Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Charred broccoli, lentils and beetroot

Charred food seems to be all the rage right now. Charred (you might say burnt if you were being less pretentious) vegetables in particular are something that I'd barely encountered, at least outside of barbecues, until recently. Whether the trend began as an error by an inattentive chef (a bit like the legend of the origin of tarte tatin), I couldn't say. In any case, aubergines and peppers respond particularly well to this treatment - I made a very moreish baba ghanoush at the weekend whose smokiness was matched only by the kick of garlic.

But brassicas are worth trying too. Bringing a bit of char to broccoli brings out a sweetness in its stems, balanced by a hint of bitterness from the burnt patches on the florets. If you ask me, it's as glamorous as broccoli ever gets.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Broccoli and cauliflower with tomatoes and cheese

Broccoli and cauliflower - humble veg that get a star billing in this dish, with delicious results.

Cooking the vegetables in the tomato sauce means they soak up some of the flavours. The olives and the cheesy topping also helps to make them moreish rather than virtuous. In fact I like to think of it as the lovechild of pizza and cauliflower cheese, but with more veggies and less fat, so you can enjoy it without too much guilt.