Tag Archives: side dish

A Little Aside: Roasted Romano Peppers

Perfect as alternatives or additions to the salad accompanying your summer BBQ or roasted meats and fish, these gloriously sweet peppers are simply embellished with a few cherry tomatoes, some herbs, a drizzle and a dash to create a lovely, easy bit on the side!!!

Serves 4

What you need…

1 x baking tray

6 romano peppers, halved lengthways and deseeded

24-ish cherry tomatoes, halved

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoon capers

A dash of red wine vinegar

Sea salt and black pepper

A good drizzle of olive oil

12 thyme sprigs

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 200˚c / 400˚f / gas 6.

Place the peppers onto your baking tray. (I line my tray with foil which is discarded after cooking, leaving a clean baking tray – saves on the washing up!) You may need to balance the peppers against one another to keep them upright.

Into each of the peppers, wodge in as many cherry tomato halves as you fancy. Sprinkle over with garlic and capers and then around ½ teaspoon red wine vinegar per pepper. Season with salt and pepper and then drizzle with olive oil. Share the thyme evenly between the peppers and then pop your oven for about 30 minutes or until just starting to char at the edges.

Serve these effortless, tasty little morsels and marvel at the simplicity of something so tasty!

Inspired by…

Delicious magazine

How easy…

Literally a few minutes to prep before the oven takes over – couldn’t be easier!

A Little Aside: Tenderstem Broccoli Gratin

When the kids were growing up, pretty much the only vege that they would eat was broccoli. So, on that basis we ate a lot of it; and I mean A LOT. Obviously, it gets boring consuming mountains of boiled broccoli and steamed broccoli so we’ve also had brocolli that’s been finished off with sautéed garlic and bacon; with garlic and anchovies; or par-boiled and then roasted in the oven with olive oil and garlic. As much as they were all lovely, it’s still broccoli at the end of the day. This recipe however takes it to a different level – the mini trees became mightily interesting, nestling is a smooth, creamy rich gratin – easy to make and lovely to enjoy, as a side or on its own.

Serves 4 as a side dish

What you need…

375g tenderstem broccoli

2 happy eggs, lightly beaten

220ml double cream

Splash of milk

Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated

75g Gruyère, finely grated

A handful of Panko breadcrumbs

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 180˚c / 350˚f / gas 4.

Blanch the broccoli in boiling water for 3 – 4 minutes, until just tender. Drain in a colander and run under a cold tap. Tip into an ovenproof dish.

In a jug, mix together the eggs, cream and milk. Pour over the broccoli then toss to coat. Mix the lemon zest, Gruyère and breadcrumbs and then scatter over the broccoli. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden and set. Serve piping hot and enjoy.

Inspired by…

Delicious magazine

How easy…

Really easy and beautifully different.

A Little Aside: Rosemary and Garlic Parmentier Potatoes

I have been making these gutsy little potatoes, served as a side dish, for years and have been asked several times why they have not been blogged so, here they are…..! They are a delight to make (translate to ‘dead easy’) and even more lovely to enjoy: cooked so that they’re like the crispiest triple-cooked chips you’ve ever had but flavoured with the bliss that is the combination of garlic and rosemary. Just yummy!!!!! (Also, they get on with cooking themselves whilst you do other things).

What you need…

2 largish red potatoes, chunked

1½ tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 teaspoons dried rosemary

Sea salt to season to your taste

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6.

Tip all the ingredients into an ovenproof dish and toss around so that all the potatoes are evenly covered in the other ingredients.

Pop in the oven to cook for 40 minutes, removing half way through to shove the potatoes around a bit so that they don’t stick to the dish and cook evenly.

Remove your crisp, fragrant and ever so tasty potatoes from the oven and serve as an accompaniment to fish or meat (kitchen prepared or on the barbie) or in bowl as naughty finger food!

Inspired by…

Delia does a version with fresh rosemary so I guess it was her. I’ve been doing these for so long, I can’t remember.

How easy…

An absolute doddle to prepare and then they cook themselves whilst you’re dealing with the main event.

