Tag Archives: lunch

Bowl Food | 2 Ways With Rice

Bowl Food - 2 Ways With Rice. Simply Nigella Rice Bowl Recipe via Miranda's Notebook. A superbly easy dish for a fast weeknight supper recipe.

It must be the cold weather, as I find myself cooking warming, comforting bowlfuls of food so much more: stews, curries, creamy soups, porridge and rice bowls. January 2017 has been the month of me discovering the joys of a good rice bowl, and this easy dish has fast become my go-to weeknight recipe.

Bowl Food - 2 Ways With Rice. Simply Nigella Rice Bowl Recipe via Miranda's Notebook. A superbly easy dish for a fast weeknight supper recipe.

I first discovered the basic recipe in Simply Nigella, and was instantly attracted by the bright colours of roasted pink radishes and fleshy green avocado. Nigella’s attitude towards this dish is reassuringly laid-back, stating ‘the only constant is the rice.’

You’re free to throw in pretty much whatever you have in your fridge and experiment with your own variations, which I’ve been doing. Having such a large degree of flexibility is a great way to stop a standard dish becoming boring. I’ve used different types of meat & fish, kept it vegetarian and roasted whatever vegetables I’ve had to hand (broccoli and baby aubergines are favourites). I’ve played with the flavours, sometimes swapping out the East Asian influences of soya and ginger and going for homemade Italian pesto instead.

Here, though, is the basic Simply Nigella rice bowl recipe (with my own tweaks given as well):

Easy Rice Bowl (serves 2)

3/4 cup short grain brown rice (I use a great cooking cheat here, by buying precooked brown rice from Sainsburys. All you do is pop the package in the microwave for 2 minutes, and you’re done)
1 cup cold water (not needed if you do my cheat above)
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled (Nigella clearly loves her ginger! This really depends on your taste – I only use a thin sliver per bowl, finely chopped, and find that adds enough gingery kick for me. Experiment to find your own preference!)
4-6 radishes (I usually roast more than this, as I love radishes)
2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
2 tsp organic raw apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup mixed seeds, such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or sesame seeds
3-4 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 small ripe avocado

1/ If you’re cooking the rice yourself, put the rice and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once it’s bubbling, put on the lid, turn the heat down very low, and simmer for 25 minutes. Then turn off the heat, keeping the lid on, and let it stand for a further 5 minutes (honestly, though, just use my cheat!).

2/ While the rice is cooking (or before bunging it in the microwave), peel a small piece of ginger and cut it finely. Cut the radishes into quarters or eighths lengthways, depending on their size. Put them on a baking tray, sprinkle over some olive oil and roast in a hot (about 220 C) oven for 10 minutes or so – make sure you check on them so they don’t burn. If you’re short on time, you don’t have to roast the radishes – they’re nice raw too.

3/When the rice is cooked, spoon into a mixing bowl. Add the tamari or soy sauce and the apple cider vinegar to the bowl and toss with a fork to combine, and then do the same with the ginger, radishes, and seeds. Stir all but a little of the chopped cilantro into the rice.

4/Divide between 2 smallish bowls and top with avocado, either cut into strips or chunks. Sprinkle each with the remaining cilantro, and enjoy! I also like to top mine with some cooked ham, a fried egg, or even some white crab-meat or prawns. In the words of Gwyneth Paltrow, it’s all good!

Bowl Food - 2 Ways With Rice. Finnish Rice Porridge recipe via Miranda's Notebook. A delicious, comforting dish for a weekend brunch.

Another rice-centric dish I’ve discovered, which makes an excellent weekend breakfast, is Finnish rice porridge. Jamie Oliver has a recipe for it in his recent Christmas cookbook, but I was inspired by a Finnish instagrammer I follow, who posted a recipe for rice porridge on her account. I made a few changes myself, adding a little flavouring of rose water, which I thought was rather nice. Also, quite frankly I wasn’t so keen on the hours and hours of cooking and stirring, so I used the microwave to shortcut the process. Here’s my recipe:

Finnish Rice Porridge (serves 2)

50g pudding rice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ½ cups evaporated milk
1 cup water
¼ teaspoon rose water
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/Place all ingredients in a large glass bowl, cover with clingfilm (leaving a small gap for steam to escape) and place in microwave. Cook on full power for 8 minutes (or until boiling), then remove and stir well. Recover with clingfilm and cook on low power for 20 minutes.

