Sweet Potato & Carrot Side Salad

This is my entry for this month's No Croutons Required. There is still time to join in, just make a soup or a salad featuring potatoes and submit your entry to me at nocroutonsrequired@googlemail.com by the 20th of February. The line-up and voting poll will be posted the next day and then the winner will be announced on the 28th of February 2009. The rules can be found here. Please remember to include where you are from in your email.

Sweet Potato & Carrot Side Salad

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into sticks
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into sticks
3 spring onions, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup fat free fromage frais
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
peel of 1 orange & 1 lemon
1 handful fresh dill, finely chopped
1 tsp chilli flakes
salt & pepper

feta cheese to serve (optional)

Boil or steam the potatoes and carrot until just tender, then rise under a cold tap to stop the cooking process.

Spoon the fromage frais into a bowl and add all the other ingredients. Mix well. Season.

Mix the potatoes and carrots with the dressing and top with some feta cheese and a little of the peel.

Herbful Pasta Salad with Mushrooms

I woke up this morning and looked out of the window to a winter wonderland. Thick, thick snow and it was coming down fast. I just had to go out for a walk, so I wrapped up warm in my walking gear and headed out. It was great and I just love the silence that accompanies a thick layer of snow.

So you might think that this sort of day would call for a hearty bowl of hot soup!

Well, that would have been nice, but I am aching for Spring to arrive. Wishful thinking, maybe, but I want Spring and I want it now! Hence this light and zesty, mushroom and herb pasta salad. After all, when the house is all toasty, you can pretend.

Herbful Pasta Salad

1 tbsp olive oil
12 chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
salt & freshly ground black pepper

2 cups Dishi Volanti pasta


1 handful fresh flat leaved parsley
1 handful fresh basil
1 handful fresh dill
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Cook the pasta until al dente and then rinse in cold water, to cool and stop the cooking process. Leave to drain.

Saute the mushrooms in the olive oil and garlic, until soft, then season.

Whizz up the dressing ingredients.

Transfer the pasta to a large bowl, mix in the mushrooms and coat with the herb dressing.

Serves 4 - 6

Graham was sent home from work early because of the snow. A snow day, lucky him. He was very pleased to come home to warm house and a bowl of this pasta salad. It got a big thumbs up!

I am sending this salad over to Ruth at Once Upon A Feast as my entry for Presto Pasta Nights. I haven't entered a dish for ages, but I couldn't miss out on this line-up as it is the 100th edition. So a big congratulations to Ruth and her guest hosts for continuing to present us with a gorgeous selections of pasta dishes every week!

Scottish Cranachan

If you're on a diet, then look away now! This traditional Scottish dessert is full of cream and has a generous dram of whisky too.

Cranachan is a tradtitional Scottish dessert made with cream, raspberries, honey, whisky and oats. Yum!
If you've not tried it before you really must. It's luxurious and comforting. Of course it's only for adults unless you substitute the whisky with orange juice.



2 cups double (heavy) cream
1 cup porridge oats
4 tbsp whisky
3 tbsp honey
2 cups raspberries
4 tbsp icing sugar

  1. Toast the oats in a frying pan for a few minutes, being careful not to burn them. Tip them onto a plate and leave to cool.
  2. Whizz up 1 cup of raspberries with the icing sugar.
  3. Whip up the cream, with the whisky and honey until you have soft peaks. Then fold in most of the oats, but keep some aside for serving.
  4. Layer a small glass with raspberry sauce, then carefully add the cream mixture. Sprinkle with oats and top with raspberries.

Serves 4 - 6

The reason I said small glasses, is that it is very rich!
The wine glass I filled would have been enough for a family of four to sit down to for a week! Honestly!
For a lighter version, try folding in some natural yoghurt and serve it in a small glass!

Tomato, Lentil and Coriander Soup

Snow is on the ground again here in Scotland. The Winter does not seem to want to let go it's icy grip. On the bright side, we are gaining a few minutes of daylight every day, so it doesn't seem so dismal. My one complaint is that it is absolutely baltic at work. It is hard to use a computer when your fingers are stiff with the cold.

So, it is soup time again!

Tomato, Lentil and Coriander Soup

Tomato, Lentil & Coriander Soup


6 ripe tomatoes, halved
2 red onions, quartered
2 cloves of garlic, left in papery skin
1 cup red lentils
2 cups vegetable stock
1 handful of coriander, chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Place the tomatoes, onions and garlic in a roasting tray, mix with the olive oil and season. Roast the vegetables for 20 - 30 minutes until the vegetables are starting to brown at the edges. 
  2. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before removing the skin from the garlic. 
  3. Whizz up the vegetables in a blender and add to your soup pot, along with the stock and lentils. Cook your soup for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are tender, then add the lemon juice and coriander and taste for seasoning.

Serves 4

Here are a few snowy pictures from our walk in Den of Alyth.

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