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Raw, Root Vegetable Salad With Poppy Seed Dressing And Hazelnuts

With a bank holiday close on the horizon this salad is perfect for adding some seasonal, colourful flavours and textures to barbecues and summer lunches. The salad itself is completely vegan and raw and the intense sweet flavours of beetroots, apple and celeriac are enhanced by an amazingly vibrant and zingy dressing made from poppy seeds, agave nectar and fresh orange juice.

Serves 4

Ingredients

3 mixed beetroots

1 small celeriac

2 carrots

1 sweet apple

4 radishes

2 spring onions

4 tbsp pomegranate seeds

3 tbsp raw hazelnuts, chopped and toasted

2 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped

For the dressing

1 tbsp poppy seeds

4 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp agave nectar

2 tbsp fresh orange juice

freshly ground salt & pepper

Method

Peel the beetroots, then use a mandoline set on its thinnest setting to slice them into discs into a large mixing bowl. If you don’t have a mandoline, peel the flesh with a vegetable peeler to get long ribbons.

Peel the celeriac, then continue to peel the flesh to get really nice long ribbons. Do the same with the carrots, then add both to the bowl.

Slice the apple, radishes and spring onions as thinly as possible with a sharp knife and add to the bowl with the pomegranate seeds.

To make the dressing, simply combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl.

Pour all the dressing over the vegetables, mix well then chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. The acidity in the dressing softens the vegetables and intensifies the flavours.

Serve with a sprinkling of chopped toasted hazelnuts and chopped fresh tarragon.

This salad recipe was adapted from Avant-Garde Vegan Recipes by Gaz Oakley: https://www.avantgardevegan.com/my-recipes/

St George’s Day Canapés

How are you celebrating St George’s Day? In an ode to the feast of St George, we’ve reintroduced a few of our favourite, classically English canapés to our menus, championing British flavours and some of England’s finest ingredients. St George’s Day is the perfect excuse to indulge in the best of British cuisine, so why not add one (or all) of the below canapes to your order this month?

Mini Yorkshire Puddings with Rare Roast Beef, Horseradish Cream & Watercress

Mini Toad in the Hole

Mini English Garden Quiche of Artichoke & Goat’s Cheese

Honey & Mustard Seed Glazed Roast Cumberland Cocktail Sausages

Tempted? Just ask us about adding any of the above to your order when planning your menu.

Wild Garlic and Walnut Pesto

Spring has a distinct feeling of new beginnings about it, it may bring showers but it also brings new growth and a sense of light relief that, at last, winter may have left us and the sun is finally on its way. Now is the time to start embracing lighter evenings, fill your home with cheery daffodils, eat fresh eggs and, one of our favourites, forage for wild garlic to make wild garlic and walnut pesto.

While our kitchen is based in Battersea many of our team live in the home counties and much of our time has been spent walking in the countryside and rummaging hedgerows for wild garlic. We’ve been sharing recipes in the kitchen and this wild garlic and walnut pesto recipe was found on a wonderful blog, Growing Nicely, written by garden designer Jill Anderson. And it’s become a firm favourite!

Wild garlic is most commonly found in damp, shady woodland areas and if you’re lucky enough to find some we highly recommend making this pesto and enjoying it atop a big bowl of whole grain pasta.

Wild garlic and Walnut Pesto

Serves 4

50g shelled walnuts, you can use pine nuts, I use walnuts because they’re cheaper and they have a good, robust flavour
100g of well-washed garlic leaves & stems, roughly chopped
35g parmesan cheese, or any hard cheese that doesn’t melt easily
grated zest of half a lemon and a generous squeeze of juice
100ml of olive oil
A little salt & freshly ground black pepper.

Put the nuts, wild garlic, cheese and lemon zest into a food processor and blitz, then gradually add the olive oil – you may not need all of it or a little more- with the motor running slowly until it becomes a soft puree.

You can find the original recipe and lots of more inspiration on the Growing Nicely Blog.

  • Wild Garlic
    Wild Garlic
  • Wild garlic pesto
    Green supper!
Introducing our Vegan Canapés

We’re delighted to reveal a new range of vegan canapés! Developed in-house, we’ve created a range of canapés that are 100% vegan-friendly and, of course, absolutely delicious. Including flavours such as mushroom and caramelised onion polenta bites and celery spears with Imam Biyaldi, our vegan canapés were developed so that we can continue to provide every single one of our customers with delicious food, regardless of their dietary requirements.

