Niamh Doherty

Archive for the ‘Snack’ Category

A Simple Summer Salad, Side, or Snack

In Lunch, Snack, Supper on June 19, 2013 at 19:58

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I don’t even know what to say anymore. I am officially the Worst Blogger Ever. In fact, let’s just forget I even blog, and that way we can all be pleasantly surprised when I actually do. Okay? Okay.

I threw this dish together earlier as I wanted something healthy but tasty to tide me over ’til dinner. It’s scarcely even a recipe, but it was delicious, and honestly I have Blogger Guilt and decided that my poor followers needed SOMETHING, no matter how haphazard.

It feels a bit silly listing the “ingredients” for this – it’s a dish of components more than anything else. It is ludicrously quick and easy to put together. You could, of course, roast, peel and chop your own beetroot. And if you wanted to make it even fancier, lay it all on a bed of mixed leaves, before adding some roasted peppers, chargrilled chicken, and balsamic dressing. This is not a so much a clear-cut recipe as it is a jumping-off point. I ate this as a quick snack on its own but it would make a lovely summer salad or side dish. I have one proviso, though, and that is: you do need to toast the pinenuts. A dish as simple as this,and with so few ingredients, needs to be perfectly balanced. The sweet, earthy beetroot contrasts with the soft, sharp feta, which in turn needs the crunch of pinenuts to tie it all together. If you lazily skip a step, it won’t taste as good. So, toast your pinenuts. And if the Laziest Cook In The World instructs you to absolutely do something, you know that it’s both necessary, and worth it.

Beetroot, Feta & Pinenut Salad

Serves 1; all measurements are approximate

Ingredients:

1 large cooked beetroot

30g of feta cheese, crumbled

15g of pinenuts

Method:

1. Put an unoiled pan on a low to medium heat. Add the pinenuts and toss occasionally. Keep a close eye on them as they burn easily. When golden, remove from the pan and set aside.

2. Chop the beetroot into bite-size pieces.

3. Lay the beetroot onto a plate or serving dish, scatter over the feta, and top with the toasted pinenuts.

Serves one.

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Mushrooms a la Toast

In Lunch, Snack, Supper on June 1, 2010 at 21:07

…or Mushroom Bruschetta, if you’re feeling posh.

Rummaging around the kitchen recently, looking for something to turn into a quick, pre-walk snack, I happened upon a semi-forgotten punnet of mushrooms in the fridge, and remembered this recent post on Donal Skehan’s Good Mood Food Blog. Mushrooms on toast are quick, easy and delicious – and for some reason, something I never think of making. Now that I’ve rediscovered this old favourite, though, I’m sure to be making it on a weekly basis again.

I prefer brown, chestnut mushrooms for this dish, as I find them to have more flavour than button or closed cap mushrooms. Slightly older mushrooms are good, too, as they are more flavoursome than those freshly-plucked from a supermarket shelf. I like the bread to be a thick slice from a loaf of proper baker’s bread, but sourdough or ciabatta would be good here too. In fact, I used a baby bake-at-home ciabatta, which I split and popped into the toaster, as I was too impatient to wait for the oven to heat up, and it toasted, crisply golden, like a dream.

Some provisos when cooking mushrooms – make sure that your pan is hot and wide – too low a heat and the mushrooms will simply stew in their own juices; too wide a pan and they won’t brown. I add garlic to this dish for flavour, but am wary of adding garlic to a hot pan – it is all too easy to burn garlic, and its acrid taste will ruin any food – so err on the side of caution and rub the bread with a cut clove of garlic before piling the fragrant mushrooms on top.

Finally, you can tart up this simple snack further, by adding a tablespoon or so of creme fraiche to the mushrooms just as they finish cooking, or sprinkling some finely-grated Parmesan atop the high-piled mushrooms. You can easily turn this into a light lunch or supper by serving a green salad alongside it. The amounts listed below serve one, for simple, solitary sustenance.

Mushrooms a la Toast

Ingredients:

150g mushrooms (this sounds like a lot, but mushrooms shrink down a lot when cooked)

olive oil

butter

1 garlic clove

2 thick slices of good bread/one small ciabatta, cut in half lengthways

Method:

1. Put your largest frying pan over high heat, and add a glug of olive oil along with a small knob of butter (the butter is for flavour; the olive oil stops it from burning.

2. When the oil/butter is hot, add your chopped mushrooms to the pan. Cook, stirring every so often, until brown and soft.

3. While the mushrooms are cooking, toast your bread. Cut the garlic clove in half lengthways, and rub the cut side of one half on each slice of bread.

4. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper and pile them onto the garlicky bread, before falling on it with equal measures of greed and desire.