Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Savoury Za'atar French Toast with Seared Tomatoes

When I came across the recipe for savoury French Toast in the book Modern Jewish Cooking, I knew I had to make it. My family and I love French toast but I'd never made a version that wasn't sweet. Flavoured with za'atar, the Middle Eastern spice blend that includes toasted sesame seeds, thyme, oregano and sumac, and served with some seared tomatoes, it sounded delicious. Then I noticed the recipe for Challah with Sautéed Leeks and Thyme. What better bread to use for this than a savoury version of challah, an enriched, eggy and slightly sweet bread.
I needed only one loaf so I made a half recipe and shaped it into a simple twist rather than a more involved braid. The classic challah dough was soft but easy to work with and it produced this beautiful golden loaf with a light and fluffy crumb and leek filling swirled throughout. We enjoyed some of it right away and I set the rest aside for a few days to get a little stale (which it never really did!).
The recipe for the French toast called for a standard mixture of eggs and milk,  and za'atar-flavoured butter for frying. I omitted the butter and added the spice blend and lemon zest directly to the eggs. Once the dipped bread slices were cooked and placed in the oven to keep warm, I seared the tomatoes in the pan and added an extra sprinkle of za'atar.

This was a delicious alternative to sweet French toast made even more special by the fabulous leek-filled challah bread. 

The recipe for this wonderful savoury French toast and tomatoes is on page 36 in the book and can also be found here. The recipe for the challah is on page 236 in the book.

 
I'm cooking from the book Modern Jewish Cooking this month so I'm linking this post to Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Babas au Rhum - Tuesdays with Dorie

This week's project for Tuesdays with Dorie was a small yeasted cake soaked in sweet syrup and filled with cream. 

The batter was easy to make and came together in just over 15 minutes in the stand mixer. I didn't have regular yeast so I used instant yeast. I reduced the amount to 1-1/2 tsp (about 25% less) but even that was too much I think. It has a faster rise than regular yeast but I was still surprised that during its second proof the batter crested the top of the pan (I used a regular muffin tin) in less than 15 minutes(!) and mushroomed over the top during baking. I ended up not with the pretty little spheres I'd hoped for but ungainly looking oversized muffins!
The texture was good....the crumb was fine and delicate but again I think my choice of yeast or the quantity I used was a problem because even drenched in the citrusy-rum syrup, which was quite delicious, I could taste yeast. They did get eaten but this definitely was not one of my better bakes.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Steak and Za'atar Fajitas with Grilled Peppers and Onions

Fajitas are a fun way to get a tasty meal to table quickly and the recipe from the book Modern Jewish Cooking by Leah Koenig is a particularly good one, combining tender steak strips with grilled sweet peppers and onions.
The key to the beef's texture and incredible flavour is the marinade. It includes ingredients you would expect to see - onion, garlic, lime, red pepper flakes, olive oil - and one you wouldn't, the Middle Eastern spice blend za'atar. Made from toasted sesame seeds, thyme, oregano and sumac, it's nutty and earthy tasting with a citrusy tang from the sumac. It's very good with steak but I think it would go well with chicken also.
Warm tortillas, fresh coriander and lime wedges are all that are needed to finish this meal. Delicious!

 
I'm cooking from the book Modern Jewish Cooking this month so I'm linking this post to Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Simplest Plum Tart - Tuesdays with Dorie

The second selection this month for Tuesdays with Dorie is my favourite type of fruit tart - lightly sweetened fruit baked in a tart crust. Its success depends on the quality of the fruit so I made sure to use only the ripest of Italian plums.
I used crushed speculoos cookies to absorb the liquid. They added such a nice subtle spice flavour that complemented the plums so well that I would love to make this tart with a spiced tart shell. Dorie has a recipe for one in another of her books, Baking From My Home To Yours...maybe I'll try that one next time.

Visit here to see more fruit tarts.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Maple Cookies

Now for something sweet from the FoodNetwork, the online cookbook I've been using this month....cookies! 

