Meat Free Monday – spring, week 01

Today is my first day of cooking from The Meat Free Monday Cookbook and I’m beginning with spring, week 01. First up is breakfast – soft-boiled eggs with asparagus soldiers. Asparagus aren’t in season here yet but since they’re in two dishes today, I decided to buy them. My perfectly boiled egg (I only had one) was delicious and with the asparagus to dip in, it felt really special. I’m not big on breakfast – I know, it’s the most important meal of the day – but it was a really good feeling not to be ready to eat anything by 11.30!

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For lunch there is a choice – middle eastern tabbouleh salad or sweet potato gnocchi with rocket pesto depending on whether you want a packed lunch or something more substantial. I opted for the tabbouleh because I had some feta in the fridge and thought it would be nice to add a little to the salad. The tabbouleh has the usual suspects – cucumber, tomato, spring onion, mint and parsley with some olive oil and lemon mixed through. A lovely combination which tasted really delicious and was very light. The recipe says it serves 2 but since I had some feta and bread with mine there will be plenty left to have with dinner or for lunch tomorrow.

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My other half was a bit later home tonight and of course I waited to have dinner with him (although I was almost eating the table I was sooooo hungry). Anyway, back to the dinner. It was a ‘spring vegetable tarte fine’ (recipe by Tom Aikens) – filo pastry with a very thin layer of egg, spring onion, crème fraîche, herbs and gruyere topped by asparagus, courgette, peas and some more gruyere. And I almost forgot, a little spinach. As I was cooking, I really wasn’t sure about it – you know how sometimes you just have a feeling – but actually the ‘tarte’ was very yummy indeed. Thumbs up from us both. It was also easy – no blind baking or rolling out – filo pastry is not something to be scared of. I didn’t serve the side dish which was spring herb salad as the ‘tarte’ was served with rocket.

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Last but not least – the pud. Rhubarb sorbet. I confess I have an ice cream machine so I didn’t have to take it in and out of the freezer and whisk to break up the crystals. It turns out a delightful bubble gum pink colour! Can you still buy bubble gum? (Not that I want to.) I also decided to roast some rhubarb to go along with the sorbet but the first lot I put in the AGA went to totally to mush – not quite what I had planned! Luckily I didn’t use the whole amount and I watched the second batch like a hawk. Both the sorbet and the roasted rhubarb were lovely but another dimension would have been nice – perhaps a ginger biscuit, a tuile – something crunchy. I’ll make a little note for the next time.

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I had a lovely day in the kitchen today. I didn’t have to spend hours (ok, minutes) deliberating what we were going to have for dinner, or lunch or even breakfast – it was great! I’m really looking forward to next Monday. 🙂

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