A FANTASTIC SELECTION OF RECIPES & IMAGES BY DAPHNE LAMBERT
delightful recipes for spring
Chard works well prepared with aromatic spices & nuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1k chard well washed, stalks trimmed
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
3 cardamom pods, cracked open, seeds removed and crushed
3 onions, finely sliced
25g fresh ginger grated
¼ teaspoon chilli pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
100 ml vegetable stock
¼ teaspoon garam masala
50g skinned almonds, finely sliced & toasted.
Cut the chard into thick slices. Gently heat the oil and butter in a pan large enough to hold the chard. Tip the fennel, cardamom, onions and ginger into the pan & cook stirring all the time until the onions soften. Add the chard and allow to wilt. Add the chilli & salt and cook uncovered until there is no liquid left in the pan, add the garam masala, tip into a serving dish & scatter over the almonds.
PURPLE SPROUTING BROCCOLI WITH CORIANDER SEEDS, CHILLIES & GINGER
Purple sprouting broccoli is at its best now so cook plenty of this nutritious brassica
4 handfuls purple sprouting broccoli
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons stock
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed
1 fresh chilli, finely diced
2 teaspoons grated ginger
black pepper and salt
Cut the broccoli into bite size pieces.
Gently heat the oil, stir in the coriander, chilli & ginger and cook for 1 minute.
Add the purple sprouting, mix well, then tip on the stock and cook until the stock evaporates.
Stir in the tamari season with salt & pepper and serve.
Wild garlic, nettle & feta börek
wild garlic & nettle – glorious green signs of spring
2 tablespoons olive oil
250g wild garlic
250g nettle tops
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon chilli powder
2 eggs beaten
75 ml yogurt
4 tablespoons melted butter
16 sheets filo pastry
1 tablespoon onion seeds
preheat oven 200C/400F
In a large pan gently heat the olive oil, tip in the wild garlic & nettles and cook until just wilted. Cool, then squeeze the greens dry, roughly chop and place in a large bowl. Mix in the pepper, chilli, eggs and yogurt.
Butter a 10 x 20cm baking tray. Line the try with 2 sheets of filo pastry and brush generously with butter, repeat until you have used half the filo pastry.
Spoon in the wild garlic and nettle mixture, top with 2 sheets of filo pastry, brush with butter and repeat to use all the filo pastry. Brush the top with butter, sprinkle over the onion seeds and bake in the oven for 35 – 40 minutes or until golden brown. Allow the börek to cool for 5 minutes, cut into squares and serve.
LEEK & BROWN RICE SOUP
Leeks are a healing food valued as such since Roman times, they contain antibacterial phyto-nutrients which help heal throat and chest infections.
2 tablespoon olive oil
5 leeks trimmed, washed & finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 small celeriac, chopped
110g short grain brown rice
¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
6 sage leaves, finely shredded
1.25 litres well flavoured vegetable stock
salt & black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
Cook the leeks in the olive oil until wilted. Add the garlic and cook for a further 3 mins, stirring all the time. Add the carrot, celeriac and brown rice, stir well, then add the chilli flakes, herbs & stock. Bring to the boil, season, then cover and simmer gently for 40 minutes. Cool slightly, blitz in a blender, return to the pan, warm through and season. Divide between four bowls, sprinkle over parsley and serve.
QUINOA WITH SPRING HERBS & ASPARAGUS
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions finely sliced
3 leaves of lovage finely shredded
200ml vegetable stock (plus 250 ml of asparagus water)
1 large handful of herbs – parsley, tarragon, chives, chervil, rocket, fennel– whatever you have, roughly chopped
25g butter or splash of olive oil
salt & black pepper
Break the coarse ends off the asparagus and discard. Cut off the tips. Bring 250 ml of water to the boil and plunge in the asparagus tips for 1 minute. Strain, reserving the water, and refresh the spears in cold water. Set aside. Cut the stalks into 1 cm pieces.
In a thick bottomed pan gently cook the onions in the oil, when they have softened add the lovage, asparagus stalks and quinoa, stir well together. Add the stock and reserved asparagus water and allow to cook for 12 -15 minutes, by which time the quinoa should be cooked and all the liquid absorbed.
