Archive for the Side dishes Category

Nettle Soup

Posted 12 June 2013 by
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I think it’s always fun to cook with free food taken from the garden, and especially food you have foraged from the hedgerow. Stinging nettles are versatile and can be used where you would use spinach or other greens. They are very nutritious, containing decent amounts of iron, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin K. After the success of my nettle and thyme bread, I decided to try nettle soup. It tasted good — nettle doesn’t have a very strong taste; it’s quite earthy I suppose, and not dissimilar to spinach.

Nettle soup

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Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Posted 19 April 2013 by
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This recipe for spicy roasted chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) is so easy and is a fantastic nutritious alternative to other savoury snacks. You only need a tin of chickpeas, a little oil and whatever seasonings you want to add. Chickpeas are high in fibre, low in fat and a good source of nutrients like vitamin B6 and iron. Once roasted to delicious crunchiness, they’re also very moreish! You can adjust all the seasoning amounts to suit your taste.

Spicy roasted chickpeas Continue reading “Spicy Roasted Chickpeas”…

Spicy Casablanca Couscous

Posted 17 April 2013 by
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Couscous is such a great alternative side dish to the usual pasta/rice/potatoes. This recipe for Spicy Casablanca Couscous comes from Ainsley Harriott’s Low Fat Meals in Minutes. I discovered it last year when I was looking for lower-calorie recipes, and it works so well that it’s become a regular feature on the weekly menu. The cumin and coriander work really well together and you can dial the hotness up or down by adjusting the amount of chillies you use. (You could obviously substitute dried chillies or cayenne, or omit them altogether.)

Couscous in a pan with spoon

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Goat’s Cheese, Parmesan and Caramelised Onion Palmiers

Posted 28 February 2011 by
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Palmiers are so easy to make, but I haven’t tried savoury ones up until now. It took me about 5 seconds to decide what fillings to use – sweet caramelised onions, salty parmesan cheese and creamy goat’s cheese go so well together! These can be really simple, if you use ready-made puff pastry (obscenely easy if you use ready-rolled!), and you can use caramelised onions from a jar. Of course, if you’re looking to put a bit more effort into it (and get more credit!) you can make the puff pastry and caramelise the onions yourself. I think the tangy red onion chutney I made back in December would work a treat.

Baked caramelised onion, goat's cheese and parmesan palmier, cooling on a rack. Continue reading “Goat’s Cheese, Parmesan and Caramelised Onion Palmiers”…

Lemon Hummus

Posted 11 January 2011 by
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I suppose it’s the time of year when we all start trying to eat a little more healthily, whether as part of a new year’s resolution, or just to offset some of the damage done during the Christmas period. I am on the lookout for healthy recipes, not always my favourite thing!

So, I have my homemade pita bread, what else do I need? A little homemade (lemon) hummus, that’s what. Or houmous. Or, to give it its full title, ḥummuṣ bi ṭaḥīna (it means literally “chickpeas with tahini”). There are thousands of recipes for hummus out there and it’s hard to find a “definitive” one. As long as you have chickpeas and tahini in there, I think you’re ok. Speaking of which, I learned today that if you have a jar of tahini on the shelf for a long time, it goes kind of… hard. A bit tricky to work with. It needed some elbow grease to get it into a spoonable texture.

A plate with homemade hummus and sticks of raw carrot. Continue reading “Lemon Hummus”…

Garlic Bread Rolls with Thyme

Posted 5 January 2011 by
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I love garlic bread. Who doesn’t, right? I saw this recipe for garlic buns at Torview, which had in turn been inspired by garlic pull-apart rolls at Edible Garden. They look so delicious, I couldn’t wait to try them! The other recipes used chopped up coriander, but I’m not a big fan of that, so I decided to use thyme instead. Luckily, there was still some growing in the garden so I could use it fresh.

Garlic and thyme bread rolls Continue reading “Garlic Bread Rolls with Thyme”…

Christmas Sausage-meat Stuffing

Posted 25 December 2010 by
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For me, pork forcemeat stuffing is the one and only “ultimate” stuffing for Christmas dinner. Keep your sage & onion for ordinary Sunday roast dinners, this is the good stuff. Now, I have seen recipes for forcemeat stuffing that includes dried fruit, chestnuts, celery etc, but I prefer to keep it simple. You can make your own pork forcemeat from pork and added fat, buy it as it is, or even just use the insides of sausages. I must admit, this stuffing may not be the prettiest dish on the table, but my goodness it is tasty!

Ball of pork forcemeat stuffing

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Bread Sauce

Posted 25 December 2010 by
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Bread sauce is a white sauce that dates back to medieval times and is traditionally served with Christmas dinner. It’s easy to make; you can start infusing the milk in between preparing vegetables and other trimmings and then finish the sauce off while the turkey is resting. If you’re just concentrating on the sauce, it takes about half an hour in total. Onions studded with cloves, infusing millk for bread sauce Continue reading “Bread Sauce”…