It’s wild garlic time of the year again and we always try and post a few recipes to celebrate one our of favourite wild ingredients.
We were very flattered that the mighty Jess Murphy from KAI featured a reworking of our Wild Garlic Soda bread in last week’s ‘Food and Wine’ magazine in the Sunday Business Post and, frankly, made it better. Jess recommends the inclusion of a good Irish farmhouse cheese and recommended Mayo’s own ‘Barr Rua’ (no relation) from Dozio cheese makers or over the border for some deliciously nutty ‘Kylemore’.
Jess also brought to our attention the wonderful ‘Little Mill’ flour from Co Kilkenny, which we hope to be getting in stock at the shop real soon. Getting out there in the lashing rain and finding some wild garlic is all part of the buzz, but if you can’t arsed, we’ve also got some in the shop. Spread with lots of Irish butter and as Jess says, ‘It’s heaven on a plate’.
Wild Garlic Soda Bread
- 450 g plain white flour, preferably from The Little Mill, plus a little extra for dusting
- 5 g Achill Island Sea salt
- 5 g bread soda, sieved into flour
- 400 ml of (Cuinneog) buttermilk
- A handful of wild garlic leaves, washed
- 150g Dozio Barr Rua cheese, Kylemore or Cooolatin cheddar , gratedButter to serve
- Preheat your oven to 220C
- Sieve all dry ingredients into the bowl.
- Lightly chop the wild garlic and add into the buttermilk
- Add the cheese to the dry ingredients, then pour in the buttermilk.
- Use your hand to lightly mix the ingredients until they just come together, then dust your counter with flour and tip out the dough.
- Shape into one ball, cut a cross on top and then place on a floured tray and place into the oven.
- Reduce the temperature to 190C and bake for around 30 minutes. You can also make several savoury scones with the dough, instead of one large one and cook in the same way.
It’s still a wee bit early for the supply of the outdoor Irish rhubarb, but we’ve got hold of some forced rhubarb to try out a few recipes so you’re ready to get stuck in when there’s a more plentiful supply. Incidentally, there’s a fab producer of forced (and outdoor) Rhubarb now in Dublin that you may have seen on RTE’s Nationwide, ‘Ryan’s Rhubarb’. Check out their site and social media for more great ideas with rhubarb.
Here’s a couple of our own recipes to get you going…
Rhubarb & Almond Cake
Purists will probably want nothing else except a Rhubarb tart, but this is a lovely and elegant dessert that is surprisingly nice for breakfast with a strong coffee. The addition of cream or créme fraiche with a slice is a very good idea.
- 350g Rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
- 200g golden caster sugar
- 150g butter, softened
- 2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
- 75g self-raising flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 100g ground almonds
- Grated zest of 1 small orange, plus 2 tbsp juice
- 25g flaked almonds
- Preheat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5. Grease a round 23cm springform cake tin and line its base with baking parchment. Place the rhubarb in a bowl and cover with 50g of the sugar. Leave for 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the cake.
- With an electric whisk, beat together the remaining sugar and the butter, then whisk in the eggs. Using a metal spoon, gently fold in the flour, baking powder and ground almonds, then stir in the orange zest and juice.
- Stir the rhubarb and its sugary juices into the cake mixture and spoon into the prepared tin. Place on a baking tray, sprinkle over the flaked almonds and bake for 25 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 180°C, gas mark 4 and cook for a further 20-25 minutes, or until firm. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
- Serve warm or cold, with softly whipped cream, crème fraiche or custard.
This is a great recipe for a myriad of uses. Essentially, it’s a lightly flavoured rhubarb compote, but it’s a less aggressive way of making it rather than running the risk of stewing it in a saucepan.
Serve it for breakfast with your porridge, granola or even french toast. For dessert, it’s delicious in a cream sponge or as a sideshow to a panna cotta or rice pudding. For the savoury buzz, it goes great with oily fish like mackerel or even roast pork instead of apples.
- 500-660 g Rhubarb cut into finger size pieces
- 125 g caster sugar
- Juice and zest of ½ an orange
- Scraped vanilla pod
- Piece of fresh ginger
- Star anise
- Stick of cinnamon
- Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Rinse the rhubarb and shake off the excess water. Trim the ends and cut the rhubarb into little finger-sized pieces. Put the rhubarb in a shallow dish or baking sheet with sides, tip the sugar over, toss together, then shuffle the rhubarb so it’s in a single layer. Grate orange and add vanilla seeds and orange juice if including.
