February marks the tenth month of our international online cooking group, The Cottage Cooking Club. As a group, recipe by recipe, we are cooking and learning our way through a wonderful vegetable cookbook written in 2011 by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, called „River Cottage Everyday Veg“.
The Cottage Cooking Club is meant to be a project aimed at incorporating more vegetable dishes in our everyday cooking, getting to know less known, forgotten or heritage vegetables, learning new ways to prepare tasty and healthy dishes, and sharing them with family and friends.
All the members of this cooking group will make an effort to use as much local, regional, organic and also seasonal produce as is resonably possible. With that goal in mind, during the month of February, I prepared a nice array of vegetable dishes from the recipe line-up.
Since I prepared eight out of ten recipes, I will write about each dish according to the order in which I prepared them.
My first recipe for this February post was the Potato Rösti (page 391) from the chapter "Side Dishes". I have made those Rösti so many times and written about them at length in this blog – so, I will keep it short. These is one of the most wonderful, economical and versatile side dishes I know. Just make sure to keep some readily boiled and unpeeled potatoes in your fridge and all you have to do is peel them, grate them and fry them at a moment´s notice. Toppings of our choice include spinach, Alpine cheese or caramelized onions. The only aspect that is different from my ususal recipe ist hat I like to use duck fat if I can get my hands on it to fry these babies – other than, predictably, we loved this recipe. Crunchy outside, not too thick and creamy insides - potato heaven.
I veered off the February line-up of recipes , just ever so slightly and prepared Oven-Baked Kale Chips for the kids (and us). Kale has such a different quality when roasted, compared to boiled. It goes crisp and crackly in some parts, and tender in others. Preheat the oven to 220 C. Rinse the kale under cold running water and dry the leaves very well, cut out the centre stalks, then cut into 5cm slices. Place on a baking sheet, drizzle over some good olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, until crisp at the edges. Sorry, just could not resist that lovely, fresh, curly winter kale.
The second recipe was the Roasted Beetroot Soup with Horseradish Cream (page 144) from the chapter „Hefty Soups“. A perfect winter soup with earthy flavors form the roasted beetroot. We are living in a country of serious beet lovers - although, for some reason, you can mostly find them brined and in jars these days. But I came across a few at my green grocer the other day and happily took them home with me. A few were enough for this recipe. We did enjoy the contrast of flavors, the earthiness from the beets and the tang from the Horseradish Cream that was added as a topping to this thick and very hearty soup. Horeseradish is anoteh beloved item around here. Garnished with really fresh dill, this was a nice change of pace from our usual soups.
The third recipe was Roasted Squash and Shallots with Merguez Chickpeas (page 365) from the chapter „Roast, Grill & Barbecue“. This dish was the most labor intense one of the month and it required a bit of planning ahead. First step was the overnight soak of the chickpeas. Second was the cooking of the chickpeas the next day (you could use canned ones here I imagine to make things easier). The next step required the roasting of the butternut squash, shallots and garlic. Then the preparation of the chickpea „merguez dressing“ with a lot of fresh spices such as cumin, fennel, coriander, caraway and black pepper (this is where my lovely pestle and mortar from the wonderful Mr. Oliver comes in handy) – then you add some more spices such as sweet smoked paprika, cayenne pepper etc. to the dressing before you toss those cooked and still warm chickpeas in that dressing. You add the roasted squash and shallots to your plate, top with warm chickpeas, spoon over some more warm spicy oil and finish with parsley leaves.
While we loved the warm spicyness of the dish and the depth of flavor all those wonderful components brought to this dish – I will certainly make this on a weekend next time, I was a bit taken aback by how long this took me to prepare but when squash season will come around again, I will make sure to prepare this again.
The fourth recipe I made – and this one was a real breeze to prepare when compared to the previous one – was the Cheesy Peasy Puff Turnover (page 220) from the chapter „Store-Cupboard Suppers“. The kids adored this turnovers with peas and grated and melted cheese.
This is one of those recipes that surprised me the most. I loved how the flavors came together in this one. Prepared with store-bought puff pastry (who on earth has the time to make this from scratch during the week, I do not), frozen petit pois in winter time, a really good cheese and some farm fresh egg, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, this is a recipe that I will come back to many times.
