Red Onion and Pomegranate Salad (Indian #6)

I have no idea if this is actually Indian but if it isn’t, it probably should be. It worked brilliantly as side to that Lamb and Spinach Curry together with some naan and rice and, according to Lizzie, it’s also great at barbecues. It’s not hard to imagine the sharpness and sweetness of this salad matching some smoky grilled lamb perfectly.

Red Onion and Pomegranate Salad (recipe from Hollow Legs)

Ingredients (serves 4-6 as a side)

2 red onions
juice of 2 limes
1 pomegranate
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
A handful of coriander
Salt & pepper

Slice the onions as thinly as possible and set aside. Cut the pomegranate in quarters and squeeze the juice into a bowl. Add the lime juice and the onions and let them marinate for 30 minutes. This will take away the onion harshness and save you from a unsociably stinky breath.

While onions are marinating, toast the cumin seeds and break them up in a pestle and mortar, or wrap them in a tea towel and bash them with a rolling pin. Pick the seeds out of the pomegranate, drain the onions and mix everything together. Add the chopped coriander leaves and season to taste.

Serve alongside a curry or in some pita bread together with some grilled meat.

Previously on Round the World in 100 Recipes:
King Prawn Puri 
Saffron Yoghurt with Fennel Seed Biscuits 
Aubergine in Yoghurt 
Heston’s Chicken Tikka Masala
Lamb and Spinach Curry
Next time on Round the World in 100 Recipes: I finally managed to make good naan bread! Now I just need to get some acceptable pictures of it…

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Launceston Place, Kensington

I had been looking forward to visiting Launceston Place for a good few months; actually, since I saw Tristan Welch working his magic on Great British Menu. Starting the day with a massive hangover and a 3-hour journey to Kensington was probably not the best appetizer, but the weather was lovely and the short walk from the tube station helped the recovery process.

I have to say, I felt a little intimidated when we walked in, but the waiters were very nice and things got off to a good start when someone cracked a joke and got the sommelier giggling while taking our order for a lovely bottle of Rioja – I just wish I had managed more than a small glass.

We were also given some homemade crisps, tied up with a cute black ribbon, one for each person. We were having the 3-course set menu, so I was pleasantly surprised when a little amuse turned up soon after we ordered. It was a yoghurt sorbet with little pickled cucumber strips, which tasted, unsurprisingly, quite a lot like Indian raitha. It was nice.

For my starter I chose the beef and beetroot risotto, where beetroot bits were playing the role of the rice. It was served with some wild garlic foam, which was yummy and some bone marrow, which freaked me out a bit with its slimy texture, but Alex finished it off quite happily. The thin cured beef slices were absolutely stunning and I really could have eaten a lot more.

The other starter was probably the best dish of the meal. A perfectly poached goose egg, about which we talked for days after, was served alongside some toasted bread with mushroom pate and shaved truffle. There were two mushroom haters that ordered this and declared it a success, so I don’t think it can get much better than that.

My main was a perfect little cylinder of tender lamb, served with the creamiest mashed potato I’ve had in a while and some crunchy, minty stuff on the top. There was also some clear broth that the waiter poured on our plates, and I just felt sad that I didn’t have a spoon to scoop it all up.

After mains, there was another little surprise in the form of Pimm’s gelly topped with lemon and lime granita. Although my hangover wasn’t thankful about the extra alcohol, this little pre-dessert was absolutely yummy, just tart enough and perfectly summery.

I convinced a friend to share the Apple Tart Tatin with me, while everyone else had the Chocolate and Rasberry Mousse. They were both lovely, the tart was as good as they come, with sweet caramelised apples topping flaky puff pastry and served with some superb homemade clotted cream. The mousse was dark and intensely chocolatey.

We turned down coffee as we were planning afternoon tea soon after, but we were still offered a couple of pots of warm mini sponges and cream that were incredibly light and fluffy.

We spent a good few hours after the meal talking about how brilliant everything was and, at £20, it’s a complete bargain. The service was great, the waiters were attentive and we never felt rushed – a perfect lunch.

9/10

Rhubarb Tarte Tatin

You can never have too much of a good thing, they say. Well, that’s complete rubbish. It took me about 2 years to start drinking Earl Grey tea again after months of several cups a day and I still haven’t been able to recover a taste for baked potatoes with cheese.

And rhubarb? Well, I’m not quite sick of rhubarb crumble yet, but I’ve definitely had my fair share of it over the last year. It was time to try something different. You see, stewed rhubarb is alright, but rhubarb roasted in butter and sugar is a lot better. And you could top it with crumble, but why do that when you can have a flaky, buttery puff pastry base instead?

I first saw this on Masterchef, when Marianne cooked it and the judges absolutely loved it. It looked brilliant, but all the recipes I found on the internet used a frying pan to caramelise the rhubarb and then cooked it in the oven. My frying pans don’t really survive in the oven, and I was worried that if I used the roast-for-3-hours technique the rhubarb would disintegrate into a pink mushy mess. As it turns out, rhubarb does survive hours of roasting. And tastes amazing after.

Rhubarb Tarte Tatin

Ingredients

4 large stalks of rhubarb, chopped
100 gr butter, softened
150 gr caster sugar
a sheet of puff pastry

In a round pyrex dish, about 20 cm in diameter, spread the butter as evenly as you can and sprinkle the sugar on the top. Arrange the chopped rhubarb in circles, making the bottom as pretty as you can, as it will be on the top later. If you have any extra bits, cut them smaller and sprinkle them over the top.

Cover with foil and bake in the oven for up to 2 hours at 180 degrees, checking towards the end to make sure the bottom doesn’t burn. Roll out a sheet of puff pastry and cut it in approximately the shape and size of your dish. Place it on top of the rhubarb, tucking the ends in, and bake until the pastry is cooked.

Let it cool for a few minutes, place a plate on the top and quickly turn it upside down.

My pieces of rhubarb made a bit of a mess, but I quickly rearranged them and made it almost presentable. I loved the fact that there was some soft, juicy rhubarb but also enough caramelised bits too. The extra syrup dripped on the pastry and made the edges shiny and sticky. I served it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.