Potato Salad with a Rhubarb & Balsamic Dressing



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My friends have very kindly provided me with lots of rhubarb, the yummy stuff that it is. So far I have made a crumble, a tart and jam, but I still have loads left. I am quite happy to eat it constantly, but I needed a new idea. I was thinking about how I could use it in a salad when I came up with the idea of combining it with balsamic vinegar. Boy, was that a good idea!


Love rhubarb? Try this Scottish Strawberry and Rhubarb Crumble




Potato Salad with a Rhubarb & Balsamic Dressing

Ingredients

4 medium potatoes, cut in quarters
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped rhubarb
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper


Method

Boil the potatoes until just tender.

Cook the rhubarb with the sugar until starting to break up. Add the balsamic vinegar and olive oil and warm through. Season with salt & pepper.

Drain the potatoes and mix gently with the dressing while still warm. Scatter the onion through the potato salad.

Eat slowly and savour!

Serves 2 (if you can bear to share it)
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Curried Vegetable Pasties


This is a hmmm-what's-in-the-fridge kind of recipe.

Curried Vegetable Pasties

Pastry

1 packet ready-made shortcrust pastry or 1 quantity of homemade
1 egg, beaten (or dairy free unsweetened milk)

Filling

a splash of olive oil
½ onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
small piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
6 baby potatoes, cut into quarters
6 baby corn, cut into quarters
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp chilli powder
water as required
salt & pepper

Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onion, garlic and ginger, cook gently until the onion is translucent. Add the potatoes and carrot and cook for 5 minutes. Add the baby corn and cook for another few minutes. Add the spices and a little water. Cook the vegetables on a medium heat, until they are tender, adding water as required, a little at a time. The mixture should not be too moist. Season with salt & pepper.



Heat the oven to 190c /375f /Gas Mark 5.

Roll out the pastry until it is fairly thin. Cut circles out of the pastry, using a saucer or small bowl as a template. Put some filling on one side of the pastry, brush round the edge with egg and fold over, crimping the edges to seal.


Brush the pasties with a little beaten egg and place on a baking tray. Cook for 20 minutes or until the pasties are golden brown.

Makes 4 – 6 depending on the size of the pasties.


Although the pasties are really good while still warm, they are great cold for lunch and fabulous as picnic food.

I served this batch of pasties with some of the Hot Mango Chutney I made back in November. My mouth is watering just thinking about it :P


Whoops! I forgot the mushrooms! I added mushrooms too.
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Penne with Griddled Vegetables

















I decide to re-visit my Griddled Vegetable Salad for this pasta dish. I didn't make a single change, it was so good the first time around. I used the same basil dressing too and it coated the pasta beautifully. I served this salad warm, to maximise the flavours, but I think it would make a good cold pasta salad too.
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Chocolate & Pecan Cookies with a Surprise Inside

No, I haven't gone mad and put beetroot or aubergine in my cookies! Although, hey, that may be something to try, well the beetroot anyway! These actually have a rolo in the middle. Hence, a lovely gooey centre. Mmmmmmm.


These gorgeous, chewy cookies are the brainchild of Fruittart.

I wish now, that I had broken a cookie in half for you to see the oozing centre, but luckily Fruittart had the foresight to do this, so you can always have a look at her cookies.

These cookies were lush and it was fun molding the cookie dough around the rolo. Very theraputic! I will definitely be making them again soon :)
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Griddled Vegetable & Mozzarella Salad






























Here is my favourite salad of the moment, well since I got my new griddle pan.


Griddled Vegetable and Mozzarella Salad

1 aubergine, sliced
1 courgette, sliced
2 red or orange peppers, sliced
5 artichoke hearts in oil, drained and chopped in half
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper

1 ball of fresh mozzarella


Basil Dressing

1 handful fresh basil
1 red chilli
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp wholegrain mustard
black pepper


Toss all the vegetables with the olive oil and season. Heat a griddle pan until very hot and cook the vegetables in batches until slighty charred.

Whizz up all the dressing ingredients and season.

Place the vegetables on a plate, add the sliced mozzarella and drizzle over some dressing.

Serve with crusty bread.

Serves 4

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Tomato & Broccoli Quiche with a Layer of Pea Puree




Tomato & Broccoli Quiche with a Layer of Pea Puree

Pastry

280g/10oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
140g/5oz cold butter, cut into pieces
8 tbsp very cold water


Pea Puree

300g frozen peas
3 tbsp olive oil
handful of fresh mint, chopped


Vegetables

½ broccoli cut into florets
10 baby plum tomatoes
1 red onion, thinly sliced
½ tbsp olive oil


Custard

2 eggs
284ml double cream
1 cup grated cheddar
salt & pepper to season


Tip the flour & butter into a bowl, then rub together with your fingertips until completely mixed and crumbly. Add 8 tbsp cold water, then bring everything together with your hands until just combined. Roll into a ball and use straight away or chill for up to 2 days.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a round about 5cm larger than a 25cm tin. Use your rolling pin to lift it up, then drape over the tart case so there is an overhang of pastry on the sides. Using a small ball of pastry scraps, push the pastry into the corners of the tin. Chill in fridge or freezer for 20 minutes.