Each one of our vegan canapés has been carefully developed to ensure it is packed with flavour and delicious enough to please every palate, regardless of whether you are a vegan or not. They’re the perfect choice if you’re looking to impress and surprise your clients or guests with creative food that looks beautiful and tastes amazing but might not be quite what they’re used to. Vegan food is only continuing to grow in popularity and we’re delighted and excited to be at the forefront of its development, so watch this space, the future is green and more exciting creations will be revealed soon!

  • Vegan Mexican Potato Skins
    Mexican Potato Skins
  • Vegan Mushroom and caramelised onion polenta bites
    Mushroom and caramelised onion polenta bites
  • Vegan Rainbow Summer Rolls with a Satay Sauce
    Rainbow Summer Rolls with a Satay Sauce
  • Vegan Crushed avocado on toasted rye bread with slow roasted cherry tomatoes and basil pesto
    Crushed avocado on toasted rye bread with slow roasted cherry tomatoes and basil pesto
  • Vegan Stuffed button mushrooms with spinach, vegan cheese and golden herb breadcrumbs
    Stuffed button mushrooms with spinach, vegan cheese and golden herb breadcrumbs
  • Vegan Mushroom and caramelised onion polenta bites
    Mushroom and caramelised onion polenta bites
  • Vegan Sweetcorn and chilli fritter with tomato and herb salsa
    Sweetcorn and chilli fritter with tomato and herb salsa
  • Vegan Beetroot and avocado nori rolls
    Beetroot and avocado nori rolls
  • Vegan Celery Spears Imambiyaldi
    Celery Spears Imambiyaldi
  • Vegan Baked courgette cups stuffed with quinoa, sundried tomatoes and red onion marmalade
    Baked courgette cups stuffed with quinoa, sundried tomatoes and red onion marmalade
Vegan Black Bean Burgers

New year, new you? We don’t think so. At Parsons, we refuse to succumb to over ambitious resolutions that we know we’ll never keep. While January is a wonderful time to look at life with a fresh perspective we want positivity from our new year, not a feeling of failure 2 months in when we haven’t turned 100% vegan, been to the gym every morning or given up sugar.

That’s why we’re thinking more of what we can increase this year, not restrict. And first on our list is to eat more consciously. Whether that be sitting down with your team for a proper lunch every Friday, choosing to eat more vegan meals and less meat or treating your clients to a catered breakfast with their morning meeting, rather than pastries from Pret, what and how we eat influences how we feel and by making better decisions about it, we can all feel a little bit better ourselves.

While we already do many of the above (we LOVE a team lunch) one way we’re trying to eat more consciously is to eat more vegan meals at home. Organic, ethically sourced meat will always have a place on our menus but in an ode to help the environment and embrace the seasons more, as a team, we’re making an effort to introduce more plant-based, vegan meals into our diets. One of our chef’s was given a wonderful cookbook for Christmas called Vegan Goodness, it’s bright and colourful imagery makes eating more plants a pleasure! We’ve been sharing many of the recipes from it and so, in ad ode to January and eating more consciously, we’re sharing one with you too. These vegan black bean burgers are a quick, low-cost weeknight meal, they’re super easy to make and taste delicious served with some tzatziki and roasted, minted new potatoes.

Ingredients

Makes 4 large or 6 medium patties

  • Olive Oil or avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large or 2 small red onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 500g cooked black beans or 2 tins, drained
  • 45g quick oats or 65g buckwheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • About 100g corn kernels, fresh or tinned, drained
  • A small handful of coriander, finely chopped

To build the burgers

  • 4-6 burger buns
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 large avocado
  • Coriander

