I was still full of cold when I mapped out this week's menu. My taste buds were not as they should be and I had still had little enthusiasm for food. As a result my meal planning didn't make it past Tuesday. So yesterday's fish dish was the result of a mildly panicked internet trawl for inspiration before bed. Today, I'd left myself under even more pressure working on the basis that I knew there were one or two things I could used in the cupboard (at the very least a tin of jackfruit) and in the fridge there was mozzarella and a wedge of manchego.
A mid-morning meeting at the Houghton Hall Garden Centre, off Junction 44 of the M6 near Carlisle, unexpectedly put me in front of a vast array of fruits and vegetables. As we where leaving, a colleague's quick cigarette break afforded me the chance to nip in. With limited time ruling out a leisurely browse and eyes wide I wizzed along the aisles filling a cardboard tray randomly with things I can't usually find with ease - Jerusalem artichokes, samphire and rainbow carrots. I also swept up two juicy looking mangos, a punnet of blackberries and a tray of quails eggs.
As we drove back to Duns I cogitated over what to do with my veggies and came up with this recipe.
5 large Jerusalem artichokes
14 small rainbow carrots, scrubbed
12 quails eggs
2 red onions, chopped into quarters and then halved again
Extra virgin olive oil
For the dressing
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp rose harissa
1 tsp honey
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees / 200 degrees fan oven.
Peel the Jerusalem artichokes and cut into quarters length wise so they are wedge like. Trim the carrots and cut in half. Place the vegetables in a baking tray with the onion, drizzle over plenty of olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.
Roast for 35-40 minutes until soft and starting to crisp at the edges.
Meanwhile, blanch the samphire for 2 minutes.
Place the quails eggs into a pan of boiling water, bring back to the boil and cook for 1 minute and 45 seconds. Then run the pan under cold water and peel while still warm. (This is Delia's method which results in eggs with just the right amount of softness).
For the dressing whisk the ingredients until well combined.
Assemble the dish by plating the roast vegetables first. Pour a kettle of boiling water on the samphire to reheat, drain well and add on top of the vegetables. Pile on the eggs and finish by drizzling over the dressing.
Happy to report that this dish received raptures when it came to family feedback!