Quantities are not given for all recipes, as ratios are not always that important.
Ah, spinach. Often served overcooked and not properly drained - no wonder it's disliked by many. I love it though, and it grows profusely once established.
Spinach with Goat Cheese, Walnuts and Nutmeg
Nutmeg is optional but lovely.
1 For larger leaves, fold at the stem and slice off any thick bits. Use a good handful of
leaves per person. Wash, then chop roughly.
2 Put just a few drops of water in a pan and add the leaves. Simmer very gently for about
4 minutes until wilted, then drain well, pressing the leaves to remove max water.
3 Replace in the pan and add some goat cheese - about a heaped teaspoon per portion -
together with a tablespoon of chopped walnuts and half a teaspoon of grated
4 Warm through over a gentle heat, stirring. Add black pepper if that appeals, too.
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Mushrooms and garlic - a match made in the kitchen. This recipe serves 3-4 as a side.
The quantity of mushrooms looks large, but they shrink while cooking.
Baked Mushrooms in Garlic Butter
1 Wipe 500g evenly-sized mushrooms, preferably open cup (i.e. lots of gills showing).
Remove and save the stalks, trimming off the lower end.
2 Crush or finely chop 4 large peeled garlic cloves and put in a basin with 150g melted
butter, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
(or 1.5 of dried). Mix well.
3 Put the mushrooms, open side up, in a roasting pan together with the stalks. Use the
butter mixture to fill the mushrooms and top the stalks. Grind black pepper over.
4 Bake at 175C for about 15 minutes until the butter is bubbling and the mushrooms
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Red, yellow, green and orange peppers are all lovely roasted, but for the recipe below I wouldn't use green.
Honey-Glazed Roasted Peppers
1 Halve one pepper per person - yellow, red or orange or a mix - and remove stalks,
seeds and pithy spines. Cut into strips very roughly 5x2cm.
2 Place in a roasting tin with a little olive or rapeseed oil and stir them around to coat.
3 Roast at 175C for 10 minutes, then drizzle a little clear honey over the pieces and
return to the oven for another 5 minutes.
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Finally, the humble but sweet and lovely pea. This is my favourite way with them, and the recipe serves 2.
1 Melt a good knob of butter in a small pan.
2 Peel and chop a medium onion, then fry gently in the butter until soft - about 7-8 mins.
3 Trim and roughly shred a little gem lettuce (or equivalent cos) and add to the pan,
frying gently for another 2 mins.
4 Stir in 40ml of stock or white wine, and bring up to a simmer.
5 Add two handfuls of frozen peas or petit pois and simmer 5 more mins.
6 Stir in a little black pepper and half a teaspoon of sugar and heat through.
And that's it. Always worth messing about with vegetables to see which combinations appeal. I like to add toasted flaked almonds or pine nuts to veg generally, but once in a while, a lightly cooked carrot served just with a dob of Flora hits the spot. What am I saying?!