Recipe: Fried Greens with Crispy Fried Egg and Avocado

In one of my twice-monthly oddboxes I came across a new to me vegetable. Kalettes. A cross between brussel sprouts and kale. They looked like leafy broccoli florets and tasted delightful. And my silly tummy could handle them (at least in small quantities). Yay!

We had them blanched instead of broccoli with roast chicken and although nice they weren’t amazing. But another night I fried them in oil with some onions and served it with a crispy fried egg, avocado and a cold sauce and they were SO good. So if you see them in a shop, I highly recommend buying a bag of kalettes and try this dish. I cannot wait to make it again! I think it would work really well with tender stem or purple sprouting broccoli or a mix of broccoli, brussels and kale, if you can’t find kalettes.

Fried greens with crispy fried egg and avocado, serves 2

1 small onion or large shallot, finely chopped

200 g kalettes, trimmed and cut in half

2 tbsp mild olive oil

salt and pepper

lemon juice

2 eggs

2 tbsp mild olive oil

Toppings:

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 avocado, sliced

cress

Sauce:

100 ml creme fraiche

1 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp dijon with basil

salt and pepper

a little squeeze of lemon

Mix the ingredients for the sauce and set aside. Heat up the oil in a medium frying pan on medium heat. Add the onions and fry until they just start to brown. Add the kalettes and fry until they also start to brown. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. In another frying pan (large enough for two eggs), heat up the olive oil on medium-high heat and crack in the two eggs. Fry until the white is set (cover with a lid for half a minute or so for the top of the white to set), the yolk is runny and the bottom is browned. Remove the eggs to a cold plate. Reheat the kalettes and adjust the seasoning if needed. Add a little lemon juice and divide between plates or large bowls. Add the eggs, tomatoes, avocado and cress. Serve with the sauce.

Recipe: Burrata with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes and Wild Garlic Pesto

One of my favourite foods is undoubtedly burrata. It’s just so creamy and delicious and a nice weekend treat. But, it’s also the easiest thing to use for a lovely starter. When you have burrata you don’t have to work so hard with the rest; just make sure it goes well together.

So for a lovely spring time starter a few weekends ago I made minimal work. Apart from taking the burrata out of the fridge an hour ahead of eating I really didn’t do much; my appliances did all the work for me. The oven slow roasted the cherry tomatoes until jammy and sweet and the food processor made a really delicious wild garlic pesto to smother the burrata with. Add to that some bread and Bob’s your uncle.

Burrata with slow-roasted tomatoes and wild garlic pesto, serves 2

1 x 150g burrata

150 g cherry tomatoes

mild olive oil

1 tsp oregano or herbes de Provence

salt and pepper

1 batch wild garlic pesto

grassy olive oil for drizzling

salt and pepper

bread to serve

Preheat the oven to 150C. Wash and halve the tomatoes. Place them in an oven-proof dish and drizzle with mild olive oil. Add the herbs, salt and pepper and mix to coat. Place in oven for approx 1 hour.

Take the burrata out of the fridge an hour before it’s needed. Make the pesto.

To assemble, place the burrata on a deep plate, place the tomatoes around the burrata and dollop the pesto on top. Drizzle with a grassy olive oil and add salt and pepper. Serve with bread.

Recipe: Warm Butternut Squash, Pitta Chip and Halloumi Salad

Isn’t it crazy how quickly time flies, even in a pandemic?! We’ve been in lockdown for two months now (two dark and grey winter months I might add), but time has still flown by. I don’t understand how, but it has both positive and negative aspects. Positive in the way that time is moving on and therefore this too shall pass. But negative in the way that it feels like we’ve all lost a whole year of our lives. So many things have been put on hold and there is no certainly when we will see our loved ones again…

But I digress. The reason I brought up the time aspect is that as time moves on, so does the seasons. And I really must tell you about this wonderful winter salad recipe before winter is well and truly over. The recipe is courtesy of Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen (one of my favourite food blogs that I have followed for years) and it’s basically a way for her to trick her children into eating vegetables for dinner. But, it works just as well on vegetable adverse adults!

