Braised courgettes with tomato, fenugreek, sheep’s cheese and migas from Ben Tish
“I’ve been working with FoodCycle for many years on various projects and i can’t think of a harder working charity that’s in tune with very real and current issues in the UK. I’m a chef so foods at my heart and if I can work with FoodCycle to help raise awareness and educate then it’s a no brainer.”
Prep time 20 mins
Cooking time 25 mins
2 large courgettes, cut in half lengthwise
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
5 sprigs thyme
3 bay leaves
1 tsp fenugreek seeds, soaked in cold water for 20 minutes
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
500g ripe vine tomatoes, quartered
1 tsp caster sugar
2 tsp tomato paste
1 slice day old sourdough bread ripped into small pieces
125g soft sheep’s cheese such as feta
Extra virgin olive oil for cooking
sea salt and black pepper
- Heat a large sauté pan over a medium heat and add a good lug of olive oil. When the oils hot place in the courgettes cut side down and turn the heat down to low. Cook for 4 minutes to caramelise and then add the garlic, thyme, bay and fenugreek. Continue to cook cut side down for 3 minutes and then turn over and cook until the courgettes are just tender.
- Remove everything from the pan onto a plate and reserve. In the same pan add the onions and cook over a medium heat to soften, then add the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar and seasoning and cook the tomatoes for 25 minutes or until broken down into a thick, rich and chunky sauce. Check the seasoning again and reserve.
- Fry the bread pieces in hot olive oil until crisp and golden brown, season and reserve.
- Place the courgettes back in the tomato sauce and reheat slowly over a low heat. Sprinkle over the fried breadcrumbs ad serve with a pot of sheep’s cheese on the side.
Chickpea burger with avocado, hazelnuts and baby spinach from Danilo Cortellini
“FoodCycle is very close to my heart and we share the same values coming from a very humble family where mealtimes were always spent together and where nothing went to waste; over-ripe fruit became marmalade, cheese crusts went into soups, and old eggs became custard. After working for so long in the industry, I’ve seen first-hand the amount of food that’s wasted. What FoodCycle does with waste and surplus food, combining it with volunteers who cater for those often forgotten or isolated, is something which can only be applauded and I have been a passionate supporter since 2016.”
Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Categories: Starter/Main course
For the burgers
300g cooked and drained chickpeas
20g cooked chopped onion
50g spelt flour
100g baby spinach cooked (150g raw baby spinach)
A pinch of salt
For the avocado salsa
200g peeled avocado
10 ml lemon juice
100g tomatoes concassé
Tsp chopped parsley or chives
Salt to taste
- Put 200g of the chickpeas in a food processor with 1 egg and process well until smooth.
- Using a wooden spatula, add the remaining 100g of chickpeas, mustard, a pinch of salt, the caramelized onion and the spelt flour.
- Process well and add the cooked baby spinach roughly chopped.
- Make the burgers a minimum of 100/120g each. You can use a metal cutter to shape them, then place them on a sheet of baking paper, drizzle with olive oil and cook in the oven at 200°C for 6 minutes.
- Flip the burger and cook for three more minutes.
- Mash the avocado with a fork; add a pinch of salt, lemon juice and the tomato concassé. Add a teaspoon of parsley or chives and black pepper to taste.
- Serve every burger with 75/80g of avocado salsa, a few leaves of baby spinach and chopped roasted hazelnuts.
- Serve on a sesame bun or even bunless.
Parsnip Dahl with Pink Pickled Onions from Melissa Hemsley
“FoodCycle team are some of the kindest most caring people I’ve met, they are full of action, enthusiasm and they use their energy, time and everyone’s generous donations to not only provide delicious meals but also training, support, cooking lessons and more”
4 tbsp ghee or oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 large onions, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 thumb ginger, finely grated
400g split red lentils, rinsed
2 large handfuls fresh coriander, leaves and stems finely chopped separately
3 tbsp tomato puree
1 x 400ml tin full fat coconut milk
200g leafy greens, like chard, leaves and stems finely chopped
Yoghurt to serve
For the spice mix:
1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp ground cumin (or 11/2 tbsp cumin seeds, roughly ground)
2 tbsp ground coriander or (1 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds, roughly ground)
2 tbsp black mustard seeds, roughly ground
Pinch chilli flakes or chilli powder
Big pinch sea salt & black pepper
For the pink pickled onions:
2 large red onions, thinly sliced
2 limes, juiced or 4 tbsp vinegar
Big pinch sea salt
2 tsp maple syrup (optional)
- Preheat the oven to fan 220°C/Gas mark 9 and melt 2 tablespoons of the ghee or oil on a large baking tray in the oven.
