Chilean coriander salsa – Pebre

This recipe was recommended to me by a customer – thanks Margaret. It is delicious as a dip for tortilla chips or crusty bread or served on baked potato, with salad, cold meats or pasta. You can make it as spicy or mild as you like.

Pebre – Chilean coriander salsa
• 1 medium minced onion (or 3 scallions)
• 1 large handful of finely chopped
fresh coriander (approx 100g)
• 4 medium tomatoes, chopped
• 2 tablespoons tabasco sauce or chopped dried chilli
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 tablespoon white vinegar
• 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (or lemon)
• 2 garlic cloves (pressed or minced)
• salt (to taste)
• pepper (to taste)

Read more:

Winter Vegetable Gratin

From: “Long Nights and Log Fires,” Ryland, Peters & Small 2009.

Serves 6

200 g celeriac, peeled and cut into 3-cm pieces
1 carrot, peeled and cut into rounds
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into semi-circles
1 small swede, peeled and cut into chunks
2 potatoes, cut into 3-cm pieces
250 ml single cream
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon mustard powder
50 g fresh rye or brown breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons marjoram leaves
25 g butter, melted
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

A shallow ovenproof dish, buttered

Preheat the oven to 180°C (Gas 4).

Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the celeriac, carrot, parsnip, swede, and potatoes. Cook for 10 minutes, drain well, and transfer to a large bowl.

Put the cream, garlic, and mustard powder in a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes until the mixture is thick and coats the back of a spoon. Season to taste and pour over the vegetables. Spoon the vegetables into the prepared baking dish.

Put the breadcrumbs, parmesan, and marjoram in a bowl and mix to combine. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the vegetables and drizzle melted butter over the top.

Cook in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are golden and the mixture around the edge of the baking dish has formed a golden crust. Serve warm, not hot, as a vegetarian main dish or as a side dish with any roast meat.

Trio of Vegetable Dips

Trio of Vegetable Dips
From: “Long Nights and Log Fires,” Ryland, Peters & Small 2009.

Choose one, two, or all three and serve with your favorite crackers or toasts. Serves 6-8.

Roasted Parsnip and Garlic Dip

25 g chilled butter, cubed
90 ml double cream
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
500 g parsnips, peeled and sliced
1 garlic bulb, cut in half

Preheat oven to 180°C (Gas 4). Lightly butter a small baking dish. Put the cream in a bowl and add the salt and pepper. Put the parsnips in the dish with the garlic. Pour the cream over the top, cover with foil, and cook in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove the garlic and let cool. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic directly into the bowl of a blender and discard the skin. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Transfer to a dish and cover until ready to serve.

Beetroot and Caraway Dip

3 medium beetroots, uncooked
1 tablespoon horseradish sauce
90 g sour cream
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
Sea salt and white pepper

Put the beetroots in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and let boil for 45-50 minutes, until tender and easily pierced with a skewer. Drain and let cool. When cool enough to handle, peel and discard the skins. Roughly chop and put in a blender with the other ingredients and process until smooth. Season to taste, transfer to a dish and cover until ready to serve.

Spiced Carrot Dip

250 ml vegetable stock
4 medium carrots, chopped
2 tablespoons light olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large red chilli, chopped
1 teasppon fenugreek seeds
1teaspoon ground cumin
Sea salt and white pepper

Put the stock in a saucepan, add the carrots, oil, onion, and garlic and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until almost all the liquid has evaporated and the carrots are soft. Add the chilli, fenugreek, and cumin and cook for 2 minutes. Put in a blender and process until blended but with a rough texture. Season to taste, transfer to a dish and cover until ready to serve.

Carrot, apple & orange coleslaw

This is a fruity version of the traditional coleslaw. Great for children and a nice start to Spring. Taken from ‘5 a day fruit & veg book’ from Hermes House.

500g carrots, finely grated
2 eating apples,
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 large orange
3 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp sunflower oil
1 garlic clove crushed
4 tbsp natural yoghurt
1 tbpsp chopped fresh herbs – parsley, chives, dill
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

1. Put the carrots in a large serving bowl. Quarter the apples, remove the core, then slice thinly. Sprinkle with the lemon juice to stop discolouration then add to the carrots.

2. Using a sharp knife, remove the peel and pith from the orange and then separate into segments.

3. To make the dressing, place all the ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously to emulsify.

4. Just before serving pour the dressing over the salad and toss together well.

Country Vegetable Soup/La Ribollita

From ‘The Glorious Soups & Stews of Italy’ by Domenica Marchetti.
‘This Tuscan specialty is two soups in one, a colourful, chunky vegetable soup, and when reheated with bread added to the mix, a classic peasant dish known as ‘La Ribollita”.

