2 QUICK & DELICIOUS RECIPES FROM THE FOREST CANTINA'S NEW COOKBOOK
Unna bears her heart on every page through a collection of treasured recipes and a guide to suburban self-sufficiency at the back. We were lucky enough to get an exclusive preview of these two delicious recipes to share with you.
SAUSAGE, ORZO & WHITE BEAN SOUP
"My boys love the little sausage meatballs and pasta combo, and grating the carrots and celery makes the preparation and cooking time even faster. Serve with bread if you wish, but the beans and pasta make this a very hardy cold night belly filler!"
Time: 15 minutes preparation |15-20 minutes cooking Serves: 8
6 free range pork sausages 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 onion, finely diced 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 celery sticks, grated 2 large carrots, grated 2 bay leaves 1 small bunch thyme 2 litres (8 cups) chicken stock 1 teaspoon brown sugar 1 cup orzo pasta 1 x 400g (14oz) can cannellini beans 2 cups greens (baby spinach, cavolo nero, kale or Swiss chard)
To serve Grated parmesan Bread (optional)
With damp hands squeeze the sausage meat out of the skins and roll into small balls. I got seven little meatballs from each sausage. Heat a large pot over a high heat, and when hot fry the meatballs in the olive oil until slightly browned. Add the onion and garlic to the meatballs in the pan and cook, stirring for 1 minute, then add the grated carrots and grated celery and cook for a further minute.
Tie the bay leaves and thyme together tightly with kitchen string (so they are easy to discard at the end) and add to the pot with the chicken stock, brown sugar and pasta. Cover and bring to the boil. When boiling, reduce the heat to medium/high and cook for 5 minutes or until the pasta is almost cooked. Rinse and drain the cannellini beans and add this to the soup with the greens. Cook for 2 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and thyme bundle.
Taste and season with pepper (depending on the stock you use, it might not need salt, and the parmesan seasons the soup too). Ladle into bowls and top with parmesan and serve with bread.
If eating leftovers the next day, if it is too thick (as the pasta will absorb more liquid and puff up) add a little water to thin. Or, bring the soup to room temperature and freeze into individual portions and freeze for up to 2 months.
"This is a recipe that I have adapted from my mother-in-law Judy. It goes so well with all meats, including fish, and because most of the ingredients are available year round, it makes the perfect salad for any season."
Time: 10-15 minutes preparation Serves: 4 as a side salad
2 cups kale (approximately 2 large kale leaves) 2 cups cabbage (approximately ⅛ of a large cabbage) 2 spring onions 2 cups of your choice of salad leaves or mesculin – I use microgreens 1 cup herbs – I use mint and coriander 1 medium fennel bulb 2 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds 2 tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds 50g (2oz) feta, crumbled Creamy herb dressing (recipe below)
Note: For presentation, I reserved a small handful of herbs, microgreens and seeds for garnish, and sprinkled these over top after the salad is tossed.
Thinly slice the kale (removing the stem first), cabbage and spring onions, and add these to a large bowl as you go. Roughly chop the salad greens if they are large, leaving microgreens as they are, and chop the herbs. Remove the tough inner core from the fennel, then thinly slice. Add the roasted seeds to the bowl of vegetables and crumble over the feta. Toss well with the dressing recipe below and pile on to a serving platter or bowl.
Creamy herb dressing The perfect green salad dressing for almost any salad. It is also really good over baby new potatoes or served with grilled fish.
Time: 5 minutes preparation Makes: Approx. 1 cup
2 cups of tightly packed mint leaves 1 large lemon – zest and juice 1 clove garlic 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon honey ⅓ cup olive oil
Place all of the ingredients into a blender or small processor with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste to check seasoning. Keeps for up to 4 days in a jar in the fridge.
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