So this week we are going savoury for our afternoon treats with some delicious tarts and bruschetta from Grow Harvest Cook, by Meredith Kirton and Mandy Sinclair. These simple but flavoursome recipes are perfect for an afternoon snack, and fresh from the oven they make a comforting and warming treat to share with friends. You won’t be having just one of these bite-sized goodies…
Fig and Blue Cheese Tarts
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
100 g (3½ oz) soft blue cheese, at room temperature
6 small figs, halved lengthways
thyme sprigs to serve
Preheat oven to 220°C (430°F) or 200°C (400°F) for a fan-forced oven. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Cut six 7.5 cm (3 in) rounds from each sheet of pastry. Place on the prepared tray. Score each round 1 cm (ó in) from the edge. Prick the centre with a fork. Brush with the egg and bake for 10 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden.
Remove from the oven and press the centre of each pastry round down with your fingers or the back of a spoon. Spoon a little blue cheese into the centre of each tart shell. Top with a fig half, cut side up, and a little more cheese. Bake for 10 minutes. Serve topped with a sprig of thyme.
Mushroom and Feta Bruschetta
4 field mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
25 g (1 oz) feta
salt and pepper to taste
50 g (1¾ oz/1 cup) firmly packed basil leaves
¼ cup vegetable oil
4 slices Italian white bread, lightly toasted
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) or 160°C (320°F) for a fan-forced oven. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Lay the mushrooms on the tray and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake for 5 minutes. Crumble over the feta and season well. Bake for another 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender.
Meanwhile, make the basil oil. Place the basil and vegetable oil in a small food processor. Process until smooth.
Spread the basil oil over each bread slice. Top with a mushroom and serve with extra basil oil for drizzling.
You could use Swiss brown or button mushrooms in this recipe. Leave whole or chop and cook as per above.
Bone Ash Sky (out July) is the story of an American journalist who goes home to unravel three generations of war and genocide, love and renewal, in Armenia, Beirut and modern-day Lebanon. When Anoush Pakradounian steps off a boat and feels Levantine heat on her cheek, she thinks she knows where she’s going: she thinks she knows who’s right and who’s wrong. Yet nothing about her family’s past is black and white.
In 1915 one million Armenians were marched into Syria by Turks and killed in the first genocide of the twentieth century. In 1982 Beirut came under Israeli siege for three months and 18,000 civilians died, while another 30,000 were wounded. Anoush’s quest for answers is interwoven with the memory of ruined cities and vanished empires: Lake Van before the genocide, Beirut in civil war, Ottoman villas and desecrated churches, Palestinian refugee camps and torture chambers turned into nightclubs. Her search to find out the truth about her father, her grandparents, and her own place in the story spans four generations and massive upheavals in the Middle East.
Celebrate England’s day next Tuesday by baking some traditional English scones.
Try the recipe below from our new book Margaret Fulton’s Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery. If you want to flex your culinary muscles have a go at one of her variations.
A Crusted Orange Scone or a Cheese Topped Scone Loaf is surely the perfect way to celebrate the slaying of a dragon!
The fragrance of freshly baked scones promises a treat that is never out of style. These most popular of quick breads can be mixed and baked in 15 minutes to enjoy with tea or coffee, or to provide hot savoury snacks or even the basis of a casual meal. Hot scones with cream and a good berry jam make that delight known the world over as Devonshire Tea. The original West England version uses clotted cream, but whipped cream does very well.
450 g (1 lb/3 cups) self-raising flour
1 teaspoon salt
60 g (2 oz) butter
310 ml (10 1/2 fl oz/1 1/4 cups) milk or buttermilk
Sift flour and salt into
Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Rub in butter. Add nearly all the milk at once and mix in quickly with a knife. Add remaining milk only if necessary to mix to a soft dough. Turn onto a floured board and knead by turning and pressing with heel of hand 3 or 4 times. Pat out to a round 2 cm (¾ in) thick and cut into 4 cm (1½ in) rounds with a floured pastry cutter. Place scones close together on a lightly greased baking tray. Brush tops with a little milk and bake in the top of a preheated very hot oven (230°C/450°F) for 10–15 minutes or until well risen and golden. For soft scones, wrap in a dish towel as soon as they come from oven. For crusty scones, do not wrap; cool on a wire rack. Serve warm with butter or with jam and cream.
