Friday, 31 May 2013

Week 17- Going Green

One good thing about all this wet and cool weather we have been having this Spring, is that everything everywhere is so green! All the trees are sparkling and bright and the bushes and plants are looking lush.

Seasonal veg is looking good too- salad leaves are sprouting madly and herbs are flourishing.

Looking back on my last few blogs, the food all seems a bit beige- so I thought it's time to green things up a bit!

I'm indebted to a blog follower for today's starter recipe- Courgette and Coconut soup. I do love it when you send me recipes, because I need inspiration as much as the next person. Keep 'em coming!

I'm following this with lasagne verde, served with rocket salad- and pudding is filo baskets filled with yoghurt  and topped with kiwi slices and elderflower syrup.

For the soup, dice 4 small courgettes, 1 small potato and 1 leek or some spring onions..Soften gently in some butter or oil. Add 2 cups of chicken stock, 1 can of coconut cream and a good pinch of salt and pepper. I added chopped parsley, but the recipe suggests thyme or dill too. Simmer gently until the veg are tender, then blitz with a stick blender, thin down with some milk if too thick and serve with croutons or toasts.
Courgette and Coconut Soup

For the main course, I made a ragout with 450g minced beef, 1 onion gently softened, 1 carton chopped tomatoes, 1 tablespoon sliced stuffed green olives, 1 tablespoon red wine, 1 tablespoon tomato puree and some beef stock or gravy- all simmered together for about 25 minutes until reduced and thick. I then layered this in a gratin dish alternately with lasagne verde sheets, bechamel sauce, steamed leeks, and finally topped with some grated mozzarella.

Bake in a hot oven (200 degrees) until golden and bubbling (about 30 minutes). Serve with a green salad of rocket or watercress and some bread for the sauce.
Lasagne verde
Layers of leeks
This makes enough for 6 - and both freezes and reheats well.


For the dessert- thoroughly grease a muffin tray or individual tartlet tins,  take 2 spring roll wrappers or small squares of filo pastry per person. and lay them in the tins at 90 degrees to one another so they form little pointy star shaped baskets. Brush with melted butter or Flora cuisine and bake in a hot oven (190 degrees) for about 10 minutes until brown and crispy. (Watch carefully, you don't want them to be too brown and bitter.) Allow to cool, fill with Greek yogurt and slices of kiwi (or mandarin, strawberry, raspberry, rhubarb etc)- whatever you want to use up!

For the elderflower syrup- take 2 tablespoons of  elderflower cordial and 1 tablespoon of water and boil together in a small pan until reduced and syrupy (about 10 minutes). Allow to cool and then spoon over the fruit in the baskets and serve.

Kiwi and Elderflower baskets

As for the leftovers- freeze the lasagne. have any leftover yoghurt and fruit for breakfast, and the courgette soup goes well stirred through pasta with a good grating of cheese on top.

Hope these recipes make you green with envy rather than green around the gills.

I'm hoping for strawberries and cherries to be in season next week- so we'll be seeing red soon!

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