Asparagus Risotto

Ingredients

700 g green asparagus
200 g risotto rice
100 g almonds
1 white onion
1 Tbsp vegetable bouillon powder
1 cup soy milk
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Method

  1. Cut off the end of the asparagus and save it for the vegetable stock. Set aside 8 asparagus whole (without the end part). Cut off the top part of the remaining asparagus and set it aside. Cut the middle part of the remaining asparagus into small discs.
  2. In a large pot with about 4 litres of water add 1 tbsp of vegetable bouillon and the ends of the asparagus. Bring to boil and keep this vegetable stock hot on slow boil throughout this recipe. Add a pinch or two of coarse sea salt.
  3. In a non-stick pan, add a finely chopped white onion and a ladle of the vegetable stock. Let the onion cook for 1 minute, then add the asparagus discs and let them cook for about 5 to 6 minutes. Add some more vegetable stock if necessary and season with some sea salt.
  4. In a small pot with boiling water, blanch half of the almonds for exactly 60 seconds. Then drain them under cold water and remove their skin. It should be very easy to do, just squeeze the almonds through your fingers and they should pop out of their skin.
  5. In a small blender, add the peeled almonds, soy milk, 2 tbsp of cooked asparagus discs, a pinch of salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Blend very well until you have a very smooth cream.
  6. On a baking tray with some parchment paper or a silicon mat, season the tip of the asparagus with a crushed clove of garlic, olive oil, salt and a squeeze of lemon juice.
  7. On the same tray, but separate from the asparagus, season the second half of the almonds with olive oil and salt. Bake in the oven for 10 min at 180˚C (360˚F). Then crush the almonds into small pieces.
  8. In a large pan, add the risotto rice and start toasting the rice on medium heat for about 1 minute while stirring with a wooden spoon.
  9. Add a small quantity of hot vegetable stock to the rice (about 1.5 ladles) and stir. When the vegetable stock has evaporated, add some more, little by little. Keep stirring often. Repeat this for the next 10 minutes.
  10. Take the 8 whole asparagus and with a potato peeler, start shaving them, creating thin slices of asparagus. Season this with some salt, olive oil, and a drizzle of lemon juice. Set aside. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the risotto, you need to keep adding vegetable stock and keep stirring.
  11. After 10 minutes, add the asparagus discs to the rice, some extra vegetable stock, and keep stirring. Keep adding vegetable stock and stirring for about 5 more minutes, until the risotto is cooked al dente. It needs to have some bite.
  12. Turn off the heat and add the almond-asparagus cream into the risotto while stirring. Add some more vegetable stock if necessary. At this point taste and add some salt if necessary.
  13. Keep stirring until the cream is fully incorporated. Remember that the consistency of your risotto needs to be wavy, or as we Italian’s say, “all’onda”. Not too thick, not too watery, just like a wave.
  14. Remove risotto to a flat plate. Let it set into the place without touching it. Then add the roasted asparagus tips on top.
  15. Sprinkle with some crushed roasted almonds. Top with a bush of asparagus shavings, and drizzle with some drops of extra virgin olive oil.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Vegan Food and Living

Roasted Salmon with Lemon Relish

Ingredients

1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup raisins
slivered zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 to 3/4 cup boiling water
4 skinless salmon fillets, 6 ounces each
coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 ounces baby spinach (about 5 cups, loosely packed)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Spread the pine nuts on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven, tossing occasionally, until lightly golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the sheet, and reserve.
  3. Place the raisins and lemon zest in a small heat-proof bowl. Cover with boiling water. Set aside.
  4. Place the salmon fillets on the baking sheet used in step 1. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until the salmon is opaque throughout, 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Drain and discard the liquid from the raisins and lemon zest. Return the raisins and zest to the bowl. Add the lemon juice, pine nuts, parsley, and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  6. Dividing evenly, make a bed of spinach on each of 4 plates. Place a salmon fillet on the spinach. Spoon lemon relish over the top before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Great Food Fast

Hazelnut Chocolate Buns

Ingredients

Pre-ferment Dough

175 g bread flour
100 g water
5 g fresh yeast
2.5 g sea salt
5 g skimmed milk powder

Dough

37.5 g bread flour
37.5 g cake flour
2.5 g fresh yeast
12.5 g sugar
2.5 g sea salt
25 g honey
17.5 g egg yolk
37.5 g milk
37.5 g unsalted butter

