Wild Mushroom and Chard Tart

Vegetables

mushrooms_groupshot

Pastry:

225g plain flour

100g cold buttered, cubed

1 egg

Large pinch dried thyme

 

Filling:

200g mixed wild mushrooms (or regular mushrooms if wild aren’t in season), sliced

200g chard, stalks removed and leaves roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced

4 eggs

300ml double cream

100g gruyere cheese, grated, plus extra for the tart top

 

To make the pastry add the flour, butter, thyme and pinch of salt to a food processor and pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and pulse until it comes together to form a ball. Remove from the bowl and bring together with your hands to form a smooth ball. Flatten with your hand then wrap tightly in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.

Grease and line a 23cm fluted loose bottomed tart case. Once the pastry has chilled, roll it out on a floured work surface to approx. 0.5cm thickness and carefully line the tin with the pastry, ensuring it is pushed right into the corners. Line the pastry with baking paper and fill with baking beans or dried pulses then blind bake for 20 minutes. Remove the paper and baking beans then continue cooking for another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile make the filling by frying the garlic in a drizzle of oil and a large nob of butter in a large frying pan until it is just starting to colour. Add the mushrooms and fry for 5 minutes then add the chard and cook until the mushrooms have started to caramelise and the chard has wilted. Season well with salt and pepper. Lightly whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl then add the cream followed by the mushroom and chard mixture, ensuring everything is well combined. Pour this into the pastry case and top with some extra grated cheese. Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins or until the top has browned and the filling has set.

Serve with a big green salad.

mushroomtart_prep

Photography by Hannah Hughes

Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds with Chilli and Lemon

Uncategorized

Next time you cook a squash, make sure you don’t throw away the seeds. They make a great little snack or a crunchy topping for salads or hot dishes. Here I’ve used chilli and lemon zest but you can flavour them with anything you like or simply some salt and pepper. 

Seeds from 1 squash, squeezed out of the stringy pulp 

Splash of cooking oil (I used rice bran)

Pinch of chilli powder (or more to taste)

Zest of half a lemon 

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F

On a baking tray or even a piece of foil for minimum effort, combine everything with a good pinch of salt and grinding of black pepper. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until they are golden and crunchy. 

 

Sweet Potato and Caramelised Onion Frittata

Uncategorized

The frittata has to be one of the most versatile suppers going. The possibilities are endless and great for using up bits and bobs you might have in your kitchen. Tonight I had sweet potatoes and an onion. A quick fumble in the spice cupboard and of course, eggs, and you’ll end up with this sticky, spiced Monday night delight.

Makes 4 portions

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp dried chilli flakes (or to taste)

2 tbsp cooking oil (I use rice bran)

1 white onion

5 small sweet potatoes, scrubbed

1 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)

1 tsp nigella seeds

5 eggs

IMG_5802

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Slice the potatoes into 1cm rounds and toss with 1tbsp of the oil, chilli powder, nigella seeds and S&P then arrange in a single layer on a baking tray. Cook for about 30 minutes or until they have softened and browned around the edges.

Whilst the potato is cooking, gently toast the fennel seeds, cumin seeds, dried chilli, a pinch of salt and a serious grinding of pepper in a dry frying pan. After about 2 minutes add the remaining tbsp of oil and the onion. Cook on a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until they are soft, sticky and caramelised. If they start to stick add a splash of water.

Once everything is cooked, switch the oven to a medium grill and add the potato slices to the frying pan. Whisk the eggs with a grinding of pepper and add to the pan, tilting to make sure it settles in an even layer. Cook for few minutes on the hob, until you can see the edges have set but the top is still runny, then cook under the grill for a few more minutes until it is just set. Serve with a green salad.

Chocolate Banana Pot

Dessert

As featured in The Guardian reader’s recipe swap

For those weekday evenings when you’ve finished dinner and, like me, have the usual battle in your head about dessert. Must.resist.the.craving.

This one is absolutely not bad for you and really hits the spot.

Serves 2

1 frozen banana

1 tbsp cacao powder

2 tbsp Greek yoghurt

1 tbsp honey

Toppings: cacao nibs, blueberries or anything you like

Blitz everything together in a food processor then serve in little pots with toppings of your choice. These can be made in advance and will sit in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

Asian glass noodle salad with grilled satay chicken

Chicken

Not only is this dish kind to your waistline it’s also kind to your wallet, with the chicken being the biggest expense. It’s easy to make and the leftovers are perfect for your packed lunch the next day.

Makes four portions

For the chicken:

3 large chicken breasts (or 4 medium sized), flattened out with a rolling pin

Knob of ginger, peeled

1 clove of garlic, peeled

1 red chilli (or more depending on taste)

1 tbsp peanut butter

2 tsp soy sauce

2 tsp sesame oil

For the noodles:

200g frozen spinach

2 medium courgettes, grated

2 medium carrots, grated

4 small nests glass (mung bean) noodles

1 tbsp peanut butter

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

Sliced red chilli, spring onion and sesame seeds, to serve

Blitz together the chicken marinade ingredients in a food processor and combine with the chicken. Cover and chill for as long as you can – 10 minutes will suffice but the longer the better.

Cover the glass noodles with boiling water in a bowl and drain after 2-3 minutes or until they have softened.

Grill the chicken until cooked through and slightly coloured.

Whilst the chicken is cooking, heat a large pan and add the frozen spinach, Allow this to defrost and for some of the moisture to evaporate. Add the courgette, carrot, noodles, peanut butter, soy sauce and sesame oil. Allow everything to heat through but not so long that the vegetables lose their crunch, Serve the noodles topped with slices of the chicken, red chilli, spring onion and sesame seeds.

Greens, beans & chorizo soup

Soup

This soup is great and has been a mid-week go-to for years now. It’s healthy, is mostly made of store cupboard ingredients and couldn’t be easier to make.

Makes four generous portions

2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes

2x 400g tins of beans (chickpeas, black eyed beans, butter beans, cannellini beans….any you like)

½ good quality chorizo ring, skinned and chopped

Chilli flakes (as much or as little as you like)

Bunch of greens (kale, cavalo nero, savoy cabbage) chopped into bitesize pieces

Put everything in a large pan with two tins of water, some S&P then cook until bubbling and the greens are cooked.