(Theguardian) – From Mexican breakfasts to Portuguese soups, favourite recipes from the Green Kitchen bloggers’ new book
Halloumi veggie burgers
It’s a common misapprehension that you can just stick two fried halloumi slices inside a burger bun, fill it up with some fresh cucumber, tomatoes and lettuce and call it a halloumi burger. We’re the first to admit that it’s a quick and delicious treat, but a burger? Nah. Try instead to coarsely grate the halloumi together with carrots, courgettes and some fresh mint and fry it for a couple of minutes in a pan. Then you’ll have yourself a proper halloumi burger. Serve as we have here, or on a cabbage leaf with a yoghurt dressing, or go all the way with classic burger buns. We have fried these in a pan, but you could also put them on a barbecue.
Makes 6 patties
For the burgers
small courgette 1
large carrot 1
mint 5 sprigs,leaves picked and chopped
For the tahini dressing
plain yoghurt 120 ml
tahini (sesame paste) 2 tbsp
lime juice 2 tbsp
maple syrup or clear honey (preferably unpasteurised) 1 tsp
sea salt a pinch
large green leaves, like savoy cabbage or lettuce
Grate the courgette, carrot and halloumi on a box grater on the coarsest side. Place in a bowl, add the mint and toss. Form six patties with your hands. Stir all the tahini dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Heat a dry, non-stick frying pan and fry the patties on each side until golden and soft. Serve in a large cabbage leaf with a dollop of dressing, pea sprouts and sliced avocado and a spoonful of sauerkraut. The patties and dressing can be stored in the fridge for 3–5 days.
Sweet potato gnocchi with kale pesto
For the gnocchi
sweet potato 1 (about 250g)
egg 1, beaten
sea salt ½ tsp
nutmeg ¼ tsp, freshly grated
quinoa flour 60g
rice flour 80g
potato flour, cornflour or arrowroot
olive oil for drizzling
For the kale and hazelnut pesto
kale 100g, stems removed
basil leaves 1 handful
Pecorino 4 tbsp , freshly grated
lemon juice of ½
cold-pressed olive oil 90ml
Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7. Cut the sweet potato in half and place on a baking sheet, cut side down. Roast on the centre shelf for about 30 minutes, or until tender. While the sweet potato cooks, make the pesto. Toast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan over a medium-low heat until golden and the skins have split. Rub in a rough tea towel to help get the peel off. Place in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Run at high speed until the desired consistency is reached, adding a splash of water if needed.
When the sweet potato is cooked, leave until it is cool enough to handle then scoop out the flesh and mash it with a fork in a wide bowl. Stir in the egg, salt and nutmeg and mix until combined. Sift together the flours and add two-thirds to the sweet potato. Stir together quickly until combined. Dust a work surface with some of the remaining flour and turn the dough on to it. Knead the dough very gently, adding more flour if needed.
The dough should be moist but not sticky. Divide the dough into four portions. Dust with more flour and roll one portion into a long log, 1 cm wide. Use a knife or metal pastry scraper to cut the log into 2.5 cm pillows. To shape the gnocchi, dust a fork with flour, place a piece of gnocchi with the cut side towards the back of the fork, press lightly with the fork and roll it down to create the tiny ridges. Alternatively, simply press the fork into each gnocchi – they will be more square, but will still taste good. Repeat with the remaining portions.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil over a medium-high heat. Carefully drop in about 15 gnocchi. When they float up to the surface (after about a minute), wait 30 seconds and then fish them out of the water with a slotted spoon. Keep warm while cooking the remaining batches of gnocchi. Serve them warm with a few spoonfuls of kale and hazelnut pesto (or whatever you prefer) and a drizzle of olive oil. You can also save the gnocchi for later and give them a quick fry in a buttered skillet together with vegetables or any kind of sauce.