These maple cookies are perfect for a packed lunch or an afternoon coffee break, or, as my husband believes, any time of day. The recipe comes from chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Emeril Lagasse who's known for "kicking it up a notch" and does he ever with these cookies. They not only contain maple syrup and pure maple flavouring but they're glazed with maple sugar icing. 
The dough was really easy to work with, which isn't always the case with sticky maple syrup as an ingredient, but it did soften quickly and needed to be chilled from time to time. I re-rolled the scraps and made more than 5 dozen cookies. Even with the extras, there was enough glaze for all, the trick was to keep it warm so it could be applied thinly.
These tasted incredible the day they were made and, unbelievably, they were even better the next day, with the same crunch as freshly baked but stronger maple flavour. 

I originally found this recipe on foodnetwork.com but it's no longer available there. It is on Emeril's site so if your want to make these cookies - and I know you do - the recipe is here.

 
I'm linking this post to Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Bacon-Wrapped Roasted Pork Tenderloin

This month, I decided to tackle some recipes from the FoodNetwork that I've saved over the years. First, I made Bob Blumer's delicious Pepper-Crusted Maple-Glazed Salmon from the American site. This week, it's Michael Smith's Bacon Roast Pork Tenderloin from FoodNetwork Canada.
This dish is another winner! You can't go too far wrong wrapping meat in bacon; it not only adds flavour, it helps to keep lean cuts like this tenderloin moist. I also love the way this recipe is written: you can use any sweetener, any mustard and any herb or spice for the pork marinade, and it will taste fabulous. I used brown sugar, grainy Dijon mustard and fresh rosemary.
I served it with some rice and Sautéed Mushrooms with Spinach and Pepper, a recipe from Deborah Madison's book Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.  

This made a quick and delicious weeknight meal and thinly sliced leftovers made very tasty sandwiches for lunch the next day. This is another recipe that will be repeated. I'm already thinking of different sweetener-mustard-herb combinations to use next time!
 
I'm linking this post to Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Brown Butter-Peach Tourte - Tuesdays with Dorie

Two tarts to celebrate seasonal fruit were chosen this month for Tuesdays with Dorie. This week, I made the peach tart. Actually, this peach dessert wasn't the typical open-faced tart I've become accustomed to making from the book Baking Chez Moi, but a tourte with a top crust made from the same cookie-like tart dough as the shell. Peach season here is short but sweet and this year's crop was particularly good, perfect for a pastry like this.
I decided to be more generous with the peaches so I loaded the crust with whatever it could hold, about one-and-a-half times what the recipe called for but even with the extra fruit, this was too buttery for me; I would have preferred it without the top crust and the browned butter but everyone else who had some really enjoyed it. 

To see the other fruit tarts, visit here.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Pepper-Crusted Maple-Glazed Salmon

If you love salmon, I have the perfect dish for you. It's a little sweet, a little salty, a little spicy, and perfectly delicious. Salmon doesn't really need much at all to make it taste good and this recipe used only three additional ingredients: maple syrup and soy sauce for the marinade, and freshly ground black pepper.
My oven is a little cranky at high temperatures so I roasted the fish at 475F (instead of 500F) and placed it pepper-side down at first to crisp, inverting it part way through cooking. The crunchy crust that formed provided a wonderful textural contrast to the moist salmon flesh and the black pepper heat was mellowed by the sweetness of the maple syrup.
I served the salmon with bok choy and sugar snap peas cooked en papillote, in a parchment envelope, with spring onions, garlic, orange zest and some fresh mint. The flavour combination was very nice and complemented the salmon well. 

This was made as a quick, mid-week family meal but I thought the salmon, in particular, was an elegant, company-worthy dish, one that will be repeated often.

 
I'm linking this post to Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray since both recipes came from cookbooks I don't use very often. The Pepper-Crusted Maple-Glazed Salmon was from one of my favourite online cookbooks, FoodNetwork, and can be found here. The side dish, Baby Bok Choy, Sugar Snap Peas, and Garlic en Papillote was from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan and has been published here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Coconut-Passionfruit Ice Cream Sandwiches

End of summer means many different things to me, mostly good things, but also one I don't look forward to, one of my most dreaded household chores, defrosting the deep freezer! But it must be done to make way for all of the gorgeous local produce I freeze every year.

