Greek Souvlaki: In other words, meat on a stick, or kebabs.

Greek Souvlaki:   In other words, meat on a stick, or kebabs. 

Use bamboo skewers – and get them as long as possible.  You will need maximum length to maximise on ‘impact’.   Allow between one and two skewers per person.  If you are having a starter, main course and a pud, you might get away with one each… perhaps.  It’s all according to how delicious they are.

You must soak the skewers in water for a good couple of hours if you intend to cook these on a barbecue or on a gas grill.  If there is a flame likely to come in contact with the wood, they’ll burn.  At least if they have been soaked the burn will be reduced.  Some people soak them in wine.  I prefer to soak them in water and DRINK the wine….

Prep:           15 mins.

Cooking:      15 mins.

Course:        Snack, starter or main

Serves:         2

Rating:         3:  Moderate

Find for two people:

  • 2 cheap (value) pork chops
  • Red, orange & yellow peppers (see method)
  • Red onion
  • Other things I haven’t thought of yet
  • Wooden kebab skewers
  • Oven (roasting) tin

Method:

  • You can use the supermarket ‘Value’ pork chops as they are probably the cheapest source of quick-cooking pork you’ll get. However, if you have a friendly (tame) butcher who can give you good quality pork at reduced rates, go for whatever is advised – they know more than you and I combined.  However, it shouldn’t really be all completely lean pork as a fat content is needed to allow it to remain succulent.  Remember that it is being cooked quickly and so doesn’t have sufficient time to become tender in the cooking process.
  • Remove the bone from the pork chops and then cut the meat into 2cm cubes. You can cheat by cutting it 2 by 1cm and then folding it in two.  This just makes the meat content look a bit more than it really is.    Perhaps this is a bit of a cheat, but hell, when money is a problem, what’s a bit of fair cheating between friends?
  • You’ll need about a red, an orange and a yellow pepper for 5 or 6 people sitting down to dinner – so about a half a pepper + per person – and a couple of large, round, hard red onions.
  • Peel the red onion by topping and tailing (removing the top and the bottom), cutting in half vertically and then just removing the dried outer layer of the onion.
  • Now take off each layer, one by one, keeping it ‘onion shaped’, in a dome sort of thing.
  • Put these onto a plate or into a bowl or dish to work from. The peppers should be cut in half vertically, the stalk and seeds removed and then each half cut again horizontally, then each quarter cut into two or three bits.  Try to retain the curved nature of each piece.
  • As the meal is ‘on sticks’ it is important to get the presentation right, so start with the pepper.
  • Stick the bamboo skewer through the pepper, skin side first, this will allow the curved nature of the pepper to encompass the pork (the next component) and provide a little moisture for it. Steam cooks meat nicely, especially when it’s flavoured steam, as the pepper will provide.  Pepper, pork, onion, pork, pepper, pork, onion, pork, pepper, pork… you can see the methodology behind it all.
  • Of course, if you want to, you can use mushrooms as well, peeled chestnuts (yummy – but a bugger to put onto skewers without breaking up) and all sorts of other things. As well as, instead of… well, you ring the changes as it’s your meal.  Don’t be slavish and just follow a recipe, use the method and then do as you please – and then, when people ask for the recipe you can say “Well, I didn’t really follow a recipe as such; it was something I just cooked up”  That’ll certainly get you points with the partner.
  • So what do you do with these skewers of stuff that you have in a great mountain on a plate? Well, if you can lay them on a large plate or a wide, shallow oven tin, that’s great.  If you do not have such a thing, use oven foil with the edges just turned up a bit.  Put some olive oil and some balsamic vinegar into a mug to make it about a quarter full, mix it up thoroughly and brush it liberally all over the kebabs.  More rather than less, and make sure that it does not separate before being brushed on.
  • Leave them there for as long as possible.
  • You then have a choice. If you have only enough for two people, do them in your big frying pan.  Perhaps you’ll use the grill, or even a slow barbecue (when the coals are not too hot and likely to start flaming).  You might have a griddle on your cooker, so use that.  If not, bung them into a HOT oven in the oven tin you used for the marinating.  No oven tin?  Use the foil on something ovenproof… just a baking try is fine if the foil is being used.
  • So how long do I need to cook them for? Ah, now, that’s a good question.  With direct heat (frying pan, grill, griddle) you’ll need to look at the meat as it’s cooking and see that it’s not red at all, perhaps 10 – 15 minutes, but with chicken you’ll really need to ENSURE that the meat is cooked.  With the oven you’ll manage to cook well in about 25 minutes if the kebabs went into a pre-heated oven.  If you turned on an oven as you put them in, allow at least another 5 minutes.  If it’s crisping at the corners, it should be fine.  What you don’t want to do is serve cubes of ‘biblical burnt offering’, as they say.  With oven-cooked kebabs it might just be nice to pop them into a frying pan/onto a griddle for a couple of minutes just to crisp the outsides, for good looks.
  • You have a choice of sauces to serve with them, but the Greeks don’t seem to serve them with a sauce at all in my experience.

