Gnocchi with pea pesto, asparagus & watercress 

Gnocchi with pea pesto and watercress
Gnocchi with pea pesto and watercress
Gnocchi with pea pesto and watercress

I haven’t really had much time for gnocchi in the past, as it tends to be one of those dishes that gets thrust upon me in restaurants. Squidgy gummy potatoes laden with blue cheese sauce? Er, no thank you, Mr Carluccio.
But perhaps I’m being a bit judgemental. After all, what’s not to like about a little potato dumpling? Perhaps my beef was never with the dumpling at all, but with the heavy cheese sauce – it was simply too rich and bad-dream-inducing.
However, I decided to push aside my reservations and give gnocchi another chance, so off I trotted to Tesco to buy a lovely fresh packet – please don’t expect me to make it from scratch, I’ve tried and it was a messy, unmitigated disaster. I did however make this rather springy pea pesto to go with it which was very tasty and can be in your belly within fifteen minutes. It’s official, gnocchi and I are friends again.


Gnocchi with pea pesto, asparagus & watercress 
Serves 2 / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 20 mins / V Vn*
You’ll need: A food processor or blender
Handful fresh mint leaves
2 tbs pine nuts
½ a lemon
200g frozen garden peas
30g vegetarian Italian hard cheese or Parmesan* grated plus extra for serving (optional)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 tbs Pomora lemon extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp sea salt flakes
300g fresh gnocchi 
125g asparagus, woody ends removed and cut into thirds
Handful cherry tomatoes, halved
2 handfuls watercress


*Make it vegan: Vegan gnocchi is relatively easy to find but always check the label just in case. The pesto is tastes just as delicious without Parmesan so simply leave it out.


Tip: This recipe makes enough pesto for 4 servings. Any remaining pesto can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze on the day of making.
Tip: This pesto also works well with pasta if you’re not a gnocchi fan.


Method
1. ​Start by boiling a kettle and put your frozen peas in a sieve. Pour the boiling water over the frozen peas to thaw them a bit and put to one side. Fill the kettle again and boil – you’ll need this for the gnocchi and asparagus later.
2. To make the pesto pour the peas into a food processor along with the chopped garlic, lemon juice, pine nuts, grated cheese, mint leaves and salt. Blitz for about a minute before adding the extra virgin olive oil and blitzing again until you have a smooth paste.
3. Pour the boiled kettle into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the chopped asparagus spears and cook for 2 minutes before adding the gnocchi and cooking for 2-3 mins (check packet instructions). Drain and pour back into the saucepan and stir in half of the pesto and the tomato halves. Serve immediately on a bed of watercress topped with a sprinkle of cheese, a drizzle of olive oil and a crack of black pepper.

Gnocchi with pea pesto and watercress
Gnocchi with pea pesto and watercress

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V– Vegetarian     Vn – Forgo the Parmesan and use vegan gnocchi
❄ The pesto is suitable for home freezing in an airtight container. Consume within 3 months.
*Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiani) is always made using animal rennet, therefore it is not vegetarian. Substitute for Italian hard cheese if applicable.



Smoked paprika rosti with asparagus

Smoked paprika rosti with asparagus
Smoked paprika rosti with asparagus
Smoked paprika rosti with asparagus

The last time I made a rosti was in a home economics lesson at school when I was nine. I wasn’t such a fan of cooking back then, partly due to this particular rosti-making experience. I added far too much oil and heat to my pan, resulting in my rosti spitting hot oil at me like an angry llama. The results were abysmal, my arms were flecked with burns and my rosti scorched on the outside and raw in the middle.
Well, not this time, you rosti bastard – this time I will win and you will lose and I will spit on your arms. How do you like that? Anyway, turns out that rostis are pretty easy to make, and I was clearly a young fool with a rubbish home economics teacher.