Filling

120 g Nutella hazelnut spread
80 g ground almonds

Method

  1. To make the pre-fermented dough, dissolve the yeast in water. Add flour, salt and milk powder. Knead until smooth. Cover with cling film. Refrigerate for 17 hours. The dough lasts well in the fridge for 72 hours.
  2. Mix the filling ingredients together and divide into 8 equal portions. Keep in freezer until stiff.
  3. Mix all dough ingredients (except butter) in a mixing bowl. Add pre-ferment dough that has been cut into small pieces. Knead to mix well until smooth. Add butter and knead until the dough can be stretched into thin films without breaking or sticking to the bowl.
  4. Cover the dough in cling film. Leave it for 30 minutes.
  5. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, each weighing 60 g. Press each piece to remove trapped air. Round the dough. Leave them for 20 minutes.
  6. Press each dough to remove trapped air. Stuff each dough with about 25 g of filling. Roll it into a long oval. Make 6 or 7 cuts on one long side of the dough to expose the filling. Slowly pull the dough long while swirling it into a bun. Put each bun into a baking paper case. Leave them to proof in the cases.
  7. Cover with cling film. Leave them for 30 to 40 minutes. Brush egg wash over them. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 14 to 16 minutes until golden.

Makes 8 buns.

Source: Devoted to Bread Making

Middle Eastern-style Freekeh and Leek Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients

1 Tbsp + 1/4 cup grapeseed oil or sunflower oil
1 leek, white and light green parts, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup freekeh
1 cup canned (drained and rinsed) or cooked chickpeas
1 medium carrot, shredded
1/3 cup sliced dried apricots
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
2 green onions, green and white parts. sliced
4 red bell peppers
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp za’atar spice mixture
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Method

  1. In medium-sized saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add leek and salt, cook until leek is softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  3. In another saucepan, add 1-1/2 cups water and freekeh, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until freekeh is tender and water has absorbed, about 16 minutes. Set aside, covered, for 5 minutes, and then fluff with fork. Stir in softened leeks and garlic, chickpeas, carrot, apricots, and pistachios.
  4. In small saucepan, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add green onions and let sizzle just until green parts darken slightly, about 1 minute.
  5. Transfer mixture to blender and let cool. Puree with 2 Tbsp water and a couple pinches of salt until as smooth as possible.
  6. Halve each bell pepper lengthwise, from stem to base, removing white veins and seeds.
  7. Place peppers on microwavable dish, cut sides up, cover with paper towel, and microwave on High for 5 minutes, or until tender.
  8. Stir together yogurt, lemon juice, za’atar, and cayenne.
  9. Stuff bell pepper halves with freekeh mixture and top with dollops of yogurt. Drizzle on onion oil and garnish with parsley before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Alive magazine

Stuffed Roasted Butternut Squash

Ingredients

1 butternut squash
1 Tbsp olive oil

Stuffing

2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery sticks
1 yellow onion, peeled, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled, minced
85 g wild rice
85 g white rice
60 g walnuts, chopped
50 g dried cranberries
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp fresh sage, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds, then put both halves on a baking tray, cut-side up.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil on top of each squash and rub around to coat. Bake for 60-75 minutes until the squash is cooked and fork tender.
  4. Once baked, remove the squash from the oven. Let it cool enough so that you can handle it. Scoop out the flesh in the centre of both squash halves, leaving about a 2.5-cm border all around. Chop the scooped-out squash flesh and set aside.
  5. Prepare the stuffing while the squash is baking. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over a medium-high heat. When hot, sauté the carrots, celery, onion and garlic until the veggies soften and begin to brown.
  6. Add the wild rice and veggie broth to the pan, give it a stir, then cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Add the white rice to the pan, cover and continue to cook another 8-10 minutes until the rice absorbs the broth.
  8. Add the walnuts, dried cranberries, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. When ready, add in the squash flesh. Stir well to combine.
  9. Pack in as much of the stuffing into both sides of the squash as you can. Pick up one squash half and flip it on top of the other. Use kitchen string to tie up the squash in 3 or 4 places, holding it together.
  10. Lightly brush the top with more olive oil. Bake for 20-35 minutes until hot all the way through. Season the top with cracked pepper and a sprinkle of chopped sage. Carefuly cut into slices and serve.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Vegan Food and Living