Tag Archives: cheese

Butternut Squash, Feta and Spinach Roast

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With all this windy, cold weather, I was in the mood for some nice comfort food tonight; a tender beef stew maybe, or simply sausages and mash. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to go the the butcher’s at the weekend, so I am having to rely mostly on vegeterian options this week.

I am, and forever will be, a committed carnivore, but I really enjoy a meat-free option every once in a while. Having no meat in the house usually forces me to step out of my comfort zone a little bit, and find interesting ways to cook vegetables.

This is one of my favourite meat-free dishes; it is quick enough to prepare on a weeknight after work, and it features feta which I adore. It is easy to substitute some of the ingredients depending on what you have available (parsnips, sweet potatoes or turnips work very well here too).

If you don’t fancy pumpkin seeds, try some toasted flaked almonds or cashew nuts instead.

You will need (for 2):

4 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp thyme

A few pinches chili flakes

1 butternut squash

2 large carrots

1 large onion

3 garlic cloves

2 handfuls spinach leaves

200 g feta

3 tbsp pumpkin seeds

Method:

Preheat your oven to 220ºC/ fan 200ºC / gas 7.

Peel the butternut squash, cut in half. Scoop out the seeds and membrane with a teaspoon, discard. Cut the flesh into cubes (roughly 2 cm). Peel the carrots and cut into thick slices.

Peel the onion and cut into rough 1 cm cubes. Peel and crush the garlic.

In a roasting dish, mix the squash, carrot, olive oil, thyme and chili. Use your hands to mix thoroughly so the veg is well covered with the oil and flavourings. Bake for 20-30 min or until tender.

Meanwhile, wash and drain the spinach. Chop the feta.

When the vegetables are cooked, add the feta, spinach and pumpkin seeds to the dish, mix briefly, and return to the oven for 5 min.

Serve with some crusty bread.

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Filed under Mains, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Proper cheeseburgers

Summer is finally here! Time to dust off the barbecue and garden furniture, put some drinks in the fridge and make some ice cubes.

The thing with the British summer though, is that it takes you by surprise. One minute it is pouring down with rain and rather chilly, and the next it is sundress weather. Which is why you need to perfect the art of the “emergency barbecue”. As in, it is 11:00 am, the sun is unexpectedly shining, quick, let’s run to the butcher’s and buy something we can barbecue.

When you are short on prep time, one of the easiest ways to enjoy a barbecue is to make homemade cheeseburgers.

Personally, I prefer a rather simple cheeseburger: a toasted bun, a nice burger, tasty cheese, and maybe a bit of ketchup. That’s it.

I know most people will add tomatoes, lettuce, gherkins, etc. , which is fine, each to their own! The main thing here is good quality beef, the trimmings almost don’t matter.

You will need (for 4 burgers):

500 g beef mince
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 a red onion
1 tbsp chopped parsley
Salt
Pepper
4 good quality bread buns
Thin slices of your choice of cheese (I like Emmental or Maasdam)
Ketchup

Method:

Heat up the olive oil in a small frying pan. Chop the onion finely, and cook gently in the oil until soft. Drain on kitchen paper.

In a large bowl, place the mince, onions, parsley and seasoning.image

Mix thoroughly with your hands, then divide into 4 equal portions. Form each portion into a ball, and pat it gently to flatten it between your palms until it is roughly 2 cm thick.image

Put the patties on a plate, cover with cling film then reserve in the fridge while you light the barbecue.

When your barbecue is ready, cook the burgers for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare (this will vary depending on your barbecue and the thickness of the patties). image

Just before the burgers are ready, lay the cheese on top of them and toast the buns.

Assemble the burgers, and top with a bit of ketchup. I like to have a few grilled mushrooms alongside too.image

Enjoy!

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Filed under Barbecue, Mains, Meat dishes