Blood Orange, Cavalo Nero and Fregola Salad

Blood Orange, Cavalo Nero and Fregola Salad | Selma's TableA couple of times a year, four of us get together and spend the day wandering around a food market, shopping and then repairing to one of our homes to cook a tasting style menu. Usually, friends and family will turn up later on for dinner – it’s such a lovely and convivial day – I wrote about it in a little more detail, last year.  I suppose it is an echo of days gone by when families, friends and neighbours would gather to celebrate a harvest, cooking and eating together. Blood Orange, Cavalo Nero and Fregola SaladThis time, M suggested that we visit a Sardinian store called Vallebona, to which she had taken me before. I am not sure that I can find the words to describe the Vallebona experience but I will try. It’s like stumbling upon the most wonderful secret and realising that you have just joined the best club ever. It is family owned and run with great, enthusiasm, knowledge and style – visiting is just an utter delight and pleasure. Blood Orange, Cavalo Nero and Fregola Salad | Selma's TableVallebona in the middle of an industrial estate in Wimbledon, so finding it is the first challenge. Upon pulling up, it’s all forbidding burgundy coloured steel doors with only the signage to indicate that you are in the right place.

Upon pressing the buzzer to gain entry,  the door swings open into a stunning white space, filled with stylishly arranged Sardinian groceries and wine. The rooms have a distinct warehouse vibe with white painted brick walls and vintage shelving and accessories.

Blood Orange, Cavalo Nero and Fregola Salad | Selma's Table

Nibbles in wooden cones

You are pretty much handed a glass of wine and a few nibbles shortly after walking in which makes it a very enjoyable way to browse through the stunningly arranged warehouse rooms.

There is the most fabulous climate controlled cheese and meat room and also a kitchen from which they produce samples of their food to try and where they also cater for lunches and dinners.

Vallebona have recently started stocking fresh fruit and vegetables so it was the perfect food destination from which to make up our menu.

There were recipe suggestions galore so we decided on Spicy Sausage and Fregola main dish, a fabulous selection of cheeses and this gorgeous Blood Orange, Cavalo Nero and Fregola Salad. Blood Orange, Cavalo Nero and Fregola Salad | Selma's TableFor this recipe, you will need to segment oranges. It is really easy to do so give it a go if you haven’t tried this before. The video below shows how easy it is.

Fregola is similar to the giant Israeli couscous except that it is lightly toasted so has a wonderful flavour. Cavalo Nero is related to kale and cabbage and is used to make the classic Tuscan Ribollita Soup.

Blood Orange, Cavalo Nero and Fregola Salad | Selma's Table

Dan Lepard’s Rye Crackers

I always make something to take with me and this time I made Dan Lepard’s Rye Crackers to have with the cheese that I knew we would buy. They were delicious and easy to make but really showed up the hot spots in my oven! The recipe is in his book Short and Sweet which I highly recommend if you enjoy baking.

This Blood Orange, Cavalo Nero and Fregola Salad is a delicious marriage of flavours; sharp, sweet, salty, toasty and green. and perfect with fish too. If you can’t find blood oranges, use regular ones instead. Walnuts would also be the perfect substitution for the toasted sliced almonds. I am taking this to the virtual table at Fiesta Friday #58, hosted by the talented Angie of The Novice Gardener. Last week was sugar fuelled so a salad like this is sure to balance things out! This week we have Caroline @Caroline’s Cooking and Elaine @foodbod to thank, as our co-hosts. Both are fantastic cooks and have a wealth of recipes on their sites – do go over and take a look. If you blog, please do join in, reading the the guidelines first to get you going.

Blood Orange, Cavalo Nero and Fregola Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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adapted from Vallebona’s recipe for Cavalo Nero, Blood Orange and Almond Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 100g dried weight fregola,
  • 2 blood oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 200 g Cavalo Nero (also known as Black Kale or Black Cabbage)
  • 1 tsp flakey sea salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • handful of sliced almonds

