Miscellaneous


Caramelized Red Onions:    
Serves: 2     Time: 45 mins

5 medium red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tblsp olive oil
1 large knob butter
1 tsp brown sugar

  1. Melt the butter and oil in a large saucepan and mix well.
  2. Add the onions and season lightly. Cook on a medium-low heat for 5 mins.
  3. Add the sugar and mix.
  4. Cook for 20 mins on a medium-low heat, scraping the bottom of the pan so the onions don’t burn.
  5. Leave to cool completely.

Can be frozen.

Tomato-less Salsa:     Time: 10 mins    Makes: 2 small servings


½ an 8oz jar tomato-less or red pepper sauce (see Jams & Sauces section for recipes)
½ small red onion, thickly sliced
1 mild green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tblsp chopped fresh coriander
salt & pepper to taste

  • Place onion and chill in a small food processor and whizz until finely chopped.
  • Add all other ingredients and whizz until well mixed and fairly smooth.

You can make this salsa more, or less, hot by using more, or less, onion and chilli, or varying the strength of the chilli from mild to medium or hot.  This salsa is nice used to accompany a main dish, or as a dip for tortilla chips (with allowed ingredients!) as per the photo, or raw crunchy veg sticks.  Can be frozen.

Basil Pesto:     Time: 10 mins     Makes: 2 servings


2 x 37g packets fresh basil (or 50g of basil leaves if you’ve picked them off a plant)
30-40ml (2-3 tablespoons) olive oil
15g (1 large tblsp) pine nuts, lightly toasted (eg. placed in a dry pan on a medium-high heat for 3-4 mins until the flavour is released, being careful not to burn them)
1 level dessert spoon (approx 3 teaspoons) ricotta cheese
1 crushed garlic clove
salt & pepper to taste

  • Remove the leaves from the basil stalks and place in a small food processor.
  • Add the pine nuts, cheese, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Add a small amount of the oil and start to whizz on a slow speed.  Continue to add the rest of the oil until you reach a consistency you like.
  • Check for seasoning, adding more salt if needed.

Can be frozen or stored in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to a week.

Tzatziki:     Time: Up to 1 hour     Makes: one jar

Photo of Tzatziki

150ml (2/3 cup) mascarpone or ricotta cheese, or Greek yoghurt if you are eating yoghurts
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1 tblsp olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice (preferably freshly squeezed)
1 teaspoon fresh mint, finely chopped
½ cucumber, peeled, cut in half and de-seeded using a teaspoon, then coarsely grated
½ teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste

      • Place the grated cucumber in a sieve, sprinkle over the salt, and place the sieve over a small bowl.  Cover the sieve with a plate.  Leave for one hour, or until all the water from the cucumber has stopped dripping, whichever is soonest.
      • Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix.
      • Best transferred to a jar and placed in the fridge overnight for the flavours to develop, but you can also use straight away if desired.

This is nice as a dip with fresh raw veggies, or used with salads, or on sandwiches.  I use it for my Falafel wraps (see Lunches section for recipe).

Oven Chips or Potato Wedges:     Time: 45 minutes approx.     Serves: 2

Photo of chips

300g baking potatoes (eg. King Edwards, Maris Piper or Desiree)
olive oil
salt

      • Pre-heat oven to 200C (400F, gas mark 6).
      • Peel potatoes and cut into wedges or chunky chips.
      • Add to a pan of salted water.  Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.
      • Turn off the heat, drain the potatoes but cover and place back on the still-warm hob ring for 3-5 minutes to dry.
      • Put 2 good tablespoons olive oil in a roasting tray.  Add the potatoes, sprinkle with salt and toss to coat in oil.
      • Cook in the oven for 30 mins until golden, crisp and cooked through, turning halfway through the cooking time.

Simple Vegetable stock:     Makes: as much as you like but this recipe makes 1 litre.     Time: 1¼ hours approx

Vegetables, diced: onion, carrot, leek, celery, mushrooms, garlic (or anything you want to use up!).  How much veg you use will depend on how much stock you want to make.  To make 1 litre (approx 4 cups) of stock use 2 onions, 2 carrots, 2 sticks celery, 2 cloves garlic, 2 handfuls of mushrooms, 1 leek.
1 litre (4¼ cups) cold water
salt & pepper
2 bay leaves
thyme or parsley or herbs of your choice
olive oil

  • Add the oil to a soup or large pan and heat on a medium heat.  Add the hard vegetables such as onions, carrots & garlic, cover and cook until starting to brown (approx 8 mins), stirring occasionally so they don’t burn.
  • Add the other vegetables, bay leaves, herbs and cold water.  Season with salt & pepper.
  • Simmer, covered, on a medium-low heat for an hour.  Check seasoning.
  • Strain the liquid away and discard the vegetables.  This is your stock.

Stock can be frozen ready for use in future recipes or stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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