or beeswax sheet and leave overnight or for at least 12-18 hours in a warm place. The slow fermentation is the key to flavour.

for the second rise

3.  With oiled hands or a bowl scraper, pull the sticky dough out onto a well-floured surface and fold it over a few times forming a ball. I like to gently lift up the dough as I fold it over so that the dough is being stretched.

4.  Lightly dust a proofing basket or a medium bowl with flour and place the dough inside, seam side down and cover for another 2 hours.

5.  About 45 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 260C/500F and place your dutch oven inside (with the lid on) to heat up. It may be cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic.

6.  Once your dough has finished its second rise, take the dutch oven out (taking care and wearing oven mitts) and lightly flour the bottom surface.

7.  Invert the dough into the floured dutch oven. If the dough didn’t land evenly, give the pot a shake and it should right itself.

8.  Cover the pot with the lid, and pop it back in the oven. Bake the bread for 30 minutes covered and then 10 – 15 minutes uncovered.

9.  Tip the bread out of the pot and cool on a wired rack. Allow the bread to cool completely, to fully establish the crust and set the crumb. It has a lovely crackling sound as it cools!

Enjoy!

suggestions

  • Cover the proofing basket in a heaped tablespoon of seeds (black and white sesame, flaxseeds & poppy seeds) before putting the bread inside.
  • If you think that your dough will be sitting out for a longer 24h period, then reduce the amount of yeast to a ¼ teaspoon. 

variations

  • Replace 100g of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour.
  • Replace the wheat flour with spelt flour. You may need to increase the amount of water because wheat absorbs more moisture.

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

Preparation 40 minutes

Serves 3 – 4

ingredients 

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

4 cups water/1-litre

1 medium tomato(100g), finely chopped

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

2 heaped Tbsp brown sugar/jaggery

1 heaped tsp rock salt

sambar-coconut mix

¼ cup/20g 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

1.  In a heavy-based saucepan, wash the dal until the water runs clear, drain, pour in 4 cups water into the saucepan and bring to boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer.

2.  After 10 minutes, add the tomatoes – simmer until dal is soft and has broken down – approximately 30 minutes. 

prepare the rasam-coconut mix

3.  In an upright blender, add the dried coconut, rasam powder, tamarind, and ¾ cup water, blend for 1 minute, until smooth, then add to dal rinsing the blender clean with the remaining ¾ cup water.

prepare the voggarane 

4.  In a small pan over medium heat, heat the ghee, add mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, add the curry leaves, asafoetida and turmeric powder, swishing the pan around for the spices to fry evenly.

5.  Pour the voggarane into the dal, add 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 dal 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

Preparation – 40 minutes

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 heaped Tbsp sugar/jaggery

1 heaped tsp rock salt

rasam-coconut mix

¼ cup/20g dried shredded unsweetened coconut

1½ heaped tsp rasam powder (moderately spiced)

½ – 1 tsp tamarind paste 

1½ cups/375ml water

voggarane 

3 Tbsp peanut oil

½ heaped tsp black mustard seeds

1 heaped Tbsp channa dal

1 heaped tsp urad dal

400g okra

15 fresh curry leaves

⅛ heaped tsp asafoetida powder 

⅛ heaped tsp turmeric powder

2 cups fresh fenugreek/kale/ coriander leaves – chopped

preparation

1.  In a heavy-based saucepan, wash the dal until the water runs clear, drain, pour in 3 cups water and bring to boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer – simmer until dal is soft and has broken down – approximately 30 minutes.

2. Top, tail the okra and cut into 1 cm pieces and measure out the remaining ingredients – set aside.

prepare the rasam-coconut mix

3.  In an upright blender, add the rasam powder, tamarind, dried coconut and ¾ cup water, blend for 1 minute, until smooth, add to the dal rinsing the blender clean with the remaining ¾ cup water.

prepare the voggarane 

4.  In a skillet over medium-high heat, add oil and mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, add the channa and urad dal, fry until both dals are golden-brown.

5.  Add the okra and keep everything moving in the pan until all the okra starts to char around the edges – approximately 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and fold in the chopped fenugreek leaves.

6.  Set aside 1 cup of the cooked okra 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 to serve. Serve with rice and drizzle with ghee.

 

 

toor dal with carrots and green beans

Preparation 40 minutes

Serves 3 – 4

This is the same procedure, using a different dal and vegetables, however, the rasam and coconut are added directly into the dish, no grinding required.

ingredients 

½ cup/100g toor dal 

cups /1-litre water

1 medium/100g carrot – finely chopped

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

¼ cup/20g dried shredded coconut

1 ½ heaped tsp rasam powder (mildly spiced) 

½ – 1 tsp tamarind paste 

2 heaped Tbsp sugar/jaggery

1 heaped tsp rock salt

¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped

voggarane 

2 tsp ghee

½ heaped tsp black mustard seeds

10 fresh curry leaves

⅛ heaped tsp asafoetida powder 

heaped tsp turmeric powder

preparation 

1.  In a heavy-based saucepan, wash dal until the water runs clear, drain, then pour in 4 cups water, bring to boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer. 

