Mike McEnearney delivers wholefood recipes big on health.
ASPARAGUS & PEA SALAD WITH RICOTTA
SERVES 4 AS A SIDE 500g asparagus (about 3 bunches),
trimmed 2 tbs olive oil 200g podded peas (substitute
frozen peas) 2 cups loosely packed snow pea
tendrils 200g baked ricotta (from good
delis – substitute fresh ricotta) CHAMOMILE DRESSING 200ml grapeseed oil 11/ 2 tbs loose-leaf chamomile tea 2 tsp honey Juice of 1 lemon
For the dressing, place oil, tea and honey in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Transfer to a tall jug and, using a stick blender, whiz for 1 minute or until well combined. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl. Whisk in lemon juice and 1/2 tsp each salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
Heat a chargrill pan or barbecue to high heat. Drizzle one-third asparagus with oil and grill for 3- 4 minutes or until starting to blister. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Add peas and half the remaining asparagus, and cook for 1-2 minutes or until asparagus is tender. Drain, refresh under cold water and add to bowl with grilled asparagus. Peel remaining asparagus lengthways into ribbons and add to cooked asparagus mixture. Add snow pea tendrils and toss to combine.
Transfer to a serving platter, crumble over ricotta and drizzle with chamomile dressing. Serve immediately. ARTICHOKES WITH WALNUT VINAIGRETTE SERVES 4 AS A STARTER Juice of 2 lemons 4 globe artichokes 1 cup (250ml) white wine 1/4
cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp white peppercorns 1 bay leaf 2 flat-leaf parsley stalks 1 small leek, chopped 2 thyme sprigs WALNUT VINAIGRETTE 2 tsp white wine vinegar Juice of 1/4 lemon 1 tsp Dijon mustard Pinch of ground white pepper 2 tbs each walnut and olive oil (substitute walnut oil with extra olive oil)
For the vinaigrette, whisk vinegar, lemon, mustard and pepper with a pinch of salt flakes until smooth. Whisking constantly, add oils in a slow, steady stream and whisk until well combined. Set aside.
Fill a large bowl with cold water and add 2 tbs lemon juice. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, peel stem using a vegetable peeler, then remove tough outer leaves. Once you reach the softer leaves, use a serrated knife to trim one-third from the top. Scrape out the hairy choke with a teaspoon and discard. Place in lemon water and repeat with remaining artichokes.
Combine remaining lemon juice, wine, oil, peppercorns, bay leaf, parsley, leek, thyme and 2L (8 cups) water in a large saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Add artichokes, cover surface directly with a round of baking paper and top with a plate. Reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes or until artichoke bases are tender when pierced with a sharp knife.
Drain artichokes and transfer to a serving platter. Serve warm with walnut vinaigrette. BAKED LEATHERJACKETS WITH MARJORAM AND CAPERS SERVES 4 1/2 cup (75g) plain flour 4 whole leatherjackets (skin on – leatherjackets are always sold without heads), cleaned Olive oil, to shallow-fry
50g unsalted butter, chopped 2 tbs baby capers in vinegar, drained,
patted dry with paper towel 1 bunch marjoram (substitute oregano),
leaves picked Juice of 1/ 2 a lemon Lemon cheeks, to serve
Preheat the oven to 250°C. Grease a shallow roasting pan and line with baking paper.
Place flour in a bowl. Add fish and dust in flour, patting away excess. Season.
Heat oil in a large frypan over medium-high heat. Add fish and cook, without turning, for 4 minutes. Remove from pan and transfer, cooked-side up, to the prepared pan.
Return frypan to medium-high heat and add butter, capers, half the marjoram and lemon juice. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes or until butter is foaming. Pour butter mixture over fish, transfer to the oven and bake for 6 minutes or until fish is just cooked through.
Remove from oven and set aside in the pan for 5 minutes to rest. Scatter fish with remaining marjoram and serve immediately with lemon cheeks.
LAMB SHOULDER WITH ROAST PEARS AND POTATOES
SERVES 6 Begin this recipe at least 5 hours ahead.