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Soak the Cavalo Nero in plenty of cold water.
  2. Cook the fregola in lots of boiling, salted water for 10 minutes; drain, rinse and set aside.
  3. in the meantime, segment the oranges by slicing off the top and bottoms, then vertically running a knife between the flesh and the pith, following the curve of the orange. Then segment by slicing out the flesh from between the membrane. Cut these segments into 2 or 3 pieces each and set aside.
  4. Squeeze all the juice out of the membranes into a separate bowl. Juice the lemon into this bowl too and set aside.
  5. Drain the Cavalo Nero and remove the stalks and discard. Slice the leaves into 1 inch pieces then chop a couple of times.
  6. Sprinkle the salt and sugar over the Cavalo Nero then pour over the combined juices. Massage (squelch) the leaves with the mix of salt, sugar and citrus juices for 4 or 5 minutes to break down the fibres and soften the leaves. Pour over the olive oil and massage again for a minute or so then set aside for 15 – 20 minutes.
  7. Toast the almond slices until golden brown.
  8. When ready to eat, toss the Cavalo Nero with the blood orange pieces, the cooked fregola and the toasted almond slices. Toss and serve.
© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Fruit and Nut Sourdough Crackers

Cape TownHello from gorgeous Cape Town! I’m here for a wedding but wanted to share these fabulous crackers with you.

Fruit and Nut Sourdough Crackers | Selma's TableWhenever I dry any sourdough starter, I always test some before sending it out or storing it. This recipe is just perfect for using up the test batch as it makes about a cup.

Fruit and Nut Sourdough Crackers | Selma's Table

Rehydrated sourdough starter

The artisan crackers are just delicious – on their own or with cheese and also make the most gorgeous gift too.

Fruit and Nut Sourdough Crackers | Selma's TableFruit and Nut Sourdough Crackers | Selma's TableFruit and Nut Sourdough Crackers | Selma's TableMake sure to pre soak the dried fruit before starting. I used water but next time I will soak them in strong black tea or port.

Fruit and Nut Sourdough Crackers | Selma's Table

Rosemary, Dried Fruit and Nut Sourdough Crackers

  • Servings: about 100/125 crackers
  • Difficulty: easy
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Adapted from Dinner with Julie

INGREDIENTS

  • 80 g plain/AP flour
  • 70 g wholemeal flour
  • 80 g rye flour
  • 90 g soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup recently fed sourdough starter
  • 200 ml milk
  • 100 ml greek yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup dried fruit – I used berries, cherries and raisins, soaked and drained
  • 50 g chopped almonds
  • 50 g chopped hazelnuts
  • 40 g pumpkin seeds
  • 30 g sesame seeds
  • 40 g linseeds
  • 2 Tbsp/7g chopped fresh rosemary needles

1 x 6 mini loaf tin. Each one of mine measures 11.5 cm long, 6 cm wide and 3.5 cm deep.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda and salt to evenly distribute all the ingredients.
  3.  Then, add the starter, milk, the yoghurt and honey and using wooden spoon, mix well.
  4. Stir in the raisins, the nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, linseeds and rosemary.
  5. Pour the batter into .
  6. Divide the batter evenly between 8 mini  4″ x 2 1/2″ loaf pans that have been well sprayed with nonstick spray.
  7. Bake 25 – 30 minutes, until the tops have domed and turned golden-brown, and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes then turn out to cool on wire racks. You can slice  when cold but they slice more thinly when frozen.
  8. Freeze when cold and leave 15 mins or so at room temperature to soften slightly.
  9. Pre-heat oven to 150°C/300° F
  10. Slice one loaf as thinly as you can using a serrated knife and place the slices in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet.
  11. Bake the crackers for about 15 minutes, then flip them over and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until crisp and brown. Repeat with the remaining loaves, as you need them.
  12. Store in an airtight container and try not to eat them all at once!
© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Almond, Orange and Tahini Biscuits