I decided to treat myself to something a little special after surviving this year's ordeal ;)! I was inspired by the container of passionfruit curd, left over from this White Gold Passion Genoise and destined for the freezer, and the amount of space I'd created in that appliance, enough to now comfortably house my ice cream maker's freezer bowl. A batch of one my favourite ice creams was in the cards.
Passionfruit curd forms the base of this ice cream. All you have to do is blend in some cream, milk, a little sugar and vanilla bean paste and churn. It's as easy as that and results in an incredibly smooth and creamy ice cream with pure passionfruit flavour: tart, fresh and tangy.
In defrosting the freezer, I always come across ingredients I forgot I had that need to be used soon. I knew the unsweetened coconut I found would pair perfectly with my ice cream, especially in cookie form. These too were easy to make with all of the ingredients added to the food processor before being rolled out, chilled and baked (a process I altered slightly from the original recipe).

These sandwiches were completely delicious. The cookies had good coconut flavour, weren't very sweet, stayed remarkably crunchy and complemented the ice cream perfectly. It's a special combination that will be repeated.

If you would like to make these tropical treats for yourself, the recipes can be found here:

Pure Passion Ice Cream is surprisingly from a book devoted to pastry, The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. The recipe for passionfruit curd is included but I made mine for another project from Rose's Heavenly Cakes. Coconut Crisps from The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum are the cookies I used to sandwich that delectable ice cream. The recipe is also available here.

I'm linking this post to Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

White Gold Passion Genoise

The White Gold Passion Genoise was one of the recipes that drew me to Rose Levy Beranbaum's book Rose's Heavenly Cakes. In the author's words, "it's a glorious combination of white chocolate and passion fruit". How could I resist? When I saw the five pages of instructions, I thought perhaps I could after all but I do love a baking challenge!
There were a few components to tackle: the genoise; passionfruit syrup to moisten and flavour the cake; passionfruit curd filling; white chocolate-cream cheese buttercream. Some of the parts were a bit tricky for me to make. I've baked my share of rubbery genoise with flour pellets speckling the bottom and I've witnessed what overheating the white chocolate custard base for the buttercream does to it but everything went well this time since I paid close attention to those five pages of helpful hints and tips.
I made the cake the first time for my birthday a few years ago - yes, I bake my own birthday cakes - and thought it one of the most delicious things I had ever tasted. I deviated slightly from the original recipe this time and created a 4-layer cake with a double recipe of genoise and syrup and 1.5x the buttercream. I used an entire package of frozen passionfruit purée for the curd, about twice what was needed so there was plenty left over (for one of my favourite frozen desserts).
This cake captured all of the deliciousness of the original. The vanilla sponge was light and moist and imbued with the tartness of passionfruit, and the zingy passionfruit curd filling was the perfect foil for the delicate but rich white chocolate cream cheese frosting. Every bite was sheer bliss.

As with most frosted layer cakes, this one did require a little bit of planning but the experience of eating it made it well worth the time and effort of making.


I'm linking this post to Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Double-Corn Tea Cake - Tuesdays with Dorie

My latest endeavor from Baking Chez Moi was quite an interesting cake made with corn flour and fresh corn niblets. I'd never baked with corn flour before and wasn't sure what to expect.
It didn't rise that much for me so it was a little dense but it was fine-crumbed and moist and was a really pretty shade of yellow. The corn kernels were sweet and chewy, almost like dried fruit, but with concentrated corn flavour. It was a nice little cake but I wish I had followed Dorie's bonne idée and added nuts and cranberries for more flavour and to cut the sweetness.

Visit TWD to see the other members' bakes.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Profiteroles, Ice Cream and Hot Chocolate Sauce, Benoit Style - Tuesdays with Dorie

This month at Tuesdays with Dorie, a rather elaborate dessert from Baking Chez Moi was chosen as one of our projects. It was composed of vanilla pastry cream-filled choux pastry puffs, vanilla ice cream and bittersweet chocolate sauce...a little daunting with all of those components but many could be made ahead.
I decided to try the crackle-top variation of the profiteroles that included a thin sugar cookie baked atop each puff that added a bit of sweet crunch to every bite. Filled with rich vanilla pastry cream, they were so good I didn't think they needed anything else but that wasn't the chosen recipe so I forged ahead and made the chocolate sauce and (bought) ice cream.

