#Meat Free Monday – Goats Cheese Salad: The Catalan Kitchen – Emma Warren

The Catalan Kitchen

From The Catalan Kitchen: From Mountains to City and Sea – Recipes from Spain’s Culinary Heart

by Emma Warren. Photography © Rochelle Eagle | Food styling © Lee Blaylock (Smith Street Books, October 2018 – AU$ 55, NZ$ 65)

 

Goat's cheese salad

FORMATGE DE CABRA GRATINAT

PAN-FRIED GOAT’S CHEESE SALAD

Serves 4

2 tablespoons raisins

60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

80 ml (2½ fl oz/¹∕³ cup) extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons walnuts, toasted and chopped

½ teaspoon salt flakes

250 g (9 oz) goat’s cheese log with rind, cut into 1–2 cm (½–¾ in) thick slices

freshly cracked black pepper

½ radicchio, leaves separated

70 g (2½ oz) rocket (arugula) leaves

1 red apple, cored and thinly sliced

½ bunch chives, cut into 3 cm (1¼ in) lengths

 

Heat the raisins and balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat and simmer for 4–5 minutes to rehydrate the raisins. Stir through the honey and remove from the heat. Allow to cool a little then pour in the olive oil and mix through the walnuts and salt flakes. Keep at room temperature.

 

Line a baking tray with baking paper.

 

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. When the pan is extremely hot, add the cheese and cook for 1–2 minutes each side. Transfer to the prepared tray and crack some black pepper over the top.

 

Arrange the salad leaves on serving plates and top with the apple and fried goat’s cheese.

 

Spoon over the dressing and rain over the chives.

 

Authors note:

This simple, go-to warm salad is a modern Barna favourite served in restaurants throughout the city. It’s also very popular at functions, where it’s often served as an entrée.

 

The fats in the goat’s cheese make it an ideal cheese to fry with as you can get a crusty seal without the milk oils separating. Rinded goat’s cheese is a French product and its soft, creamy and acidic flavour pairs perfectly here with the sweet vinaigrette and fresh bitter leaves.

MORRONES A LA PARRILLA CON HUEVO Y QUESO – Barbecued Capsicum with Egg and Pecorino – Ross Dobson & Rachel Tolosa Paz

the-food-of-argentina-9781925418712

From The Food of Argentina: Asado, empanadas, dulce de leche and more by Ross Dobson and Rachel Tolosa Paz. Photography © Rachel Tolosa Paz | Food styling © Vanessa Austin (Smith Street Books, November 2018 – AU$ 49.99, NZ$ 59.99)

 

 

 

MORRONES A LA PARRILLA CON HUEVO Y QUESO

Barbecued capsicum with egg and pecorino

 SERVES 4

 

BBQ Capsicum

4 medium red capsicums (bell peppers)

8 eggs

90 g (3 oz/1 cup) finely grated pecorino

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

 

Cut each capsicum in half lengthways, remove the stalks, seeds and white membrane and discard.

 

Preheat a barbecue hotplate or grill plate to high.

 

Place the capsicum on the barbecue and cook, turning frequently, for 10–15 minutes – you want the capsicum to be soft, but not too charred.

 

Turn the capsicum so they are cut side up, crack an egg into each half, then close the lid of the barbecue and cook for 8–10 minutes, until the eggs have set.

 

To serve, sprinkle over the cheese and parsley, and drizzle over the olive oil.

 

Authors note:

This is a novel and colourful way to cook eggs and capsicums (bell peppers). The capsicums should be soft and tender, so give them some time alone on the barbecue before cracking in the eggs.

For a slight variation on this recipe, lay a thin slice of provolone over each egg instead of using pecorino.