I might prepare some smaller version next time with a side salad and/or a spicy tomato soup and serve them to my kids´ friends – curious to see whether they share our enthusiasm for these. And when peas will be in season, I shall use fresh ones and see whether these turnovers are even more delicious with fresh peas. If you like the taste of peas, you have to try this recipe.
Recipe number five was the Avocado and Ruby Grapefruit with Chilli (page 122) from the chapter „Raw Assemblies“.
What a showstopper of a recipe with a genious mix of flavors and textures. Creamy, perfectly ripened avocado, tangy, citrussy grapefruit (which, to my great surprise, proved to be a bit hard to find around here and I had already lined-up blood oranges as a a back-up), spicy finely chopped chilli and some good quality extra-virgin olive oil, freshly ground black pepper and some lovely sea salt. What a delicious surprise.
Onto recipe number six and seven, the Refried Beans Foldover (page 190) with freshly cooked soft Flatbreads (page 172), both from the chapter of "Bready Things".
In the morning I started off with preparing the Magic Bread Dough with flour from my favorite artisan flour mill, Horbacher Mill, pictured above. This has become one of my favorite dough to prepare these days for pizzas, flatbreads, breadsticks etc. The recipe calls for plain white flour which is called “Type 405“ around here) and also strong white flour (called “Type 1050“) - I have taken to substitute spelt flour for both varieties of flour in this recipe.
Then I prepared the refried bean mixture ( a first to me) and I was quite taken by the end result. For the bean mixture you will need onion, garlic, chilli, dried oregano, grated tomatoes, cannellini benas, cayenne pepper or smoked paprika (I used a bit of both). I chose to serve the Refried Benas Folover with sour cream, freshly sliced avocado, red onions, grated cheese and a sprinling of mild smoked Spanish paprika as well as some fresh Italian parsley. Served all warm and fresh this is so incredibly good with the right amout of spiciness and creaminess – really comfort-style food that pleased each and every palate around the table.
The last recipe I made this month was the Baba Ganoush (page 303) from the chapter of „Mezze & Tapas“ – a classic, smoky purée of aubergine, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper.
I went a little unconventional here and served this dip with homemade wholewheat pita crisps with cheese from my favorite local dairy farm, Bauerngut Schiefelbusch, (pictured in my very first little movie at the end of this post), some sour cream, extra chilli and sliced spring onions – why not, we loved it this way and since I have a ton of that lovely tahini left over, I will make this dip again this week and serve it with freshly baked flatbreads.
Another month full of wonderful vegetable dishes – we certainly love the recipes from this cookbook.
Please note, that for copyright reasons, we do NOT publish the recipes. If you enjoy the recipes in our series, hopefully, the wonderfully talented and enthusiastic members of the Cottage Cooking Club and their wonderful posts can convince you to get a copy of this lovely book. Better yet, do make sure to join us in this cooking adventure! There is still time, we are „only“ half-way through this amazing book!
For more information on the participation rules, please go here.
To see which wonderful dishes the other members of the Cottage Cooking Club prepared during the month of February, please go here.
I just watched your movie again and enjoyed it even more. The music. The animals. The whole idea of it. Keep 'em coming. When Melissa and the girls were visiting I got Black Kale in my first Talley Farm produce box and had no clue. She did exactly as you instructed in making her kale chips. They were tasty and Emma and Clara like them as much as your girls do. I liked your other dishes and have the Cheesy Peasy Puff Turnover in the oven as I write this. I am having it for lunch (and, probably dinner) with my broccoli- leek soup. I am having some trouble with the magic dough recipe and think, after reading this Post, that it may be the flour that I am using. I am not giving up but need to tinker with the recipe. It isn't the altitude, as I believed, because I'm at sea level now. Your pita crisps with cheese....nice. I am suspecting that maybe the beet soup was to your girls' tastes. Am I right?ReplyDelete
Mary, that little movie - that you for commenting on it, for some reason these things take quite some time to put together and it is always nice ot get some friendly feedback. Loved reading your wonderful post and certainly appreciate all your support, dear friend!Delete
The kids were not that crazy about the beet soup but all other recipes that I managed to make this month were quite to their liking - I believe if I were to pick two winners it would be the Refried Beans Foldover and the Cheesey Peasyf Puff Turnover - aside from the Rösi, of course (Ha!) - do not forget about sending me your address, please!
