July 29, 2012

Broad Bean Hummus

What a week it’s been! It was as if time has slowed right down. We had the first proper summer weather in months. It’s been hot and super sunny. And when not at work, we’ve made the most of it, enjoying every second of that beautiful sunshine. I can’t tell how happy I’ve been to be able to live barefoot and outdoors, go for swims in the sea, bike rides and have BBQ with friends. The smell in the air, the butterflies... I just love it! Yesterday we decided to go on a walk on the coast path in South Cornwall, somewhere we had never been to before. And when we found a nearly empty beach with clear turquoise waters, we couldn’t resist going for a dip: moments like that are priceless :)

In the kitchen, I’ve kept it simple and fresh, just because this week I preferred making the most of the outdoors rather than spending time in the kitchen. At the farmers market, I always stock up on broad beans these days – they’re so delicious. So, here is an idea to prepare them.
Broad Bean Hummus
• 600g broad beans
• 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 1tsp smoked paprika

1. Take the broad beans out of their pods, place them in a pan of boiling water and blanch them for 3min. Drain and rinse under cold water. Remove the outer skin of the beans if you wish.
2. Place the beans, chickpeas, lemon juice and smoked paprika in the bowl of a blender and blend until smooth.
3. Serve with crunchy vegetables and/or flatbread.

Hummus aux Fèves
• 600g de fèves
• 1 boîte de pois chiche, égouttés et rincés
• Jus d’1 citron
• 1cc de paprika fumé

1. Ecosser les fèves et les blanchir dans une casserole d’eau bouillante pendant 3min. Egoutter et rincer à l’eau froide. Retirer la peau autour des fèves (optionnel).
2. Mixer les fèves avec les pois chiche, le jus de citron et le paprika, jusqu’à obtenir un mélange assez crémeux.
3. Servir avec des crudités ou du pain pita ou flatbread.

July 23, 2012

Spencer's Vermont Granola

I have a foodie friend at work. Rosalie and I could talk for hours about what we cooked at the weekend, the new bread recipe we tried or the cakes we baked. The best is when we bring food to share with each other (usually cakes) – I have to say I love Rosalie’s sponge cake as well as her cinnamon rolls ;-)

As she came back from a trip to the US, Rosalie said she’d made an amazing granola which everybody seems to love. Granola being my favourite breakie, I was curious to know more. Rosalie very kindly offered to share the recipe for it to feature on my blog. Thank you very much Rosalie and here goes the recipe:

Spencer's Vermont Granola

This recipe was given to me by a friend who lives in Vermont. It's hard to imagine so many simple ingredients would make such a wonderful dish, but it's so delicious I like to make it breakfast time many different times of the day!

• 800g rolled oats
• 150g wheatgerm
• 150g linseeds (I use the seeds, but you can use ground flax seed if you want less crunch)
• 125g chopped walnuts
• 100g coconut (flaked or dessicated)

Wet :
• 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
• 100g brown sugar
• 125ml maple syrup
• 60ml honey
• 250ml vegetable oil
• 1 tbs cinnamon
• 1 tbs vanilla essence

Add once cooked:
• 275g dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 160C, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine the dry ingredients at the top in a large bowl.
In a saucepan stir together all the wet ingredients. Bring to the boil then pour over the dry ingredients and mix to coat.
Spread the mixture over the baking sheets (you may need to do it in batches as you don't want the layers too thick)
Bake until crunchy and toasted, around 20-25 minutes; stir halfway through.
Cool, then stir in the cranberries before storing.

July 15, 2012

Cherry Tomatoes, Red Onion & Rosemary Spelt Foccacia

I can’t believe that the first year of my Yoga Teacher Training is already finished (still 1 to go)! It has been incredible being on this life journey so far and I am so grateful I have followed this path. The people I have met, all the things I have learnt have left me deeply enriched and changed. Last weekend, to celebrate the end of the first year, we had a lovely picnic, in a patch of sunshine outside the yoga centre. All of the students had brought beautiful food that we shared. I made a savoury cake (pepper, feta and olives), which is a very French food to take to picnics. I didn’t bring this focaccia, but it would have also made a very nice picnic food to share with my friends.

When summer time comes, foccacia becomes my bread of choice. Preferably straight out of the oven, while it is still warm, on its own. But most often, I put it in our lunch box to have it the next day with vegetarian pâté and crunchy vegetables. Tomatoes, red onion and rosemary mix together superbly. Or you might like to add different ingredients such as roasted peppers, pesto, cheese or courgettes. And take it with you, on a picnic – enjoy summer :)
Cherry Tomatoes, Red Onion & Rosemary Spelt Foccacia – makes 1 foccacia

Inspired by Rachel Allen’s foccacia recipe in Rachel Easy Meals
• 1 red onion, peeled and chopped
• 1tbsp ghee or butter
• 450g spelt flour
• 1tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
• 350ml buttermilk
• 100g cherry tomatoes, halved
• 2 sprigs of rosemary, chopped
• Light olive oil
• Sea salt

1. Heat the ghee or butter in a small saucepan, add the onions and fry gently for about 10min until soft.
2. Preheat the oven to 230°C.
3. In a large bowl, mix the flour with the salt and bicarbonate of soda. Add the buttermilk and mix until you obtain a soft dough, not too wet or sticky. Add the onions and half the rosemary and mix. Transfer it to a floured work surface and roll it into a circle or rectangle. Transfer it onto a baking sheet covered with baking paper. With your fingers, make little dimples in the dough. Add the cherry tomatoes in the dimples. Sprinkle with the rest of rosemary and sea salt. Drizzle with olive oil.
4. Place in the oven for 30min until the bread is golden brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack before serving.