Almond, Orange and Tahini Biscuits | Selma's TableI was so thrilled when Elaine of foodbod asked me to write a post for her new series, “What would you feed me?” Elaine is the embodiment of healthy eating – she is vegetarian, sugar free, caffeine free and also avoids wheat but doesn’t miss out on any flavour with her punchy Middle East inspired spicing. I discovered her blog when someone re-blogged one of her earliest posts which was for a pavlova – the antithesis of how Elaine eats!  So I set my mind to thinking how I could produce a treat that was true to Elaine’s food ideals. Obviously, it had to have tahini in it – Elaine’s favourite food group!!  Ground almonds to substitute for flour and honey for sugar…I kept thinking about those lovely Chinese Almond Cookies that are made for Chinese New Year. I am rather partial to orange zest and cardamom in baked goods, so in they went too.. Almond, Orange and Tahini Biscuits | Selma's TableThe Almond, Orange and Tahini Biscuits have Elaine’s name written all over them. Wheat free, refined sugar free but chock full of almonds and tahini of course! They are also dairy free and egg free, making them suitable for vegans.  While these do have honey in them they are not very sweet so they won’t kick your sweet cravings into high gear. The orange and cardamom flavours work beautifully with the nutty flavours of the tahini and almonds. The biscuits bake up crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside – just begging to be dunked in a cuppa!  Judging by the response on Instagram, I think that they are a success! Almond, Orange and Tahini Biscuits | Selma's Table If you want to know how to make these ridiculously easy Almond, Orange and Tahini Biscuits please go over to my guest post on Elaine’s blog, foodbod. The post is called, ‘What would you feed me…Selma’ – if you click on the link below, it will take you straight to it. While you are there, take a minute to browse through Elaine’s recipes – you will come away inspired!

https://foodbod.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/what-would-you-feed-me-selma/

 © Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from the author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Rhubarb Buttermilk Cake with Ginger Streusel

rhubarb-buttermilk-cake-with-ginger-streuselI have been meaning to make Karinna @ The Cheesy Biscuit’s Bramley Apple, Rhubarb and Marzipan Cake for some time now. I finally got my hands on some gloriously red stalks of rhubarb and settled in to make her cake when I realised that I didn’t have any marzipan. A fairly important component of this delicious sounding cake as the title will attest. So I put the rhubarb in the fridge  made a note to get some the next day. Except that neither my local Sainsbury’s nor the Aladdin’s cave of a Mediterranean grocery shop had any.  I needed to get to a larger store but I am so out of the habit now that it just didn’t happen. I turned to one of my favourite sites, Food52, and had a little rummage around and found a recipe for Rhubarb Buckle and Ginger Crumb. I had everything that was needed to make it so ploughed on. I will make Karinna’s cake as soon as I can lay my hands on some marzipan and more rhubarb!

rhubarb-buttermilk-cake-with-ginger-streuselGinger and rhubarb is a marriage made in heaven – last year I made the most delicious ginger ice-cream which I served with roasted rhubarb and orange zest but that is a recipe for another day. For this cake, I’ve adapted it a little by using Demerara sugar and almonds in the topping. I found that the rhubarb settled in the bottom half of the cake making it very moist but this was a nice contrast to the very cakey top half. The streusel didn’t stay on top either but tasted really gorgeous in the cake. This is a nice full batter that rises beautifully so make sure that you use a high sided tin rather than a shallow sandwich tin other wise you will have a cake lava situation on your oven floor! I used a 9 inch springform tin.

rhubarb-buttermilk-cake-with-ginger-streusel

I picked up this pretty tablecloth in a French market in Aix-en-Provence a few years ago. It is the perfect backdrop for afternoon tea!

rhubarb-buttermilk-cake-with-ginger-streusel

A printable recipe follows the photo tutorial so scroll down to print.

rhubarb-buttermilk-cake-with-ginger-streusel

 

 

rhubarb-buttermilk-cake-with-ginger-streusel

rhubarb-buttermilk-cake-with-ginger-streusel

Rhubarb Buttermilk Cake with Ginger Streusel

  • Servings: 8 - 10 slices
  • Difficulty: easy
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Adapted from Food52 – Rhubarb Buckle with Ginger Crumb

INGREDIENTS

For the Streusel

  • 75 g Demerara sugar
  • 30 g flour
  • 70 g finely chopped crystallised ginger (not the ones in syrup)
  • 30 g sliced almonds
  • 40 g melted butter

For the cake

  • 220g flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 85 g very soft butter
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 180 ml buttermilk at room temperature (or add 1 tsp lemon juice or vinegar to milk and let it thicken – 10 minutes or so)
  • 500 rhubarb, sliced finely

INSTRUCTIONS

For the Streusel

  1. Combine the sugar, flour, ginger and almonds and rub together until the ginger is both separated and coated with the flour.
  2. Stir in the melted butter and place in the fridge.

