Middle-eastern Chickpea Salad

A tasty salad recipe from the Vegan duo behind the Bosh cookbooks and series. You may have noticed there’s no chickpeas in this recipe – the supermarket was completely out believe it or not! I assumed a tin of mixed beans would do the job and they did except for a bit of splitting while baked – didn’t change the taste though. This is a nice quick one to make and I even put the beans in the oven before the football started and finished off the salad at half time without missing any of the match.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 1 tsp olive pil
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 120g leaf salad
  • 10g mint
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp oil

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line a baking tray

2.) Drain the beans and pat them dry with kitchen roll

3,) Add the beans to a mixing bowl and add the tsp oil, paprika, cumin, coriander and a pinch of salt

4.) Stir to coat the beans in the spice and spread out on the baking tray. Bake for 25 minutes.

5.) Prep the rest of the salad. Chop up the cucumber (I got rid of the middle bit as it’s very watery), slice the tomatoes in half, chop up the avocado flesh and finely chop the mint,. Add these and the salad leaves back to the mixing bowl. Slice the lemon in half and squeeze in the juice. Add the tsp olive oil and stir.

6.) Now make the dressing – beat the tahini with the syrup, 1 tsp oil, salt and 1 tsp water.

7.) When the beans are ready, add to the salad mixture then pour over the dressing and gently toss.

Haggis Part 2 – Haggis Pasties

To make the most of the veggie haggis you can buy around Burns’ Night, I bought another pack but did something a little different with it. In Britain, we like our pies and they’re usually savoury. A pasty is generally in the form of a folded circle containing the filling and the most famous pasty is the Cornish pasty. The Cornish pasty has a protected status in Europe so Cornish pasties must contain beef, swede, potato and onion. My version isn’t too different ingredients-wise though I didn’t manage to get the traditional 20 crimps to hold the pastry together.

For my pastry I used whole-wheat flour and learnt why you don’t often see people using it on the Bake-off. I did manage to cobble it together but I gave up on the presentation. The end result was light and flaky though and well-suited the spiced haggis is contained. I’ve seen recipes which put the swede and potato in raw but when I’ve tried that the filling hasn’t been quite as soft as I’d like and I find simmering in a bit of stock adds some flavour. The pasties freeze really well – stick them in the freezer at the point before the egg-wash.

Serves 8 (with a bit of filling left over)

Ingredients

For the filling:

1 pack Simon Howe vegetarian haggis

2/3 swede

1 large potato

2 leeks

300ml beef flavour stock

spray oil

For the pastry:

250g unsalted block of butter

250g strong flour

6 tbsp very cold water

1 egg

Method

1.) Boil a kettle full of water. Take the haggis out of the packet, wrap it in foil. Put in the pan, completely cover with the water and simmer for 40 minutes.

2.) Clean and chop the leeks. Fry in a frying pan.

4.) Peel and chop up the potato and swede. Add to the leeks when they’re soft. Cook down for 5 minutes.

5.) Make up the stock and add to the potato and swede and cook on a medium-low heat until the stock has cooked off.

6.) Remove the haggis from the water and unwrap. Cut off the plastic casing and add the haggis to the potato and mix.

7.) Whilst the haggis and potatoes are cooking, start to make the pastry.

8.) Add the flour to a food processor with 1/2 tsp salt. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour.

9.) Blitz until it becomes breadcrumbs. I just pulse it pressing on and off the button to not overheat the mixture.

10.) Pour into a large bowl and add the water. Use your hands to shape into a ball but work the dough as little as as possible.

11.) Stick in the fridge for 30 minutes.

12.) After thirty minutes, lightly dust your surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll out the ball into a large rectangle. Mine was a bit dry due to the flour and crumbled a bit at the edges but I pushed them together.

13.) Fold 1/3 over and then the other third, like a letter.

14.) Turn the dough around and roll out back into a rectangle.

15.) Fold and roll out twice more then fold again, wrap up and put in the fridge for another half hour. (I put it on the fridge on a baking tray to make it easier). After about 15 minutes, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

16.) Once more, roll out the pastry and divide into 8 pieces.

17.) Spoon over about 4 tbsp filling (it should be room-temperature by now otherwise it will ruin the pastry)

18.) Fold the two sides over the filling and crimp them together.

19.) Separate the egg yolk into a bowl and mix with a tbsp milk. (I didn’t add the milk and the egg yolk is showing up on the whole-wheat pastry)

20.) Line a baking tray with baking paper

21.) Put the pasties on the tray and brush with the egg wash.

22.) Bake for 40 minutes.

Onion Soup

As I write this my football team who have been mediocre for some years now have somehow climbed the way up to sit at the top of the league. There is some worrying speculation that they may cancel the league soon because of COVID (as everything is) which could just drain the rest of my limited dry-January willpower. However, if they really must do it, I say they do it now whilst we’re in pole position!

Onion soup is a meal I really enjoy. It’s great with the cheese on toast as in Jamie Oliver’s ‘Veg’ but I enjoyed it with the cheese-dotted soda bread I made a few days ago. I didn’t really make many adjustments to his recipe and truly recommend the book.

Serves 6

Ingredients

5 onions

30g butter

4 cloves garlic

1/2 bunch fresh thyme (15g)

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

30g flour

500ml cider (Jamie recommends scrumpy which is cider from the south-west of England but I just used a good quality cider)

1 litre Massel beef stock (this is a vegetarian beef-flavoured stock)

1 heaped teaspoon miso paste (I used brown as I couldn’t find a red miso paste)

Method

1.) Peel and chop the onions

2.) Melt the butter in the pan, add the onions on a low heat

3.) Peel and chop up the garlic and add to the pan

4.) Strip off the thyme leaves – I find a good method is to start from the top of the branch and pull back. Add these to the pan. Generally a few sticks end up in the soup but they can be picked out.

5.) Add the flour and balsamic vinegar and cook down until the onions are golden. This is where the flavour comes from and is crucial.

6.) Pour in the cider and let it cook away for a few minutes.

7.) Add the miso and the stock and simmer for 25 minutes further.

8.) Season with salt and pepper and serve.