Jan 15 2019

Peas and Mint Veggie-Vegan Soup

Feeling a little heavy after Christmas? Let’s have a soft detox with this  warm, creamy and healthy veggie-vegan soup: if you want to go vegan, simply omit the feta cheese.

Serves 4

  • 350 fresh or frozen peas (they are not in season!)
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced
  • 8 sprigs fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp extravirgin olive oil
  • 1 red chilli pepper,  thinly chopped
  • 100 gr feta cheese
  • 30 gr almonds, skin on, coarsely chopped

Fry the onion in a heavy-based pan with the extravirgin olive oil and the red chilli pepper. Add the potato cubes and let cook for 10 minutes. Add the peas, mix thoroughly and pour in the pan 500 ml of vegetable stock or boiling water: you might need more, depending on the quality of the potato you chose. Let simmer for further 10 minutes, season with salt and pepper to taste and the mint leaves as well (washed and drained). Place in a food processor and whizz until smooth and creamy.

Dice the feta cheese, transfer the soup in 4 bowls and scatter with the feta or almonds, if you fancy the vegan option.

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Posted in Starters, First course, Recipes, Light recipes, Main dishes, Vegan, Vegetarian
Jul 10 2015

Grilled octopus with black cous cous and green pea cream

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A royal recipe based on three main ingredients, which don’t cost the earth. The crispy consistency of the octopus goes well with this black cous cous, which has the looks of caviar, and it is enriched by the green pea cream which gives the dish a special touch of freshness and colour.

Serves 4

  • 1 octopus (around 1 kg)
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 onion
  • 2 parsley bunches
  • 1/2 glass of vinegar
  • 2 cups cous cous
  • 2 bags (or bladders) of squid ink
  • 2 cups green peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tbsp mayo mixed with 1 tbsp water or milk; (you can also use soya cream instead)
  • 2 shallots
  • 10 mint leaves
  • extravirgin olive oil
  • zest of 1/2 lemon

Peel the carrot and onion, wash the celery and parsley and place in a pot filled with cold water. Bring to a boil, add vinegar and add the octopus holding it by the head. Take the octopus in and out of the pot 3 o 4 times, so that the tentacles properly curl. Once they’re curled, let octupus cook for 1 hour on low heat, then let cool in the same pot. Now drain the octopus and cut the tentacles from the head, which you can use for something else.

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For the green pea cream, boil the peas in salted water for 6 minutes, refresh under running water and place in the food processor with chopped shallots, mayo mixed with water/milk or soya cream, mint leaves and some sea salt. Reduce to a cream and set aside.

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Now prepare the cous cous. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over the cous cous in a bowl, and let it rest for 10 minutes, covered. Fluff cous cous with a fork and add the squid ink. Once it becomes black, season with 1 tbsp olive oil, lemon zest and a pinch of salt.

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan, quickly fry the tentacles until crispy and set aside. Keep them warm as you’re assembling the dish.

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Carefully place the cous cous on a plate; I used a ring to give it a round shape. Now arrange two octopus tentacles on top and decorate with the green pea cream. Garnish with a drizzle of oil and serve.

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Posted in Main dishes
May 12 2015

Super healthy spring salad

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This spring salad can be a one-dish meal, light and easy yet featuring a variety of textures and a good balance between vitamins and protein. By adding flax seeds, you’ll add beautiful crunchiness to your salad, as well as giving it that extra touch of anti-oxidants. This dish makes the most of lovely spring vegetables.

Serves 4

  • 500 gr asparagus
  • 300 gr green beans
  • 4  scallions, thinly sliced
  • 300 gr (net weight) fresh peas
  • 4 big, not too ripe, tomatoes, cubed*
  • 4 tbsb extravirgin olive oil
  • 15 basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds
  • 4 tbsp soya cream or yogurt

2 tbsp soya creme

* I used “costoluti” tomatoes; these are lovely Italian tomatoes, fairly large in size, very sweet and unfortunately hard to find abroad; you can substitute them with cherry tomatoes or plum tomatoes.

Boil asparaguses and green beans separately for 5-7 minutes and around 10 minutes respectively. Run under cold water and set aside to cool completely.

Cut the boiled vegetables into 2-3 cm pieces, place in a bowl with the tomatoes, scallions, raw peas, flax seeds and basil, and season with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

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Divide the salad in 4 bowls, top with the soya cream (or yogurt) and serve.

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Posted in Recipes, Light recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian
Jun 22 2013

Insalata strepitosa

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Fragole, asparagi, pomodori, pisellini crudi… un trionfo di colore, freschezza e novità nel mix di sapori, esaltato dalla scorzetta di limone e dedicato al grande caldo estivo.

Ingredienti

  • 500 gr pomodorini cilegia di Pachino
  • 300 gr fragole, meglio se piccole e tonde
  • 1 mazzo di asparagi
  • 2 cucchiai di piselli sgranati e lasciati crudi
  • 1 ciuffo di basilico
  • la scorza di mezzo limone bio
  • olio evo

Preparate l’olio aromatico: in una ciotolina lasciate riposare per 2 ore 2 cucchiai di olio e il basilico lavato, asciugato e spezzettato con le mani. Intanto lessate gli asparagi, lasciateli raffreddare e prendetene solo le punte; pulite le fragole e i pomodorini, tagliateli a metà e travasate le verdure, le fragole e i piselli in una ciotola. Condite l’insalata con l’olio al basilico (dopo aver eliminato le foglie), sale, pepe e la scorza del limone tagliata a julienne sottilissima. Servite immediatamente.

 

 

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Posted in Sides, Recipes, Light recipes
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