I have a lot of broad beans at the moment; I planted them late and I’m just picking the last of them now. We used some to make this salad, which was perfect with barbequed food: we had shish kebabs, nan bread, yoghurt and cucumber salad, humus, lots of things. I got the idea from a Jamie Oliver Recipe, but he had added some other ingredients at the end. I stopped short of the full thing, as the salad was delicious enough without the extras. I made it at the last minute, as it is good slightly warm.
- Allow around 30g beans per serving
- Lemon juice to taste (1 lemon for 4 servings)
- olive oil (ratio of lemon juice:olive oil is 1:3)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 sprig of fresh mint per serving
- 1 spring onion per serving
- Pod the beans, and blanch them, unsalted, in boiling water for a minute or two. Drain and set aside to cool.
- Put the warm beans in the serving dish, and dress with lemon juice and olive oil. For every 1 tbsp of lemon juice, add 3 tbsp olive oil.
- Season with salt and pepper, and add finely shopped mint. Slice the onions very finely, and fry in a little olive oil, until the onions are soft and starting to colour. Stir them into the salad.
This works really well served with sour cream or greek-style yoghurt.
This recipe is from the Naked Chef, by Jamie Oliver. It has rather a lot of ingredients, but the flavour is amazing, so it is really worth it.
- 1 butternut squash or onion squash
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp dried thyme leaves (or add fresh thyme while you are cooking the risotto)
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp hot chilli flakes, or two small dried chillies
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 litre hot vegetable or chicken stock
- another tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 head of celery, finely chopped
- 2 more cloves of garlic
- 400g good risotto rice
- 100ml dry white vermouth or dry white wine
- 70g butter
- 100g parmesan
- 2 heaped spoonfuls of mascarpone
- Turn the oven up to 200C and start to prepare the spices. Put the dry herbs and spices and the salt and pepper into a spice grinder, or grind with a pestle and mortar. Once it is all in a fine powder, crush the garlic, and pound it in, and mix to a paste with the olive oil.
- Next, prepare the squash. Peel it if you are using a butternut squash and you don’t like the skin. Cut length wise into eights (half, half and half again) and scoop out the seeds. Rub the squash all over with the spice mixture, and lay it out in a small roasting dish. Roast for thirty minutes in the middle of the oven.
- The roasted squash is just lovely as it is, and if you wish, you could add chickpeas to the recipe. For the risotto, set it aside to cool, and then chop finely. Chop one half more finely.
- Make sure your stock is good and hot to make a good risotto.
- In the risotto pan, head olive oil, and then gently cook the onion and celery for 3 to four minutes, before adding the garlic. Once the vegetables look soft, add the rice and turn up the heat a little. Continue to cook until the rice is turning translucent. Keep stirring so the rice doesn’t scorch or stick.
- When the rice is ready add the wine or vermouth and the thyme leaves, and keep stirring. Once the alcohol has boiled off, start adding the stock and the roughly chopped half of the chopped squash. Add the stock slowly, a ladleful at a time, and keep checking the flavour and texture of the rice. I found the squash quite salty, so you don’t need to add masses more. Wait until each addition of stock has been absorbed by the rice before pouring more in. The rice will be ready when it is tender but still with a hint of a bite to it.
- When you think it is just about ready, turn off the heat, and stir in the rest of the pumpkin, the butter, mascarpone and parmesan.
This makes four very large or six modest portions.
This is the first recipe book that Jamie Oliver released, the cover has him looking fresh-faced and fashionable. I hadn’t seen the television programmes, but he was everywhere, it was hard not to be aware of the impression he was making at the time. The naked recipes aimed to strip food back to the basics of technique, good ingredients, and a twist of modernity.
Unfortunately, he rather put my back up. I can’t work out exactly why. You don’t have to be young and trendy to cook, just like you don’t have to be a man or a woman, old or young. Anyway, I got over that little hurdle and tried out the recipes. The next hurdle is that most of the delicious fresh ingredients that he specifies are not available in the co-op, or have to be transported for miles and miles, so they are not as fresh or as fancy.
The saving grace is, however, that if you do find a recipe in the book for which you can assemble the ingredients, the food is really delicious, and the directions are easy to follow. I haven’t got rid of the book, and I’m using it a little more.
If you want to see what the hype was all about, and why I still have the book, it is available second-hand if you google, or available new here: