Spicy apricot Indian chutney

On the last Saturday before Christmas She Who Must be Fed worked her last shift for 2018. The shop owners are shuttering for a well earned break for several weeks and so upon closing emptied out the displays and fridges of their remaining organic fruit and veg stock and distributed it to She Who Must’ and her colleagues.

Terrific; two boxes of goodies to tide us through Christmas and New Year!

A tray of stone fruit went to the hungry carolers at the 2018 Bucketty Christmas Carols (RFS fundraiser). Amongst the rest that came home were eight or so apricots. Neither The VegHead or She Who Must’ are overly fond of apricots (though we partook of one each – not bad for an apricot) so the half dozen left after our sampling have been made into an inaugural Spicy apricot Indian Chutney.

This chutney has popped my chutney cherry. A bit of Duck Duck Go interweb trawling gave me the basics and then I ignored most of the specifics of the recipes I had found (as I am wont to do) and just MADE SHIT UP.

What went in (makes a medium jar):

  • 6 apricots; destoned and chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic; one crushed and the others thinly sliced
  • 1 hot birdseye chilli; thinly sliced
  • 6 white ends of spring onions; thinly sliced
  • 2 thin slices of ginger; finely sliced into strips
  • about a heaped TBSP of young, fresh curry leaves (if large ones then chop)
  • juice of one lime
  • rind of half a lime, thinly sliced
  • a pinch each of coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds; ground in a portar and mestle (What? You don’t have one of these?)
  • a generous pinch of salt
  • 1 TBSP of palm sugar
  • 1 TBSP of panela
  • 1 TBSP of coconut oil for frying
  • 2/3 cup of water

Taj Mahaling it all together:

  • Over a low heat saute the garlic, chilli, spring onions, and ginger until soft
  • Add the spices, salt and pepper and give it about another minute
  • Add the apricots, water, lime, sugars, and half of the curry leaves
  • With the saucepan lidded simmer gently until the liquid is reduced
  • Remove from heat, stir in the remaining curry leaves and jar that baby

Serve with something lovely, like these.

Spicy chickpea sausage rolls

These sausage rolls can easily be made gluten free by using appropriate pastry. The mix itself is gluten free without alteration.

For the putting in

  • 600g cooked chickpeas
  • ½ cup finely chopped (bamixed) mixed, roasted nuts
  • 2 thumb of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp chilli powder – to taste
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tbsp tomata paste
  • Generous splash of tamari
  • pre-rolled puff pastry (use gluten free pastry if needed)
  • ½ cup soy yoghurt, diluted (to brush pastry)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, to decorate

For the putting together

In a small pan, saute the onion in some olive oil until soft. Add the garlic, ginger and saute for four to five minutes more to soften the garlic and ginger.

Meanwhile, gently toast the cumin, coriander and fenugreek seeds in the oven until they smell fragrant, then add in with the nuts and bamix (using the dry foods thingy).

Using a slicing blade in a food processor roughly cut the chickpeas.

Into the onions stir in the tomato puree, tamari, salt, papper, and chopped chickpeas. Continue to cook on a low heat to reduce liquid, stirring occasionally.

If you are going to cook the sausage rolls right away, heat the oven to 180C.

Once the chickpea mix is fairly dry remove from heat and thoroughly mix with the chopped nuts. Allow to cool until it can be handled.

Remove the pastry from the fridge, put on a floured surface and cut in half lengthways. Divide the mix in half and roll into two long sausages. Put a sausage along the length of each pastry and brush the long edges with the yoghurt wash. Roll the pastries around the mix and press the pastry together where it meets, using a fork to crimp the edges. Brush all over with yoghurt wash, sprinkle with fennel seeds and cut into mini rolls about an inch thick – any thinner and they will fall over in the oven. At this stage, you can freeze them, separating the layers with parchment paper.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until puffed and golden, and serve with a spicy tomato marmalade, Indian chutney.

If the mix is to be used later, refridgerate in a lidded container.

Serve with a jolly nice chutney.