Meat Free Monday: Gnocchi with Mixed Greens and Cave-Ripened Cheese – Adriatico – Paola Bacchia

Adriatico_cover

 

From Adriatico: Stories and recipes from Italy’s Adriatic Coast by Paola Bacchia

(Smith Street Books, September 2018 – AU$ 55, NZ$ 65)

Photography (c)  Paola Bacchia

 

Gnocchi with mixed greens and cave-ripened cheese

Gnocchi con erbe e formaggio di fossa

 

Gnocchi with mixed greens and cave-ripened cheese

SERVES 4

500 g (1 lb 2 oz) mixed greens (such as silverbeet/Swiss chard, spinach and witlof/chicory)

iced water, to refresh

200 g (7 oz) fresh ricotta, drained

100 g (3½  oz) parmesan, grated, plus extra to serve

100 g (3½ oz) formaggio di fossa or a crumbly pecorino, grated

2 eggs, lightly beaten

100 g (3½ oz/1 cup) dried breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon chopped dill

finely grated zest of ½ lemon

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

100 g (3½ oz) unsalted butter

 

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Wash and trim the greens, then plunge them into the boiling water. Once it comes to boil again, let the greens cook for a few minutes. Drain and refresh in iced water (to help retain their colour), then roughly chop and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, place the ricotta, grated cheeses and egg in a large bowl and stir until well combined. Add the cooled greens, breadcrumbs, dill, lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste and combine well – the mixture will be quite thick. Roll the mixture into walnut-sized balls. Ideally the gnocchi should be cooked as soon as you make them – don’t let them rest too long.

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Before you add the gnocchi to the water, melt the butter in a large deep frying pan over low heat. (You may need to do this in two pans or batches if you don’t have a very large pan.) Once the water is at a rolling boil, carefully drop in the gnocchi in batches, using a slotted spoon. Once they rise to the surface, lift them out with the slotted spoon and carefully drop them into the melted butter. Allow the gnocchi to cook for a few minutes on each side until nicely golden. Spoon onto warmed serving places and drizzle over some of the deep-golden butter.

 

Scatter with extra grated parmesan and serve immediately.

 

Authors note:

In Solignano al Rubicone in Emilia-Romagna, just north of Le Marche, they make cheese that is buried in the ground while it ages. It is called ‘formaggio di fossa’, literally, ‘cheese of the pit’. The cheese is made with sheep or cow’s milk (or a combination of both). It is wrapped in muslin and buried in a straw-lined rocky pit – typically of volcanic ash – three to four metres (about three yards) deep, and matured for a period of up to three months. During this time the cheese develops a distinctive woody flavour.

 

The cheese vendor at the weekly market in Cervia encouraged me to have a taste; it was crumbly, pungent and intense – what I would have called a ‘smelly cheese’ as a child. These days this sort of cheese is right up my alley; a worthy companion to softer milder cheeses on a platter, and a sharp-tasting addition to gnocchi or risotto.

 

These gnocchi are a bit like gnudi; ‘naked’ filling for ravioli without their pasta coat. Adding the ‘pit cheese’ makes them more flavoursome, and works well if you add some bitter greens to the mix and coat them in melted butter at the end. I am lucky that my local specialised deli in Melbourne sells imported formaggio di fossa, but if you can’t find it, use a crumbly strong-tasting sheep’s milk cheese that has been aged no more than 12 months, such as pecorino sardo.

Mini Mediterranean Frittatas: Fodmap Friendly – Georgia McDermott

FODMAP Friendly Cover

FODMAP Friendly by Georgia McDermott, Published by Macmillan Australia, RRP $34.99

 

“I have to admit I’ve become a bit complacent about how lucky I am to eat a cooked breakfast every morning, as
one does when they work from home. I don’t have to choose between extra sleep and hot food because my boss
(me) is a bit too laissez faire for early starts. That said, the memory of making smoothies the night before my daily
work commute (I love food, but I love sleep more) is all too vivid, hence these little frittatas. They are as close as
you can get to a full breakfast when you have about five minutes before you need to run out the door.” p. 135

 

Mini Mediterranean frittatas

Mini Mediterranean frittatas

Makes 8 or 9 mini frittatas
6 eggs
125 ml (½ cup) milk of
your choice
50 g parmesan, finely grated
a pinch of dried oregano or ground nutmeg, or both
salt and pepper
85 g (½ cup) Sicilian olives, pitted
½ cup sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
a handful of basil leaves, finely chopped

1. Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease 9 holes of an 80 ml
(1/3 cup) capacity 12-hole silicone muffin tray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, parmesan, herbs, spices and a good pinch of salt and pepper together until
well combined.
3. Add the olives, half of the sundried tomatoes and the basil leaves to the mixture, and stir well.
4. Divide the mixture evenly between 8 or 9 of the mun holes.
Scatter the rest of the sundried tomatoes over the top of the frittatas and gently push them down. Place in the oven and cook for around 15 minutes, or until the frittatas are golden on top and set.
5. Allow to cool completely and then keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about 2–3 days.

