Tag: salad

The Food Report: Peach Recipes

The Food Report: Peach Recipes

I’ve mentioned before how I struggle to pick favourite dishes but I can always pinpoint my favourite flavours. Almond, peppermint and lemon are all high up on my list, but peaches are really where it’s at right now.

Today I’m sharing two peach recipes – a quick and delicious salad and a peach upside-down cake.

Peach Upside-Down Cake 

This recipe originally came from the Masterchef Everyday book, which I hadn’t yet made anything from despite owning it for months. You slice peaches, toss the slices in demerara sugar and lay them in the bottom of a cake tin. I used a lovely new springform tin which made it super easy when removing the cake. The peaches are topped with a very simple sponge – cream 125g each of butter and sugar, add 2 eggs and 250g self-raising flour – you know the drill. The recipe suggested that the batter would pour over the peaches, but mine was very thick so I added around 4 tbsp milk to get to a better consistency. I always think a little milk and a good whisk can take a sponge from alright to an incredible crumb. The recipe recommends a 1 hour bake but mine was done before this even with the milk, so keep an eye on it!

Then all you’ve got to do is the flippy-plate trick and you’ve got an incredible cake that looks impressive and tastes delicious!

Peach Recipes - Peach Upside-Down Cake Peach Recipes - Peach Upside-Down Cake

This cake is perfect still warm with custard or cream, but it also stands up well to an afternoon cup of tea (and it’s pretty great for breakfast too, let’s face it).

Grilled peach and feta salad

Once you’ve made a peach cake you might find that you’re left with a spare peach. If you’re anything like me you’ll probably want to throw it in a salad, right? I know to some the whole sweet and savoury mash up is controversial, but it’s my dream.

First I grilled up my peaches – 4 minutes on each side under a good hot grill. A few little burnt edges might appear. I love those, but pull them out if you want your peaches a little more solid and unburnt! You could also pop them in a shiny griddle pan if you’ve got one of those (I really want one if you’re looking for a gift to buy me!).

Whilst the peaches were grilling I chopped a big handful of spinach with a little mint, popped it on the plate, and then glugged some balsamic vinegar into a little pan on a high heat. Add some honey and then let it bubble away into a nice thick glaze that coats the back of a spoon. Slice up the peaches, put them on the spinach, crumble over some feta, throw that balsamic around (pop it in a squeezy bottle if you want to pretend you’re a chef on the pass) and then some finely chopped basil (or more mint – get some herbs on there, basically).

This recipe would also be perfect with a soft goat’s cheese, and you could turn it into a more full meal by adding a good bread or serving it as a side with other salads or some chicken.

Peach Recipes - Grilled Peach and Feta SaladPeach Recipes - Grilled Peach and Feta SaladPeach Recipes - Grilled Peach and Feta Salad

What are your favourite peach recipes?

The Weekly Report

The Weekly Report

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Watching Old Friends episodes and the end of The Good Wife fifth season.

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Listening to Arcade Fire and The Black Keys, on repeat, all day, every day. I wrote the same thing last week, and it’s still true. Of course I was also listening to our amazing friends playing at a beautiful wedding.

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Reading The papers and How to Deliver a TED Talk.

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Writing Lists and notes in the wedding book.

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Eating I’m trying to eat up the contents of my freezer, which is always an interesting challenge. Lots of fresh veg, including some from the roof garden at work, and an absolutely gorgeous wedding breakfast, of course.

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Talking about How old we clearly are if our friends are allowed to get married, forgiveness and being good people, jazzy and snazzy as probably the best compliments ever, podcasts, not watching television, players, tequila, event planning, “quiet August”, holiday planning, what to do with our lives, how it’s probably best to decide what to do with the next year, soulmates, hair dye, having children young, Water Aid, japes and capes, Tinder dates, mini-pegs, raucous friends, wed-minton and pride.

I really had a super beautiful week – how was yours?

 

The Food Report: Lunch Ideas

The Food Report: Lunch Ideas

Summer is here and I’ve got that feeling from school days of being allowed onto the field at lunchtime.

With summer comes a whole new lunch agenda. Winter for me is soup almost every day, or leftovers from big bowls of stew. In summer, though, I need something fresh and light for my lunch, and it can be a bit of a challenge.

With this in mind, I thought I would share some of my favourite lunch ideas from the past few weeks, in case you too are in need of a little inspiration.

I find the key to good, fresh lunches, unlike soups which I can just pull out of the freezer, is to prepare. I tend to spend my Sunday mornings drinking tea, planning meals and getting ingredients ready – cooking big batches of grains and getting salads chopped.

One of the salads that is nice and easy to prepare ahead is Moroccan spiced carrot salad.

This is an Ottolenghi recipe that I made one Sunday and ate for lunch a couple of times with couscous and a good dollop of yoghurt and coriander.

