Chard, Garlic and Sorrel Tart

Lawks, I love a tart! (Insert Carry On joke here).

Did they ever make Carry On Cooking? I think not. Shame – the double entendre capacity of cooking is immense. Cream puffs and toasted nuts. I saw on the internet the other day a list of saucy Bake Off sayings. I don’t know if Mary Berry really did actually say the words ‘moist crack’ on the TV, but it’s hilarious (if you’re British and have a childish mind) to imagine that she did. 

This is not a comedy tart, it doesn’t raise an eyebrow and say ‘oo madame’ like more showy-off tarts, but it has an immensely satisfying small list of ingredients that meld themselves into a remarkably fine tasting tart. I make mine quite thin, but you can increase the filling or decrease the size of the tin to make it deeper if you want.

A word on sorrel: I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in the shops. Which is a shame as it’s every bit as useful as rocket. The very lemony sharp flavour of the leaves is really useful. If you’ve got a garden and you like growing herbs for cooking, get a sorrel plant or throw some seeds on the ground and it grows like a weed and comes back every year. There are different kinds, a heart-shaped small one (buccleuch, pronounced ‘buckler’) that creeps rather like ivy in cracks in walls or between plants in the ground, and a large-leafed kind that looks very like spinach and is called broad-leaved sorrel. Either will do and will return each spring without you having to do anything.

OR, if the more likely scenario is in play, which is that you don’t have any sorrel, I suggest you zest half a small lemon and put that in instead. Or of course you can always add a tablespoon of herbs you particularly like, such as tarragon, or chervil, or even just chives. 

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Potato Pancakes

I just love me anything fried. Along with massive salads it’s one of my favourite types of food to eat. I think mum must have made fried things when we were kids, although we weren’t a chip pan sort of a family. Actually, I’m wrong, we did have a chip pan in the 1980’s. Anyway, I digress, here are some lovely potato pancakes to have for lunch. Mum has always served them with some plain yoghurt, and some homemade apple sauce.  If you grind a bit of salt and pepper on your yoghurt and then top with apple sauce it’s just a great combo.

Ingredients

  • 200g potatoes, peeled. (approx 215g unpeeled
  • 50g onion, peeled and grated (messy but better than chopped)
  • 1 egg white, beaten to a froth but not stiff
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour

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Watermelon Salad with Feta Cheese

So, not to be like a record stuck in a groove or ‘owt, but this is very very veeeehy quick and very easy and it’s another of our ‘not-a-recipe-more-of-a-serving-suggestion’ salads.

We don’t believe in iceberg lettuce and tomatoes with no dressing. That’s not salad, that’s just assorted fibre on a plate. Yet somehow, despite all the fancy places to eat in the UK and the transition from spam and sprouts to quinoa and coulis that’s occurred in the last twenty years, lots of people still think that salad is boring and worthy. Sometimes those people come round to our house and eat a salad and go: ‘wow, how did you make this?’ and the answer is – …’er we chopped it up and put literally TWO things on it’.

And then you’ve got taste, interest, AND HEALTH.

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Guacamole

This is what you do when you bought a rock-hard avocado ten days ago, left it in a bowl to reach ripe perfection and then forgot about it so now it’s starting to look a bit old and tired.  There are lots of different ways of doing guacamole and you can experiment with them, of course. This is what I do. Nice and simple.

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Broad Beans with feta

This is, like many salads, just a question of putting some things together and creating joy on a plate.  It’s very similar to the Flageolet Beans salad.  But different.

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Apple and Blue Cheese Salad

This isn’t really a recipe. It’s more a suggestion of how to put things together in a bowl to make a great salad. We’ve got a little guide to making salad in the How Do I… section, but for now this is a just one particular example of the sweet/sour/crunch/salt approach.  The sweet crunch of the apple and the nutty, toasted crunch of the pumpkin seeds work brilliantly with creamy, salty blue cheese.  The little kick of the chives adds another level (often a good thing to put onion in a salad) and the sharp cider vinegar keeps it good and fresh.

