Peter gave me this cookery book for my birthday, it follows on from Sarah Britton’s very successful blog, My New Roots which is all about eating seasonally and enjoying whole foods. Last week I cooked two recipes from the book (albeit I didn’t quite have all the required ingredients) and loved them both. The first one I tried out was Celeriac Ribbon Salad with Toasted Cumin and Pomegranate, which I was so pleased I found. Celeriac can be eaten raw! So this recipe requires no cooking of the veg, instead all you need to do is peel the outside, and then peel the celeriac into short ribbons – so easy! The toasted cumin and lemon adds a lovely freshness and really brings out the aniseed flavour of the celeriac. I didn’t have any pomegranate seeds so I left those out, and I only fresh coriander so used that instead of parsley. Worked really well! Don’t be scared of celeriac, it really is a gorgeous underrated veg. I served this with a big bowl of salad and some cooked chicken.
The second recipe I tried… or perhaps I should say, inspired by (considering I only had the courgettes!) was Grilled Courgettes and Spring Onions with Baby Spinach and Hazelnuts. In my fridge/cupboard I had a courgette, an aubergine, mixed salad, crushed chillies and sunflower seeds (and the ingredients for the dressing). So, as Sarah suggested, I grilled the courgettes, along with the additional sliced aubergine in a griddle pan. Once these were nicely charred, I toasted the sunflower seeds (which replaced the missing hazelnuts). I added a teaspoon of crushed chillies to the dressing to add a kick. To make the meal go that bit further, I served it with some quinoa which had been cooked with a splash of Tamari (gluten-free soy sauce).
I layered the bowl up with a spoonful of the quinoa, a handful of salad and then a few ribbons of courgette / aubergine and sprinkled over the sunflower seeds. With a drizzle of the dressing, it made for a yummy dinner and an even more gorgeous lunch. The charred veggies added a lovely faint smokey flavour.
When I have all the required ingredients, I will definitely make this again. But… I must admit, I was very proud of my concoction!
Quick Tip: If you find a recipe which you like, but don’t have all the ingredients, don’t give up – just find similar substitutes and follow the method with the bits you do have. It’s so fun experimenting!