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Thursday, 25 May 2017

Spelt Pizza with Red Onion and Goat's Cheese

I've spent quite bit of time over the past year experimenting with spelt flour. I always bake with gluten-free flour but have found that eating spelt bread or pizza, which I bake myself, doesn't cause the severe effects that other wheat products have on my digestive system. However, spelt pasta still doesn't agree with me. I guess more experimentation is needed on that one. 

Lately, I've been making a lot of the pizza with red onion and goat's cheese. The topping is quite rich though, so occasionally I'll swap it out for some anchovy and olive, or pancetta, parmesan and rocket. The variations are endless...

Spelt Pizza with Red Onion and Goat's Cheese

For the dough:
450g spelt white flour
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
250 ml warm water

For the tomato sauce
250g cherry tomatoes
1 garlic clove
1 handful fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tin chopped tomatoes (400g)
1 tbsp sundried tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp red wine vinegar

For the topping:
1 red onion, sliced into rings and caramelised in some butter
1 goat's cheese round, finely sliced
250g grated mozzarella
a few basil leaves


1. For the dough:  In a large bowl combine the ingredients for the dough. Mix well and knead for five minutes. Leave in a warm place to prove for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Knock down the dough and knead for a further 5 minutes or until more pliable. Divide the dough into 4.

2. For the tomato sauce: Roast the cherry tomatoes for 20 mins on a 180C oven with the garlic, thyme and olive oil. Meanwhile in a separate sauce pan, fry the shallot at a low heat in a little olive oil until translucent. Add the chopped tomatoes and sundried tomato paste and cook at a low heat for 20 mins. Add the roasted cherry tomatoes to the saucepan and cook for a further 10 mins. Add salt and pepper and the red wine vinegar and then remove from heat. Blend with a hand-held blender until smooth.

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out or press out the dough using your fingers until very thin. Pre-cook the dough in a 220C oven until lightly golden (5 mins) and then flip the base to avoid having a soggy middle of the pizza. Spread a dessert spoon of tomato sauce and then spread out a few red onion. Cover with a handful of grated mozzarella. Place a few sliced rounds of goat's cheese on the top. Return to the oven and bake until lightly golden (5-10 mins) and the base is cooked.

Makes 4 very thin pizza bases.



Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Food: Pasta with Courgette and Anchovy

I never really jumped on the spiralizer wagon of a few years ago as I prefer not to eliminate food groups (like carbs) unless I absolutely have to. I do, however using spiralled vegetables as an accompaniment in pasta and Courgette Pasta with Anchovy has become a firm lunch-time favourite served, in my case, with gluten-free pasta. This is perfect for sunny alfresco lunches or if you fancy a lighter meal over the warmer months.

Pasta with Courgette and Anchovy

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Food: Chicken and Bean Burritos with Mexican Street Corn

I've been experimenting with Central American flavours ever since we visited Costa Rica last year. Burritos perhaps, are not Costa Rican, but I made these Chicken and Bean Burritos on a cold a dreary day when I'd quite happily have transported myself to a tropical beach. These are very easy and quick to make but I do warn you, the accompanying Mexican Street Corn are quite addictive!

Chicken and Bean Burritos and Mexican Street Corn

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Shakshuka - Poached eggs in a Spicy Tomato Stew

I enjoy eating lots of fruit and veg in my diet and find that my meals become a lot more imaginative when I incorporate as many vegetables as I can into every meal. Breakfast in our house usually involves oats and toast with fruit thrown over as a topping but over the weekend, when I prefer something a bit more savoury. Shakshuka has become a favourite. The wonderfully warming Moroccan spices complement the eggs really well. Perfect for breakfast or brunch with friends!

Shakshuka - Eggs in a Spicy Tomato Stew

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Gluten-Free Orange Cake

The daffodils are blooming and the mornings are brighter here in the east of Scotland but the weather hasn't seemed to realise that it's meant to be Spring. This week we've had hail storms, snow and lots and lots of rain which makes me want to switch to hibernation mode and hunker down... a bit Groundhog-like really. Life is slowly returning to normal after the disruption of having our kitchen remodelled in January. Four weeks without a kitchen was difficult, but it made me appreciate how lucky I am. Yes, the disruption was a pain but I still ate really well (from my well-stocked freezer) and now feel really inspired to cook in my new kitchen. My approach to life this year is to be a lot more positive and after nearly two years of daily meditation and yoga, I feel that my general outlook has become much sunnier. Yes, I still worry about little things, but I don't let them consume me and when life gives me lemons, well... which leads me to this week's recipe. I can feel a cold lurking after all the strange weather we've had and now after buying some oranges (and vitamin C tablets) to boost my immune system, I've decided to make an orange cake. See... there's the silver lining!

Gluten-Free Orange Cake

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Spinach and Feta Phyllo Pastry Parcels

It's been ages since I've last posted a recipe and I wanted to boot up the blog once again, partly to share my recipes with the internet, but also to record the recipes I've come up with for posterity. I've come a long way in the kitchen - from my early days of only being able to cook things in a microwave, to meeting my husband and cooking together to decompress in the evening and now as a stay at home mother where I cook every day and look forward to dinner parties where I can experiment a bit more. In the early days, I would follow recipes religiously but now I like to experiment and enjoy conjuring up something new. I can only liken this to the rush I'd get in my days in the laboratory when I'd finally been able to get a particularly tricky experiment to work. I relish these experiments in the kitchen  as I get to share the spoils with the people I love which brings me so much joy.

 As a PhD student I'd often get together with a big group of Greek students on a Sunday for a pot-luck lunch and someone would always make Spanakopita which is the obvious inspiration for my Spinach and Feta Phyllo Parcels. When I first started making these, it would usually be for a dinner party so I'd make them in ramekins and scrunch up some leftover phyllo as decoration on top, but these days I'm more likely to make them for a weekend lunch for the kids as they love feta cheese and this gives me a way to sneak in some green stuff amidst all the gooey cheese.

Spinach and Feta Phyllo Parcels

All Images Copyright Clementine Buttercup 2016