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Can we talk about real meals for a moment? Not those ones where you follow a recipe exactly leaving lots of packets of half opened things in the fridge, that don’t have their backbone in store cupboard ingredients? When I re-launched this site I resolved to post more ‘real’ recipes, things that will actually help you figure out what to eat every day, not what you’re going to make at the weekend when you have a moment to go food shopping.
Reading cookbooks like What’s Gaby Cookingand Love Real FoodI’ve always wanted to be that person who preps a load of sauces that go well with things during the week so I can have a week of perfectly prepped, delicious and interesting meals. To be perfectly honest that is not how I cook, and that person is never going to be me. However, I am that person who hates food waste so if I’ve made a jar of sauce for a recipe, I’ll use it in every possible recipe so not to waste a single drop.
I’ve got a recipe coming next month where the real star of the show is a quick, easy and super addictive Romesco sauce, and after testing, then making this I’ve had a good play around what Romesco sauce is good for. I particularly love with with chicken and broccoli, frying up some potatoes and drizzling it all over in a sort-of-summertime Sunday roast, and one night on a fridge clearing manoeuvre I came up with this delicious, filling, real food, accidentally vegan supper solution: a big bowl of brown rice, topped with quickly charred broccoli and tomatoes, smothered in my Romesco. Well, is say my Romesco because I’ve really messed around with it, but a big shout out has to go to Ed Smith and his book On The Sidewhich really got me started with the stuff.
Boil the rice in a pan of boiling water for 25 minutes, until tender. I prefer to cook rice like pasta and drain it well afterwards as it is almost impossible to burn it this way!
Meanwhile, pre-heat the grill to 200 degrees (390 farenheit) and make the sauce.
To make the Romesco, add all the ingredients except for the salt to a blender (I use this one) and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt.
10 minutes before the rice is ready, toss the broccoli and tomatoes – leave them whole – together with a good drizzle of chilli infused oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper on a baking sheet. Grill until the broccoli is charred and tender, and the tomatoes have started to blister.
Serve the veggies and any cooking juices spooned over the rice, finished with a very generous drizzle of the Romesco sauce.
Pomora are kind enough to gift me a fantastic quarterly olive oil selection which I use for everything and I’m using their chilli infused oil here. Alternatively if you don’t have a favourite brand, use regular olive oil with a pinch of dried chilli flakes.
Lots of traditional Romesco sauces have garlic in but I find it too harsh; feel free to use some garlic infused olive oil here instead; again, I use Pomora’s.
I'm a food writer living in London and the English Countryside. Welcome to my online diary where I share easy, weeknight recipes, foodie travel diaries and some of the best places I've eaten out recently.
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One Pan Pescatarian: 100 Delicious Dinners – Veggie, Vegan, Fish
My second cookbook contains 100 delicious dinner recipes, all of which are either vegetarian, vegan or which celebrate fish and seafood - all cooked in either one pot or one pan.*