Lynda Booth - Vegetarian Christmas
CAPPUCCINO OF LEEK AND POTATO
Serves 10 in small cappuccino cups
100g/3 ½ oz unsalted butter
850g/1lb 14oz white of leeks
1 medium sized potato
1 medium sized onion
800ml/27 fl.oz vegetable stock or Marigold bouillon
300ml/10 fl.oz double cream
For garnish: a few drops of olive oil or truffle oil (optional)
Wash the leeks and discard any dark green. Finely slice the onion and leeks and set aside. Pour the cream and chicken stock into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Melt the butter in a heavy based saucepan and add the leeks and onions. Season with salt. Gently saute without colouring for 5-10 minutes. No longer than necessary in order to keep the flavour and the nice green colour. Add the boiling cream and vegetable stock and cook for 5 minutes. Peel and finely slice the potato and add to the soup. Boil for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Pour the soup into a liquidiser. Blend for a few minutes so the soup becomes silky in texture. If the soup is too thick, add some more vegetable stock. Check the seasoning again. The soup may be made in advance and reheated.
When reheating the soup, bring to just below boiling point.. Froth the soup with a hand blender and serve, spooning off some of the froth into the cup.
If you wish to add truffle oil, only add a drop to each serving, don’t put it into the soup.
2 lbs parsnips
2 tabsps olive oil
2 tabsps honey
Oven Temp: 180C, 350F, Gas 4
Peel the parsnips, cut in half and then into quarters or wedges. Pour a little olive oil into a roasting pan and heat on the top of the cooker. Add the parsnips. Cook over a high heat for a few minutes until they begin to go golden. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a preheated oven and cook until the parsnips are tender, turning once or twice during the cooking. Ten minutes before the end of the cooking, drizzle over 1-2 tabsps honey and toss so that they are well coated.
WILTED CAVOLO NERO
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
500g cavolo nero?
2 tbsp olive oil
Remove the green leaves from the kale and discard the stem. Wash thoroughly. Blanch the kale in boiling salted water for about 1 minute and refresh in cold water, then drain. Chop the leaves in half if they are too large. Heat the olive oil in a wide frying pan. When hot, add the slices of garlic. When the edges of the garlic start turning colour, add in the wilted kale. Season with salt and keep tossing the kale until heated through and tender.
PANETTONE BREAD PUDDING
About 14oz/400g Panettone
5 whole eggs
5 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 and half ozs/155g sugar
1 oz/30g butter
1 litre milk
Equipment: a deep dish approx 11" x 8"/30cm x 8cm and 2 and half inches/7cm deep or its equivalent
Oven temp: 180C, 350F, Gas 4
Heat the milk with the sugar until it is just hot and the sugar has dissolved. Place the eggs and egg yolks in a bowl. Whisk in the hot milk until well combined. Stir in the vanilla extract and strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl.
Slice the panettone into slices about 1/4 inch/5mm thick and cut each slice in half. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes, or until crisp and lightly toasted. Melt the butter and brush one side of the panettone slices with it. Arrange the slices in a baking dish, pour the custard over the slices and let stand for 15 minutes. Place the dish of bread pudding in a larger baking dish containing enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the bread pudding. Bake for about 35-40 minutes. When the custard puffs around the sides of the baking dish and is only just set in the centre, the pudding is done. Serve while still warm.
MOROCCAN FILO PIE
SPICED BUTTERNUT SQUASH, CHICKPEAS
This filo pie starts with the intrigue of the golden crispy pastry. As the knife breaks through the first slice, you get a glimpse of those colourful layers of squash, spinach and nuts. However, it is the taste that makes this a show-stopper. There is the hummus, the spices, the fruitiness. I like to have an accompanying yoghurt dip or some harissa but it really does not need much else. It’s all there already.