2/Next, place the mixture in a cast iron saucepan over low heat and stir frequently until you get a creamy, rice-pudding consistency (approximately 20-30 minutes).

3/Spoon into two bowls and serve with whatever toppings you like: I suggest strawberry jam, fresh berries and toasted almonds and/or seeds.

Bowl Food - 2 Ways With Rice. Finnish Rice Porridge recipe via Miranda's Notebook. A delicious, comforting dish for a weekend brunch.

What types of comfort food to you like to make this time of year?

Lazy Autumn Vegetable Soup

Easy Autumnal Vegetable Soup

One of my favourite things to do when I’m feeling lazy over the weekend (or when I want a super speedy weekday supper) is to cook up a quick pot of creamy vegetable soup. The recipe I use is one adapted from Elizabeth Bard‘s courgette soup in Picnic in Provence, and I feel grateful to Elizabeth for sharing this gift of a recipe every time I use it.

The soup requires a tiny list of ingredients and can be adapted to use whatever you have in your fridge; you simply need one kind of vegetable (courgette, carrot, butternut squash, broccoli and cauliflower are all good), some olive oil, a splash of white wine (but only if you’re feeling fancy – this really is an optional ingredient) a vegetable stock cube and you’re good to go.

Easy Autumnal Vegetable Soup

The wonderful thing about this soup (besides the barely any ingredients and minimal effort), is how wonderfully creamy it tastes, even though there’s not a drop of dairy in the recipe. Honestly, try making a pot yourself and you’ll see what I mean. It won’t take you long: simply dice up a red onion and chop of your vegetable of choice (I used butternut squash, pre-diced from M&S as I was feeling particularly lazy).

Easy Autumnal Vegetable Soup

Add 1/3 cup good quality olive oil to a pot and let it heat through, before adding the onion and stirring for a minute or so.

Easy Autumnal Vegetable Soup

I used the above olive oil; a gift from the lovely ladies at Skittle Alley Coffee & Pantry. It’s delicious, but any good fruity oil would do.

Easy Autumnal Vegetable Soup

Toss in the butternut squash (or whatever vegetable you’re using) and give it a stir. I’ve become rather addicted to using seaweed flakes in just about everything; they act as a delicious salt substitute and add great flavour when sprinkled over salads, roasted vegetables, scrambled eggs etc. I like adding a generous teaspoon or two to this soup.

Easy Autumnal Vegetable Soup

I have the Skittle Alley ladies (the fabulous George and Lindsay) to thank again for the gift of a selection of Mara Seaweeds, sourced from the seas around Scotland. To my great sadness, Skittle Alley was forced to close at the beginning of the month (those of you who read this post will know how much I loved it), and when I went to say my farewells (for now – I am sure George and Lindsay will have another wonderful cafe running soon), I was presented with a wonderful gift bag full of treats from the Skittle Alley Shop. It’s very pleasing to think I have a bit of Skittle Alley left to use in my cooking!

Easy Autumnal Vegetable Soup

Once you’ve let the vegetables cook for a few minutes, turn down the heat, clamp on the lid (leaving just a small gap for steam to escape) and let the vegetables simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender. Make sure you keep an eye on the pot and stir occasionally.

Easy Autumnal Vegetable Soup

Once the vegetables are tender, add 1/2 cup dry white wine (this is completely optional; if you don’t want to use alcohol or don’t have any in the house, don’t worry) and simmer until most of the wine has cooked away. Then, dissolve a vegetable stock cube in 1/2 cup of boiling water and add it to the pot. Adding another 2 1/2 cups boiling water and simmer for a few minutes.

Easy Autumnal Vegetable Soup

Turn off the heat and use a hand blender to blend the vegetables until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste and then serve. If you have any to hand, add a scattering of fresh herbs on top (I used thyme).

Easy Autumnal Vegetable SoupEasy Autumnal Vegetable Soup

I recommend eating this soup curled up with blankets and some engrossing reading material (I am especially delighted that reading about hygge counts as ‘research’ for me at the moment).

Here’s the printable recipe file for this soup:

Lazy Autumn Butternut Squash Soup
Serves: 2
 
A delightfully easy recipe that makes a delicious, creamy soup.

Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup good quality olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 350g chopped butternut squash (or any vegetable of your choice)
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • ½ cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons Mara seaweed flakes (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add the red onion and butternut squash.
  2. Cook for a few minutes, then turn down the heat and put the lid on, leaving a small gap for steam to escape.
  3. Allow the vegetables to cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, or until tender.
  4. Remove the lid and add the white wine. Simmer for a few minutes until most of the wine has cooked away, then add the vegetable cube dissolved in ½ cup boiling water. Add the remaining 2½ cups water and simmer for a few minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat and use a hand blender to blend the vegetables until smooth.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

 

Do please let me know if you try making this soup, and what vegetable you use. Do you have any favourite soup recipes for this time of year?

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No Cook Meal: Prosciutto and Avocado Bruschetta

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Being temporarily without a fridge and oven means that I’ve had to get a little creative in terms of preparing meals (and because I got tired of peanut butter on toast). This prosciutto and avocado bruschetta is inspired by a brunch I had at Angie’s Little Food Shop (my favourite place in Chiswick for whiling away a weekend morning). Essentially, it’s everything I love in one meal: avocado, cheese, meat and bread. Genius.

I like serving this dish with tea and a green juice for a leisurely brunch, but it’s also perfect for a quick, satisfying lunch when I’m working at home. I generally don’t like to have to spend a lot time making lunch, so when the most complicated step is smashing an avocado, I’m happy!

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Here’s the recipe:

No Cook Meal: Prosciutto and Avocado Bruschetta
 
A brilliant, no cook dish that's perfect for brunch or a working lunch.

Ingredients
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • juice of ½ a lime
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 slices of emmental for each pice of bread
  • 2 slices of prosciutto for each piece of bread
  • handful of lettuce leaves
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • Good, crusty loaf
Instructions
  1. Pop a couple of pieces of bread into the toaster.
  2. Scoop out the avocado into a bowl and mash together with the lime juice and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spoon the avocado mash onto the toasted bread, then add the slices of cheese followed by the prosciutto.
  4. Top with a handful of salad leaves, a drizzle of olive oil and enjoy!

 

Frankly, even when I have all the modern kitchen commodities, I still like a no cook meal on days when I just can’t be bothered, so here are a few more suggestions:

++ Mozzarella, Basil and Tomato salad (served with a fresh baguette and a glass of crisp of white wine, this is my idea of a perfect meal).

++ Almond Butter and Banana milkshake for a great breakfast or post-workout snack.

++ Quinoa Tabbouleh (just buy pre-cooked quinoa).

++ A great cheeseboard.

Do you have any super easy, no cooking required suggestions for me? I’d love some more inspiration!

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Sweet Potato, Gorgonzola and Pomegranate Salad

Warm Winter Salad

Happy Friday everyone! Today I’ve got another effortless lunch for you. I don’t know about you, but once the whirlwind of holiday festivities start, I’m thankful for anything that can be classed as ‘effortless.’ Life is crazy busy at the moment (not least because I’ll be moving back to North-West London over the next month or so. I’m so excited but I’m dreading the sorting and packing!), and the last thing I want to do is spend hours in the kitchen making complicated meals. This sweet potato, gorgonzola and pomegranate salad is hearty but mercifully simple and is fast becoming one of my go-to meals. I feel that having salad for lunch as many days as possible is a good way to balance out all the pumpkin pie I plan to eat as part of my Thanksgiving meal next week (and then there’s all the mince pies and mulled wine that December brings…)!

I love the flavour combinations in this dish, and it manages to feel indulgent without completely busting your waistline. I like to eat this salad before I work out, as the sweet potato and walnuts are satisfying and give a great energy boost. It’s incredible served warm, but is also nice cold, so you can bake the sweet potatoes the night before and assemble the salad ready for a packed lunch to bring to work the next day (just don’t dress it until you’re ready to eat, or the leaves will wilt and go rather mushy – not good!).

Sweet Potato, Gorgonzola and Pomegranate Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
A delicious warm winter salad. It tastes indulgent, but won't ruin your waistline, so it's a good dish to fall back on during the holiday season.

