Yearly Archives: 2009

Schiacciata all’Olio (Tuscan focaccia-type bread)

  • 500g Strong white bread flour
  • 100 ml Unsweetened soya Milk
  • 200 ml Warm water
  • 2tsp Active dry yeast
  • Maldon sea salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Whisk the yeast in the warm water and leave for 10-15 minutes until you have about 1cm of froth (or follow instructions on the yeast packet if different).

Mix the yeasty water, the milk and the flour, add 2-3 tbsp oil and a couple of pinches of salt. Work the dough for 5 ten minutes until nice and elastic. If the dough is too sticky and wet add a bit of flour, if it’s too dry… yeah, you guessed, a bit of wtar or milk.

Make a ball with the dough and leave to rise, covered, for 30/40 minutes.

Place a sheet of greaseproof paper on a rectangular baking tray and pour a good lug of oil in it. Now work and flatten the dough with your hands to cover the tray. Flip the dough over and make wee dents on it with the tips of your fingers.

Sprinkle with some maldon sea salt and leave for another 20 minutes. Place in a preheated oven (190-200°C) for 20 minutes until golden brown.

Beetroot and saffron risotto

Serves 4

  • 4 Beetroots (prepared) cubed
  • 1 Medium sized Onion finely chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves – crushed and chopped
  • 1 small glass White Wine
  • 350 g Arborio or Carnaroli Risotto Rice
  • 1 Generous pinch Saffron crushed in a little warm water)
  • 1 Knob Vegan butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Vegetable Stock Cube

On a very gentle fire fry the onion and garlic in a couple of spoon of Olive Oil. When the onion is transparent add the white wine, turn the heat up slightly and let the alcohol evaporate while you boil a kettle. When you can no longer smell the alcohol throw the rice in and set a timer for 20 minutes. Coat the rice and then add roughly a large glass of the boiling water. Add a stock cube and the diced beetroot and let the risotto simmer gently. Every 2/3 minutes check the risotto, it should have a decent amount of fluid, if it doesn’t add some water.

Keep doing this until you get close to the 20 minutes, here you need to really add a small quantity of water at a time so that you don’t end up with soup! Add the saffron , mix well and start tasting the rice, it should be ‘al dente’. When it is take off the fire, add the knob of butter, mix well and let rest for 5 minutes.

Dish up!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 4

  • 1 medium sized Butternut Squash – peeled and cubed
  • 1 Parsnip – peeled and cubed
  • 1 Medium sized Onion sliced
  • 2 Garlic cloves – crushed
  • 2 large Carrotspeeled and cut into chunks
  • 5 or 6 Sage leaves
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 Stock Cubes, vegetable

Toss the squash, carrots, parsnip and sage in 3 tbsp of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in a 200 c oven for 30 minutes or until the veg are soft and browned.

Sauté’ the onion and garlic in 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pot, add the roasted veg, the stock cubes and 1.5 l hot water. Boil for 15-20 minutes and whizz with a hand blender.