The grapefruit salad looks divine. Where can I find the recipes for your dishes?ReplyDelete
Dear Gerlinde, we are cooking as a group from the cookbook written in 2011 by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, called „River Cottage Everyday Veg“, available at all know sources.Delete
Thank you for dropping by,
Cute movie! Our local farms are all blanketed under snow. I love the February choices. I might have to try the beet soup and peasy turnover as make ups in March. My favorite was the rosti. Thank you for your tip about keeping the boiled potatoes in the fridge. And your ideas for toppings. I just ate them plain, didn't think about making them even more decadent, but I will follow your lead the next time, frying them in duck fat, no less. I'm so happy you introduced me to this wonderful book. Have a great week, Andrea.ReplyDelete
Dear Betsy, no snow here - it is all greenish or the beginning thereof around here - we did not even have a really solid blanket of snow once this year - hope that the weather conditions in your neck of the woods will ease up soon - I read that is has been one of the worst winters in the last 41 years. Spring will then be all the nicer though (small comfort, I know).Delete
I should have used the proper terminology which is "parboiled" - if you have parboiled potatoes in your fridge, dinner is always only minutes away. Peel, grate, fry, top with cheese, pop under the broiler, add a fresh salad and dinner is ready in no time at all.
Thank you for participating again this month - I am very much looking forward "make-up March",
Hello Dear Andrea, love your movie, so cute, and then all of your dishes, as always look exquisite. It seems most everyone prepared the refried beans turnover with positive results and so this shall be one of my choices this month, that I had actually planned for February but ran out of time. Your kale chips look crispy delicious too. The Cheasy Peasy Turnover is a marvel, and indeed easily transformed to fit other vegetables, a real crowd pleaser, I am certain to prepare this again and again, beginning tomorrow for a neighbor stopping by. I've never joined a CSA, mainly because we have so many local Farmer's Markets, stands, farms, and produce stores, all within easy access so I do enjoy the freedoms to prepare whatever seems to strike my fancy, along with the pleasures of visiting all around. In the summers back and forth from the New Jersey shore, there are many stands too that sell fresh Jersey tomatoes, corn on the cob, blueberries, green beans, and then oops, almost forgot- I even have my own backyard garden! It was another fun month, giving me a bit of sanity too in the midst of needing to provide lots of extra attention for some elder family members. Thank you for all you provide the group, and the inspiration too! The Cottage Cooking Club is such a wonderful group, with each of its members of whom I've grown most fond. Sending you lots of Hugs and Love! See you soon fearless Kitchen Lioness.ReplyDelete
Dear Peggy, what a comment - thank you so much for taking the time to leave me such a fabulous comment. I am still a bit breathless from reading your blogpost - so many things to do and so little time! I would gladly pitch in and help. The concept of a CSA box is also known around these parts, just goes by a different name but is the same concept - I also prefer to go shopping for our veg needs at local markets, manufacturers etc. - easier for me and I often decide ad hoc what to cook that day.Delete
Sending you also tons of love and hugs and many thoughts, hoping for a speedy recovery for your mother.
Thank you for all your support, dedication and friendship,
P.S.: Do not forget to send me your postal address, please
Hi Andrea, loved your video, looks like a great farm. I did not realize until after reading your post today that we were only half done; for some reason I thought next month was our last, great news! Also your descriptions were spot on and your pictures beautiful. Thanks for everything.ReplyDelete
Cheri - quite a task well done I would say, half-way through a cookbook with two hundred recipes in ten months is not bad! Thanks to all of you!Delete
All of the recipes look delicious. Lovely job and great presentation.ReplyDelete
Geraldine, thank you very much!Delete
I so enjoyed your video - lovely job - and of course your dishes are wonderful as well. We really enjoyed the rosti, a little different from the latkes I make but equally delicious. And you're so right about the time involved in the chickpea dish - good flavour and worth repeating but with precooked chickpeas next time! I'm looking forward to next next month....with everyone free to choose dishes from the previous 10 months, it's going to be a veritable smorgasbord!ReplyDelete
Zosia, thank you for letting me know about the movie - a first for me, not long but fun to put together and a different approach to getting to know your food sources - it has been so much fun cooking along with all of you so far - I am certainly looking forward to the second half of our cooking adventure!Delete
You have been busy this month Andrea. Everything looks so good but I think that grapefruit and avocado salad is calling my name!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Chris! Busy indeed!Delete
Andrea, dear - these recipes all look wonderful but the one that appeals most this morning are the Cheesy Peasy Turnovers! They look delightful! I love them all, of course - anything with avocado makes me happy, baba ghanouj is a weekly favorite for us (without the garlic, of course), and kale chips are such a wonderful, healthy snack.ReplyDelete
Also, I loved your farm video and I want to apologize that I forgot to take my camera to the market on Sunday. I will remember this week, I promise!
