Cream of cauliflower, smoked garlic and Isle of Mull Cheddar soup
Roddy Woomble, Idlewild
• 1 head of cauliflower,
• 1 litre of good chicken or vegetable stock,
• 1 onion,
• 20 grams butter,
• 3 cloves smoked garlic,
• 50 grams (or to taste) Isle of Mull cheddar,
• 2 tablespoons double cream
Method: Chop the onion and smoked garlic, sauté in butter until soft. Add the stock and cauliflower florets. Simmer with lid half-on until cauliflower is cooked. Liquidise until very smooth, adding more stock if required to achieve desired consistency. It shouldn't be stodgy. Add cheese and cream and a generous amount of black pepper, stir to combine. Serve garnished with sautéed girolles mushrooms.
Valentine's Day Melt
• Fresh penne pasta - enough for two,
• mozzarella cheese cut into little love hearts about the size of a 10p coin,
• two or three crushed garlic cloves,
• mange tout,
• spring onions,
• red pepper,
• chopped small red chilli with seeds removed (optional),
• olive oil,
• half a handful of fresh parsley chopped roughly,
• sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Method: This dish is all in the preparation. The olive oil is to fry the veg with and also serves as a coating/sauce for the pasta so don't use too much that everything is swimming in it, but not too little that your pasta will be dry.
Take the carrots, courgettes, spring onions, mange tout, red pepper and slice them into long, thin strips about a finger length in size and 1mm thick.
While you are preparing the pasta, heat about 15ml of olive oil in a frying pan or a wok and, when hot, add the crushed garlic and the chopped fresh chilli (if using) then toss and fry the carrots for a few minutes and add the courgettes, mange tout and spring onions.
Toss the veg and fry for a few minutes or until the veg has softened, finally adding the red pepper strips along with the pepper and the fresh parsley.
Keep some sprigs of parsley for decoration.
If you have timed it right, the pasta should be ready to drain. Place in a pasta bowl and drizzle a little olive oil over.
Add your cooked veg and mix evenly into the pasta. Finally, add the salt and pepper with the little love-heart mozzarellas and serve immediately while the hearts melt. I love this.