Method

  • Pour a little bit of oil in the bottom of a medium-sized saucepan and place this over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, onion and garlic and stir until the onion begins to go transparent.
  • Add most of but NOT ALL of the black beans (I like to save about a third). Stir for a few minutes until the beans are nice and soft and then remove from the heat and mash into a smooth paste.
  • Stir in the oats or flour, salt, paprika and some freshly ground black pepper into the blended bean mix. Add the remaining beans and the corn and coriander, then use your hands to combine everything. At this point, you should be able to form patties. If the mixture is still a little wet, add more oats or flour, a tablespoon at a time. If it is a little dry, add some water or oil.
  • Place a heavy-bottomed frying pan on a medium-high heat. Form your mixture into 4 large or 6 medium patties and cook in the hot pan until golden brown or lightly blackened, depending on your taste preferences.
  • Prepare the other burger ingredients while your patties cook – toast your buns or wash your lettuce leaves, slice the tomato, onion and avocado (or mash it into guacamole), pick the leaves of your coriander and make the Chipotle Mayo. Now you can build your burger from bottom to top as follows: bun (or lettuce leaf), avocado, patty, tomato, onion, coriander, mayo, lid. And then figure out how to get your mouth around it.

Click HERE to visit Wholey Goodness’s website for more vegan recipes.

Chocolate Candied Orange Peel

Our founder, Katie Tress, shares her favourite festive recipe for chocolate candied orange peel

In our household, as I’m sure with many others, oranges were always synonymous with Christmas, we would make dried orange garlands to decorate the fireplace, Satsuma’s studded with cloves to hang from the tree and, if we’d been good and managed to avoid the lump of coal we were always threatened with, a fresh juicy clementine could be found at the bottom of our stocking come Christmas morning.

I try to recreate many of these traditions still, and one in particular that I always make time for is candied chocolate orange peel, that Ma used to make! Candied chocolate orange peels are beautifully bright and delicate, they look wonderful piled in a bowl in the centre of the table and feel sophisticated, yet are delightfully sweet. Perfect to have in the house at Christmas, when sweet snacks should always be on offer.

Tip: Start making these candied chocolate oranges peels at least three days in advance, as elements of it need time to set.

Ingredients

  • 3 oranges
  • 700g caster sugar
  • 150g 70 or 80% dark chocolate, broken up

Method

  1. Wash the oranges and remove the peel with a sharp vegetable peeler. Slice the peel into 4-5mm wide strips. Place the orange strips in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil then drain off the water through a sieve. Put the peel back in the saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and drain. Repeat the process once more (so you’ve done it three times). Then set aside the peel.
  2. Place the sugar in the saucepan and add 650ml cold water. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar crystals, then turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the orange peel and simmer for 35 minutes. Take off the heat and leave the peel in the syrup overnight.
  3. The next day, drain the orange peel and carefully lay the candied shards of orange on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking parchment. Leave to dry out for 48 hours.
  4. Place the chocolate in a bowl and rest it over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl is not touching the water. When the chocolate has melted, take it off the heat. Cool slightly, then dip the dried orange peel into the chocolate. Place on a wire rack and leave until set.

Tip: You can use the flesh and the cold cooking syrup for a fruit salad later. The same technique works for lemon and grapefruit too.

This recipe was adapted from House and Garden and the image was taken from their website.

 

 

Q&A with Parsons head chef, Carl

Carl joined Parsons as Head Chef this summer and he’s now a solid part of the team, bringing creative flair, a love for seasonal produce and a lot of passion and hard work to the team. Together we’ve created our Christmas menus, head to the menu section of the website to take a look at them. Here we chat to Carl and learn a little bit more about what makes him tick…

Were you interested in cooking as a child?

Yes, but originally not because of the food! In secondary school home economics was the most popular subject with the girls, so naturally I signed up as a way to meet them. Through doing so though I discovered a love for flavours and inventive cooking, I’d go home with so many ideas and take over the kitchen – which my mum loved because she was a terrible cook!

What’s your earliest food memory?

I’m dyslexic so had a tutor to help me with my school work when I was a child. When I was about 9 as a treat she took me to see 101 Dalmatians at the cinema and then to a restaurant afterwards. I’ll never forget it, it was the first time I’d ever been to a restaurant and it blew me away, I ate pan fried chicken breast with mushrooms and baby onions and totally fell in love with the whole experience.

How did you turn your passion for food into a career?

I originally trained as an Aston Martin mechanic, restoring DB5s and DB4s. I love cars but it wasn’t the same as being in the kitchen, nothing changes with car engines, once you know how they work they stay the same. So I left, but having no chef experience had to start from the bottom again. I got a job as a kitchen porter at acclaimed Restaurant 192; I left 5 years later as a Sous Chef and have been working with food ever since.

