What do you do with radicchio?

May 11, 2007

Beetroot Hash

Filed under: Beetroot, Pulses, Vegetarian — mentalflossuk @ 4:34 pm

100g Green lentils

2 x Medium Beetroot

2 x Medium Potato

1 x Small spring green

1 x Onion

2 x Garlic Cloves

2 tsp Creme fraiche

2 tsp Horseradish

Olive Oil

Serves 2

I’ve nearly run out of things to do with beetroot so I’m rather hoping i’ve seen the last of it for now. Lentils and potato make for really hearty hashes, the low GI of lentils contrasts well with the higher GI of spuds – and the beetroot turns all of this a nice pink.

Ideally this could be improved with some fresh dill, and the origonal recipe included bacon instead of lentils – this is my adapted veggie version…..

Simmer lentils for 30 mins in total. Whilst they are simmering cut the beetroot and potato into finger sized chunks and steam over the lentils for 10 min at the end of the lentil cooking, and after a minute or so add in the shredded greens.

When the lentils are done, and the potato is crumbly, heat some oil in a pan, and cook the chopped onion and garlic for a bit, then chuck in everything else, and stir cooking on the heat for 5 mins or so. Some bits can be left to get a bit browner than others.

Remove from the heat and stir in the creme fraiche and horseradish – it’s ready to go and will keep nicely in the fridge or freezer.


March 5, 2007

French Onion Soup

Filed under: Uncategorized — mentalflossuk @ 9:53 pm

Onion Soup without Tears – Nigel Slater

onions – 4 medium
butter – 1 – 2 tablespoons
a glass of white wine
vegetable stock 1.5 litres
a small baguette
grated Gruyere, Emmental or other good melting cheese – a few generous handfuls

Set the oven to 200 degrees. Peel the onions and cut them in half from tip to root, then lay them in a roasting tin and add the butter, salt and some pepper. Roast until they are tender and soft, and toasted dark brown here and there. You might have to turn them now and again.

Cut the onions into thick segments. Put them in a saucepan with the wine and bring to the boil. Let the wine bubble until it almost disappears (you just want the flavour, not the alcohol), then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for about twenty minutes.

Just before you want to serve the soup, make the cheese croutes. Cut the loaf into thin slices and toast lightly on one side under a hot grill. Turn them over and sprinkle with the grated cheese. Get the soup hot, ladle it into bowls and float the cheese croutes on top. Place the bowls under a hot grill and leave until the cheese melts. Eat immediately, whilst the cheese is still stringy and molten.

Enough for 4.

February 26, 2007

Poached Eggs and wilted spinach

Filed under: 20 minute meals, breakfast, eggs, spinach, Vegetarian — mentalflossuk @ 10:49 pm


1 egg per person

1 pinch paprika, per egg

1 slice of toast per person

1 generous handful washed spinach per person

1 knob of butter

1 pinch nutmeg per person

Easy peasy, this is all in the timing. Ideally this can all be piping hot at the same time. I cheat and use a egg poacher. Boil the water in the poacher. Whilst the water is boiling crack the eggs into poaching pods, and sprinkle the paprika on top. Once the water is boiling  add the eggs and start an egg timer. The clock is ticking. In a non stick pan heat the butter. Next put on the toast. Put the spinach in the second pan – it doesn’t take long, but the more there is the slower it will take. Sprinkle the nutmeg on the spinach and heat, stirring regularly. It’ll wilt quickly, you are looking for the point just when the majority has lost it’s crispy texture and look. Cut the toast into 4 triangles.

Arrange the trianlges like a dutch windmill, with points touching in the centre – the egg goes in the middle as soon as the timer goes. The spinach goes a little on each bit of toast.

Fiery carrot and artichoke soup

Filed under: carrot, jerusalem artichoke, Soup, Vegetarian — mentalflossuk @ 10:36 pm

This is a made up recipe, there were lots of carrots and artichokes left – I made this with a little too much pep – so eating it was a slow process – stopping every now and then to wipe the tears from my eyes. It makes a passable work soup, although scrubbing jerusalem artichokes soon becomes really annoying.

4 carrots and a little equivalent weight in Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed and sliced.

1/2 onion

1 long red chili

2 cloves garlic

hand-full chopped parsley

1/2 litre vegetable stock

2 tablespoons creme fraiche


Add all the vegetables to a pan, sweat for 10 minutes in some oil, then add the hot stock, parsley and simmer for about an hour. Blend with a hand blender and stir in the creme fraiche before serving.