For the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F. Butter the base and sides of a 9 inch cake tin with high sides – I used a springform which didn’t leak.
  2. Place the flour, ginger, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl and whisk to combine and aerate.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light an fluffy – this should take about 3 or 4 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Add a third of the flour mixture, then half the buttermilk, beating well. Add another third of the flour, then the rest of the buttermilk, finishing with the flour. Beat well after each addition.
  6. Fold in the sliced rhubarb and scrape into the prepared tin.
  7. Crumble the streusel all over the top of the cake and bake for 4o-50 minutes using a toothpick to test that the cake is done. You may even need to go to 60 minutes depending on your oven.
  8. Leave to cool in the pan. It tastes better the next day and is wonderful with a cuppa!

© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013, 2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

rhubarb-buttermilk-cake-with-ginger-streusel

Almondines

Almondines

Almondines

I spent a lovely Saturday afternoon assisting Nina Oortman, with one of her basic bread making classes, which 3 terrific women had signed up for. One, a PA in the City wants to get into private catering, another, a new mum,  wants to open a cafe and the third wanted to improve her skills. All three ladies went home with a huge amount of information,  newly acquired bread making skills and lots of freshly baked bread and rolls.

Almondines

Nina, the bread and her students

Nina runs really small, relaxed classes and I can’t recommend them highly enough. She has had people come from as far as Oxford and Brighton proving that the classes are not limited to people who live locally! Take a look at her site to see what she offers and when – http://breadangels.com/profile/nina-oortman – the Party Breads class looks fantastic! After all the dough has been kneaded, proved and shaped, Nina breaks for a light lunch/tea offering cheese, some just made soda bread, jams and home made cakes. This time she also brought in a stack of her Rye Crackers (Party Breads) which are amazing. She suggested that I make something and bring it along to showcase my blog. As you can imagine, she did not have to ask twice!

Almondines

I have had this recipe for Almondines for some time – it probably came from a magazine in a waiting room where I often scrawl down recipes, and yes, I do know that people rip out the recipe pages but I find that intensely irritating and rude, so I don’t. This recipe is for a lovely short biscuit base topped with honeyed sliced almonds and citrus zest. If any of you know the provenance of this recipe, please do leave me a comment.

Almondines are incredibly quick and easy to make, especially if you are using a food processor. I have also given instructions for making it without.

Almondines

1. Pulse butter and dry ingredients until it looks like damp sand.
2. Add wet ingredients and process until t clumps together
3. Spread dough out in pan
4. Tamp down gently using your fingers or a glass

Almondines

1. Dough spread out
2. After first bake
3. Heating and mixing the topping

Almondines

1. Topping spread out
2. After baking
3. Making 4 long equal slices
4. Making 4 more long equal  slices

Almondines

Almondines

  • Servings: 16 squares
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS

For the base:

  • 120g plain flour
  • 50g ground almonds/almond meal/almond flour
  • 3 Tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 90g cold, cubed butter
  • 1 egg yolk (large)
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp water
  • ½ tsp vanilla paste or extract

For the topping:

  • 60g butter
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • Zest of one lemon or orange
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g flaked almonds

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200C/400F. Line an 8 inch square tin with with non-stick foil or grease proof paper. See No 18 on my tip and tricks page for an easy way to do this.

Food Processor:  

  1. Place the the flour, almond meal,  sugar and salt in the processor bowl and pulse a few time to mix.
  2. Add the cubed butter and process until mixture resembles damp sand.
  3. Tip the yolk, 2 Tbsp of water and the vanilla down the chute and pulse until the dough come together when pinched. You may have to scrape the sides down once. Add a little extra water if necessary.

By Hand:

  1. Place the the flour, almond meal,  sugar and salt in a bowl and whisk well to mix.
  2. Cut in the butter until the mix resembles damp sand.
  3. Whisk the egg yolk , vanilla and 2 Tbsp of water together and add to flour mix.
  4. Using your hand, mix until dough holds together when pinched. Add a little extra water if necessary

Then:

  1. Press the crumbly dough into your prepared pan. I wet the bottom of a flat bottomed glass and tamped down gently until the base was covered.
  2. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes until lightly coloured.
  3. In the meantime, place the butter in a small pan to melt over medium-low heat.
  4. Add the zest, honey, salt and vanilla and stir until the honey has melted and everything is thoroughly mixed.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the almond flakes.
  6. Tip out the topping onto the warm base, spreading out as evenly as possible. There will be a bit of liquid but don’t worry – just spread it as evenly as you can.
  7. Bake for another 10-12 minutes until the  almonds are golden and before the edges catch  (ahem)!
  8. Let cool in the pan for 10 or 15 minutes, then using the foil/baking parchment as handles, remove from pan and lay on a wire rack to finish cooling.

