Spanish Tortilla with Bravas Sauce

This thick, potato omelette is the perfect example of humble ingredients elevated to something special. Potatoes and onions, a chickpea flour batter in place of the traditional egg mixture, good olive oil and seasoning – that’s all you need. Serve with a smokey tomato sauce or some aioli and a simple salad and you have the perfect summer lunch or supper. Or use this recipe as part of a tapas spread – serve little plates of olives, smoked almonds, paella, tortilla, patatas bravas, grilled peppers and a big jug of sangria. All we need now is some sunshine and good company.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

For the tortilla:

  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion, peeled and sliced
  • 4-6 potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into 4mm thick rounds
  • a small mug of chickpea flour
  • a small mug of water
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the smokey bravas sauce:

  • 1 white onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes

To serve:

  • salad
  • parsley

Method

  1. Turn your oven to 200C and find a deep, oven and hob safe frying pan. If you don’t have one you can bake the tortilla in a lined oven dish instead.
  2. Start with the chickpea flour batter – the longer it has to rest and rehydrate, the better. Whisk together the chickpea flour and water with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and a tbsp of olive oil. Set to one side while you prepare the potatoes and onions.
  3. Cover the sliced potatoes with water and boil until just tender.
  4. Meanwhile, pour 2 tbsp of olive oil into the frying pan, turn to a medium-high heat and add the sliced onions. Sauce until the onions are soft and golden (around 8 minutes).
  5. Drain the potatoes and add them to the onions. Turn the heat down to medium-low and carefully stir the potatoes and onions together to evening spread the ingredients.
  6. Then pour the chickpea flour batter over the potatoes and onions and allow the base of the tortilla to cook on the hob for 5 minutes on low. Drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil and move the pan to the oven to cook until set (around 10-15 minutes).
  7. Meanwhile make the bravas sauce by frying the onion and garlic in the olive oil until golden, add the smoked paprika and tin of tomatoes (swirl the juices out of the tin and into the pot with a splash of water) then season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer until rich and thick.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven and let the tortilla settle for 5 minutes. Then carefully loosen and turn out onto a plate or chopping board. I like to loosen it with a palette knife, place a board or plate upside down on the top of the pan, then use oven gloves and swiftly turn the plate and pan upside down. Then carefully lift the pan off the plate and the tortilla should neatly pop out onto the plate. Resting it really makes a difference here.
  9. Slice into wedges and serve with the bravas sauce – sprinkle with parsley. Salads and aioli go perfectly alongside too. Enjoy!

Afghan Kidney Bean Curry

We are always looking for new ways to eat beans. They are so good for us! An affordable and healthy source of protein and fibre. Good news is they are also great for the environment. Legume crops improve soil fertility naturally by working with bacteria to fix nitrogen into the soil.

So when we tried this delicious Afghan curry, we just had to share it! This is probably not an authentic recipe but it’s our quick and easy version. We love that the heat just comes from the generous use of black pepper. We’ll share the stuffed flatbreads recipe soon too. Watch this space!

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp garlic granules
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 bottle of passata
  • 2 tins kidney beans
  • 2 red onions
  • 4 medium potatoes
  • (drizzle of veg oil, sprinkle of salt, pepper & ground coriander to roast the onions & potatoes)
  • diced red onion, fresh coriander & mint to taste

Method

  1. Turn your oven to 200C. Chop the potatoes into bites sized pieces and the onions into slivers and toss in a roasting dish with a drizzle of oil and sprinkle of salt, pepper & ground coriander. Roast for 20-30 minutes or until soft while you make the curry sauce.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot & tip in the spices and seasoning. Stir fry in the oil until the spices are very fragrant and starting to darken.
  3. Pour in the passata and the drained and rinsed kidney beans & simmer for 10 minutes or so until the curry is rich and delicious.
  4. When the potatoes and onions are cooked through and starting to colour, scrape them into the curry and warm through.
  5. Serve in bowls topped with diced red onion and chopped mint and coriander. Scoop up with flatbreads or rice & enjoy!

