bitter-sweet radicchio salad toasts with cinnamon vinaigrette

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salads / sides / vegetarian

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BITTER-SWEET RADICCHIO + BASIL SALAD TOASTS |  BLOOD ORANGES, ROASTED ONIONS, DATES, PINE NUTS, GOAT CHEESE, WITH CINNAMON VINAIGRETTE // makes 6-8 toasts

1 red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced into quarters
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sea Salt
4 blood oranges, peeled
1 head radicchio, coarsely shredded
2 cups whole fresh basil leaves, packed
8 whole leaves Tuskan/Lacinato kale, ribs removed and coarsely shredded
8 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1 fresh loaf of bread – I used a good cranberry pecan loaf
8 ounces creamy cheese  – something spreadable such as a soft goat cheese, burrata, ricotta, cream cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

/cinnamon vinaigrette/
1/4 cup sweet and syrupy balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375° and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, toss the red onion with the olive oil and salt. Evenly lay the slices out on the lined tray, bake for 25-30 minutes or until edges are crispy and golden brown. Set the onions aside and reserve the bowl to toss the salad ingredients.

In a small bowl mix together the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Whisk in the olive oil, and season with salt and black pepper.

Working over the salad bowl, segment the blood oranges and squeeze out the remaining juice from the piths. Pour in some of the dressing to coat the oranges and to mix with the orange juice. Add in the raddichio, basil, kale, roasted onions, dates, the rest of the dressing and toss until coated. Taste to adjust seasoning – the greens and basil leaves should look well drenched.

To serve, slice the bread into 6 to 8 thick slices and transfer to a sheet tray, bake at 375° until the bread is lightly toasted, about 6 to 7 minutes. Spread some cheese over each toast and top with the dressed salad making sure there are bits of blood orange and dates on each toast. Top with the pine nuts and serve immediately.

Leftover salad will hold well in the fridge for up to 1 day.

spiced butternut-leek soup with brussels sprout leaves, browned butter, and orange crème fraîche

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soup / vegetarian

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Spiced Butternut-Leek Soup with Browned Butter, Brussels Sprout Leaves, Orange Creme Fraiche, and Black Sesame
Serves 10 to 12

2 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
1 sprig thyme
4 cloves
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large leeks (white parts), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into large cubes, (about 9 cups)
2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
5 1/2 cups water
3 vegetable based bouillon cubes
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/4 cups crème fraîche – (good sub – whole milk greek yogurt)
Zest from 3 oranges + 1/4 cup freshly squeezed juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter
8 cups brussels sprouts, stems removed and outer leaves kept intact and peeled from core (may need to keep slicing off stem to peel more leaves)
1-2 tablespoons black sesame seeds, toasted, for garnishing

Tie up the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, thyme, cloves, coriander seeds, and black peppercorns in a piece of cheesecloth to make a sachet.

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the leeks, shallots, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the cubed squash and carrots, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for a few minutes. Increase the heat to high, add the orange juice and wine, and simmer until reduced by half. Add the water, bouillon cubes, allspice, cinnamon, and sachet, bring to a simmer, and cook until the squash and carrots are very tender, about 35 minutes. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together the crème fraîche, orange zest, orange juice, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and let sit for 5 minutes. Pass through a small fine mesh strainer into a small bowl, cover, and let chill in the fridge.

Discard the sachet and transfer the soup in batches in a blender until very smooth, then pass through a fine mesh strainer back into the pot. Stir in the heavy cream, along with the honey, season with salt and pepper, adjust and season with more cinnamon if desired. I prefer this soup thin, so if it’s thick, adjust with water and thin as needed. Cover, and keep hot.

In a small saucepan, cook the butter over medium heat until it melts and the milk solids turn golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir the browned butter into the soup until combined throughout. Return to the pan, and heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil over medium heat Add the brussels sprout leaves, season lightly with salt, and let sit in the pan for a minute to crisp and brown up the edges, then toss after 1 minute. Add a splash of water and continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, lightly swirl in the crème fraîche, top with the brussels sprout leaves, and sprinkle with black sesame seeds.

