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Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category

Celeriac Soup

If you ever come across this funny looking vegetable, don’t walk past it. Pick one up and try this delicious soup. It was on the menu at a restaurant that we were at the other night but we didn’t choose it. However, when I got home, I realised that we had  a celeriac knocking about, so I made the soup. I really liked it, it’s got that nice celery taste and with the potatoes it was nice and thick.

Ingredients

  • 1 celeriac, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 potato, roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic,  crushed
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock or bouillon
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil for frying

Method

Fry the onions and garlic in some olive oil until they’ve softened. Add the potatoes, celeriac and vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Then when the vegetables are cooked well, blend with a hand held blender until smooth, season to taste and serve hot with fresh chives or some thyme.

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Beetroot fritters

Tasty starter that we made this summer. Was really delicious and made up for the disappointing main course that followed. The day that I discovered too much parsley is not good. Thanks to the Guardian for the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 250g cooked beetroot, grated
  • 100g cooked chickpeas roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • grated zest of ½ lemon
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp tahini paste
  • 1 free-range egg
  • ½ tsp salt and some black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • For the yoghurt sauce
  • 1 big pinch saffron threads
  • 250g Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt

Method

Very simply add all of the ingredients together and shape into patties. Shallow fry in very hot olive oil and serve with the yoghurt. 

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Things have been a little quiet at “The Pear Tree” recently. But we have been making lists of things we want to cook and things we have been practicing and  will be posting shortly. Another thing is that I keep forgetting my camera when we are at restaurants or markets or places where we have had amazing food. I am working on this, so hopefully more posts in the coming days. Here is a traditional Greek salad, without lettuce.

It was made for the night of the Eurovision song contest, for which we made food from a lot of countries. Bangers and Mash – UK, Goats cheese – France, Chorizo and Salchichon – Spain Smoked fish- Scandinavia and a shredded beetroot salad to represent the Ukraine, Moldova and other other eastern European countries. I love beetroot.The Greek Salad was dressed with fresh Olive oil from our friend Gabri’s mother. It is truly delicious.

Ingredients

  • fresh ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 small cucumbers, diced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • feta cheese
  • black olives, pitted
  • oregano
  • olive oil
  • a little salt

Method

Chop the ingredients and mix together. drizzle with olive oil to finish and season with a little salt.

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I bought 3 sweet potatoes at the market the other day and was wondering what to do with them. Tortilla wasn’t at the top of the list to be perfectly honest. Curries, soups and flavoured mash was what I had in mind, however we had 6 eggs that needed to be eaten, so tortilla it was. I was thinking about how to go about this as obviously the qualities of sweet potato differ from a normal spud. Firstly, I made sure that the olive oil was really hot as I didn’t want the potatoes to soak the oil and become really soggy. I found that it also needed a touch more seasoning. I quite liked it, but Nancy thought it was delicious, so I would say it is definitely worth a go.

Ingredients

  • 4 free range eggs, beaten
  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes, chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • olive oil
  • salt

Method

I like to saute the onions in a tbsp of olive oil in a small pan on a low heat for a long time. This gives the tortilla that sweet caramelised  flavour When they are cooked, set aside.

Meanwhile, in a larger pan, heat a lot of olive oil to a high temperature. Carefully place you potatoes in the oil and cook for about 8 minutes. They should crisp up a little if the oil is hot enough. Remove the potatoes from the oil and set aside to cool. Then place the cool onions and potatoes in the whisked eggs and add almost a flat teaspoon of salt. Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a small frying pan, on medium heat. 

Pour the mixture into the pan and leave for 3 minutes or so. Then, place a plate over the pan and press to form a seal. Flip the tortilla and the slide back into the pan. Shape the tortilla with a spatula. cook for a further 3 minutes and flip again, (this will help to shape the tortilla. Serve with some good bread. This particular loaf was from a Galician bakery near plaza mayor in Madrid.

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Apologies reader as I don’t have much to say about this really, just a chance to drool over  what is on offer in Avila. Foolishly we didn’t try any of these delicious looking sweets while we were in there, instead opting for Yemas. Bad decision. Anyway, I’m sure you agree that these look delicious.

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Not Greek Salad

This isn’t a Greek Salad apparently… Greek salad doesn’t contain lettuce, but it did go very well with the lasagne.

Ingredients

  • mixed lettuces
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • black olives
  • nice tomatoes
  • feta cheese

for the dressing

  • 2 tbsp oliv oil
  • 1 tbsp good quality white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Over Easter we were in Cordoba, the home of Salmorejo (it’s on every menu), and I defy anyone on return NOT to attempt to make it. This really is peasant food at it’s best. The over ripe tomatoes that are no good for salads, stale bread, some garlic which is in abundance everywhere in this country, off cuts of jamon as a garnish (optional) some olive oil (not peasant food where I’m from in south east England, but in Spain, Europe’s largest producer, it is!) and a dash of wine vinegar. It just tastes so fresh and if you get the right tomatoes, you get this wonderful salmon colour in your bowl. Good luck, this is really worth having a go at.

Ingredients

  • 500 g  ripe, red tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 stale loaf, crust removed (spanish/french stick is perfect)
  • 1 tbsp spoon vinegar
  • 4 tbsp spoons of olive oil
  • big pinch of rock salt
  • jamon, chopped to garnish

Method

Put all of the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and salt in a bowl. or blender and, you guessed it, blend. Then Slowly add the bread to make a thick soup. Garnish with bits of chopped jamon and a drizzle of olive oil. Refrigerate and serve cold.

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