Tag Archives: blue cheese

This is a story of beetroot meets caramel

My next holiday cooking project comes from my new absolute favourite cookbook, Treats from Little and Friday. Little and Friday is a legendary bakery set up by Kim Evans. If the recipes in her book are anything to go by, she is a fairy with mystical culinary powers. The recipes are absolutely mouthwatering and have great step by step instructions. The photographs are divine and the book itself is so pretty i’m scared of bringing it into the kitchen! I was lucky enough to be given this book for my birthday and have been obsessed with it ever since.

Seeing as I had a large amount of time on my hands today, I tried making a caramelised beetroot and blue cheese tart from the above cookbook. I made pastry, caramelised beetroot and put it together in a quiche form.

I need to take a second to talk about caramelized beetroot. Let us all pause with solemn faces.

Now, I love beetroot in any way shape or form and thought caramelized beetroot, yeah, cool.

OH MY LORD CARAMELIZED BEETROOT IS THE BEST THING PERHAPS EVER

Seriously, seriously!! I did not think beetroot could get any better, oh how I was wrong and foolish to think so.

Plus it’s seriously amazing with some creamy blue cheese. Oh what? Yeah, hi it’s Claire’s palate and I have matured. Yeah who would have though I would delight so much in blue cheese? Not me.

It’s cool, I’ll give you the recipe, ain’t no thang… but I plead with you, make this and prepare to be amazed.

 

Caramelized Beetroot Recipe from Treats from Little and Friday by Kim Evans

6 big-ish beetroot

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

3 Tbsp brown sugar

Preheat oven to 180°C. Give the beetroot a quick scrub, then chop off the tops and bottoms and chop each into 6-8 wedges. Pop them into a large saucepan and cover with water, adding a good pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and boil for 10 mins.

Drain the beetroot, reserving 2 cups of the cooking water. Place the beetroot in a roasting pan, spread them out and pour the reserved cooking water and balsamic vinegar on top and sprinkle the brown sugar over them.

Pop into the oven and cook for 10 mins. Baste and return to the oven, removing to check and baste every 10 mins (mine took about 40 mins all up). The beetroot are ready when they look gooey and sticky and the liquid is reduced.

I used most of the beetroot in a tart with blue cheese and baby spinach (oh yeah, I made the pastry too, just casually, cos I’m on holiday and I can). What’s more is that I have some leftover which I shall be enjoying with leftover blue cheese mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

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Gnocchi with leeks, blue cheese and walnuts

My apologies for the long time between posts, things have gotten a little hectic. This has mostly been due to the fact that my laptop was stolen a few weeks ago, from my flat, while I was in it. Pretty terrifying. I was in the shower and came out and my laptop was gone. This has been endlessly frustrating meaning that I have not had a computer to use for study or research etc etc. and that there have been very fitful nights’ sleep, which all up contributes to a state bordering on meltdown most of the time.

A dish for times like this is gnocchi. These little potato dumplings give you a warm hug and make you feel like things are going to be ok. And cheese, cheese just screams comfort whether it be a cheese toastie, Mum’s macaroni and cheese or cheese scones with a cup of strong tea. I haven’t been a blue cheese fan for very long, something about that pungent taste and the fact that it contained blue bits really put me off. I am starting to be converted though and feel rather proud that I voluntarily included it in a dish.

Gnocchi with leeks, blue cheese and walnuts Adapted from Cuisine Magazine Issue #152

Serves 4

2 tbsp oil

1 leek, cleaned and roughly sliced

1 packet of gnocchi

a good handful of walnuts

about 100-150g blue cheese (any kind you want, pick your fave)

2-3 handfuls of baby spinach

Put a large pan of water on to boil, when it comes to the boil, add plenty of salt. While you are waiting for the water, heat your oil over a medium heat, add leek with a pinch of salt and cook slowly, stirring every so often to get leeks that are soft and melt in your mouth. When the water has boiled, throw in your gnocchi and catch them with a slotted spoon and immediately put them in the pan with your leeks. Add walnuts, blue cheese and spinach to the leeks and gnocchi and mix until the cheese has gone all melty.

Oh yeah, use a big pan when you’re cooking the leeks… I use my big, non-stick wok with a flat base. Yeah, a wok, I pretty much use it for everything, seriously one of the best things I have ever purchased… pasta sauces, stir fries (duh), curries… You name it, I would try and cook it in my wok!

 

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