Do you recognize it: you have piles of beautiful cookbooks, but don’t use them that often; what a pity! I already wrote about it last weekend: I’m going to put my cookbooks to use and will cook from my “kitchen library” (at least) once a month.
Today, the #missgingerishchallenge really started and my first cookbook is “Leon: ingredients and recipes” by Allegra McEvedy. Leon is a restaurant chain in England where “naturally fast food” is served: fresh, pure and healthy eating but as fast as the average burger chain. The menu is inspired by the flavours of the Mediterranean cuisine and changes with the seasons. I don’t skip Leon when I’m in England, my favourites on the menu: sweet potato falafel, meatballs in tomato sauce, the superfoods salad, fantastic fries and the lemon ginger crunch for dessert.
Besides the great food, I also love Leon for their concept. Cool interiors, beautiful packaging, employees who help you with enthusiasm and all with a wink. I’m waiting for the day Leon comes to the Netherlands ;-).
“Leon: ingredients and recipes” is undoubtedly a nice cookbook: lots of background information, personal stories about the origin of recipes, funny anecdotes and pretty pictures. The book actually consists of two parts: the first part is about ingredients (their origin, taste, use, food pairing etc.). The second part is full of recipes for any time of the day; some are on the Leon menu, others are favourites of family and friends. What kind of recipes will you find in the book? From ketchup and meatloaf to all kinds of soups and mezze; from compote to curries and salads: it really is a versatile and complete cookbook! Each recipe has a funny story about the origin or a family member. What makes this cookbook so different are the beautifully designed extras: a pretty poster on European cheeses, a foldout with stock must haves and a convenient overview of seasonal products.
So far I have mostly browsed and read in this cookbook; time to choose a delicious recipe! I chose “Leon’s superfoods salad”; a classic that’s on the menu since the opening of the first restaurant. Healthy, easy, fast, nutritious and with just very normal superfoods like broccoli and avocado. But above all very tasty! The recipe in the cookbook of course includes a personal note from the Leon founders:
“The ingredients of this salad together make an Olympic team. During her pregnancy my best friend Bridget was addicted to it. Her poor boyfriend had to cycle to the nearest Leon, night after night, in all weathers. Joseph is a beautiful baby, don’t get me wrong, , but mainly this salad is just very nice”
Leon’s superfoods salad
- 200 gr broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
- 120 gr peas, fresh or frozen
- 100 gr cucumber, cut into slim batons
- 100 gr good-quality feta cheese, crumbled
- handful alfalfa
- 2 tbsp. of toasted seeds (we use sesame, sunflower, flax and pumpkin)
- 1/2 avocado, cut into pieces
- 2 tbsp. of quinoa, Fair-trade if possible
- small handful flat-leaf parsley, rough chopped
- small handful mint, rough chopped
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Put the quinoa in a small pan. Cover with cold water plus about an inch then let it gently simmer until the water’s gone – about 15 minutes
- Spread it on a tray to cool to room temperature
- Put an inch of hot water into a saucepan with a pinch of salt and cover it. Once boiling, drop in the broccoli and peas and put the lid back on
- Drain after three minutes and run the veg under cold water to take all the heat out and keep them good and green
- Now build your salad in layers, starting with the first ingredient on the list and ending up with the dressing (but only dress it just before you eat it)
Want to join?
Do you recognize that pile of cookbooks you hardly ever use? Then join me in this challenge, let’s put our cookbooks to use!
How does it work? It’s really simple: pick a cookbook from your shelf and cook a recipe from it. Share a picture of the dish you’ve created on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the hash tag #missgingerishchallenge and tag @missgingerish.
Of course don’t forget to mention the cookbook and name of the recipe: let’s spread the word and inspire others!