Zesty lemon celeriac

Filed under: 20 minute meals, Celeriac, Vegetarian — mentalflossuk @ 10:33 pm


This is an adaptation of a recipe I saw on recipe zaar, but their site annoyed me because you have to pay to register with the site before they’ll let you see a larger picture than the thumbnail. So i recreated the recipe and have decided to host a VGA size picture here that anyone can look at for free!

The taste is pretty good – very lemony, which really complements the subtle creamy celery taste and red onion which starts to caramelise by the en. I reckon this would be a great accompaniment for roast chicken.

1 celeriac, diced in thin slices

1 chopped red onion

1/2 lemon

Peel the root so you have only the white flesh, cut it into small chunks.  Boil for 5 minutes.
Heat the oil, add celeriac & Onions and sweat. Allow the onions and celeriac to brown apprx 10 minutes.
Sprinkle lemon over the veggies.

February 11, 2007

Butternut squash linguine

Filed under: squash, Vegetarian — mentalflossuk @ 6:55 pm

2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
100g/3½oz butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, finely chopped
100ml/3½fl oz white wine
100ml/3½fl oz double cream
50ml/2fl oz hot water
150g5½oz penne pasta, cooked according to packet instructions
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and sage and fry for 1-2 minutes, until golden.
2. Add the butternut squash and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until golden.
3. Add the white wine and cook for one minute.
4. Add the double cream and water, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for five minutes, until the butternut squash is soft and cooked.
5. Add the pasta, toss together and season, to taste, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
6. Serve in a warm bowl.

February 8, 2007


Filed under: 30 minute meals, parsnip, Vegetarian — mentalflossuk @ 7:17 pm

230 g parsnips, peeled and chopped
230 g potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 tablespoons swiss cheese, grated
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons light cream
1&1/4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons dill, torn

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 5/19°0C/375°F.

Place parsnips and potatoes in a steamer basket over boiling water.

Cover saucepan and steam 10-12 minutes or until tender.

Drain and return vegetables to pan. Mash well. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour mixture into a buttered baking dish.

Bake 20 minutes until mixture is bubbly.

February 1, 2007

Bean and squash stew, cooked inside the squash!

Filed under: beans, Pulses, pumpkin, squash, Vegetarian — mentalflossuk @ 9:03 pm

inside are canalinni beans, tomato, sweetcorn, shaollots, carrot and garlic – all this is baked inside the hollow squash for 2 hours – cooking the squash from the inside out, adn the insides of the squash can bea scooped out with the stew. It was a Crown Prince squash the size of a football – when raw it was a lovely grey-blue colour on the outside.

January 27, 2007

Pink winter vegetable soup

Filed under: Beetroot, carrot, jerusalem artichoke, leek, Uncategorized, Vegetarian — mentalflossuk @ 7:23 pm

 Beetroot soup on its own can be a little bit too earthy tasting to have more than once. I made this soup in bulk to have during the week at lunch, it makes around 4 generous servings, so it needs to be tasty – and i don’t want to be looking at a bowl of this come Friday and fear it.

The creamy taste of the artichoke nicely mellows the beetroot, and the many vegetabled soup is a good way to ingest lots of vegetables towards the mythical 5-a-day.

450 Gms Beetroot
450 Gms Carrots,

4 Jerusalem Artichokes

1 Large Leek
1.2 ltrs Vegetable Stock
2 tbsps Red Wine Vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste

Cook beetroot separately for about an hour until tender.

Peel carrots and chop them and all remaining vegetables.

Place in a large pan with stock and simmer until soft. Add the remaining ingredients before blending until smooth,  add a swirl of cream to the top and serve.

January 25, 2007

Potato, Parsnip and Cheese rosti

Filed under: parsnip, Vegetarian — mentalflossuk @ 10:24 pm

the finished Rosti!


The recipe is another one from Abel and Cole, their parsnip ideas are somewhat inspired! This would make an impressive side-dish. The parsnip is a pain to grate, if you have a machine to help all the better, i nearly lost the ends of my fingers trying to grate them, which was unpleasant. I struggled to believe that this would work when it first went in the pan – somehow it did!

Will this really be edible?




Serves 4 Generously

1 onion, peeled and sliced
350 g potatoes, peeled and grated
225 g parsnips, peeled and grated
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
175 g cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Use a kitchen towel to absorb the excess moisture from the grated vegetables before mixing them together with the onion, garlic and sage in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the egg and mix well. Heat the oil in a large pan. When hot, spread half of the vegetable mixture over the base of the pan. Scatter over the cheese, then top with the other half of the mixture, spreading it flat. Cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes until golden underneath. Slide the cake out onto a large plate and flip back into the pan. Cook the other side until golden and the vegetables have cooked through. Serve immediately, cut into wedges.

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