Smoked paprika rosti with asparagus 
Serves 1 / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 25 mins / V Gf Df
You’ll need: A small, non-stick, frying pan
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 large baking potato (300g) peeled and grated
½ small red onion, peeled and grated
½ tsp smoked paprika
Pinch of chilli flakes
2 eggs – one yolk for the rosti and one egg for poaching
Handful of asparagus


Method
1. Combine the grated potato, red onion in a bowl and give it a good stir. Tip out onto a clean tea-towel before gathering up the corners and squeezing out the excess moisture. Once squeezed, discard the water and pop back in the bowl. Add the chilli flakes, smoked paprika, egg yolk and season well with salt and pepper before giving it a good stir. Put to one side.
2. Fill a small saucepan three-quarters of the way up with boiling water and put on a medium heat to simmer (bear in mind this saucepan needs to be big enough for the asparagus and a poached egg). Trim your asparagus to the appropriate size for your pan and crack the egg into a small teacup or ramekin. Put to one side.
3. In a small non-stick frying pan over a medium to high heat, add a teaspoon of rapeseed oil. Once hot, tip your rosti mixture into the centre and then using the back of a spoon, spread it out to the edges by pushing gently down on it. Leave to sizzle for around 5 minutes. To help flip the rosti without breaking it, I use a plate. Simply place a large plate over the frying pan and carefully turn the frying pan upside down, transferring the rosti to the plate. Return the frying pan to the heat before easily sliding the uncooked side of the rosti into the frying pan from the plate.
4. Cook the other side of the rosti for around 5 more minutes whilst you boil the asparagus and cook the egg. In the simmering water, slowly tip your egg out from a teacup or ramekin. Give it few seconds to settle before carefully adding the asparagus to cook next to it for around 2-3 minutes, before removing carefully with a slotted spoon.
5. Slide your rosti onto a plate and top with the boiled asparagus and soft poached egg. Season with salt and pepper and devour.

Smoked paprika rosti with asparagus
Smoked paprika rosti with asparagus

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V– Vegetarian    Gf– Gluten free    Df– Dairy free    – Once cooked and cooled, the rosti is suitable for home freezing for up to 3 months.



Asparagus, pea & goats cheese risotto

Asparagus, pea and goats cheese risotto Final
Asparagus, pea and goats cheese risotto Final
Asparagus, pea and goats cheese risotto

It may have escaped your attention, but I have well over 150 recipes on this blog, and not one of those recipes is a risotto. Even just the word fills me with a despair, one which can only be trumped by the even-more-disappointing ‘stuffed pepper’. There’s nothing worse than a pepper stuffed with whatever scraps the restaurant chef can find – which, more often than not, is last night’s vegetarian option: risotto. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Don’t get me wrong, a risotto can be a wonderful thing – but frankly, it rarely is. It’s the lazy vegetarian option that graces pub menus throughout the land, and has been given all the love and attention of some over-steamed veg at a carvary.

On a few occasions (and I know this sounds silly), I’ve been close to tears when I’ve looked up from my sickie bowl of stodge to see plates piled high with tender-looking roast beef, golden Yorkshire puddings, glazed carrots, crispy roast potatoes and glossy gravy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I want to eat my boyfriend’s roast dinner, I just crave the same love and attention that went into making his meal. And, in my experience (and I’ve eaten a lot of risotto), that is rarely the case… Until recently.

After a day of exploring the Derbyshire countryside and eating our weight in Bakewell pudding, my boyfriend and I booked a table at The Manners in Bakewell. Starving, my eyes quickly devoured the menu only to fall upon the word I had been hoping not to see: ‘risotto’. My heart sank, and so did Jamie’s (he knows how upset risotto makes me).
“Maybe there’s a special on?” he said apologetically, turning in his chair to look for a board.
“There isn’t,” I replied glumly, looking at the starters to see if one could double up as a main. “They have a burrata salad – maybe I could have that with chips or something?” I added weakly, but Jamie could see my disappointment.
“Why don’t you just try the risotto?” he suggested tentatively.
“Why don’t you try it?!” I snapped accidentally, and instantly regretted it.
“Fine!” he hit back. “Let’s just go somewhere else – forget the fact we’ve been waiting an hour at the bar for this table and it’s almost nine o’clock.”
“Are you ready to order?” the kindly waiter interrupted. He had suddenly appeared by my side, pen poised and expectant look on his face.
“Er, yeah, sorry – I’ll have the burrata and the risotto,” I smiled weakly.

