January 2016, the beginning of a new year and we're off to a delicious start at The Cottage Cooking Club, as we near the end of our journey cooking through Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's cookbook, River Cottage Veg. This month, I prepared a meatless main and a vegetable side, both of which were enjoyed by all.
Chickpeas with Cumin and Spinach (page 246)
This was a very quick and tasty pantry-friendly dish, one of those recipes I like to have up my sleeve for when I'm rushed or completely uninspired. Hugh has a few of those recipes, thank goodness.
It was flavourful and filling with tomatoes and lemon adding freshness to a hearty chickpea-onion mixture. I served it with naan but I think it would be delicious with some diced potatoes (leftover or cooked with the tomatoes before the greens go in), sort of like a potato chickpea stew.
Rutabaga with Onion and Sage (page 382)
Rutabaga doesn't have too many fans here. Even I don't much like it cooked; eaten raw as I prefer, its inherent sweetness is more apparent than its bitterness and it has a lovely crunch to it. Cooking it as I have in the past always seemed to bring out its most undesirable characteristics.
But the method used here, a combination steam-sauté (in only 2 tbsp olive oil) produced tender, caramelized cubes that were sweet and mellow. Onions cooked until golden and sage were the perfect complements. Another keeper.
Only three months remain before we reach the end of the book and I'm looking forward to each and every one of them. To see what the others cooked up, visit here.