Ingredients
  • 2 baby sweet potatoes, diced
  • 2 ounces gorgonzola, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
  • handful of chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
  • couple handfuls of mixed salad leaves
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. Toss the diced sweet potato in olive oil, salt and pepper, according to taste. Roast in 220° C oven for about 15 minutes.
  2. Lightly toast walnuts in a small frying pan over a medium heat for 2 minutes.
  3. Arrange salad leaves on plate and scatter over walnuts, gorgonzola, pomegranate seeds and sweet potato.
  4. Lightly drizzle over olive oil and balsamic vinegar and toss to mix.
  5. Enjoy!

 

What are your favourite winter salads? Do you have any tips for healthy eating in the lead up to Christmas?

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Cauliflower, Chickpea and Pomegranate Salad

Cauliflower, Chickpea and Pomegranate Salad

I recently got Nigella Lawson’s new cookbook, Simply Nigella, and as soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it. This salad turned out even better than I expected: the combination of textures and flavours is absolutely amazing, and I know I’ll be making it many times more! The recipe in the book doesn’t include feta cheese, but Nigella suggests this would be a nice addition, and it definitely is if you’re a bit of a cheese fanatic like me. If you’d like to keep this salad strictly vegan, though, then omit the feta. I also think any kind of leafy green would be nice with this, if you don’t have parsley to hand (I’m quite keen to try it with basil myself). Nigella included this recipe in her brilliant My Life in Food article with The Guardian (well worth a read), but I’m also posting it below:

Nigella Lawson's Cauliflower, Chickpea and Pomegranate Salad

Cauliflower, Chickpea and Pomegranate Salad
Author: 
Serves: 2
 
One of my very favourite warm salads: a lovely light meal for autumn.

Ingredients
  • 1 small head cauliflower
  • 3 tbsp regular olive oil
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 250g home-cooked chickpeas (or the same drained weight from a jar or can)
  • 1-2 tbsp harissa, to taste (I only used 1 tbsp - but I'm a wimp when it comes to spice)
  • 4 smallish ripe vine tomatoes (about 150g)
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes, or to taste
  • 3-4 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • 1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley, picked
  • 2 ounces feta (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7. Trim the cauliflower and separate it into small florets. Pour the oil into a large bowl, add the cinnamon and cumin, and stir or whisk to help the spices disperse. Tip in the cauliflower florets and toss to coat. Pour the contents of the bowl into a small oven tray and roast for 15 minutes. Don’t wash out the bowl you’ve been using just yet.
  2. Tip the chickpeas into the empty cauliflower bowl, and add the harissa, tasting it first for heat, to see if you want to use both tablespoonfuls. At the risk of being repetitive, toss to coat. Quarter the tomatoes, add them to the bowl, and shake or stir to mix. When the cauliflower has had its 15 minutes, remove the tray, tip in the chickpeas and tomatoes, toss to combine and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender.
  3. When the cauliflower is ready, remove from the oven and sprinkle the salt over the vegetables, then (and this isn’t the last time) toss to combine with half the pomegranate seeds, before dividing between two bowls. Divide the parsley leaves between the two bowls and toss to mix. Scatter with the remaining pomegranate seeds and the feta if desired and serve.
  4. Recipe from Simply Nigella by Nigella Lawson.

 

Have you got the new Nigella cookbook yet?

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Effortless Lunch: Chopped Avocado Salad

choppedsalad_3

These days, when it comes to cooking my philosophy is the simpler the better! When I’m preparing a packed lunch to bring into work, or pulling together something quickly to eat at home, my ideal recipes take about 10 minutes from start to finish. This salad is one such recipe, and to make it a more filling lunch (and add some extra protein) I like to serve it with a fried egg on top. It’s also delicious as a light starter though (just omit the quinoa and egg). Find the recipe below – enjoy!

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Chopped Avocado Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
An effortless lunch or starter for when you're in a rush.

Ingredients
  • 1 avocado
  • ½ red onion
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • ½ red chili (membrane and seeds scraped out)
  • about 1 dozen cherry tomatoes
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 2 heaped tablespoons cooked quinoa (I use the pre-cooked quinoa which is a real life-saver)
  • 2 eggs, fried (optional)
Instructions
  1. Dice all the raw ingredients and place in a bowl.
  2. Add the quinoa and stir to combine.
  3. If desired, fry the eggs and serve on top of the plated salad.

 

What’s your favourite effortless lunch?