Liebe Grüße aus Tucson, David
David, since you are the proud owner of a copy of this lovely cookbook, thankfully you will be able to consult the recipes that you have seen the members of the Cottage Cooking Club prepare and that you particularly enjoyed - maybe you will get around to trying the grapefruit/avocado salad once, a delighttful mix of flavors to say the least!Delete
...und wieder scheint die Sonne auf jeden einzelnen Teller, die Moeglichkeiten, Gemuese zuzubereiten, scheinen unendlich :-) Danke fuer diesen schoenen Post, Highlight ist das 'Filmchen'. Liebe Gruesse von der winterlichen Ostküste der USA!ReplyDelete
Wally, ja, die gute Sonne - es soll am Wochenende richtig warm und sonnig werden - mal sehen...aber schön wäre es schon. Dann müsste ich auch nicht mehr jedem Sonnenstrahl für ein Foto hinterher rennen.Delete
These are sure great looking vegetarian dishes...they all look so delicious, I am intrigued with the avocado and grapefruit salad with chili...ReplyDelete
Thanks for the round-up...hope you are having a great week Andrea :)
Juliana, thank you so much for your kind comment - the Cottage Cooking Club post are always such a round-up of recipe pictures, you are quite right about that and from the comments, I believe the Grapefruit-Avocado Salad got most of the attention this time.Delete
oh this a beautiful feast of vegetarian dishes...each and every dish made us hungry to grab a bite from the screen...but that gorgeous cheesy peas puff so neatly cut into halves is outstanding...we really wished we could have one...so perfectly baked,will be trying all these recipes out one at a time,thanks so much for sharing Andrea...Have A Great Day! :-)ReplyDelete
Dear Rakesh and Swikruti, thank you so much for your wonderful comment! The turnover with cheese and pees was actually my favorite recipe this month - takes no time to put together and tastes fabulous!Delete
Great roundup Andrea! It all looks lovely.ReplyDelete
Gaye, thank you kindly! There are always lots of dishes to squeeze in one post!Delete
Suddenly, I'm starving.ReplyDelete
Andrea, this is just so lovely. Everything is lovely, as always.
I wish I could grab the food right out of my computer monitor & gobble it up!
Wishing you & your cute family a very happy w/end. xoxo
Colette, I wish I could share some of it but you have got the book and little Daisy would probably love the Cheesy Peasy Puff Turnover as much as our kids (and myself) did.Delete
Hope all is well and wishing ýou and your family a fabulous weekend!
I LOVED watching your video. What an idyllic farm. Please post more! This was a great month of recipes, wasn't it? I really enjoyed all of them. Your presentation is always so beautiful--especially the baba ganoush. I was lazy and served it completely plain, with nothing to even dip it in. My husband would have much rather been at your house!
Have a great weekend!
P.S. My address is still the same. I'm so sorry my post is so, so late. (There has been a lot of turmoil at work recently, and Charlotte has been sick all week.) I'm going to try to get it up today. I loved all of the recipes, and really want to write them up.
Adorable video, Andrea! Love the look and the music. Speaking of adorable, the bluebird toothpick is too cute also. Kale chips - love kale chips! I'm so looking forward to making the foldovers in March, especially after seeing your version! They look amazing, as does the turnover which also will be in my March post. The avocado and grapefruit salad is a showstopper to say the least - I just could not resist posting the picture on FB before our post was due, as you know - though at the time, there was no link or clue as to where it came from. Thanks for all you do, Andrea. I am so looking forward to cooking through the second half of this book along with all of our group. Have a wonderful upcoming weekend!ReplyDelete