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Olia Hercules for Maldon Salt       All food photography by Maldon Salt.

Feel good food that’s good for you

All recipes created by Olia Hercules for Maldon Salt, part of the Feel Good Food series running on Maldon Salt socials on YouTube.

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Savoury Granola

Ingredients

2 tsp sunflower seeds

2 tsp sesame seeds

2 tbsp cashew nuts

1 tbsp almonds, chopped

3 tbsp vegetable oil

5 garlic cloves, finely chopped

20g piece of ginger

1 tbsp tamarind puree

1 tbsp maple syrup

Maldon salt

Method

Put the sunflower seeds into a dry frying pan and toast until golden. Do the same with the sesame seeds and then the cashew nuts and the almonds. Put the nuts into a bowl.

Now heat the oil in the pan and add the garlic and the ginger, cook over a medium-low heat until lightly golden and aromatic. Add this, including the oil, into the nuts, add the tamarind and maple syrup and stir through properly.

Preheat the oven to 160C.

Line a baking sheet with some non-stick baking parchment or foil and spread out the nut and seed mixture. Sprinkle over the salt and cook for about 8-10 minutes. You are looking to dry everything out without letting the garlic to burn.

Remember that it may feel sticky but will dry out once left out of the oven. Keep in an air-tight container for up to a week. Use on everything or as a snack.

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Mushroom Broth

Ingredients

50g dried mushrooms

2 onions

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large carrot, grated on the

rough side of the grater

100g kale or other

dark green leaves, 

finely chopped

200g buckwheat noodles

15g butter

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

A handful of fresh mushrooms

Lots of dill and parsley,

finely chopped

Method

Put the mushrooms into a bowl and cover with 500ml of hot water, cover with a plate and leave for at least 20 minutes. Peel and dice one of the onions. Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan and sweat the onions over a medium-low heat until soft and translucent. Add the carrot and sweat some more until starting to caramelise gently. Add the chopped kale and cook for about 3-5 minutes. 

When the mushrooms look plump, pick them out with a slotted spoon and carefully pour the liquid into the pot with the onion and carrot, making sure to leave any grit behind. Add the rehydrated mushrooms in, add a litre of water and one whole, peeled onion. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. 

Cook the noodles separately, according to the packet instructions.

Fry some mushrooms in butter - to use as a topping. Roughly chop the garlic and then crush using Maldon salt and the side of a knife. Heat the butter and add the mushrooms, cook until nice and brown, then stir through the crushed garlic and cook for a minute.

To serve put some noodles into a bowl and top with the broth, scatter some fried garlicky mushrooms on top and finish with the herbs.

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Fennel, Blood Orange and Shallot Relish

Ingredients

1 banana shallot

1 fennel bulb

1 blood or regular orange

1 handful of chopped green olives

2 tbsp good-quality vinegar

1 tbsp Maldon salt

1 tbsp honey 

A few sprigs of fresh marjoram

or oregano

Method

Peel and dice the shallot as finely as you can. Cut the fennel in half, then cut it into very thin strips, then across into small dice. 

Segment an orange by cutting the peel and the pitch with a sharp knife, then draw the knife in-between the membrane to release the orange flesh. Try to catch the orange juices, swipe them into a bowl. Chop the orange up into small pieces.

Because this relish has fruity notes and also honey, it is important to season it properly, to push it into that savoury realm. Pour the vinegar into the bowl with the orange juice, then add the salt and honey, whisk well - the vinegar will help dissolve both salt and honey (This is a good tip for any dressing making, first dissolve salt tin the vinegar, then whisk in the oil). 

Taste the dressing, it should be almost on the verge of being over-seasoned with a good sour-sweet balance, adjust it to your palate but remember it will be diluted by the orange.

Stir the fennel, orange, shallot and olives through the dressing and add the herbs before serving.

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Layered Savoy Cabbage ‘Lasagne’

Ingredients

1 Savoy cabbage

3 tbsp olive or sunflower oil

1 large onion, peeled and diced

2 celery sticks, finely diced

1 large carrot, roughly grated

250g mushrooms, roughly chopped

200g leftover cooked or blanched (for 10 minutes) brown rice

100g cooked chestnuts, chopped

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

2 garlic cloves, sliced

Maldon salt

Black pepper

Method

To make the savoy cabbage leaves pliable - put them into a steamer. I use a bamboo one, but you can always use a large metal colander and a lid. Separate, then steam the leaves for about 15 minutes or until soft. I tend not to cut out the stalky bit as it softens enough by the end of cooking and is pleasant to eat.

For the filling, heat the oil in a large, cast-iron pan and add the onions and a big pinch of Maldon. Cook for about 10 minutes over a medium-low heat, stirring often. You can add little splashes of water and deglaze the pan, if at any point it feels dry. 

Then add the carrots and celery and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 7 minutes. Finally, stir through the chestnuts and the rice and scoop it out into a bowl. No need to clean the pan, just start layering it with the leaves.

Build the first layer of Savoy cabbage leaves, then scoop in 1/3rd of the filling, then layer some more leaves over, then follow with the fillings again, then leaves, then filling, then leaves.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

For the tomato stock - pour the chopped tomatoes into the same bowl where the filling was. Squash them further with a potato masher. Swirl some water through the tomato tin and pour into the bowl with the tomatoes. If you want - you can also whisk in 2 tbsp of creme fraiche into the mixture. Add the garlic and a generous pinch of salt and some pepper. 

Pour the mixture over the cabbage lasagne, making sure that none of the garlic is right on top (where it can burn). Pop the pot into the oven and cook for about 45 mins to an hour. The tomato liquid will be reduced, and the top of the lasagne will be nicely charred. 

Serve and enjoy with a big hunk of crusty, fresh bread.