Gnocchi with roasted red peppers, aubergines and chilli

Romano peppers (long pointed red peppers) are currently in season and I love making the most of them during late summer. This is a really easy, veg packed gnocchi recipe and it’s perfect for a vegetarian/meat-free meal. If you are looking to make this a vegetarian meal, make sure to use a vegetarian hard cheese instead of the Grana Padano. Serve with fresh green salad on the side.

Romano peppers & garlic pre-cooking

An easy way to peel peppers once cooked and still hot, is to leave them in a bowl and seal with clingfilm for a 5-10 minutes. After that, the peal should easily come off, though be careful as the peppers will still be hot.

This is a recipe from Waitrose & Partners magazine.

More with Aubergines: Melanzane Parmigiana with Green Salad | Potato and aubergine curry | Charred Aubergine, pepper and bulgur salad

Gnocchi with roasted red peppers, aubergines and chilli

Gnocchi with roasted red peppers, aubergines and chilli

Serves 4 | Prep 25 mins | Cook 30 mins
A little effort | Meat free

You’ll need:

  • 4 romano peppers, halved and deseeded;
  • 2½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil;
  • 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled and bashed;
  • 1 large aubergine (about 300g), cubed;
  • handful basil leaves;
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded;
  • 50g grana padano, grated;
  • 500g pack essential Waitrose fresh gnocchi;
  • 40g wild rocket /or other green salad to serve.

Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas mark 7. Toss the peppers in 1 tsp olive oil, season and arrange skin-side up on a baking tray with the garlic. Brush a second baking tray with 2 tsp oil, then add the aubergine; season. Put both trays in the oven to roast for 20-25 minutes (peppers on the top shelf ), turning the aubergine occasionally. Meanwhile, put the basil leaves, chilli and most of the grated cheese into a food processor, then whizz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Remove the vegetables from the oven, then carefully peel and discard the skin from the peppers and garlic cloves (see introduction for a tip). Add the roasted garlic and half the peppers to the food processor with the remaining 1½ tbsp oil; whizz to a semi-smooth paste and season. Tip into a large pan with the aubergine. Cut the remaining peppers into strips and add to the pan.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the gnocchi and cook for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, gently heat the pepper and aubergine sauce. Drain the cooked gnocchi, then tip into the sauce, tossing through. Divide between plates, piling the rocket or green salad alongside and scattering over the remaining cheese.

Original recipe from Waitrose and Partners magazine, issue August 2020, available online here.


1 post has been published on the blog on Aug 26th in a previous year:

2018: Spaghetti Carbonara

Herb-Marinated Grilled Sea Bass

Grilled fish is without doubt the best way (ok… my favourite way) to eat fish. The fish retains it’s flavour, it’s lovely and juicy and it just tastes perfectly fresh. This dish is perfect for summer – it’s light, but filling and the fish is so tasty it needs just a simple side salad or two to complement the flavours.

For this dish, I also attempted to gut and descale the fish myself – first time for everything! I reckon the lockdown is a good time to learn more about preparing food from scratch completely… Though usually you’d ask your fishmonger to do this for you!

This is a recipe from Waitrose & Partners Food Magazine.

More with fish: Sea bass with potato and tomato bake | Swordfish tacos with mango & jalapeno salsa | Chipotle salmon with avocado salsa and chilli broccoli

Herb-Marinated Grilled Sea Bass

Serves 4-6 | Prep 15 mins, plus marinating | Cook 20 mins
Easy | Dairy and Gluten Free

You’ll need:

  • 2 green chillies, stalks trimmed;
  • 12 garlic cloves, peeled;
  • 56g fresh coriander;
  • 50g fresh mint, leaves picked;
  • 4 tsp ground ginger;
  • 5 limes, 1 cut into wedges;
  • 3 whole sea bass (about 300g each), gutted.

Put the chillies, garlic, coriander, mint leaves, ginger, the juice of 3 limes, a good pinch of salt and 1 tbsp water into a blender and whizz to make a smooth salsa. Divide the salsa into 2 portions; put 1 portion in a serving bowl, cover and set aside in the fridge to serve with the fish.

Cut 3 slashes into both sides of each fish, then rub the remaining salsa all over the outside and inside of each fish. Cover, chill and marinate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the grill to high. Put the fish on a rack and grill for 6-8 minutes on each side until charred and cooked through. Transfer to a serving dish and squeeze over the juice of 1 lime. Serve immediately with the remaining salsa alongside and the lime wedges for squeezing over.

Nutritional information per serving (4): 1268Kj/300kcals/6.1g fat/1.5g saturated fat/3.7g carbs/1.1g sugars/1.2g fibre/55g protein/0.8g salt.

Original recipe from Waitrsoe & Partners Food, issue August 2020, not available online.

Chickpeas and chard stew

This is an easy and quick summer stew, ideal for a mid-week supper. It goes perfectly with some crusty bread on the side too. The original recipe by Waitrose magazine has you making your own pesto but you can use ready made one for an even easier option.