Focaccia à l’Epeautre, Tomates Cerise, Oignon Rouge et Romarin – pour 1 focaccia

Inspirée par la recette de focaccia de Rachel Allen dans le livre Rachel Easy Meals
• 1 oignon rouge, pelé et émincé
• 1cs de ghee ou de beurre
• 450g de farine d’épeautre
• 1cc de sel fin
• ½ cc de bicarbonate de soude
• 350ml de babeurre
• 100g de tomates cerise, coupées en 2
• 2 brins de romarin, hachés
• Huile d’olive
• Fleur de sel

1. Faire chauffer le beurre ou ghee dans une casserole et y faire revenir l’oignon pour environ 10min jusqu’à ce qu’il soit tendre.
2. Préchauffer le four à 230°C.
3. Dans un saladier, mélanger la farine avec le sel et le bicarbonate de soude. Ajouter le babeurre et mélanger jusqu’à obtention d’une pâte souple mais pas trop collante. Ajouter l’oignon et la moitié du romarin et mélanger. Transférer sur un plan de travail fariné et former un cercle ou un rectangle à l’aide d’un rouleau à pâtisserie. Transférer sur une plaque de cuisson recouverte de papier sulfurisé. Avec votre index, appuyer sur le dessus du pain pour créer des petites fossettes. Ajouter les tomates cerise dans les fossettes. Parsemer du reste du romarin et de fleur de sel et arroser d’huile d’olive.
4. Mettre au four pour 30min jusqu’à ce que la focaccia soit dorée. Laisser refroidir sur une grille.

July 06, 2012

Summer Vegetable Stew

As there is still no sign of sunshine, I’ve fancied posting a stew recipe with notes of summer. To warm up my heart. I know I’m not the only one to be tired of the wet and cold weather, but I can’t help feeling a bit sad about it. I miss France and hot summers spent in the sunshine. Sunshine makes me feel good and happy.

Earlier this week when I came back home from work, I told Luke ‘let’s make a list of all the things we want to do this summer’. And so we did, a list of activities, places to go to, friends to visit and food to eat. And this left me positive and smiley, knowing that whatever the weather, comes rain or shine, we would have a great summer anyway! :)

Summer Vegetable Stew – serves 4
• 2tbsp olive oil
• A knob of butter
• 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
• 500g baby potatoes, halved
• Vegetable stock
• 400g baby carrots, halved or quartered if large
• 2 courgettes, finely sliced
• A bunch of asparagus tips, sliced lengthways
• 200g fresh podded peas
• 200g fresh podded broad beans
• 3 spring onions, sliced diagonally
• Salt and pepper
• Extra virgin olive oil

1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pan. Add the shallots and garlic and fry gently for 2min.
2. Add the baby potatoes, cover with vegetable stock and leave to simmer for 10-15min until tender. Add the carrots and cook for another 5min.
3. Add the courgettes, asparagus, peas, broad beans and spring onions and cook for a further 3min until they are just tender. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Serve and bowls with a drizzle of olive oil.

Jardinière de Légumes – pour 4 personnes
• 2cs d’huile d’olive
• 1 noix de beurre
• 2 échalotes, pelées et émincées
• 2 gousses d’ail, pelées et émincées
• 500g de pommes de terre nouvelles, coupées en 2
• Bouillon de légume
• 400g de carottes nouvelles, coupées en 2 ou en 4 si elles sont grosses
• 2 courgettes, coupées en fines rondelles
• Une botte de pointes d’asperges vertes, coupées en 2 dans la longueur
• 200g de petits pois frais, écossés
• 200g de fèves, écossées
• 3 oignons nouveaux, émincés
• Sel et poivre
• Huile d’olive vierge extra

1. Faire chauffer l’huile et le beurre dans un faitout. Ajouter les échalotes et l’ail et faire revenir doucement pendant 2min.
2. Ajouter les pommes de terre nouvelles, couvrir de bouillon et laisser frémir 10-15min jusqu’à ce qu’elles soient juste tendre. Ajouter les carottes et cuire encore 5min.
3. Ajouter les courgettes, asperges, petits pois, fèves et oignons nouveaux et faire cuire encore 3min jusqu’à ce qu’ils soient juste tendres. Assaisonner avec sel et poivre.
4. Servir dans des bols avec un filet d’huile d’olive verge extra.