I find that the best way to slice these sort of bakes is as follows:

  1. Using a long sharp knife slice the bake in half.
  2. Then  slice each half into two equal slices so you now have 4 long equal slices.
  3. Spin the paper a quarter turn and do the same again – slice in half and each half in two.  You should have 16 fairly equal squares.

Store in an air-tight tin and eat within two or three days if they last that long!

© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013 – 2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Lemon and Saffron Semolina Cake

I don’t know about you but I can’t get used to these early evenings especially after the gorgeous summer we’ve had. As much as I love cold weather cooking I am finding myself drawn to sunny colours and citrus flavours in an effort to stretch out that summer feeling. Sunshine and light in a slice is what this Lemon and Saffron Semolina Cake is and long may it shine!

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

It is a damp, dense, sticky cake redolent with intense lemon and warm saffron flavours. Don’t be put off by the soaking-it-in-syrup stage – it is supremely easy and lends itself to all sorts of riffs (a dash of limoncello or amaretto or some thyme leaves…)  and is just utterly delicious! I tend to have a little bag of fine semolina in the cupboards for dusting when I make pasta. It is really easy to find in even the smallest of ethnic (Indian or Mediterranean) food provision shops. This could also be made with 1 large juicy orange instead of 2 lemons.

To make it gluten free, use fine polenta or cornmeal instead of semolina and a gluten free baking powder too.

It is not a difficult cake to make and because of it’s weighty ingredients is quite forgiving.

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Beat the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Soak the saffron threads in a tablespoon of kettle hot water

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Zest the unwaxed lemons finely

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Syrup soaked cake

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Lemon and Saffron Semolina Cake

  • Servings: 12 slices
  • Difficulty: easy
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Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Lemon and Polenta Cake

INGREDIENTS

For the cake:

  • 200 g soft preferably unsalted butter (and a little smidgen  for greasing)
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 200 g ground almonds
  • 100 g fine semolina  polenta or cornmeal will make it gluten free)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • zest of 2 unwaxed lemons (save lemons to juice for the syrup)
  • pinch of saffron threads dissolved in 1 Tbsp of hot water

For the syrup:

  • juice of 2 lemons (put the whole, zested lemons in a microwave for about 75-90 seconds to maximise the juice output!)
  • 125 grams icing sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/ 350°F and put the kettle on.
  2. In a little bowl/saucer (I used one one those tiny soy dipping dishes) place the saffron threads giving them a bit of a rub together as you do so. Pour over about 1 Tbsp of hot water from the kettle and leave to steep while you get on with the rest of the recipe.
  3. Line the base of a 23cm / 9inch springform cake tin with a circle of baking paper and grease its sides lightly with butter.
  4. Beat the butter and sugar till light and fluffy – this will take about 5 minutes depending on how soft the butter is. Don’t skimp on this step as this not only helps to aerate but also serves to somewhat dissolve the sugar.
  5. Mix together the almonds, semolina and baking powder in a medium sized bowl and beat 2 heaped Tbsp of it into the butter-sugar mixture, followed by 1 egg. Then alternate with ⅓ of the dry ingredients and the 2 remaining eggs, finishing with the dry ingredients. Beat well after each addition.
  6. Beat in the lemon zest and saffron water and threads.
  7. Scrape the thick batter into the prepared tin and smooth it out evenly.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, checking after 30. Mine was done at 30 minutes but I have a very hot oven. The cake is done when a cake tester  comes out quite clean and the edges of the cake have begun to shrink away from the sides of the tin even if it seems a bit tender.
  9. Place onto a wire cooling rack, but leave it in its tin.
  10. Make the syrup by boiling together the lemon juice and icing sugar in a small saucepan. When the icing sugar’s dissolved into the juice, it’s ready. Let it cool for 5 minutes or so.
  11. Prick the top of the warm cake all over with a cake tester or toothpick – don’t use anything too big like a skewer as it will punch too-large holes in the cake.
  12. Slowly pour the warm syrup over the cake, and leave to cool before taking it out of its tin.
  13. Eat as is or serve as a pudding with a spoonful of creme fraiche and a pretty dusting of icing sugar.
© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013, 2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Lemon Saffron and Semolina Cake