Yumi Stynes’ roasted broccoli with miracle puree

This is freaking yummy and a proper, grown-up feed for people who like their veggies exuberant and full of flavour. The puree is a vegan miracle, and I was tempted to keep it secret because, well, it’s nice to have secrets, especially nutty ones. The marriage of the puree and the broccoli is just joy and you’ll find when you serve this that people start tentatively, then keep coming back for more.

serves 6 as a side

    • 550g broccoli, cut into medium florets
    • zest of 1 lemon
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • salt

Miracle puree

    • 60g walnuts
    • 400g tinned cannellini (lima) beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
    • juice of half a lemon
    • small pinch of salt
    • 11/2 tbsp best-quality extra-virgin olive oil
    • 60ml water, plus extra if necessary

Preheat the oven to 175C.

Add the broccoli florets and lemon zest to a large bowl, drizzle over the oil and toss together to coat. Spread the florets out on two baking trays and sprinkle lightly with salt, then pop them in the oven and roast for 20–25 minutes until looking lovely and golden with a tiny char on each little tree.

While the broccoli is cooking, make a start on the miracle puree. Refresh the walnuts by popping them on a separate tray and toasting them in the oven for 4 minutes. (A timer is crucial here or you’ll forget them.)

Tip the cannellini beans into the food processor together with the walnuts and all the other puree ingredients. Whizz together to the consistency of Greek-style yoghurt – if it’s too thick, add an extra 2–3 tablespoons warm water and blend again.

When ready to serve, spread the puree out over a brightly coloured platter and top with the roasted broccoli. Enjoy.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/food/2018/dec/22/christmas-menu

Photograph: Chris Chen/Hardie Grant Books

This is an edited extract from Zero F*cks Cooking: Endless Summer by Yumi Stynes

Hetty McKinnon’s smoky beans with charred tomato puttanesca

Beans walk a fine line between being perfectly crisp-tender and overcooked, so watch your beans like a hawk and taste constantly as you cook. The moment they are just tender enough, with a slight sweetness, take them off the heat (if you are steaming them, a bowl filled with ice water is useful to stop the cooking).

This recipe is a wonderful weeknight dish eaten on its own, but it can also be served with pasta, grains or couscous to add extra heartiness. Top with (vegan) cheese or pine nuts. These beans also may be made ahead of time and eaten at room temperature.

    • 500g green beans (or a mix of varieties), trimmed
    • Extra virgin olive oil
    • 400g mixed tomatoes
    • ½ cup (100g) black olives, pitted and roughly chopped
    • 1 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
    • ½ – 1 tsp red pepper flakes (to taste)
    • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, plus more to serve
    • 1 can chickpeas, drained
    • Handful parsley or basil leaves, roughly chopped
    • Sea salt and black pepper

Heat the barbecue, grill pan or wok on high heat.

Slice larger beans diagonally, and leave the smaller ones whole. Place the beans in a large bowl, drizzle over some olive oil and season with sea salt. Transfer the beans to the hot barbecue (or pan/wok) and cook for 4-5 minutes, turning once, until the beans have a nice char and are crisp-tender. Remove immediately and lay out on a large plate or board to cool down (don’t pile them on top of each other as the heat makes them discolour).

Leave the barbecue or grill pan on high heat. Prepare your tomatoes by cutting larger ones (like plum or beefsteak) in half or into quarters; leave smaller tomatoes, like cherry or grape, whole. Place your tomatoes in a bowl and drizzle over some olive oil and season with sea salt. Toss to combine and add to the hot plate of your barbecue (or into your hot pan/wok). Blister for 5-7 minutes, until soft, charred and just about to burst. Carefully remove immediately and place in a bowl.

To make the puttanesca sauce, add the olives, capers, red pepper flakes and balsamic vinegar to the bowl with the charred tomatoes, and stir. Drizzle with a 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Season with pinch of sea salt and black pepper.

To serve, combine the beans with the chickpeas. Spoon over the puttanesca sauce and scatter with parsley.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/food/2018/dec/15/hetty-mckinnons-smoky-beans-with-charred-tomato-puttanesca-recipe

Photograph: Hetty McKinnon

Cashew Garlic Noir

What do you get when you blend a blob of homemade cashew cheese, about a nob of black garlic cloves, black tahini, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper?

A spreadable, moreish thingy that looks like meconium but tastes seriously yummy.