Heat oven to 200c / fan 180c/gm6. While the pastry is chilling make the filling.

Cook the peas in boiling water for 3 minutes, drain and rinse in cold water to refresh. Whizz up the peas with the olive oil and mint. Set this mixture aside.



















Cook the broccoli in boiling water for a few minutes, drain and rinse under cold water. Dry fry the tomatoes in a hot pan, moving around until they start to brown a little and split. Gently fry the onion in olive oil, until soft. Set aside.

Take the pastry out of the fridge or freezer. Prick the base lightly with a fork. Cover with a layer of greaseproof paper, fill with ceramic beans or rice and bake blind for 20 minutes, remove the paper and beans and bake for another 5 – 10 minutes until golden brown.



















While the pastry is baking whip up the custard. Beat the eggs in a bowl and gradually add the cream. Stir in the onions and add 3/4 cup of grated cheddar, then season with salt and pepper.

When the case is ready, spread the pea puree over the base, top with the vegetables and then pour over the egg mixture. Scatter over the remaining cheese. Bake the quiche for 20 – 25 minutes until set and golden brown. Don’t worry if the filling is a little wobbly, it will set as it cools. Leave the quiche to cool in the tin. Once cool, trim the edges of the pastry and remove from the tin.






Making the quiche was quite a long process but extraordinarily satisfying! The only thing I would do different next time, would be to cut the quantity of pea puree in half. So it is just a hidden extra as you bite into your quiche and not a main player, if you know what I mean? I may use the fillings again with ready-made shortcrust pastry, if I don't have as much time. It was a good filling and just the right amount. I served this quiche with some of my beetroot salad, which was lovely and tart. A great contrast with the creamy quiche.

A Vegetarian Feast in a Quiche!

I am stealing that quote from Judith over at Shortcut to Mushrooms. Judith is hosting a Vegetarian Feast Foodblogging Challenge and the challenge is to make something flat and savoury with a crust. So I am putting forward my quiche as my entry. If you would like to join in, you still have time. Judith's deadline is the 31st May. And on the subject of deadlines, please have entries in for No Croutons Required by the 20th May. The details are here.
32

Beetroot Salad




I just love beetroot and I thought it would look really pretty in a salad, so I made a twist on a traditional coleslaw.

Beetroot Slaw

Ingredients

5 fresh beetroot, peeled and grated
5 spring onions, shredded
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 small white cabbage, shredded (purple cabbage would look stunning!)

Dressing

3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vingegar
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
freshly ground black pepper

Method

Whisk together the salad dressing and combine with the vegetables. Voila!

Serves loads of people, honest!

I enjoyed this salad and the sharpness of the dressing was a lovely contrast to the creamy quiche I served it with (quiche to follow). However, make sure everyone has some. Delicious, but the honk of garlic was something else!

26

Lemon Cheesecake with a Blueberry & Raspberry Topping















Lemon Cheesecake with a Blueberry & Raspberry Topping

Base
12 ginger biscuits
100g butter, melted
1 tsp clear honey

Filling
600ml double cream, lightly whipped
500g mascarpone
juice of 2 lemons
zest of 2 lemons
2 tbsp icing sugar

Fruit Topping
200g caster sugar
400g mixed frozen raspberries and Blueberries
Juice 1/2 lemon


Place the fruit, lemon juice and caster sugar in a pan and bring to the boil. Leave to simmer for a few minutes until starting to thicken. Set aside to cool.

Crush the biscuits in a bag with a rolling pin, sometimes you need a double layer of bag, so that it doesn't burst and make a right mess. Tip the biscuit crumbs into a mixing bowl and stir in the melted butter and honey. Press the mixture over the base of a loose-bottomed tin (about 20cm) and leave to set in the fridge while you make the filling.

Beat the cream and mascarpone in a bowl until smooth. Add the lemon juice and zest and icing sugar to the cheese, being sure not to mix it too much as it could split.

Smooth the mixture over the base, cool in the until needed.

Remove the chessecake, carefully from the tin and spoon over the fruit topping.

We really enjoyed this cheesecake. My American friends will be shaking their heads and tutting because it isn't baked. But honestly, this kind of cheesecake has it's own merits. It is creamy and tart and so easy to make. I think you just have to approach it from a different viewpoint and don't expect the texture of a baked cheesecake. Go on, give it a go!
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