Catherine Fulvio’s Courgette, Feta and Chive Tart

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Health and taste come together in this delicious Courgette, Feta and Chive Tart. A wonderful pizza alternative by celebrity chef and Whirlpool ambassador, Catherine Fulvio.

INGREDIENTS

For the roasted vegetables

  • 2 medium red onions, sliced
  • 2 medium courgettes, sliced diagonally
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 2 tbsp rape seed oil
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp chives, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 375g pack ready rolled puff pastry
  • 4 tbsp basil pesto
  • 180g ricotta
  • Egg wash, 1 egg and 2tbsp water
  • 60g feta, crumbled
  • Chive lengths, to garnish

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 (oC/fan) or 160 (oC/gas 4). Place the onions, courgettes and red pepper slices into a roasting pan and drizzle with oil, sprinkle over the paprika as well as the chives. Roast for about 15mins until just tender. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside.
  2. Increase the temperature of the oven to 190 (oC/fan) 170 (oC/gas 3). Place the pastry on a piece of baking parchment onto a baking tray. Measure a 1 ½ cm edge around the pastry, using a sharp knife cut out the edge, carefully not to slice all the way through. Using a fork, prick the inner rectangle of the pastry and brush with egg wash. Bake for 20mins until golden. Remove from the oven and press the inner pastry rectangle down slightly.
  3. Combine the basil pesto and ricotta and spread over the pastry leave the edge.
  4. Arrange the roasted vegetable on top and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle over a little rapeseed oil. Sprinkle over the feta and bake for about 7 to 8 mins until the feta is slightly golden.
  5. Arrange the chive lengths on top and serve immediately.

Tip:
Any vegetables can be used like roasted sweet potatoes, cherry tomatoes and artichokes and sprinkle over chopped rosemary.

Recipe courtesy of Whirlpool. http://www.rte.ie/lifestyle/food/recipes

Spring Mimosa Salad: Rory O’Connell

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“I make this salad all year round, varying the salad content according to the seasons and availability but I like it best of all in spring” says Rory.

Rory says: “Mixed organic leaves are the most obvious option but the salad works very well with just crispy watercress or chicory leaves. Wild garlic leaves are a great addition in spring as are the pretty white garlic flowers. As always choose the best quality oil and vinegar and measure accurately to ensure a correct balance of acidity in the dressing.

“Free-range eggs, hard boiled and yolks sieved are what create the mimosa effect here and hence the use of the word in the recipe title.

“I like to use fat and fleshy Kalamata olives which stone and chop easily. Be careful when assembling the salad to get the balance of ingredients correct. Remember this is a salad, so it is a selection of leaves which are lightly garnished with the other ingredients. Too much egg will make the salad seem too heavy, too much olive will overpower and equally too much parmesan will be too rich. The ingredients should tickle one another as you eat them giving an overall effect of lightness gilded with a few precious extras.”

Tips:

  • A selection of spring salad greens or a specific leaf like watercress or chicory can be used here.
  • Try and get free-range or organic eggs.
  • Large fleshy olives like Kalamata are perfect here. To stone an olive, place one at a time on a chopping board and press with the back of a chopping knife to press out the stone. Otherwise use an olive stoner if you have one.
  • Using a swivel headed vegetable peeler, shave the parmesan thinly off a larger piece straight on to the salads. Don’t worry if the parmesan breaks up a little and certainly perfect curls are of no advantage here, in fact perfect curls of parmesan can indicate an immature cheese.
  • Much of what is sold as balsamic vinegar is of poor quality, so search out a quality vinegar and if in doubt about the quality, replace it in the recipe with lemon juice of a good sherry vinegar.

Ingredients:

  • 4 hand-fulls of organic mixed leaves: watercress, wild garlic, butterhead, chicory leaves, chervil sprigs, coarsely chopped spring chives, basically whatever is at its freshest and best
  • 2 eggs
  • 16 fat Kalamata olives
  • 12 thin parmesan shavings or pieces

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small clove of garlic, peeled and finely crushed
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Hard boil the eggs by lowering them gently into a saucepan of boiling, salted water and cooking them at a boil for exactly 10 minutes. If you don’t want the yolk completely hard, cook for 9 minutes. The salt in the water seasons the egg and will help to coagulate any white that might seep out of a crack in the shell, hence less leakage.
  2. Remove from the saucepan immediately and cool under a cold running tap. Remove the shell and cut the hard boiled eggs in half.
  3. Chop the white finely.
  4. Pass the yolk through a sieve, using the back of a soup spoon to push the egg through to achieve a mimosa type effect. Keep the chopped white and sieved yolk separate.
  5. Stone the olives by gently squashing them on a chopping board with the back of a chopping knife and removing the stones.
  6. Chop the olive flesh finely and reserve.
  7. Mix the ingredients for the dressing together, taste and correct seasoning.

To assemble the salad:

  1. Place the leaves in a large bowl and dress with just enough dressing to make the leaves glisten.
  2. On four large plates, first place a wide broken circle of the chopped olive on each plate.
  3. Divide and spread the egg white in the centre of the circles of olive.
  4. Place the leaves in a light pile on top of the egg white.
  5. Gently, place 3 parmesan shavings or pieces on each salad. Finally sprinkle the egg yolk “mimosa” on each salad.
  6. Serve immediately.

http://www.rte.ie/lifestyle/food/recipes/2016/0505/786264-spring-mimosa-salad/

Broccoli, Cheese & Egg Muffins

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Who said muffins have to be sweet? Here’s a yummy savoury recipe great at anytime of the day.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 90g of broccoli (can use defrosted frozen broccoli)
  • 50g of strong grated cheddar cheese

Optional
Sea salt and pepper to season.
Bacon or Ham for toppings.

Instructions

Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F.

Grease a 6-hole muffin tin with oil.

Chop the broccoli into medium sized florets and place them into a steamer or colander sitting over a pan of boiling water.

Cover with a lid and let stem for 5 minutes.

Place the steamed broccoli into a bowl with the eggs and salt & pepper (if you’re using them to season) and then whisk together.

Pour the mixture into the muffin tin and divide the cheese evenly among them.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the eggs are set.

Why not add some bacon for extra flavour, just them cut up and serve alongside or on top.

Perfect for anytime of the day! – See more at: http://www.yourdairygold.ie/food-made-better/Broccoli,-Cheese-Egg-Muffins.aspx#sthash.27FKRaJC.dpuf

Rachel’s Blueberry jelly

blueberry-jelly-gridServes 4.

Place the fresh or frozen blueberries, whichever you’re using, and the lemon juice in a liquidiser and whizz for a few minutes until the mixture is very smooth. Then push it through a sieve and set it aside.

To make the syrup, put the water and the sugar in a saucepan on a medium heat. Stir it just until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil, boil for 1 minute, then remove the saucepan from the heat and set it aside.

Place the gelatine sheets in a bowl of cold water and leave them to sit for 3-4 minutes, until they have softened. Then squeeze out the excess water and add them to the hot syrup. Stir until the gelatine leaves dissolve, reheating the syrup if it has cooled down. Once the gelatine has been added, allow the mixture to cool until it is almost at room temperature. (If it’s too hot, it will cook the blueberry and lemon mixture you add next, ruining the flavour.)

Add the blueberry and lemon mixture you set aside earlier to the gelatine syrup and stir together well, then divide the jelly between four glasses or cups and place them in the fridge to set – this should take about 3 to 4 hours.

 http://www.rachelallen.com/post/blueberry-jelly