We both loved it and the leftovers re-heat really well! It’s definitely the pitta and halloumi that makes it so delicious but the red onion play a big part too, so don’t miss those out!

Warm butternut squash, pitta chip and halloumi salad, serves 4

Adapted from Deb Perelman’s recipe (I substituted cabbage for kale).

5 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp Aleppo pepper

1 red onion, cut into wedges

1 butternut squash, halved seeds removed and sliced 1,5 cm thick

1-2 white pitta breads, cut into triangular pieces

1 packet halloumi, sliced

4 stems of kale, leaves only

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)

1 1/2 tsp sumac

mint sprigs for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 220°C. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tbsp oil. Mix garlic, salt, Aleppo pepper and 3 tbsp oil in a large bowl. Add onion and squash and toss to coat. Spread out on the prepared baking sheet and roast until squash is browned underneath, approx 30 minutes.

Toss pitta, halloumi and kale and remaining 1 tbsp oil in a bowl. Scatter over the squash and onions, then turn vegetables over with a large spatula. Roast until squash is fork-tender and onion, pitta, and Halloumi are browned in spots, 10-15minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle with vinegar (or lemon juice). Top with sumac and mint.

Recipe: Green Tahini Yoghurt + Veggie Rice Bowl

As this third UK lockdown coincides with the beginning of a new year, I’ve been trying to cook a bit differently during the weeks. More vegetables (I have subscribed to a vegetable box), less meat and a bit healthier. But also more variety; trying new dishes and recipes.

One of my latest discoveries is this green tahini yoghurt, which goes with absolutely anything! I initially made it for our veggie rice bowls but I’ve also used it with fritters and lots of different leftovers.

It’s the perfect healthy sauce and dressing option to keep in your fridge! It’s fresh and herby, but has depth and a bit of a kick from the garlic. I just love it!

Our veggie bowls were nice too, but really just a clear out of the vegetable drawer so I won’t give you a recipe. But I can give you a formula for what I think a good veggie rice bowl should contain to make it interesting and delicious!

Green tahini yoghurt, one batch

1 150 ml pot Greek yoghurt (not fat free)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 garlic clove

1-2 tbsp water

2-3 tsp lemon juice

1 tbsp tahini

1 small bunch of coriander, stems included

plenty of salt and a bit of pepper

Mix all the ingredients together using a stick blender or a food processor. Season to taste with salt and pepper and lemon juice. Keeps in the fridge for up to a week.

Veggie rice bowl formula

1 portion rice per person

at least five types of vegetables, some fresh, some roasted and some pickled (think different textures but flavours that go together)

season well

add some lemon or lime juice

serve with a sauce or dressing

garnish with something interesting like crispy fried onions, fresh herbs, seeds, nuts etc

Recipe: the best side salad!

I don’t say this lightly, but this is, in my opinion, the best side salad. It doesn’t look like much, but it’s got crunch, it’s creamy and tangy and covered with grated parmesan.

So far I’ve paired it with lasagne and shrimp rolls with skin-on oven fries; two dishes that I love but I felt some kind of freshness was needed and this is the only salad that has really worked so now it’s forever in my repertoire.

It’s quite simple really, just crunchy little gem lettuce leaves (you don’t even need to cut or shred them) slathered in a homemade ranch-ish dressing with herbs and covered in a scattering of grated parmesan and some more herbs to make it look a bit more exciting. That’s it! It will only take you mere minutes to make but it will complement so many dishes.

Creamy side salad with parmesan, serves 2

1 little gem lettuce, rinsed and patted dry

4 tbsp soured cream

1,5 tbsp mayonnaise

1/2 tsp dijon or English mustard

3 drops of tabasco

1 small bunch of parsley, finely chopped

1 small bunch of chives, finely chopped

salt and pepper

Topping:

approx 3 tbsp finely grated parmesan

some finely chopped chives

Cut the bottom off the lettuce and place the leaves whole in a bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine soured cream and mayonnaise. Add dijon, tabasco and herbs. Season to taste. Mix the lettuce with the dressing until every lettuce leaf has a thin coating of dressing. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter. Scatter with finely grated parmesan and some more chives.