Summer Mediterranean Vegetables

 

I love salads and make a huge variety of different ones – mixing traditional and new ingredients with influences from all over the world – but even though there is never a boring salad in our house, sometimes it’s nice to have an accompaniment to the barbecue that isn’t salad and this ticks that box, delightfully! I’ve entitled it ‘Mediterranean’ but that’s just what the aromas and flavours felt like to me but no matter how you describe this Mary Berry-inspired dish, it’s quite delicious and a really lovely change.

Serves 6 as a side

What you need…

1 large roasting tin

1 x 25cm shallow round ovenproof dish, lightly buttered

2 aubergines, sliced

2 red peppers, deseeded and sliced

500g courgettes, trimmed and sliced

6 tablespoons olive oil

2 red onions, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

500g passata

1 teaspoon caster sugar

A handful basil, chopped

50g Parmesan, grated

3 large tomatoes, cut into wedges

4 teaspoons thyme leaves

Sea salt and black pepper

Note…

When I tried this, there were only 3 of us, so the ingredients were halved, hence the smaller dish in the photograph. Ingredients above are for the full recipe, for 6 people.

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 220°c / 425°f / gas 7.

Chuck the aubergines, red peppers and courgettes into the roasting tin, drizzle over 4 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pop in the oven for 15 minutes and then give them a quick mix about before putting them back in the oven for a further 10 minutes or until lightly browned and just soft throughout. Set aside to cool.

Reduce the oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan, add the onions and fry over a moderate heat for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Tip in the passata and sugar and then season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, pop on a lid, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes, until the onions are soft and the sauce, thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil.

Spoon half the sauce into the base of your ovenproof dish and then top with half the roasted vegetables, ensuring an even mix of the aubergines, peppers and courgettes. Sprinkle over the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Spoon over the rest of the sauce, covering the vegetables and then top with the remaining roasted vegetables, arranging them in a spiral pattern if you like. Finally, plop/arrange the tomato wedges on the top and sprinkle thyme over the lot. You can sprinkle more Parmesan over if you fancy (I did).

Cover with foil and pop in the oven for 25 minutes, whilst you clear up and pour a glass of wine. The smell will be amazing!

Serve your lovely summer Mediterranean vegetables with barbecued meat or fish or as light lunch or supper with a great doorstop of fresh bread. Whichever way, just yummy!

Tips…

I use Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients’ frozen and chopped garlic just because peeling and chopping fresh garlic is a faff.

I didn’t have any passata so just whizzed a 400g tin of chopped tomatoes in the food processor – this was just for 3 of us but I used all of the tomatoes and the dish tasted great.

Inspired by…

Mary Berry

How easy…

As is my want: very, very easy and quite delicious!

 

 

 

 

Heavenly Hasselback Potatoes

I first saw these a few weeks ago on MasterChef and having tried them once, they’ve adorned our plates several times since, so popular are they! They tick all the boxes – easy, exceedingly tasty – something between sautéed, really great chips and roasties – they taste fantastic anyway and I just love the way they look after they’ve fanned out in the oven during cooking. My version is slightly healthier than the original (unusually for me), which uses butter as well as oil.

Serves 4

What you need…

12 medium potatoes

5 tablespoons rapeseed oil

Sea salt (course crystals work spectacularly well, giving these potatoes a lovely glistening crunch)

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 200°c/400°f/gas 6.

Take each potato and put it onto a wooden spoon and cut across it at roughly 3mm intervals. Because the potato is on the spoon, your knife won’t be able to cut all the way through but will stop on the lip of spoon: it is this that enables the fanning out of the potato during the cooking process – so damned easy but so impressive (well, I’m easily pleased).

Pour the rapeseed oil into your baking tin and pop it onto the hob over a high heat. Once the oil is hot, place in the potatoes, cut-side down into the oil, swizzle them around and then turn them over so that the cut-sides are facing upwards. Sprinkle with plenty of salt and pop them in the oven to let them do their thing. How long they take depends on their size – 40 minutes for medium potatoes but longer for bigger ones. Keep an eye on them and remove them from the oven when they are crisp on the outside but still soft in the middle.

Serve and enjoy this lovely new (for me) version of the humble potato!

Inspired by…

Annie, a contestant on MasterChef, who in turn attributed the recipe for these Swedish potatoes to Nigella Lawson

 How easy…

Very, very easy – they do themselves while you do other things!