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Gluten-free

Golden Beetroot Crisps

Golden Beetroot Crisps

Golden beets - scarce compared to red or candy beetroots, when I spotted them in a typical, small organic store in Berlin’s Neukölln, I couldn’t go home without them.

To taste, they are sweeter and less earthy compared to the more widely eaten red beets and unlike the latter, there will be no red juice stains to deal with. This makes them much easier to slice and perfect for roasting into beautifully bright, golden crisps. They are also very nourishing, full of antioxidants, vitamins and fibre. Another reason to grab them while you can. Overall, an intriguing elusive veg with a warm heart.

Seems a little silly writing ingredients for this one. You can also try adding a spice mix of some sort, like cumin, paprika or rosemary - but more often than not, I tend to like simplicity, so here goes…

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-4 golden beets

  • Olive oil (enough to thinly coat the slices)

  • Sea salt

  • Chilli flakes

Firstly make sure you give the beetroots a good scrub clean and pat dry. No need to peel them, this way you preserve as much of the nutrients as possible and they roast just fine.

Using a mandolin or sharp knife, cut the beets into very thin slices. Discard the ends and transfer the rest into a large bowl. Add the oil, salt and chilli flakes and mix well.

Lay the slices evenly and without touching onto a tray topped with baking paper. Cook in a hot oven (200°C) for 15-20 mins, flip them over and cook for a further 5-10 mins, until evenly crisped on both sides.

Once they’re ready, it’s best to place them on a cooling rack so they can really reach their crispy potential!

 Vegan Nocciola Spread

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Vegan Nocciola Spread

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1c hazelnuts

  • 1/2c 60% dark chocolate

  • 3/4 tbsp vanilla essence

  • 1 tbsp agave/caster sugar*

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 3/4c coconut milk 

Preheat oven to 180°C and roast hazelnuts on a sheet of baking paper for 5-10 mins, until skins start to loosen. Remove from oven and leave to cool.

Melt the chocolate over a saucepan and set aside. Once the hazelnuts have cooled slightly, pour onto a clean kitchen towel and gently roll the nuts around with your hands to get as much skin off as possible. Take the naked nuts and blend low in a food processor until nut butter is formed.

Add the melted chocolate to the hazelnut butter followed by vanilla, sugar, salt and coconut milk and gently blend all ingredients until combined and you have a thick, creamy to-die-for Nutella.

*(or try xylitol if you’re looking for a lower calorie substitute)

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Pizza • Carrot Anise Puree, Balsamic Onions, Goats Cheese & Walnuts

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Pizza • Carrot Anise Puree, Balsamic Onions, Goats Cheese & Walnuts

I hope it’s OK to compare my food to a tree - is it? As this pizza looks not too dissimilar to an Autumn tree, seducing with its warming array of colours and shades - orange, purple, brown, green - am I wrong?

This season! A time to notice and appreciate the nature around us and nurture the little pot belly that’s promising to keep us warm for the next 6-8 months. Comforting fruit and veg (think pears, beetroot, potatoes, pumpkin), layers and cosy evenings in, not sweating before you’ve even left the house - what’s not to like about Autumn?

Without further ado, Autumn on a plate, is served.

Enough for one pizza

Ingredients:

For the puree:

  • 250g carrots, peeled and roughly chopped into small chunks

  • 12g vegan butter

  • 1 star anise

  • 100ml vegetable stock

  • 50ml coconut milk

  • Juice of 1/4 lemon

  • 1-2 red onions 

  • Olive oil

  • 1/4 c balsamic vinegar

  • 4 slices of hard goats cheese

  • Handful of walnuts

  • Rucola 

Pre-heat the oven to 220°C.

For the carrot puree, gently melt the butter in a shallow pan, add the carrots and star anise and stir until the butter coats the carrots. Cook for 10 mins, stirring often until the carrots are glazed and starting to soften. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetable stock and pour into the pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 mins until stock is slightly reduced. Now add the coconut milk, bring back to the boil and simmer for 1 min. Remove pan from the heat, take out the star anise and carefully stir in the lemon juice. Season well, transfer carefully to a food processor and blitz in to a puree (alternatively leave in the pan and use a hand blender instead). Consistency should be smooth and quite thick. Set aside to cool.

Now for the onions. Cut and discard the tops and tails of the onions, peel away the outer layer and cut width ways, about 2cm thick. Lay onion rounds flat on the baking paper of a prepared roasting dish. Season with salt and massage each round with a splash of oil and then, balsamic vinegar. Don’t go crazy here, you don’t want the onions to be swimming in Modena’s finest, but be generous all the same. Roast for 40 mins or until slightly charred. 