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Working Lunch

Working Lunch | Miranda's Notebook

Whether working from home, or at school, I like to know I have a great lunch to hand. My favourite working lunches generally involve some kind of salad. I make up a big one over the weekend, or early in the morning, and it provides lunch for a few days: perfect for when you know you’ve got a busy week ahead of you.

This salad is very typical of the type of easy, healthy lunch I throw together. I generally use whatever is lying around in the fridge, and if you don’t have black rice, than a can of rinsed black beans works just as well. Eat with a hunk of bread and some cold cuts if you wish, and you’ll be well fuelled for the afternoon.

Working Lunch | Miranda's Notebook

Green Bean, Black Rice and Feta Salad
Serves: 4 lunches for 1
 
The perfect salad to throw together and bring to your desk.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup cooked black rice
  • 1 cup cooked green beans
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced and soaked in red wine vinegar for 2 hours
  • ½ red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Instructions
  1. Start by cooking the green beans for 2 minutes in boiling water, then remove and blanch the beans by putting them straight into a bowl of ice-water.
  2. Add the beans to the cooked black rice in a bowl or platter, then add the red onion, pepper, feta and parsly.
  3. Dress with your favourite vinaigrette and a squeeze of lime juice.
  4. Enjoy!

 

What are your favourite quick and easy lunches that are perfect for work?

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Rachel Khoo’s Provençal Roast Chicken

Rachel Khoo Provençal Roast Chicken | Miranda's Notebook

Roast chicken is one of my favourite meals. I often do a roast on a Sunday, so that I have lots of yummy leftovers to use for packed lunches throughout the week. When I saw Rachel Khoo’s recipe for Provençal roasted chicken in her latest cookbook, I knew I had to make it. The dish encompasses so many of my favourite ingredients: olives, fennel, preserved lemons and alcohol! The rich, earthy flavours transport you to the endless sunny days and hot, dusty streets of the South of France. Honestly, if you’re planning a roast on Sunday – make it this one!

Rachel Khoo Provençal Roast Chicken | Miranda's Notebook Rachel Khoo Provençal Roast Chicken | Miranda's Notebook

I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit: for instance, the original called for white wine, which I didn’t have in, so instead I used a dry sherry which worked very well. I’ve also used less fennel and a bit more onion. I like to serve this dish with a simple bean salad. Here’s my version of the recipe below:

Rachel Khoo's Provençal Roast Chicken
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
A delicious chicken dish, with all the flavours of the South of France - perfect for al fresco summer dining!

Ingredients
  • 1.5kg chicken (whole range is best)
  • 2 bulbs of fennel, quartered and the tough stems removed
  • 3 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 50g sultanas
  • 100ml dry sherry
  • 100ml water
  • a knob of soft butter
  • sea salt
  • For the stuffing:
  • 100g pitted green olives
  • 5 preserved lemons, drained, halved and pips removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 15g fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C (180 C fan).
  2. In a food processor, blend the olives, preserved lemons, garlic, parsley and salt to a paste. Using your fingers, loosen the skin above the breast and legs of the chicken and push in the stuffing (making sure not to break the skin).
  3. Place the fennel and onions in a large roasting tin and scatter on the sultanas. Pour the sherry and water into the tin and then place the chicken on top of the vegetables.
  4. Rub the butter into the skin of the chicken and scatter on some sea salt. Roast breast side up for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  5. Once the chicken has cooked, remove the tin from the oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
  6. To serve, spoon the roasting tin juices over the chicken and vegetables.
  7. Enjoy!

 

What are your favourite chicken recipes? Have you tried any recipes from Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook?

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Roasted Pear, Blue Cheese and Cherry Salad

Roasted Pear, Blue Cheese and Cherry Salad

Inspired by the all the pear and cherry blossom that has been delighting me for the past few weeks, I whipped up this delicious roasted pear, blue cheese and cherry salad the other day. Sunny weather always makes salads more appealing to me, and as this is a warm salad it is also fabulous even on a chilly Spring day.

Roasted Pear, Blue Cheese and Cherry Salad Roasted Pear, Blue Cheese and Cherry Salad

This salad makes a delicious lunch for three (perhaps served with some good, crusty bread), or is a great starter for 6. I’m always on the look out for salad recipes that are a bit more interesting than my habitual bag of lettuce with chopped cucumber, tomato and chicken breast. What are you favourite salad recipes / combinations? Please do let me know!

