Posts Tagged ‘riverford farm cookbook’

I bought some impressive looking fennel at the organic market.

It sat on the kitchen island demanding attention.

I sliced one to eat raw at lunch after pasta–with a piece of parmesan or pecorino and some of the new olive oil. We had enjoyed doing this in Tuscany–cleanses the palate (and helps avoid flatulance, according to my researcher–aka Meredith!)

It was tenderly crunchy–not in the least stringy.

Fennel gratin I thought–supper with a sweet potato and tarator sauce.

I’d never cooked it before and my search for guidance led me to the Riverford Farm Cookbook.

Rosemary and garlic was suggested with cream and parmesan.

I have substituted coconut cream (see below if you are unfamiliar with this ingredient) and added more parmesan.

Serves 2 as a main course–4 as an accompanying vegetable.

4 largish fennel bulbs–cleaned, cored and sliced vertically in half inch pieces

1 pint/450ml stock to blanch the fennel–I use organic vegetable stock cubes

3 garlic cloves–peeled and crushed with a knife

1 teaspoon rosemary needles–chopped fine

160ml coconut creamthe difference between coconut milk/cream and cream of coconut is fully explained here: http://www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-difference-coconut-m-75446/. It looks like milk, it is NOT sweetened and it does NOT taste of coconut!

1/2 tablespoon parmesan to mix in with the cream+ more for the topping–a tablespoon perhaps.

(The version below is fat free.)

salt and pepper

  • Bring the stock to the boil in a wide shallow pan.
  • Add the fennel and cook for about 5 minutes–until it’s beginning to soften.

  • Remove it to a bowl with a draining spoon and let it cool a little.

This looks uncooked–but it is!

  • Combine the coconut cream with the garlic and rosemary in a small pan and gently bring to the boil.
  • Turn off the heat.

  • Season this mix and add half the cheese.
  • Pour it on the fennel and turn it all over thoroughly.
  • Put the gratin mix in an oven proof dish–it is oven-ready now.
  • This can be prepared beforehand and set aside, covered with foil.
  • An hour or so before you are planning to eat…
  • Heat the oven to 180C/360F
  • Cook it in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Take it out and lift off the foil.
  • Sprinkle over parmesan to cover and put it back uncovered in the oven for a further 15 minutes.
  • It will have browned nicely on top.

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Hard to resist this photo!

It was hard to resist the thing itself!

I bought this beauty in Castres market on Saturday morning from a young woman’s stall that was covered in pumpkins of all sizes.

I liked shape of the 2e too!

She told me not to peel it–just scoop out the seeds and cut it into chunks.

The skin and flesh contain vitamin A, flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as leutin, xanthin, and carotenes in abundance; in other words health giving properties–good things!

This idea is an aside in the Riverford Farm Cookbook (a treasure trove).

for two

1 smallish pumpkin–about 1 kilo/2lbs–quartered, seeded and cut into chunks

1 tsp cumin powder

salt and pepper

1 red chili–chopped

1 garlic clove–chopped

2 tblsps olive oil

roasted pumpkin seeds

heat the oven to 200C/400F

  • Put the pumpkin pieces in a bowl and spoon in the olive oil.
  • Turn them over thoroughly in the oil.
  • Sprinkle over the cumin powder and season with salt and pepper–mix again.
  • Empty the contents of the bowl onto a shallow oven tray.

  • Bake this for about 20 minutes or until the pumpkin pieces are tender.
  • Then take the tray out of the oven and sprinkle the garlic and chili over and cook for another five minutes.

  • Serve with dollops of humous and some roasted pumpkin seeds sprinkled over.

Meredith tells me most pumpkins sold in America are carved up for jack o’lanterns–not supper!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

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Doing our best to avoid the outside world–too hot to shop!

I found a bottle of cannellini beans in the larder and a jar of home-made pesto that was still good in the fridge.

These along with the two and a half courgettes (zucchini) and some must-be-used green and red cherry tomatoes from the garden, put me in mind of a salad we had last summer that hit the spot and had–I couldn’t help noticing–been approved by a higher authority.

The original from The Riverford Farm Cookbook

Lunch, I thought.

The pesto was a happy addition to last year’s version.

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