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.

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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 heaped Tblsp sugar/jaggery

1 heaped 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 heaped tsp black mustard seeds

1 heaped Tblsp bengal gram

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 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 litre /4 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 heaped Tblsp sugar/jaggery

1 heaped tsp rock salt

¼ cup chopped fresh coriander

voggarane :

2 tsp ghee

½ heaped tsp black mustard seeds

10 fresh curry leaves

⅛ heaped tsp asafoetida powder 

heaped 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.

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ginger peach muffins (vegan)

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/100g 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 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.

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carrot & coriander fritters

8th July 2018

June has been a month of abundant poppy blossom, big round buzzing bees and cool, misty, chalky mornings. I wonder what July will bring?

~ Oriental Brillant Poppy (Papaver orientale)

carrot & coriander fritters

15 – 18 fritters

ingredients :

¾ cup/90g chickpea flour

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp fine rock salt

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp coriander seeds

1 chilli, finely chopped

pinch asafoetida powder

¾ cup/180ml water

3 – 4 medium/350g carrots

½ cup/20g fresh coriander

peanut oil/ghee for frying

preparation :

In a small pan dry roast the cumin and coriander seeds. Set aside to cool, then roughly grind in a mortar and pestle.

In a medium bowl, measure out the chickpea flour, add the salt, pepper, turmeric powder, ground coriander and cumin seeds, chopped chilli, and a pinch of asafoetida powder – stir to combine.  Add the water and whisk together until smooth. Set aside. The mixture will be sticky.

Top, tail and scrub the carrots.  Grate them, either with a box grater or using the shredding blade of a food processor. Place in the bowl with the chickpea batter, along with the chopped coriander.  Stir to combine, the mixture will be quite dry. Allow to sit for 5 – 10 minutes for the water to come out of the carrots.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a cast iron skillet.  When hot, place a heaped tablespoon of the batter into the hot oil.  Spread a little to make a round, flatter shape. Cook them over medium-high heat until the edges turn golden, about 3 – 4 minutes.  Flip the fritters and fry for another 2  – 3 minutes.

Drain briefly on a paper towel.  Best served immediately with the avocado raytha or spicy pickle, also nice alongside this coriander leaf vanghi bath.

Goodness shared by Stacey

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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 of fresh parsley, dill or fennel fronds

1 very large bunch/80g of fresh coriander

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

salt and pepper to taste

zest from half a lemon

juice from half lemon

soak the rice:

Wash the rice in cold water and drain. Repeat three 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 an hour while you prepare everything else.

prepare the greens :

Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. In it blanch the broad beans, peas and chopped 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.

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 :

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 & cook the pilaf :

Return the empty pan to the stove, add half of the melted ghee. Split the pile of herbs in two – one to use now, setting the other half aside to use later. 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.

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.

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.

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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~

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/40g dried unsweetened shredded coconut

1 tsp jaggery/brown sugar

½ tsp fine rock salt

to serve

simple everyday dal

rice or chapati

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.

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bisi-bele bāth – revisited

13th April 2018

I thought I would revisit some of my favourite recipes which I make weekly and update to our personal preferences. This is one dish I love to eat in the cooler months (which in Sintra is the most part of the year).

Once I start eating a warm bowl of Bisi-Bele Bāth a feeling of being present warms and soothes the system, satisfying all six tastes.

~ waiting for Spring

bisi-bele bāath

Preparation time – 1 hour

Serves 3 

This dish nourishes the body and suits all constitutions. It is recommended to consume in the colder months. During warmer months, it will be heavier for the body.

People with Vata disorder or digestion problems should not consume very often.

ingredients :

½ cup/100g toor dal

6 cups/1½ litres water

1 medium/80g carrot

1 medium/110g potato

1 cup/80g cabbage/green beans

½ cup/100g white basmati rice

10 curry leaves

sambar-coconut paste:

¼ cup/20g dried unsweetened coconut

1 heaped Tblsp/18g sambar powder (moderately spiced)

1½ cup/375ml water – divided

.