More with chickpeas: Chickpea, pepper and tomato currySweet potato, ‘Nduja and chickpea hashVegan chickpea & squash ‘meat’ balls with vegan mayo

Chickpeas and chard stew

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Serves 4 | Prep 10 mins | Cook 30 mins
Easy | Vegetarian | Gluten-Free

Tip: Use free-from pesto for a vegan version.

You’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil;
  • 1 onion, chopped;
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced;
  • 2 rosemary sprigs;
  • 2 x 400g cans chick peas;
  • 3 large tomatoes, tough core removed, and roughly chopped;
  • 2 tsp vinegar;
  • 200g pack swiss chard, woody stalks removed and leaves roughly shredded;
  • 4 tbsps pesto, to serve

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and cook gently for 10 minutes, until soft and starting to turn golden. Add the garlic plus the rosemary sprigs; continue to cook for 3 minutes. Add the chickpeas and their liquid, the tomatoes and 300ml water; season and simmer briskly for 15 minutes. Break up some of the chick peas with a potato masher.

Just before serving, stir the chard through the stew, wilting for a couple of minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tsp vinegar, then ladle into shallow bowls and top with a table spoon of pesto. Serve with crusty bread, if liked.

IMG_7231

Modified from this recipe by Waitrose Magazine, Issue August 2018, available online here.


2 posts have been published to the site Food Notes on Jul 30th in previous years:

== 2018 ==
* Lentil, squash, halloumi and bacon salad
* Yotam Ottolenghi’s Caramelised Onion Crostini

Granola with roasted cherries

I started making my own granola about a year ago and ever since I’ve really enjoyed experimenting and trying different recipes in search of the “perfect” granola. I’ve posted a few recipes on the blog already and they are all nice in their unique ways. Some have used egg whites for extra crispiness (and protein), different fats, nuts, fruits, and usually honey or agave for sweetness. Basically – the world of granola is free and you can use whatever nuts you have in your pantry, or whatever flavour combinations you like.

However, this particular granola is what I would serve if I had a little cafe somewhere. It’s the kind of breakfast item you’d see as a lighter option but it is so lush and so special. The baked cherries really make this a proper treat! This recipe doesn’t make as much granola as other ones you’d find on the blog so if you want to stock up for a couple of weeks double up on the granola ingredients. The roasted cherries  I stored in a jar in the fridge and enjoyed with my granola (and porridge) throughout the week. I’d recommend eating them within the week though as they won’t keep for long.

More in Granola & Granola toppers: Tropical Fruit and Nut Granola  | Jordan Bourke’s Spelt, help seed and lemon zest granolaAnna Jones’ Easy Clementine Compote

Granola with roasted cherries

IMG_6201

Makes about 6 servings | Prep 10 mins + cooling | Cook 30 mins
Easy | Vegan | Dairy and Gluten Free

You’ll need:

  • 125g porridge oats;
  • 50g whole almonds, roughly chopped;
  • 2 tbsp mixed seeds;
  • 2 tbsp coconut (or sunflower) oil;
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup;
  • 360g cherries, pitted and halved;
  • 1-2 tbsp demerara sugar;
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4. Line a baking tray with parchment. In a bowl mix together the oats, almonds and seeds. Heat the coconut oil, maple syrup and 2 tbsp water in a small saucepan. Pour over the oat mixture and stir well. Spread out in an even layer on the prepared tray and bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring from time to time, until golden; set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, toss the cherries, sugar and vanilla with a pinch of salt. Tip onto a baking tray and roast for 25-30 minutes, until tender and some of the inky juices have leaked out. Cool slightly before serving with the granola and Greek yogurt, if liked.

Store the granola and baked cherries in airtight containers for up to a week.

Original recipe from Waitrose Food magazine, issue July 2016, available online here.

 

Apple, Pear and Turmeric Smoothie

We recently replaced our broken blender and with the weather starting to get properly warm and pleasant, we’ve been dying to have some smoothies! I stumbled upon this idea from a Waitorse and partners magazine and gave it a go.

I’ve tinkered a little with it as the original was a little too thick for my liking. I added some apple juice, though you can replace that with water if you want to keep the sugar levels down a bit.

More in breakfast: Anna Jones’ Easy Clementine CompoteJordan Bourke’s Spelt, help seed and lemon zest granolaTurkish eggs with spinach, yogurt & feta

Apple, Pear and Turmeric Smoothie

IMG_6011

Serves 1 | Prep 5 mins
Easy | Vegetarian | Gluten-Free

You’ll need:

  • 1 small apple, peel on, cored and roughly chopped into large chunks;
  • 1/2 small pear, peel on, cored and roughly chopped into large chunks;
  • 1 banana;
  • 3 tbsp Greek-style yogurt;
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric;
  • 4 ice cubes;
  • 50-100 ml apple juice.

Put the fruit bit by bit in a blender or fruit processor and start pulsing until smooth. Add the everything apart from the juice and whizz until smooth. Finally, add enough juice (try a little first, adding more as you go on) until you get your desired consistency.

This is a modified recipe, originally published by Waitrose & Partners magazine, not available online.


Previously posted on this day:

== 2019 ==
* Melanzane Parmigiana with Green Salad

== 2018 ==
* Golden Layer Cake with Buttercup Icing