 

 

Avocado Pesto Pasta: The Smart Baby Cookbook – Lauren Cheney

SmartBabyCookbook_cover_SML

Smart Baby Cookbook by Lauren Cheney (Murdoch Books RRP $24.99)

 

AVOCADO PESTO PASTA

A deceptively light and summery pasta, combining a dizzying array of flavours and textures, this dish will be a firm family favourite in no time.” p112

Making time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

180 g (6¼ oz/2 cups) pasta, such as spirals or bowties
1 tablespoon olive oil
150 g (5½ oz/1 cup) grape tomatoes, quartered
Basil leaves, to serve
65 g (2½ oz/½ cup) crumbled feta cheese

Avocado, Spinach & Basil Pesto
25 g (1 oz/½ cup) baby spinach leaves
2 avocados, halved
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
50 g (1¾ oz/1 cup) basil leaves
50 g (1¾ oz/¼ cup) pine nuts, toasted
3 tablespoons olive oil
25 g (1 oz/¼ cup) grated parmesan cheese

 

Cook the pasta according to the packet directions. Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water.

Meanwhile, make the pesto. Wilt the spinach leaves by pouring boiling water over them in a bowl and stirring well. Drain and squeeze dry.

Scoop the avocado flesh into a food processor and add the spinach, lemon juice, garlic, basil and pine nuts. Process until smooth, drizzling the oil in slowly. Finally, add the grated parmesan.

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and toss quickly, then add the pasta, pesto to taste and enough of the reserved cooking water to make a sauce-like consistency. Gently toss until just combined.

Remove baby’s portion before scattering with basil leaves and crumbled feta.

FOR BABY:
Purée to the desired consistency or cut into bite-size pieces to serve as finger food.

ALL GROWN UP:
Serve with a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and a squeeze of lemon. If you like a bit of heat then add some finely chopped chilli.

SMART TIP
Avocado is nutrient dense with more than 20 minerals and vitamins.

A CookBook To Suit Everyone’s Needs

Recently I came across a cookbook that asserts that: “Whether you’re an occasional meat-eater, a vegetarian who needs to cook for meat-eaters, or even a dedicated veggie, you’ll find this very flexible book filled with delicious and practical recipes for every lifestyle. The Flexible Vegetarian’s beautiful and tasty dishes offer two solutions: they can be served as completely vegetarian meals, or with the addition of a simple meat, chicken or fish recipe, making them suitable for meat-free days and meat-eaters alike. Recipes cover international flavours, from spiced poke to peashoot and asparagus gnudi, and they are all simple, quick, packed with protein and well-balanced. As well as easy meat and fish additions and hacks for each vegetarian recipe, The Flexible Vegetarian shows you how to ace a handful of classic recipes, from the perfect roast chicken, to the perfectly cooked fillet. Chapters include: Brunch, Broths, Small Plates, Large Plates, and Dips & Bits.”  https://www.murdochbooks.com.au/browse/books/tv-celebrity-chefs/The-Flexible-Vegetarian-Jo-Pratt-9780711239043

The Flexible Vegetarian

 

I have a dilemma  – do I give this to my vegetarian daughter so she can cook the occasional meal for her non vegetarian friends and family ? Or do I keep this one to source recipes for when my daughter visits?  (I am always looking for new and tasty meals I can prepare that we can all share when she visits.) What would you do?

 

**As a bonus this book contains many recipes that include cheese, and one I will  definitely be making in summer, Grilled Peaches, Burrata and Mint Pesto – YUM.   The section “Dips and Bits” deserves a special mention – there are so many of my favourite foods presented here: labneh, hummus, tahini dressing, pesto…and section, “Small Plates”… well I just have to try smashed bean, kale and tomato toast – what a great breakfast idea!  So many good ideas here. I dont think I could choose just one favourite.