Prepare the rest of the toppings by slicing 4 - 5 slices of the goats cheese, about 1cm thick and roughly chopping a handful of walnuts. Once all the toppings have cooled, take your pre-prepared / store bought pizza base, top with the carrot puree, onions and goats cheese. Pop in the oven for 5 minutes at 200°C until the middle of the pizza is hot to tough and goats cheese starts to melt. Remove from the oven and finish with some rocket and a squeeze of lemon juice.

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Supper Club | Luna & Fennel x Wholy Goodness    • The Vegan Edition •

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Supper Club | Luna & Fennel x Wholy Goodness • The Vegan Edition •

01 September 2017, IVY.Berlin, Neukölln, 12045 Berlin

Photo credit (the non-dodgy iPhone shots) to my love and much missed Melbourne sister and vegan goddess Jessica Prescott @wholygoodness

I had already been marvelling at Jessica's cookbook, Instagram, and blog so was beyond excited when, after attending my Summer dinner, Jess asked if I wanted to do a supper club with her - it was an absolute dream! On a balmy September evening we served naturally fermented wine, cooked vegan pizza deliciousness and an unbelievable tiramisu to a packed out room and had so much fun in the process.

What a night! That tiramisu...

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Lemon Polenta & Coconut Dusted Cake

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Lemon Polenta & Coconut Dusted Cake

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lemons

  • 140g vegan “butter”

  • 250g light brown sugar

  • 175g polenta

  • 200g ground almonds

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • Pinch of sea salt

  • 3 tbsp flaxseeds + 6 tbsp water

  • Desiccated coconut

Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and line a 23cm/9inch cake tin with baking paper. 

Put the lemons in a pan of boiling water and reduce to a medium heat. Cover the pan and cook for 45-60 minutes until the lemons are super soft (until a knife cuts through the skin without any force). Drain and leave to cool. Whilst the lemons are cooking, use this time to prepare and set aside all the dry ingredients.

When the lemons have cooled, cut them in half lengthways, remove any pips and blitz into a purée using a food processor. The smell at this point is mouth-watering and takes me right back to toast and lemon curd days with my Granny!

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Once the lemons are reduced to a delicious puree and there are very small chunks of rind left, it's time to prepare the flax-egg. Combine the ground flaxseeds with water, stir a little and leave for a few minutes to bind. Meanwhile, add all other ingredients to the processor and blitz. Add the flax-eggs and continue blitzing until the mixture has completely combined. The mix is quite thick so you may have to stop a few times and give it a little helping hand, but there is something very satisfying about seeing it all come together in the blender.

Scrape the mixture into the cake tin and smooth it around with the back of a spoon. It won't be completely flat or even but this is part of it's beauty. Place in the oven for 40 mins until golden brown and once cooled, dust with desiccated coconut and serve with seasonal berries.

Tip: Goes perfectly with coconut maple cream too - heaven!

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Supper Club | Summer 2017

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Supper Club | Summer 2017

23 June 2017, IVY.Berlin, Neukölln, 12045 Berlin

Photo credits: Daliah @foodvergnuegen and Sissi @eatinginberlin

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Asparagus Pizza with Pesto, Potato Slices & Toasted Almond Flakes

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Asparagus Pizza with Pesto, Potato Slices & Toasted Almond Flakes

I've been living in Berlin for almost two and a half years now and if there's one thing I've learnt about German attitudes towards food, it's that asparagus season is by far the most exciting. It prompts national news headlines and restaurants to base their entire menu around this green beauty! I'm all for it, counting this vegetable as one of my all time favourites.  

Enough for 1 9-inch pizza

Ingredients:

  • 100g pesto (see my recipe here, swapping the kale for an equal mix of spinach and basil)
  • 2-3 white baby potatoes
  • 3-4 asparagus
  • Handful of almond flakes (lightly toasted)
  • Small bunch of mint leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 lemon
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Heat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper. 

Make the pesto and set aside, then place the potatoes in a pan and cover with cold water, add 1/2 tsp salt and bring to a boil. Remove after 5 minutes and drain, rinsing under a little cold water. This step allows the potatoes to cook evenly and ensures you get the best potato slices possible!

Once cooled enough to touch, take a mandolin or sharp knife and slice the potatoes length ways, approx. 0.5cm thick. Lightly and evenly brush both sides with a little olive oil, season well and lay out on the baking tray. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until a few charring marks start to appear and the edges are slightly crispy. 

