Grub in the Time of Corona – Recipes From Melissa Hemsley’s Eat GreenBy amelia richards
Every week during lockdown, we’re bringing you kitchen inspiration from our favourite foodies in our Grub in the Time of Corona series. This week. we’re gifting you with three highly-cookable, vegetarian and sustainable recipes from Melissa Hemsley’s Eat Green. Let’s get cooking:
Squash and Lentil Curry with Thai Gremolata
This makes a huge batch of curry, perfect for freezing portions for a rainy day. The flavour bomb comes from the topping, which is inspired by Italian gremolata, but here it’s made Thai-style with lime, basil and coriander. Don’t skip it!
Feeds 6, takes 40 mins
What you’ll need:
- 1 tbsp ground cumin or 1 tsp seeds
1 tbsp ground coriander or 1 tsp seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp ghee or oil
1 large butternut squash (about 1.2kg)
400g split red lentils, rinsed
1 × 400ml tin of full-fat coconut milk
1.5 litres vegetable stock or bone broth
11/2 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp fish sauce or extra tamari
For the curry paste:
- 4 garlic cloves
2 onions, halved, or 3 shallots
1 lemongrass stalk or peel from
1/2 lemon (no white pith)
- 1–2 fresh chillies or chilli flakes, to taste
1 thumb of ginger, roughly chopped
For the Thai gremolata:
- 1 handful of peanuts or cashews
2 garlic cloves
Juice and zest of 2 limes
1–2 fresh chillies, to taste, seeds included if you like
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 big handful of fresh coriander, leaves and stems
1 big handful of fresh basil or Thai basil, leaves and stems, plus a little mint if you like (leaves only for the mint)
- Toast the peanuts or cashews for the gremolata for a minute in a large, deep-sided saucepan until golden and set aside.
- Make the curry paste by blitzing the garlic, onion, lemongrass, chilli and ginger in a food processor – it doesn’t need to be totally smooth.
- Add the spices to the pan you used for the nuts and let them toast for a minute, then add the curry paste and the ghee or oil and fry gently for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile chop the squash into 2cm chunks. I don’t bother peeling it, just remove the seeds, which you can toast or roast for another recipe.
- Add the squash and lentils to the pan with the coconut milk and stock or broth. Give it a stir, then pop a lid on and let simmer over a medium heat for about 25 minutes or until the squash is tender.
- Stir every 5 minutes or so, watching out so the lentils don’t catch on the bottom of the pan, and adding more liquid if it looks dry or if you like it soupier.
- Season with tamari, fish sauce or a little salt.
- While the curry is cooking, make the gremolata.
- Add the toasted nuts to the food processor (no need to wash it out from earlier) with all the other ingredients and pulse until just chopped – it should be drier and chunkier than a pesto and full of flavour and tang.
- Serve the curry with a good dollop of gremolata on top.
Tip: Swap the squash for other roots like sweet potatoes, parsnips, swede or celeriac. And if you can’t find lemongrass easily, buy extra and keep it in the freezer.
Waste not: this gremolata is a great excuse to use up coriander and basil stems, as well as half a leftover onion or scraps of spring onions or chives. If you don’t use it all here, it’s great on roast veg, fish or chicken or in noodle stir fries.
Tahini Choc Chip Cookies
The vegan version of these are just as delicious, none of us can decide which we love the most. Store these cakey cookies in an airtight container for 5 days. You could warm them briefly in the oven to give them a little crisp. The dough freezes well so double up and save half for a rainy day. Just defrost, then slice into portions before putting in the oven.
Makes 16 cookies, takes 25 mins
What you’ll need:
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 150g light tahini
- 110g smooth nut butter
- 100g good-quality dark chocolate,
- broken up into squares, or chips
- 30g black and/or white sesame seeds
- A pinch of sea salt
- Preheat the oven to fan 170°C/gas mark 5.
- Line a large baking tray with reusable baking paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs then mix in the baking powder, maple syrup and vanilla extract.
- Add the tahini and nut butter and mix together until very well combined.
- Roughly chop the chocolate (if not using chips) and fold through the batter along with the sesame seeds.
- Measure out 16 balls of the cookie batter, roughly 1 tablespoon each, and bake for 10–15 minutes on the lined baking tray (making sure to leave a little room between each one) until the cookies are just set.
- Remove from the oven, sprinkle with a little sea salt and allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.
Flexi Swap: For vegans, replace the 2 eggs with 1 large mashed ripe banana. You can also swap the nut butter for the same amount of a seed butter or tahini for a nut-free alternative.
The beauty of a frittata is that anything goes – really, it does! In this case, broccoli is the star, but let whatever is in your fridge take the lead. Always aim for some green as it’s often the green veg that most of us could do with more of. Not only is a vegetable frittata an easy and delicious way to start your day, but in this case you eat the whole broccoli in all its glory – stems and stalks – and, even better, everything happens in the same pan. If you’ve got cooked broccoli ready to go, then skip step 1 and save time. And if you know you’ll be rushing out the door a lot this week, bake it in a 12-hole muffin tray at fan 170°C/Gas mark 5 for 10–15 minutes for a grab-and-go breakfast or snack.
Feeds 4, takes 20 mins
What you’ll need:
- 1 large head of broccoli, florets
evenly chopped and stem
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tbsp butter
2 large handfuls of grated cheese
(I use mature Cheddar or you
could use crumbled feta or goat’s
Sea salt and black pepper
- A handful of chopped fresh basil,
parsley, chives or celery leaves
Chilli flakes, to taste
2 handfuls of wild garlic, chopped (when in season)
- Grab a medium-sized, deep-sided frying pan and steam the broccoli for 3 minutes in about 4 tablespoons of water, lid on, until almost tender and just turned bright green.
- Drain any excess liquid (though the broccoli will probably absorb it all) and set the broccoli aside.
- Pop the pan back on the heat and gently fry the red onion rings and garlic in the butter for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk the eggs together in a bowl, add salt, pepper and the cheese, plus any of the herbs, chilli flakes or wild garlic, if using.
- Preheat the grill to high. Add the broccoli back to the pan to coat in the garlic butter, then pour in the egg mix, stirring so that the broccoli and onions are distributed evenly.
- Let the bottom and sides cook and start to set over a medium heat for about 5 minutes.
- Pop the frittata under the grill for a further 5 minutes until golden on top and just cooked through (give the pan a wobble to check), then slide it onto a chopping board or plate.
- Cool for 10 minutes and slice up into quarters.
Waste Not: This is divine with cauliflower too and tastes a bit like cauliflower cheese. The day I handed in this book, I made a celebratory clear-out-the- fridge frittata with 2 big handfuls of chopped mushrooms, shredded cabbage, 1 tablespoon of leftover cream, 1⁄4 onion and a big pinch of fresh thyme leaves. It was delicious and too good to not share with you here.
We included Eat Green, along with of some of our other top picks for quarantine culinary reading, in a round-up a couple of days ago which you can read here.