- Cover with foil and roast for 12-15 mins. Remove the foil. The sugar should have dissolved – test the rhubarb with a knife – looking for tender, not mushy. If it’s not quite there, give everything a little shake and roast for another few minutes with the foil off.
This week’s column focusses on our own tubs of ‘Pepperonata’ and could better be described as inspiration information rather than an exacting and specific recipe.
If you’ve recently been to our shop, you may already be familiar with this product. We originally developed the tubs as a short cut for putting together your own brunch version of the classic Turkish breakfast ‘Shakshuka’, and we also include a method for this below. However, ‘Shakshuka’ refers to the complete and finished dishes with eggs, so it was a bit lazy giving the same title to basic pepper stew that we sell. Although we follow a classic pepperonata method, we also, somewhat controversially, add some background spicing in the form of cumin seeds and smoked paprika. We like it and we hope you do too.
If you want to make a version of the classic Italian recipe, we include a recipe below.
All meal recipes are plenty for 2 main course dishes, but would also do as four side dishes or starters.
Breakfast – ‘Shakshuka’
For this, you’ll need…
- Rua Peperonata, eggs, yoghurt, and some coriander.
- Add Shakshuka to pan and heat gently
- Make a ‘well’ and add your eggs to poach in the sauce. You should comfortably get 4 in a large 28cm wide pan
- Cook/poach eggs in the sauce until the whites set and the yolks are still runny( or however you like your eggs cooked) – this should take about 8-10 minutes. If you’d like them done a bit more, flash the pan under the grill or put in a hot oven for a minute, being careful to use a dry tea towel when removing the hot handle.
- Delicious with some yoghurt drizzled over, some fresh herbs and served with warm flatbreads. Extra chilli, crumbled feta or creme fraiche are also great additions.
Lunch – Peperonata with chorizo, butter beans and feta on toast
For this you’ll need…
- Rua Peperonata, a tin of butter beans (or chickpeas, haricots etc),
- Some good quality cooking chorizo, a block of feta cheese, sourdough or suitable bread for toasting.
- Heat the butter beans and Pepperonata together.
- Fry the chorizo separately and add to the warm Pepperonata/beans mix.
- Toast your slices of sourdough, drizzle with oil and spoon over the pepperonata.
- Finish with some crumbled feta, chopped herbs and another drizzle of your olive oil.
Supper – Penne with Pepperonata and Kylemore cheese
For this you’ll need…
- 200-250g Penne or suitable pasta
- A good, nutty hard cheese like Kylemore or Parmesan
- Rua Pepperonata
- Some basil leaves
- Warm your pepperonata and set aside
- Boil a pot of water and add a teaspoon of salt,
- Add your pasta and cook until al dente
- Drain the pasta, reserving a small bit of the pasta water.
- Add the pasta to the warmed pepperonata, add the basil and loosen with your pasta water,
- Serve in warmed bowls, and generously grate your chosen cheese on top.
If you fancy making it yourself, Here’s a basic and classic recipe for the Italian style, that does not include the cumin and smoked paprika of our version
- 1 Kg red peppers and yellow peppers
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely sliced
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and pressed
- Salt, to taste
1 400g tin of good quality chopped tomatoes (or fresh when in season)
- Red wine vinegar, to taste (optional)
- A handful of chopped basil
- Cut the peppers into strips, about 1cm wide and 6cm long, discarding the seeds, stalks and any pithy white bits.
- In a heavy-based pan with a lid, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat, then cook the onion and garlic until soft, translucent and fragrant (they should not brown), which usually takes about 10 minutes. Add the peppers and a pinch of salt, stir, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring every now and then
- Add the tomatoes, stir and then leave, uncovered, at a lively simmer for about 20-25 minutes minutes. Stir occasionally, gently pressing the tomatoes against the side of the pan, so they break up.
- The pepperonata is ready when the peppers are soft and everything has come together into a thick stew. Add the basil, taste, season generously, and add a dash of vinegar to sharpen things up, should you want to.