Russian Salad

I was going to blog the ‘Heaven Sent Hummus’ recipe today but I have been moved to give you this one instead.

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As I have driven through the Suffolk countryside I’ve noticed that the roadside ‘eggs for sale’ have started to reappear. I grew up in a house where we had various animals and we had a lot of hens for eggs. They are so good and that got me thinking about the fact that it is ‘springtime’ and we would be starting to see the hens getting broody. I also noticed a distinct change in the quality of the eggs I use. The yolks are super firm and the whites are too. Of course that is too be expected because the fertility of the hen has kicked in.

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When I was growing up my Mum and Dad just produced as much of the food as they possibly could. Our garden was covered in panes of glass over heeled in pieces of timber or corrugated iron to make cold frames to get as early a crop of garden fresh food as soon as possible. (In 1979 Dad did actually get a real glass green house, he was so happy).

One of the most delicious things that my Dad (yes read it and weep) would make was Russian salad. The first one would be made around about the end of May with the very first tiny, tender and so sweet peas, carrots, new potatoes and beetroot. And of course those lovely eggs – so fresh that once boiled it would be impossible to peel them.

The other thing he always did, and I have such a strong memory of this, is he would make the mayonnaise himself. He would sit himself on a ricky old wooden chair outside but in the shade. He always insisted it had to use a china basin, a wooden spoon, an egg yolk and good olive oil. It would make a thick (really thick) cream of a dusky, rusty, golden colour that he would then season with a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of malt vinegar. Once the salad was made it would be left in the cold pantry for all the flavours to develop and marry together.

I have told him I am blogging this recipe, I don’t think he really understand what I am on about he just says ‘Oh yes, very good dear. But when I showed him over Skype just the ingredients I have gathered he really smiled and guessed straight away what I was making. I have told him I want to photograph him making the ‘crema’. I’ll put them up once I have them.

Also the photo of the olive oil is of the olive juice (it is so good) that my cousin sends me over from Italy. If you want you can buy it in England in the food halls of Harrods, but I am including a link to their webpage for you to see if you can get hold of it nearer to you. It is worth the effort.

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http://www.mariaianniciello.com

So I am including how to make the mayonnaise but made in a machine but with the good olive oil, you can use sunflower if you think it will be too expensive or too strong a flavour.

It was amazing.

Russian Salad
Feeds a party of 8 or 3 hungry Italian kids that had spent all day running all over the countryside.

4 lb Charlotte, Saxon (waxy) potatoes,
4 eggs, hard-boiled, finely diced (optional)

1 small red or white onion, finely diced

6 carrots
2 beetroot
240g /8 oz shelled fresh or frozen peas
8 cornichons
2 tsp dried or 2 tbsp fresh chopped dill

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Boil the potatoes in their skins (about 15 – 20 minutes. Drain and cool in cold running water for a minute, then set them to one side for the skins to dry . Peel them and chop into large chunks (no smaller than 2 cm cubes at all, bigger is fine)

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At the same time repeat the process with the carrots and beetroot.
Put the eggs into a pan of cold water, bring up to the boil and cook for 4 minutes then drain and plunge into cold water. Once cold shell them and cut into 2 cm chunks.

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Cook the peas just as normal and cool in cold water straight away.
Run the knife through the cornichons to about 1/2 cm pieces. And dice the onion as small as you can manage.

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That’s all the that ready. Pop it all into a nice large bowl for mixing.

To make the mayonnaise (in a food processor, so it needs to be a larger quantity, but if you can make it in a smaller amount then just divide it all by 2 or 4)
1 lt/2 pints Olive Oil
4 whole eggs
1 tbsp malt vinegar (or lemon juice or red wine, which you prefer or have to hand)
3/4 cup mayonnaise (low-fat, or a mixture of mayo and sour cream work great here)

a little salt to taste

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Add the eggs into the processor bowl with the blade attachment (I have never used a whisk for this).
Set the machine running at it’s fastest speed and through the top feed tube start to very slowly, in a fine line, pour in the oil.

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Take your time. At first you think it is not working. Keep the machine on the highest setting.

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When you have added about 3/4 of the oil you will notice a distinct change in the sound of the mixture, it will almost be quacking at you. You can stop the machine and have a look, it will have become super thick and mayonnaise-y.

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You can turn it on again and finish adding the oil, then the vinegar and salt.

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Add 3/4 of the mayonnaise into the mixture and use a big metal spoon to mix it carefully. you don’t want to break it into tiny pieces.

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Spoon it into your serving dish.

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And coat the outside with the rest of the ‘crema’ and sprinkle with the dill.

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Have a spoon to taste yourself now but leave it in a cool spot (a fridge is probably what most people will do) and let it sit for a minimum of 4 hours.

