The Star Early Edition - - VERVE -

Kasha is an Eastern Euro­pean dish that’s like a buck­wheat risotto. Ac­com­pa­nied by pick­led rhubarb, Med­jool dates, fiery gin­ger and hon­ey­coated wal­nuts, this is a bliss­ful veg­gie bowl. Serves 2 2 sticks of rhubarb 1 lemon 1tsp + 1 tbsp honey 2 shal­lots 2 gar­lic cloves a thumb of gin­ger 2 car­rots 150g buck­wheat 35g wal­nuts a bunch of radishes 50g Med­jool dates 100g baby leaf spinach a pinch of cayenne pep­per 150g yogurt sea salt 1tbs olive oil 400ml boil­ing wa­ter freshly ground pep­per

Thinly slice the rhubarb. Add a pinch of salt and scrunch. Squeeze over the juice from half the lemon with 1tsp honey. Leave to pickle.

Peel and finely chop the shal­lots. Peel and grate the gar­lic and gin­ger. Trim and peel the car­rots. Finely chop them.

Place a pan over a medium heat. When warm, driz­zle in 1 tbsp oil. Add the shal­lots and car­rots and fry for 3 mins till just soft. Add the gin­ger and gar­lic. Cook for 1 min.

Pour the buck­wheat into the pan and cover with 400ml boil­ing wa­ter.

Bring to the boil and sim­mer for 15-17 mins till just soft­ened but with a slight bite. Add a splash more wa­ter dur­ing cook­ing if needed.

Warm a fry­ing pan over a medium heat.

When hot, tip in the wal­nuts. Toast for 2-3 mins till dark­ened and nutty smelling.

Pour in the honey and cook for 1 min till bub­bling. Tip on to a plate.

Check the buck­wheat is cooked. Drain off any re­main­ing wa­ter.

Add half the spinach and fold through till it’s just wilted.

Add the chopped dates and half the hon­eyed wal­nuts.

Taste and sea­son the buck­wheat. Add a pinch or two of cayenne pep­per.

Spoon into warm bowls. Top with the pick­led rhubarb, sliced radishes, spinach and wal­nuts.

Dol­lop on the yo­ghurt. Sprin­kle over a lit­tle more cayenne and serve with lemon wedges. – abe­land­ This is a vege­tar­ian ver­sion of the Mediter­ranean sum­mer clas­sic. It uses ca­pers in place of an­chovies for salti­ness – although you could use both. Mar­jo­ram is a sim­i­lar herb to oregano, but slightly sweeter and with a flo­ral aroma.

Serves 4 600g new pota­toes, scrubbed and cut into halves or quar­ters de­pend­ing on size 8 eggs 300g French beans, topped and

tailed 250g cherry to­ma­toes, cut in half

cross­ways 2 large spring onions, very finely

sliced 150g mixed salad leaves about 20 pit­ted black olives 2 tbs ca­pers (if they are in brine, drain then soak in cold wa­ter for 20 min­utes then drain) small hand­ful of basil, shred­ded. For the dress­ing 4 tbs olive oil 1 gar­lic clove, finely chopped or

crushed 2 tsp Di­jon mus­tard ½ lemon 3 or 4 fresh mar­jo­ram leaves or

oregano sprigs, finely chopped salt and black pep­per

Put the pota­toes in one pan with a good pinch of salt. Put the eggs in an­other pan.

Cover both with wa­ter and put on a medium heat. Once the eggs come to the boil, cook Hello, yel­low! Sunny turmeric and golden egg yolks make this as ‘spring-timey’ as the sea­sonal as­para­gus in this gor­geous warm and spicy salad. 500g pota­toes 250g as­para­gus 1 lemon 2 leeks 1tbs corn­flour ½ tsp turmeric 1tsp cumin seeds a pinch of chilli pow­der 1 tsp garam masala 4 eggs sea salt freshly ground pep­per 100ml + 1tbs olive oil for 8 min­utes, drain and put in a bowl of cold wa­ter.

Once the pota­toes come to the boil, cook for 10-12 min­utes, un­til eas­ily pierced with a sharp knife.

Scoop the pota­toes out of the wa­ter with a slot­ted spoon.

Add the beans to the potato wa­ter. Boil for 5 min­utes, un­til they’re ten­der but still have a “squeak”.

Drain and re­fresh in cold wa­ter, then drain again.

To make the dress­ing, whisk the olive oil, gar­lic, mus­tard and a squeeze of lemon juice to­gether in a large salad bowl.

Stir in the chopped mar­jo­ram or oregano, then sea­son with salt, pep­per and Serves 2

Halve or quar­ter any large pota­toes. Pop them in a pan. Cover with boil­ing wa­ter. Sim­mer for 10-15 mins till ten­der. Drain.

While the pota­toes cook, snap the woody ends off the as­para­gus (if you bend them they will snap where the woody part of the stem ends) and dis­card. Trim the as­para­gus into 3cm long chunks. Finely grate the zest from the lemon. Juice it.

Trim the leeks. Slice a cross in the end and rinse out any grit. Slice ex­tra lemon juice or oil to taste.

Add the pota­toes, beans, to­ma­toes, spring onion, salad leaves, olives and ca­pers to the bowl and toss to­gether in the dress­ing.

Peel the hard-boiled eggs, then cut them length­ways into quar­ters.

Us­ing a wet knife will help keep the yolk and white to­gether.

