Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Bulghur, broccoli and blue cheese salad, with a dream of sustainability

There is nothing quite like the feeling of eating something that you have grown yourself. Unfortunately, the only things I can say that about at the moment are my mint and rosemary, yet I milk this glorious feeling for all it's worth with Moroccan mint teas, mochitos and today, with this fresh tasting bulghur wheat salad
I have just returned from a camping trip in Cornwall with a new found vision of sustainability. Places like Henry's campsite and The Eden Project are my inspiration. And probably also my boyfriend, who is one of those green-fingered people. I have never been part of the green fingered club myself, but I'm (slowly) learning, and trust me, if I can become more green-fingered, then so can anyone. I'm starting to realize that it's more of a skill than a talent. The way I think of it is, you need to treat your plants like you do your pet: make sure they have food and water, talk to them, love them etc. This slightly mad method is working well for me, even though one of my favourite plants has just been ravaged by a snail in the few days I've been away (the said plant is recovering in a sunny spot inside the house now and I am confident it will survive)
To make this salad, cook the bulghur wheat, fluff and cool. Crush the walnuts by banging them with a rolling pin, inside a plastic bag and add to the wheat. Cover the broccoli with some boiling water and add sea salt. Leave for 3-4mi,n then drain and immediately place under cold running water, until cool. Chop into centimeter pieces and add to bowl. Chop the mint very finely and add. For the blue cheese I used a delicious, blue goat's cheese from L'eau a la Bouche. Place all the vinaigrette ingredients in a jam jar and shake vigorously for a few minutes before pouring over the salad. I used half a lemon, about 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a heaped teaspoon each of the wholegrain mustard and mayo, but do just play it how you feel it

Ingredients

Bulghur wheat
Tender-stem broccoli
Walnuts
Fresh mint
Blue cheese

Vinaigrette

Olive oil
Lemon juice
Celery salt
Black pepper
Wholegrain mustard
Mayonnaise

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Minty strawbellini: a perfect summer cocktail

As my friends know, inventing cocktails is one of my favourite pastimes. I don't do complicated though. I tend to take a well-known cocktail and rework it with some local, seasonal ingredients. The "Bellini" cocktail was invented at Harry's Bar in Venice and consists simply of fresh peach purée and local prosecco
My version - the " Minty Strawbellini" - is more English. It includes fresh British strawberries and mint, mushed into a purée along with some good quality honey, and topped with pink cava or prosecco