What do you love most about your job?

Cooking with fresh ingredients. I’ve met some amazing and interesting people over the years and it’s this, along with the buzz of the kitchen and the chance to learn something new everyday that keeps things exciting. Nothing is ever the same, there are always new flavours and new techniques to experiment with, I’m constantly learning things.

Who is the most interesting person you’ve ever cooked for?

Cooking at Clarence House was a huge honour and catering for Damien Hurst’s birthday parties was enormous fun.

What’s been your most memorable event to cater for?

For one of Damien Hurst’s themed birthday parties he requested for the whole room to be decorated in pigs heads. That was an experience.

What are your favourite kinds of ingredients to work with?

Fresh ones, always. Wild mushrooms, courgette flowers. Anything unusual and seasonal.

What’s the most challenging thing about working with food?

The hours and the stress level. You either love it or hate it.

Do you have a fail-safe dish that always works to please a crowd?

Wild mushrooms on brioche with truffle oil and poached duck egg.

What other hobbies do you have away from cooking?

I love bikes, so motorbike and pushbike riding are massive passions, my father and I used to go and watch 24 hours of Le Mans each year. I also grow my own vegetables and love gardening.

If you couldn’t have been a chef what career would you have chosen?

Diving instructor. I learnt when I was in Greece opening a restaurant. I used to dive and catch my own octopus to cook – you don’t get fresher than that!

Finally, what’s your absolutely favourite food?

A proper roast dinner. Pork in particular, with all the trimmings. But it has to be at home, I like to put everything on the table and for everyone to help themselves.

A Warm Salad of Roasted Kale, Coconut and Tomatoes

Roasted tomatoes are a joy to eat and in the Parsons kitchen we’re always looking for new ways to use them. Anna Jones’ first cookbook, ‘A Modern Way to Eat’ features simple, seasonal vegetarian dishes that highlight and celebrate ingredients such as tomatoes and other British seasonal fare wonderfully. Initially published in 2014 it’s not new to our radar and neither is Anna to cooking, having been trained at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, but it is one of those books we turn to time and time again. The recipes within are subtle, beautiful and delicate, with a focus on eating seasonally and ethically all are delicious on their own while many lend themselves perfectly as sides to meat and fish. At this time of year especially we love to use fresh produce, so much is in season and little beats the fruity taste of an organic British tomato. The recipe we’ve chosen to share in this month’s newsletter really celebrates their flavour, beautifully highlighting their sweetness with coconut, a bed of roasted kale and a delicious miso dressing. Scroll down to find it.

  • Warm Salad or Roasted Kale, Coconut and Tomatoes
    Warm Salad or Roasted Kale, Coconut and Tomatoes
  • Tomatoes
    Roasted tomatoes
  • Seasonal tomatoes recipes
    Kale, roasted tomatoes, coconut and miso dressing recipe
  • Kale, roasted tomatoes, coconut and miso dressing
    Kale, roasted tomatoes, coconut and miso dressing
  • Seasonal tomatoes recipes
    Anna Jones, A Modern Way to Eat

 

Ingredients

400g cherry tomatoes

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 unwaxed limes

1 head of green or purple kale (about 200g), stalks removed, leaves roughly torn into bite sized pieces

a handful of unsweetened shaved or desiccated coconut

1 tablespoon soy sauce

For The Dressing

a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 tablespoon miso paste

1 tablespoon of tahini

1 tablespoon or coconut or olive oil

1 red chilli, finely chopped

Method

Preheat your oven to 200°C/fan 200°C/gas 7.

Halve the tomatoes and place them on a baking tray with some salt and pepper, a good drizzle of olive oil, the zest of both limes and the juice of 1. Roast for 20 minutes, until blistering and golden.

Next, pile the kale on to a baking tray with the coconut. Pour over the soy sauce and toss well until everything is coated. Roast in the oven with the tomatoes for the last 5-10 minutes of their cooking time, until crisp.

Meanwhile, mix all the dressing ingredients together in a bowl with the juice of the second lime. Taste and add a little more seasoning or lime juice if needed, letting your taste buds guide you – remember the dressing will be less punchy once it hits the salad. Pull the kale and tomatoes out from the oven and tumble them into a big bowl. Toss in the miso dressing, adding a little at a time and tasting as you go, and serve still warm.