Roasted Broccoli with Toasted Almonds and a Smoky Paprika Dressing

Roasted Broccoli with Toasted Almonds and a Smoky Paprika DressingRoasting broccoli is a revelation – it intensifies the sweetness and gives it a little more earthiness. It is really delicious and my new favourite way to cook this superfood! From what I can make out, Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) brought this method to the attention of the general public with this lovely recipe for Parmesan Roasted Broccoli . The recipe that I have made has a more tapas feel about it, thanks to the tangy, smoky paprika dressing and some crunchy golden toasted almond flakes. My version cuts back on the oil to boost the flavour of both the broccoli and the dressing.

Roasted Broccoli with Toasted Almonds and a Smoky Paprika Dressing

Dressing – heat the oil in a small pan; add garlic and smoked paprika and take off heat to infuse

Roasted Broccoli with Toasted Almonds and a Smoky Paprika Dressing

Cut the broccoli florets into bite sized pieces.

Roasted Broccoli with Toasted Almonds and a Smoky Paprika Dressing

Roasted broccoli and toasted almond flakes

Roasted Broccoli with Toasted Almonds and a Smoky Paprika Dressing

Whisk the infused oil into the vinegar, leaving behind much of the solids

Roasted Broccoli with Toasted Almonds and a Smoky Paprika Dressing

Pile roasted broccoli in a serving dish

Roasted Broccoli with Toasted Almonds and a Smoky Paprika Dressing

Roasted Broccoli with Toasted Almonds and a Smoky Paprika Dressing

Roasted Broccoli with Toasted Almonds and a Smoky Paprika Dressing

Roasted Broccoli with Toasted Almonds and a Smoky Paprika Dressing

 

I am entering this recipe in the Spice Trail Challenge, hosted by Bangers and Mash.  for January as it features Paprika – there are some wonderful recipes on there so do go and take a look at the entries.

spice-trail-badge-square

Roasted Broccoli with Toasted Almonds and a Smoky Paprika Dressing

  • Servings: 4 side servings
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Slightly adapted from a recipe on Food52

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 head of broccoli
  • A little olive oil to drizzle
  • Sea Salt
  • 1 Tbsp flaked almonds

Dressing:

  • 1 clove of garlic crushed
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar (sherry for authenticity but cider or wine vinegars will be fine as well)
  • Good pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F
  2. Get the dressing started as the longer it steeps the more flavourful it will be;  heat the oil in a small pan for about 2 or 3 minutes. When the oil is warm (but not smoking as that will burn the garlic) add the crushed garlic and stir in the smoked paprika and take it off the heat. Let it stand for at least 10 minutes or as long as you can leave it.
  3. In the meantime, divide broccoli into bite sized florets, toss in a little olive oil and place on an oven tray. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until tender and with a few browned bits. Keep checking after 15 minutes to make sure that the florets are not burning to a crisp. Scatter over  the almond flakes for the last 3 or 4 minutes to toast.
  4. When you are ready to serve, place the vinegar and salt in a small bowl and whisk in the flavoured oil, trying to leave behind as much of the solids as possible.
  5. Pile the florets and almond flakes into a serving dish and drizzle over the dressing. You will not need all of it. I used approximately 1Tbsp to dress one medium head of broccoli.

Left over dressing is a great marinade for chicken or fish and can also be used to perk up potatoes.

Roasted Broccoli with Toasted Almonds and a Smoky Paprika Dressing

Roasted Broccoli with Toasted Almonds and a Smoky Paprika Dressing

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Rustic Plum and Blueberry TartA couple of times a year a four of us meet up at one of London’s food markets to browse the stalls, refreshments in hand, to decide on a menu for that evening, depending on what is available.

