COOKING WITH UNUSUAL FRUIT & VEG

Time to try something new, a bit different, be a bit more adventurous? Here’s a few suggestions for cooking with some unusual fruit and veg that you will find at your local greengrocer or supermarket.

CALCOT ONIONS

A traditional Catalonian type of scallion which is a close relative of the spring onion but much larger – a cross between the spring onion and leek. In season between December and March.

The taste is similar however they are much juicier and slightly sweeter. They can be used in much the same way – raw in salads or cooked into a warming rich stew.

Traditionally they are grilled straight over a hot fire, wrapped in newspaper (to allow the onion to finish cooking by steam) and dipped into romesco sauce before eaten.

vac packed onions

At The Coach we use them as a garnish for our rotisserie chicken or pork dishes – we wash them, season with salt and vegetable oil then put them directly onto the stove to evenly char. Then wrap in cling film to finish the cooking process (they steam inside the cling film).  When cool, peel off the outer skin, trim and then dress with either just salt or you can also add chive oil/nigella seeds/lemon zest/chives/pickled mustard seeds.

vac packed onions

At The Coach we use them as a garnish for our rotisserie chicken or pork dishes – we wash them, season with salt and vegetable oil then put them directly onto the stove to evenly char. Then wrap in cling film to finish the cooking process (they steam inside the cling film).  When cool, peel off the outer skin, trim and then dress with either just salt or you can also add chive oil/nigella seeds/lemon zest/chives/pickled mustard seeds.

KOHLRABI

Kohlrabi is a fairly unusual veg, tastes a bit like the core of a cabbage but is really refreshing.  It makes it a great alternative to cabbage or turnips, plus it is high in vitamins and minerals.

Kohlrabi, which can be green or purple, is a bulbous vegetable with stiff leaves. All parts of the kohlrabi can be eaten, both raw and cooked. It is delicious steamed, sautéed, roasted, stuffed, creamed, in soup or stew, and eaten raw.

Kohlrabi slaw

Kohlrabi slaw

Ingredients

– 2 kohlrabi, thinly sliced
– 1 onion, thinly sliced
– 2tbsp thick mayonnaise
– 1tbsp grain mustard
– 2tsp flaky sea salt
– 1 bunch of chopped chives

Kohlrabi slaw

Ingredients

– 2 kohlrabi, thinly sliced
– 1 onion, thinly sliced
– 2tbsp thick mayonnaise
– 1tbsp grain mustard
– 2tsp flaky sea salt
– 1 bunch of chopped chives

Method

1. Mix the sliced kohlrabi and onion together with the flaky sea salt and leave to one side for 10 minutes.
2. After 10 minutes, rinse the onion and kohlrabi under running cold water. Pat dry on a clean tea towel.
3. Place into a bowl and stir in the grain mustard and mayonnaise.
4. Stir in the chopped chives.

ROMANESCO BROCCOLI

This funky looking vegetable is also called Romanesco broccoli, Roman cauliflower, or broccoflower.  It’s covered in cone-shaped florets that make it look sort of like a miniature Christmas tree.

The stem, leaves, and stalks can all be eaten but might need a bit of a trim first.

Similar to broccoli, Romanesco is great for anything from crudités, to a simple steamed dish, or even roasted. Expect a flavour closer to broccoli, with a slightly earthier profile.

ROMANESCO, CORN AND COCONUT CURRY

Romanesco Broccoli

Ingredients

– 2 tbsp vegetable oil
– 2 tsp cumin seeds
– 1 onion, finely chopped
– 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
– 2 tsp ground coriander
– 1 tsp ground turmeric
– 1 tsp garam masala
– 500g romanesco broccoli, cut into florets
– 300ml vegetable stock
– 400ml coconut milk
– 1 x 350g tins canned corn, drained
– 200g frozen peas
– handful fresh coriander, chopped
– 1 long red chilli, finely sliced
– ready cooked basmati/wild rice, to serve

Fried paneer

– 225g paneer, cut into cubes
– ½ tsp turmeric
– ½ tsp Maldon salt
– 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Romanesco Broccoli

Ingredients

– 2 tbsp vegetable oil
– 2 tsp cumin seeds
– 1 onion, finely chopped
– 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
– 2 tsp ground coriander
– 1 tsp ground turmeric
– 1 tsp garam masala
– 500g romanesco broccoli, cut into florets
– 300ml vegetable stock
– 400ml coconut milk
– 1 x 350g tins canned corn, drained
– 200g frozen peas
– handful fresh coriander, chopped
– 1 long red chilli, finely sliced
– ready cooked basmati/wild rice, to serve

Fried paneer

– 225g paneer, cut into cubes
– ½ tsp turmeric
– ½ tsp Maldon salt
– 1 tbsp vegetable oil

 

Method

1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan over a high heat. Add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds before adding the onion, cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
2. Reduce the heat, add the spices and stir for 1 minute. Then add the romanesco florets and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the vegetable stock and half the coconut milk and cook for 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, place the paneer, turmeric and salt into a bowl and mix well. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan on a medium to high heat. Add the paneer and cook until browned well on all sides, about 5–8 minutes. Remove from the heat.
4. Add the remaining coconut milk to the pan and stir though the corn, peas, fried paneer and half the coriander. Cook for 5 more minutes then serve the curry with rice and garnish with red chilli and the remaining coriander.

BLOOD ORANGES

An orange with blood/crimson coloured flesh which is in season between January and March.  They can be used as a citrus substitute in many desserts/cakes/tarts or make a sticky sauce for a savoury main course. They are sweet/floral and tart.

Pancakes with orange

At The Coach we use them simply by segmenting them and then blowtorching and serving alongside pancakes and chocolate sauce on pancake day to provide a nice tart flavour to cut through the richness of the chocolate sauce.

 

They also make a great garnish for drinks, at the Coach we used with our ‘Old Fashioned’.

Pancakes with orange

At The Coach we use them simply by segmenting them and then blowtorching and serving alongside pancakes and chocolate sauce on pancake day to provide a nice tart flavour to cut through the richness of the chocolate sauce.

 

They also make a great garnish for drinks, at the Coach we used with our ‘Old Fashioned’.