Tag Archive for: mint

Slaw Food Movement

I’m picking up the slaw baton from Miss South, after last week’s delicious-sounding fennel slaw. Coincidentally I was busy making kohlrabi slaw here in the Pennines at the same time.

I’d clocked the distinctive and slightly alien shapes of kohlrabi last year when I was in Hungary, pottering around the markets. I knew what they were, but wasn’t sure I’d ever tasted them.

Here at North/South Food we’re both well-known for our love of all things brassica –  from roots like turnips; leaves like cabbage and kale; and flowers to cauliflower and broccoli – so of course I was keen to add these swollen stems to our checklist of brassica we’ve known and loved.

To my mind there’s something very mittel European about these light green orbs, so it was fitting I was introduced to their flavour by a friend who’d lived in Germany for many years, and had picked up a taste for them when she out there. This was one half of the dynamic duo behind Porcus, our local free-range pork producers (and general self-sufficiency experts).

We had some kohlrabi to accompany a fantastic spread of roast pork and other goodies, as part of a medley of vegetables, but while this was being prepared I was given a chance to sample a slice of the raw kohlrabi. It had a crisp and crunchy texture, and a ‘bright’ and fresh flavour, a little like celeriac with a hint of apple and a pinch of nuttiness. Very nice it was too.

So when I was given a couple of kohlrabi and some radishes, all freshly picked from their hilltop garden, I felt it was worth making the most of this flavour and texture. In the spirit of all things summer I knocked up a quick. light, refreshing slaw to accompany some other salad-y goodies.

I started by peeling and slicing a kohlrabi stem, before julienning it.

I did the same with a carrot, then grated the radishes (don’t you love the form and colour of grated radish?).

These were all combined with a wholegrain mustard mayonnaise (Hellmanns, rather than anything made by my own fair hand… I was far too hungry to go through all that palaver)

Finally, in what proved to be a mildly inspired flourish, I added some sliced chives and a few mint leaves from my windowboxes. These added a touch of clean coolness to the dish which really played off the other ingredients.

A few minutes later I was sitting in the sunlight, eating hardboiled sliced duck eggs, some tomato & feta salad, and a massive dollop of the coarse-cut kohlrabi-slaw. Gorgeous. Kohlrabi’s not terribly well-known in the UK, but it you spot some at a farmer’s market, or if you fancy growing some yourself, I think it may become a firm favourite for you. It’s certainly got a place in my kitchen any time…

Grapefruit, Pimm’s and Mint Sorbet

I’ve been living in England for the last ten years, and yet I still wouldn’t consider myself at all English. The Veda-loving Norn Irish in me remains predominant and I haven’t kicked my spud obsession at all, but other tastes from this green and pleasant land have filtered through to become well loved and often craved. Buttered crumpets, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, lashings of proper gravy, potted shrimp all make me very happy indeed. But my favourite English flavour is Pimm’s

Just perfect on a warm and sunny afternoon, dappled with refreshing cucumber, mint, strawberries and borage flowers, a jug of Pimm’s has replaced my previous refresher of gin and grapefruit juice as the taste of summer. Knowing the weather for the Royal Weather wouldn’t be just as glorious for sitting out as the previous glorious Easter weekend, I decided to bring some sunshine back to my life and toast the nuptials with a recipe for a Grapefruit, Pimm’s and mint sorbet and combine my favourite sunny flavours in a style suitable for an 11am start.

I have had this recipe knocking around for years, copied carefully into my handwritten recipe book from a magazine or paper, but with no evidence remaining of where it came from, but a major reason why I recently bought my ice cream maker. And I was delighted to see that it was worth the wait!

Buying the machine was the faffiest bit of the whole recipe really. Simply dissolve 100g of caster sugar in 150ml Pimm’s, around 300 ml of fresh grapefruit juice (this is around 3 large fruit) and 125ml of water. Cool the syrup in the fridge, adding in around 10 finely chopped leaves of mint. Then simply pop it all in the machine, adding a well whipped egg white and churn for around 30 minutes until you have a pale golden sorbet the texture of snow. Serve immediately or freeze until needed. It scoops perfectly from the freezer without needing to be thawed at all.

Super refreshing, the sorbet has a lovely sweet taste of Pimm’s on first taste, before you get a gorgeously tangy and incredibly refreshing grapefruit hit that works just beautifully with that quintessentially English of tastes. The mint comes through as a aftertaste, marrying the grapefruit and Pimm’s perfectly. Cleansing, refreshing and with a subtle kick from the Pimm’s, this is the most grown up way to cool down this summer. Bottoms up!