“The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946. That is not very long ago. Until then, where was all the food? Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests. It was near kitchens, near tables, near bedsides. It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard.”
― Joel Salatin
Normally you can attribute the success of a dish to a particular ingredient. This however lets every ingredient share the stage. You can leave out one or more of the ingredients but each one adds its own voice to the choir.
Using my last salad post as a base, (Check it out HERE) make it a full lunch or dinner with these other amazing flavours. Grilled Chicken gives this the protein to fill you up. Pesto adds a whole new dimension to the original flavour of the salad. Then, my favourite bit, toasted cumin seeds and pine nuts. That flavour from the fennel seeds really boosts the overall outcome of this pretty healthy, quick lunch or dinner.
What do you need
1x chicken breast
1tsp cumin seeds
25g pine nuts
1 tbsp pesto
Handful of spinach or rocket (or both)
1x pre cooked beetroot
5 sun dried tomatoes halved
40g feta cheese
What you need to do
Bash your chicken breast between some cling film to make it nice and even, around 1 cm thick would be good. Season it with a little salt and pepper and then drizzle it with a little olive oil. Add the breast to a hot pan and cook for around 4 minutes on each side (this can obviously vary, just make sure your chicken is white all the way through and there are no pink bits left inside).Once it is cooked through remove it to a plate and leave it to rest.
While the chicken cooks away heat another small pan and add the cumin seeds and pine nuts. Toast them for around a minute. You are not trying to cook them and you don't want to burn them so keep an eye out. All this does is release the aromatic oils and smells out of them both to make them taste amazing.
In a small bowl mix the pesto and lemon juice together.
Now to plate up just toss the spinach and rocket onto a plate and scatter over the beetroot, sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts and cumin seeds. Crumble the feta cheese over everything. Slice your chicken breast into strips and lay on top and drizzle over the lemon pesto.
Bored of lettuce, tomato and cucumber salads? Me too. Try this.
Beetroot, its the vegetable equivalent to Marmite. And like Marmite, I absolutely love it. Couple that with one of the best flavours in the world, sun dried tomatoes, and you have an amazing salad. Spinach and rocket make the bed, on top of that bed lay the super sexy sundried tomatoes and beautiful beetroot. Adorning the top is a scattering of fabulous feta which is by far my favourite cheese at the moment. Drizzle a little olive oil and a touch of salt and pepper and you have a salad that will knock the socks off your usual, dull, lifeless bowl of iceberg, tomato and cucumber.
“The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.”
― Calvin Trillin
Is it time we replaced Brussels sprouts with something we actually like? Every year we put them onto our plate at christmas and every year they are scraped off our plate into the bin, or in our case into the dogs dinner bowl (a mistake as regrettable as adding them to our dinner in the first place). It would be a shame I know, to take away something that is so entrenched in us, it would be like taking away the decorations from the tree. Without them it’s just a tree in the living room. The same with the dinner it may as well just be another roast dinner we have every Sunday. So why not change it. Kalettes, a blend of the best bits from your ever faithful brusssel sprout and your curly leafed friend, kale, give you a fantastic alternative. Different enough to be tasty but similar enough to not be unfaithful to the traditional sprout.
They are not genetically modified before you ask, they are a hybrid of the two created using “traditional breeding techniques” to quote their website. I don’t know what this means. Maybe they water them with wine, stick on a bit of Barry White, close the doors and let Mr White work his magic. What I do know is that they taste amazing. Sweet, nutty and milder than Brussels. They a the first new vegetable to hit the shelves in over a decade and I for one welcome them with open arms.
I am going to do a few more recipes with them which I will post. For now here is a link to the Sea bass with garlicky bacon kalettes I cooked a while ago.
“…why not let nature show you a few things? Cutting grass and pulling weeds can be a way of life… Lilacs on a bush are better than orchids. And dandelions and devil grass are better! Why? Because they bend you over and turn you away from all the people and the town for a little while and sweat you and get you down where you remember you got a nose again. And when you’re all to yourself that way, you’re really yourself for a little while; you get to thinking things through, alone. Gardening is the handiest excuse for being a philosopher. Nobody guesses, nobody accuses, nobody knows, but there you are, Plato in the peonies, Socrates force-growing his own hemlock. A man toting a sack of blood manure across his lawn is kin to Atlas letting the world spin easy on his shoulder. As Samuel Spaudling, Esquire, once said, ‘Dig in the earth, delve in the soul.’ Spin those mower blades, Bill, and walk in the spray of the Fountain of Youth.”
― Ray Bradbury