After my recent visit to Gasworks Farmers Market, I made a few dishes with the food I bought there. Potatoes, watercress and ravioli! Firstly there was salad for my mum's birthday lunch and then a ravioli dish that got the thumbs up from E. However my cooking has been a little hit and miss lately and strange enough it is chocolate baking that is not quite working for me. (Though I hope to rectify this very soon!)
My aim at the market was to buy fresh apricots for my mum. Then I saw these lovely pink fir lady potatoes. They even look pink. I planned all along to make potato salad with them. It just seemed right. They cooked up into a compact nutty flesh that was full of flavour.
I also added some mustard and watercress which had some bite and a slight bitterness. It was was balanced by the sundried tomatoes, though maybe not enough. Maybe a bit of maple syrup or honey might have helped, if like me, your preference is not towards bitterness.
The potato salad was good though not my best. I think it would have been better fresh than having sat in the car for an hour but it still was a fine contribution and went well with the other salads my siblings had brought along.
I had also promised to bake a cake for mum. Having stem ginger left over from Christmas baking, I was delighted to find a recipe for chocolate and ginger cake on C's Cake Crumbs and Cooking blog. Having had great success with other recipes from C's blog, I was perhaps a little over-confident.
I made three mistakes. One was to use self-raising flour instead of plain. I added the choc chips when the mixture was too hot so too many melted and there were a lot less nuggets of chocolate than the recipe intended. The last mistake was to use my standard loaf tin. The recipe required a 450lb cake tin. I don't understand how you work out the size of a cake tin by weight but I suspect mine was too big.
The cake was nice but it was a little on the dry side and didn't keep well. I suspect my resolve to eat a few less baked goods has also meant it wasn't appreciated as much as my cakes normally are! E didn't like the stem ginger in it. My mum and my little niece Ella enjoyed it. I hope to try this recipe again and pay more attention because I think it could be much better than my attempt.
You can also see the market apricots, mum's pav and gluten free fairy cakes in the above photo. I was amused at the lunch to finally find something that Sylvia and her cousin Cooper can share: little cakes. Cooper eats the icing and Sylvia eats the cake. Both kids would eat far more of the cakes than is good for them if they had their way. Yet another thing they agree on!
Whereas I could have eaten far more of this sun-dried tomato and goats cheese ravioli than is good for me. It was delicious. I love pasta but am always searching for ways to eat it in a way that includes lots of vegies and protein. I know the purists say that when it tastes this good all you need is a slick of flavoured oil and maybe some fried sage leaves but it leaves me feeling heavy and not terribly healthy.
So I set about using the vegetables in the fridge to make a pasta sauce for the ravioli. Some watercress was leftover from my market haul. I also had a neglected packet of spinach that needed using. With a few extra vegetables and some brown lentils from a tin, this made a wonderful pasta stew. Not only does it taste delicious and healthy but it also makes the pasta go further.
E loved this ravioli stew and so did I. Sylvia was fascinated by the pasta but didn't like the extras. She even went so far as to insist that I take out the filling from the ravioli so she could just eat the pasta. It really defeats the idea of having ravioli. But she likes things plain. She also didn't like the brown lentils in the stew but loved them in a heap on her plate (though it is no fun when she flings a handful at the floor!). It amuses me that she calls all legumes 'baked beans'. Maybe because they were her first legume love.
Ruth is always looking for ideas on how to serve pasta. That is why she oversees the ever inspiring Presto Pasta Nights blog event. I am sending the pasta to Jen of Tastes of Home who is hosting this week (#197).
Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Muffins at the tennis
This time two years ago: Baba - full of eastern promise
This time three years ago: Simple Substantial Salads for One
Ravioli with lentils and spinach
420g fresh ravioli (I used sundried tomato and goats cheese)
glug of olive oil
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
1/2 large red capsicum, cut into matchsticks
100g baby spinach, sliced
1 cup cooked brown lentils (I used tinned)
125g cherry tomatoes, halved
picked leaves of half a bunch of watercress
handful of broccoli florets, steamed
Cook ravioli according to packet instructions in a large saucepan. Drain ravioli in a collander and heat oil in saucepan in which you cooked the pasta. Fry spring onion, carrot and capsicum over a low heat for a few minutes. Add spinach and cook a couple of minutes until it is starting to wilt. Add lentils, tomatoes, watercress and broccoli and cook for a few minutes until warmed through and tomatoes are softened. Stir through ravioli and serve hot. Leftovers are delicious for lunch the next day.
Potato salad with spring onions, watercress and sundried tomato
inspired by these salads
serves a crowd as a side dish
1 kg pink fir lady potatoes, scrubbed and thickly sliced
2 spring onions, finely sliced
50g semi sundried tomatoes, chopped
handful of watercress (1/2 - 1 bunch) picked leaves
1 tbsp chopped parsley
2 dessert spoons yoghurt - about 100g
2 dessertspoons of mayo - I used vegan
1/2 tsp seeded mustard
1 tsp cider vinegar
Cook potatoes for about 20 minutes in salted water or until done. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Best eaten fresh. Can be kept in the fridge overnight but the potatoes absorb the dressing so it becomes a bit drier and could use a bit more yoghurt and/or mayo to pep it up.
On the stereo:
Live at KEXP Radio Chicago 2008 (bootleg): Beiruit