Creamy polenta with mushrooms and artichoke
This recipe is inspired by a dish from a wonderful hole-in-the-wall restaurant that we visited only once, somewhere in the Born district of Barcelona. We have gone half a dozen times to try to find it again, but with no luck: the winding streets always leave us lost and confused. Their polenta was firmer, almost like a cake; instead, we have made the polenta soft and creamy. To get the right consistency we use a similar method to preparing risotto, with liquid added in small portions as it cooks. We top it with fragrant garlic mushrooms, artichoke hearts and a slice or two of goats’ cheese.
coarse-ground polenta 150g
fine sea salt 2 tsp or to taste
cold-pressed olive oil or ghee 4 tbsp (or butter 50g)
For the topping
garlic cloves 2, crushed
crimini (button chestnut) mushrooms 250g
marinated artichoke hearts 150g,
thyme 4 sprigs, leaves picked
goats’ cheese 4–8 slices depending on the sizes of the cheese
cold-pressed olive oil for drizzling
Place 1 litre of water in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to a simmer. Heat another ½ litre of water in a kettle or separate saucepan. Add the polenta and salt to the first saucepan and stir to combine. Immediately reduce the heat to a very low simmer and stir frequently until the water has been absorbed.
Continue to simmer, adding a little more water about every 5 minutes or so, for 45 minutes until the mixture is thick and creamy and pulls away from the sides of the saucepan. Stir in half the olive oil, ghee or butter.
Heat the remaining oil, ghee or butter in a separate saucepan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add the artichoke hearts and thyme and cook for another couple of minutes until everything is tender and juicy. Move to the side of the pan and cook the slices of cheese for no more than a minute on each side.
Serve the polenta on plates and top with a few spoonfuls of mushroom and artichokes, a slice of warm goats’ cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.
Mexican breakfast salad
Luise: Our version of a warm Mexican breakfast salad has a lovely balance between sweet mango, savoury beans, creamy avocado, sunny eggs, herbs and a fierce kick from the jalapeños.
cold-pressed olive or coconut oil, ghee or butter 1 tbsp
red onion ¼, finely chopped
dried black beans 100g soaked and cooked (or a 400g can, drained)
chilli powder a pinch
ground cumin a pinch
sea salt a pinch
avocado 1, halved, peeled and sliced
mango 1, peeled and sliced
lime juice of ½
coriander 5 sprigs, leaves picked
pickled jalapeños 2 tbsp, drained
Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion, beans, chilli, cumin and salt and stir fry over a medium-low heat for a few minutes. Place in a bowl with the remaining ingredients except the eggs and jalapeños and toss to combine. Divide between 2 serving bowls.
Heat a drizzle of oil in a frying pan over a medium-low heat and fry the egg until set but with a soft yolk. Serve the bean salad straight away, topped with the egg and a few jalapeño slices.
Sopa de legumes Portuguese
David: On a recent trip to Portugal, I basically lived on vegetable soup and salads. Although the country has excellent fresh vegetables, it seems to focus on fish or meat. I have rarely felt so limited when ordering at a restaurant. Luckily, almost all restaurants serve their own variety of creamy potato soup, which happens to be one of my favourite things. We make our soup from a mix of potatoes, carrots and sweet potatoes – which gives it a very round and rich flavour – and top it with some fresh or cooked, dried broad beans for extra protein.
SERVES 4– 6
cold-pressed olive or coconut oil 1 tbsp
large onion 1, chopped
garlic cloves 2, chopped
fresh sage leaves 10, or 1 tsp dried
leek 1, sliced
potatoes 2-3 (500g), peeled and chopped
carrots 3 (300g), chopped
sweet potato or piece of pumpkin 1 (200g), peeled and chopped
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
lemon juice 2 tbsp, or more to taste
shelled fresh broad beans 250g or dried beans , soaked and cooked 100g
small cabbage ¼ (100g), chopped into 2-3 pieces and separated into leaves
cold-pressed olive oil a little for drizzling
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, sage and leek and cook for just a minute. Add the potatoes, carrots and sweet potato or pumpkin and stir. Cover with water and add some salt and pepper.
