Tag Archives: April

Broccoli and feta tart – work lunch

For this weeks’ lunch I’m going to have homemade tart or quiche. I think this becomes a quiche due to the egg content, but either way this should make 4 portions which is ideal as I’ll be out for lunch for one midweek meeting.

Pastry – You could use a shop bought base if you really have no time!
50g softened butter
50g wholemeal flour
50g self raising flour
A few drops of water

Filling
8 pieces of tenderstem broccoli
3 eggs
220g crème fraiche
175g feta

Practical things
1 tart dish with a removable base, buttered
Preheated oven set to 180C

Create
First make your pastry adding the butter and flour to the food processor and pulsing until the mixture looks like small crumbs. Then pour in a small amount of water while the processor is still on, until the mixture comes together into a ball. Then place the pastry ball into cling film and sit it in the fridge for about half an hour.

Now crack the eggs into a jug and whisk, then pour in the crème fraiche. Next chop the feta into small chunks and mix this into the egg mix.

Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll out onto a floured surface. Make sure the pastry is large enough to sit into your buttered tart dish. Prick the base with a fork all over, to stop the pastry rising. Now add the tart to the pre heated oven for about 20mins.

As the tart will serve 4 portions I used 8 pieces of tenderstem broccoli. Cook these for a short time making sure that the broccoli still has a crunch and doesn’t go soggy.

When the 20mins are up take your cooked pastry out of the oven and create your tart. Add the broccoli to the base and pour over the egg and feta mix, now put the tart into the oven again for a further 30mins.

Allow to cool and then slice up for your lunches! Alternatively serve this up with salad while it’s hot. If you are dividing this into 4 portions, 1 portion is 435 calories.

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Riverford at Oxfork

 

Last month I wrote about the Oxford Bake Off and how I wanted to challenge myself more in the food world. While there were no bake offs for me this April I set myself up to go to a food event in Oxford at Oxfork. Oxfork had been on my list for a while, so an event evening seemed like a perfect reason!

 

Riverford supply ‘organic veg and lots more to your door, they began in Devon supplying to 30 friends and now supply 40,000 boxes a week to homes around the UK from their regional farms. The event was a showcase of Riverford ‘Jake the Veg’, this sounded like a good night.

 

On arrival I was welcomed with a glass of Prosecco or Organic Apple juice, there was a variety of Riverford cheeses on the counter, which were available for nibbling for the whole evening. A very pleasing start to my night already, I do love cheese!

 

I was shown to a 6 seater table and waited for a few minutes to see who would be joining me at this Riverford event. It was long before I was joined by 5 other women, 3 work colleagues and 2 friends. Once introductions were made and a cheese runner was selected for the evening, we started to take a look at what was on our table. The Riverford brochure, our evenings menu and our crudities board.

 

The crudities were varied, there was the usual crisps, celery, carrots, peppers and then the spring onions. Spring onions weren’t really solid enough to work with the dip, which caused amusement around the table! The dip was delicious, it was a thick dip, definitely suited to chunky vegetables. The ingredients were nuts, garlic and possibly a hint of chilli. The kick that the dip gave was pleasing and moreish to all 6 members on my table.

 

When the crudities were finished and the board was taken away we were given our starter. This was a stunningly green starter: lentil and chard soup. The bowls were all varied, my bowl seemed huge in comparison to some, but it certainly gave a homely feel to our meal.

 

What is PSB? This was the question on my tables lips. One woman next to me knew the answer! I’ll tell you later. So you’ll have to keep reading if you don’t already know…
The main course: PSB, orange and cumin carrots and potato rosti. I think the carrots had been soaked in orange the flavour was strong and worked very well with the carrot and cumin combination. The reaction on the table over our plat of veg, was I thought very interesting. One comment was that some other guests had never been so full of vegetables, luckily for the two vegetarians, we had not had this problem before!

 

The dessert was Rhubarb cake with rhubarb compote and crème fraiche. This wasn’t the tables favourite dish, it would seem that rhubarb wasn’t that popular on our table. I thought it was at least something very different, I’ve never tried rhubarb in a cake and I would try it again, but perhaps with warm compote next time.

 

Our table choice of wine was red, there was some wines in the tables brochure, a bottle for £9.However our wine was not the same as advertised and came in at a higher price, clearly we hadn’t ordered from the brochure. This caused some surprise and annoyance on my table, but I don’t feel that there was a need to complain. I paid £25 a month ago for what I considered to be a great event, and I wasn’t disappointed. So that night the ‘expensive’ wine and a tip was all I was paying for, in my eyes £7 is a good night!

 

Throughout the night conversation flowed easily at our table. We talked about Oxford restaurants and bars; the favourites, the disasters and the one off times. Oxfork looks small from the outside but it is certainly bigger on the inside. The vibe is relaxed, it feels like your front room, if you had a really nice front room! Our table decision was that Oxfork was certainly unique, it has something that Oxford has needed for a while. I’m glad it’s so local to me!

 

Thank you to Oxfork for hosting a great night, I will keep an eye out for the next one and I have already raved about the event and your place to anyone that will listen. For more information on Riverford Organic here is the link:

http://www.riverford.co.uk/about_riverford/

What is PSB? Purple Sprouting Broccoli!

Spaghetti with crab and mint

I’m currently looking for tasty, healthy dishes without spending lots of money.  I picked up my Lucas Hollweg book this morning, ‘Good Things to Eat’, as he usually creates dishes that involve simple and delicious ingredients. I turned to page 173 and saw Spaghetti with crab and mint, it shouted fresh and tasty to me, so that was this evenings dinner.

Ingredients:
100g wholemeal spaghetti
100ml extra virgin olive oil
2 slices of wholemeal bread
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
Sprinkling of crushed chilli flakes
125g crab meat, taken from a small dressed crab
Handful of mint leaves
Juice of half a lemon

Cook:
Step 1.
Cook the pasta, following the instructions on the packet. I used wholemeal spaghetti which took 11 mins.

Step 2.
While it is bubbling away, heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan and add the breadcrumbs, garlic and chilli. Until the breadcrumbs turn golden brown. Dont let anything burn! Remove the pan from the heat and sit to one side.

Step 3.
Season the crab meat well. Drain the cooked pasta. Now stir in the crab, half of your mint, the lemon juice and the zest, and a drizzle of olive oil. now plate up your pasta and sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture that you created in step 2 and top this with the rest of your mint.

Eat
Pasta is filling, so it’s great to find light pasta options especially in spring. The lemon, mint and crab worked well together, as expected! The chilli is a must, whether you like hot food or not, I think you’d find it bland without it, and you don’t need much.

 

Taste
This dish reminded me of summer and being near the sea, so if you are feeling the need to be on holiday, at a low-cost, pour a glass of crisp dry white wine, and try this dish.