Cheap (cheep cheep) Chicken Liver Pâté: !

Cheap (cheep cheep) Chicken Liver Pâté:     !

Prep:           10 mins.

Cooking:      30 mins.

Course:        Starter/Snack

Serves:       As many as……..

Rating:         3:  Moderate, and worth every effort!

Find:

  • 250g pack of butter (cheap as y’like) 200 for cooking, 50 for melting later on for sealing the surface.
  • 2 medium onions or 8 shallots
  • 250g pack of chicken livers (I get mine from the reduced cabinet and freeze them until I want to make this paté)
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic – or more
  • Mick’s terbs . . .. (sorry…..mixed herbs)
  • Mustard of some sort – whole grain is good
  • Gros sel (sea salt grains) – Optional, you can just use table salt.
  • Large glass of white wine – or more
  • A big slug of brandy, Calvados or something equally nice – not vodka
  • A blender or a stick blender
  • A frying pan
  • About half a dozen cups, or ramekins if you have them, or a single, larger paté pot

 

Method:

  • Gently rinse, drain and pat dry the chicken livers in kitchen roll.
  • Fry them in 50g of the 200g you have for cooking, turning them quite often but keeping them on a low heat.  They’ll take about 10 mins.
  • When the livers are cooked right through, sprinkle lightly with gros sel (large grains of sea salt) then tip the total contents of the pan into the blender.
  • Chop the onions/shallots quite small (no ends of fingers please) and gently fry in another 50g of the butter for about 5 to 10 mins on quite a low heat, as we do not want the butter to burn at all – or even to put on a great deal of colour.
  • Crack’n’peel the 3 garlic cloves (see Tricks’n’Tips for the easy way), slice them and throw them onto the half-cooked onions for another 5 minutes, then pour the whole contents of the pan into the blender.
  • Gently melt the rest of the cooking butter in the frying pan and pour that onto the other bits in the blender. It should be looking quite a splodgy, gooey mess in there by now – but it smells great, eh?
  • Put the pan back on the heat, turn up to full heat for a few moments and chuck in the wine so that it ‘shushes’ a lot. It’ll do what the cheffie types call ‘deglazing the pan’.  Actually, all you’re doing is getting all of the nice last little bits of flavour off the surface of the pan using a wooden or even better, a silicon spatula.
  • Pour that onto the top of everything else in the blender.
  • If it’s too much for one blender batch, do two batches and mix them together afterwards.
  • Add a teaspoon of Whole Grain mustard or half a teaspoon of Dijon. (If you only have one sort of mustard, use that, whatever it is, but beware of English mustard; it is strong!)
  • Add mixed herbs to taste, put the blender top on and blend for a while until it’s quite a smooth texture. Chicken liver pate is normally very smooth indeed.
  • Mix in a half glass of brandy to give it a kick. Go on, have a swig as well. Well, why not?  It’s your friggin’ brandy……

Oh, what do you mean “It’s not mine”?        In that case, give it ‘ere!

  • Pour or spoon the thoroughly mixed pâté into teacups or ramekins, or a single bowl – you choose. Just taste that, eh?  Yo, brother.
  • Hey!, don’t eat too much of it or it’ll all be gone. Remember, this is a rich pate.
  • Melt the rest of the butter gently and pour over the top of the pate in the ramekins. This seals out the air and keeps it fresher for longer.
  • When it’s quite cool, pop it into the fridge. It will actually mature a bit if left for a few days in the fridge – I like to leave it for a week.  Then, when you come to taste it . .  . . . Oh yes.

Serve it as a starter with thin toast and a lettuce leaf or two.  You’ll really impress people with your new found culinary expertise.    Actually, it was quite simple, but don’t let others know that.  It’s great for impressing parents and other relatives – and for rather attractive members of the opposite sex. 

