Tag Archives: vegetables

Cheese and Leek Toasties

Leeks and Cheese on Kefir Toast3

Inspired by Heidi’s comment about grilled cheese sandwiches  on the cheese and pickle post, I rifled through Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Vegetable book and found a lovely  simple recipe for cheese and leeks on toast which I have customized slightly to use up half a red pepper as well as my leeks. It is the sort of book that if you are an experienced cook and a vegetarian you probably know most of the methods and techniques in it already,  but I like it for its simple layout and clear straightforward recipes. I think, going by this article I just found, HFW is very fond of cheese on toast. Lots more of his ideas here of things to put on toast : – Posh cheese on toast recipes.

Leeks and Cheese on Kefir Toast2

As I was making vegetable soup anyway and sweating leeks, I borrowed a couple of spoonfuls of the leeks from the early stages of the soup to make this treat. I am going to make it again today as we have lots of leeks in our vegetable box this week.

Leeks and Cheese on Kefir Toast4

Pepper and Leek Cheese on Toast for Two

  • 1 medium leek
  • Half a red pepper (capiscum)
  • 50g of favourite cheese
  • 3 spoonfuls of half fat creme fraiche
  • salt and pepper
  • Thyme or favourite herbs
  • Two chunky slices of favourite bread – here I used my kefir date bread with sesame seed crust

Leeks and Cheese on Kefir Toast1

  1. Sweat the sliced leeks and pepper in a little butter or stock on a low heat
  2. Grate cheese and put to one side
  3. Once leeks and peppers are soft and glistening lower the heat
  4. Slice some bread and toast lightly and put the grill on
  5. Add the creme fraiche and mix in
  6. Add about three quarters of the grated cheese and stir well
  7. Season to taste, add thyme
  8. Pile onto warmed bread and divide the remaining cheese between the two slices
  9. Pop under hot grill and cook till bubbly and browning
  10. Eat!

Of Celery and Stock and Lentils…

Celery Gratin Prep

Last week I made a celery gratin and a lentil salad side dish to go with it. I also cooked some tiny chorizo sausages that Brian had bought as they needed using up, so it wasn’t in the end a vegetarian meal, but it was meant to be. Good intentions eh?

For the celery gratin I followed the method in Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s book on Vegetable cooking. I do have lots of cook books and after writing the last post I realise I am maybe not using them properly, so by writing the post it prompted me to open my books!

You bake the celery covered in foil with aromatics and a little butter.  In this case, I used bay leaf and thyme, both from my garden. Once baked and tender, I followed the recipe to make a sauce from the liquid exuded from the celery and a little cream and sprinkled the top with a mixture of breadcrumbs and grated hard cheese, such as parmesan and then put it back under the grill to bake and go an inviting golden crispy colour.  I found it a little bland so if I was going to make it again I would maybe add some other vegetables into the mix, but it was good to do something I wouldn’t normally do and see how it came out.

Uncooked Le Puy Lentils

I am on much more familiar ground with cooking lentils. One of my favourites, and I suspect that of many other people too, are the Le Puy lentils which hold their shape when they are cooked and have a wonderful earthy nutty flavour.

Home made vegetable stock

I boiled the lentils briefly first, before covering them in home made vegetable stock, the recycled bay leaf, (I have a whole shrub of it in the garden but I was feeling lazy)  parsley stalks and a couple of cloves of garlic. For the vegetable stock I used the leaf and off cuts from the celery dish, some ageing carrots, parsley and an onion.

Cooking Lentils

Once the lentils had cooked, I drained them and dressed them while warm with a little balsamic vinegar and oil and then added some cubes of yellow beetroot, cooked the day before, some feta cheese, some little tomatoes, spring (salad) onions and some basil and salad leaves.

Together with another bowl of salad leaves and some pita bread popped in the toaster direct from the freezer this was a happy meal which we shared with our lovely neighbour last week.

These sorts of dishes are really adaptable to using up small quantities of salad veggies and bits of cheese that you need to use up. They are colourful, a healthy mix of food types, and they store well in the fridge once mixed, good for lunch boxes too!

Le Puy Lentil Salad

Friday’s Frittata

A simple Frittata made by Brian using cooked potatoes, smoked salmon,  mushrooms, courgettes – infinitely variable to suit what you have in the house and what you like to eat. We didn’t put any cheese in this one, though they are very good with crumbled fetta cheese and dill – might make another one tonight come to think of it.

Use a pan that you can put in the oven. This is a cast iron one about 10 inches across.

Brian’s Friday Frittata

  • 8 medium eggs
  • 1 medium onion, chopped and softened by cooking in a tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 large clove of finely chopped garlic also softened along with the onion
  • and
  • 50 g of courgette sticks (julienne style) also in with the onion
  • 100 g of smoked salmon chopped up
  • 150 grams of cooked new potatoes with their skins on, sliced
  • 100 g of chestnut sliced chestnut mushrooms (go in raw)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 180 C about Gas Mark 4.

Beat eggs lightly with a fork in a bowl and season to taste. Then set aside while you…

…Chop onions, garlic and courgettes and cook for a few minutes on a low heat till soft but not coloured in a little vegetable oil in your pan.

Tip the cooked veggies,  uncooked veggies, salmon bits etc into the egg mixture and mix in gently.

Return to the hob and cook on a low heat without messing about with it so that the bottom is set and the top still wet and eggy looking.

Then pop it in the oven to finish cooking. Some people put them under the grill which might be easier and give a browner top. Remember to use oven gloves to take this out and move it about!

You want to leave the middle just a touch runny as it will carry on cooking after you take it out. If you are very anxious about eggs then cook it till you are happy of course.

Serves 4

What do you put in your Frittata?

Purple Dwarf Beans and More..

Purple Dwarf Beans

This is my favourite of all the veggies that we grow in our little veg bed. I pick them every day once they start cropping and after three days we have enough to have a good portion of them with a meal. The beans hide under the leaves and you really have to check carefully that you haven’t missed one. Plus they grow really fast once they start going.

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