Recipe: Crispy Sweet Potato Oven Fries

During lockdown when I was cooking so many burgers, I also became adamant to learn how to make crispy sweet potato fries. And with some help from the internet I did!

I love when somebody else have already done all the hard work for you (thank you Gimme Some Oven!) and you can just tweak it to suit you. Because, as we all know, if we put sweet potato in the oven it becomes soft, not crispy. But there are ways to get this delicious (and healthy!) vegetable to crisp up! So let’s jump straight to the recipe.

Crispy sweet potato oven fries, serves 4

Adapted from Gimme Some Oven’s recipe.

500 g sweet potatoes, peeled

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp cornstarch

black pepper

sea salt

Preheat the oven to 215 C and line a large baking tray with parchment paper.

Slice the sweet potatoes into long, thin strips, about 50 mm wide. It’s important that the fries are uniformly sized for even cooking. 

Add the fries to a large clean bowl, drizzle with olive oil and mix until the fries are evenly coated with oil.

Mix the cornstarch with black pepper in a small bowl. Pour it into the bowl with the fries and mix until all the fries have a light coating of cornstarch on them.

Spread the fries out in a single layer on the parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip all the fries over with a spatula. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the fries are crispy and a little brown around the edges.

Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack, sprinkle with your desired amount of salt, then let the fries rest for another few minutes. Serve warm.

Recipe: asparagus risotto with wild garlic butter and lemon

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This wonderful recipe is actually from last year, but as usual time got away from me and suddenly the asparagus season was well and truly over and it felt too late to post.

This year I think I made it in the knick of time, as the season is drawing to an end, but if you’re lucky to find some nice asparagus, this is the perfect dish to end the season with. It’s both light and warming, fresh and a bit decadent thanks to the browned butter and wild garlic butter. Butter makes everything better doesn’t it?!

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Asparagus risotto with wild garlic butter and lemon, serves 3

2 banana shallots, finely chopped 

1 tbsp butter + 1 tbsp vegetable oil

180 g carnaroli rice

100 ml dry white wine

1 litre vegetable stock

grated parmesan

250 g asparagus

1 tbsp wild garlic butter

1/2 tsp lemon zest 

To serve:

asparagus tips 

two rounds wild garlic butter

1 tbsp browned butter

1/2 tsp lemon zest 

sea salt and black pepper

grated parmesan

Melt butter and oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the shallots and fry for a few minutes without browning. Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon so it can soak up all the oil and butter.  Add the wine and let it cook for a minute or so. Lower the heat to medium-low and add a ladle of stock. Stir and add more when most of the stock has evaporated, continue until the rice is cooked. I prefer a loose risotto so I don’t let the last ladle fully absorb. Remove from heat and add plenty of grated parmesan and a knob of butter to the rice and stir it in. 

While the risotto is cooking, trim the wooden ends off the asparagus. Save two asparagus tips per portion as garnish and cut the rest into smaller pieces on the diagonal. Boil the asparagus pieces until almost soft in salted water. Drain and add to the risotto just after the parmesan. Cook the asparagus tips al dente in salted water and set aside. Add wild garlic butter and lemon zest to the risotto. Season to taste. 

Divide the risotto between bowls. Arrange the asparagus tips in the middle of the bowl. Drizzle with browned butter. Place the wild garlic butter on top of the aspragus. Scatter with lemon zest and grated parmesan and serve.

Recipe: Butternut Squash Canapés with Persian Pesto and Pomegranate Seeds

Do you guys remember this lovely recipe? I’ve made it many times, and for our Christmas party I made it into bite size canapés, and it worked really well so of course I wanted to share with you what I did differently. Loved these as canapés! They’re a bit fun and different, refreshing amid meaty or heavy canapés and of course perfect for vegetarians. Plus they look gorgeous!

Instead of large wedges I cut the butternut squash into little triangles that I then topped with feta, pesto and pomegranate seeds.