2.  After 10 minutes, add the carrot and green beans, simmer until dal is soft and has broken down – approximately 30 minutes.

3.  Stir in the coconut, rasam powder, tamarind, salt and jaggery, mix to combine well – simmer for 4 -5 minutes.

prepare the voggarane 

4.  In a small pan over medium heat, add the ghee and mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, add the asafoetida, curry leaves and turmeric, swishing the pan for the spices to fry evenly.

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

a buttery herbed pilaf

16th June 2018

Each year I plant broad beans because of their delightfully scented pure white, black and white flower. The seed always germinates, even in this unpredictable Sintra weather but when the beans arrive, I am sometimes at a loss at what to do with them.

This year, there was an abundance of both succulent beans and sweet peas. Just in time, I came across this rice dish which enabled me to make use of all the various green bits and pieces from the garden, that have emerged at this time of year.

The herbs soften the buttery rice and infuse it with flavour. The steaming method of cooking the rice forms a crusty bottom, creating crunchy shards of golden rice. It is a splendid outcome.

a  buttery herbed pilaf

Serves 3 – 4

Recipe adapted ‘Gather Cook Feast’ by Jessica Seaton.

ingredients

1 cup/200g white basmati rice

½ cup/65g fresh young broad beans

½ cup/70g fresh sweet peas

½ cup/70 g finely chopped green beans (optional)

1 large bunch/20g each fresh parsley, dill or fennel fronds

1 very large bunch/80g fresh coriander

½ cup/125ml melted ghee – divided (or 75g butter-melted)

salt and pepper to taste

zest from half lemon

juice from half lemon

soak the rice

1.  Wash the rice in cold water and drain. Repeat 3 more times to flush out all the excess starch (this helps the rice to be fluffy with nice separate grains when cooked). Then leave to soak in cold water for 1 hour while you prepare everything else.

prepare the greens 

2.  Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. In it blanch the broad beans, peas and green beans for 3 – 4 minutes, then drain and refresh in ice-cold water immediately to cool them down (this keeps them green). When they are completely cold, drain the peas and beans, set aside.

3.  Finely chop the leaves and tender stems of all the herbs, and mix together. Keep any tough stems for soups or stews. Set aside.

prepare the rice 

4.  Drain the rice. Fill a medium saucepan (with a lid that fits) with very well salted water. Bring the water to a vigorous boil and cook the rice for exactly 5 minutes, starting the timer from the moment the rice enters the pot. Drain in a colander and let sit for 5 minutes or so to steam dry.

assemble and cook the pilaf 

5.  Return the empty pan to the stove, add half of the melted ghee.

6.  Split the pile of herbs in two – one to use now, setting the other half aside to use later.

7.  Add one-third of the rice to the pot, then half of the herbs for using now. Do not mix. Repeat with the next third of the rice and the other half of the herbs. Finish with the last third of rice. Drizzle the remaining melted ghee over the top.

8.  Cover the pot with a tea towel, then place the lid firmly on top, folding the corners of the tea towel over the top so that they don’t catch fire. Cook over medium heat for 8 minutes, then place the pot on the lowest heat you can manage and continue cooking for another 45 minutes.

9.  When the rice is ready, mix the reserved herbs from the bowl and the peas and beans into the rice and pile it all on to a good wide platter or bowl. Sprinkle over the lemon zest and squeeze over the lemon juice. Taste and season with salt and a few rounds of pepper. Scrape up the crisp rice at the bottom of the pot and tuck it into the pile of rice shards – it’s delicious.

variation

  • replace the peas and beans with 3 medium potatoes; boil until soft, cut into slices and assemble in a wide heavy-bottomed saucepan, starting with potatoes first (for a crusty potato bottom), then rice, herbs, potatoes, rice, herbs, rice then the remaining ghee.

golden pistachio cardamom cookies (vegan)

15th March 2018

These golden oat cookies contain very little flour and because of that, they are a bit crumbly to mould.  Use a heaped round tablespoon measure of the cookie dough and flatten them out with damp fingers.  If you find the cookie dough 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 – scoop to keep the dome-shape and skip the flattening process. You can easily replace the sultanas with goji 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. 

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

1½ cup/130g fine regular rolled oats

3 Tbsp/25g sesame seeds

¼ tsp fine rock salt

½ tsp aluminium-free baking powder

1 tsp cardamom powder

1 tsp ginger powder

cup + 1 Tbsp maple syrup

½ cup coconut oil/olive oil

zest of two oranges

preparation

1.  Preheat oven 180C/350F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.  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.)

3.  Place the pistachio nuts on a tray and toast for 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.

4.  Melt the coconut oil over low heat until liquid, add the maple syrup; whisk until emulsified.

5.  Pour into the dry ingredients and stir well, add the drained sultanas, orange zest and mix until well combined.

6.  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 sheets, 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.

7.  Bake for 16 – 18 minutes, rotating the baking trays 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.

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