We have been without gas now for a week. The weather is far too unsettled to rely on the barbecue and the ‘hot plate’ that they (the gas people) have given us in the meantime is not capable of boiling a pan of water. This is inconvenient as we received some glorious beets in our veg box this week and I have been itching to make a salad with them.
It occurs to me that this is one of the few times that a microwave may actually be useful and after peeling them and slicing them into thin rounds I plop them into water and let the evil machine do its job. They take around 15 minutes to cook this way, which surprises me as I expect it to just nuke everything in 10 seconds.
This makes a really earthy, sweet/sharp salad which I think will eat brilliantly come rain or shine and, let’s face it, we’ve had both most days this year.
Beetroot with Cumin and Feta
5 medium beetroot
½ a standard block of feta
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
– Peel and slice the beets into 1cm (ish) slices. Cook the beets in boiling water until just tender (or steam, which would probably be nicer).
– Allow the sliced beets to cool and spread on a serving plate.
– Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle over the cumin seeds.
– Crumble over the feta and serve.
We eat the salad with one of my favourite prawn dishes – amended to include some extra veggies out of fear that they will be overlooked due to lack of gas. The original recipe is from Steven Raichlen’s ‘High -flavour Low-fat Italian Cooking’ and it is so scrumptious with some crusty bread and a green salad, it is one of those recipes that you keep coming back to again and again. I haven’t reproduced the recipe as printed as I haven’t used it for years. I basically made it as described here but with a bit more wine, some thinly sliced fennel, broad beans and the finely chopped fennel fronds.
Pan Fried Prawns
Around 14 raw tiger prawns, peeled and de-veined
White wine (a good splash)
A pinch of chilli flakes
3 fat cloves garlic, peeled and given a smash with something heavy
A handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 handfuls cherry tomatoes, halved
– Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a good, sturdy pan (I used my trusty cast iron skillet).
– Add the garlic cloves and fry over a high heat for a minute or so.
– Add the cherry tomato halves along with a pinch of chilli flakes until nicely seared.
– Add a good splash of white wine and allow to bubble for a minute before adding the prawns until cooked through.
– Add the parsley right at the end and serve immediately.
I think that it is essential to have some good, crusty bread to mop up those sumptuous juices – irresistible!