29 April 2012
Meet my seriously delicious lunch.
This is a very easy recipe for a nice white bean spread. Just a few ingredients come together beautifully. My favourite recipes are the easy ones, where simple, wholesome foods really get a chance to shine. No fuss, no fancy foods - just really good, yummy, healthy stuff.
I had a really nice garlic loaf from the bakery, and the pairing was fantastic. Recommend!
White Bean & Basil Spread on Garlic Toasts
Inspired by love & lemons, a newly-discovered gem
one cup dried butter beans, soaked overnight and cooked (alternatively, one can will do)
2-3 tablespoons good olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
torn basil leaves, however much you prefer
1-3 tablespoons water, to thin the mixture
1 clove smoked garlic (regular garlic is fine, too)
a pinch of sea salt of choice (I used fleur de sel)
scant 1/2 teaspoon honey
freshly cracked mixed peppercorns
4 pieces toasted garlic bread
Purée all ingredients in a food processor or using a stick blender. Put on toasted garlic bread and finish with a touch more fleur de sel, cracked pepper, and olive oil.
Makes about a cup of spread, enough for two people as a starter or light lunch (two small-ish toasts each).
28 April 2012
It's still pretty cold in Scotland. Spring is here, apparently, as evidenced by baby animals of all sorts. They're cute. I want to steal them. Boyfriend says that keeping a little lamb as a pet is not a good idea. He's probably right, but I think he's underestimating their cuteness factor.
Despite the birdies, and the longer days, and the lamb-stealing desire that is deep in my soul, it doesn't feel like spring. It's cold and rainy and I still have to wear my winter coat. What's up with that, Scotland?
Another thing that this supposed-Springtime has brought is a glut of delicious veggies. This time of year is a favourite of mine because I get to stop eating the same old blah winter stuff. My palette just starts to crave really fresh, bright flavours.
So today, a lazy(ish) Saturday, I made this risotto to celebrate Spring. The sun even popped out for a while while I was in the kitchen - hopefully a sign of amazing things to come.
Lemon Risotto with Courgette, Green Peas & Basil
adapted from Love & Lemons
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 large onion, chopped
big pinch of sea salt (I used Maldon)
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
juice of 1 small lemon
750ml (3 cups+) veggie stock
1/2 cup peas, frozen is fine
1 medium-sized courgette (zucchini), quartered and choppped
1 egg yolk, beaten
salt & pepper
shaved parmesan or pecorino
8 basil leaves, chiffonade
Put veggie stock in a pan on the stove and keep warm.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat butter, oil, onion, garlic, and a bit of salt. Cook until onion is soft, 4-5 minutes.
Add rice, stir together, and let the rice toast for about 1 minute.
Add white wine and half the lemon juice and let it cook, stirring for about 2 minutes until the wine is somewhat evaporated.
Add stock, one ladle full at a time, stirring continuously. When stock becomes mostly cooked down, add the next ladle full. This process should take about 20 minutes. Add more stock or water if necessary. During the last few minutes of this process, add in courgettes and peas.
Remove pan from heat. Mix in remaining lemon juice, beaten egg yolk, and cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings (I found it best to add more salt here). Add more hot stock or water, if necessary, to reach your desired consistency.
Plate and garnish with basil, grated cheese, and some freshly cracked pepper.
Serves 2 as a main dish.
Serves 2 as a main dish.