 

 

 

 

Toasted hazelnut butternut squash cake with espresso icing

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toasted hazelnut pumpkin cake with espresso icing | lemon fire brigade

I’m pulling this from the archives today. Made almost two years ago with a crispy cracking top to it and some fun espresso crazy drizzling vibes. Very memorable cake for me, enjoy <3

Toasted Hazelnut Butternut Squash Cake with Espresso Icing | serves 8
Recipe published by Food + Wine

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
7 ounces hazelnuts, about 1 1/3 cups
3 large eggs
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup demerara sugar plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1/2 cup puréed butternut squash, may substitute with pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons from freshly pulled shot of espresso
2 teaspoons dairy or nut milk – I used almond
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

MAKE THE CAKE
Preheat the oven to 325° and line the bottom of a deep 8 1/2-inch cake pan with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and salt and set aside.

In a small frying pan over medium heat, toast the hazelnuts until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer half of the nuts to a small food processor and pulse until a coarsely ground flour forms. Roughly chop the remaining hazelnuts over a cutting board into small sized pieces. Add both the hazelnut meal and loosely chopped pieces to the bowl of dry ingredients.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugars, coconut oil, pumpkin puree, and vanilla until very smooth. Gently fold in the dry ingredients until incorporated. Using a spatula, scrape the batter into the parchment lined pan. Smooth out the surface of the cake batter with the spatula and sprinkle the remaining two tablespoons of demerara sugar evenly over the top.

Bake for 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The top of the cake should be crispy and cracked from the scattered sugar coating. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes before removing it from the pan. Gently peel off the parchment paper from the bottom and let stand.

MAKE THE ICING
Mix the confectioner’s sugar, espresso, almond milk, maple syrup, and salt together until smooth. Drizzle over the cake and serve.

Raw peach and passionfruit torte with indian blood peaches

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Sweets / vegan

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Raw Peach and Passionfruit Torte with Indian Blood Peaches // serves 6-8
Recipe adapted from Little Bird’s “The Unbakery” book – over 150 recipes for beautiful raw food by Megan May

Base
3/4 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
2 cups raw pecans, (about 210g)
1 cup raw almonds, (about 130g)
3/4 cup pitted medjool dates, packed
1 tablespoon cold-pressed coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Filling
1 1/2 cups cashews (235g | 8 1/2oz), soaked for 2-4 hours
2 young coconuts, about 1 cup (160g | 5 1/2oz), scraped coconut flesh (these are the white thai coconuts)
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (80ml | 2 1/2fl oz)
1/4 cup filtered water (60ml | 2fl oz)
1/3 cup raw honey (100g | 3 1/2oz), or raw agave, organic maple syrup, coconut nectar will work too
1/3 cup fresh passionfruit juice, from strained pulp and seeds
2 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Pinch of sea salt
3/4 cup cold-pressed coconut oil (185ml | 6fl oz)
3-4 fresh peaches, halved (about 750g), or other fruit like apricots, figs, or pears

Topping
1/2 cup fresh passionfruit juice, from strained pulp and seeds
3-4 tablespoons raw honey

In the bowl of a food processor, blend the coconut until it’s finely ground into a flour. Add the pecans, almonds, and dates and pulse until it’s like a couscous texture. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until the mixture is well combined. It should hold together well.

Line a 91/2 inch tart or quiche pan (with a removable base) with plastic wrap, press the mixture firmly into the tin. It will need to approximately 1/4-1/2 inch thick on the bottom and up the sides of the tin to maintain the structure. For individual tortes use mini tart shells. Place the torte base in the refrigerator while preparing the filling.

To prepare the filling: Blend all the ingredients except the coconut oil and peaches in a high-speed blender – being careful not to let it heat up. Blend the cream until really smooth. Slowly pour in the coconut oil with the blender on medium-high until completely combined into the cream. This torte has a soft cream when it’s at room temperature; if you want it to set more firmly add another 1/4 cup of coconut oil.

Pour the cream into the torte base and leave it to set for 2 hours in the refrigerator.

