My kitchen is tiny and I don’t have a lot of bench space.
If the kitchen tools are not out on the bench, in my experience they tend not to get used. So, I’ve been having a major kitchen cleanup, selling some old appliances and tools that I don’t use, and using those to fund the purchase of two new toys, a shiny red KitchenAid mixer with a couple of attachments and a Braun stick blender that can also operate as a food processor.
So far I’ve used the mixer to knead some bread and produced the best bread I’ve ever made and used the slow juicer attachment several times. I also have a pasta roller attachment so I will be experimenting with some vegan fresh pasta. That’s for later though.
Right now, the tool that has had the most use is the stick blender/food processor. I’ve made a large batch of pesto from the bounty of basil in my garden and made great latkes with 15 secs of processing.
On the latkes front I was going to make some for dinner with some kale on the side. Instead I grated up the potato, kale and some spring onions (all from the garden) 🙂 and made an all-in-one meal.
I ate them with some of the pesto and a fresh tomato salad made with the early tomatoes that are starting to appear.
And I now have acres of bench space! Well not quite…but a bit more than I did.:-)
- 3 medium potatoes unpeeled
- ½ bunch kale
- 3 spring onions
- 2 large pinches of salt
- 1 tbs oil
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan until smoking hot, then turn down the heat down low.
- Grate everything coarsely in the food processor
- Season with salt to taste
- Scoop spoonfuls of the mix into the pan
- Cook for 5-10 minutes over low heat
- Flip and cook the other side for 5-10 minutes
It is important to cook the latkes over a low heat so that the insides are cooked before the outside burns.
I love spring. I love it for the light, the warmth and the sense of renewal and hope. I also love the return of delicious spring vegetables.
This dish is so easy to make, a few small vegetables, some herbs, stock, oil, vegan butter and lemon or lime juice.
The added bonus for me is that all the vegetables came from my garden. Snow peas, artichokes, asparagus, thyme and parsley, straight from the garden and into the pan. I used a lime instead of a lemon because I had one last one hanging onto the tree. I always get a thrill when cooking an entire dish with vegetables from my garden.
This braise can be served over pasta or any other grain, or served in pastry if you wanted to get fancy.
But I usually keep it simple and serve it with some fettucine or pappardelle pasta. The vegetables are the star in their buttery, lemony sauce. And they take less time to cook than the pasta.
spring vegetable braise with pasta
- 2 globe artichokes
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs vegan butter
- 1 cup stock
- 16 snow or sugar snap peas
- 16 spears of asparagus
- 2 tbs chopped parsley
- 20 thyme leaves
- juice of 1 lemon
- Prepare the artichokes and cut the hearts into quarters.
- Heat the oil in a pan and fry the artichoke pieces until lightly browned.
- Add the stock to the pan, bring to a simmer, lower the heat and cover.
- Cook for a few minutes until the artichoke pieces are just tender.
- Add the other vegetables, cover and cook for a minute or two.
- The stock should reduce down to a slightly thicker syrup. If it hasn't, remove the vegetables, reduce over high heat and return the vegetables to the pan.
- Stir in the herbs, butter and lemon juice.
- Season with salt to taste.
- Serve over pasta.
OK so it isn’t pretty and it is a kind of khaki colour, but this soup is delicious.
It packs a flavour punch enhanced by the caramelised flavours of onions and brussels sprouts and it is velvety smooth from the background of broken down potato.
I like mine with a teaspoon of cashew cheese stirred through. It adds to the flavour and creaminess. Other good toppings are dill (I am currently in love with dill as a herb) and crunchy fried onions.
I made this soup on a recent nasty, windy, cold day in Melbourne with hail and rain pounding outside and it was lovely to sit with the bowl warming my hands and eating it with some crunchy sourdough toast.
brussels sprout and potato soup
recipe type: soup
- 400g brussels sprouts
- 700g potato
- 1 tbs oiive oil
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 5 cups stock (I used Massel)
- salt to taste
- extra crisp fried onions
- soft cashew cheese (I used Botanical Cuisine Lemon and Dill)
- Trim the base of the sprouts and cut into ½ cm slices.
- Peel and coarsely chop the potatoes
- Peel and chop the onions.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan
- Add the onions and the sprouts and fry until they brown
- Add the garlic and fry for a minute
- Add the potatoes and the stock
- Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer and cook until the potato is falling apart.
- Blend until smooth using a stick blender or a blender.
- Serve garnished with any or all of the garnishes.