Fennel, orange and white cabbage slaw

I created this #TheFridayRecipe fresh white salad recently for a BBQ party and I think it’s going to be a new favourite. There’s plenty of crunch with the finely sliced white cabbage and fennel, the tang of fresh oranges and Dijon mustard dressing with the freshness of herbs – either mint or tarragon both work beautifully.

Fennel slaw

  • 1 small head of white cabbage
  • 2 medium heads of fennel
  • 2 medium oranges (ruby grapefruit also works well)
  • A handful of fresh mint or tarragon
  • Dressing: 1 dessert spoon of white wine vinegar, 3 dessertspoons of grapeseed or light olive oil, a pinch of sugar, a pinch of sea salt, a teaspoon of Dijon mustard. 

To make…

  • Firstly, prepare the dressing. I usually make this in a small lidded jar so I can make it quickly just by shaking it up and, if there’s any left over, it keeps well for a few days to use on other salads. Dissolve the mustard in the vinegar first, then add the oil and seasonings. Shake well to emulsify the ingredients together – taste and adjust any of the elements to taste. It needs to be tangy, not greasy.
  • Prepare the oranges. Slice off the top and bottom of each orange, run the knife down and around the sides and remove all the peel and pith. Quarter and quarter again, cut into chunks, reserve the juices and remove any pips.
  • Finely shred the while cabbage and fennel, mix thoroughly then add the orange and any juices to the cabbage and fennel mixture – this will prevent the fennel from turning brown. Add a couple of dessertspoons of the dressing and mix thoroughly. Add a little more if necessary/to taste. Keep it chilled in the fridge until you want to eat it. Add the freshly chopped mint or tarragon and mix just before serving as otherwise, the oil in the dressing will spoil the leaves.

Share, follow, like, enjoy!

  • To get the latest #TheFridayRecipe from the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen blog, just add your email address to the subscribe box at the top right-hand column of the website.
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Birthday chocolate bundt cake

I readily admit that posh, celebration-worthy cake baking is not my strongest suit but, after being quoted up to £160 to have one made, I decided to see what I could whip up for my lovely daughter’s 30th birthday party. This is the #TheFridayRecipe result…not too shabby for well under £20 I reckon!

Chocolate bundt cake

The delicious chocolate and vanilla sponge cake is made in a standard 10-inch circular bundt mould, finished with a ready-made chocolate mirror glaze, fresh strawberries,  blueberries and a bespoke cake topper bought from the wonderful Inspired by Alma.

  • 225g butter
  • 450g golden caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 280g plain flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 20g ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 250ml vanilla yoghurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 270g pot of ready-made Cake Decor chocolate mirror glaze from Waitrose
  • Fresh strawberries and blueberries to decorate
  • Optional: cake topper and birthday candles

To make…

The secret to a perfect bundt cake is all in the preparation of the tin. Ensure that you use a good heavy gauge tin, evenly and thoroughly buttered and then coated with a thin film of flour. This will ensure that it comes easily out of the tin once it’s cool, with a light shiny crust and nothing left behind in the tin to spoil the outline pattern.

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  2. Grease and flour the inside of the bundt tin. Get into all the little nooks and crannies – tip out any excess flour.
  3. In a separate bowl, measure out the flour, cocoa powder, ground almonds, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Mix the vanilla yoghurt and vanilla extract together in a jug.
  5. Crack the eggs into a separate bowl and whisk together thoroughly with a fork.
  6. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. You could use a Kitchen Aid or a hand-held electric whisk for this.
  7. Pour the eggs into the sugar and butter mix in a slow, steady stream on a low setting. The mix will become much fluffier. Add a tablespoon of the flour if it looks like it’s starting to split.
  8. Sift in 1/3 of the dry ingredients, followed by 1/2 of the vanilla yoghurt. Repeat until all the flour and yoghurt is used up. Fold it in gently with a spatula now as over-mixing at this stage will make the cake too dense with too many air pockets which can spoil the exterior outline of the cake.
  9. Spoon the mix evenly into the greased and floured bundt tin. Tap it down gently on the kitchen top to ensure the batter is evenly distributed and completely fills the tin. It should only be filled three-quarters of the way up the sides.
  10. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out cleanly.
  11. Place on a rack and leave the cake to cool for at least half an hour before carefully turning it out of the tin.
  12. Once the cake is thoroughly cooled, you can cover in the glaze. I made the cake the day before and covered it with a lid. I added the glaze the morning of the party. Follow the instructions on the pot – just heat it in the microwave until runny and pour evenly over the cake. Transfer it to your cake stand or serving plate, fill the centre with blueberries, top with whole strawberries and decorate the sides with strawberries cut in half, vertically. Keep it in a cool spot until you need it but not in the fridge and try not to touch the glaze.

Share, follow, like, enjoy!

  • To get the latest #TheFridayRecipe from the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen blog, just add your email address to the subscribe box at the top right-hand column of the website.
  • Follow me on twitter @pigeoncottage,  on Instagram at Pigeon Cottage Kitchen and the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen page on Facebook.
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Beetroot soup with cumin

One of my favourite restaurants in London has to be Moro. I went there recently for a family Sunday lunch and it didn’t fail to delight! I had a delicious beetroot soup to start and I remembered that I had a bunch of beetroot in the veg box at home and a version of the recipe was in my battered old edition of the Moro Cookbook – #FridayRecipe kismet! I roasted the beetroot first because the flavour is deeper and garnished it with flat leaf parsley as they do in the recipe. On Sunday, they used dill which I think I prefer. The trick is to ensure that with every spoonful of the beetroot soup, you scoop up a little of the yoghurt, the oil and the chopped herb garnish. It’s served warm here but I think it would work well as a chilled soup too as it’s like a kind of beetroot gazpacho. This quantity will serve 6 in small bowls.

Beetroot soup

  • Large bunch of beetroot, peeled, roasted and quartered
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons of light olive oil
  • A large pinch of Aleppo pepper (adds a mild heat – optional)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 generous teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon roasted ground cumin seed
  • 3 tablespoons of good-quality red wine vinegar
  • 1 large handful of finely chopped flat leaf parsley or dill
  • Black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons of thick greek yoghurt, thin with a little milk and seasoned with crushed garlic paste
  • Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • Cold water

To make...

  • Heat the oven to 200°C.
  • Place the beetroot coated with a little light olive oil in a roasting tray and roast for half an hour.
  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan and gently cook the onions with a little salt for about 15 minutes. Add the cumin seeds and the garlic, stir and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the diced potato and cook through for another few minutes. Remove the beetroot pieces from the oven and add to the pan.
  • Cover with cold water and bring to a simmer. Cook through for about 15 minutes. Using a stick blender, purée the mixture until you have a smooth, velvety soup. Add a little water if it’s too thick. Add the red wine vinegar, ground cumin and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve in small earthenware bowls, drizzle with yoghurt, fruity extra-virgin olive oil and the chopped herbs.

Share, follow, like, enjoy!

  • To get the latest #TheFridayRecipe from the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen blog, just add your email address to the subscribe box at the top right-hand column of the website.
  • Follow me on twitter @pigeoncottage,  on Instagram at Pigeon Cottage Kitchen and the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen page on Facebook.
  • Click on the link to get your very own copy of my family recipe book, Whats4teaMum?
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