Harvest Salad Bowls

I picked up some great seasonal produce this weekend, including some seriously delicious, fresh corn. Rather than simply boil and serve on the cob, I decided to grill it and make a summer salad. The slight charring you get, makes for a really nice, slightly smoky flavour.

Harvest Salad

This salad also has my favourite Cavolo Nero kale, crisp red apples, roasted sweet potato, beets and goats cheese with a balsamic dressing. This makes enough for two large salads with leftovers for a lunchbox the next day.

Harvest salad bowl

Ingredients:
1 sweet potato
2 small beetroots
2 corn on the cobs, husks and silk removed
A small bunch of kale, ribs removed and torn intp pieces – I used Kavolo Nero
Small bunch of mixed salad greens
Goats cheese – I used two small individual cheeses broken into large pieces
1-2 crisp apples
1 lemon, halved

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Dressing:
3tbs olive oil
2tbs balsamic vinegar
1tsp maple syrup
1tsp Dijon mustard
Pinch of salt and pepper

Method:
Start by peeling the sweet potato and chopping into bite sized chunks. Rub with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

Roast at 220°C/425°F for 30-35 minutes, or until tender and the edges are just starting to catch.

Sweet potato

Do the same with the beets, but I like to roast them separately to keep the colours separate. Beets do like to turn everything red!

To grill the corn, heat a griddle pan and rub each cob with a tiny amount of oil and place onto the hot griddle, tuning until cooked all the way around. You can also do this on a barbecue. When the corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off and set aside.

Grilled corn

While the vegetables are roasting and the corn grilling, massage the kale in one half of the lemon juice. This tenderises it a little and helps to bring out the vibrant colour too.

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Chop the apple into bite sized pieces, leave the skin on, and toss in the rest of the lemon juice to avoid it discolouring.

When the vegetables are cool, assemble the salad by adding the massaged kale to the other salad greens, roasted sweet potato and beets, apples, crumbled goats cheese and the grilled corn. Gently turn the salad to combine everything together.

Harvest salad bowl1

Whisk or shake the dressing ingredients together and drizzle over the top.

Harvest salad bowl4

Top with toasted pumpkin seeds or pecans if you like a bit of crunch. This late summer salad is full of flavour and perfect to enjoy on a warm afternoon in the garden.

Mushroom and Stilton Wellington

The mushrooms in this are a great alternative to meat and make a substantial and delicious supper dish for a cold winter night.

Mushroom Wellington5

This serves 2, but you could easily double this to feed 4 people. I would serve this with a side salad, but the addition of sweet potato fries would be good too!

Mushroom Wellington4

Ingredients:
5 field mushrooms – stalks removed and one of them chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1.5tbs olive oil
1tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper
Small bunch of thyme – leaves removed and roughly chopped
Small bunch of Cavolo Nero – tough ribs removed and roughly chopped
100g mature blue Stilton cheese, crumbled
1 pack of puff pastry
1 egg beaten with a little milk to make a wash

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Method:
Heat oven to 220°C/425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment or a non-stick liner

Heat 1tbs of the oil in a large pan and fry 4 of the mushrooms for around 4 mins on each side until golden and cooked through. Set aside on kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil and moisture.

Place the pan back on the heat and add the rest of the oil. Add the chopped mushroom, onion, thyme, salt and pepper. Fry until the onion is soft and translucent. Then add the kale and continue to cook until wilted, before setting aside to cool.

On a lightly floured board, roll out the puff pastry until it is a little under half a centimetre thick.

Using a large cookie cutter or a small bowl; cut out two circles that are 2cm wider than the mushrooms. These will be the bases. Then cut another two circles about 8cm wider for the tops. You need the tops to be big enough to cover the mushrooms without stretching, so go bigger if your mushrooms are on the large size.

Mushroom Wellington2

Place the two base circles on the baking sheet and add a quarter of the vegetable mixture, taking care not to spread it wider than the mushrooms.

Place a mushroom, cap down and top with half of the cheese. Place another mushroom cap side up and add another quarter of the vegetable mixture.

Brush the pastry base border around each mushroom with egg and then layer the top circle of party over the filling, like a large ravioli.

Use your hand to gently smooth the pasty over the mushrooms and make sure you have not trapped any air in the parcel. Just take care not to stretch the pastry, as it can shrink in the oven and open up.

Seal the edges together using a fork.

Mushroom Wellington

Trim any untidy edges – I used a small bowl over the parcels and cut around the edge.

Brush each wellington with egg and bake for 30-40 mins until golden brown and puffed.

Mushroom Wellington1

Serve with a green salad and sweet potato fries for a delicious vegetarian dinner.

Spinach makes a good alternative to the kale and feel free to up the cheese content for an extra indulgent treat.

Veggie Baked Eggs with Cheese

These are very quick to put together and are delicious any time of day, but make a particularly good brunch dish, served with hot buttered toast to dip in the soft egg.

Baked eggs3

Ingredients:
Knob of butter and a little oil
1 finely chopped onion 
2-3 large Portobello mushrooms, chopped
150ml double cream
150g of a good melting cheese – grated (I used a mixture of cheddar and Monteray Jack)
6 spears of Cavolo Nero kale, tough stalks removed and roughly chopped
1 red pepper – chopped with seeds and ribs removed
4 large eggs
Parmesan
Salt and black pepper
Hot buttered toast, to serve

Baked eggs

Method:
Heat the oven to 190°C/375°F

Place the butter and oil in a pan and add the chopped onion, red pepper, mushrooms and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté the vegetables for around 10 minutes until softened. Add the kale and stir until wilted. Turn off the heat and stir in the double cream and cheese, the heat will melt the cheese.

Divide the mixture evenly among 4 ramekins and make an indentation in each one with the back of a teaspoon. Crack an egg into each and top with a little freshly grated parmesan.

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Bake for around 10 minutes, but keep an eye on them. The white of the egg should be just set and the yolk runny.

Serve straightaway with hot buttered toast.

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