Butternut squash canapés with Persian pesto, feta and pomegranate seeds, makes about 30

Adapted from Sabrina Ghayour’s recipe

1 large butternut squash, quartered lengthways (skin-on), and seeds removed 

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

150 g feta

100 g pomegranate seeds

For the pesto:

100 g pistachios

70 g parmesan

100 ml olive oil

1 small bunch coriander

1 small bunch parsley

1 small bunch dill

1 red chilli

1 lemon, juice only

2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Cut each wedge into 1 cm thick slices and place on lined baking trays, evenly spread out. Drizzle with oil, add salt and pepper and roast the squash for about 30-40 minutes, just until the edges have begun to brown slightly and they’re soft.

For the pesto, add the pistachios and cheese to a food processor. Pulse to break them into small pieces and add enough olive oil to slacken the mixture to your desired consistency (you may not need all the oil). Add all the herbs and a little more olive oil. Season generously with sea salt and give the mixture one last pulse. Taste the pesto, to make sure it has enough salt and acidity, and allow it to rest in the fridge until you need it. 

To serve, place the butternut squash pieces on a platter, spoon a little pesto on each and top with crumbled feta and pomegranate seeds.

Recipe: broccoli cheddar soup

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I love broccoli! Which you can see in the archives here at Scandelights. And luckily broccoli is one of those rare vegetables that both taste nice AND is good for you. Hurrah!

This soup, however, might be more good for the soul than the waist, as it has a hefty amount of cheese in it. But, isn’t that what we need this time of year?! Something warm and comforting in a bowl, that’s both delicious and nutritious (thanks to the broccoli).

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Broccoli cheddar soup, serves 4-6

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe.

4 tbsp butter

1 small onion, finely chopped 

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

60 ml plain flour

120 ml milk

120 ml cream

950 ml vegetable or chicken stock (from a good quality cube is fine) 

1 bay leaf

salt and black pepper

565 g broccoli, finely chopped

1 large carrot, finely chopped

225 g grated mature cheddar + extra for garnish

Melt the butter in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then gradually whisk in the milk and cream until smooth. Add the stock, bay leaf, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Add the broccoli and carrot to the pan and simmer until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and adjust seasoning if needed, but keep in mind the cheese will add some salt as well. Mix the soup with a stick blender to your desired texture. Back on the stove, add cheese and whisk until melted, about 1 minute.

Serve in bowls, garnished with grated cheddar. Serve with crusty bread. 

Recipe: wild garlic fritters

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Wild garlic season is almost over now, but luckily there were a few leaves left when I was in Sweden last and I used them wisely by trying a completely new recipe!

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As you may know by now, I love fritters and have a few recipes on the blog already, but when I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit I couldn’t resist trying it. Wild garlic is my favourite flavour in spring (together with asparagus and rhubarb) as it’s less pungent than garlic. It seems fresher somehow. But it also reminds me of my childhood, of going for walks in the woods and sensing that onion-y smell when they were first in season, and later spotting the pretty white flowers.

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The fritters turned out really well, even though I tweaked the recipe a bit, and both my parents gave them the thumbs up. I thought the fritters needed a sidekick and served my parmesan crème alongside them. Yum!

Wild garlic fritters, serves 4 as a starter

Adapted from Bon Appetit’s recipe.

a bunch of wild garlic, approx 8 cm in diameter

135 g plain flour

120 g potato flour or rice flour

1 tsp baking powder 

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

100-200 ml sparkling water 

approx 200-300 ml vegetable oil for frying 

lemon wedges to serve 

Rinse the wild garlic and pat dry with kitchen towel. Remove the coarse part of the stems. Cut into 1 cm long pieces and put to the side. 

Mix flour, potato flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the sparkling water until you have a batter that isn’t too thick or too thin. Add the wild garlic and mix well. 

Pour the oil into a high-sided frying pan until it is about 1 cm deep. Heat on medium-high heat until warm enough for deep-frying (it’s ready when a small piece of bread comes out golden). 

Add spoonfuls of the batter to the hot pan and fry until gold first one one side and then the other. Drain on kitchen towel. Serve with lemon wedges and parmesan crème.