Sunday, 22 May 2011

Rhubarb galette

Unlike the rest of this blog, this is recipe is a) a dish that my wife Anne made; and b) taken (and tweaked) from somewhere else. On this occasion it's from Anne's favourite domestic guru Martha Stewart, and I thought I'd post it up as I've got far too few desserts on here. This dish is also worth a try as the crust on this pie is lovely, courtesy of the cornmeal.


1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/2 recipe Cornmeal Pate Brisee
1 pound rhubarb, sliced 1/2-inch thick
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
Pinch of ground, cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 large egg, beaten
Caster sugar for dusting
1 tablespoon vegan margarine, cut into small pieces


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to a 14-inch round, about 1/8-inch thick.

Place rhubarb and lemon juice in a large bowl; toss to combine. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg until well combined. Add sugar mixture to rhubarb and toss until well coated. Arrange rhubarb mixture on top of dough, leaving a 2-inch border all the way around. Fold border over the fruit mixture, overlapping where necessary and pressing gently to adhere the folds. Brush edges of dough with egg, sprinkle with turbinado or sanding sugar, and dot with butter. Transfer to refrigerator and chill 15 to 20 minutes.

Bake until crust is deep golden brown and juices are bubbling, 55 to 60 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack to cool the galette. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Mushroom paté with asparagus and new potatoes

It's been two weeks since I last blogged on here – we haven't stopped eating, I've just been stupidly busy. Anyway I've managed to take a snap of tonight's dinner, which centres around a mushroom paté I've just come up with. Bit of a hit this. The paté has a bit of depth to it, and is quite yummy. Would work well with some diddy toasts, bits of pitta, etc. etc.


250g chestnut mushrooms
One bulb wet garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
70g breadcrumbs
100g mixed nuts
1/2 tsp sea salt
Tbsp fresh parsley
Tbsp fresh basil
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Juice of half a lemon


One bunch asparagus
A dozen small new potatoes
Juice of the other half of the lemon
More olive oil
Sea salt


Chop the wet garlic, and start to fry in the olive oil in a large pan or wok. After a couple minutes, before the garlic starts to brown, add the mushrooms. Fry for a further ten minutes or so. At the same time, chop the breadcrumbs and nuts in a blender until they're relatively fine. Back to the pan. Add the sea salt and herbs, stir through, and then add the blended breadcrumbs and nuts. Stir through, and then add the balsamic vinegar. After the mixture has cooked through for another ten minutes, return the entire mix back to the blender, add the lemon juice and blend well until nice and smooth.

Serve with the asparagus, steamed, and the new potatoes, boiled, with some lemon zest, juice, olive oil and sea salt.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Asparagus, lentil and spinach in tomato sauce

This one works pretty well... with hindsight, could have done just as well with the spinach and the lentils on their own, but the asparagus needed to be used! Both spinach and puy lentils are brilliant with a tomato sauce... I once had puy lentils in a tomato sauce with veggie sausages and mash – it was gorgeous! Anyway, on this occasion I'm serving this up with steamed rice.


Bunch asparagus
1/2 cup puy lentils
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
1 tin chopped tomatoes
tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
Tbsp vegan pesto sauce
2 tsp balsamic syrup
Tsp salt
150g fresh spinach


Put the lentils into some slightly salted boiling water and then start to simmer until tender (around 30 minutes). At the same time, chop the onions and the garlic and start to fry them in a large pan or wok, in the olive oil. When they've started to brown, add the tomatoes and bring to a boil then simmer. Now add the basil, rosemary, pesto, balsamic and salt, and let this simmer for a few minutes; it should go lovely and dark thanks to the balsamic. Let this simmer for a good five minutes or so, and then add the spinach, chopped. Bring back to a simmer and let it thicken up a bit on the hob.

While all this is going on, and while the lentils are still chugging away, get your asparagus ready. I've chopped it into 2-3 centimetre chunks. then get ready to steam it for a minute or so before adding to the sauce. Also about now, get the rice on. I've used LOVELY broken jasmine rice from the ever brilliant W H Lung cash and carry in Manchester. It's great. I tend to wash it before cooking, then boil in just enough water so that it starts to dry out after 8 minutes or so and then I get a tint lid on it, turn off the heat and let it steam through for another 5 or 6 minutes.

Anyway back to the sauce. When the lentils are almost al dente, steam the asparagus for a couple of minutes until tender. Then add to the sauce and stir through well. Serve up, with the rice,