Winter Salad

 It’s the start of a four day weekend and I’m more than ready for it.  Until Tuesday I am not going to think about classes and I’m not going to open the cupboard where I’ve stashed my pile of marking.  Instead, I’m jumping in the car and heading down to the Borders to spend the weekend with good friends, good wine and a slobbery dog.  Great! 

Before I leave I want to share this recipe.  I tried it out for the first time the other evening and was thrilled with the results.  I generally prefer to eat salad as a side rather than as a lone dish but this was so very robust and flavoursome, I didn’t need anything else.

Leave out the anchovy dresssing if it’s not to your taste.

Winter Salad with Roasted Squash and Goats Cheese (adapted from Delicious, Jan 2008)

(Serves 2)

1 small squash (e.g. carnival), peeled and cut into slices

4 medium tomatoes, quartered (at this time of year, these will obviously be bland hothouse tomatoes but when seasoned and roasted they will become tasty)

100g calvo nero or other green, roughly chopped

60g goats cheese, crumbled

Olive oil

2 anchovy fillets

1 lemon

Seasoning

  • Preheat oven to 190oC.  Brush the pumpkin with a little olive oil and season well.  Roast for 30 mins turning occasionally.  Add the tomatoes to the roasting tray, brush with oil, season well and roast for a further 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile make the dressing.  Add 3-4 tblspn olive oil and the anchovy fillets to a frying pan.  Heat the oil over a medium-low heat until the fillets melt.  Pour into a small dish and whisk well with a fork.  Add lemon juice and seasoning to taste.
  • 5 minutes before the roasting vegetables are ready bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.  Throw in the calvo nero and cook for 3 minutes.  Drain thoroughly.
  • Add the calvo nero and roasted vegetables to a big bowl and toss with the dressing.
  • Divide between two plates and sprinkle with the goats cheese.

Carrot and Red Lentil Soup

It seems a little early for another soup post but then I am eating a lot of the stuff these nippy winter days.  Especially for lunch.  The following has recently been my favourite soup to make on a Sunday afternoon and to see me through the weekday lunches in the staffroom.  It’s not fancy but it’s nutritious and tasty and I usually have all of the ingredients ready and waiting in my cupboards.

This is my submission for the new blogging event, No Croutons Necessary, hosted by Holler and Lisa.

Carrot and Red Lentil Soup

Olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 sticks of celery, chopped

1 clove of garlic, chopped

1 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp cumin

4 large carrots, peeled and grated

200g red lentils

1 – 1.5  litre stock (vegetable or chicken)

Fresh coriander leaves

  • Gently soften the onion and celery in a little oil in a medium pan.  Add the garlic and spices and fry for 2 minutes more.
  • Stir in the carrots and lentils.  Add a litre of the stock to cover the veg and lentils.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until the lentils are soft (approximately 25 minutes) adding extra stock if necessary.
  • Season carefully and serve topped with fresh coriander leaves.

A Lighter Egg Spread

I’m still working on my New Years resolution, eating breakfast at home.  Can’t say it has been a daily success but I’m still trying!  Weekend breakfasts with their lack of time constraints are an entirely different matter, of course.  Eggs (sorry Johanna) tend to feature quite heavily at these meals.  Poached, fried, boiled, scrambled – I love them all.  Perhaps my favourite way of eating them in the morning is by making what the Finns call munavoi and D calls “egg in a cup”.   Munavoi translates as egg-butter and that’s exactly what it is: hard boiled eggs mixed well with softened butter to create a smooth, velvety eggy spread.  Yum! 

It is, however, very buttery.  I generally prefer to eat lighter than this and so came up with an alternative which I now actually prefer to original munavoi.  The following is less of a recipe than an idea but it makes a lovely, fresh egg spread which is perfect on wholewheat bagels or rye bread.

A Lighter Egg Spread

(enough for one bagel)

1 hard boiled egg

2 heaped tablespoons cottage cheese

Chopped parsley

Salt and pepper

  • Add egg and cottage cheese to a cup and use a fork to break up the egg and mix well.
  • Season carefully and stir in the parsley. 

PS We’ve had a little snow recently.  Not quite enough for snow angels but exciting nevertheless!