Whipped feta with beetroots, home made sausages and an allotment abundance
When I woke up this Sunday the sun was shining and I thought it would be another warm day outside. I had a bit of a lazy morning and when I got hungry I wanted an omelette for brunch. We picked some kale, it is growing in an abundance and I have used it for every meal today. Kale is one of the super foods, it contains 45 different flavonoids with a variety of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects!
Brunch was quickly stir fried kale with onion, tomatoes, a few slices of cheese and cottage cheese as an omelette filling.
That set us up for the day and then it was time to get going. We didn’t have any set plans but just a whole lot of things that didn’t get done when the weather was so warm and lovely and it just isn’t a day for being inside!
Late afternoon I chopped up an array of vegetables from the allotment (all except celery) and made a veg soup, a perfect snack, quick and with no added fat. The base was runner beans but I also added parsnip, carrot, tomatoes, beetroot, onion, kholrabi, garlic, potato and herbs. I set some of the stock aside for the onion gravy later.
When I was clearing up the kitchen the rain arrived. I had set the afternoon aside to make sausages so I got all the gear out whilst listening to the rain hitting the windows and it was slightly soothing. I had been to Robson’s butcher to get a piece of shoulder of pork and casings. I wanted to make it healthy so I decided to cut out the fat and use tofu instead. It might sound strange but if you don’t try you will never know!
Pork & lemon tofu sausage
Preparation time 25 mins (includes mincing)
Cooking time 10 minutes
- 500 gr or 18 oz pork shoulder
- silken tofu
- lemon thyme
- zest from 1 lemon
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- paprika powder
I started by dicing the pork shoulder and remove all visible fat. Place the tofu in a blender and blend until smooth, set aside until later. Clean the casings and set aside. Mince the pork and mix with the spices. Separate the lemon thyme leaves from the stems. Mix the meat, lemon thyme and spices gently before mincing it again. Add 3 tbsp of tofu to the mince meat and let it rest whilst adding the casings to the sausage maker.
I didn’t buy a lot of meat for the sausages and ended up with five sausages. There was some meat I could not get in to the casing so I made some meatballs out of them. I left the sausages to rest and started to make dinner.
I diced butternut squash, added spices and a little oil and roasted for 40 minutes in 180C or 350F. I sliced some kale and savoy cabbage and cooked until tender. I took a couple of leaves from the savoy cabbage, blanched it and wrapped some of the sausage meat in them and baked them in the oven with the butternut squash.
I did an onion gravy (see recipe here) whilst the sausages and meatballs were cooking.
I did a beetroot salad as a side dish. I had some tofu left over so I used this to make some whipped feta cheese.
Tofu whipped feta cheese
Preparation time 2 minutes
Cooking time 0 minutes
Serves 2 + extra for later
- 250 gr or 9 oz feta cheese
- about 3 tbsp silken tofu
- 3 tbsp natural yoghurt
- 2-3 tbsp milk
- 1 pinch of chilli flakes
- a hint of honey
- 1 large pinch of salt
Blend it all together and taste with salt.
Slice a beetroot and add the whipped feta cheese. Add a few micro leaves, I used some beetroot leaves for decoration and they are edible as well. I did a final sprinkle with sesame seeds for a little added crunch. The heritage beetroot is sweeter and more tender than the other kinds and it is just delicious raw.
We ate the dinner with some very young spinach leaves.
I liked the sausages, they were very smooth in texture and perhaps the lack of fat gave them slightly less flavour but they had that satisfying sausage bite and they were moist. The lemon thyme was great with pork. It was a plate full of vegetables and light sausages, just my type of dinner. Next time I make sausages I might chop up some meat with the knife to add some texture but I would stick to using tofu instead of added fat.