1 heaped Tblsp/15g jaggery/ brown sugar

1 heaped tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp tamarind paste

1 heaped tsp ghee

¼ cup/30g frozen green peas

¼ cup chopped fresh coriander

for the voggarane :

2 tsp ghee

¼ heaped tsp black mustard seeds

⅛ heaped tsp asafoetida powder

⅛ heaped tsp turmeric powder

preparation :

Wash the vegetables and peel the potato and carrot.

Top and tail the green beans then cut all vegetables into small uniformed pieces. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, wash the toor dal several times until water runs clear – then drain.

Pour 6 cups water into a saucepan and bring to boil over high heat, skim off any foam which accumulates on the top and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the chopped vegetables, reduce heat to maintain a rapid simmer. (Do not cover the pot, this allows certain impurities or energetic imbalances to be eliminated). Simmer rapidly until the dal is starting to soften – depending on the type of dal – approximately 15 minutes.

Rinse the rice in a few changes of water and add to the dal and vegetables along with the curry leaves, rapidly simmer for 20 minutes more or until the rice is sufficiently cooked. You may have to add more water.

prepare the sambar-coconut paste :

In an upright blender, place the dried coconut, sambar powder and pour in 1 cup of water.

Blend on high for one minute.

Pour into the dal and rice, adding ½ cup water to the blender to rinse out any left-overs.

Simmer for 5 minutes, adding more water if needed.

Turn off the heat and add the jaggery/sugar, tamarind, salt, a spoon of ghee, along with the green peas.

Stir, cover and allow to sit undisturbed for 5 minutes. It will thicken as it sits.

prepare the voggarane:

In a small pan/bandalei over medium heat, add the ghee, once hot add mustard seeds; as the seeds start to splutter and pop (make sure the mustard seeds have popped well), add the asafoetida and turmeric powder, swishing the pan around allowing spices to fry evenly.

Pour voggarane into dal, and stir in chopped coriander leaves.

Taste, adding more salt, sambar powder, sweetener or tamarind.

To serve, spoon into bowls with a scoop of yoghurt and a drizzling of melted ghee.

Goodness shared by Stacey

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golden pistachio cardamom cookies (vegan)

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 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 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 sheets 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 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 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.

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.

Goodness shared by Stacey

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anne´s magical sesame-tahini-ginger dressing

18th February 2018

Our Christmas and New Year were spent up in the beautiful, snowy mountains of Boulder visiting our oldest and dearest friends. As soon as we arrived, a daily ritual was naturally established, of cooking and sharing meals together, morning and evening communed around a big table and warm fire. On these nights Anne would arrive with a basket of organic salad greens which she would chop up and serve drizzled with this magical tahini dressing.

This dressing is special and adds a delicious splash of flavours to anything you put it on. Whenever I make it, it transports me back to those special evenings shared with like-minded friends.

 anne´s magical sesame- tahini- ginger dressing

Makes about 2 cups

I like to tear up some bitter tasting leaves from the garden, add a sliced pear and a handful of nuts and seeds and there’s a quick salad or steam some kale leaves, greens beans or broccoli. For a more substantial meal cook up a pot of brown rice, roast some seasonal vegetables and drizzle over this dressing. It is guaranteed to add a bit of magic to any dish.

ingredients:

3 Tblsp lightly toasted sesame seeds

¼ cup white miso

½ cup hulled tahini

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 Tblsp honey

½ a lemon zested

juice of ½ a lemon

1-inch grated ginger

2 Tblsp raw apple cider vinegar

½ tsp flaked dulse (optional)

¼ cup water

¼ – ½ cup olive oil

preparation:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, lightly toast the sesame seeds until they start popping, keep toasting for another minute. Remove from heat and set aside for the seeds to cool.

In a medium jar, place the miso and tahini, stir well until pasty and incorporated, stir in the sesame oil and honey.

