Recipes for the week before Christmas!
For this first recipe we have to cheat... I still have some asparagus on hand, keeping chill in my work fridge. But locally grown fennel won't be available until January or February next year, when the asparagus will be a distant memory. However, this salad is so sublime I wanted to share it, in spite of the ethical dilemma! Shaved fennel and asparagus slaw is lightly dressed with a squeeze of lemon and a tiny drizzle of maple syrup. There are toasted pine nuts also. It is superb - also vegan, DF and GF!
There are loads of fresh flavours in this tabouleh also (If you would like the buckwheat GF version, just let me know) - nectarines, basil, red onion. Is very good and super quick to make, and so colourful! The Tabouleh with nectarines is Vegan and DF and can be GF with the substitution of buckwheat (Or brown rice if you prefer!)
I figured we should make the most of broadbeans while they're here... This risotto starts with blanching the beans and slipping the grey skins off, and then is all simple stuff from there... a fistful of frozen peas, some whole kernel corn, some lemon... it's full of fresh flavours and the flaked almonds give it some great texture. The Broadbean and lemon risotto is Vegan, DF and GF
This is a pasta bake with a couple of twists - kind of a grown up Mac cheese really. You cook and then blitz kale to make a sauce that goes over the cooked pasta, the blue cheese is tucked in and then parmesan or pecorino over the top .. the Kale and Blue Cheese pasta bake is vegetarian and we can get GF pasta, but I don't think I can source non-dairy blue cheese...
Ma Po Eggplant requires a little bit of working ahead, but only a little. You mix the pork mince with Tamari, cornflour and some spices, rice wine vinegar and leave that to flavour up for a couple of hours. Then you grill the eggplant wedges, cook the meat sauce with other saucy ingredients and compile. It's really good, and once you start cooking it only takes 20 minutes. This is also DF and GF
The Sichuan beef with wilted greens is again quick to make, uses only one pan and can be bigger or smaller very easily which is handy at this time of year. The Sichuan peppers have a weird mouth-numbing effect sometimes, just a heads-up! You sear the steak to your preferred level of done, then wrap it in tinfoil and leave it to rest. Use the same pan - and juices - to wilt the greens with a tasty combo of ginger, oyster sauce and Tamari... it's pretty simple ! Is also DF and GF