“Come up and taste my pâté . . . . yes, I made it the other day….. it was quite easy…… I make bread as well….. this is the bedroom where I make my own bed….”

Cullen Skink:

Cullen Skink:  A Scottish milk-based haddock soup.  Sounds ‘orrible…..tastes WONDERFUL!

For 4 people, find:

  • 1 oz (25g) butter
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 pints full-fat milk
  • 1kg (1 ½ lb) floury potatoes , peeled and cut into 1cm cubes or smaller
  • 500g (1lb) smoked haddock fillet (preferably undyed)
  • Loads of chopped parsley plus a little more for the top
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

(I did it for twelve peeps, so I had to do this…….

For 12 people, find:

 

  • 50 g (2 oz) butter
  • 4 large onions, finely chopped
  • 4 litres (6 pints) creamy milk
  • 2kg (4 ½ lb) floury potatoes , peeled and cut into 1cm cubes or smaller
  • 1.5kg (3lb) smoked haddock fillet (preferably undyed)
  • Loads of chopped parsley plus a little more for the top
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper)

Method:

  • Poach the haddock in the milk and some butter.  25 mins at 160C.
  • Melt butter in a frying pan, add the onions and cook gently for 7 – 8 minutes until soft, but not at all coloured.
  • Take the haddock out of the oven, remove the fish and put the milk in a saucepan on the heat and bring to the boil.
  • Add the onions and the cubed potatoes bringing it back to the boil & simmer for 20 minutes until they are super-soft.
  • When the smoked haddock has cooled a little, discard the skin into the dog or cat and remove any bones (from the haddock, not the dog or cat).  Break the fish up into chunks to put into the pan after thickening.
  • When super-soft,  crush some of the cooked potatoes up against the side of the pan with the wooden spoon to thicken the soup a little.
  • Pop the chunky fish into the pan, gently stirring in the parsley.  Season to taste.  Coarse, freshly ground black pepper is favourite here.
  • Serve – with a swirl of single cream if you want to be fancy, and don’t forget to sprinkle a little more chopped parsley on the top.

 

 

Flaky cold salmon:

Flaky cold salmon:

Prep:           5 mins.

Cooking:      25 mins, plus stripping the skin & flaking afterwards

Course:        Snack/Lunch/Buffet

Serves:        As many as……

Rating:         1:  Piscatorially easy

Find:

  • Half a side of salmon
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Water
  • White wine if you haven’t drunk it all last night
  • Oil
  • Seasoning
  • Lemon juice
  • Oven dish
  • Platter
  • Salad garnish as desired

Method:

  • Buy the salmon. (Half of a side will do for part of a buffet for 6 people.  A whole side will normally feed 6 for a main course or 8 for a fish course.  But you’re not into six course dinners yet, are you.

(Are you?  Cor!  You’d better come teach me!)

  • Find an oven dish/tin/ big enough to take the salmon (or use two, because it’s going to be flaked anyway, so nobody will spot where it has been cut!).
  • Oil the base lightly (to stop the skin sticking) and spread it about evenly. Put the salmon, skin down, into the dish/tin/whatever it is.  Put in milk & water/ milk & wine, whatever proportions you wish, to just about cover the salmon.
  • Plop a few bits of butter on top. How many?  Well, for this very technical question, there are two possible answers:
  • Twice as many as half.
  • Yeah, that’s right.
  • Put into a pre-heated oven at 180 degs C for 25 mins. Take out and lift (using two wide spatulas or a fish slice and a spatula – or two bits of plastic that have been lying in the drawer for years) the salmon onto a large plate, this time skin side up.
  • Tease the skin away from the flesh using a flat bladed knife and pull completely off. Discard the skin into the dog (you might as well get the most from your purchase – and the dog will most certainly be eager to co-operate).
  • Or cat.
  • Retain the poaching liquid for making a sauce for either this or another fish dish – it freezes well. See ‘Sauces’.
  • As the salmon cools, use a couple of knives to separate flakes. Look for and remove bones at the same time.  I like to make the flakes big’n’chunky.
  • Season well. Sprinkle the juice of a lemon/half a lemon (depending how lemony you like it) and then gently turn the flakes to distribute the seasonings/flavourings.
  • Lay out on a platter and garnish with salad leaves. Red salad leaves look particularly good.