So simple to make and so really delicious, this is nothing like the stuff they sell you in the shops.

😀

email me scarletrositafood@btinternet.com
phone or text 0792 310 9170
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ScarletRosita
or follow me on Twitter
https://twitter.com/ScarletRosita
Follow Me on Pinterest

Come and see me on Saturdays’ at Bermondsey Square Farmers Market in Southwark. It’s just off Tower Bridge Road, a short walk from The White Cube, Southbank and Borough Market.
All new customers will get a lovely washable cotton shopper as a ‘Thank you and please come again next week’ (Whie stocks last!)

Every Friday at about 6 pm GMT I publish photos of the items I have cooked for market. Have a look at the Facebook page.

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‘Meaty’ Spicy Rice – A Vegan Treat We All Love To Eat!

Here we are on a Monday again and I love the idea of trying to go one day a week without any meat. I’m not a Vegan (as I have said many times, I just love good food) and I know I can get so many more exciting flavours and dishes going with all the fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes there are out there.

But I do know that sometimes best intentions are scuppered by a lack of experience or options.

This dish is for people that want to try a ‘Meatless Monday’ (or any day really) but like the texture of meat and would miss the ‘meat’ on the plate

It is full of flavour, super simple and uses ingredients you will have in your food cupboards. (Really, nothing too out there at all)

If you are living in a lovely part of the world where things are growing (it is snowing AGAIN here) then please feel free to top with a big handful of chopped parsley, or better still, fresh coriander leaves, mint and rocket … oh yeah!

And .. wait… AND it is outrageously cheap to make

For more ideas, have a look at this fantastic blog that is just starting 🙂

http://billievita.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/jour-1/

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‘Meaty’ Spicy Rice – A Vegan Treat We All Love To Eat!
serves 6

1 large white onions
3 medium sized carrots
2 stalks of celery
4 cloves of garlic
1 Butternut Squash/sweet potato/swede/parsnip (what you have preferably in season 🙂 )
2 tbsps of olive/sunflower oil
2 tbsp Tomato puree
1 Bay leaf
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Dried Parsley
1 tsp Coriander spice
2 tsp Cumin spice
1 litre / 2 pt water or vegetable stock (from a cube is ok but if you have any of the superb but totally underrated cabbage water – then use that)
2 cups/240g/8oz Rice (I prefer brown for this dish as it adds to the ‘meat’)
1 cup/ 120g/4oz Couscous
400g / 14 oz Can Kidney Beans (or whichever is your favourite) drained
2 cups frozen peas
60ml/2 fl oz Good quality Olive oil

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Peel the onions, carrots, squash (remove the seeds) and garlic. Wash and trim the celery. And chop everything up but not too small, through the halved onion cut though it 4 times in one direction and four times in the other, that’s enough, you want to have something to chew on.

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Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a large, heavy frying pan and over a medium heat.

Saute the onions, carrots, celery and squash (or whatever you have chosen) until they start to soften and turn translucent.

Add in the garlic and give it a good stir

Now add the tomato puree and the stock, Bay leaf and Oregano, Parsley, Coriander and Cumin.

Let them cook for a minute.

Now add stock/water/amazing cabbage water and bring up to the boil.

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Add in the beans and then add in the rice. Give it a good stir and bring it up to the boil.

Now turn down the heat to a simmer, pop on the lid and allow it to cook for 5 – 35 minutes (check what the rice packet says – Basmati will take 10 minutes but my brown rice needed 40 minutes)

Just check the pan every 10 minutes as depending on the heat you’ve used, the type of rice, the moistness of the vegetables, you will probably have to add some water now or take the lid off to allow it to dry a little The fluid level should be just visible under the top layer of food.

Add the peas. Bring up to the boil again.

Now add in the olive oil and the cous cous. A nice big stir, lid on – now go wash the pans, go look out the window, pour a cuppa tea or a glass of beer.

You are ignoring the pan completely for 10 minutes.

Now it is ready, run a fork though it to loosen the grains. Dish up.

This will surely be the dish that will convert the ‘Vegan Curious Meat Eater’.

😀

My photos show me cooking a much larger quantity than the above recipe 🙂

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Come and see me on Saturdays’ at Bermondsey Square Farmers Market in Southwark. It’s just off Tower Bridge Road, a short walk from The White Cube, Southbank and Borough Market.
All new customers will get a lovely washable cotton shopper as a ‘Thank you and please come again next week’ (Whie stocks last!)

