When I first moved to southern Europe the first sign that Spring was upon us was the mountains of broad beans that arrived at the market. After four months of root vegetable and spinach something in a pod had landed.
The goats cheese melts into the warm beans to create a smooth creamy sauce without using cream. The cheese gives enough salt so there is no need to add more. If you can’t get watercress then rocket will be fine, you can use baby gems if that is all you can get as they are firm and hold the warm beans well. Watercress is preferable as it adds a depth of flavour from its pepperiness. If you haven’t got a zester then I highly recommend that you get one, you can go ahead with this recipe anyway without zesting and buy one next time you see one.
Ingredients (four people)
1kg broad beans in the pods ( this will yield about 250grams after podding)
50g watercress or rocket
125g goats cheese
50ml olive oil
1 medium sized lemon ( zested and juiced)
Cook off the beans in boiling water for about five mins. Whilst they are cooking break up the cheese into small pieces and put into a bowl, zest the lemon into the bowl with the cheese, grind the black pepper and add the olive oil . Lay out the watercress onto a large plate and taste the beans to make sure they are tender. Drain the water off when they are ready and pour into the bowl.
Gently start folding the ingredients together until the goats cheese has melted and you have a even consistency. Pour the mix onto the leaves and finish with some more black pepper.
You don´t have to eat this straight away, it can sit for a while.
Inspired by the one-dish dinners from Morocco this delicious hearty dish
is perfect as the nights draw in
Ingredients for 6 people
250g smoked tofu
75g whole peeled almonds (flaked will do)
2 kilos mixed root vegetables eg.beetroot, carrots, sweet potato, onions
1 red pepper
1 whole bulb of garlic
150g goats cheese
125ml greek yoghurt
Maldon sea salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade/gas mark 7.
Cook the quinoa in a pan of rolling boiling water for about 12 minutes. It is cooked when it still retains a bit of bite. Strain into a seive and run under cold water. Leave to drain. Roast the almonds in the oven until browned.
Take the largest baking tray you have, you might need two. Peel the root vegetables and cut into 4cm chunky pieces. De-seed the pepper and cut into similar size pieces. Break up the garlic bulb loose the flaky outer but don’t peel. Toss the vegetables in oil, season with salt and pepper then lay into the tray on baking paper. Make sure the vegetables are in a single layer – not piled on top of each other – this will allow them to roast not steam. Cut the tofu into similar size pieces and keep it apart for now.
Put the trays of vegetables into the oven for about 20 minutes. After ten minutes take out of the oven and gently turn the vegetables over with a fish slice. Then distribute the tofu onto the vegetables, and cook for a further 8 minutes. Use your own judgement to decide when the vegetables are ready, optimal is soft and golden slightly burnt. Take the roast vegetables out and add the tofu and crumble the goats cheese over the top. Put back in the oven for a further 5-8 minutes until the goats cheese has melted.
Meanwhile, zest the lemon and chop the herbs, do not over chop them as it will make them watery. Mix together the yoghurt with lemon juice and season. The yoghurt sauce should be pouring consistency, if not add some water.
To assemble the dish put the vegetables and tofu mix and quinoa into a large mixing bowl (preferably in one layer at a time) and then gently turn it over – everything should be evenly mixed. Season with salt and pepper, careful not to over salt.
Swirl the yoghurt from a spoon onto the vegetables etc. Hold the almonds in your hand and let them fall from the centre and to finish sprinkle the herbs and lemon zest over the top.