I’m still on the fence about what this is. Is it a pâté or is it a hummus? It’s smooth and blended, that’s what unites these two, but it lacks the hefty butter content or cream cheese usually in a pâté. On the other hand it has puy lentils, which can classify it as a hummus. Because of these factors, it is a light, healthy flavoursome blend, which can be spread, dipped in, or topped on salads. Enjoy!
250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 small carrot, grated
2 garlic clove, chopped
400g cooked green lentils (puy lentil)
handful of chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme leaves (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil and butter in saucepan, add the onion, carrot, garlic and sauté 5-7 minutes until the onion becomes translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re soft and cooked through, another 5 to 7 minutes. Remove aside.
- Place the mushroom mixture along with the cooked lentils, nuts, lemon juice, soy sauce,thyme in the food processor or blender and pulse to the preferred (coarse or smooth) consistency. Season well with salt and pepper, or lemon juice.
- Scrape the mixture into a small serving bowl and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm.
This delicious blackberry and peach tray bake celebrates the classic combination of these two fruits. Serve it as part of a seasonal afternoon tea or simply with a cup of coffee with a generous helping of clotted cream.
BLACKBERRY & PEACH STREUSEL TRAY BAKE
(Adapted from BBC Good Food)
For the topping:
175g plain flour
140g light muscovado sugar
140g butter, softened
1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the cake:
150g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
175g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2-3 tablespoons milk
2-3 peaches, sliced (or canned fruit in natural juice)
icing sugar for dusting (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan oven. Grease a 23cm square cake tin with butter or oil and line with the parchment paper.
- Put the topping ingredients in a food processor and pulse it until it resembles a sticky crumble.
- In a separate bowl, mix the cake ingredients, except milk and fruits, gradually adding enough milk to make a creamy mixture that drops from the spoon. Spread the batter in the tin, arrange the peach slices on top, followed by blackberries. Then top with the crumble and press down lightly.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until golden and skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool in the tin, cut into 16 squares and dust with icing sugar.
This salad combines all my favourite ingredients. It is perfect for this time of year, as the courgettes are at its best at the moment. You can also leave the vegetables to marinate for a couple of hours before serving, but always fry halloumi at the last minute, as it is best served warm.
CARROT, COURGETTE AND HALLOUMI SALAD
(adapted from Waitrose magazine)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 large carrots
50g cashew nuts
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
250g halloumi, cut into 1cm slices
- To make a dressing whisk the oils, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce and ginger together in a large bowl. Using a vegetable peeler or a spiraliser, peel ribbons of the courgettes and carrots into the bowl with the dressing, toss it all together, set aside to marinade while you prepare everything else.
- In a large non-stick frying pan toast the cashew nuts for 3-4 minutes over a medium heat until golden, set aside. Next toast the sesame seeds for 2-3 minutes, set aside with the nuts.
- Fry halloumi for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden.
- Lift the vegetables from the dressing and put on a plate. Top with the halloumi and scatter over the nuts and seeds. Serve immediately while the cheese is still warm, spooning over a little extra dressing, if you like.
This is what I call summer edition Flapjacks, it’s much healthier, light, fresh and tangy, packed with summer flavours.
LEMON AND RASPBERRY FLAPJACKS
(Adapted from Olive magazine)
100g soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
250g rolled porridge oats
30g flaked almonds
2-3 lemons (depends on the size), zested and juiced
125g golden caster sugar
3 tablespoons plain flour
icing sugar for decoration (optional)
- Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C.
- Gently melt the butter, sugar and honey together, stir in the oats and almonds. Tip the mixture into a 20x20cm buttered and lined tin. Pack the oats mix in the bottom gently with the back of a spoon. Bake for 30 minutes until the base is set and crisp. Take it from the oven and let it cool, while you make the topping.
- Mix the lemon zest, eggs and sugar, then stir in the flour and finally the lemon juice. Beat until smooth. Pour this carefully over the flapjack base, scatter the raspberries on the top at intervals. Bake for a further 15 minutes or until the top of the mixture is set. Cool completely before dusting with the icing sugar and cutting into bars.
This is a take on the traditional Thai salad, which is crunchy, sweet and spicy, and full of flavour. Fragrant firm mangoes are the best for this salad.
CRUNCHY THAI-STYLE MANGO SALAD
1 slightly under ripe mango
5-7 romaine lettuce leaves, torn into peaces
handful of fresh coriander leaves
25g roasted unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 shallot, very thinly chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 tablespoon mint leaves, finely chopped
- To make the dressing, mix together the lime juice, soy sauce, and sugar in a bowl. Then stir in the shallots, garlic, chilli and mint.
- Peel the mango using a sharp knife or potato peeler. Slice the flesh from each side of mango around the stone. Thinly slice or shred the flesh.
- Place the torn lettuce, beansprouts, coriander leaves and mango in a serving bowl. Gently toss together. spoon the dressing over the top, scatter with the peanuts and serve immediately.
This is what I call a ‘good-for-you’ cake. One-quarter cup of walnuts, for instance, provides more than 100 percent of the daily recommended value of plant-based omega-3 fats, along with high amount of copper, magnesium and biotin. Dark chocolate provides you with energy, fat, minerals and antioxidants. Eggs are a good source of high-quality protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12. Ok there is some sugar in a cake, but you can replace it with honey and it is a cake after all, not a medicine. So, I say… Eat more cake!
WALNUT AND CHOCOLATE CAKE
(An adapted recipe from Jul’s Kitchen)
140 g shelled walnuts
140 g caster sugar
140 g dark chocolate
butter to grease the cake tin
cocoa powder or chocolate for dusting (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Place the walnuts and sugar in the blender and pulse it until the walnuts are finely chopped, resembling a coarse flour.
- Transfer it to the bowl and add finely grated chocolate.
- Separate the eggs. Leave egg whites aside. Add the egg yolks to the nut mixture and stir to combine.
- Whip up the egg whites until they form the stiff peaks, then gently fold them into the walnuts.
- Butter a round tin and line it with the parchment paper, then scrape the batter into the tin.
- Bake the cake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and set.
- Let it cool down completely before slicing, dust with cocoa powder or more chocolate.