| by Dan Black
Spring has definitely sprung and the team at Black + Blum are enjoying experimenting with some seasonal ingredients to put together lunches for our lunch boxes and thermos flasks that pack a punch and put a proper spring in our step this March!
Kale & Marscapone pesto
A fresher, more spring-like take on the traditional basil pesto, this easy to make pesto can be made in advance, stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge for a couple of days to be stirred into freshly prepared pasta.
The bitterness of the kale combines beautifully with the silkiness of the marscapone.
100g frozen peas, defrosted
Handful each fresh basil and flatleaf parsley leaves
Finely grated zest and juice
¼ tsp salt
Pop the kale and peas in a colander in the sink, then pour a kettle of boiling water over the veg. Wait for 1 minute, then rinse and refresh under cold water.
Transfer to a food processor with the basil and parsley, the mascarpone, lemon zest and juice, salt and parmesan. Whizz to a pesto consistency (not completely smooth), then taste and season with more salt and cracked black pepper (If you don’t have a processor, you can use a pestle and mortar, or if you prefer a chunkier consistency, chop roughly with a sharp knife).
A couple of generous dollops of this pesto is perfect popped into one of our Box Appetit lunch box sauce pots and stirred into cold or reheated pasta for a filling, but still very fresh tasting lunch on the go.
Leek & spinach frittata
A filling frittata bursting with fresh, green and healthy ingredients, making a frittata in advance is another great way of making sure you’ve got lunches covered in advance when rushing out the door in the early morning. It’s also a protein rich and carb-free alternative for lunchtimes, if you’re thinking about getting some exercise in on the way home to make the most of the lighter evenings.
Knob of butter
2 tbsp olive oil
10 large free-range eggs
100ml whole milk
Small handful of basil leaves
150g mixed lettuce leaves
Juice of half a lemon
Melt the butter and 2 tbsp oil over a low-medium heat in a deep, non-stick, medium (20-23cm) ovenproof frying pan. Slice the leeks into 1cm rounds. When the butter foams, add them and fry for about 7 minutes, stirring now and then, until soft and sweet.
Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Add the spinach and peas to the leeks and increase the heat to medium. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the spinach is mostly wilted and the peas are bright green, then season.
Whisk the eggs and milk in a bowl and season. Add to the veg in the pan with the basil leaves (torn). Stir briefly to distribute evenly.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until firm.
Once firm, take off the heat and leave to cool. The Frittata can then be sliced up and popped perfectly into our new Box Appetit stainless steel sandwich box, with some salad leaves and half a lemon for squeezing, for a delicious, seasonal and healthy lunch at work.
Pea, mint & spring onion soup
Even though temperatures are on the rise this month, it can still be chilly outside, so we wanted to share with you one of our favourite seasonal soup recipes to keep those spring chills at bay.
Another really simple recipe to throw together, this soup can be made in batches and individual portions either stored in the fridge for a few days, or frozen to be reheated on the day you feel that spring could do a little bit more ‘sprunging’!
Just reading this recipe makes us want to wrap our hands round a warm thermos pot and reach for some crusty bread!
1 tbsp olive oil
Knob of butter
Half a bunch of sliced spring onions
1 diced potato
1 ltr hot vegetable stock (from cubes is absolutely fine)
900g frozen peas or petit pois
Half a bunch of mint leaves
Heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy based pan. When foaming, add the spring onions and potato. Gently fry without colouring for about 5 mins. Stir in the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 mins or until the potato is tender.
Stir in the peas, bring to the boil again, then cook for about 3 mins until they are just done. Remove the pan from the heat, add the mint leaves to taste and whizz in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Either pop straight into your Box Appetit food flask, or separate into batches and store in the fridge, or in the freezer.
Come back to the Black+Blum blog for more delicious and easy recipes to liven up your lunches next month!