While the potatoes are in the oven, place a griddle pan over a high heat and give the asparagus a quick wash after snapping off the ends. If they're quite thick I recommend slicing down the middle before grilling to give a more manageable bite, but if they are thin, grilling whole works just fine.

Massage a little olive oil over the asparagus (not too much), season with salt and pepper and lay in the hot pan going against the griddle ridges. Leave them to sizzle for a few minutes until those beautiful charred lines start to appear. Turn them over and repeat until both sides are adequately charred. You want there to still be a nice bite to them. SO delicious!

Now for the assembly part. Take the pizza base and first top with the pesto, then the potato slices and lastly, asparagus. Pop in a pre-heated oven for a few minutes to heat up and once done, finish with some fresh mint leaves, toasted almond flakes and a generous squeeze of lemon juice. YUM! 

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 Crisped Cauliflower Leaves

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Crisped Cauliflower Leaves

These vibrant green leaves that so modestly keep a cauliflower head safe are about to get a whole lot more exciting. Not only are they edible but when roasted with three of life's wonders - olive oil, salt & pepper - they are so ridiculously delicious and will have you reaching for the plate again and again.

I'm not encouraging criminal behaviour here, but next time you find yourself in your local grocery store or supermarket, snap off some cauliflower leaves and head on home; these leaves are free to take as feed for livestock, pets or simply for oneself. Especially if you see stray leaves that have been unwillingly left behind in the cauliflower crates, please for the love of the planet, take them! They will only end up rotting in the bin otherwise. 

 I predict big things for these guys. They've been waiting patiently on the side lines these past few years whilst kale leaves have become all shiny and packaged up, receiving an unprecedented amount of attention.

Since I'm already using cauliflower at my supper clubs to make pizza bases, I decided to serve the leaves as an aperitif - keeping food waste to a minimum and surprising guests at how tasty they are! #nowastage4eva

INGREDIENTS:

  • Leaves of 1 cauliflower
  • Olive oil (Extra virgin or rapeseed)
  • Salt & Pepper

Heat the oven (fan) to 180°C and line a tray with baking paper. 

Simply remove all the leaves from the cauliflower and give them a good wash (beware of slugs seeking refuge). Pat dry and slice the leaves from the stalks, which are unfortunately too tough to eat, even when roasted.

Spread the leaves over the prepared baking paper keeping them as separate from each other as possible to maximise crispness. Drizzle over olive oil (I prefer to use Extra virgin here because of it's smoke point) and sprinkle over a generous amount of salt & pepper. Massage until all the leaves are coated and roast in the oven for 5 - 10 mins. Keep an eye on them whilst cooking and be careful not to burn the smaller leaves as they do turn quickly.

Once done they will be partly green, golden and crispy. Eat sooner rather than later so they keep their crispness but if they turn soft just pop them back in a hot oven again for a few minutes to crisp up. If for some strange reason you have any left, store in an air tight container for up to 1 week and when you can no longer resist temptation, pop in the oven to crisp up once again.  

 

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Supper Club | Spring 2017

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Supper Club | Spring 2017

11 May 2017, IVY.Berlin, Neukölln, 12045 Berlin

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Blood Orange & Thyme Polenta Cake

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Blood Orange & Thyme Polenta Cake

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1-2 blood oranges (for the bottom)

  • 125g vegan butter (plus extra for greasing)

  • 250g light brown sugar

  • 175g polenta

  • 200g ground almonds

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • Zest and juice of 2 blood oranges

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • Pinch of sea salt

  • 4 tbsp flaxseeds + 8 tbsp water

For the syrup:

  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar

  • 2 tbsp water or juice of half an orange

  • Pinch of dried thyme or a few sprigs of fresh

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and butter the bottom of a 23cm/9inch clip cake tin (if you don't have a clip tin, line the whole thing with baking paper leaving enough poking out of the top so that you can easily lift the cake out once cooked).

Prepare the oranges for the top of the cake by carefully slicing into thin rounds, remove and discard any seeds and bitter pith and arrange the slices to cover the bottom of the cake tin. Fill in any gaps with smaller cuts of orange segments. 

Prepare the flax-eggs by mixing the flaxseeds and water together in a bowl and leave for a few minutes to bind. Peel the remaining blood oranges and chop roughly. Measure all the dry ingredients and place in a blender, then add the chopped orange, vanilla, salt and flax-eggs and blitz until combined. Pour mixture in to the cake tin on top of the orange slices and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until it turns a deep golden colour.

