How to become a 'seasoned' cook

By Naomi Biltcliffe | 11/06/2015 | Posted in Recipes

Fruit and vegetables always taste better fresh. But what people often overlook is that they taste even better when they are in peak season.

 

There is a whole host of veg which is coming into season this month and it’s the perfect time to rustle up some tasty, healthy - and more importantly - easy recipes. 

Great tasting and nutritious ingredients such as asparagus, aubergines, carrots, rhubarb, watercress and radishes are all in season from May and will taste better now than they do for the rest of the year – what are you waiting for? Go and fill your fridge with these delights!

Each of these tasty treats are also better for you at this time of the year, as they are high in vitamins, fibre and iron.

So, for an easy way to impress your friends with not only your tasty dishes, but also your British vegetable knowledge (!), have a look at the below.


Asparagus and salmon risotto

Asparagus are in its peak season for only eight weeks of the year so now really is the time to make the most of them. They are not only a great source of iron, but they’re also bursting with vitamins C and A. This dish is flavoursome and easy to rustle up in your Supreme Precision 10-in-1 Multicooker.

Ingredients:

  • 40ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 40g red onion finely chopped
  • 150g diced, fresh asparagus
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 40ml dry white wine
  • 650ml water
  • 1 fish stock cube
  • 150g fresh salmon, diced
  • 20g butter

To Serve:

  • 4 slices of smoked salmon
  • 8 asparagus tips
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt

Method:

  1. Insert the mixing paddle into the jug; add the olive oil, onion and the asparagus. Attach the lid, do not attach the measuring cap – it’s not needed for this recipe.
  2. Select programme A and press start.
  3. After 5 minutes the Multicooker will beep twice. Remove the lid, add the rice and white wine. After 1 minute, add the water and crumble in the stock cube. If required, scrape the sides of the jug down using a spatula. Replace the lid.

  4. After 10 minutes the Multicooker will beep three times. Remove the lid, add the diced salmon and season the risotto as required. Replace the Lid.
    After 8 minutes the Multicooker will beep four times. Remove the lid, add the butter and replace the lid. Cook until the risotto is creamy and the programme stops.

  5. At the end of the programme press the stop button and remove the jug. Remove the paddle before serving.

  6. On the hob, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Blanche the asparagus tips for 2 minutes and then drain. Place the asparagus immediately in iced water to stop cooking and to help them retain their colour.

To Serve:
Serve the risotto in a bowl, topped with two asparagus tips and a slice of smoked salmon. Add a pinch of salt and drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil.


Sautéed carrots with lemon and marjoram

Now we’re not saying that carrots are the elixir of youth by any stretch, but the high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A help slow down the ageing of cells, improve eyesight and protect the skin from sun damage so if that won’t convince you, we’re not sure what will.

This dish is delicious served with meat or fish and brings out the delightful natural flavours of the humble carrot.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 pounds carrots (about 16), cut into batons
  • 1 tspn brown sugar
  • 1/2 tspn salt
  • 1/4 tspn fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 tbspn chopped fresh marjoram, or 1 tspn dried marjoram
  • 4 tspns lemon juice

Method:

  1. Add your carrots, garlic, sugar, pepper, marjoram and half of the oil to your Supreme Precision 10-in-1 Multicooker.
  2. Set a slow speed to prevent the ingredient from sticking to the bottom of the pan and set the time for five minutes.
  3. Use the temperature buttons to select a medium heat and press the start button. The Multicooker should beep to indicate it has begun to sauté the ingredients.
  4. When your Multicooker has finished it will beep and show ‘End’ on the display.
  5. Remove the ingredients and add the remaining oil and lemon juice before serving.


Baba ganoush

Aubergine is an incredibly versatile vegetable and one which has a subtle, but distinctive flavour. It is a good source of dietary fibre and also contains vitamins B6 and K.

Baba ganoush is a brilliant dip if you want to make something that looks harder than it is (don’t say we don’t help you look good) and the secret to this dish is smokiness. The smokier the baba ganoush, the more impressed your guests will be.

Ingredients:

  • 3 aubergines
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed with a teaspoon of salt
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

Method:

  1. Prick the aubergines with a fork to prevent them from bursting. Grill the aubergines until the skin is charred and blackened and the flesh feels soft when you squeeze it (this will take approximately 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through cooking).
  2. In a pestle and mortar, crush the garlic with the lemon juice, tahini, olive oil and pepper.
  3. When cool enough to handle, cut the aubergines in half and scoop out the flesh. Mix the soft flesh with the remaining ingredients.
  4. Place in a serving dish and finish with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle the fresh parsley over the top.



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