It. Was. Delicious. A creamy, dreamy bowl of perfectly cooked rice with bursts of fresh pea, asparagus and dill. With every mouthful, I discovered pockets of tangy goats cheese rind as well as subtle notes of lemon. Before I know it, Jamie had abandoned his meal and we are both digging into mine – and I didn’t mind one bit. For the first time in living memory, a pub risotto was finally worthy of centre stage. So I did something I thought I would never do – a risotto recipe. Pigs have flown. Enjoy!


Asparagus, pea and goats cheese risotto
Serves 4 / Hands on Time 1 hr 10 mins / Total time 1 hr 10 mins / Gf 
200g asparagus
1 onion, finely chopped
30g unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
200g risotto rice
150ml vegetarian white wine
800ml vegetable stock, I use Knorr stock pots
200g frozen peas
40g vegetarian Italian hard cheese or *Parmesan
100g vegetarain goats cheese with rind, roughly chopped
Handful of fresh dill, chopped
½ lemon, juice and zest

Method
1. Discard the woody ends of the asparagus spears, chop in half and submerge in a small saucepan of boiling water. Cook for 4 minutes before draining and putting to one side.
2. Prepare all of the other ingredients, making risotto is pretty hands on so you want everything ready and to hand while cooking. Measure out, chop and grate everything you are going to need. Once the asparagus has cooled slightly, chop into chunks and put to one side with other ingredients.
3. In a large non stick pot, or saucepan with a lid, add the butter and sweat the onions down, on a low heat for around 10 minutes, with the lid on. Add the crushed garlic and continue to cook for a further few more minutes. Add the risotto rice and coat well in the buttery onion mixture before upping the heat to high. Stir continually for 3 minutes until the rice goes slightly translucent at the edges. Add all of the wine (it should fizz) and cook until the wine has absorbed.
4. Turn the heat down to medium and add a ladle of stock, stir until absorbed. Continue to add a ladle of stock one at a time and cook until each addition has been absorbed. Once all the stock has been incorporated, take off the heat.
5. Add the asparagus, peas, lemon juice, lemon zest, fresh dill, Italian hard cheese and the goats cheese. Mix well and cover with a lid and leave for 5 minutes. Finally uncover, season with salt and pepper and serve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

Asparagus, pea and goats cheese risotto Final
Asparagus, pea and goats cheese risotto

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


Gf– Gluten free   ❄ Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.
*Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiani) is always made using animal rennet, therefore it is not vegetarian. Substitute for Italian hard cheese if applicable.



Asparagus, goats cheese & lemon tart

Asparagus, goats cheese & lemon tart
Asparagus, goats cheese & lemon tart

Let’s say goodbye to this bitterly cold Game of Thrones weather and hello to spring.
“Hello spring!”‘
To celebrate, I’ve created this rather zingy lemon and goats cheese tart for you to roll up, stuff in your mouth and swallow whole like a goose… Or not, each to their own.


Asparagus, goats cheese & lemon tart
Serves 4 / Hands on time 10 mins / Total time 30 mins /
320g ready rolled puff pastry, trimmed to fit a 32cm baking tray
100g vegetarian soft goats cheese
Juice and zest of half a lemon
15g vegetarian Italian hard cheese or Parmesan, grated
2 tbs plain or Greek yogurt
230g bunch of Asparagus
Pomora extra virgin lemon oil


Method
1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Line a baking tray with baking paper and roll out the puff pastry. Trim the pastry to fit your baking tray and lie it on top of the baking paper directly on the tray. Using a sharp knife, lightly score a rectangle roughly 1 finger-width from the edge, then put to one side.
2. Using a fork, combine the soft goats cheese, yogurt, Italian hard cheese, lemon zest and lemon juice in a bowl until you have a thick but spreadable paste. Spoon out into the middle of your pastry. Using a butter knife evenely spread the mixture out to the scored edge being careful not to go over the line.
3. Arrange the asparagus on top of the goats cheese before seasoning with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the edges of the tart turn golden brown.
4. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for five minutes before brushing the asparagus with lemon extra virgin olive oil. Serve warm with a mixed leaf salad.