While the cake is in the oven you can make the syrup. Pour equal parts water and sugar in a small saucepan and heat on a low - medium heat, stirring often until all of the sugar has dissolved, around 5-10 minutes.  As the syrup begins to bubble gently, add a pinch of dried thyme and stir well. Remove from heat and leave to cool. NB: I only had dried thyme in the cupboard and it worked perfectly, although I'm sure that fresh thyme would be just as, if not more satisfying. You could even crisp some up in the oven and serve along side the cake.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Unclip the sides (if using a clip tin) and slide a sharp knife or spatular underneath the cake to loosen it from the bottom. Turn the cake upside down and carefully remove the bottom of the tin to reveal those tempting blood orange rounds.

Smother with as much syrup as your sweet tooth can take and enjoy! 

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Albinelli Winter Salad

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Albinelli Winter Salad

Mercato Albinelli in Modena, Italy -  so far, my favourite food market ever! We went there on the morning of my birthday to buy fresh pasta and ingredients for dinner that evening. We bought radicchio and blood oranges, perfect Winter produce, and tossed them together with the freshest, crunchiest rucola and shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano - delizioso!

It was perfect alongside our pasta dish and I couldn't wait to replicate it at home, only this time I added some raw marinated fennel and a balsamic maple dressing.

Buon Appetito!

Serves 4-6, side dish

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Handful of rucola
  • 1 small radicchio
  • 1 - 2 blood oranges
  • Salt & black pepper

For the dressing:

  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt

First you want to marinate the fennel; after washing, chop off the stalks and using a pair of scissors, carefully cut the fronds and leave to one side. Cut the bum off of the bulb and stand the fennel upright. Slice in half and discard the outer layer, which should fall away by itself. Then using a mandoline if you have one, slice the fennel - the thickness is really up to you but I like it very thin or about 1/2cm thick - and place in a shallow bowl. Add the lemon juice, oil, some salt and pepper and massage the fennel until coated. Leave to sit for as long as you can wait...anywhere between 10 mins - 2 hours!

Meanwhile, prepare the radicchio by discarding the outer layers and peel away the leaves, tearing into whatever size and shape you prefer. Peel the blood orange and cut into small cubes, discarding the bitter white pith as you go. 

For the dressing, combine the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and salt in a jar and shake well. Taste and adjust for seasoning if necessary and if you prefer it sweeter, just add a little more maple syrup (NB: you can always substitute the maple syrup with honey).

Once the fennel is ready, toss all ingredients together in a large bowl and drizzle over the balsamic maple dressing. Finish with the fennel fronds and if you like, shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano. 

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Pizza with San Marzano Tomatoes, Garlic & Oregano

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Pizza with San Marzano Tomatoes, Garlic & Oregano

One of the original pizzas from Naples, this really doesn't get the attention it deserves - certainly outside of Italy anyway. A classic example of how a simple dish, when made with a little love and the best ingredients, can become one of the most delicious things you've ever tasted!

If you've been to one of my supper clubs or seen my Instagram, you'll know all about my love for San Marzano tomatoes:) Grown on the volcanic plains at the bottom of Mount Vesuvius, they are stronger in taste, sweeter and less acidic than your regular toms. You can find them in Italian delicatessens - I promise it's worth the extra pennies and trip beyond the supermarket. Just make sure to look out for the "DOP" certification label!

The pizza base here is our signature gluten-free one - made with cauliflower and flaxseeds...watch this space for more info on this delicious recipe!! 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 400g tin San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • Organic, dried oregano
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to serve

Add 1/2 tbsp of olive oil to a saucepan followed by the crushed garlic. Cook gently on a low heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. When the garlic is sizzling slightly and smells sweet and soft, pour in the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add the salt, reduce the heat and cook gently until the sauce has reduced nicely, about 30-40 minutes. Taste and add more salt if required. 

To serve, spread about half of the sauce over a 9-inch pizza base and finish with a sprinkle of oregano, a drizzle of oil and some basil.

Buonissimo! 

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Fig & Rosemary Polenta Cake

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Fig & Rosemary Polenta Cake

Fig Cake New.jpg

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5-6 ripe figs

  • 125g vegan “butter” (plus extra for caramelising the figs)

  • 250g light brown sugar

  • 175g polenta

  • 200g ground almonds

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • Pinch of sea salt

  • 3 tbsp flaxseeds + 6 tbsp water

  • A few sprigs of rosemary (to top)

Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees. 

