I’m back from my holidays and for once, the sun is actually shining in the UK. Most summers I’m away coincidentally at the time when England gets its WEEK of sunshine so by the time I’m back, I’ve missed it! However, this weirdly long heatwave has coincided with a time when I’ve needed to be in the kitchen a lot so I’m feeling like a toasted marshmallow 90% of the time.
Luckily the evenings are mild enough to not need a jacket but not swelteringly hot i.e. perfect picnic weather. I went for a picnic yesterday in Kensington Palace gardens just around the golden hour with my friend. We had some food and drinks and then wandered down to my favourite gelato shop in London, Odonno’s. It was ideal.
Since everywhere seems to be having some kind of heatwave at the moment, I’m advising that everyone has a picnic. It’s a new rule. You can bake up a tray of brownies, put some kombucha in a chiller bag and make these samosas with a homemade pineapple chutney! I used my Vitamix Ascent Series blender to blitz through the tough strings of the beans for the filling like a dream. PLUS the usually unedible core of the pineapple got blended into a smooth puree for the chutney (yay for reducing food waste!). Now I know the Vitamix is a dream kitchen item to most, I’m very lucky to have one now, but if you watch my instagram page I will be giving one away soon (open to UK residents) so keep your eyes PEELED!!
Have a great, picnic-y week!!
Runner Bean Samosas
makes 12 samosas
220 g (8oz) runner beans
1 white onion, peeled, quartered
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 thumb-sized piece ginger
1 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
1 medium potato, grated (skin on)
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground cumin seed
2 tbsp lemon juice
6 sheets filo pastry (defrosted, if frozen)
olive oil, for brushing
black sesame seeds, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 180oC (350oF).
Cut off the top and tail of the runner beans. Roughly chop them into pieces a few centimetres long.
Add the onion, garlic cloves and ginger to the jug of a Vitamix blender. Blend until finely minced. Add the runner beans and pulse until quite finely chopped.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the runner bean mixture from the blender jug along with the grated potato. Cook for 15 minutes over a medium-low heat, stirring often, until the potato and onion are softened. Stir in the garam masala, cumin and lemon juice. Season with salt, to taste.
Cut the sheets of filo pastry in half lengthways so you end up with tall strips a few centimetres wide. Keep the filo pastry covered with a damp cloth whilst you work.
Working with one sheet of pastry, take a tablespoon of the filling and place onto the bottom of the sheet. Grab the bottom left corner and pull up and over the filling to form a triangle. Grab the bottom left corner of the triangle and pull up and to the right to fold the triangle over. Repeat until you reach the top of the piece of filo. Place the triangle onto a baking sheet which has been brushed with olive oil. (See the GIF in the post for how to shape them if you're confused).
Repeat with the remaining filo and filling. Once all the triangles are formed, brush with some olive oil and sprinkle on sesame seeds. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Eat warm with the chutney.
Pineapple Chilli Chutney
1 ripe pineapple, top and skin removed
50 g granulated sugar
160 ml apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 star anise
Chop the pineapple into about 10 chunks (no need to remove the core). Place into the jug of a Vitamix blender with the sugar, vinegar, ginger, salt, turmeric and chilli flakes. Blitz until soupy.
Pour the mixture into a large pot along with the star anise and place over a medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often, until it starts to bubble. Reduce the heat so it's just simmering and leave to bubble away, stirring every now and then to prevent it burning, for 45-60 minutes. It should be thick and slightly sticky.
Transfer the chutney to a sterilised jar before sealing and letting cool. Store in the fridge as it is less sugary than normal chutneys.