This was an impressive dessert that everyone really enjoyed and I would make it again.

Visit here to see what everyone else made.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Lavender Galettes - Tuesdays with Dorie

Lavender tends to be a polarizing ingredient in my family - Dorie's Spiced Honey Cake tasted strongly of it and was not a hit - so I wasn't sure how well these would go over. The fussiness of cutting individual parchment rectangles and thinly rolling a sticky dough in humid weather didn't add to their appeal.
So I was happy that they went over quite well. They were wafer thin, crisp and flaky like a rich cracker, and delicately flavoured with orange and vanilla with lavender as a subtle back note. There were some who would have preferred them sweeter but I liked them just as they were.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Martine's Gâteau de Savoie - Tuesdays with Dorie

This week's pick from Baking Chez Moi was from the "Simple Cakes" chapter. Baked in a bundt pan, this light, airy (almost fat-free) cake, with its lovely vanilla flavour, relied solely on eggs, with whites and yolks whipped separately, for its leavening.
I made a few changes to the recipe: I reduced the sugar by 100g and used a lower-protein cake & pastry flour. I also successfully baked it in a 10-cup pan which was smaller than recommended. The cake did rise above the top of the pan but the batter didn't spill over.
It had an interesting texture with a fine, even crumb that appeared to be quite moist but was actually a little dry, probably the effect of some of my changes. Fortunately, like the sponge cake that it is, it had the ability to absorb liquid without disintegrating so Dorie's roasted strawberries made an excellent accompaniment.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Les Whoopies - Tuesdays with Dorie

Silky peanut butter cream sandwiched between tender chocolate mini cakes was my latest baking project for Tuesdays with Dorie from the book Baking Chez Moi.
These whoopie pies were quick and easy to make and were a crowd-pleasing treat, definitely worth repeating.

Visit here to see what the other bakers thought.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Herby Roasted Fish - IHCC A Pinch of This, A Dash of That!

This week's theme at I Heart Cooking Clubs is dishes that are flavoured with our favorite herbs and spices. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is our featured chef until October and as I leafed through his book River Cottage Every Day, I was struck by how many recipes included some of mine (but I'm partial to quite a few). I finally settled on the herby variation of Roasted Slashed Fish with Aromatic Paste.
Preparation was minimal (after the fish monger dressed the snapper for me), a few slashes and a rub made of garlic, lemon zest, parsley, dill, and chives (instead of the book's rosemary and thyme) and it was ready for the oven. 

We really enjoyed this. The flesh was moist and tasty and though slashing the fish made serving a little trickier, it ensured the flavours were in every bite. Simple and delicious.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Rhubarb-Lime Meringue Tart - Tuesdays with Dorie

It's time for another tart from Baking Chez Moi for Tuesdays with Dorie and I was very happy about this choice. It was a perfect way to showcase the star ingredient and one of my spring favourites, rhubarb.
It started with a pre-baked tart crust that was filled with sweetened rhubarb and custard and baked again. I used Dorie's bonne idée and topped it with my go-to Italian meringue instead of streusel. 

I loved this tart. Both the rhubarb and lime flavours came through clearly in the filling and it was tart enough to withstand the sweetness of the meringue. I did notice that the tart shell wasn't as crisp as it should have been (and usually is since I've used this recipe several times) and wonder if this was a case for shellacking the hot baked crust with egg white to protect it from the moist filling. I'll try that next time because I'm definitely making this again.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Fiddlehead, Goat's Cheese and Pancetta Frittata - IHCC Fresh From The Field!