Take a 23cm/9inch non-stick cake tin, add a spoonful of butter and place in the oven for a few minutes until the butter has melted, covering the bottom of the tin. Remove from oven and carefully sprinkle over some sugar, again to cover the bottom of the tin. Slice 3-4 figs and arrange to cover the bottom of the cake tin. 

Prepare the flax-eggs by mixing the flaxseeds and water together in a bowl and leave for a few minutes to bind. Roughly chop the remaining few figs and place in a blender with all other ingredients. Blitz until combined; texture thick, taste devine! Pour mixture in to the cake tin on top of the figs, and bake in oven for 40-45 minutes. It will turn a very pleasing, deep golden colour. 

Meanwhile, place the rosemary in the oven for a few minutes to crisp up.

Fig2 New.jpg

Remove cake from the oven and leave to cool then unclip the sides (if using a clip tin) and slide a sharp knife or spatular underneath the cake to loosen it from the bottom. Turn the cake upside down and carefully remove the bottom of the tin to reveal those beautiful, caramelised figs. Decorate with the roasted rosemary sprigs and enjoy! 

NB: Walnuts are a nice addition to this cake. Simply blitz a handful together with the cake mix or place on the bottom of the tin to caramelise along with the fig slices.

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Almond & Kale Pesto

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Almond & Kale Pesto

We all know that a traditional pesto recipe involves pine nuts, parmesan and basil, and whilst there is a perfectly good reason for this, here I'm using almonds (cheaper), kale (Winter) and no parmesan (vegan)

Homemade pesto is simple to make and and makes everyone's go-to dinner, pasta pesto, so much more delicious and wholesome.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 120g kale leaves, washed
  • 120g almonds (I like un-blanched for the colour &)
  • 120ml olive oil
  • Juice & zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt and pepper

Roughly chop the kale leaves and add to a food processor along with all the other ingredients (add the almonds in last to weigh down the mix). Blitz, taste and adjust for seasoning. Store in the fridge for 1 week and top up with a little oil to help keep it fresh. 

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Beetroot Cannellini Bean Dip

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Beetroot Cannellini Bean Dip

If Italians made hummus, this would be it.

With origins in Italy, cannellini beans are the perfect alternative to chickpeas. Take this to the table with some delicious sourdough bread or spread on top of a Luna & Fennel pizza base along with Winter greens, feta and toasted hazelnuts...yum!

Ingredients:

  • 1 beetroot
  • 200g cannellini beans
  • 1 (heaped) tbsp tahini 
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • Salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Start by washing the beetroot (no need to peel), pat dry and wrap it in foil after coating in oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 1-1.5 hours until super tender - test this by unwrapping the foil and sticking a knife through the middle of the beet. Leave to cool. 

Once cooled, roughly chop the beetroot into smallish chunks and add to a food processor along with all the other ingredients. Blitz together, adjust seasoning and add more oil and lemon juice if necessary until you have a chunky but smooth texture (don't be shy with the lemon juice, it makes all the difference!) 

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Beetroot Pizza with Winter Greens, Feta & Toasted Hazelnuts

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Beetroot Pizza with Winter Greens, Feta & Toasted Hazelnuts

BEHOLD A FEAST FOR THE EYES AND STOMACH! 

Probably my favourite pizza visually and it's also totally delicious. I'm using rainbow chard here as it was available at the time, but you can always use Tuscan cavolo nero or kale instead - any Winter green you can get your hands on will work well.

The pizza base is my signature cauli-crust - watch this space for how you can get your mits on it soon…

Enough for one pizza

Ingredients:

  • 150g beetroot cannellini bean dip (see my recipe here)

  • A few leaves of rainbow chard / cavolo nero / kale

  • Handful of feta

  • 1/2 small red chilli (depending on seed count & personal heat preference)

  • Handful of hazelnuts

First make the beetroot spread and set aside. 

Cut the ends off the chard, wash the leaves and pat dry. Bunch them together and slice into 1cm thin strips. Sauté in a wok / frying pan with a little oil along with the red chilli (you don't want to end up with oily leaves here, just enough so that it doesn't stick) Season well, stir often for about 5 mins and remove from the heat.

Take the pizza base and using the back of a spoon spread the beetroot bean mix over the base and top with the sauteed chard. Pop the pizza in a pre-heated oven for a few minutes to heat up, then take the feta, break into small chunks and scatter over the pizza along with lightly some toasted hazelnuts. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice (very important) and enjoy! So yum.

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