Find a link to Anna Jones’s website, including more salads and seasonal vegetarian recipes here: http://annajones.co.uk/

A Spanish tapas lunch in the heart of London

At the beginning of June, we were delighted to be asked to create a Spanish tapas and paella lunch to help launch 15 King Street, a new corporate office space in central London. Working alongside the prestigious private wine club, 67 Pall Mall, and the ever inventive and delicious cheesemongers, Paxton & Whitfield, we created a spread of Spanish tapas and Spanish inspired salads. We wanted to keep the tapas flavours traditional (no Spanish tapas lunch is complete without Patatas Bravas or plenty of chorizo), but being an afternoon event, and paired with paella, we were conscious they shouldn’t be too heavy. The results were a mixture of traditional Spanish tapas flavours – cue Patatas Bravas, smoky chicken skewers and anchovy butter – but with a focus on balancing these with lighter, smaller options, including refreshing gazpacho shots, crisp salads, and lightly char-grilled vegetables.

The day was warm and the sun shone in through the windows showing off the venue in all its glory, while a huge paella cooking inside the office gave off a delicious aroma of spices and saffron. 60 surveyors passed through the building stopping for lunch across the afternoon, we kept the salads topped up and the hot food coming as they mingled, ate and enjoyed the space. Themed events are always fun and it was a delight to work with everyone involved. Please do get in touch if you’d like more information about how we can help with private and corporate catering.

  • Spanish Tapas Chorizo Skewers
  • Spanish Tapas Gazpacho shots
  • Spanish Tapas Chorizo Skewers and Flowers
  • Spanish Tapas olives and salads
  • Spanish Paella
  • Spanish tapas pan con tomate
  • Parsons Creative Food waitress
  • Fresh salad
  • Scotch eggs
  • Spanish salad spread
  • Tables laid
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Parsons Creative Food waiter
  • Wine glasses
  • Red wine

 

Jerusalem Artichoke & Chard Mini Tarts

It’s a well-known fact that a Jerusalem Artichokes is not really an artichoke and has nothing to do with Jerusalem. It’s not however, a well know fact just how delicious they are. Or how amazing they taste in a tart mixed with chard. So, to prove it we’ve shared one of our favourite recipes with you. We love making these tarts for our clients in the spring and this recipe will make 15-20 mini ones, which are great as part of a buffet lunch. Alternatively, use a large fluted quiche tin to make one large tart.

I N G R E D I E N T S

500g Jerusalem artichokes, peeled

Olive Oil

Thyme

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

200g sautéd Swiss chard, chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

Knob of butter

Shortcrust pastry – click here to make your own. If time won’t allow though shop bought will work just as well.

1 egg, beaten and to be used as an egg wash for the pastry

3 egg yolks

1 whole egg

Half a pint of double cream

Parmesan (optional)

M E T H O D

Set the oven to 180°.

Peel the Jerusalem artichokes, drizzle with oil and scatter with salt, pepper, and thyme. Wrap each one individually in foil and pierce the top of the foil to allow the steam to escape. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

While the Jerusalem artichokes are roasting wash and slice the chard. Sauté the cut up chard along with the knob of butter and finely chopped garlic for 2-4 minutes.

Chill the mixture once cooked.

Roll out your shortcrust pastry to half a centimeter thick. Line your tart case(s) and prick the base.

Turn the oven up to 200°. Cover the pastry with foil and baking beans and bake blind for 20 minutes. When the pastry is golden brown take it out the oven and remove the foil and baking beans. Return it to the oven for to cook for a further 3-5 minutes uncovered.

Once even in colour remove from the heat, brush with the egg wash and bake for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and chill.

Reduce the oven temperate to 175°.

Leave to chill for 5 minutes, meanwhile, mix your roasted Jerusalem artichokes with the chard mix. Cut up any larger artichokes into bite size pieces.

Fill the pastry case(s) with the combined Jerusalem artichoke/chard mix.

Mix the double cream, egg yolks and egg. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour on top of the Jerusalem artichoke/chard mix.

If using, grate the parmesan on top.

Bake at 175° for 30 minutes, or until set and cooked.