To finish: Combine the strained passionfruit juice and honey together in a bowl and stir until the honey has dissolved. Top the cream in the torte base with fresh peach halves, pressing lightly into the mixture. Cover the torte with plastic wrap and leave to set for another 6-8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, remove from the tin, remove plastic wrap, and place onto serving dish. Pour the passionfruit syrup over the peaches and cream and serve.

plum caramel roasted plums with brûléed stracciatella

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Plum Caramel Roasted Plums with Brûléed Stracciatella + Pistachios in Olive Oil // Serves 4

10 small plums, pitted, 8 of them sliced into quarters
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
2-3 tablespoons dark muscovado sugar, dark or light brown sugar works too
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
1/8 teaspoon ground star anise, about 1 pod freshly ground
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup pistachios, shelled and toasted
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
Pinch of sea salt
8-12 ounces fresh stracciatella or burrata cheese
2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar, for bruleeing

Preheat the oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place two of the plums in a blender with the pomegranate molasses, muscovado sugar, lemon juice, and water and puree until very smooth. Add the plum puree to a medium saucepan along with the scraped vanilla bean and star anise and stir to combine. Drop in the quartered plums and toss to coat. Place the plums on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the fruit is bubbling around the sides and caramelized. Bring the remaining plum puree to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 6-8 minutes until the mixture is deep in color. If this reduces too much it will become too sweet. Season with sea salt to taste. Turn off the heat and set aside.

In a small bowl combine the toasted pistachios, olive oil, orange zest, and salt, and stir to combine.

Place the stracciatella cheese and roasted plums into a serving dish. Sprinkle the sugar over the cheese. Using a torch, brûlée the sugar until it’s golden brown and a crisp shell forms over the top. Drizzle the plums with some of the remaining plum caramel, spoon the pistachios over and around the fruit and serve.

The plum caramel will keep in an airtight container up to 10 days.

Fig, yogurt, and almond cake with extra figs

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Sweets

Yotam Ottolenghi's Fig, Yogurt, and Almond Cake with Extra Figs | Lemon Fire BrigadeYotam Ottolenghi's Fig, Yogurt, and Almond Cake with Extra Figs | Lemon Fire BrigadeYotam Ottolenghi's Fig, Yogurt, and Almond Cake with Extra Figs | Lemon Fire BrigadeYotam Ottolenghi's Fig, Yogurt, and Almond Cake with Extra Figs | Lemon Fire BrigadeYotam Ottolenghi's Fig, Yogurt, and Almond Cake with Extra Figs | Lemon Fire BrigadeYotam Ottolenghi's Fig, Yogurt, and Almond Cake with Extra Figs | Lemon Fire BrigadeYotam Ottolenghi's Fig, Yogurt, and Almond Cake with Extra Figs | Lemon Fire Brigade

FIG, YOGURT, AND ALMOND CAKE WITH EXTRA FIGS / Serves 10-12
Recipe adapted by Yotam Ottolenghi

300g unsalted butter
300g caster sugar, plus 1 teaspoon extra
4 large free-range eggs
270g ground almonds
150g all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean or 3/4 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 1/2 teaspoons ground star anise, from about 7-8 star anise pods
150g Greek yogurt
12 figs, quartered

For the extra figs:
3 tablespoons caster sugar
1/2 cup red wine
6 ripe figs, quartered
Greek yogurt, for serving

Heat the oven to 400 F. Line the bottom and sides of a 9- inch loose-based cake tin with baking parchment. Put the butter and sugar in an electric mixer bowl, and use a beater to work them well until they turn light and pale. Beat the eggs lightly, then, with the machine on medium speed, add them gradually to the bowl, just a dribble at a time, adding more only once the previous addition is fully incorporated. Once all the egg is in, mix together the almonds, flour, salt, vanilla and anise, and fold into the batter. Mix until the batter is smooth, then fold in the yogurt.
Pour the batter into the lined tin and level roughly with a palette knife or a spoon. Cut each fig vertically into four long wedges, and arrange in circles on top of the cake, just slightly immersed in the batter. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 340 F and continue baking until it sets – about 40-45 minutes longer. Check this by inserting a skewer in the cake: it’s done if it comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool down before taking it out of the tin and sprinkling with a teaspoon of caster sugar.
You can eat the cake just as it is, but the addition of warm, syrupy figs turns it into something very special. Once the cake is cool enough, divide it into portions. Put three tablespoons of caster sugar in a medium saucepan and put on a high heat until the sugar starts to caramelise. Remove from the heat, carefully add the wine then return to the heat and let the caramel dissolve in the wine. Add the fig quarters and quickly toss them around just to warm them up. Spoon a generous dollop of Greek yogurt over each slice of cake, plus a few warm figs and their juice.