For the beans:
250g dried white beans suchas as cannellini, sokaed overnight in water to cover
1 onion, quartered
1 clove garlic, lightly crushed with the flat side of a knife blade
3 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley
Sea salt
For the soup:
3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 stick celery, trimmed and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally
2 potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded (about 250g)
250g kale (red russian, curly or cavalo nero)
200g beet greens (chard or spinach)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the ribollita:
6 slices crusty white bread, cut 1/2 inch thick
1 to 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
Extra best quality oil to serve

To make the beans:
Drain the beans and put them in a large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, parsley and water. Bring to a boil over a medium heat. Skim off any foam that develops. Reducet he heat as needed to simmer and cook, uncovered for about 2 hours, until the beans are tender. Add salt to taste during the last 10 mins. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 mins.

Remove the onion, garlic and parsley. In a blender puree half of the beans with some of the cooking liquid.

For the soup:
In a large heavy bottomed saucepan with a lid, heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onion, celery and garlic. Saute until veg have begun to soften. Add carrots, potatoes, cabbage, kale and green and stir to combine well. Stir in the pureed tomatoes, season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, until the greens have begun to wilt and soften.

Add the whole and pureed beans along with any remaining cooking liquid. Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 45 mins or until the veg are completely tender and the soup has thickened. Add water if it seems too thick. Serve with grated parmesan, or cool and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

To make ‘la ribollita’:
Heat the oven to 180c. Arrange the bread slices onto a baking tray and toast lightly in the oven for 15 – 20 mins. Allow to cool.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan heat 1-2 tbsp oil. Tear up 2 slices of the bread and place them in the bottom of the pan. Ladle 1/3 of the soup over the bread. Repeat this twice, finishing with a layer of the soup. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer, stirring gently from time to time until heated through. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Ladle the ribollita into shallow bowls and drizzle each with best quality olive oil, or top with grated parmesan.

Parsnips & chickpeas in garlic, onion, chilli & ginger paste

From farmer’s market round the seasons cookbook

A warming combination of root, protein and spices that will wake your tastebuds for Spring

200g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained (or a tin if you don’t have time)
7 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, chopped
2in piece fresh root ginger, chopped
2 chillies, seeded and finely chopped (or a pinch of cayenne pepper)
450ml plus 75ml water
4 tbsp sunflower or rapeseed oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground tumeric
½ to 1 tsp chilli powder or mild paprika
50g cashew nuts, toasted and chopped
250g tomatoes, chopped
900g parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tsp ground cumin
Juice of one lemon or lime
Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper

To serve
Fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
A handful of cashew nuts, toasted
Natural yoghurt
Naan bread , chappatis or crusty bread – sliced

1. Put the soaked chickpeas in a pan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Boil vigorously for 10 mins, then reduce heat to a rolling boil. Cook for 1- 1.5 hours, or until chickpeas are tender – top up water if necessary. Drain and set aside.

2. Set 2 tsp of the chopped garlic aside, and put the rest into a food processor with the ginger, onion, and half the chopped chillis. Add 75ml water and process to a smooth paste.

3. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the cumin seeds for 30 seconds. Stir in the ground coriander, turmeric, chilli powder and the ground cashew nuts. Add the ginger paste and cook, stirring frequently, until the water begins to evaporate. Add the tomatoes and stir-fry for 2-3 mins.

4. Mix in the cooked chickpeas and parsnip chunks with the 450ml water, a little salt and plenty of black pepper. Bring to the boil, stir, then simmer, uncovered, for 15-20mins until the parsnips are completely tender.

5. Reduce the liquid if necessary, by bringing the sauce to the boil and boiling until the sauce has thickened – ensuring that it doesn’t stick to the pan. Add the ground cumin with salt and lemon/lime juice to taste. Stir in the reserved garlic and green chilli/cayenne and cook for a further 1-2 mins. Scatter the fresh coriander leaves and toasted cashew nuts over and serve straight away with yoghurt and warmed naan bread, chapattis or sliced crusty bread. This dish could also be served with rice.

Carrot, tomato & Orange soup

This soup was in this week’s Sunday Independent, under the title ‘Hello Sunshine’. I made it today – all in the house loved it. Definitely a sunny and warming comfort soup.


40g butter
1 tbsp olive or sunflower oil
1 medium onion, chopped
500g carrots, peeled & chopped
200g potatoes, peeled & chopped
2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground cumin
900ml chicken stock
400g chopped tomatoes (tinned are fine at this time of year)
Juice of 2 oranges (3 if you prefer)
3 tbsps chopped chives
200ml creme fraiche – or use cream to finish

1. Put butter & oil into a heavy pan. Add chopped onion and saute without browning. Add chopped carrots, potatoes and celery.
2. Season with salt & pepper. Add sugar and cook very gently with lid on to sweat the veg for about 5 mins. Stir occasionally.
3. Stir in the cumin, chicken stock and chopped tomatoes. Bring to the boil, lower heat and cover the pan with a lid.
Cook until the veg are tender, about 20-30 mins.
4. Blitz the soup in a blender and return to the pan.
5. Add the orange juice and reheat.
6. Taste and adjust seasoning as required. Stir in 2 tbsps of the chives and some of the creme fraiche.
7. To serve, sprinkle with a little chives and creme fraiche or cream.

