oliveoilandlemon

recipes for a healthy life

Lemon Pistachio Cake with Yoghurt & Fruit Compote

We are just back from 2 weeks in beautiful Croatia, we spent it in Istria, which feels very Italian and is therefore close to my heart. From stunning old squares and shaded alleyways to beautiful Venetian style houses there is plenty to enjoy and sampling the wine, olive oil and cheese was part of the fun. Cafe culture is also a strong part of the lifestyle and I loved having some timeout drinking an espresso and people watching….. and sure you would have to have something to go with it, wouldn’t you?. This cake is inspired by the tastes and flavours of the area, filled with lemon zest and with a beautiful colour courtesy of the pistachios. I always say, if you are going to have some cake, make it a good one, no sense in wasting the calories on processed refined baked goods. Make it yourself and you control the quality of ingredients going in to it. This one has not too much sugar and as it is made with gluten free flour perfect if you don’t work well on wheat. I make the pistachio flour by blending pistachios and sieving to remove any bigger pieces of nuts.

Then as I have said before bring the cake into work and you won’t be able to eat too much of it! :-)
pistachio lemon cake

Lemon Pistachio Cake with Yoghurt Fruit Compote

8oz unsalted butter
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup pistachio meal
3/4 cup gluten free plain flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp GF baking flour
4 eggs

Oven at 150C
Mix the flour and pistachio meal together.
Grease spring-form tin well and line base with parchment paper.
Beat butter and sugar until really smooth.
Add vanilla and zest and beat to combine.
Alternately add eggs and pistachio meal and flour mix.
Add the baking powder and give a final beat to combine but don’t over beat.
Pour into greased lined spring-form tin and bake at 160C for 40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean
Serve with some yoghurt and fruit.

Pomegranate and Honey Glazed Chicken – A perfect summer dish

large pomegranate honey glazed

The last days of summer are here and this is a dish full of summer flavours. I love the pomegranate molasses as it adds a lovely sherbert lemony flavour and It makes a delicious salad dressing or is lovely with roasted peaches or nectarines.
There is great nutrition in this dish with protein from the chicken the goodness of the nuts and the antioxidants from the spices. If you don’t think you will feel full enough you can serve some roasted sweet potato on the side also which works really well.

Serves 4

Marinade
3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
150ml olive oil
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp each of cayenne , paprika and cumin

8 skinless boneless chicken thighs or a mix of breast and thighs
1/2 red onion sliced very thin
2 handfuls of coriander
2 handfuls of roughly chopped pistachios
2 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Mix marinade ingredients together
Cut the chicken into 2″ chunks
Add to marinade and toss to coat
Cover with cling and place in fridge at least an hour – overnight even better
Thread chicken pieces onto skewers (soak wooden ones)
Heat griddle pan and cook on medium heat turning to cook on all sides

Toss the onion coriander and pistachios with lime and olive oil
Season and place on a large platter
Add the skewers and serve

Escalope of Chicken – a family summer favourite

I have been told that this is the tastiest chicken recipe ever full with full on flavour and a bonus for these lovely summer evenings is it’s really easy to prepare. Most recipes for this cook the chicken fully on the pan in oil but I just do this to make the crumb topping golden then I finish the cooking in the oven which is much healthier and yet still delicious.

chicken escalope II

Serves 4
4 chicken breasts, skin off
100gr fresh breadcrumbs, I always use gluten free
3 tbsp grated parmesan
zest of 1/2 lemon
25gr pine nuts
2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
3tbsp plain gluten free flour
1 egg
100ml milk
2 tbsp rapeseed or coconut oil

Oven at 180
Place chicken between 2 pieces of cling and bash until nice and flat
Combine the breadcrumbs herbs lemon zest and pine nuts and season well
Place flour on a flat plate
Whisk egg and milk together
Put milk and breadcrumbs in separate wide bowls
Heat oil in a medium hot pan, meanwhile coat chicken in flour then dip into egg milk mixture then dip into the breadcrumbs
pressing well to coat each side
Place on a plate and repeat with all the chicken
Cook the chicken in the pan for 1 minute each side until the breadcrumbs are golden
Place on a flat baking tray and into the oven to complete the cooking
Serve with a rocket salad and lemon wedges

appasionataaflowers

garden 2015

Summer Fruit with Shortcake

This is such a simple summer dessert but really elegant and delicious. The shortcake works really well made with gluten free flour and is there anything simpler or more delicious than a bowl of summer fruit?. The red wine syrup is amazing with the flavours of star anise, clementine and vanilla and works really well with meringues or a fruit parfait.

OO&L Mixed Berries and Shortcake

OO&L Mixed berries

Shortcake Rounds
100gr plain flour
50gr cornflour
100gr unsalted butter
50gr caster sugar
1oz flaked almonds

Oven at 160C
Mix flour and cornflour together.
Add the butter and sugar and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture is just beginning to come together.
Knead lightly until the mixture forms a smooth dough.
Press flat, wrap in cling and place into the freezer for about 30 minutes
Tip into blender and blend to breadcrumnbs
Tip into baking tin and press flat – cover with some cling film and use a rolling pin to really flatten
Chill until firm then bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes until a very pale golden colour. Mark into circles with a cutter then return to the oven for a final 8 minutes until golden brown
Leave to cool for a few minutes before carefully lifting off onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

Red Wine Syrup
.5 bottle full-bodied red wine (Malbec, Zinfandel, Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Rioja)
2/3 cup sugar
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick- broken
1/2 vanilla pod split and seeds and all put in with the wine
Few centimetres of orange or clementine peel

Add everything to a medium pan and heat over medium high. Stir from time to time until the sugar has dissolved then cook down the wine syrup, uncovered, until thick enough to lightly coat a spoon. Pour through a sieve into another container to cool and store in the fridge until needed.

To serve
Add some summer fruit of choice into a bowl and top with some of the syrup
Cover with circle of shortbread, top with some icing sugar and serve immediately

Chickpea Cakes & Mango Relish

OO&L Chickpea Cakes & Mango Relish

I’m neither vegan or vegetarian and even if I was convinced that there were benefits to that kind of a diet (which I’m not) it flat out wouldn’t work in my house and for those of you who know my other half, you know why. But occasionally I do like to have a meat free meal which these are great for or as a starter if you are having a big group over. Just make a big platter of these with lots of salsas and other dips and they make for a perfect informal gathering. Other pulses will work just as well for these – I’m thinking kidney beans or others like them. Just check in the back of the press you know there is a tin lying around in there – now you know what to do with it :-)

Makes 8 small cakes
250gr Tin chickpeas
2 tbsp toasted coconut
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 tbsp chopped ginger
1 tsp Nigella seeds
2 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper

Blend chickpeas with nigella seeds and chilli powders
Add the coconut, coriander, ginger, breadcrumbs, salt and peppers
Shape into small cakes about 4cm wide 1 cm deep.
If the mix seems dry then add a little water
Put into the fridge for at least 30 minutes to chill before frying
Heat 1 tbsp oil in pan and fry until crisp brown on both sides
Side hot with salad and the relish

Mango and Ginger Relish
1 red onion
1 large red chilli
2 tbsp olive oil
t tsp grated ginger
1 ripe mango
2 ripe tomatoes
t tbsp distilled malt vinegar

Peel and dice the onion
De-seed and finely chop the chilli
Heat oil in a small saucepan, add onion ginger and chilli and gently fry for 10 minutes until the onion is softened.
Peel and chop roughly the mango and tomatoes
Add to the onion mixture, stir once, add vinegar and 1 tbsp water
Season , Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes
Leave to cool and serve with the chickpea cakes.

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