Moroccan spiced carrot saladMoroccan spiced carrot salad

It’s spicy with chillies and paprika, mellow with cumin and sweet with preserved lemons and the sprinkling of sugar. The couscous can be cooked ahead so it’s easy to pack up each night ready for the day ahead. 

Noodle salad

If you described a noodle salad to me I would think it was a disgusting idea. Cold noodles?! Nope. And yet, with a great dressing and some crunchy vegetables, it’s everything I want in a lunch.

noodle salad

This one has peppers, spinach and edamame beans with a dressing of soy sauce, sesame oil, mirin and sweet chilli, all sprinked with a handful of sesame seeds.

Couscous in all its delicious forms

Couscous is the best – you can cook a load on Sunday and add delicious toppings to it all week. You can see it here with tomatoes, cucumber, spinach, avocado and sunflower seeds. Add salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon to bring it all together. Whilst I’m on dressings, I want to recommend these Sauce to Go bottles. They’re ideal for making salads exciting at lunchtime without ending up with a box full of soggy leaves.

couscous with avocado, tomato and sunflower seeds couscous with roasted peppers and spinach

If you have some more time to spare you can add more prepared elements than simply chopped salads – this one has roasted peppers along with spinach and mint. I love slow roasting pieces of pepper, the flavour and texture is amazing, and because of the way they cook down you can get loads of nutrients into one bowlful!

I hope this has inspired you a little bit! What’s your favourite lunch?

The Weekly Report

The Weekly Report

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Watching Masterchef, The Office, Game of Thrones and Orange is the New Black. Also this excellent TED talk about why we should all be feminist. 

Listening to The Black Keys’ new songs (cannot wait for the new album), fantastic sounds at Speakeasy, The Archers (absolute drama) and This American Life. 

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Reading Delicious (I’ve been trying to get inspired), essays about feminism and The Secret History (I forgot I was reading it for a few weeks there).

Writing All of the poetry (ok, maybe 2 poems, but still).

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Eating Something to do with the change of seasons has made me very unsure of what I want to eat and super-lethargic lately. I’ve mostly been eating pasta, picnicky meals and Easter eggs whilst I try to even myself out, but today I got home, worked out and made a quiche, then ate it up with a huge salad. It felt great!

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Talking about Bands we loved at 18, whether an MA is worth it, what people are up to now, engagements, outfits, glitter, communication, conferences and the best way to end a night out.

The Food Report: A Weekend in Stroud Pt. 2

The Food Report: A Weekend in Stroud Pt. 2

I promised a bonus Food Report from Stroud this week, so here it is!

On Friday morning before my delicious lunch (more on that here) we popped into the newly-reopened Greyhound for a mid-morning coffee. This used to be more of a bar, and served the greatest espresso martini. I spent many a fun evening trying to sample their extensive cocktail range, and so I’m pleased to see it back open offering frozen margaritas for the night-time and excellent coffees for the day. My Nanny and I shared a salted caramel cookie which was completely divine.

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In the evening we went to The Olive Tree in Nailsworth. This has long been a favourite of mine having spent many hours languishing over coffee or breakfast here with friends way back before I went to university. When I saw it on the drinks menu I had to have Orangina. It was always the drink I had when I was little, I love those bobbly bottles and it just about reminds me of Sumol (a delicious Portuguese pop that I crave every day).

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In a predictable series of events, we all ordered the same thing – a seared tuna steak salad. It was all delicious, fresh and crisp with sharp capers and a great vinaigrette running through. The tuna could have been a little more rare, but that’s just me, and the slightly runny egg on top was just my cup of tea.

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On Saturday afternoon, after all that Farmers’ Market goodness, we headed up onto the Common for an ice cream at the new Winstones parlour. The ice cream factory that always stood there has been revamped with a brand new place to sit and eat your ice cream, or even order a coffee, and I was pretty excited to head along and try it out. Word on the street (/from my mother) was that they had also brought back the long and oft-missed chopped nuts, and I was not disappointed!

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I’ve never really known where our family-favourite Winstones combination comes from, but as a child we would head to the ice cream van (that’s a van that’s stationary on the Common, not one that roams around playing Teddy Bear’s Picnic) and get a tub of cold, creamy dairy with lime sauce and nuts. I know what you’re thinking. It sounds disgusting. It looks pretty bad too, that bright green sauce everywhere. But it tastes sweet and savoury and like childhood and summer all at once. You can’t beat it.

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In younger days, you would have your ice cream swept into the tub with a paddle, flattened, and then the spoon stuck in and dragged across to make a reservoir for the sauce, but this was a pretty good replacement all the same.

I had an excellent eating weekend in Stroud. What did you get up to?

Which foods remind you of your childhood?