It's that time of year when fiddleheads are available so I had to feature them in a dish, of course. I don't have many recipes that call for the pretty unfurled fronds of the ostrich fern but they work in dishes that feature asparagus or leafy greens. My inspiration this time was Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Spinach, Bacon and Goat's Cheese Frittata from his book River Cottage Every Day.
I replaced the bacon with 75g pancetta, a little less than the recipe calls for, and precooked the fiddleheads (for food safety reasons) before adding them to the egg mixture but otherwise made no changes to the recipe. The method of partially cooking the frittata stove top, then finishing it under the broiler worked perfectly.
The shallots, Parmesan and pancetta worked well with the fiddleheads and the mild chèvre didn't overwhelm the delicate flavour of my star ingredient. I will definitely make this again. 

I'm linking this post to I Heart Cooking Clubs for this week's theme of Fresh From the Field.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Egg Toast - IHCC Potluck

I missed the "Bready Things" theme a few weeks ago at I Heart Cooking Clubs so I'm bringing this open-faced sandwich from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to this week's Potluck.
Comprising scrambled eggs and smoked salmon piled high on a slice of toasted sourdough - yes, it really is that simple - I don't know that I actually needed a recipe for this but I did need a reminder of how good it is. The recipe is in the breakfast chapter of Hugh's book River Cottage Every Day but with a side salad it makes a delicious light lunch or supper too.

Visit here to see what everyone else brought to the potluck.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Pistachio and Berry Gratins - Tuesdays with Dorie

This week for Tuesdays with Dorie, I made fruit gratins, raspberries and blueberries topped with nutty pistachio cream, baked until the fruit was bubbling and the topping golden and crisp. It looked delicious in the book photo and sounded even better.
But it didn't quite work out for me. First of all, there didn't seem to be enough fruit for 6 portions so I distributed it among only 4 ramekins and reduced the pistachio cream accordingly. Then during baking, most of the topping sank into the fruit (Dorie did say this might happen), sweetening it and thickening the juices. The result was similar to a thick berry jam topped with a thin, crunchy crust. 

I'm on the fence about this one. While I enjoyed the flavour, the texture wasn't my favourite. I think I prefer crisps and crumbles where the fruit retains more of its integrity and there's more of a distinction between fruit and topping.

Visit here to see what everyone else thought. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Spiced Lamb Burgers - IHCC Escape to River Cottage!

With this week's I Heart Cooking Clubs' choice of any recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's series of River Cottage books or TV shows, the possibilities were endless. I chose these tender and juicy lamb burgers that relied on freshly toasted and ground cumin, coriander, fennel and cinnamon (with a little paprika and garlic as well) for their flavour.
Wrapped in a warmed flatbread, a tangy minted yogurt sauce and some fresh lettuce and cucumber slices were the only finishing touches required.

The recipe is from the book River Cottage Every Day and can be found here.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Lentil and Squash Pasties - IHCC Pub Grub!

Hand pies...the quintessential portable food. Here I've done a vegetarian version that starts with Puy lentils simmered in stock with carrots, onions, celery, bay leaves and thyme with cubed butternut squash added in for good measure and mustard and vinegar for some zip.
Encased in crisp puff pastry - store-bought to make life easier - they are delicious hot from the oven or at room temperature.  

The recipe is from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's book River Cottage Every Day and since Hugh is the current featured chef at I Heart Cooking Clubs, I'm linking this post for this week's theme of "Pub Grub".

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Plain and Simple Almond Cake - Tuesdays with Dorie

This week's project from Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi is the type of versatile cake I like to bake: it uses just a few basic ingredients I always have on hand and it's quick to put together; it can be baked successfully in different shapes and sizes (I know from experience that this isn't always the case with some recipes); most importantly, it's light and moist with a lovely almond-vanilla flavour, delicious on its own or with innumerable accompaniments.
I've made it a few times and I did find it to be a little sweeter than I like the first time so now use 50g less sugar. I've enjoyed it with fresh berries and crème fraîche, as a layer cake filled with lemon curd, and, in my latest version, as mini cakes accompanied by toasted almonds and Greek yogurt.

To see what the other bakers thought, visit Tuesdays with Dorie.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Honey Whole Wheat Cake - IHCC Hit the Sweet Spot!

