Recipes

Margaret Browne

Chickpea, Goats Cheese and Rocket Salad

This is a very simple nutritious vegetarian dish, and Chickpeas make a wonderful substitute for meat.

Ingredients:
  • 200g dried chickpeas
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of large lemon
  • 2 ripe plum tomatoes roughly chopped
  • Chopped coriander and parsley
  • About 50g wild rocket
  • 150g creamy goats cheese crumbed
Method:
  • Put chickpeas in bowl of cold water and leave to soak overnight
  • Then rinse and cook slowly for about an hour until tender
  • Drain well pour over the oil and lemon juice
  • Toss tomatoes, parsley, coriander,with the chickpeas
  • Divide among plates and top with goats cheese and serve immediately
Cucumber and Borage salad: Ingredients:
  • Cucumber and Borage Salad
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • pinch of salt and sugar
  • choppped borage leaves
Method:
  • Chop cucumber place in bowl
  • Sprinkle over salt and sugar
  • Leave for about 1 hour
  • Drain
  • Finely chop boarage
  • Add to cucumber and serve immediately
Borage
Other Names: Beebread; borragine (Italian); borraja or rabo de alacrán (Spanish); borretsch or gurkenkraut (German; also used for dill); bourragé or bourraio (Provençal French); bugloss, burrage, or hodan (Turkish); lisan athaur (Arabic); llanwenlys (Welsh); star flower (blossom).

What is Borage, its Latin name (Borago officinalis) is a versatile plant valued for its cool cucumber aroma and flavour.

What does it look like?
This annual has large, hairy, oval leaves with robust stems and five-pointed, sky blue, star-shaped flowers surrounding black stamens. Where does it come from? It was thought to have originated in the area of Aleppo, Syria, was probably brought to Europe by the Romans; it is most popular in Great Britain, central Europe, Spain, Italy, and Greece.

The lovely blue flowers can be preserved, candied, simmered in syrup, or used as garnish. In Spain, the succulent stalks are boiled and fried in butter.

The flower corollas can be used to colour vinegar blue. Both leaves and flowers are brewed for tea, and the flowers yield a honey much appreciated in New Zealand.

Season: Borage greens are most tender in spring and may be found wild in many places or purchased at local farmers' markets. The flowers bloom in midsummer.

Purchase and Avoid: Look for the most tender, least hairy borage if you'll be using it as an uncooked herb. The flowers should be sparkling blue and wide open. If using borage as a cooking green, larger, older leaves are acceptable.

Serving Suggestions: Freeze borage blossoms (without the inedible calyx) in ice cubes and use to chill summer drinks or punch. Briefly boil older leaves, steam like spinach, or dip in batter and deep-fry.

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