Spaghetti with Spring Greens, Garlic, Chilli and Olive Oil

In a hurry? It doesn’t get quicker and more delicious than this!

Spaghetti with Spring Greens, Garlic, Chilli and Olive Oil

(Spaghetti Aglio, Olio & Spring Greens) – Jamie Oliver

2 cloves of garlic

1 fresh red chilli

1 head of spring greens

400 g dried spaghetti

extra virgin olive oil

1 large unwaxed lemon

Parmesan cheese

Peel and finely chop the garlic, deseed and finely chop the chilli and finely slice the spring greens. Wash and drain well. Cook the spaghetti in a saucepan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, around 8 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a glug of oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic and chilli and fry for a minute or so, until the garlic is starting to colour. Add the spring greens and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until the greens have wilted a little. Finely grate over the lemon zest. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with a splash of the water it was cooked in.

Squeeze over the lemon juice and serve topped with a drizzle of oil and finely grated Parmesan.

Summer Greens with Lentils, Chilli and Coriander

I know we have has two rather labour-intensive recipes this week and I know that you are probably all in a hurry so here is a really quick and easy and healthy way of using up all your summer greens. I will be serving this up for the vegans tonight,  amongst other things, at the SupperClub in Putney. I hope they like it!

Summer Greens with Lentils, Chilli and Coriander

You can use all manner of greens with this recipe, spring greens, spinach, kale, Cavalo Nero or any type of cabbage. Just remember if the greens are very fibrous they may need blanching first, but If they are tender you can just sweat them down as in this recipe.

This makes a lot. Enough for 4 as a main or 8-10 as a side. Half the quantities if you are not very hungry.

for the lentils:

300g Puy lentils

2 garlic cloves

1 tbsp olive oil

for the spring greens:

3 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1-2 chilli, chopped

500g spring greens, shredded

Juice of ½ lemon

1 small bunch fresh coriander, chopped

Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

First cook the lentils. Put them in a pan with the garlic and add enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until tender, topping up the water if necessary. Drain, then season well and mix in the olive oil.

For the spring greens heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onion, garlic and chilli, then cover and sweat for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the shredded spring greens and season well. Cook, stirring, over a high heat until wilted. Stir in the lemon juice, lentils and coriander and adjust the seasoning.

Omelette Stuffed with Sautéed Spring Greens

It is January and I have taken a little longer away from this blog than usual. I hope that I haven’t left you lost for ideas for what to do with all your January vegetables but I doubt it, because this is the time of year when everyone jumps on the bandwagon of healthy eating and all the food magazines are packed with vegetable recipes. I always find it quite irritating that they all go mental for vegetables for one month of the year, before they move on to the next thing, where as I and obviously you, are focusing on vegetables all year round and not just for January.

Anyway it was whilst flicking through one of those many magazines that I got to thinking about omelettes. Not just any omelettes but ones stuffed full of greens. And when my box turned up with a large bunch of spring greens, I set straight to work to see how it worked out.

Being a trained chef, omelette is a word which conjures up many memories. The cooking of your omelettes had to be a work of art and I can still hear head chefs scolding me for over-mixing or overcooking the eggs or getting even the faintest hint of brown on the outside. We were not allowed to use any cooking implement, you had to make the whole thing by shaking the pan. Nowadays I allow myself to relax a little and so I have to admit I really enjoyed making, and eating this omelette.

Omelette Stuffed with Sautéed Spring Greens

For one omelette

3 eggs

A knob of butter

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

100g spring greens, shredded and washed

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. double cream

In a heavy bottomed saucepan heat the olive oil. Add the drained greens and sauté. The moisture left on the greens from washing will help steam the greens as you sauté them. Season with salt and pepper and stir until just wilted and tender. Stir in the cream and remove from the heat.

Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Beat well with a fork. Heat a small knob of butter in a small frying pan on a low heat, and once melted and foaming, add the eggs and move the pan around to spread them out evenly. Using a spatula or palette knife, stir the eggs until almost set. Then leave still for a minute. Remove from the heat and pile the spring greens onto the omelette. Using a spatula or palette knife, ease around the edges of the omelette, then fold it over in half and slide on to a plate.

Spring Green, Chickpea, Tomato & Coconut Curry

When you go through the years of training as a chef, you often are given pieces of advice which you hold on to for years, without really questioning why. One of those pearls of wisdom, which was passed on to me, was to never use fresh tomatoes in sauces or stews. Tinned plum tomatoes, I was told, where always much superior. There is much truth in this for much of the year, when tomatoes are out of season. It has to be said that some years English tomatoes fail to deliver even in the summer, due to the lack of warmth and sun, but when the tomatoes are in season in our boxes, albeit from Spain, it seems a shame to open a tin, when you have a lovely, fresh ones ready to use.

Tomatoes 2

Obviously, it depends what you are cooking, and a curry really does not require a strong tomato flavour. I think the fresh tomato was subtler and more authentic, and really helped lift this curry to a new level. Yes, they have to be blanched first to remove the skins which is a bit time consuming but once the tomatoes have cooked down they are instantly ready and unlike tinned ones, do not have to simmer for ages to remove the metallic taste usually present in even the best canned tomatoes.

Blanching tomatoes

I might even try a fresh tomato sauce next!

Spring Green, Chickpea, Tomato & Coconut Curry

Spring Green, Chickpea, Tomato & Coconut Curry
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, grated
Large knob of ginger, scraped and grated
6 large, very red, ripe tomatoes (650g)
2 tbsp. coconut oil
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
I fresh red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped or a pinch chilli flakes
½ 400g tin coconut milk
400g can chickpeas, drained
1 large head of spring greens
Small bunch fresh coriander, chopped

Heat a heavy bottomed large saucepan and add the coconut oil. Add the onion and cook gently for 10 minutes of so until sort and very lightly coloured.

Meanwhile put a large saucepan of water on to boil. Cut a small cross in the top of your tomatoes. Add them to the pan of boiling water and boil for 1-2 minutes, until the skins begin to come away. Remove them with a slotted spoon and plunge them into a bowl of cold water. Remove the skins and roughly chop. Next put your spring greens in the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove and leave to drain, well spared out, in a large colander or on a clean tea towel to drain and quickly cool.

Meanwhile, add the garlic, ginger and chilli to the onion. Add the spices, salt and pepper and fry for a minute or two. Next add the fresh tomato, turn down the heat, add the drained chick peas and gently cook until the tomato is collapsed and quite dry. Add the coconut milk and then the spring greens. Heat through but do not boil at this stage. Check seasoning. Stir though the fresh coriander.

Spring Greens 1