Asparagus, goats cheese & lemon tart
Asparagus, goats cheese & lemon tart

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


* Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiani) is always made using animal rennet, therefore it is not vegetarian. Substitute for Italian hard cheese if applicable.



Asparagus, pea & mint breakfast frittatas

Asparagus, Pea & Mint breakfast Frittatas
Asparagus, Pea & Mint breakfast Frittatas

Oh dear, it just occurred to me that I’m going on holiday in two weeks and I’m a bit soft around the edges (in other words, I look like a big fat pig). So in a desperate bid to firm up my wobbly bits, I downloaded a 10K running app on my phone. It’s been going well so far but I have noticed more baked goods making their way to my mouth more than usual. Running very slowly for 20 minutes without being sick surely deserves a croissant right?… Right guys?
Okay well it has to stop because it’s clearly not working and I’m going to be in a bikini (shudder) in less than a month, so goodbye buttery baked goods, I love you. Insert crying face here. Speaking of crying faces, here’s a disturbing video of a fully grown man crying like a baby, you’ll love it, it’s horrible (click here).
So, to kick my terrible pastry addiction I’m swapping croissants for mini frittata muffin. You can put whatever vegetables you want in them so they’re very easy to put together. I opted for asparagus, mint, peas and a few other bits I found in my fridge but like I said, you can use any old veg you have lying around. Just remember to make the mixture 50% egg to 50% veg and you won’t go wrong.


Asparagus pea & mint breakfast frittatas
Makes 6 large / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 45 minutes / V Gf 
You’ll need:
Large muffin tin
Spray rapeseed oil
2 handfuls frozen peas
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, cut into 6 slices
125g asparagus, woody ends removed
Handful fresh mint, chopped
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
40g vegetarian Italian hard cheese or Parmesan*, grated
8 medium eggs


TIP: If you don’t own a muffin tin don’t fret, you can use a cupcake tin and make mini frittatas, just bear in mind they may not take as long to cook.


Method
1. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°fan/400°F/gas mark 6 and spray a large  six case muffin tin with oil (I know I used muffin cases in my pictures but I wish I hadn’t, the paper got stuck to the frittatas).
2. In a large bowl whisk the eggs and add a generous pinch of salt and pepper.. Add the finely chopped spring onions, 2 handfuls of frozen peas, fresh mint, fresh parsley and most of the cheese (save a little to sprinkle on top of your frittatas later).
3. Remove the woody ends of the asparagus and discard before picking 6 of the finest looking spears. Trim these to roughly 2 inches and pop one in each of your muffin holes. Roughly chop the rest of the asparagus and add it to the egg mixture.
4. Slice the tomatoes until you have 6 pretty slices and put to one side. Spoon your mixture into your muffin tin evenly and top with a tomato slice, a sprinkle of cheese and a last season of salt and pepper. Bake in an oven for 25 minutes or until springy to the touch and the egg is cooked through.
5. Allow to cool in the tray for 5 minutes before carefully removing by scoring around the edges with a knife and lifting them out. Serve immediately warm or cool fully on a cooling rack. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge and keep for up to 3-4 days. Microwave them on high for 30 seconds if you’re having them for breakfast or enjoy them cold like a mini quiche.

Asparagus, Pea & Mint breakfast Frittatas
Asparagus, Pea & Mint breakfast Frittatas

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V– Vegetarian       Gf – Gluten free


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