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  • Seasonal local food recipe No.286 – Hugh’s raw courgette and fennel with peanut dressing

    Posted on July 24th, 2015 Janet No comments

    This recipe is from my new book – River Cottage Light and Easy by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall.  It can be dished up as a light lunch or starter on its own or as a partner with some protein such as lentils, chickpeas, chicken or fish for something more substantial.

    Serves 2, or 4 as a starterfennel-197-vegboxrecipes

    Preparation time: 15-20 minutes

    Ingredients
    For the dressing
    2 Tbs no sugar added peanut butter
    Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
    1 Tbs lemon juice
    1/2 tsp runny honey
    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    200g young small courgette
    1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs
    A little extra virgin rapeseed or olive oil
    1 Tbs sunflower or pumpkin seeds or a mix of the two (optional)
    A small handful of basil or mint leaves

    Method
    To make the dressing, put all the ingredients in a bowl, adding salt and pepper as needed, bearing in mind that the nut butter will add salt.  Add 2 tablespoons water and whisk until you have a thick mixture, smooth except for any chunks of nut.  It should be loose enough to fall off the spoon in thick ribbons – you can whisk in a little more cold water, if necessary, to reach this consistency.

    Top and tail the courgettes, then use a veg peeler to shave them lengthways into wafer-thin ribbons.  Put into a large bowl.  Trim the fennel, removing any tough and fibrous outer layers, saving a few of the fronds if there are any.  Slice the fennel, top to bottom, as thinly as you can, and add to the courgettes.

    Trickle a little oil over the veg, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss lightly.  Scatter the seeds, if using, over the veg and spoon on the dressing.  Finish with roughly torn basil or mint leaves and fennel fronds if you have them, then serve.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No.240 – Delia’s oven roasted ratatouille

    Posted on August 29th, 2014 Janet No comments

    This is my favourite way of making ratatouille, from Delia Smith. Oven roasting the vegetables means they retain their shape and identity and take on a lovely toasted flavour.  You can vary the quantities of the vegetables to suit what you have available. If you are short of time you could miss out salting the aubergine and courgette,

    Serves 4aubergines-tomatoes-camelcsa-180714

    Preparation time: 1 hour 15 minutes
    Cooking time: 30-40 minutes

    Ingredients
    450g cherry tomatoes, skinned
    2 medium courgettes
    1 small aubergine
    1 small red pepper
    1 small yellow pepper
    1 medium onion
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    3 tbs olive oil
    1 handful fresh basil leaves roughly torn
    salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Method
    Chop the aubergine and courgette into 2.5 cm dice, leaving the skin on.  Sprinkle with 1 dessertspoon salt, place in a colander and leave for an hour to let the bitter juices drain out.  Rinse thouroughly and dry the vegetables.  Chop the rest of the vegetables into 2.5 cm squares.  Place all the vegetables, garlic and basil in a roasting tin so that they form one layer, drizzle with the olive oil, stir to coat the vegetables all over  and season with salt and pepper.  Roast on the top shelf of a preheated oven Gas mark 7/ 220°C for 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables are roasted and tinged brown at the edges.  I served mine with a gougere.