Roasted Pear, Blue Cheese and Cherry Salad
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 for lunch or 6 as a starter
 
This salad is delicious served either as a light lunch or starter.
Ingredients
  • 3 ripe but firm pears
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
  • 3 ounces coarsely crumbled sharp blue cheese such as Stilton
  • ¼ cup dried cherries
  • ¼ cup walnut halves, toasted and chopped
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 3 tablespoons port
  • ⅓ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ¼ cup good olive oil
  • 6 ounces mixed salad leaves
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 190° C.
  2. Peel the pears and slice them lengthwise into halves. With a spoon (or melon baller if you have one), remove the core and seeds from each pear, leaving a round well for the filling.
  3. With a small sharp knife, trim a small slice away from the rounded sides of each pear half so that they will sit flat in the baking dish without wobbling. Toss the pears with some lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown. Arrange them, core side up, in a baking dish large enough to hold the pears snugly.
  4. Gently toss the crumbled blue cheese, dried cherries, and walnuts together in a small bowl. Divide the mixture among the pears, filling the scooped out hole in the pears.
  5. In the same small bowl, combine the white wine, port, and brown sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour the mixture over and around the pears. Bake the pears, basting occasionally with the wine mixture, for 30 minutes, or until tender. Set aside until warm or at room temperature.
  6. Just before serving, whisk together the olive oil, ¼ cup of lemon juice, and ¼ cup of the basting liquid in a large bowl. Divide the salad among 6 plates and top each with a pear half. Drizzle each pear with some of the basting liquid, sprinkle with salt, and serve warm.

 

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Baby Kale, Smoked Chicken and Duck Salad

Baby Kale, Smoked Chicken and Duck Salad

When I was younger, I used to visit my Mum and Great Uncle in Dorset every Easter. We had a family tradition of going to the beautifully scenic countryside hotel and restaurant, Plumber Manor, for our Easter Sunday lunch. The menu was very traditional, and I ordered the same dish every year: smoked chicken and duck salad to start, followed by roast beef and ending with chocolate pudding. My favourite part of the meal was the starter; I loved the combination of smoked chicken and duck and it always felt such a decadent salad, entirely appropriate for a special lunch.

Having been given some coupons from Florette Salad to try their new baby kale, I decided to create my own smoked chicken and duck salad for Mother’s Day lunch on Sunday. I have to say, I was pretty pleased with the results! This salad is perfect for spring and is great to serve either as a light lunch, or as a starter.

Baby Kale, Smoked Chicken and Duck Salad (Serves 2 for lunch or 4 as a starter)

Ingredients:

For the salad:
1 bag (60g) Florette Baby Kale salad
30g flaked almonds, lightly toasted
a medium bunch tarragon leaves, torn from stem
160g smoked chicken breast, cut into strips
80g smoked duck breast, cut into strips
6 radishes, finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon sumac
1/4 teaspoon Lebanese zaatar mix
salt and pepper to taste

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons half-fat creme fraiche
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 clove garlic, peeled and minced
salt, to taste

1/ Start by making the dressing: mix together all the ingredients until combined and season with salt to taste.

2/ Toast the almonds lightly in a frying pan and set to one side.

3/ Assemble the salad by tossing the baby kale with the almonds, tarragon, smoked chicken, smoked duck and radishes. Arrange on a platter, small plates or bowl.

4/ Drizzle on the dressing and scatter the sumac, zaatar mix, salt and pepper over the salad.

5/ Serve immediately with some crusty bread (a glass of rose is rather nice with this too!).

Baby Kale, Smoked Chicken and Duck Salad

I’ve used kale in plenty of recipes before, but I’d never tasted baby kale. I absolutely loved it! It’s got quite a peppery taste, so is similar to rocket, and it’s delicious in salads. I’m tempted to try out the summer salad recipes that Florette list on their website that suggest other ways to use this super food.

Have you ever had baby kale before? Do you have any favourite spring or summer salad recipes?

Disclosure: I was sent coupons for Florette’s baby kale, as well as Harry Eastwood’s cookbook, A Salad for All Seasons, in exchange for writing a recipe post. All opinions are of course my own. 

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