Spring Herbs with beetroot and sweetcorn, on Walnut Rocks (gluten free)

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The title gives it away more or less but this salad/starter promises more. I think the crispy apples and juniper sauce that the beetroot that has rested makes it exciting.

 

 

 

Ingredients Serves 4

250 gr of peeled semi cooked beetroot (for this very rare occasion I have used ready ones in a juniper sauce)
finely chopped fresh parsley and mint (as much as you like, I love loads!)
5 spoonful of sweetcorn
Walnuts as a whole or in halves
Olive oil
1 Lemon squeezed
Salt and pepper to taste
1 apple, sliced

The whole trick is I believe to mix them with the olive oil and lemon juice really really well. Also prepare this salad/starter just before serving main dish, otherwise the apples and sweetcorn will get the beetroot colour on them. Enjoy!

 

 

 

broad beans, artichoke hearts and peas

The Smallest Kitchen

food

Normally I cook this incredibly healthy dish without peas, but when a friend suggested it, I tried and actually they all go well together.
It is yet another Mediterranean dish mostly cooked around the Aegean Sea.

Ingredients:

250 gr artichoke hearts
200 gr broad beans
100 gr peas
a bunch of dill (be generous)
1 big size onion (I prefer to use spring onions, 4 – 5 of them, it is up to you)
1 – 2 spoonful of flour
olive oil
1 big lemon
1 desert spoonful of sugar
salt
yoghurt

Recipe:

1. Put all the vegetables in a bowl, pour 5 – 6 glasses of water, squeeze the lemon add the half of the juice into the bowl, then add some flour and mix. Let them rest for 5 – 10 minutes. The vegetables won’t get darker by doing this.
2. Chop the onions, cook them in a…

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Stuffed vine leaves – with yoghurt sauce and warm!

The Smallest Kitchen

Stuffed vine leaves - with yoghurt sauce and warm!

Here’s a new recipe for stuffed vine leaves! They are one of my favorites and yes, it requires patience but the result is priceless!

Serves 4 people

30 vine leaves parboiled and cooled
1 glass of white or brown rice, half glass of bulgur wheat
a bunch of dill, chopped finely
salt and pepper
grated onion
spicy red pepper paste
pine nuts – optional for the warm version
olive oil

for the sauce:
olive oil, yoghurt, garlic and mint

Ok, this is not your usual stuffed vine leaves, it is more wintery and warming! Because it is served warm and with a nice yoghurt sauce.

How to make it?

1.Mix the grated onion, finely chopped dill, rice and bulgur. Add some salt and pepper.
2. Fill each of the vine leaves, by placing a spoonful of the stuffing first then closing from the bottom ends slowly. Place some of the…

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How to make your own Sourdough bread?

sourdoughbread

I think cooking sourdough bread should be considered an art form. Cooking any bread is an amazing experience but using your own sourdough starter and getting it right is such a happy moment 🙂

HOW TO MAKE SOURDOUGH BREAD?

1 table spoon olive oil

1 tbsp sugar (levelled)

1 tbsp salt (levelled)

240 ml lukewarm water

240g sourdough starter (Here’s a link on how to make it)

3 glasses of white strong flour ( You can experiment with any type of flour but I wanted to try this one first)

A wooden spoon

A large bowl

If possible, a French banneton proofing basket

A shallow baking tray for the bread

A deep baking tray for water

Baking paper

Knife

Preparation

1 – Put the water in a bowl and then add your starter. Some people say that if it doesn’t sink, then your starter is correct but I didn’t notice.

2 – Add the flour and then, olive oil, sugar and salt. Stir and mix well with a wooden spoon but not knead too long just shape it. My mom’s suggestion: Always use a wooden spoon and never put it in a dishwasher.

3 – Sprinkle flour all over the dough, place in a bowl then cover it with clingfilm. Rest it aside for a couple of hours. Once it has risen a little, put the bowl in the fridge and keep there for at least 15 hours. I prepared the dough one afternoon and took it outside on the following morning.

4 – In the morning, take it outside the fridge, cover the Banneton with some flour then place the dough in it. Rest it for a couple of more hours. Your dough is ready to cook!

Cooking

Put the tray with water inside the oven on a lower rung. Heat the oven to 230 C. This will create a moist climate.

Place baking paper in the shallow tray, and place the bread on top. 

Make a cross or a shape on top of the bread with a knife.

Cook for about 10 minutes or so until the cut points start opening up slightly.

Then lower the heat to 200 C and continue baking for 20-25 minutes more. 

Check occasionally and never open the oven. But if you think the top is getting too crusty, you can lower it a little after 10-15 mins. 

You will know that it is cooked:) Once out, rest on a rack. 

Enjoy! You’ve made your first sourdough bread, which has the yeast from wherever you live on Earth:) None of them will taste the same:)

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How to make your own Sourdough starter?

sourdoughstarterHi all,

I have to say, we managed to get this right at our fourth attempt! So it takes a while, but after trying this or that recipe, I finally managed to combine the knowledge from all of them to this. 

My first intention was to get a San Fransiscan sourdough starter as everyone was saying that is the best, but whilst I was there, I couldn’t get hold of one, so decided to look into other ways of finding it. Then, I realised that sourdough is sourdough, it gets everything it needs, the secret from the air that you breathe, from the flour you use. In order words, each sourdough will taste different depending on where you are. So mine is a Blackheathen sourdough and tastes very very nice : )

You will need:

200 grams white organic flour ( try to get the best you can)

200 ml lukewarm water

7- 8 dried raisins

a wooden spoon (definitely wooden, don’t ask me why, but the previous ones did not work so I stick with it)

a glass jar with a sealed top ( you will need a sealed top once it is ready, as you will put it in the fridge after a week)

a muslin 

a kitchen cloth

plastic band x  2

a measuring cup ( I used the measure which comes with my bread machine)

jar

But how?

Pick a time in the day that you can feed your starter. I chose the mornings but a couple of hours before or after does not matter too much in my experience. 

DAY 1

Pour 200 grams of flour and 200 ml lukewarm water into a glass jar. Add raisins and stir well with a wooden spoon. Don’t leave any flour balls inside. I stirred quite a lot, even though many recipes say the reverse. Cover it with muslin and attach a plastic band on top so it stays secure. Then cover it with a kitchen cloth and a plastic band again so it does not get any sunlight. I did not close the lid of the jar, it was wide open (apart from the cloth).

DAY 2 – 4

Feed 60-80g of flour and 60-90ml of lukewarm water to keep it up. Again, stir well with a wooden spoon and see the bubbles. If it starts going pink or weird colour and has very bad smell, it might be off possibly so start over. But don’t get disheartened and try adding flour and water first as sometimes it picks up. I felt like mine was about to go off as the water and the flour were separating, but apparently this is not a bad thing. As long as you have bubbles appearing once you mix well, it will be fine.

DAY 5 – 7 

It should be consistent by now and you can start taking enough out of the jar to bake your own bread around these days. 

Once your yeast is ready, feed it for a couple more days, then keep it in the fridge. Whenever you need to bake, take it out, feed flour and water then rest for a couple of hours outside. It will be ready again.

Here’s the recipe to make your own sourdough bread!