Comfort food for the soul. Smashed sweet and new potatoes with plenty of fixin’s like sautéed leeks, cherry tomatoes, radishes and rocket. Served with a dollop of yoghurt or grated cheese, this meal goes down a treat!
Ingredients: 1/2 a sweet potato, 4-5 new potatoes, 1 leek, sprig of thyme, 100g tomatoes, 60g radishes, 50g bunch of rocket.
From the larder: 2 knobs of butter, salt and pepper (optional: grated cheese, dollop of yoghurt and/or bacon bits).
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
- Cut up the sweet potato into chunks and halve any of the larger new potatoes. Place in a saucepan of cold water. Bring to the boil and boil potatoes for 15 minutes while you prepare the fixin’s.
- Pop the radishes on a baking tray, drizzle lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven to roast for approximately 15 minutes or until you’re ready to eat.
- Meanwhile, slice the leek and melt a knob of butter in a saucepan, add the leek, cover and gently sweat until soft and translucent.
- Wash the rocket and quarter the cherry tomatoes.
- When the potatoes are soft to poke with a knife, drain, add a knob of butter and thyme leaves, and then season and crush with a fork.
- Serve potatoes piled high with leeks, roasted radishes, rocket, tomatoes and optional grated cheese, dollop of plain yoghurt and/or bacon bits.
An easy way to eat your greens, this pasta dish is a quick mid-week meal of greens, pasta and a speedy yummy mustardy dressing.
Ingredients: 2 shallots, 1 leek, 100g purple sprouting broccoli, handful of spinach, 1 spring onion, 10g basil.
Larder: 180g pasta, 2-3 tsp whole grain mustard, 2 tsp white wine vinegar and 150 – 200ml crème fraîche. (Optional extras: grilled chicken, seeds and cheese.)
- Grill meat if using.
- Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook the pasta in a saucepan of boiling water until al denté.
- Meanwhile, slice the shallots and leek. Sauté in a glug of oil for 5 minutes until soft and transluscent.
- Chop the broccoli, add to the pan and cook for 3 minutes, adding a splash of water to create some steam.
- Make the dressing: finely chop the basil leaves and mix with mustard, vinegar and crème fraîche. Adjust proportions to taste.
- Chop the spinach and mix into the veg and then stir in the dressing.
- When pasta is al denté, drain and toss altogether with the veg and dressing.
- Serve, garnished with sliced spring onion and optional seeds and/or grated cheese.
For this gratin, a white sauce is required. Making a white sauce can sometimes be slightly intimidating – but have no fear. When making the sauce, keep whisking as you add milk slowly and allow the white sauce to cook and thicken slightly between milk additions. You want it to end up like thick cream that does not dollop, but still runs smoothly. It also benefits from a healthy dose of seasoning with both salt and pepper.
Ingredients: 1 Leek, 250g butternut squash, 100g cauliflower, sprig of thyme, 1 stem of rosemary, 50g rocket.
Larder: 25g butter, 2 heaped tbsp flour, 450ml milk, 75g cheddar cheese, 40g breadcrumbs (1 piece of bread), juice and zest of 1 lemon.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
- Slice the leek in half lengthways and then slice the lengths into chunks. Peel and slice the squash into small chunks. Break the cauliflower into small florets. Place all together in a small casserole dish or tin. Drizzle with oil and season. Place in the oven to roast.
- Meanwhile, make a white sauce: Melt approx 25g butter and when it begins to foam, add 2 tbsp flour and stir into a paste. Cook over a low heat for a minute or so and then add about 100ml of milk, stirring constantly. Keep stirring and adding milk slowly so that it thickens to the consistency of double cream. If it becomes too thick, add a dash more milk. Stir in grated cheese and the thyme leaves.