  • a large round of homemade cashew cheese
  • a tub of aged, black garlic
  • half a dozen (pitted) olives
  • about half a cup of black tahini
  • a drizzle of olive oil
  • about half a teaspoon of ground pepper
  • about half a teaspoon of salt

Keep blending until thoroughly mixed to an even colour. Scrape down the sides of the blender bowl half way through to ensure that all the cheesy bits are mixed in.

Serve as a thick dip (with stout crackers) or spread on crackers.

NOTE: To make cashew cheese follow this recipe, substituting your nuts as appropriate.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s gingery cucumber salad.

A simple, crunchy and sharp pickled salad to balance the richness of all the protein and carbs. Chinkiang vinegar is a rice-based black vinegar that you’ll find in any good Asian supermarket. It has a very particular taste that’s both acidic and umami all at once. If you can’t find it, use rice-wine vinegar with a touch of soy mixed in instead, though that would mean the dish is no longer gluten-free.

Prep 10 min
Marinate 2 hr 20 min
Cook 5 min
Serves 6

2 large cucumbers, cut in half lengthways, watery centres scraped out and discarded
Flaked sea salt
2 small garlic cloves
, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp Chinkiang black rice vinegar
, or normal rice-wine vinegar with a touch of soy sauce
3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 spring onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp coriander leaves

Cut the cucumber into roughly 1.5cm chunks. Add to a bowl with two teaspoons of flaked salt, stir and set aside for 20 minutes. Strain, discarding any liquid, then return the cucumber to the bowl with the garlic, lime, vinegar and two-thirds each of the ginger and spring onions. Leave to marinate for two hours. To serve, toss through the coriander and the remaining ginger and spring onions, and sprinkle over a quarter-teaspoon more salt.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/food/2018/dec/08/yotam-ottolenghis-alternative-christmas-recipes

Photograph: Louise Hagger for the Guardian

Yotam Ottolenghi’s potato gratin with coconut, chilli and lime.

Potato gratin with coconut, chilli and lime

If you’re making the whole of today’s Christmas spread in one oven, bake the gratin ahead of time and reheat in a very hot oven just before serving. Top with the aromatics and zest just as you serve, and not before.

Prep 25 min
Cook 110 min
Serves 6

5 banana shallots, peeled and cut into 5mm-thick slices
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
Flaked sea salt and black pepper

1.4kg slightly waxy potatoes (I used yukon gold), skin on, cut into 5mm-thick slices (use a mandoline, ideally)
100g coconut cream, gently melted until liquid
3 limes – zest finely grated, to get 1½ tsp, then juiced, to get 60ml
200ml vegetable stock

For the aromatics
150ml olive oil
2 red chillies, finely sliced into rings
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced (on a mandoline, ideally)
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely cut into julienne strips
5 spring onions, green ends finely sliced at an angle

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Put the shallots, garlic, oil and a quarter-teaspoon of salt in a 28cm ovenproof saute pan on a medium heat. Fry for eight to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and deeply golden, then tip into a large bowl. Keep the pan to be used again (no need to clean it).

Put the potatoes, coconut cream, lime juice, two teaspoons of salt and plenty of pepper in with the shallots and mix very gently, taking care not to break up the potato slices. Lay a quarter of this mixture in the saute pan – use any smaller or broken slices of potato at this stage, and save the larger, whole slices for the top – and spread out in an even layer. Lay the remaining potato mixture in a spiral on top of this base layer, with each slice at an angle and overlapping the next. Pour on the stock, cover tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the aromatics. Heat the oil in a medium pan on a medium flame, then gently fry the chilli, garlic and ginger for five minutes, stirring once in a while, until the garlic is just starting to turn golden. Add the spring onions, fry for two minutes more, until the garlic is a light golden brown and the chilli aromatic, then transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon, to stop them cooking further; reserve the aromatic oil.

Remove the gratin from the oven and discard the foil. Drizzle 60ml aromatic oil evenly over the top, then return to the oven uncovered and bake for 50 minutes more. Turn up the heat to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7 for the last five minutes, until the top is golden brown and crisp.

Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, top with the fried aromatics, lime zest and a generous pinch of flaked salt, and take to the table.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/food/2018/dec/08/yotam-ottolenghis-alternative-christmas-recipes

Photograph: Louise Hagger for the Guardian