It's no secret that I love to bake and this week's IHCC theme gave me an excuse to try a new recipe, specifically this one from Hugh-Fearnley-Whittingstall's book River Cottage Every Day that I've had flagged to make for quite a while.
It called for whole wheat flour, ground almonds, brown sugar, butter, eggs, sliced almonds and honey, all basic ingredients from my baking pantry. Because that's what Hugh does - transforms the basics into something absolutely delicious.
This was such a lovely cake. Soft and moist, it tasted of caramel with the whole wheat flour and almonds adding nuttiness.....a perfect indulgence with a good cup of coffee.

Visit here to see what everyone else made this week.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Laurent's Slow-Roasted Spiced Pineapple - Tuesdays with Dorie

Our second fruity selection this month at Tuesdays with Dorie was a simple dish of slowly roasted pineapple. Apart from the direction to use orange juice, the choice of booze, jam and spices to flavour it was entirely up to you.
This was a lovely way to serve the fruit. I used apple jelly, a vanilla bean, and pink peppercorns, and replaced the booze with more orange juice. The intensified flavours of both the pineapple and syrup were fabulous. It was an elegant topping for some ice cream but I enjoyed it best on my morning oatmeal.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Parsley and Pumpkin Seed Pesto Pasta - IHCC Pantry Suppers!

With a well-stocked pantry, the possibilities for good meals are endless. This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs, we're celebrating them with current featured cook Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall who has a real talent for putting basic and often unremarkable ingredients together to create something completely delicious.

The pantry staples needed to create Hugh's parsley and pumpkin seed pesto that I served with pasta:
As with most pesto, it took just minutes to blend up while the pasta cooked. Not as rich as a pine nut pesto, or as herbaceous as one made with basil, it had a subtle nutty flavour and the Parmesan and lemon really came through. I really enjoyed this lighter tasting, less traditional version.
The recipe for Parsley and Pumpkin Seed Pesto is from Hugh's book, River Cottage Every Day, but it can be found here as well.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Lemon Meringue Tart: A New Way - Tuesdays with Dorie

It's all about fruit desserts this month at Tuesdays with Dorie and I chose to make the lemon tart from Baking Chez Moi this week. Different from a lemon meringue pie, it comprises Dorie's sweet cookie crust filled with lemon pastry cream (instead of curd) topped with a fluffy meringue.
I made the crust and filling ahead of time and once the tart was assembled, all that was left was the meringue. While I'm not averse to eating raw eggs in food when they're well hidden, I don't like raw egg white meringues. I prefer to use an Italian meringue that's made by beating hot sugar syrup into whipped egg whites. It isn't actually cooked but it does have a different texture and flavour and better still, it's completely stable - no weeping.....ever! I used the Light Italian Meringue from The Cake Bible (Rose Levy Beranbaum) to top this tart.
Wow was it lemony! The lemon cream filling was very tart and really needed the sweetness of the crust and meringue as a buffer. As a fan of just about all things lemon, I enjoyed it, but some, even those who like lemon meringue pies, thought it was too sour. 

Visit here to see what everyone else thought of it. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Honey-Baked Rhubarb - IHCC Welcome Hugh!

I'm helping to welcome Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, our new featured chef for the next 6 months, to I Heart Cooking Clubs this week. I was first introduced to him when I picked up his book River Cottage Veg a few years ago and became quite familiar with his approach to food and style of cooking as I cooked my way through about two-thirds of the recipes in that book with the Cottage Cooking Club
I enjoyed that experience so much, I bought another of his books, River Cottage Everyday and that's where I looked for this week's recipe, one that focuses on a locally grown, seasonal ingredient: rhubarb. Hugh describes this "vegetable with an identity crisis" as one of his favourite "fruits". 

His appreciation of it shows in this simple roasted compote. Judicious use of honey sweetens it just enough and orange juice and zest enhance its fresh and tangy flavour.
He offers several serving suggestions for it and I followed one of them, swirling it into a bowl of yogurt. Delicious!

The recipe for Honey-Baked Rhubarb can be found here and if you're looking for more ways to use rhubarb, he has some other great ones in this book. I can recommend the Rhubarb and Orange Smoothie, a wonderful pick-me up any time of day, and his fabulous Rhubarb Clafoutis, which has become one of our favourite desserts. 

To see the other welcoming dishes at IHCC, visit here.