- While the white sauce is thickening, grate a slice of bread using a fine grater to make rough breadcrumbs. Heat a tbsp oil in a small frying pan, add the rosemary leaves and grate in the zest of a lemon and fry for about 30 seconds. Then add the breadcrumbs and fry for a further 30 to 60 seconds until browned or slightly crispy. Remove the veg from the oven, pour over the white sauce and sprinkle with the lemon, rosemary breadcrumbs and return to the oven.
- Remove when bubbling and crispy on top. Serve with rocket and a squeeze of lemon.
Baby onions, leeks, herbs and tomatoes make a fabulous mix for this super simple tart. Top it with goats cheese and and pop it in the oven for a tasty meal for two.
Ingredients: 1 leek, 100g baby white onions, 80g cherry tomatoes, sprig of oregano, sprig of marjoram.
Larder: 50–100g goats cheese, 1 roll of puff pastry, olive oil, 1½ tbsp balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
- Slice the leeks and onions and place in a saucepan with a knob of butter. When the butter has melted and the leeks are separating and softening, add 1½ tbsp balsamic vinegar and continue to cook on a low heat for about another 5 minutes or so until leeks and onions are soft and caramalised.
- Meanwhile halve the tomatoes and strip herbs from their stems and chop.
- Prepare the pastry by unrolling it on a tray, scoring a 1 inch border around the edge and then brush inside the border with olive oil.
- When leeks and onions are soft, spread out on the pastry inside the border.
- Top with halved cherry tomatoes, sprinkle with the herbs and finally dot chunks of goats cheese around the pastry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until pastry is puffed and golden and then serve.
Ingredients: 1 clove of garlic, 2 shallots, 1 leek, 4 baby courgettes, 2-3 stems of purple sprouting broccoli and small sprig of thyme.
From the larder: 170g tagliatelle or 200g pasta, 200ml crème fraîche, 2 tsp whole grain mustard, 1tbsp white wine vinegar, a few glugs of olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Slice the shallots, garlic, leek and baby courgette. Chop the purple sprouting broccoli; slicing the woody stems in half lengthways to allow for quicker cooking.
- Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and start cooking the tagliatelle.
- Heat a glug of oil in a sauté pan and sauté the shallots, leeks and garlic until soft and translucent.
- Add the courgettes, broccoli and thyme leaves and gently sauté until soft, about 5-7 minutes.
- While the veggies are cooking, combine the crème fraîche, whole grain mustard and vinegar in a small bowl. Adjust proportions to taste.
- When the veggies are ready, remove from the heat and stir in the crème fraîche and mustard.
- When the pasta is ready, drain and combine with the veggies.
- Serve immediately.
Ingredients: 2 cloves garlic, ½ the shallots, 1 leek, 40g chestnut, 30g button mushrooms, sprig of lemon thyme, 125g purple sprouting broccoli.
Larder: ½ a roll of ready-made puff pastry, 45g butter + a knob of butter, 5tsp flour, 300ml milk, ½ tsp nutmeg, salt, pepper, optional egg.
• Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Thinly slice the mushrooms and the leek, strip the thyme leaves from their stems, mince the garlic and chop the shallots. Gently sauté all the veg and thyme in a knob of butter until soft and leeks transluscent – about 7 minutes.
• Meanwhile make a white sauce: melt 45g butter in a sauce pan on a low heat. Stir in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes stirring constantly so that it makes a paste or roux. Pour in the milk slowly, whisking continually until smooth. Bring to the boil, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Add the nutmeg and simmer gently for about 5 minutes.
• When the white sauce and the veggies are ready, mix together and season in the pan and then transfer into a small pie dish or loaf tin.
• Cut the pastry slightly larger than the tin you are using, place on top of the tin and press down around the edges. Fold any extra pastry over on it’s self. Make 2-3 slits in the pastry to allow steam to escape. If you have an egg, whisk and brush onto the pastry top.
• Place the pie in the oven and bake for around 25 minutes until pastry is puffed, golden and crisp.
• Just before the pie is ready, chop and steam the broccoli. Serve together.