Prawns on Three Rice starter:

Prawns on Three Rice starter:

PICTURE 14

Prep:           5 mins.

Cooking:      15 mins.

Course:        Starter

Serves:        As many as……

Find:

  • A batch of Colin’s 3 Rice mixture
  • Frozen prawns
  • Oil
  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Chopped parsley

Method:

  • Look up the Wild, Camargue and Basmati rice mixture, scale down the quantities and make a small amount – about one big tablespoonful per person – and on top of that put a dozen small prawns, half a dozen medium prawns, and three king prawns, all cooked (or heated through if they are already cooked) in plenty of a strong garlic butter and sprinkled all over with fresh chopped flat leaved parsley.
  • It’s a helluva starter to a nice meal.

Moules Gratin:

Moules Gratin:  A lovely seafood starter.

Mussels appeal to some people and not to others.  I would ask both groups to try this as it is simply gorgeous; and it is most unlike any other mussel dish I have ever had.  It really is worth a go.

Prep:           20 mins.

Cooking:      15 mins.

Course:        Starter

Serves:        4

Rating:         2:  Easy, if a little fiddly to prepare

Find:

  • 1 kg mussels, in season (or a 300g pack of mussel meats)
  • 1 slice bread to make the fresh breadcrumbs – I used granary multi-seeded bread, but we’ll modify the recipe to suit; see method.
  • 100g hard cheese, grated
  • Dried dill (or, even better, FRESH dill)
  • Butter
  • Optional: Extra seeds, if you have ordinary brown or white bread.  Fennel seeds.
  • Bowls
  • Food processor to make breadcrumbs
  • Ramekins

Method: (including the Golden Rules of Mussels)

Golden Rules, NEVER to be ignored:

  1. Mussels should be closed tight when they are being prepared. They are living and they should be tight shut as they are being moved.  If one is slightly open, tap it with a knife handle and it should close.  If it doesn’t close, bin it straight away because it’s dead, and you don’t know how long it has been so.
  2. Sometimes you will get a mud mussel. This is where the mussel has died of natural causes in the wild (probably been consumed by a sea creature) and the shell has filled up with mud.  The shell may be closed, but if the two shells are slid across one another, the mud will be exposed.  If it is a live mussel, it won’t shift.  A mud mussel can rather ruin the rest when they’re cooking as the mud seeps out.  If you get a mud mussel, bin it straight away.
  3. After cooking (yes, we’ll get to that bit in a minute – be patient) the mussels should be open. Any that are closed will indicate that they are not to be eaten, so bin any closed ones straight away.  Don’t investigate them, just bin them.

If you keep to these rules, you should enjoy every mussel that you eat.

Cooking method:

