(4 servings) 2 medium-sized zucchinis
4 tablespoons of pine nuts
4 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese Cut the zucchini lengthwise into very thin slices (you could use a cheese slicer).
Roast the pine nuts golden brown in a grease-free frying pan.
Take a plate and arrange one quarter of the Zucchini slices on it in a row, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Repeat this with the three other plates. Put the plates under the grill for several minutes, until the zucchini slices turn soft or golden brown (do not allow to burn). Garnish the plate with the pine nuts.
Tip: If your plates are not oven-safe, grill the sliced zucchini on a baking tray and arrange the slices on the plates afterwards.
Red bell-pepper soup
(4 servings) 1 small onion
1 clove of garlic
2 small red bell peppers
4 dl of tomato juice (from a carton)
4 dl of vegetable stock
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon of chili powder
a pinch each of paprika powder and cayenne pepper
a drop each of lime juice and Tabasco sauce
a generous splash of cream
4 fresh basil leaves Mince the onion and fry the pieces in a bit of oil until soft. Dice the bell peppers. Add the diced peppers and cook briefly. Squeeze the garlic in a press over the cooking pan and cook everything on a moderate heat for approx. 10 minutes.
Add the tomato juice and broth and bring to a boil. Let the soup boil for approx. 15 minutes until the peppers are tender. Make a smooth soup with a hand blender. Bring back to the boil and season to taste with the salt and pepper, chili powder, paprika powder, cayenne, lime juice and Tabasco sauce.
Add a dash of cream but do not allow the soup to boil. Cut the basil leaves finely just before serving. Garnish the soup with the basil.
Risotto with roasted pumpkin, tomatoes and goat cheese
(4 servings) 1 small onion
1 clove of garlic
250 grammes of risotto rice (the tastiest varieties are available in Italian and North African shops)
100 ml of dry white wine
600 ml of vegetable broth
400 grammes of pumpkin (without pips, with skin)
1 fresh red pepper
250 grammes of cherry tomatoes
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
3 sprigs of fresh oregano (ca, 15 grammes)
150 grammes of unflavoured goat cheese (Chèvre Bellay)
Salt and freshly ground pepper For the risotto, cut the onion into very fine pieces and fry with a small chunk of butter on a low heat until they are soft. Squeeze the garlic in a press over the pan and cook briefly. Stir in the rice and continue to stir until the grains are completely glazed. Add the wine and reduce on a low heat. Add half the broth and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and wait until all the moisture has been absorbed, while continuing to stir regularly. Add the other half of the broth, stir regularly for about 20 minutes until the rice is almost cooked (add some water if necessary). Add pepper according to taste.
Remove the seeds from the pumpkin and scrub the skin thoroughly (peeling is not necessary). Cut the pumpkin into large chunks. Remove the seeds from the pepper and cut it into thin strips. Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a baking tray, add the pumpkin chunks and sprinkle with the finely chopped red pepper. Put the tray in an oven preheated to 180⁰C for 15 to 20 minutes, and leave until the pumpkin is tender. Turn the pumpkin chunks occasionally.
Halve the cherry tomatoes. Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a baking dish and add the tomatoes. Sprinkle them with the dried oregano and the pepper and salt. Put the tray in the oven with the pumpkin for the last 5 minutes.
Crumble the goat cheese. Chop the oregano leaves fine. Stir half of the goat cheese and half the oregano in with the cooked risotto. Scoop the risotto onto heated plates. Garnish the risotto with the roasted pumpkin, the roasted tomatoes, and the rest of the goat cheese and oregano.
(4 to 6 servings) Half a head of oak leaf lettuce (approx. 150 grammes)
50 grammes of rocket lettuce
50 grammes of sea lavender
75 grammes of feta
25 grammes of roasted pecans
one handful of alfalfa Dressing 7 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of white-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons of honey
1 teaspoon of mustard Rinse the lettuce well. Mix the different types of lettuce in an attractive bowl.
Cut the feta into small cubes. Roast the nuts in a grease-free frying pan (do not allow to burn). Let the nuts cool and break them in half.
Garnish the salad with the feta, the nuts and the alfalfa. Mix the ingredients for the dressing and pour the dressing over the salad and serve at once.
Ice-cold creamy apple pudding
(4 to 6 servings) 4 apples (Elstar)
3 tablespoons of sugar
250 ml of cream
50 grammes of schuimpjes (or substitute with marshmallows)
2 teaspoons of a grated lemon peel
1 dl of creamy yoghurt
optional: mint leaves for garnishing Peel the apples, remove the cores and cut the apples into small pieces. Put the pieces in a pan with one tablespoon of sugar and cook the apples until soft. Mash the apples and let them cool.
Add 2 tablespoons of sugar to the cream. Whip until firm.
Crumble the schuimpjes (or marshmallows) .
Mix the cooled apples, schuimpjes, grated lemon peel and yogurt. Then add the whipped cream and stir briefly.
Line a round 1-litre cake pan with plastic foil. Spoon the apple mixture into the pan and leave in the freezer for 60 to 180 minutes. Place the pudding on a dish; garnish with whipped cream and mint leaves according to taste.
Good luck & a happy, culinary Christmas to all, Tina de Vries.