Every Friday at about 6 pm GMT I publish photos of the items I have cooked for market. Have a look at the Facebook page.

email me scarletrositafood@btinternet.com
phone or text 0792 310 9170
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ScarletRosita
or follow me on Twitter
https://twitter.com/ScarletRosita
Follow Me on Pinterest

Millet and Mushroom Loaf (Vegan, Gluten & Wheat Free)

Inspired by Cranks, Millet & Vegetable Gratinee but this is Vegan, gluten and wheat free and can be made with no addd fat)

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Millet and Mushroom Loaf (Vegan, Gluten & Wheat Free)

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4 oz Millet
500ml / 1 pt vegetable stock
1 tbsp sunflower oil
2 leeks
4 stalks of celery
1 large carrot
8 oz mushroom
1 sweet potato
1 tsp sage
1 tbsp tarragon
1 tsp parsley
1 lemon, zest and juice

Dry-roast the millet briefly in a heavy-bottomed pan until there is a slightly toasted smell to it, add enough water to cover it and add pinch of sea salt.
Cover and bring to a boil.
Simmer over a medium heat for 30-35 minutes. Drain, run some cold water through it and set it to one side.

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Chop the leeks, carrot, potato and celery finely.
Sauté them in the oil until they soften and start to brown.

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Slice the mushrooms and saute them separately so they can take on a nice brown colour.

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Add in the lemon and herbs.

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Blitz the millet and and the vegetables together to make a softish dough.

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Taste and adjust seasoning.

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Line a loaf tin with parchment paper and spray or brush with a little oil. Fill the tins.

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Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or put in microwave for about 2 minutes.

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Come and see me on Saturdays’ at Bermondsey Square Farmers Market in Southwark. It’s just off Tower Bridge Road, a short walk from The White Cube, Southbank and Borough Market.
All new customers will get a lovely washable cotton shopper as a ‘Thank you and please come again next week’ (Whie stocks last!)

Every Friday at about 6 pm GMT I publish photos of the items I have cooked for market. Have a look at the Facebook page.
email me scarletrositafood@btinternet.com
phone or text 0792 310 9170
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ScarletRosita
or follow me on Twitter
https://twitter.com/ScarletRosita
Follow Me on Pinterest

Creamy, Dreamy Onion Soup (Vegan and Gluten Free)

It started to snow again last night, big fat ones, so big they struggled to float down to the ground. The news reported that Norfolk was experiencing some of the biggest snowflakes ever recorded. Like a benign apocalypse.

In such cases what else is there to do … make soup – natch! Warming, comforting, aromatic and with a delightfully alcoholic pungency.

It’s up to you if you want to add the alcohol, but I like that unique flavour.

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This soup is begging for a good flavoured bread and I suggest you make a cheeky loaf to go with it, try
https://scarletrosita.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/rye-wheat-caraway-biga-sourdough-bread/
it is well worth it.

Creamy, Dreamy Onion Soup

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1 kg / 2 lb Red Onions
2 large carrots
2 stalks of celery
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tsp dried parsley
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp cornflour
1 lt / 2 pts soya milk (or rice, oat, even almond milk – scrummy)
1lt / 2 pts vegetable stock ( from a good Vegan source I like Marigold) or water
125 ml / 4 fl oz Vermouth or cider, or White wine at a push.

Peel the carrots and chop into even sized chunks.
Wash and cut up the celery.

Peel the onions and cut into even sized chunks, I say cut them in half though their belly (like where a belt would sit) then cut then into quarters (2 cuts) from top to bottom.
Peel the garlic and cut into 4 pieces.

Heat the oil in a large pan and add in the carrots, celery and onions and let them start to cook to the point where they are just starting to colour up (good flavour on it’s way!) Add the garlic.

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Add in the milk and stock, keeping a teacupful of the milk to one side.

Add the parsley and the alcohol you want to use and bring the mix up to the boil.

(Seriously- could this be easier?)

Let it cook for 25 – 30 minutes. You want the carrots cooked until very soft.

Mix the remaining milk with the cornflour to a smooth paste. Add it to the soup whilst it boils and you stir. It will thicken up nicely.

Now you can use an immersion blender (which I prefer) or you can liquidize the soup in batches or pass it through a Moulie.

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Return to the pan and warm through. Don’t worry if it seems a lot, you will easily eat it all

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Come and see me on Saturdays’ at Bermondsey Square Farmers Market in Southwark. It’s just off Tower Bridge Road, a short walk from The White Cube, Southbank and Borough Market.
All new customers will get a lovely washable cotton shopper as a ‘Thank you and please come again next week’ (Whie stocks last!)

Every Friday at about 6 pm GMT I publish photos of the items I have cooked for market. Have a look at the Facebook page.

email me scarletrositafood@btinternet.com
phone or text 0792 310 9170
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ScarletRosita
or follow me on Twitter
https://twitter.com/ScarletRosita
Follow Me on Pinterest