December 17, 2014

Christmas Salad

Salad Bowl with a salad of rice, lentils, clementines, cranberries and Brussels sprouts

I am delightfully enjoying the lead up to Christmas and I hope that you are too. There are always routines that I am looking forward to such as baking mince pies and gingerbread men, making home-made decorations and crafts and playing Christmas songs on the ukulele. Likewise, there are ingredients which always seem to find their way in my kitchen at this time of year like clementines, spices, nuts, dried fruits, root veggies and Brussels sprouts. The idea for this Christmas salad therefore came naturally, mixing some of my favourite ingredients from the season. I am sure it will be appreciated on the Christmas table whether you choose to serve it as a side or a main for vegetarians.

Clementines on a wooden board

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas

With love and light x

Vegetables, fruits and nutson a wooden board

Christmas Salad – serves 4 to 6
•200g black rice, rinsed
•200g beluga lentils, rinsed
•A pinch of mustard seeds
•A pinch of cumin seeds
•2 handfuls pecan nuts, shelled
•300g Brussels sprouts
•Juice of 1 lemon
•Salt and pepper
•1tsp wholegrain mustard
•1tbsp maple syrup
•2tbsp olive oil
•3 clementines, peeled and quartered
•3tbsp dried cranberries

1.Place the black rice in a large pot of boiling water and cook for 25min. Add the lentils, mustard and cumin seeds and extra water if needed and cook for another 20min. Drain and set aside.
2.Preheat the oven to 170°C. Place the pecan nuts on a baking tray and put in the oven for 10-15min until fragrant. Set aside.
3.Shred the Brussels sprouts with a mandolin slicer or grater, place in a bowl, add half the lemon juice and mix well with your hands until coated. Leave aside for at least 10min to soften.
4.Prepare the dressing by mixing in a small bowl salt and pepper with the mustard, remaining lemon juice, maple syrup and olive oil.
5.To assemble the salad, place the rice and lentils in a large salad bowl, add the sprouts, pecans, clementines, cranberries and dressing. Toss well and serve.

Salade de Noël – pour 4 à 6 personnes
•200g de riz noir, rincé
•200g de lentilles beluga, rincées
•Une pincée de graines de moutarde
•Une pincée de graines de cumin
•2 poignées de noix de pécan, épluchées
•300g de choux de Bruxelles
•Jus d’1 citron
•Sel et poivre
•1cc de moutarde à l’ancienne
•1cs de sirop d’érable
•2cs d’huile d’olive
•3 clémentines pelées et coupées en quartiers
•3cs de canneberges séchées

1.Mettre le riz dans une grande casserole d’eau bouillante et faire cuire 25min. Ajouter les lentilles, les graine de moutarde et de cumin et faire cuire encore 20min. Egoutter et réserver.
2.Préchauffer le four sur 170°C. Mettre les noix de pécan sur une plaque à four et enfourner pour 10-15min jusqu'à ce qu’elles commencent à dorer. Réserver.
3.Emincer les choux de Bruxelles très finement à l’aide d’une mandoline ou d’une râpe, mettre dans un bol avec le jus d’1/2 citron et bien mélanger avec les mains pour les imprégner de jus de citron. Laisser de côté pour une dizaine de minutes.
4.Dans un petit bol, préparer l’assaisonnement en mélangeant du sel et du poivre avec la moutarde, le reste de jus de citron, le sirop d’érable et l’huile d’olive.
5.Pour assembler la salade, mettre le riz et les lentilles dans un grand saladier. Ajouter les choux de Bruxelles, les noix de pécan, les clémentines, les canneberges et l’assaisonnement. Mélanger et servir.

Salad Bowl with black rice, lentils, clementines, pecans and Brussel sprouts

December 08, 2014

Pears Poached in Sweet Wine, Honey & Thyme

Pears on small plates and thyme sprigs

I had dreamt of a poached pear recipe for a while and had imagined that I would serve it with a chocolate sauce. In my books, pear and chocolate is such a perfect combo. However, when I came to make the recipe, I had a little voice in my head whispering: ‘keep it simple’. It seems to have been my golden rule over the last few months, cooking dishes that are simple and highlight the taste and quality of the ingredients used. I decided to trust the voice and set aside the idea of the chocolate sauce, and instead serve the pears on their own, simply dressed with a few spoonfuls of the cooking liquid. The result is an incredibly tender fruit with delicate aromas of the cooking wine, honey and thyme.

Pears on a wooden board and brown linen

Choose to use a more or less strong honey and wine depending on how prominent you want their flavours to be. We found the recipe was as enjoyable eaten warm or at room temperature and this makes a lovely light festive pudding.

Have a beautiful week x

Four pears in a small saucepan on a wooden board

Pears Poached in Sweet Wine, Honey & Thyme – serves 4
•750ml sweet white wine
•3tbsp honey
•3 sprigs of thyme
•4 pears

1.Pour the wine in a small saucepan and add the honey and thyme. Bring to the boil.
2.Peel the pears carefully, keeping them whole. Add to the saucepan. Simmer on a gentle heat for about 15min, until the pears are really tender. Take off the heat and serve.

Poires Pochées au Vin Doux, Miel et Thym – pour 4 personnes
•750ml de vin doux
•3cs de miel
•3 brins de thym
•4 poires

1.Verser le vin dans une petite casserole et ajouter le miel et le thym. Porter à ébullition.
2.Peler les poires, en les gardant entières. Ajouter les dans la casserole. Faire frémir pendant 15min, jusqu'à ce que les poires soient complètement tendres. Retirer du feu et servir.