Greek Potato Bake

There are so many ways to cook potatoes – boiled, chips, mash, roasties, soups, stews, gratin, jacket potatoes… but this Mediterranean-style way is one of my favourites. The rich tomato sauce and fragrant herbs make the humble, comforting potato into a summery dish which sings with flavour. I usually top it with some of my vegan tofu-feta or just some salty olives and bake it with the lid off for a little extra colour and flavour. Serve with a simple greek salad and a glass of wine – that’s dinner sorted.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • optional extra Med-veg eg courgette, peppers, carrots, aubergine
  • 10 medium potatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp each oregano, thyme, rosemary
  • olives/feta/capers
  • salad to serve

Method

  1. Start by making a rich tomato sauce. This can be however you like it but I usually sauté the diced onion in 2 tbsp olive oil until soft and starting to colour, then add crushed garlic and if I want to bulk it out, some chopped veg like an aubergine, pepper or courgette, maybe a carrot or two? Add the tinned tomatoes and swirl out any juices left in the tins into the pot with a bit of water. Season well with salt, pepper and a pinch of oregano and simmer until the sauce is rich – around 15-20 minutes. Blend with a stick blender, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt or pepper.
  2. Put the oven on to 200C and find an oven proof dish with a lid. Wash and thinly slice your potatoes into 3mm or so rounds.
  3. Place 1/2 the tomato sauce into the dish then arrange the potato slices on top. Then season the potato layer with salt, pepper and the herbs. Drizzle over the remaining olive oil and then spoon over the remaining tomato sauce.
  4. Put the lid on and bake until the potatoes are soft. This usually takes at least an hour but check on it as ovens and potatoes vary.
  5. Once the potatoes are cooked through, remove the lid and scatter over your topping of choice. Feta, olives, capers… Return the dish to the oven with the lid off to caramelise and get a little colour – just 5-10 minutes, keep an eye on it.
  6. Enjoy with salads or as a side to your choice of protein and greens.

Colcannon

This St Patrick’s Day favourite combines the two best vegetables of all time – potatoes and kale. Don’t let anyone tell you these humble vegetables are nothing less than extraordinary!

Potatoes (especially when you leave the skin on) are a delicious source of fibre, energy giving carbohydrates, antioxidants, potassium (more than a banana!) and magnesium. They also contain vitamin C, calcium, folate and vitamin B6.

Kale is well known for being a superfood. The humble kale, grown right here on our farm in Galway, is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet and contains well over 100% of your daily needs for Vitamins A, C and K as well as a whole host of other vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre and even an omega 3 fatty acid!

So we say this dish is not just for St Patrick’s Day, make colcannon regularly as a side dish or as a topping for your pies.

Liz x

Ingredients (per person)

  • 1 large or a couple of smaller potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into even chunks
  • 3 kale leaves, rinsed, tough stems removed (save the stems, they are delicious finely chopped and added to stir fries, stews, soups etc)
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Get your potatoes boiling in a large pot of water. Meanwhile tear up your kale leaves into small pieces and place them in a steaming basket or metal colander.
  2. When the potatoes are nearly cooked through, place the steaming basket/colander of kale over the pot and put the lid on. Let the kale steam until wilted and soft – this only takes around 3 minutes so keep an eye on it.
  3. Remove the kale and drain the soft potatoes, then tumble them back into the warm pot. Mash the potatoes with the butter and season with salt and pepper to your taste. Then stir through the wilted kale and chopped scallions.
  4. Serve with an extra dollop of butter as a side dish. It’s also delicious as a shepherd’s pie topping, baked in the oven to crisp up – see pic below.

Ukrainian Stuffed Buns

The invasion of Ukraine is causing a huge humanitarian crisis as millions flee the violence. So this week we are raising money for UNICEF who are on the ground providing life-saving aid to refugees. Thank you for your charity box orders, we are adding an extra €10 to each and donating them (as cash, not boxes) to Unicef Ireland.

Ukraine has incredibly fertile farm land and a rich and diverse food culture. One of my favourite Ukrainian chefs is Olia Hercules. Her food (and instagram account) is always so inspiring. I’ll be sharing some plant based twists on some of her recipes this week too. Celebrating different cultures than our own through our shared love of food is one way to honour, respect and bring some humanity to an awful situation. Do you have any Ukrainian experiences or recipes to share?

First up are these fried buns. Think of them like savoury donuts (although you can stuff them with fruit or jam before frying too and make delicious sweet versions) they make an incredible snack or packed lunch on their own or I often serve them as a side to a brothy Ukrainian style stew or borshch.