Broadway Market, East London

Broadway Market, East London

Broadway Market, East London

Broadway Market, East London

Bread cubes, sometimes dipped in olive oil, are nibbled, cheese is greedily sampled, vegetables are gently prodded, seafood is admired and appraised, meat is pondered and sometimes a little matchmaking is attempted. But that is another story!

Over more refreshments, the menu is finalised, purchases are made, wine is bought and we repair to one of our homes, usually M & B’s, to spend the rest of the afternoon prepping and cooking to produce a tasting menu of 6 – 8 dishes. One of my favourites is a seared scallop on small disc of crispy black pudding with a mustard and creme fraiche sauce. I think that N has made this every time now – it’s a regular on our “menu”.  We all have some idea of what we would like to cook before we get to the market and I usually bring something pre-made with me. Once I made pasta dough and brought my pasta roller because I wanted to make a ravioli – medley of mushroom as it turned out and once I made a mustard and rhubarb relish which I wanted to serve with mackerel but there were none to be had in the market that day. Sometimes we invite friends who arrive in the evening together with our family members and it is always a warm, convivial day finishing late into the night.

We never make a pudding as we would all much rather have a cheese course but once (3 years ago according to my notes), I made this Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart to have just incase anyone felt like a sliver of something sweet and I have been making it ever since.

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

It takes minutes to blitz the pastry base and slice the plums and then it spends 3/4’s of an hour or so in the oven, with an irresistible smell wafting out of the kitchen for the duration.

Blitz until mixture resembles damp sand

Blitz until mixture resembles damp sand

Tip into baking tin

Tip into baking tin

Pat very gently to form an even layer

Pat very gently and lightly to form an even layer

Plum carnage

Plum carnage…

Sliced plums laid on the base

Sliced plums laid on the base

Scattering of blueberries

Scattering of blueberries

Cooling on a rack

Cooling on a rack

For this tart to work, it is desirable to have a contrast of sweet biscuit-like pastry base and the sour plums – Victoria plums (the oval purplish ones) won’t work. Because the pastry base has a higher sugar content, it will colour to a gorgeous golden brown. I am battling with a really horrible oven – though not for much longer – which scorches everything so the fruit does look a little singed but this contrasts beautifully with the tart jammy interior of the fruit and the crumbly, nutty biscuit like base.  In the past I have added a few drops of almond extract to the base to boost the flavour and I have also added cinnamon to it. Once I didn’t have enough ground almonds and added flaked ones to bolster up the quantity. All were successful additions. There are lots of plums around at the moment so this is the perfect time to try this easy recipe.

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

  • Servings: 8 slices
  • Difficulty: easy
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adapted slightly from the wonderful blog, Orangette by Molly Wizenberg

INGREDIENTS

  • 150g flour
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 85g ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly whisked
  • 45g cool butter, cubed
  • 4-6 juicy slightly tart, juicy plums
  • 100g of blueberries (a handful really)

You will also need a 22 cm loose bottomed  or springform tin, the bottom lined with a parchment circle.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 190C/170C fan/375F
  2. Using a food processor; Place the flour, sugar, ground almonds, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to blend. Pour in the egg and butter cubes and process until it looks like damp sand. It takes about one minute!
  3. If you are making it by hand, place the  flour, sugar, ground almonds, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix well to combine. Add the egg and butter and using a pastry blender, two knives or a fork, cut the mixture together until it starts to clump and there is no flour showing.
  4. Tip the mixture into the baking tin and gently pat down to even out into one layer – you mustn’t compact it and nor should you pat it up the sides. it should just be one even layer.
  5. De-stone 4 of the plums by cutting in half and twisting. Depending on the size of the plums, slice each half into 3 or 4 slices and lay in two circles on top of the pastry. Leave a little margin of pastry between the edge of the tin and the fruit.  If you need more fruit then use the additional plums.  Scatter over the blueberries.
  6. Bake for 50-55 minutes, checking after 40 minutes.
  7. The tart is ready when the pastry has puffed up a little around the fruit and has taken on a golden hue with a deeper colour to the edges.
  8. Cool in the tin, on a rack for 10 minutes and then remove the sides to finish cooling.
  9. Can be served warm or cold with a spoonful of creme fraiche or a scoop of ice-cream.
© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart

Rustic Plum and Blueberry Tart