Tuck the eggs into the salad, scat­ter over the basil leaves and serve. Vari­a­tions: * Use roasted to­ma­toes for ex­tra sweet­ness

* Add a few an­chovies if you’re not vege­tar­ian

– river­ the leeks in half, length­ways. Halve again so you have 4 long lengths per leek. Slice them into long, fine, thin shreds. Put the leeks in a bowl. Add 1 tbsp corn­flour and a lit­tle salt and pep­per. Stir to mix them to­gether. Set aside.

Add the turmeric, cumin seeds, chilli pow­der and garam masala to a small bowl. Add 1 tbsp oil and stir to­gether. Put to one side.

Warm 100ml oil in a deep fry­ing pan or wok for 2 mins over a medium heat. Add the leeks. Fry for 2-3 mins till golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper. Pour the oil out of the pan and wipe it clean with kitchen paper. Stir-fry the spice paste for 1 min. Add the as­para­gus and boiled pota­toes. Stir and fry for 5 mins till the veg are charred and ten­der. Take off the heat. Stir in the lemon zest and juice.

Bring a pan of wa­ter to the boil. Crack 2 eggs into sep­a­rate cups. When the wa­ter is boil­ing, slide the eggs into the pan. Take it off the heat. Cover. Leave for 2-3 mins to poach the eggs (or cook for a lit­tle longer for set yolks).

Pile the spiced as­para­gus and pota­toes on to 2 plates with the crisp leeks. Top each with 2 poached eggs. Serve straight away. – abe­land­ A colour­ful and healthy meal. Turmeric and gin­ger are anti-in­flam­ma­tory and there­fore good for di­ges­tion, as is co­conut oil, which metabolises well. 1tbs co­conut oil 1 onion, finely sliced 1 large or 2 small gar­lic cloves, finely chopped, grated or crushed 4cm piece of fresh gin­ger,

peeled and finely grated 1 red chilli, finely sliced 1 tsp black mus­tard seeds ¼ tsp ground turmeric 1 x 400ml tin co­conut milk 100g yel­low mung dal lentils, or

red lentils, rinsed in a sieve 1 tsp co­rian­der seeds, toasted

and ground 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and

ground 200g spring or sum­mer greens, tough ribs re­moved, leaves finely shred­ded hand­ful of co­rian­der leaves a squeeze of lime or lemon juice toasted co­conut chips or

toasted des­ic­cated co­conut salt Melt the co­conut oil YOU’VE got crunch, spice and tang – what more could you want? 2 heads of cauliflower flo­rets 2 cour­gettes, chopped 2tsp nigella seeds 2tsp turmeric 2 onions, chopped 2 gar­lic cloves, chopped 2 tsp yel­low mus­tard seeds 2 cups bas­mati rice 2 veg­etable stock pot 10tbs co­rian­der, chopped 4 vine to­ma­toes, chopped 3 spring onions, sliced thinly 1 lime 6tbs pis­ta­chios 2tbs raisins Serves 2 Serves 4 Pre-heat oven to 200°C. Re­move the outer leaves from the cauliflow­ers. Sep­a­rate the cauliflow­ers into flo­rets.

Chop the top and bot­tom off the cour­gettes, cut in half length­ways and then cut length­ways again so you have eight strips. Chop each strip into three pieces.

Put the cauliflower and cour­gette into a roast­ing tray and sprin­kle on 1tsp of nigella seeds and half of the turmeric. Sea­son with 1/2tsp of salt and driz­zle over 2 tbs of oil. Mix well to make sure in a large pan. Add the onion and fry on a low heat for 10 min­utes, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally.

Turn up the heat a lit­tle and add the gar­lic, gin­ger, chilli, mus­tard seeds and turmeric. Stir for about 1 minute, un­til you hear the mus­tard seeds start to pop.

Stir the co­conut milk in the can then pour into the pan with the lentils and ground co­rian­der and cumin. Fill the co­conut milk can half full with wa­ter and add that too.

Bring up to the boil, re­duce the heat and sim­mer for about 15 min­utes.

Add the greens, stir­ring in small hand­fuls at a time, then cook for a fur­ther 5-10 min­utes, un­til the lentils are ten­der and the greens wilted. Add more wa­ter if needed.

Sea­son the dal with salt, stir in the fresh co­rian­der and add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice to taste. Serve sprin­kled with toasted co­conut and a few ex­tra co­rian­der leaves. – river­ford. the veg­gies are nicely coated with the spices and oil. Roast for 25 mins.

Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add 2 tbs of oil. Add the onion and cook for 3 min­utes, add the gar­lic, the re­main­ing turmeric and the mus­tard seeds and cook for an­other minute. Pour in the rice, give it a stir to make sure it is coated with the turmeric, then pour in 700ml of wa­ter. Add the veg­etable stock pot and bring to the boil. Re­duce the heat to medi­um­low and pop on the lid. Cook for 10 mins and then re­move from the heat. Leave the lid on for an­other 10 mins for per­fectly cooked bas­mati rice.

Place the co­rian­der and to­ma­toes in a bowl. Add the sliced spring onions to the to­ma­toes and mix with a pinch of salt and the chopped co­rian­der. Grate in the zest of the lime and squeeze in its juice. Chop the pis­ta­chios.

When the rice is cooked, care­fully mix in the raisins and half the pis­ta­chios. Serve the veg­gies on top of a gen­er­ous amount of rice and then fin­ish the dish with your salsa and a sprin­kling of pis­ta­chios. – Hel­

Lizzie is the au­thor of Lon­don’s eth­i­cal food web­site,

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