Remove from the heat, stir in the asparagus spears, herbs, butter or olive oil and season to taste.
Foods that support a strong immune system
Our immune system depends on many nutrients to work effectively and the ideal immune-boosting diet is really no different from the ideal everyday diet but if you are a bit-off track at the moment here are a few pointers.
The thymus gland produces hormones responsible for immune activity and special white blood cells called T cells, which destroy infected cells. T cell activity and the production of antibodies depend on vitamin B6. Spinach, turnip greens, leeks, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts and shiitake mushroom, all in season at the moment, are a good source of vitamin B6 as are whole grains.
Vitamin C intake is essential to immune function. Vitamin C helps immune cells to mature and improves the performance of antibodies and macrophage. Citrus fruits, cauliflower, broccoli and kale are good sources and all abundant at the moment. Other good sources are strawberries, blueberries and raspberries in the summer and rosehip, elderberries and blackberries in the autumn. Preserve these fruits to have in the Winter months. Vitamin C along with vitamins A & E and zinc & selenium are important anti-oxidant nutrients – they disarm the free radicals which invaders produce.
Eat fresh green leaves every day. The chlorophyll in green leaves supports our immune system by combating unhealthy colonies of bacteria, yeasts & fungi in the body and reduces inflammation.
Good bacterial balance in the gut is important for immune function. Eat plenty of lactic ferments like sauerkraut and kefir.
If you work inside all day you are probably not getting enough sun. When we lack vitamin D our immune systems are vulnerable to bacteria and viruses. Eggs, yogurt, shiitake mushroomsare good sources as well as fatty fish – herrings, sardines, mackerel, wild salmon.
Garlic is a wonderful antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal and turmeric, ginger and cinnamon are powerful spices to add to your immune boosting diet.
Eat plenty of good fat, cold pressed olive oil and organic butter are both beneficial. Fresh seeds and nuts are rich in essential fatty acids as well as vitamin E, zinc and protein. Cooking with poly unsaturated oils creates toxic trans-fatty acids and exposure to air creates rancidity. Altered oils of this nature suppress the immune system.
Make certain you eat three meals a day. If you are battling adrenal fatigue, diabetes, weight issues, hormone or blood sugar problems you may need to eat 5 smaller meals. If all your commitments
allow try to take a few early nights and allow your body to rest and restore. Never underestimate the positive effect to the immune system from having a good 8 hours sleep!
Baked mackerel fillet with green leaf salad and a citrus-chilli dressing
4 mackerel fillets
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice and zest of half a lemon
1 clove garlic finely chopped
Selection of green leaves (watercress, mizuna, lamb's lettuce, mint, fennel, flat leaf parsley).
Dressing: 2 tablespoons orange juice, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 4 tablespoons olive oil, 1 small chilli seeded and chopped, salt and pepper.
Mix the olive oil, garlic and lemon together. Place the mackerel fillets in an oiled baking dish and pour over the marinade, leave for 15 minutes. Pick over the leaves and divide between 4 plates.
Blend all the dressing ingredients together in a processor.
Bake the fish in a moderate to hot oven, 180 degrees celcius, for 12 minutes. Place a fillet on top of the leaves on each plate and spoon over the dressing.
Chunky vegetable and white bean soup
A diet rich in vegetables and pulses supports the immune system.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion chopped
4 garlic cloves chopped
1 carrot peeled and diced
2 sticks celery diced
1 leek trimmed, washed and cut into slices
1 turnip peeled and diced
1 tsp tomato puree
1 litre vegetable stock
400g tin of haricots beans
1 head of broccoli florets
large handful finely shredded spinach
handful of chopped parsley
Cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil until tender
Add the carrot, celery, leek and turnip and cook for a further 2 minutes
Stir in the tomato puree, add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
Add the haricots beans and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Add the broccoli and the spinach, cook for a further 2 minutes, stir in the parsley, season and serve.
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We update our recipes regularly so check back to see what's new in our seasonal recipe book.