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Fresh pea broth with miso and herbs

When we were making the nasturtium and basil sauce the other week it occurred to both of us how much nasturtium leaves resemble a little lilypad! So the idea for this broth was born, really just as a way to display the nasturtiums prettily… but as new recipes do, it evolved! And became a beautiful light broth made with the pods of fresh peas and flavoured with miso and mirin. Peas and herbs are added raw, and nasturtium leaves and radish floated on top for the cutest garnish. It’s delicious as well as looking lovely!

The pods of the peas are so often overlooked, but they make a gorgeous quick stock. When I was a kid we used to eat them as we shelled the peas and I still prefer the flavour of them to the actual pea! Don’t just pop them straight in your mouth though, they have a tough inner layer (which protects the peas), but this is easily peeled off by snapping a pod half at one end and gently peeling the layer away. It doesn’t always come off in one go, but it’s incredibly satisfying when it does!

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Fresh pea broth with miso and herbs

makes 1 serving 


200 g fresh peas in pods

400 ml water

1 tbsp mirin

2 tbsp sweet white miso

10 g pea shoots

2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped

2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, shredded

1 radish

a few nasturtium leaves

a small pinch of salt (you may not need this but I found the broth needed a tiny bit to bring out the pea flavour. It will probably depend on your miso) 


Shell the peas, putting the pods in a saucepan and setting the peas aside for later.

Add the water and mirin to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

While the broth is cooking prepare the radish. Cut it in half lengthways and carefully make three v-shaped cuts the length of the radish, removing the little pieces that each v-shape releases. Next slice each half of the radish across into very thin slices.

In a large soup bowl layer the peas, miso, herbs and pea shoots. Strain the broth into the bowl and stir gently. Taste, and add salt if needed.

Float the nasturtium leaves and radish slices carefully on top of the broth. 


By E.

0

Flower sprout and tofu rice salad with dill and peas

So last year, flower sprouts were flower sprouts, a cross between a brussel sprout and kale and we’ve blogged quite a few recipes using them.
This year however, they appear to be called Kalettes… Which I think sounds like either a helpful 1950’s electrical kitchen implement, or a mysterious item of ladies underwear.
So I’m sticking with flower sprouts, it’s straightforward and my mind is less likely to disappear off on flights of fancy and am much more likely to get some cooking done.
So, to the recipe! The flower sprouts are slightly bitter, and so go beautifully with the sweet peas and pea shoots. With chewy savoury tofu and lovely fresh dill it all comes together very nicely.
I’m increasingly using the sachets of ready cooked rice as a base for lunch salads at the moment, mostly for speed to be honest, but there’s some lovely varieties around at the moment with all sorts of nice seeds and grains added.

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Flower sprout and tofu rice salad with peas and dill

makes 4 servings


200 g flower sprouts, washed and patted dry on kitchen paper
400 g firm tofu, cut into 2 cm ish cubes
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp dried ramsons or 1 clove chopped garlic
3 tbsp tamari
75 g frozen peas
100 g pea shoots
15 g fresh dill, chopped
2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
500 g cooked rice, (I use 2 of the ready cooked sachets, this time the Tilda brand brown basmati with quinoa, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds)


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c.
Toss the tofu in 1 tbsp of the oil in a roasting tin. Bake for 20 minutes, until starting to brown.
Move the tofu to one side of the tin, turning the cubes over as you go. Add the flower sprouts to the other side, drizzling the remaining 1 tbsp of oil over them. Sprinkle the ramsons or garlic, and tamari over the tofu and flower sprouts and then bake for a further 15 minutes.
The flower sprouts should be crisp in places and cooked through. Leave to cool.
Cook the rice according to the sachet instructions, and tip into a large bowl big enough to hold all the ingredients.
Stir through the frozen peas, and the vinegar. This helps to cool the rice quickly, but stir it around often too. When it’s stopped steaming pop it in the fridge to cool completely.
Mix the tofu, flower sprouts and dill into the rice and peas, and serve each portion on top of 1/4 of the pea shoots.


By E.

9

Butternut squash stuffed with mushroom, olive and tahini rice

Butternut squash is such a versatile vegetable that I tend not to think of stuffing it. It always seems like a bit of a cop out, stuffed squash is rather a veggie cliche!
But this time I couldn’t help myself, I had dried wild mushrooms, olives and tahini, and when I saw pomegranate seeds in the supermarket, the seeds of an idea for a great recipe were sown…
It really is delicious, sweet roasted squash with a stuffing full of earthy savoury flavours with the mushrooms, tahini and olives.
And the pomegranate seeds and pea shoots finish it off very nicely!
It slices ever so well too, Alex and I ate it for a couple of days of work lunches, a quarter squash per portion.
And of course, it’s very pretty. That always helps with the anticipation of a good lunch!

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Butternut squash stuffed with mushroom, olive and tahini rice

makes 4 servings


for the stuffed squash
1 butternut squash, I forgot to weigh mine but it was about 18 cm long before cooking, and quite wide
2 tsp oil
80 g rice (or 300 g cooked rice)
10 g dried wild mushrooms
100 g fresh mushrooms, diced
50 g green olives, halved
2 tbsp tahini
salt and pepper
for garnish
50 g pea shoots
80 g pomegranate seeds


Preheat the oven to 190 degrees c.
Halve the squash and scoop out the seeds and fibrous bit. Rub each squash half with 1 tsp oil and place cut side up in a roasting tray. Cook for 30 minutes, flip over and then cook for a further 15 minutes. The thicker part of the squash should be tender enough to allow a fork to pierce it, but not be completely soft.
While the squash is roasting make the filling.
Cook the rice in about 200 ml water until just soft. There should be a very little liquid left. For this recipe I only lightly rinse the rice, as it’s nice if it’s quite starchy and sticky when cooked, it helps the stuffing hold together.
If you’re leaving the rice a while before stuffing the squash, pop it in the fridge to cool down properly.
When you’re ready mix the dried and fresh mushrooms, tahini and olives with the rice and season well.
Scoop a little of the butternut squash out of the ‘neck’ end and mix that into the rice as well.
Now you should have a good space all along the squash for the stuffing.
Put half of the rice mixture in each squash half and pack it in well. It will make a lovely big mound.
Bake the stuffed squash for 45 minutes if the rice mixture was cold when you put it in, 5 – 10 minutes less if it was warm.
Garnish with the pea shoots and pomegranate to serve.


By E.