Liz x

Ingredients (makes 12)

  • 250ml oat milk (or any milk)
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 7g dried yeast
  • 350-400g flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 300g potatoes, boiled
  • 150g cheese, crumbled or grated (feta works well, have you tried my tofeta recipe?)
  • 1 white onion (sliced and fried until caramelised with a pinch of salt and a tbsp of sunflower oil)
  • a handful of chopped dill
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • about 100ml sunflower oil, for frying

Method

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the milk, sunflower oil, salt, sugar and yeast until frothy. Add 350g of the flour and mix with one hand into a sticky dough. If too sticky to handle, add the remaining 50g of flour and fold and knead in the bowl until you have a soft, smooth ball. Cover with a clean tea towel and allow the dough to rise for 45 minutes in a warm place.
  2. Meanwhile make the filing. Mash the potato then mix in the fried onion, dill and cheese. Taste the mixture and season well with salt and pepper. Of course you make any kind of filling you prefer. We love sautéed cabbage and mushrooms, mashed beans… or for sweet fillings, chopped fruit with a drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of sugar.
  3. When the dough has risen, tip it out onto a floured work surface and cut it into 12 equal pieces. Use a rolling pin to roll each piece into a circle. Then place a heaped tablespoon of the filling in the centre of the circle. Bring up the sides of the dough and pinch them together ensuring there are not holes. Then turn the bun over so the seam side is down and gently squash the bun with the palm of your hand. You should end up with palm sized, lemon shaped buns. Repeat with all the dough and keep them on a lightly floured work surface or tray, not touching each other, until you are ready to fry.
  4. Heat the sunflower oil in a wide frying pan until very hot. Carefully fry the buns in batches for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Turn the heat down a little if you find they are catching. I find a medium-high heat works best. use metal tongs or two spatulas to carefully turn the buns. Be careful not to splash hot oil onto yourself.
  5. Serve the buns whilst still warm or enjoy them cold on a picnic or for a packed lunch.
Golden, fluffy bun after being fried for 3 minutes on both sides.

Potato Peel Crisps

We very rarely peel our organic potatoes. It’s not just about being lazy, potato skins are delicious and very high in nutrients and fibre. Also, food waste is not just a waste of our hard earned money, it’s actually a huge emitter of green house gases. But sometimes, especially for Christmas dinner, we want ‘proper’ roast potatoes that are fluffy in the middle, golden and crispy on the outside. So we peel.

No need to waste the peels though! It makes no sense to throw out all that delicious, nutritious potato. I bet your granny had a good way of using potato skins up? This is my favourite way. What’s yours?

Liz x

Ingredients

  • Potato peels
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper (or another seasoning you like eg: garlic granules, paprika, chilli, rosemary, lemon zest, nutritional yeast, onion powder…)

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200C. Scrub your potatoes and then peel them directly into a large roasting dish.
  2. Drizzle over some good olive oil, a little goes a long way here.
  3. Season with a little salt and whatever else you fancy. Be careful with the salt, a tiny pinch is usually enough, you can always add more salt after but you can’t take it away. Mix well to ensure each peel is coated in the oil and seasoning.
  4. Bake in the oven until the peels have turned into crisps. Usually around 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them and take them out to stir every 5 minutes or so to ensure they are not sticking and they are cooking evenly.
  5. Allow them to cool then enjoy!

Quick Cabbage & Potato Curry

For a warming bowl of hearty food in a hurry, try this quick curry. Cabbage and potato are made for each other aren’t they? With the addition of some warming curry spices and creamy coconut milk, these humble ingredients can really sing! Of course you can tweak the recipe as you like with the addition of cooked chickpeas and some cauliflower/romanesco florets etc. Let us know if you tried it in the comments or over on our community facebook group.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 8 small/medium potatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 a savoy cabbage, sliced
  • fresh chilli to taste, sliced
  • 1 heaped tsp each: brown mustard seeds, turmeric, curry powder, salt and black pepper
  • 1 400g tin coconut milk
  • *optional extras* – cooked chickpeas, cauliflower/romanesco florets…
  • Indian chutneys and natural yoghurt to serve

Method

  1. In a large, heavy bottomed pan (which has a lid), fry the onion and garlic with the vegetable oil until golden and soft.
  2. Add the potatoes, spices and seasoning and sauté until fragrant. Add a small glass of water then put the lid on and allow the potatoes to steam cook for 8 minutes or until tender. Test with a knife.
  3. Then add the cabbage, coconut milk and chilli to the pan, return the lid and let the cabbage wilt for 3 minutes. (Here’s where you can add the cooked chickpeas if using.)
  4. Then stir the vegetables together, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt/pepper, return the lid one last time for a further 3 minutes and your curry is done!
  5. Serve in warm bowls with Indian chutneys and natural yoghurt. Enjoy!

BBQ’d New Potatoes

This is my simple and adaptable method for BBQing our gorgeous new potatoes! I have fond memories of pricking large jacket potatoes, wrapping them in foil and packing them in with the food for camping trips. Then we would carefully tuck them into the BBQ coals to bake while the rest of the grilling was done, they’d often come out perfect if we remembered to turn them occasionally, but more often than not, half the potato would burn and half would be raw, or the coals would burn out before the potato was done and there’d be some disappointment… So this way of par-boiling, dressing then skewering little salad potatoes provides a much more consistent result.