Bring to the boil, cover, reduce the heat and cook until all the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat and blend until smooth with a hand blender (or tip into a blender or food processor). Return to the heat and add lemon juice to taste. If using fresh broad beans, add to the soup, simmer for 4 minutes then add the cabbage and simmer for a minute or so more until the cabbage is just tender. If using cooked dried beans, add them with the cabbage. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
Serve in bowls with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly ground black pepper. The soup can be stored in the fridge for 3-5 days and freezes well.
Quinoa, almond & mint salad
Moroccan couscous salads have the most wonderful mix of flavours, and sweet raisins, crunchy salted almonds and fresh herbs are an irresistible combination. We make our version gluten-free by using white protein-rich quinoa which we cook together with cinnamon.
We marinate the courgette and aubergine ourselves, but for a quicker version you can get them ready-marinated in glass jars from most food stores.
cold-pressed olive oil 2 tbsp plus extra for grilling
sea salt ½ tsp
garlic clove 1, crushed
ground cinnamon 1 tsp
lemon juice of ½
mint leaves a handful
coriander leaves a handful
avocados 2 , cut into small dice
brown or golden raisins 3 tbsp
pomegranate 1, seeds scooped out and separated
toasted, salted almonds 100g
To marinate the vegetables, preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Slice the aubergine and courgette into thin rounds. Place on a grill rack in a baking tin and use a pastry brush to brush them lightly with oil on both sides.
Sprinkle with salt and roast in the oven until soft and slightly burned on the edges, about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them as they burn easily. Remove the vegetables from the oven and place in a bowl. Add olive oil, garlic and salt and set aside.
Rinse the quinoa well in water and drain. Place in a saucepan and add the measured water, ground cinnamon and salt. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat immediately. Cover and simmer gently for 15–20 minutes.
To assemble the salad, place the cooked quinoa in a large serving bowl and leave to cool slightly. Add the lemon juice, herbs, roasted vegetables, avocado and raisins and toss until everything is well combined. Garnish with the pomegranate seeds and almonds. Serve or store in the fridge in an airtight container for 3–5 days.
Splattered egg curry
We devour eggs in all forms, from our morning scrambles to our dessert crêpes. If you were to pair them with another thing that is close to our heart, Indian cuisine, this is the dish you would end up with. The flavourful egg curry is a simple and comforting dish that can be found all across India. Tradition says that all egg curries should be made with hard-boiled eggs, but we much prefer cracking them right into the sauce and letting them slowly cook until just firm. The eggs end up with a charming, frilly, flower-like appearance.
This dish oozes warm spices and a fresh zing of mint. Serve with some naan breads or chapattis to soak up the sauce, or black rice, if you are serving a hungry crowd. We like to use some red perilla – a form of mint – as well as the usual green leaves for garnish.
ghee or cold-pressed coconut oil 2 tbsp
yellow mustard seeds ½ tsp
onion 1, finely chopped
garlic cloves 2, finely chopped
fresh ginger 1 tsp, finely chopped
chilli powder ½ tsp , or to taste
ground turmeric ½ tsp
garam masala 1 tsp
chopped tomatoes 2 x 400g tins
sea salt 1 tsp
fresh mint 4 sprigs , leaves picked and coarsely chopped
peas 300g fresh shelled or thawed frozen
coconut cream 4 tbsp
nigella seeds a few (optional)
Heat the ghee in a frying pan over medium heat, add the mustard seeds and cook for a minute or until they start to pop. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook until soft and the mixture smells fragrant. Add the chilli, turmeric and garam masala, stir, and simmer for about 30 seconds. Add water and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and sea salt, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in half the mint, the peas and coconut cream. Make 6 small indentations in the sauce for the eggs and carefully crack the eggs into them. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer gently for 5 minutes, or until the egg whites have set. Scatter with the remaining mint and a few nigella seeds, if using, and serve with a side salad, rice, chapatis or naan breads.