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Entries in lemon (63)


baked ricotta with bee pollen

i was admonished by a friend recently – she came for supper "aaaages ago" and i promised i’d blog the starter we had – anna hansen’s baked ricotta and bee pollen cakes with honey and lemon dressing – but haven’t. so this post comes with an air of guilt, both for making julia wait but also because it’s an interesting and delicious dish and well worth trying if, like me, you’re curious about bee pollen.

the only trickiness with this recipe was tracking down bee pollen – a couple health food shops seem to sell a powdered version but the granules i saw in the picture in the modern pantry cookery book were more elusive. in the end i managed to get them from wholefoods (the piccadilly store in london).

i’d never had bee pollen before and it’s an interesting flavour – much greater depth than honey, an initial sweetness but then a floral and slightly spicy flavour. the jar recommends sprinkling it on muesli or honey on toast. apparently there are also great health benefits associated with bee pollen.

as for anna hansen’s recipe, it was delicious - creamy and light, slightly crunchy from the pollen, and lifted by the dressing and contrasting bitterness of the chicory and olives. it also kept well – i had a few leftover portions which i baked a couple of days later and they were just as good.

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ofm top twenty: tarta de santiago


i love almond cakes and so i was delighted to see claudia roden’s tarta de santiago as part of the ofm top twenty.  according to roden, “this is a splendid cake which is normally made in a wide cake or tart tin and comes out low, but it is equally good as a thicker cake. i have eaten almond cakes in other parts of spain but this one is special. pilgrims and tourists who visit the great cathedral of santiago de compostela in galicia, where the relics of the apostle saint james are believed to be buried, see the cake in all the windows of every pastry shop and restaurant, decorated with the shape of the cross of the order of santiago.”

so, how did i get on?

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ofm top twenty: broad bean, mint and ricotta bruschette

i’ve had this polpo recipe for broad bean, mint and ricotta bruschette on my “to make” list for ages so it was great to see it in the ofm top twenty, as that gave me the necessary nudge.

my expectations were high – summer flavours, easy food and quick to pull together. so, how did i get on?

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ofm top twenty: courgette, feta, pea and mint flatbreads


this allegra mcevedy recipe, which is part of the ofm top twenty , is described as a good option for lunch, or even a packed lunch. easy cooking and easy eating, apparently. i made them for brunch today and think they would be good at any time of day. not that the recipe was perfect, that would be too easy!

so, how did i get on?

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halloumi, fennel, asparagus and potato salad

as i mentioned recently, i’ve fallen in love with anna hansen’s lemon, fennel and halloumi bruschetta. the things which really makes this dish stand out for me are the layers aniseed flavours (fresh fennel and fennel seeds), the layers of caramelised flavours (the fennel and the strips of lemon zest both caramelise as they cook), the endlessly wonderful squeaky creaminess of the halloumi and the hit of citrus from the lemon.

so, when i saw hugh fearnley whittingstall’s recipe for potatoes, asparagus and halloumi which also uses lemon, i decided to combine the two, thinking that the potatoes could be used in place of the bruschetta bread. the result was fabulous, both eaten warm and as leftovers the following day.

to make this i cut my potatoes into bite size pieces, tossed them olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and then roasted them 180c for 10 minutes. while they were cooking i mixed together pieces of fennel (cut each bulb into 10 wedges), lemon zest (peel this off and then cut into matchsticks), lemon juice, fennel seeds and a bit more olive oil, salt and pepper. this was added to the potatoes after they’d been in the oven for ten minutes, mixed together and covered with foil. after 20 minutes roasting i added my asparagus and cubes of halloumi. another stir to mix the flavours and a final ten minutes in the oven uncovered.

i finished the dish with crispy capers (drain, dry and shallow fry in olive oil) and a squeeze of fresh lemon. i meant to add some parsley, as suggested in hfw’s recipe, but forgot and i don’t think it was missed at all.