Remove the zest from half a lemon and squeeze the lemon juice into the bowl, add the grated ginger, apple cider vinegar and if using, the dulse flakes. Stir well, adding the water until the dressing comes together. Add the cooled toasted sesame seeds.

Pour in the olive oil and whisk until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust the seasonings until you have a pleasing balance of fat and acid. The ideal consistency is that of pouring cream; stir in some water, or little more oil, until it runs easily off a spoon.

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tortellini with roasted pumpkin and sage butter

30th January 2018

Making tortellini does require a little patience and time, however, the final result is worth every fiddly moment and if you get everyone on board in the assembly line filling up the table, it speeds up the process and allows for a wonderfully intimate and fun afternoon together.

tortellini with roasted pumpkin and sage butter

4 servings

The fulsome sage butter is soft & simple allowing the pumpkin tortellini to shine through. The addition of the fried sage leaves adds a nice crunch which contrasts with the silkiness of the tortellini.

The inspiration for this post found here.

ingredients:

½ portion pasta dough

for the filling:

1 kg pumpkin

1 Tblsp melted ghee/butter

¼ tsp freshly shaved nutmeg

½ tsp fine rock salt

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

for the sage butter and toasted leaves:

60g unsalted butter

40 sage leaves – divided

4 Tblsp peanut oil

for garnishing:

pine nut parmesan

few rounds of black pepper

a sprinkling of fine rock salt

preparation:

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

To make the filling, slice the unpeeled pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds with a spoon, then slice each half into 5-6 wedges and place in a large bowl. Drizzle over the melted ghee or butter and toss with your hands until the wedges are sufficiently coated. Arrange on a lined baking tray and roast for 30 – 40 minutes until soft. Allow to cool and scoop the pulp away from its skin with a spoon.  Place in a medium bowl and with a hand blender, puree until smooth. Allow to drain through a cloth for an hour. Place the pumpkin back into the bowl and sprinkle over the nutmeg, salt and pepper, stir to combine.

roll out the pasta dough:

Divide the pasta dough into thirds. Work with one piece at a time and keep the other pieces covered. Follow the detailed instructions here. Roll your dough as thin as possible ( I rolled it to #6 on my pasta roller).

shaping the tortellini:

Cut the sheet of pasta into rounds using a 3-inches cutter or tin. Gather the scraps into a ball and put them with the remaining pieces of dough to roll later. Place 1 teaspoon of filling in the middle of each round. (Don’t be tempted to overfill, otherwise, they will break and you will have a hard time sealing them.) Dip your finger in a bowl of water and run it along the edges of the circle. Fold the rounds into a crescent shape, pressing the top together carefully and pressing out any air trapped inside and then working your way along the sides. Bend the bottom two corners round to meet each other and press well to seal. Set aside, spacing them apart slightly, on well-floured board, covered. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough, re-rolling the scraps. (It is important to work on a well-floured surface, to avoid the tortellini sticking to it as you repeat with remaining pieces of dough.) Cover with a cloth, or if you are making them a few hours in advance lightly dusk them with semolina flour.

When ready to cook, bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil. While waiting for the water to boil, make the sage butter.

to make the sage butter:

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add 20 of the sage leaves and season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and set aside.

toast the sage leaves:

In a small skillet or pan, heat a 4 Tablespoons of peanut oil over medium-high heat. Fry 6–8 sage leaves at a time until crisp, 2–3 seconds. Transfer with a fork to paper towels.

cooking the tortellini & serving:

Once the water is boiling, gently drop the tortellini into the water and cook 3½ – 4 minutes – they will rise to the top. Gently lift out with a slotted spoon onto individual plates. Drizzle with the sage butter, sprinkle over a few spoons of pine nut parmesan, a few rounds of pepper and decorate with the crispy sage leaves. The tortellini goes well with a plate of sauteed kale or nettles.

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