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Griddled Courgette, Garlic, Chili, Basil and Pistachio Tagliatelle with

2 Aug

IMG_20130802_225812My aunt and uncle provided us with a couple of lovely fresh courgettes from their vegetable garden – as they are having such a great season the best way to cook them at this time of year is simply griddled on the barbecue.
This dish was inspired by my favourite Italian restaurant in Nice – where a similar dish was by far my fave. Although they had the addition of scallops (which unfortunately are a bit of a luxury and not a simple dinner ingredient)

Dad was at the barbecue so it’s to his credit how tasty it was!
I always think you should alter any amount of ingredients to suit your tastes – if you fancy more basil or chili then go for it

Serves 2:
Ingredients:
150g tagliatelle (or linguine or spaghetti)
1 large courgette, cut into rounds
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 fresh chili, sliced or a pinch dried chili
2 handfulls shelled pistachios
1 ball of mozzarella, teared
A good knob of butter
A few tablespoons olive oilIMG_20130802_225733
Salt and pepper
Around 10-15 large basil leaves, torn

Method:

1. Put your pasta water on to heat up. On a griddle pan or barbecue, grill your sliced courgettes, turning once after about 4 minutes, until they have lovely charcoal marks on either side. Keep on a heatproof plate in a warm oven

2. Start cooking you pasta – ensure you have a good glug of olive oil in the water to stop the pasta from sticking. Meanwhile, heat your olive oil in a large frying pan and add your garlic to brown, take off the heat and add the pistachios and chilli (they will cook in the hot oil even if it’s off the heat)

3. Drain your pasta, add with a good knob of butter to the frying pan with olive oil garlic etc, add the basil leaves and courgettes, season and give it all a good toss, add some more olive oil if needed. Serve and sprinkle over the mozzarella

Salad Nicoise

25 Jul

 

Salade Nicoise

 

Quite honestly, I am a firm believer that  the salad nicoise is your perfectly balanced healthy, satisfying meal. Packed full of goodness with protein-rich tuna and eggs, olive oil and seasonal vegetables, it leaves you feeling as if you could be sunning yourself in the Cote d’Azur (ok, so maybe not really… )

 

At this time of the year, if you can get the freshest  (preferably home grown or local) new potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes and french beans, it will be 10 x tastier. Costs are kept down if using tinned tuna however do be careful that it’s nice and sustainable.

 

And, if you have any left over – stick it in a French bread bun drizzled with olive oil and balsamic and have a pan bagnat!

 

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Serves 1

 

Ingredients:

 

Half a tin of tuna

 

Handful of good quality black olives (unpitted ones are the tastiest – avoid the cheap sort in brine, false economy trust me!)

 

A couple of tomatoes,  cut into wedges

 

A handful of cooked green beans

 

A few small new poatoes, steamed and left to cool

 

A few lettuce leaves of your choice

 

Anchovies (for a proper authentic salad, howevee they aren’t to everyones taste!)

 

A boiled egg, halved

A few tinned beans of your choice if you fancy (not really authentic I know!)

 

For the dressing :

 

One part balsamic or white wine vinegar to two parts good quality olive oil, mixed with as much mustard as you desire

 

 

 

Method:

 

Assemble all ingredients into a large salad bowl, serving the tuna on top and drizzled with the dressing. Eat with good quality French bread (make it yourself or go to a good bakery for a treat! )

 

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Matina – Bristol (Best £4 lunch I’ve ever had)

18 Jul

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During a weeks work experience in Bristol, I treated myself to the delights of the various food stalls in St Nicholas’s Market every lunch time (oh this girl knows how to party.)

The best so far (and by far) has to be Matina, a relatively new eatery serving Middle Eastern (Kurdish in particular) Naan bread wraps.

And these are proper wraps! A simple menu is perfect – they are so good no other choice is really required. The lunchtime queue speaks for itself. Handmade, fresh naan breads, cooked to order are filled with a choice of grilled marinaded halloumi and grilled Mediterranean veg, along with meat options of chicken and lamb. They are complimented with shredded red cabbage salad, tomatoes, coriander, pickles and spicy tomato sauce along with a fresh mint yogurt dip and humous.

It was so so so so so so tasty.

And at nothing on the menu over £4.50 you get a lot of tasty food for your money!

Head down for fresh, home made produce for a great value fulfilling lunch

Zesty prawn linguine

10 Jul

One of my favourite pasta dishes is this combination of prawns, basil, zingy lemon, red chillies, the freshness of rocket, sweet cherry tomatoes and spring onion combined with linguine.

It’s super healthy yet light and satisfying (and takes no time at all). We had this when I took a visit up to Newcastle (furthest North I’ve ever gone, couldn’t get over the fact that there was a Greggs in the airport. Brilliant) to see my friend Jane. This is her boyfriend Andy’s recipe, which can be found on his impressive food blog – http://grubblog.wordpress.com/

Eat when in need of some comfort food or when on a health binge – possibly one of the few recipes that satisfies both.

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The last (French) supper

16 Jun

As the title states, I had a lot of stuff to use before I headed back to the not so glorious weather as the Cote d’Azur, but wonderful United Kingdom. Massively misjudging how much stuff I had to take back meant I had to leave the collection of herbs and spices that we had collected. I am probably a bit more frugal than most and I really didn’t want to leave them but paying 10 Euros per kg of excess baggage meant sacrifices had to be made (unfortunately.)