- Meanwhile, mix the spice mix in a small bowl and slice up three of the parsnips into about 18 wedges, say 5cm × 1.5cm, then toss the parsnip wedges in the oil on the tray with half of the spice mix. Pop in the oven for about 30–35 minutes, tossing halfway through with the maple syrup, until golden and going crispy at the edges.
- In a large pan, fry the onion in the remaining 2 tablespoons of ghee over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, while you get on with everything else.
- Add the remaining half of the spice mix, plus the garlic and ginger and fry for 3 minutes.
- Add the diced parsnips and lentils, the chopped coriander stems and the tomato purée and let fry. After a minute, add the coconut milk, then fill up the tin four times with hot water (1.6 litres) and pour in, stirring well. Pop the lid on, bring to the boil and immediately turn down to a medium heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Stir a few times throughout to make sure the lentils don’t stick. Add more liquid if you think it needs it or if you like your dahl soupier, like I do.
- Meanwhile, scrunch and massage the red onion in a bowl with the lime juice, salt and maple syrup, if using, for 30 seconds, then leave to bathe in the salty lime juice.
- Once the lentils and parsnips in the pan are cooked, add the chopped greens, pop the lid on so they steam for 3-5 minutes until just tender, then taste for seasoning. Serve up each bowl, topped with the roasted parsnips, coriander leaves, pink-pickled onions and their juices and a dollop of yoghurt, if you like.
Summer Green Palav from Cyrus Todiwala
“I’m very conscious of the global scale of starvation & any initiative which tackles this problem can only be a good thing. I’m delighted to help raise awareness of the valuable work of FoodCycle.”
Photography by Matt Russell
1.25 litres water
200g Fresh or frozen broad beans
½ head Broccoli cut into florets and the stalks sliced
2 handfuls Kale chopped
1 large potato diced
100g Fresh or frozen green peas
3 tablespoons oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 Cinnamon stick
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 large dried red chillies chopped
12-15 curry leaves 12–15, preferably fresh, shredded; if using dried, soak in water for 10–12 minutes, and dry thoroughly before shredding
5cm piece fresh ginger peeled and chopped
1 onion, sliced
Coconut flesh from 1/4 coconut
½ tsp ground turmeric
500g basmati rice
- To make the stock for the rice, pour the water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add a little salt and, one by one, blanch the vegetables until cooked but retaining a bit of bite and not soft. Use a slotted spoon to lift each of the vegetables out of the water and transfer to a sieve placed over a bowl. Leave to cool and reserve the water.
- Measure 1 litre (1¾ pints) of the reserved water, topping up with fresh water if there isn’t enough. Pour the cooking water back into the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 130°C/260°F/Gas Mark ¾.
- Heat the oil in a large pot or casserole dish that has a lid and can go in the oven. Add the mustard seeds and cinnamon stick. As soon as the mustard seeds crackle, add the cumin seeds and red chilli and, after a few seconds, the curry leaves, ginger and onion.
- As soon as the onion turns soft, about 3–4 minutes, add the sliced coconut and the turmeric and sauté for a couple of minutes until the coconut starts to change colour slightly around the edges.
- Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Check the seasoning and add more salt if needed. Pour in the rice and stir gently with a flat wooden spatula to prevent it from sticking to the bottom. Cook for 5–6 minutes, until the water is nearly absorbed. Stir in the vegetables, cover the pot and place in the oven.
- Cook for 15 minutes or so, then turn the oven off and leave the palav in the oven for another 10–12 minutes. Remove and mix together gently. Check the rice to make sure that it is cooked and is not too hard.
- Serve the rice immediately with some daal or yogurt or even on its own.
The recipe is from Simple Spice: Vegetarian by Cyrus Todiwala is published by Mitchell Beazley £20.00, www.octopusbooks.co.uk