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Organic Bruschetta

4 Sep 2009 16:00:36

Red onion
Olive oil
Bread - Small bloomer or baguette

I'm not sure how you're actually meant to make bruschetta, but this is how I do it and its always very popular. It's great for using up left over bread and makes a really quick starter.

Cut the tomatoes into small pieces (half or quarter cherry tomatoes if you're using those).

Finely chop some red onion and mix into the tomatoes.

Season with salt and pepper and add a tiny amount of olive oil.

Rip a few basil leaves into small pieces and stir those in too.

Leave the flavours to infuse while you prepare the bread.

Slice the bread 1 ½ to 2 cms thick and toast under the grill.

Rub a clove of garlic over the surface of the bread, the rough texture acts almost like a tiny grater. One clove is probably enough for 8 or 10 slices but it depends on the size and how garlicky you like it.

Either pile the tomato topping onto the bread and serve immediately, or serve the bread and tomato mixture separately with a spoon so that everyone can add their own topping and the bread won't go soggy.
0 Comments | Posted in Organic Recipes Seasonal Food By Sam

Organic Tomato Salsa

18 Aug 2009 16:00:04

6 medium tomatoes
1 Red Onion
1 Green / Red Chilli
Big Handful Coriander
Lime Juice to taste
Sugar to taste (optional)

This hardly counts as a recipe, but it's something I make all the time and it's really popular. For parties and barbecues etc, it's so nice to have a really fresh homemade dip. This one is really easy to make and costs a fraction of what you would have to spend to get the same quantity of a shop bought salsa. It's really good with tortilla chips or homemade potato wedges.

Quantities above are all approximate and I never measure when making this at home, just adjust to suit your own tastes, but the above should work fine as a starting point.

Wash the tomatoes, chilli and coriander, deseed the chilli, and peel the red onion.
If you have a food processor, just blitz the tomato, onion, chilli and coriander to the desired size then add lime juice and sugar to taste. (Tomatoes can sometimes be a little bitter so a pinch of sugar can help balance things out).
If you don't have a food processor, then chop all the ingredients finely and mix together.
Cover and chill until needed. This will make quite a lot, so if there are only a couple of you then reduce the ingredients to suit.
Pastry has always been a challenge for me. This year I've faced my fear of it yet again but this time with a little help from Delia and Nigella and it turned out really well. With all that food about at christmas the larger mince pies can be just too much with a belly full of turnkey and pudding which is why these little mini organic christmas mince pies are so brilliant.

The picture on the left are the pies I made for the unveiling of the Live advent window at our SoOrganic Greenwich store.

This recipe (courtesy of Delia with a few mini changes) makes 36 mini mince pies.


1¼ lb (560 g) organic mincemeat
12 oz (350 g) organic plain flour
3 oz (75 g) lard (I used Trex vegetable fat)
3 oz (75 g) organic butter
pinch of salt

For the top:
a little milk
icing sugar

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C). Make up the pastry by sifting the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and rubbing the fats into it until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Then add just enough cold water to mix to a dough that leaves the bowl clean. Leave the pastry to rest in a polythene bag in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes, then roll half of it out as thinly as possible and cut it into two dozen 3 inch (7.5 cm) rounds, gathering up the scraps and re-rolling. Then do the same with the other half of the pastry, this time using the 2½ inch (6 cm) cutter.

Now grease mini patty tins lightly and line them with the larger rounds. Fill these with mincemeat to the level of the edges of the pastry. Dampen the edges of the smaller rounds of pastry with water and press them lightly into position to form lids, sealing the edges. Brush each one with milk and make three snips in the tops with a pair of scissors. Bake near the top of the oven for 25-30 minutes until light golden brown. Cool on a wire tray and sprinkle with icing sugar. When cool, store in an airtight container.

Raw Chocolate Recipe

17 Nov 2008 14:48:04

Selfridges have begun selling a luxury chocolate range named Credit Crunch.

But for those of us who can't afford to buy our chocolates wrapped in gold ribbon it may be an idea to make your own. This raw chocolate recipe makes undeniably the best chocolate I've tasted in a long time.

60g grated cacao butter
2 tbsp maca
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp agave nectar

Directions: Bring a small full pan of water to boil. Place a glass bowl on top of the pan ensuring the bottom of it does not touch the water. Add grated cacao butter and stir continuously. Raw cacao butter has a low melting point (38°C). If it is allowed to heat above this it's molecular structure begins to change, which will affect its beneficial nutrients. Dip a finger in to check it doesn't get too hot (should only be moderately warm) Once melted add the maca and cocoa powder. Once dissolved add the agave nectar. Then add mixture to chocolate moulds or ice cube trays and put in the fridge to harden. Depending on your taste buds you may wish to add a little salt and fresh vanilla bean.

Chocolate is far more comforting and uplifting when it's made from quality ingredients. Maca and agave can be a little difficult to find so I buy my ingredients online from the Funky Raw shop where the raw ingredients are pesticide free and fairly traded from small scale growers.
0 Comments | Posted in General Organic Recipes By Nicki
These creamy but crunchy stuffed mushrooms and their cooling cucumber dip make a fabulous starter. Serve them with some bread and they'll do for a main course too.

This recipe was given to me by my good friend Martina, one of the best home cooks I know!


  • 15 Open mushrooms about 7.5-10cm (3-4 in) across

  • 4  tbsp  olive oil

  • 1  small onion

  • 1  clove garlic, finely chopped

  • 100g / (3 ½ oz) fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs

  • 50g / (2oz) walnut pieces

  • 3 tbsp  chopped fresh parsley

  • 3 tbsp  snipped fresh chives

  • finely grated rind of ½ lemon

  • 125g / (4oz) stilton, crumbled

  • salt and black pepper

  • 50g / (2oz) Parmesan, freshly grated

  • 7.5 cm piece cucumber, finely diced

  • 100ml / (4 fl oz) crème fraiche


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C / 375°F Gas Mark 5. Remove the mushroom stems and finely chop together with 3 of the mushroom caps.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan, then add the onion, garlic and chopped mushrooms and cook for 5-6 minutes, until soft. Transfer to a bowl, then stir in the breadcrumbs, walnuts, 1 ½ tablespoons each of the parsley and chives, the lemon rind and Stilton. Season well.

  3. Place the 12 whole mushroom caps in a large ovenproof dish or roasting tin and divide the stuffing between them. Scatter with Parmesan, drizzle with the remaining oil. Bake for 30-35 minutes, basting once, until the mushrooms are tender and the tops have browned.

  4. Stir the remaining herbs and the cucumber into the crème fraiche and serve with the stuffed mushrooms.