Parsnip & Pancetta Tagliatelle with Parmesan & Butter

Parsnip & Pancetta Tagliatelle with Parmesan & Butter

Thanks to Kathy for this recipe – it is a great combination of sweet parsnip with salty parmesan and bacon, and is a very child friendly supper.

12 slices of pancetta of dry cured streaky bacon (smoked optional)
1 handful fresh rosemary
4 good knobs of butter
2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
2 parsnips, peeled, halved and finely sliced lengthways
450g/1lb dried tagliatelle
3 good handfuls of grated parmesan
Sea salt & grated pepper

In a large, non-stick frying pan fry the pancetta/bacon and herbs in half of
the butter for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and parsnips. Cook for a
further 3 minutes on medium heat, until pancetta is slightly golden and the
parsnips have softened nicely.

Cool pasta, drain, reserving a little of the cooking water. Mix the pasta
with the parsnips and pancetta and stir in the rest of your butter and the
Parmesan. Adding a little of the cooking water to loosen the mixture and
make it creamy and shiny Season to taste.

Recipe index – season by season

At this time of year it can seem that the range of Irish produce is limited by comparison with the endless possibilities of mid summer, but there are loads of varied and really tasty recipes using winter produce. It just requires a bit of thought to break out the habits that we can fall into when we think of a particular ingredient and how it can be used.

With this in mind I am working on an index of recipes that I have come across in various books and from customers and friends that use ingredients in season in Ireland during that season. I will break it into each of the four seasons and hope to add to the index as I find new ideas over the year. You can see the index under it’s own heading on the website subject list.

Please send on any ideas that you would like included. Some of the recipes are already detailed on the website – if you see a recipe that you would like, but I haven’t yet added the detailed instructions please feel free to contact me – it will prompt me to type up the full recipe!

Ithaca pie

Ithaca Pie

This recipe was given to me by one of our customers – thank you Kathy! I have made a smaller version of this, using ready made puff pastry and making it into a roll. It worked out very well and was delicious. Ideal to serve sliced for parties, with a side salad.

1 cup = 8 oz

Adapted from In Season by Sarah Raven

Serves 12-15 (as a main course)

This recipe is for 12-15 people. You can halve it and make the pie in a standard 9″ x 13″ pan. If you do this, check the pie at 30-45 minutes.)
For the crust:
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups (3 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 eggs, beaten
Ice-cold water
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
For the filling:
2 pounds spinach, chard, kale (one, or a mixture of all, of these greens)
Large bunch of dill, finely chopped
4 tablespoons chopped mint
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup olive oil
4 scallions, finely chopped
2 leeks, finely chopped
1/2 cup long-grain rice (or brown rice or bulgur)
6 ounces feta (optional)
Salt and pepper
1. Sift the flour with the salt and rub in the butter or pulse in a food processor until it has the consistency of breadcrumbs. Add enough beaten eggs and ice water to bring the dough together in a ball. Wrap in plastic and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (can be done a day in advance).
2. Remove the tough stalks from the spinach, chard, and kale. Coarsely chop the leaves and mix with the finely chopped herbs. Saute the onion and garlic in a little oil in a large pan until tender. And add all the greens, including the scallions and leeks. Mix well with most of the remaining oil. Incorporate the uncooked rice (or bulgur) and take off the heat. Season well with salt and pepper.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Divide the dough in two (one piece slightly larger than the other) and allow it to warm up for a minute or so. Roll out the dough–on a floured surface–as thinly as you possibly can.
4. Roll the larger piece around a rolling pin and transfer it to the base of your baking pan. Make sure that there is some pastry hanging over the side of the pan.
5. Add the filling and crumble the feta over it (if using). Cover with the other layer of dough. Crimp the two layers together by brushing with a little water and pinching around the edge.
6. Brush a little oil over the top and scatter with sesame seeds (if using). Prick the surface with a knife. Bake the pie in the preheated oven for just over an hour, until the top crust is golden brown.
This is delicious once it has cooled a little and is perhaps even better eaten cold the next day. It’s also excellent for feeding lots of people at a picnic.
A note on cutting chard. When cooking chard, you want to be able to enjoy both the leaves and stem, however, the problem can be that they cook at different rates. Instead of winding up with perfectly cooked leaves and undercooked stems, or well-cooked stems and over-cooked leaves, try separating them so they can both be cooked properly.
First, remove the leaves from the stem:

Then, stack all the leaves on top of each other and roll them up:

Next, cut through the roll so that you wind up with thinly shredded pieces
Lastly, dice up your stems as you would celery:

When you go to cook the chard, cook the stems first. Once they are almost done, add the leaves and cook until tender. This way, both parts will be cooked perfectly.
After sauteing the filling, you roll out the dough, assemble the pie, and bake.
The result is a deliciously flaky crust, chock full of chard (or whatever other greens you may decide to use), accented by pungent dill and salty feta.