Start by boiling scrubbed new potatoes until they are nearly cooked through. Test a few larger ones with a sharp knife or skewer. Then drain the potatoes and allow them to cool in the colander while you prepare a tasty marinade or dressing!

I love potatoes with garlic and herbs. This time I mixed olive oil, salt, pepper, crushed garlic, rosemary and lemon zest in a large bowl. Then toss the par cooked new potatoes in the dressing.

Push the potatoes on skewers (or cook in a BBQ basket) and get them onto a plate or tray ready to pop over the coals.

Cook on the BBQ, turning often until soft, smokey and delicious!

Then push them off the skewers, back into the dressing bowl and toss again to get any last bits of dressing and flavour back over the delicious, charred potatoes. Enjoy!

Portobello Steak with Chimichurri

This one-tray bake is one of our favourite date-night specials with a bottle of red wine. It’s no hassle at all to put together and tastes incredible! It’s always the simple, organic ingredients that are the stars of the show. Who’d have thought a tray of some simply roasted vegetables could be so special? Portobello mushrooms are rich, juicy and simply spectacular when roasted. Their meaty texture and unique umami make them the perfect steak substitute! The Argentinian, herby chimichurri drizzle really brightens and lightens the dish and brings it all together. It’s a great sauce to add to your repertoire. It’s goes perfectly with BBQ’d and roasted vegetables.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 4 portobello mushrooms
  • as many potatoes as you like
  • 1 red onion (or two shallots)
  • 1 bundle of asparagus (or any seasonal green you like – broccoli, kale…)
  • olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 1/2 bunch of parsley
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 shallot – peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli – roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic – peeled
  • 1 large pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar (or any vinegar you like)
  • enough olive oil to blend into a loose sauce

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200C and find a large roasting dish.
  2. Arrange the mushrooms in the dish and scrub and cut your potatoes into thick wedges. If you have new potatoes, just cut them in half. Add them to the roasting dish along with a peeled and quartered red onion.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables and season well with salt and pepper. Pop the dish in the oven to roast while you prepare the asparagus and the chimichurri.
  4. Add the herbs, shallot, garlic, chilli, salt and vinegar to a small blender or food processor. Add a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and blend into a loose sauce. Pour the sauce into a clean jar and it will stay fresh in the fridge for at least 2 weeks. Bring it out next time you have a BBQ. Alternatively you can freeze any unused sauce to use another time.
  5. Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and add them to the compost bin (or pop them in a box of peels and offcuts in the freezer to make veg stock with another time). Put the spears in a large bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and mix well to coat the spears in the seasoning.
  6. When the mushroom, potatoes and onions are cooked through and starting to take on some colour (after about 20 minutes or so in the oven), add the asparagus to the roasting dish and return it to the oven to roast for a further 5 minutes or so.
  7. Then dish up. Divide the roasted vegetables between two plates and drizzle the chimichurri over the roasted mushrooms. Enjoy with a glass of red wine.

Nettle Soup

Stinging nettles are easy to identify and one of the most nutritious wild foods out there. Spring is the perfect time to forage for these tender and tasty greens. Studies suggest that eating nettles may reduce inflammation, hay fever symptoms, blood pressure and blood sugar levels — among other benefits. And they are so delicious! Why not grab some gloves and a colander and head out to gather some free food for your lunch? Just pick lots of the tender top 4-6 leaves, the tips of the nettles, like in the photo above. Then when you’ve filled your colander, take it home and give the nettle tips a good rinse. Always pick nettles away from polluted roads sides and avoid places that may have been sprayed.

Here’s my simple nettle soup recipe but you can do so much more with nettles. Pesto, salsa verde, add them to quiches, pies, stews… use it like spinach basically. I love nettles in a spanakopita type filo pastry pie. Share your favourite nettle recipe with use below in the comments? Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 or 3 carrots
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 stock cube
  • 4 large handfuls of nettle tips
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

Dice and sauté the onions, garlic and carrots in the oil until just softening and starting to take on some colour.

Then dice and add the potatoes to the pot and generously cover the vegetables with water. Crumble in a stock cube and simmer with the lid on until the potatoes are soft.

Add the rinsed nettle tips to the pot.

Stir the nettle tip into the soup and simmer for just 2 or 3 minutes. Then add the lemon juice and blend the soup with an immersion blender. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed with salt and pepper.