FRUIT SCONES: Follow recipe for Scones, but stir in 1 tablespoon sugar and 60 g (2 oz/½ cup) sultanas (golden raisins) or other dried fruit after
rubbing in butter. A little grated orange or lemon zest, or mixed spice, may also be added.
CHEESE SCONES: Follow recipe for Scones, but stir in 40 g (1½ oz/¹⁄³ cup) grated well-flavoured cheese, ¼ teaspoon dry mustard and a good grinding of black pepper or a pinch of cayenne after rubbing in butter. Bake scones in a preheated hot oven (220°C/425°F) for about 10 minutes.
CHEESE-TOPPED SCONE LOAF: Prepare dough as for Cheese Scones, place on a lightly greased baking sheet, and shape into a round or rectangular loaf 2.5 cm (1 in) thick. Mix together 45 g (1½ oz) softened butter, a pinch of salt, 60 g (2 oz/½ cup) grated cheese, and a pinch of cayenne, dry mustard and nutmeg. Spread mixture over loaf. Sprinkle with a little paprika and bake in a preheated hot oven (220°C/425°F) for 12–18 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Serve cut in slices and buttered.
HERB SCONES: Follow recipe for Scones, but add 1 tablespoon chopped mixed fresh herbs, or 1 teaspoon dried herbs with 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, 2 teaspoons finely chopped shallot and 1 teaspoon sugar after rubbing in butter. Serve with morning coffee or as a savoury alternative at tea time.
CRUSTED ORANGE SCONES: Follow recipe for Scones, but add 1 tablespoon sugar after rubbing in butter, and use 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) orange juice
and 190 ml (6½ fl oz/¾ cup) milk for the liquid. Press a piece of loaf sugar dipped in orange juice
on top of each scone before baking.
SPICED FRUIT PINWHEELS: Prepare dough as for Scones. Roll out to a rectangle 5 mm (¼ in) thick, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle with mixed dried fruit, roll up and cut into 2 cm (¾ in) thick slices. Place, cut sides up, in a greased, shallow baking tin and bake in a preheated hot oven (220°C/425°F) for 10–12 minutes or until browned.
The first book from the writers of the stunning Green Kitchen Stories blog is out now! With 100 delicious and healthy vegetarian recipes for every day and beautiful photography, this is one book you’ll want to get your hands on, fast.
Here is a short video from David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl to celebrate the launch of their book, featuring a lazy Sunday morning in their Stockholm home and a few of their favourite breakfast recipes from the book. (Directed and shot by Albin Holmqvist and styled by Belen Vazquez Amaro).
Happy New Year from all of us here at the Hardie Grant office! We hope you had a great Christmas and that Santa brought you all those books you asked for!
With the start of a new year, it seems like everyone, from your neighbour to your Granny, enthusiastically embarks on a health kick to shed those extra few pounds that creep on over the festive season. If you, like the rest of the western world, feel like you may have indulged in one (or four) mince pies too many, then we have the answer for you – some healthy and nutritious recipes from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day. Drastic detoxes and juice fasts are so 2012 - instead, nourish your body with Heidi’s wholesome recipes, which include energy-boosting wholegrains and in season fruit and vegetables, jazzed up with some delicious flavour combinations. These simple recipes from the queen of vegetarian eating will delight meat-eaters and non meat-eaters alike (who needs more meat after all that turkey anyway?!) and help us over-indulgers give our digestive systems a bit of a TLC in the new year.
You can buy Super Natural Every Day here.
For design lovers:
A Living Space by Kit Kemp (£30.00 Hardback)
Acclaimed interior designer and owner of Firmdale Hotels, Kit Kemp, showcases her signature style in this stunning interiors book. Known for her stylish, witty and distinctly English interiors, Kit provides snippets of styling advice alongside beautiful photographs of her design masterpieces.
Bowerbird by Sibella Court (£26.99 Hardback)
Best-selling author and stylist Sibella Court reveals her very personal approach to collecting and collections. Perfect for any compulsive collectors who like to decorate their home with interesting finds from far and wide - Sibella shows you how to create inspirationally styled interiors with your favourite finds.
Have You Eaten? by Billy Law
Published October 2012
Great Pub Food by Rachael Lane
Published November 2012 in the UK
The French Dog by Rachael McKenna
Published September 2012 in the UK
Published September 2012 in the UK
Cooking for Your Baby and Toddler by Louise Fulton Keats
Published September 2012 in the UK
Spread the word
Far and wide
We’re hiring someone new
To help with the tide!
Okay, so we’re not poets, but we are hiring. Please share with anyone who may be interested!