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  • Seasonal local food recipe No.334 – Chickpeas and chard

    Posted on September 6th, 2016 Janet No comments

    This delicious recipe, featured in The Guardian recently, is by Rachel Roddy.  I served it with feta cheese crumbled over the top.

    Serves 4          P1070683

    Preparation time: 15 minutes
    Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

    250g dried chickpeas, soaked and cooked, or 400g tinned chickpeas, drained
    600g chard
    12 cherry tomatoes
    6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
    2 garlic cloves
    salt and black pepper
    A handful of parsley, chopped
    juice of 1/2 lemon
    Ricotta, feta, goat’s cheese, lamb chops, or a poached egg, to serve

    Wash the chard and cut the stems from the leaves, trimming tough ends and pulling away any stringy bits.  Cut the stems into short lengths, then roll the leaves into cigars and chop roughly.

    Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add salt. Add the stems for 1-2 minutes, then add the leaves for a few minutes more or until tender.  Drain.

    Warm the olive oil over a medium-low heat.  Peel and crush the garlic for a milder flavour, or slice for a stronger hit.  Add to the pan with the cherry tomatoes.  Fry, squashing the tomatoes gently with the back of a spoon, until they are soft and the oil is tinted red.  Add the chard and stir until it glistens with oil, add the chickpeas and cook for a few minutes more.

    Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper, then let it sit for a while.  Before serving, check seasoning, and pour over a little more oil.

  • Seasonal local food recipe No.309 – Pasta and potatoes

    Posted on January 10th, 2016 Janet No comments

    This soup sounds just right for the cold weather that is being predicted to arrive this week.  This recipe is from Rachel Roddy’s Kitchen Sink Tales column in this week’s Guardian Cook supplement.

    She says: “One thing I will stress the importance of is the extra virgin olive oil, with its grassy scent and seductive mix of butteriness and bitterness. It really is the fragrant foundation of this dish … treat it as a key ingredient.”
    Serves 4

    Preparation time: 10 minutes
    Cooking time: 30-40 minutes

    1 onion, diced
    1 stick celery, diced
    1 carrot, diced
    a sprig of rosemary or 2 bay leaves
    onions-camelcsa600g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
    6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    1.4 litres water or light stock
    170g pasta (quadrucci, pastina, farfalle or broken spaghetti)
    salt and black pepper
    Pecorino or parmesan, grated

    Warm the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium-low heat.  Fry the onion, celery and carrot, along with a pinch of salt, until soft and translucent.  Add the rosemary of bay leaves and the potatoes, stirring so each chunk is coated with oil and fry for a couple more minutes.

    Add the water or stock and another small pinch of salt, bring to a lively simmer, then reduce to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes or until the potato is very soft – you can break it up slightly with the back of a wooden spoon.  Add the pasta, raise the heat slightly and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked, stirring and adding a little more water if it looks too thick.

    Taste for salt (remembering you are probably going to add salty cheese) and grind over some black pepper.  Serve with some grated pecorino or parmesan stirred in, or simply a streak of olive oil.