Tag: lunch

Market Day

For the last few Sundays, I have been waiting for Spring to be at the market to meet me. I am waiting for there to be baskets of fresh peas in their pods and fava beans to be shelled, asparagus and green beans, sweet and delicate new season fennel and spiky artichokes. Instead, there are still piles of citrus fruits and bundles of winter greens.

So here is a last of the winter’s market put together for a lunch. Finger’s crossed for Spring to be there next weekend.

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Green Winter’s Lunch
Serves two and a half

A big bunch of sprouting broccoli
A ball of fresh mozzerella
A handful of fresh basil, torn
The juice of a lemon
A handful of pine nuts
One ripe avocado
Good olive oil
Salt and pepper
Fresh bread and butter to serve

Simply steam the sprouting broccoli- the young and tender kind, not the old woody kind- until it has lost its crunch but has maintained its dignity. Lay on a plate and cover with half an avocado, half a ball of mozzarella, the torn basil leaves, the juice of half a lemon, a generous glug of olive oil, salt and pepper and a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts. Repeat on the other plate and add some fresh bread to mop it up. Then remember the baby and distribute some of the food onto her plate.

Enjoy at the table while you watch people out the window and debate whether all three of you should have an afternoon nap on this overcast and stormy Sunday.

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More Sunny Citrus

Our local farmer’s market is still brimming with citrus fruit and we are still are eating our way through it. Lilias particularly likes mandarins and this is what happens if I leave her unattended for a minute. Or I find her in the dishwasher. Yes, actually inside it.

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Today I don’t have a recipe as such, more an idea for using both the new season asparagus, the beautiful slim, tender shoots that they are, and the last of the winter oranges.

Asparagus Salad

A small bundle of asparagus
Sea salt and olive oil
Half a lemon
1 orange
Half a small fennel bulb
A small handful of black kalamata olives, halved

Break the woody ends off your asparagus and lay it in a roasting dish with a drizzle of olive oil, the juice of half a lemon and a sprinkling of salt. Roast for about 15 minutes at 200°C- this will vary depending on the size of your asparagus. (Also, my oven is a strange and temperamental beast, so I always feel a little nervous giving cooking instructions. New oven in three sleeps!)

When these are done, lay them on a plate with the very thinly sliced half fennel bulb and orange, making sure all the pith is removed. Then give it another drizzle of olive oil, it is worth using good peppery stuff for this, salt and some nice and plump black olives, halved.

I ate mine with some crusty, buttery bread but you could add a piece of fish or some chicken to bulk it out into more of a dinner. Mine was the perfect lunch for one.

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P.S. I have just updated the recipe page in the hope it will make it easier for you to search for recipes and ideas rather than scrolling through all the posts. Let me know what you think.

P.P.S. Turns out I am not a menu planner, I cannot make my brain work that way. More on this later.

A Whiter Shade of Pale

It’s amazing how sometimes when you look in the fridge, it may seem like there is nothing and yet that is the exact time you will put that nothing together to make something you want to make over and over again. Today the fridge held some brussel sprouts, a cauliflower and a forgotten fennel bulb. This ended up being this rather pale but rather delicious salad. It matched the grey concrete sky out the window and also meant that I could play this while I cooked.

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A Whiter Shade of Pale Winter Salad

Brussel sprouts, woody end removed
1 cauliflower broken into florets
1 fennel bulb roughly chopped
2 tbsp cumin
Big pinch of flakey sea salt
Juice of half a lemon
2 spring onions
Big, generous handful of fresh coriander and Italian parsley
1/2 cup quinoa
Some garlicky hummus to garnish

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Heat your oven to 200°C while you prepare the brussel sprouts, cauliflower and fennel. Scatter in a roasting dish with plenty of olive oil and the ground cumin. These should take about half an hour to cook, you want them to still have a bite, but the fennel will have started to get lovely and sweet. You can cook your quinoa while the vegetables are roasting (half a cup of quinoa to a cup of cold water. Bring to the boil and then simmer until all the water is absorbed). When you pull the vegetables out of the oven, squeeze over the lemon juice and add a generous amount of salt. This will smell delicious and nothing like over boiled, sulphury brussel sprouts from school lunches in England (especially that time when you sat in Alex’s brussel sprouts with mince and mashed potatoes that you then carried round on the back of your school skirt for the afternoon). Mix this in with the quinoa, finely sliced spring onions and the herbs. Although it doesn’t add any colour, garnishing with some hummus really completes the sweetness of the fennel, the earthy flavours of the cauliflower and sprouts, the fresh herbs, nutty quinoa and the spicy cumin.

Perfect to serve hot with lamb and pita breads, or to put in a container to take for a work lunch when your work has no microwave.

Happy grey day x

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