I had some frozen spinach to use, as well as puff pastry, a lemon and feta. I brainstormed and tarts were formed. Yummy and giving me less guilt about wasting food! Perfect hot or cold, for lunch or dinner or even a picnic. And ready in about 20 minutes!

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Spinach & feta tart

Serves 2 or more depending on how big you like your portions

Half a pack of puff pastry, rolled into a rectangle

About 100grams spinach, thawed if frozen

1/2 a pack of feta cheese

Squeeze of lemon juice

Few grates of lemon rind

Pinch of chilli flakes

Garlic clove,  crushed

A little olive oil

Pinch of nutmeg if you have any goes quite nicely!

Method

1. In a bowl, combine the thawed and drained spinach, crumbled feta, lemon juice and rind, garlic with salt and pepper, nutmeg and a glug of olive oil.

2. Arrange your mixture on the rolled out pastry, leaving a pastry border of about an inch or more for those who love their pastry.

3. Bake in a preheated oven at 190 C for around 20 minutes.

Tomato thyme and feta tart IMG_20130615_075622

Serves the same amount

Half a pack of puff pastry, rolled into a rectangle (or however you like to be honest.. Go wild.)

The other half of the pack of feta

2tsp dried or fresh thyme

Any tomatoes you have, thinly sliced, enough to cover the pastry

Method:

1. Crumble the cheese evenly over the pastry, arrange the tomato slices over the cheese so that there is no gaps between them. Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle over the thyme and season with pepper (feta is salty enough! ). Bake for around 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 190 C.

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‘Homemade’ Pappardelle with smoked salmon, basil, cream cheese and lemon

9 May

With the attempt of getting rid of all my store cupboard essential before I move back to the UK I now only have wholemeal penne (due to my health binge a few weeks ago) or lasagne sheets as my pasta choices. I was craving a creamy pasta the other day, and with wholemeal pasta it’s just not the same. My white wine, cream cheese, lemon and basil sauce with smoked salmon just goes with linguine, tagliatelle or other pastas such as pappardelle. I don’t know why this is and I may sound like a massive fussy food snob and I am cringing slightly whilst writing this however it just doesn’t have that luxury feel about it when using other pastas (oh dear Phoebe what have you become…)

So. I went about making ‘home made’ parpadelle. Bit of a student invention but definitely worth keeping in mind – use lasagne sheets! Half cook them, take them out of your saucepan of boiling water onto a chopping board and use a sharp knife to slice them into three lengthways, pop them back to finish cooking (make sure they are not stuck together when you put them back in) – et voila, perfect parpadelle without the silly Tesco Finest/Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference etc etc prices you find it for in the supermarket.

Serves 1 – Image
70g lasagne sheets
60g cream cheese (low fat or full fat)
However much smoked salmon you’d like, cut into strips
A bunch of basil leaves
A few squuezes of lemon juic
1 shallot, chopped
1 tbsp white wine
Olive oil

Method:
1. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add a splash of olive oil and add your lasagne sheets. In a frying pan, heat up 1tbsp olive oil and when hot, add your shallots to soften for a few minutes on a medium heat.
2. After about 5 minutes, scoop your lasagne sheets out of the saucepan and transform them into parpadelle. Pop back into the saucepan.
3. Add your white wine to the shallots and let it evaporate slightly. Turn the heat to its lowest setting and add a few squeezes of lemon juice.
4. After your pasta is cooked, drain and add to the saucepan, now add your cream cheese and smoked salmon, thouroughly coating the pasta. Add your basil leaves and a few twists of black pepper.

Enjoy that it’s a lot more luxurious tasting than it actually costs…

p.s I am doing a student marketing campaign to encourage people to sign up to volunteer for various music festivals in the summer, if you could click on this link below you would be doing me a massive favour!
http://www.phansta.com/1140/27/view.html

Feta, beetroot, cherry tomatoes, olive, rocket and lentil salad (so healthy a cake must be eaten afterwards)

6 May

I’ve been eating so many salads recently as the weather has finally become what I like to call ‘beach hot’ (a temperature gauged on if it’s hot enough to go to the beach to sunbathe… thought it was quite good no!?) here in Nice, which is not a bad thing I suppose!

Perfectly balanced with the sweet beetroot salty olives and feta, earthy lentils, fresh rocket and a sharp wholegrain mustard,  olive oil and balsamic dressing (phew what a description). You can alter the quantities as much as you fancy, I’ve just given a rough idea as to how I assembled mine.

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Wholesome and filling enough for a satisfying dinner or a healthy lunch. Super quick to put together, no expensive or obscure ingredients to hunt down, no excuses not to make it. Many people on ‘health’ binges often eat plates and plates of salads, often loaded with creamy dressings, cheeses and bacon, which to be frank is just not going to make much difference, may as well just tuck into that carbonara.

Serves 1:
A tablespoon of crumbled feta
1 small beetroot
2.5 tablespoons cooked brown lentils (or whatever type you have, just not mushy red lentils!)
A few cherry tomatoes
A few handfuls of rocket
3/4 black olives, chopped

Method:
Wash all salady bits and dry well, chop up your olives and beetroot, half your cherry tomatoes, crumble your feta, make your dressing by using 2 tbsp good olive oil combined with 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 1tsp wholegrain mustard and assemble. Voila.

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p.s I am doing a student marketing campaign to encourage people to sign up to volunteer for various music festivals in the summer, if you could click on this link below you would be doing me a massive favour!
http://www.phansta.com/1140/27/view.html