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
olive oil, for panfrying
900g squash, peeled and cut into small chunks, about 2cm
12 small round shallots, peeled and quartered (only 6 if they are the long banana shallots)
4cm root ginger, finely chopped
100g whole blanched almonds
100g shelled pistachios
75g dried cranberries
2 tbsp honey
225g fresh spinach
For the hummus
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
300g Greek yoghurt
A few mint leaves, chopped
¼ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp cayenne
A good pinch salt
squeeze of lemon juice
For the filo
8 large sheets filo pastry
Equipment: 28cm springform pan with removable base
Preheat the oven to 200C, 180C Fan, 400F, Gas 6
Mix the cumin, coriander, paprika and cinnamon, ½ tsp salt and 3 tablespoons of oil together. Put the squash into a bowl, pour over the spiced oil and mix with your hands. Scatter over a baking tray and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and add the shallots. Season and cook, stirring regularly until they tenderise and start to colour. Stir in the ginger, almonds and pistachios. When the nuts turn a shade darker, add in the cranberries, honey and spinach. Toss until the spinach wilts. Remove from the heat and mix in the roasted squash. Set aside.
Place the chickpeas in a food processor. Add the crushed garlic, ground cumin, 2 tablespoons of oil, lemon juice, two tablespoons water and seasoning. Blend together. Taste and adjust as necessary. Stir in the chopped coriander.
Mix the youghart dip ingredients together. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan and brush the inside of the springform pan with butter. Brush one sheet of filo with butter and lay over half the tin so that it hangs over the edge by about 10cm. Brush a second sheet and lay it on the other side, allowing it to overlap the first sheet in the centre and to hang over the edge. Brush two more filo sheets and lay in the opposite direction in the same manner. Build up two more layers in this way so that you use a total of eight sheets of filo. Pile half the squash mixture into the centre of the pastry. Spread over the hummus and then top with the rest of the squash mixture. One at a time, bring the edge of each sheet of filo into the centre to cover the filling, creating folds as you go. Brush the surface with more butter. The filo pie may be prepared up to this point in advance and chilled.
Bake the pie in the oven for about 30-35 minutes until the filo pastry is golden. Cut into slices and serve with the yoghurt dip.
WILD RICE AND BASMATI RICE SALAD
Wild rice is unusually nutty and chewy and it can be combined with other, and less expensive, varieties of rice. I have opted for some sweetness from dried cranberries and apricots but a rice salad can clearly go in any number of directions. Keep it interesting.
100g basmati white rice
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
100g wild rice
40g dried apricots
30g dried cranberries
For the dressing
1½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, crushed
5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp salt
large bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
small bunch of dill, chopped
Preheat the oven to 180C, 160C Fan, 350F, Gas 4
To cook the basmati and wild rice
Rinse the basmati several times in a bowl of water. Drain through a sieve. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small saucepan, add the rice and stir to coat with the oil. Mix in the salt and cover with 200ml of boiling water. Return to the boil, place a lid on the saucepan and turn the heat down to the very lowest setting. After about 12 minutes, check the rice. If it is tender and the water has evaporated, turn off the heat. Replace the lid and leave to sit for a further 5 minutes. Drain and spread the rice on to a tray to cool completely.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add the wild rice. Boil for about 25 minutes or until the grains are tender and some of the grains have burst open. It should have a chewy texture. Drain in a sieve. Spread out on a tray and leave until cold.
For the salad
Place the nuts on a tray and toast in a preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove and chop into two or three pieces. Chop the apricots into slivers. Mix the apricots and dried cranberries in with the nuts.
Place the vinegar, Dijon mustard and garlic together in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil until emulsified. Mix in the shallot, orange and lemon juice and season with salt. Set aside until just before serving.
Mix the basmati and wild rice in a serving bowl, add the nuts, parsley, dill, nuts and dried fruit. Pour over about 6 tablespoons of the dressing and mix well. Taste and season with salt and pepper as required. Add more dressing if it needs it. Serve at room temperature.