10 garlic cloves, peeled 2kg lamb shoulder (bone in) 4 cups (1L) buttermilk 1/2 bunch thyme, leaves picked, plus extra to serve 2 bay leaves 1.5kg desiree potatoes, peeled,
4 small pears 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup (125ml) verjuice 2 vanilla beans, split, seeds scraped 1 bay leaf 4 thyme sprigs 1 tsp caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Place garlic in a large, heavy-based casserole with a tight-fitting lid. Season lamb and place on top of garlic. Roast, uncovered, for 15 minutes, then turn lamb and roast for a further 10 minutes or until browned.
Meanwhile, place buttermilk in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to the boil (the buttermilk will separate). Add thyme and bay leaves, then pour buttermilk mixture over lamb. Cover.
Reduce oven to 140°C. Return lamb to oven and roast, basting every 45 minutes with cooking liquid, for 4 hours or until meat is very tender.
To prepare potato, 30 minutes into the lamb cooking time, place 1 potato, cut-side down, on a chopping board and insert a metal skewer lengthways one-third of the way up from the base (this will prevent you cutting completely
through the potato). Thinly slice down through the potato at 3mm intervals until the knife hits the skewer. Repeat with remaining potato.
One hour into the lamb cooking time, add potato to casserole. The potato will become tender in the remaining cooking time, but not golden.
Meanwhile, for the roast pears, place pears in an ovenproof frypan. Brush with oil, then add verjuice, vanilla pods and seeds, bay leaf and thyme. Sprinkle with sugar and 1/2 tsp salt flakes. Set aside.
After 4 hours of cooking has elapsed, remove casserole lid and increase oven to 220°C. Baste potato with cooking liquid and spoon buttermilk curds onto lamb to caramelise. Return lamb to oven, uncovered. At the same time, place pears on the lowest shelf of the oven. Roast for 30 minutes or until the buttermilk curds and pears are golden.
Set pears aside, loosely covered with foil, to keep warm. Transfer lamb to a large tray and set aside, loosely covered with foil, to rest.
Transfer three-quarters of the cooking liquid to a saucepan and place, covered, over a low heat to keep warm. Return potato and remaining cooking liquid to the oven and roast for 30 minutes or until potato is golden.
Using two forks, coarsely shred lamb. Serve with potato and pears, drizzled with cooking liquid and sprinkled with extra thyme.
BUCKWHEAT CREPES WITH RAW CHOCOLATE-HAZELNUT SPREAD
SERVES 4 (MAKES 8 CREPES)
Begin this recipe 1 day ahead.
1/2 cup (125ml) milk 2 eggs, lightly beaten 40g unsalted butter, melted 2 tsp coconut sugar 65g sprouted buckwheat flour (we used Rude Health brand from doorsteporganics.com.au – substitute regular buckwheat flour) 2 tbs sorghum flour (from health
food shops) Creme fraiche, to serve
RAW CHOCOLATE-HAZELNUT SPREAD (MAKES 400g)
2/ 3 cup (100g) hazelnuts 1 cup (100g) cacao powder 100g firm extra virgin coconut oil 100ml maple syrup
For the spread, soak hazelnuts in water overnight. The next day, drain and rinse well. Place in a food processor and whiz until fine. Add 1/4 tsp salt flakes and pulse to combine. Add 1/4 cup (25g) cacao and whiz to combine, then add 25g coconut oil and whiz until combined. Repeat process 3 more times, scraping down sides of bowl each time, until all cacao and coconut oil have been added and mixture is well combined.
With the motor running, add maple syrup in a thin, steady stream to form a paste. If the mixture splits, add warm water, 1-2 tbs at a time, with the motor running, to bring back together. ( You can store the spread, covered, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.)
To make the crepe batter, whisk milk and egg in a bowl until smooth, then whisk in 3 tsp melted butter. Gradually add sugar and flours, and whisk well to combine. Set aside for 30 minutes to rest.
Heat a large non-stick frypan over medium heat. Wipe pan with paper towel dipped in remaining 25g melted butter. Spoon 2 tbs batter into pan, tilting the pan to thinly coat the base. Gently tap the pan once onto the stovetop to knock out any air bubbles and create an even spread of batter.
Cook the crepe for 1 minute or until bubbles rise to the surface. Flip and cook for a further 10 seconds or until firm. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. Repeat with remaining butter and crepe mixture.
Spread a little raw chocolate-hazelnut spread onto each crepe, add a spoonful of creme fraiche, then fold crepes into quarters and serve immediately.
Baked leatherjackets with marjoram and capers