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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!

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 | 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
Asparagus1.jpg

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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