  • Take your mussels and chuck them into a cleaned kitchen sink. There should be no water in the sink.  Take a normal table knife in one hand and a mussel in another.  Look at the underside of the mussel – there may be what looks like seaweed or plant roots hanging out.  Just pull it away,  You may wish to hold this ‘beard’ between your thumb and the knife to gain a little more purchase to pull it away properly.  Don’t be too pernickety, it is not earth-shattering if the last little bit won’t come away.  Check over the shell and scrape off any barnacles (they look like hard zits or tiny volcanos) into the sink.   The mussel shell may be dirty, but don’t worry about that at this time.  Ensure that it is firmly closed (Rule 1), try to slide one shell across the other (Rule 2) and if all is ok, put the mussel into a bowl and pick up the next one.  I spend about 2 or 3 seconds on each mussel, so you will get quicker (or you’ll starve at the kitchen sink, to be found days later, haggard and under-nourished, slouched over the draining board mentioning something about “I will de-beard this bugger if it kills me….”). 
  • When all of the mussels are de-bearded and de-barnacled, rinse all of the mussels under running water, twice, then drain all the water away (three times). Do not leave them sitting in fresh water because they don’t like it and they will die.
  • Put a large pan onto the stove and put a high heat under it. Splash a tiny bit of water  (or white wine)into it.  Drain the mussels again and then put them into the pan, putting the lid straight on.  Rinse out the bowl, as you’ll need to put the cooked mussels back in there in a few minutes.  After a minute or two, hold the lid on and shake the pan vigorously to move the opening mussels around and give ‘em a proper headache.  Have a quick peek – some of them should be gaping by now.  Replace the lid.  Give another shake.  Another minute, another shake.  You can use a big wooden spoon to chivvy them around a bit. If necessary, give another shake, another peek.
  • When they appear to be all just open or opening, tip the whole lot, including the juices, into the bowl. As the mussels have opened, they will now take up more room in the bowl – it’d better be a big one.
  • If you need the juices, drain them off into a separate bowl.
  • The mussels are now cooked.
  • If you are making Moules Mariniere, the cooking will be slightly different as wine is involved. Moules Carbonara involves bacon.  Moules a la Crème involves cream.  The above is the simple way to cook mussels so that they can be removed (evicted, I suppose) from their shells so that we can do something else with them.
  • Take a mussel shell, now gaping open, in one hand and pick out the mussel with the other, dropping the mussel into another, much smaller bowl. Don’t force the shell open as you are now going to transfer that shell to the other hand and you’ll use it as pincers to take the other mussels from their shells, dropping them all into the little bowl.  Well, I say ‘all’, I actually mean ‘all that you don’t eat as you take them from their shells as they look so nice and taste so lovely’.  Put them aside.
  • Don’t be surprised at how little mussel meat comes from one kilogram of live mussels. It will be enough.
  • Take one slice of granary, multi-seeded bread, or one slice of bread and some seeds (pine nuts, sesame seed, pumpkin, sunflower, etc) and break into the food processor bowl. Give it a good blitzing to reduce it all to a soft crumb.
  • Grate the cheese using a large grater (a greater grater?) and mix this cheese with the crumb. Add a good amount of coarsely ground black pepper and mix again.
  • Method 1. Load the mussels into four ramekins.  Sprinkle with dill – preferably fresh, but dried will do – and then add the crumb and cheese mixture.  Finish off with a couple of blobs of butter to each ramekin.  That’s one way.  Or:
  • Method 2. Mix the cheese, breadcrumbs and mussels and a few fennel seeds) together and then top with more grated cheese.  Finish off with a couple of blobs of butter to each ramekin.  That’s another way.  Or:
  • Method 3. Put a little crumb & cheese mixture into one half-shell, then lay one or two mussels on top, then a little more mixture…. and do that for each mussel shell until you run out of mussels (I told you not to eat ‘em all!).  Top with a small (tiny) blob of butter.  Lay them all on a baking tray.  Yes, it’s blinkin’ fiddly!  But it looks great!
  • Either way, pop them into a pre-heated oven, gas mk 5, for about five to ten mins and you have it; a wonderful seafood starter with an interesting texture.
  • Serve on a little bit of green salad.

Caramelised Onion & Mushroom Tarts:

Caramelised Onion & Mushroom Tarts:

Prep:           20 mins.

Cooking:      30 mins.

Course:        Veg starter/snack

Serves:         Depends how many you can eat!

Rating:         2:  Easy

To make 12 rather scrummy tarts, find:

  • 1 pack ready-made puff pastry – why bother making it?  Life’s too short!
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large onions
  • 300g mixed mushrooms –field mushrooms as a base, but also shitake & other tasty ones etc.
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic
  • 2tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1tbsp sugar
  • 125ml single cream (250ml for large 8″ tart)
  • 1 egg, large (2 eggs for large 8″ tart)
  • salt and pepper

Makes 12 mini tarts or 1 x 8″ Tart.

  • Grease a 12 hole tart pan.
  • Roll the pastry out onto a well-floured surface and cut out circles large enough to line each hole. It would be good to chill these for a while.
  • Preheat the oven to 180c Fan/200c/Gas Mark 5.
  • Slice then fry the onions until nicely softened. 10 mins?
  • Slice then add the mushrooms to the frying pan. Cook until softened.
  • Put in the balsamic vinegar, sugar and garlic (crushed or finely chopped) and turn the heat up somewhat.
  • Fry until the majority of the vinegar is evaporated and the onions start to caramelise and go sticky. 5 mins?  10?
  • Remove from the heat.
  • Mix the egg, cream and seasonings together in a large jug.
  • Plop a dollop of the mushroom and onion mixture into each case, and then carefully top up the tarts with the cream mixture. It will need time to settle and filter through the mixture – they may need topping up a couple of times. Patience!  We don’t want them to overflow or to have retained air.
  • Oven bake for 25-30 mins until a lovely golden brown.
  • Take them out the oven when puffy’n’brown, allowing them to cool in the tin. They may have splurged a bit so just run a sharp knife around the tops of the tarts to release them from the tops of the tin!
  • Scoff! (But leave some for me).