About the ingredients:

You can, of course, substitute different kinds of cheeses – maybe goat’s cheese or feta. Best to use something good and salty, though. And you could use a different fruit – kiwi or pear, maybe – and different herbs, different greens, different seeds. Completely change it in fact. Because you can.

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Beetroot Salad with Clementine and Feta

Hi. I made this combination up so if you see it anywhere else on the Web Of All Things then it’s nicked, officer. It’s another Definitely Not Boring Salad for you. As usual with salads, it’s not a recipe, more of a serving suggestion. Nothing is expensive, everything is available in basic supermarkets. I’m rather pleased with it.

  • Slice a large pre-cooked beetroot thinly. Peel a clementine and slice it very thinly. Break up some chunks of feta cheese. Value own-brand is fine. (75p, yay!)
  • Arrange it all on a plate. 
  • Drizzle with olive oil and couple of teaspoons of a nice vinegar like red or white wine vinegar
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • If you’ve got tarragon or chives, put some on. 

Optional:

  • If you like toasted seeds, dry fry some sunflower/pumpkin/sesame seeds till slightly brown and put them on. 

Badda Bing. As they say (somewhere).

WINGS

 

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Tricolore Salad

There are hundreds of pictures of this already on the Interweb Of All Things, but we make no apology for putting it on our blog, because we eat it all the time and it’s an important part of the Definitely Not Boring Salad campaign that we have going on. And like all the salads at Life is Jam, it’s really easy. I sometimes have it just on its own with some bread for lunch, or I serve it with several other salads for a lunch spread for a few people.

The mozzarella doesn’t have to be anything posh, I just use the value own-brand kind from the supermarket, which is about 50p, and will be enough for a salad for four. Or you can cut some off and leave the rest in the fridge in it’s little bag for up to three days.

Like a lot of salads, it’s not really a recipe, it’s a serving suggestion. 

  • Slice some avocado, sprinkle a squeeze of lemon juice on it, which not only adds a little edge to the taste but also stops it going brown.
  • Slice some nice ripe tomatoes, and slice or break up some mozzarella. Make it all look nice on a plate if you’re into things looking nice.
  • sprinkle with salt and plenty of pepper, drizzle generously with olive oil, and scatter some fresh basil on.

That’s it folks. There’s no excuse not to make this SOON. Unless you don’t like avocado. Or tomatoes. Or mozzarella.

WINGS

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Flageolet Beans with Mint and Citrus

Everyone I EVER serve this to likes this salad. And I mean Everyone.  Usually people go ‘What’s in THIS? It’s delicious!’ And I have to admit…er… not very much. It’s just a dead simple perfect salad and goes with so many things. As well as part of a spread for lunch, beans are nice with meat, so you can have it with a chop or a steak for your main meal. I never think it matters having a cold side with a hot dish. I owe Nigel Slater the inspiration for this, though I make it differently.

Flageolet come in a tin, I think life’s too short to soak dried beans over night and do all the blah blah. But you can do that if you want. In the UK, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose stock them, but they can be hard to find, so you can make this with canellini beans too.

But do try to find them, there’s just something special about Flageolet. I’m not big on lentils and all that chewy cardboard business. These are creamy and lush.

This salad needs a lot of fresh mint. Dried won’t cut it. This is how much I put in for one tin of beans:Fresh MintIngredients:

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Humous

Yes, you can buy humous ready made and it’s not expensive and it’s not nasty.  But I prefer home made. It’s different. I think it’s better. See what you think.

About the ingredients:

humous ingredients

You can make this with dried chickpeas, which involves soaking overnight and then cooking for a few minutes with a heaped teaspoon of bicarb, then adding water and boiling for about twenty minutes. But it turns out that tinned chickpeas might be better for humous. They’re softer and give a creamier consistency.

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