My kitchen before the veggie cookathon began!!
I was looking through a lot of my books for inspiration on a Vegetarian dish to cook for my friend Shona coming for tea and I decided the best Vegetarian dishes are ones not in that particular section of the cooking books but those that just happen to be without meat!!
I had a wee chuckle to myself later in the week when I was watching Gordon Ramsey's F Word and he said pretty much the same thing... or maybe it was when I was watching Rick Stein... I forget!! Anyway whoever it was agreed... so here are two tasty dishes that I cooked for Shona- which were not in the vegetarian section!
This first, Spinach Frittatas is from Good HouseKeeping 'Eat Well Stay Well' and is in the section entitled light meals... Lily (Nathan's Mum had given us another mound of spinach from her alotment) so I'm trying to find as many new ways to serve it!
I realised when I went to cook the frittatas that I did not have egg poaching rings but only a heart shaped mould for frying eggs so Shona and I had a smaller portion than the recipe suggests- just as well- as our main was so filling too!!
Asparagus and Parmesan Pastries was a really easy dish and is from Good Food magazine (do we see a pattern emerging here!!) I made a similar dish for Hannah a wee while ago- which was also popular.
Serves 4 - Prep: 20 mins - Cooking Time: 12 mins
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp spring onion tops, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 ripe tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped
200 g (7oz) baby leeks (although I used normal leeks!) trimmed and cut into 2. cm (1 inch) pieces
125g (4oz) young fresh spinach
6 large eggs
4 tbsp semi skimmed milk
freshly grated nutmeg
125g (4oz) feta cheese, diced
fresh basil sprigs, to garnish
1. For the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice, 3 tbsp olive oil and spring onion tops; season with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes and set aside.
2. Blanch the leeks in boiling, salted water for 2 minutes. Add the spinach to the pan just before draining the leeks. Drain, refresh with cold water, drain again and dry on kitchen paper.
3. Whisk the eggs, milk, seasoning and nutmeg to taste. Stir in the feta cheese, leeks and spinach.
4. Heat the remaining oil in a non stick frying pan. Place four 10 cm (4 inch) poaching rings in the pan and pour a quarter of the egg mixture into each one. Fry gently for 4-5 minutes. Finish under a hot grill for 4-5 minutes until the tops are golden and just firm to the touch.
5. Turn the frittatas out of the poaching rings, garnish with basil and serve with the dressing.
I think my love heart frittatas look quite cute!! But they are about half the suggested size! Pictured are the Spinach Frittatas and me (looking very hot and sweaty serving the food!)
Asparugus and Parmesan Pastries
Serves 4 - Prep: 10 mins - Cooking Time: 20-25 mins
6 tbsp mascarpone
40g/ 1 1/2 oz grated Parmesan, plus extra shavings to serve (Shona didn't have Parmesan in hers as apparently it's not vegetarian! Who knew!!)
3 tbsp finely chopped basil
zest 1/2 lemon
375g pack of ready rolled puff pastry, quartered (then cut to the length of the asparagus- but mine were almost bigger than the pastry!)
350g pack asparagus spears
1 tbsp olive oil
good handful pretty salad leaves, such as rocket, basil, frisee and a little red chard leaves, tossed with vinaigrette
1. Heat the oven to 200*C / fan 180*C/ gas 6. Mix the mascarpone with the parmesan, basil and lemon zest and then season.
2. Lift the pastry onto 2 trays, then score around the edges of each peice to make a thin border. Spread the cheese mixture within the borders.
3. Toss the asparagus in the oil, then arrange the bundles on top of the pastry (these can be stacked a bit for height) Bake the pastries for 20-25 mins until golden, then serve warm topped with the dressed salad leaves and a few shavings of parmesan.