Spanish Spinach with Pine Nuts:

Spanish Spinach with Pine Nuts:

Description

Prep:           5 mins.

Cooking:      10 mins.

Course:        Starter, lunch or snack

Serves:        4

Rating:         2:  Easy

Find:

  • 500g bag of young spinach leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Sultanas or dried prunes
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely shredded
  • 50g pine nuts
  • Seasoning

Method:

  • Wash the spinach and pop it into a covered pan with just the water it has after being rinsed and cook for about 5 mins, stirring and turning over the leaves quite often.
  • Heat the olive oil in a pan then gently fry the pine nuts with the sultanas/prunes.
  • Pop the shredded garlic in the pan just for a very short while to take the harshness away – it must not burn!
  • Squeeze out the spinach as much as you can – it will lose a great deal of moisture. (You can retain the squeezed out spinach water for other uses later, should you wish…… you’ve paid for the green colour, you might just as well make use of it…..somehow).
  • Add the squeezed out spinach to the pan, turn up the heat to maximum and mix well. Add seasoning to taste and serve.

Roasted Butternut Squash & Nut Butter Gratin

Roasted Butternut Squash & Nut Butter Gratin:

Description

Prep:           10 mins.

Cooking:      50 mins.

Course:        Starter, lunch or snack,

Serves:        2

Rating:         2:  Easy

 

Find:

  • Nuts – whatever nuts you use, shell ‘em first!
  • Butter
  • Butternut squash
  • Olive oil
  • Chopped fresh sage or thyme
  • Chilli seed mill
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Warmed flatbreads or pitta, to serve
  • Roasting tin

Method:

  • Heat crushed nuts in a pan with butter. Leave the nuts to steep in the butter for as long as you have.  Let it go cold.  Overnight, if possible.
  • Cut the penile purporting vegetable in half vertically, scoop out the seeds then cut vertically again to make long quarters.
  • Place in a roasting tin, sprinkle a little olive oil over the flesh and then massage liberally-applied amounts of chopped fresh sage or thyme into the oil.
  • Oven-roast at 180 C for 20 mins.
  • If no fresh herbs are available….. hey….. dried is better than none at all.
  • Scoop out the lovely soft flesh from the skin into a small mixing bowl (or any bowl you have) and roughly mash with a fork, adding the butter from the nuts together with the nuts themselves. Add seasonings to taste, but make sure that enough pepper of whatever variety you like is used – freshly ground black pepper is great.
  • Or if you are a chilli nut, now is your opportunity to use them; it ain’t my mouth that you’re burning! (Note the accurate weights, measures & instructions used here.)
  • Grate fresh parmesan cheese (see Tricks’n’Tips to find out how to identify the proper, genuine, quality Parmesan cheese…) over the top and put into the oven at 180 C for 15 mins to get the cheese bubbling well.
  • No parmesan? ……well just use whatever you have – after all is said and done, it’s all cheese, dammit!
  • Wait a few mins before you scoff – it’ll be dammed ‘ot!

Roasted carrot & goat’s cheese starter

Roasted carrot & goat’s cheese starter

Description

Prep:           10 mins.

Cooking:      80 mins.

Course:        Starter, lunch or snack,

Serves:        4

Rating:         2:  Easy

 

Find:

  • 750g young, small and tender carrots
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • Grated zest and juice 1 small orange
  • 400g can chickpeas , drained and rinsed
  • 100g crumbly vegetarian goat’s cheese
  • A few mint leaves, roughly chopped (how many? Let’s say 19 ½ …..)
  • 75g pomegranate seeds
  • Platter
  • Warmed flatbreads or pitta, to serve

Method:

  • Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5.
  • In a clean carrier bag, toss the small, young carrots with 1 tablespoonful of the oil, sprinkle with the cumin seeds and orange zest, and season with salt.
  • Spread onto a large baking sheet and roast for 50 mins until tender and catching some colour on the edges.
  • Stir the chickpeas into the roasted carrots, then tip onto a large serving platter.
  • Drizzle with the remaining oil and a little of the orange juice.
  • Crumble over the goat’s cheese and scatter with the herbs and pomegranate seeds.
  • Serve warm with toasted flatbreads.