Cottage Cooking Club – May 2014

Today brings something new to my blog, which will be happening monthly over the next ten months or so. I’ve teamed up with a few of my favourite bloggers to cook our way through River Cottage Veg. Our little group has been organized by the wonderful Andrea of The Kitchen Lioness and you can join us at the Cottage Cooking Club. Each month, we’ll be cooking up to ten recipes from the book and sharing our versions of the dishes. What we won’t be sharing is the recipes, unless there they’ve been shared online by the author or publisher. Some of us may also provide recipes inspired by the month’s choices.

This group came along at the perfect time for me, as my partner is moving toward vegetarian, and ultimately vegan, eating. I’ve always incorporated a lot of meat-free meals into my life, but it’s great to get some new recipes into my repertoire right now and see which ones appeal to Kevin the most.

This month, I chose six of the recipes to try. I probably won’t make that many of them every month, but there were a lot of favourite ingredients on this month’s list.

Arugula, Fennel, and Puy Lentil Salad

Lentil Salad

First up is a salad so good that I couldn’t help but share it with the group of bloggers who participated in the Canadian Lentils #LentilHunter Twitter chat that happened a few weeks ago. I loved the vinaigrette that was mixed into the lentils and then used to dress the greens. Kevin’s not a salad dressing fan, though, so I just squeezed lemon on his. We were both happy.

This is the sort of recipe I’ll revisit often, changing the ingredients according to the season. I used the organic French green lentils that I always have on hand, but this would be really special with authentic Puy lentils.

Try it for yourself – you can find the recipe here.

Quinoa with Zucchini and Onions

Zucchini and Quinoa

Not a hit for Kevin. I liked it, but would use less onion and perhaps a wider variety of veggies. I sauteed the garlic in butter before adding it, added a bit of balsamic at the end, and forgot the nuts. I think with a bit more experimentation, this could be a better dish for us.

Radishes with Butter and Salt

This one is a summer tradition for me. The bite of raw radishes is a perfect match for the soothing creaminess of butter. And salt just makes everything better. I did this with the first radishes from my garden and completely forgot to take a picture. I’ll add one the next time I do it. Shouldn’t be long.

Asparagus Pizza

Asparagus Pizza

I didn’t get a pretty photo of this one, but I loved it, ugly or not. I used a frozen gluten-free crust instead of the homemade pizza dough made with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Magic Bread Dough. Next time, I’ll make it for gluten-eaters and use the dough, as Kevin wasn’t that keen on this dish. He would have preferred a traditional, tomato-based pizza with steamed asparagus on the side.

Roasted Eggplant Boats

Eggplant

I was surprised that Kevin didn’t like this one more – eggplant is one of his favourite vegetables. One of the things we came up against in a lot of the recipes I’ve been trying lately is that he’s not a big fan of sauces or dressings. The plainer the better is his motto. So, I finished this on my own. I enjoyed it, but it won’t be replacing Ottolenghi’s roasted eggplant as my go to any time soon.

Stir-fried Cauliflower

Cauliflower

This dish was the winner of this month’s selections. We both loved it. This time, it made a great late night snack. Going forward, I think it will be a nice side for almost any Asian-influenced fare. I skipped the cilantro and added a little five-spice, but I would have been just as happy with the recipe as written. It’s easy to put together and I would be lying if I said I won’t be making this again for a lazy lunch or snack, all on its own.

Intrigued by this month’s recipes? Buy the book and join us.

Here are the links to the rest of the group’s posts for this month. I encourage you to check them out – you’ll meet some wonderful bloggers and get some great inspiration for vegetarian eating.

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11 thoughts on “Cottage Cooking Club – May 2014

  1. Wasn’t this fun? I see that it was a mixed outcome for your house this month, but I really enjoyed all of the recipes. I didn’t get to the cauliflower, but it looks really great!!!

  2. Dear Teresa, let me start with a “Big Fat Thank You!” for the kind comments about my blog – I certainly appreciate them! All of your dishes look fabulous.The Quinoa with Zucchinis and Onions looks fabulous – I loved that dish so and, it was my 13-year-old daughters favorite recipe this month! The radishes with butter are always a winner at our house. The Asparagus Pizza was also a big hit here – I just loaded up on that asparagus. The Aubergine Boats were my least favorite, although we enjoyed them – I shall look up the link to Ottolenghi though.The Stir-fry Cauliflower has made many an appearance at our house – isn´t it fabulous?! The one dish that I regret not making (but I will) is the Lentil Salad – it makes me hungry and we love lentils – how nice that you shared the recipe with some fellow bloggers!
    Fabulous post, dear friend!
    Thanks again for the kind words, for the participation and your enthusiasm!
    Andrea

  3. I’m with you, this could not come at a better time for me either. We are trying to do away with all our big meals, and lighten up. Now I’m regretting some of the items we skipped like that cauliflower and the quinoa.

    Are you going to IFBC this year in Seattle? By the way, the rose in the strawberry shortcake is amazing – have you tried it yet?

  4. So far I’m loving this book. Always looking for new ideas in the vegetable department. The pizza was my favorite choice, as well as the cauliflower. All your dishes looks wonderful. I need to try the salad soon.

  5. Teresa, I also made the asparagus pizza, cauliflower and the radish drill (no work, there, just knocked it off). I think Kevin might have enjoyed the pizza more if you’d have rolled it very thin, making it almost a flatbread concoction. I made two pizzas, one with a thick crust and one with a very thin crust. The thin crust pizza with all kinds of thin asparagus stalks was delicious. Don’t give up on that recipe. Jora and Paul also were not crazy about the eggplant boats. I think I’ll try Ottolenghi’s recipe. As for the cauliflower? I also will make it again and again. I love that vegetable anyway and am glad for another excuse to keep it in the house.

  6. Thanks for the link to the Ottolenghi eggplant recipe. Plenty is the only one of his books I don’t own, but you’re really making me want to buy it…The cauliflower was a definite winner, wasn’t it? I’m looking forward to making it again.

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