Tag Archives: herb

Risotto for Autumn

Autumn is here in London, we have been super lucky with the weather this week, it has been sunny and crisp cold – perfect for me to find an Autumnal dinner for us. I chose a Jamie Oliver recipe from his Jamie’s Kitchen book which my Mum has. Roast Squash, Pancetta and Chestnut Risotto. It is a little faffy to cook but well worth it – I have simplified the recipe a little here to make it easier to write down and follow.

Serves 4

1 Squash – cut into chunks, save the seeds

2 dried chillies – diced (1tbsp dried chilli will also work)

1tbsp crushed coriander seeds

Salt & Pepper

12 slices pancetta

100g Chestnuts – diced

1 handful Sage leaves – sliced

1 Onion – diced

2 Cloves Garlic – diced

300g Risotto Rice

2 tbsp butter

1l Vegetable Stock –keep heated

60g Parmesan

Coat the squash chunks in the coriander seeds and chilli with some olive oil and pop into the oven at 200 degrees to roast for 30 minutes. You can keep the skin on as everything gets mushed up at the end. Meanwhile start to make the risotto by slowly frying the onion and garlic in some butter until softened (usually takes 10 minutes or so). Add the rice and stir, when the rice begins to turn translucent add in a little of the stock with some salt and pepper. Gradually top up the stock each time the liquid starts to be absorbed. 

Whilst multi-tasking and keeping an eye on the squash and the risotto, layer the pancetta on a baking tray and scatter over the chestnuts, sage, seeds and a little olive oil. Pop these in the oven until the pancetta is cooked through and crispy – this shouldn’t take any more than 15 minutes.

After 30 minutes the rice should be cooked through at which point stir the parmesan through and reduce the heat.

Ok – so now to assemble everything. Take the squash out of the oven and chop up so its chunky and mushy – add this to the risotto and stir through – season to taste. Spoon this into a lovely bowl and then top with the crispy, fragrant pancetta, chestnut and sage mix.



Bikini Diet has started – Tuna and Anchovy Greens for Dinner

My Summer holiday is in 23 days!!!
Now begins my healthy-kick, daily yoga sessions and thrice-weekly runs.
To kick off today’s dinner was from this month’s Good Food magazine. Seared tuna steak for a low-fat protein with purple sprouting broccoli and green beans dressed with an anchovy and caper dressing for taste.
I am also pleased to say the dish was gluten free (which seems to be trending at the moment!) and went down a treat with Elix, who announced afterwards she wanted to eat it again!
The dish was very quick and easy to cook and I will definitely be using the salad and dressing idea to accompany chicken, steak, salmon and fishcakes.

Serves 2

2 tbsp chopped chives
12 basil leaves
2 tbsp chopped mint
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp small capers
6 anchovies chopped
300g runner beans (i mixed this up half beans and half broccoli – i think broad beans, mange tout, sugar snaps would also work very well)
2 tuna steaks
small handful flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp toasted flaked almonds

Put the herbs, lemon zest and juice, olive oil and mustard into a food processor and blitz to a puree. Brush 2 tbsp of the dressing onto the tuna steaks and add the capers and anchovies to the remaining. Mix together to make the vegetable dressing.
Cook the beans (or whatever greens you decide to have) in boiling water for 5 minutes, these should still have a bit of crunch to them to provide a contrasting texture for the tuna and hold up against the punchy dressing.
Ensure the tuna is fully coated with the dressing and place on a hot griddle pan for 2-3 minutes each side or until cooked to your desire (Elix likes her tuna well done).
To plate up – pour the dressing over the greens ensuring each and every vegetable has a tasty dash of the fresh sauce. Top with the chargrilled tuna, scattering almonds on top.

tuna and veg