Tag: spring onion

Fusilli with sweet Bell Pepper and Red Onions

Fusilli with Bell Pepper + Red Onions

This pasta dish is one for those nights when I just want to get cosy on the sofa with a plate of hot pasta on my lap and relax! It’s quick to prepare, it’s hearty but still light and all it requires is usually to be found in my kitchen anyway, pasta (for this meal I prefer fusilli as it mixes well with the long strips of the vegetables), red bell pepper, red onions or shallots, garlic and parmesan. This time I added finely chopped spring onions, it’s not necessary but the added spiciness was a nice contrast to the sweet flavours. When I fry the bell pepper and onions and they start to brown I deglaze them with white wine or vermouth or I just use the water from the pasta. The liquid helps the juices and roasted bits and pieces to combine to a thick sauce, perfect to glaze the spiral pasta.

For 2, I cooked 200g / 7 ounces of fusilli in lots of salted water al dente and kept 75ml / 2.5 ounces of the water used to cook the pasta. I always start frying the onions and cooking the pasta at the same time which allows me to take out the water when I need it. I cut 1 big red onion in half and sliced it finely, likewise the bell pepper (about 3mm / 0.1 “). In a large heavy pan, I fried the onions in a splash of olive oil on medium heat for about 5 minutes till golden and soft and added the slices of bell pepper. After a few minutes of frying and tossing I deglazed the vegetables with a splash of vermouth which you could replace with white wine, preferably a sweeter one, and poured the water I kept from the pasta on top. I immediately covered it with a big lid, let it simmer for a few minutes until soft and seasoned it with salt and pepper. Mixed with the pasta I filled everything in big plates and sprinkled it with thinly sliced spring onions and freshly grated parmesan, time to get cosy!

Fusilli with Bell Pepper + Red Onions

 

Fusilli with Bell Pepper + Red Onions

 

Fusilli with Bell Pepper + Red Onions

Wild Garlic Soup to start off the Spring

Wild Garlic Soup

Walking through the forest is one thing I miss the most living in the city. Its earthy smell, the musty air captured by the trees changing with the seasons makes me feel at home. Especially in spring, when the green comes out again and everything smells light and fresh with the first flowers starting to blossom. I want to walk on soft soil watching nature unraveling around me!

One of the most distinct smells you can find at the moment when walking though a European forest close to a river or lake is the smell of garlic, wild garlic. Coming from a little plant which covers the ground in large areas and looks similar to lilies of the valley. It’s a wild relative of chives also known as ramps, ramsons, buckrams, wood garlic or bear’s garlic as they must be quite taken by it. In taste it’s similar to chives but with a unique touch to it, spicy, a bit like garlic but fresher, more “green”. The leaves are best when young and fresh, great in pesto, soups or to spice up other vegetables and meat.

I’m totally with the bears, I love cooking with it and when I spotted it at the market I got excited and had lots of recipes on my mind. Inspiration for the weeks to come! I will start with a tangy but smooth soup, the leaves of two bunches of wild garlic, potatoes, onion and a few spring onions on top. It doesn’t take much to make this springy soup of the forest!

Wild Garlic Soup

Wild Garlic Soup

For 4 people you need

wild garlic, rinsed and stems cut off, the leaves of 2 bunches (around 100g / 3.5 ounces)
potatoes, cut into cubes, 750g / 1.5 pounds
onions, chopped 2
water 1500ml
heavy cream 180ml
salt and pepper
olive oil for frying
spring onion, cut into thin slices, 1 for topping

In a large pot, bring the water to the boil and cook the wild garlic for 2 minutes. Take it out with a slotted ladle, rinse under cold water for a few seconds but keep the boiled water! Fry the onions in some oil until golden, add the potatoes, some salt and the water used to cook the wild garlic and cook for 12 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Add the wild garlic and cream and mix in a blender till smooth. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with spring onions when served on plates.

A Ginger Carrot Salad with Spring Onions

Ginger Carrot Salad with Spring Onions

Carrots are unbelievably versatile and uncomplicated vegetables which create wonderfully easy but delicious side dishes, salads and soups. They never cause a hassle, always sweet and strong, they aren’t very sensitive to prepare. When cooking fish or meat that demands all your attention, the carrots are patiently waiting on the side in their pot not loosing any of their qualities when left cooking a bit longer. The same goes for salads, you can mix them with the strongest flavours, go overboard with lemon, spices or herbs, no problem, this little orange root will manage!

I’ll go easy on them in my salad, I just add some freshly grated ginger (1 1/2 tablespoons) to my dressing, made of 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, some salt, pepper and 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar. 4 carrots peeled and cut into julienne are enough for a side dish for 2. Half a spring onion cut into thin slices sprinkled on top adds a bit of spiciness. The carrots still have enough space to show their sweet side.

Ginger Carrot Salad with Spring Onions

 

Ginger Carrot Salad with Spring Onions