SPRING LOADED

Ginny Grant shares gutsy salad and pasta dishes

Cuisine - - CONTENTS - Recipes and food styling Ginny Grant / Pho­tog­ra­phy Aaron McLean / Styling Lau­ren Free­man / Plates Tim Gro­cott, Taus Ce­ram­ics

BIG, GUTSY SALAD AND PASTA DISHES are what I like to eat most, and they’re per­fect for this time of year as the weather (hope­fully) be­gins to get a lit­tle milder. All the fol­low­ing recipes work as com­plete meals, so don’t rel­e­gate them to side-dish sta­tus. While you may find some early as­para­gus, it can be a lit­tle trick­ier to find fresh baby peas and broad beans at this time of year. Just as well, then, that both are freezer sta­ples. Be­cause I love a left­over salad the next day, these recipes are on the larger side. That said, you can eas­ily scale them back if you so de­sire.

WHITE BEANS, BROAD BEANS & SAL­MON

SERVES 4-6 / PREPA­RA­TION 20 MIN­UTES / COOK­ING 1 HOUR (IN­CLUD­ING BEANS)

⅓ cup dried white beans (I used green kid­ney beans from Sabato), soaked overnight in water, or 400g can can­nellini beans

2 ta­ble­spoons ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

1 red onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves gar­lic, thinly sliced 1 tea­spoon cumin seeds

2 ta­ble­spoons white wine vine­gar

1 bunch as­para­gus, sliced on the di­ag­o­nal

2 cups broad beans (I used frozen)

1 ta­ble­spoon tahini

¼ cup thick Greek-style yo­ghurt

½ tea­spoon su­mac, plus ex­tra to serve

400g sal­mon fil­lets

½ cup mint leaves, shred­ded

2 cups rocket leaves

If us­ing dried beans, bring a saucepan of water to the boil and sim­mer the beans for 50 min­utes or un­til ten­der. Drain and set aside.

Heat the oil in a fry­ing pan over medium heat, add the red onion and cook for 5 min­utes un­til soft. Add the gar­lic and cumin seeds and cook un­til fra­grant. Add the white beans and heat through un­til warm. Add the vine­gar, sea­son with salt then re­move from the heat and set aside while you pre­pare the re­main­ing in­gre­di­ents.

Blanch the as­para­gus in boil­ing, salted water for 2 min­utes, drain and rinse un­der cold water to cool. Set aside. Pour boil­ing water over the broad beans then drain and re­move the outer pods. Set aside. Mix the tahini, yo­ghurt and su­mac and loosen with 1-2 ta­ble­spoons of water. Set aside. Sea­son the sal­mon with salt and pan­fry for 2-3 min­utes on each side, depend­ing on thick­ness, or un­til cooked to your lik­ing.

Mix to­gether the white beans, as­para­gus and broad beans and dress with the tahini-yo­ghurt dress­ing. Add the mint and rocket. Break up the sal­mon into chunks and scat­ter over the salad. Sprin­kle with ex­tra su­mac to serve.

WINE A dry ries­ling - try the Villa Maria Cel­lar Se­lec­tion Dry Ries­ling 2014.

CANDY BEET­ROOT & PANCETTA TAGLI­ATELLE

SERVES 4 / PREPA­RA­TION 20 MIN­UTES / COOK­ING 15 MIN­UTES

If you live in the South Is­land, you may have seen Oak­ley’s Candy Beet­root. It’s a par­tic­u­larly sweet va­ri­ety of chiog­gia beet­root, de­li­cious raw, and it looks beau­ti­ful with its con­cen­tric rings of pink and white. (Next year, hope­fully it will be avail­able na­tion­wide.) Chiog­gia beets can also be found at spe­cialty food stores and farm­ers’ mar­kets, plus you can grow them from seed. Of course you can use or­di­nary beet­root here too, but it will bleed more into the pasta.

1 ta­ble­spoon olive oil

75g pancetta, cut into 5mm cubes

3 candy or chiog­gia beet­root (about 600g), peeled

3 cloves gar­lic, sliced

2 ta­ble­spoons marjoram leaves ex­tra vir­gin olive oil to driz­zle grated zest of

1 lemon and a lit­tle of the juice

400g dried tagli­atelle

4 ta­ble­spoons mas­car­pone

2 tea­spoons poppy seeds grated parme­san to serve

Heat the olive oil in a wide saucepan over medium heat and add the pancetta. Cook un­til golden. Dice two of the beet­root into 5mm cubes. Add to the pan and cook for 5 min­utes. Add the gar­lic and marjoram and cook for a few more min­utes, then add ½ cup of water and cook gen­tly un­til it has mostly evap­o­rated and the beet­root is just ten­der.

Very thinly slice the re­main­ing beet­root on a man­do­line and sprin­kle lightly with sea salt. Set aside for a few min­utes, then dress with a driz­zle of ex­tra vir­gin olive oil and a lit­tle lemon juice.

Cook the pasta ac­cord­ing to packet di­rec­tions, drain and re­serve ½ cup of cook­ing water. Add the cook­ing water to the pancetta mix along with the lemon zest and mas­car­pone and stir to com­bine. Add the pasta and poppy seeds and stir to com­bine. Put into warmed bowls, grate some parme­san over and top with the sliced beet­root.

WINE A lean style of chardon­nay - try the Spy Val­ley Chardon­nay 2014.

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