This is the recipe for the cooking demonstration I did at Islington Farmer’s Market on 13th May. Sofia, from Central Street Cookery School described it as “…delicious, really simple and making the most of seasonal ingredients, just what good cooking should be about! ” Which I was very pleased to hear. This works just as well on a barbecue as in the kitchen.
Beef köfte with thyme and wild garlic
500g minced beef; small bunch wild garlic (or spring onion tops); 1 sprig thyme; salt and pepper; pinch Aleppo pepper or chilli flakes
Pull the leaves away from the garlic stems and chop the leaves into ½ cm ribbons. Reserve the stems for the yoghurt sauce. Strip the thyme leaves away from the stems. Mix the garlic leaves, thyme leaves, mince and seasoning together, then form small meatballs, about 2–3 cm across, and flatten slightly.
Get a ridged pan really hot (or use a barbecue). Place the kofte onto the pan or grill until cooked through, about 4 or 5 minutes each side.
Yoghurt, saffron and wild garlic
250 g rich, natural yoghurt; 1 tbsp olive oil; pinch of saffron strands; 1 tbsp finely chopped stems of wild garlic (or ½ crushed clove garlic); ½ tsp fine sea salt.
Steep strands of saffron in about 1 tsp of hot water until well coloured. Mix with 1 tbsp of olive oil in bowl. Stir in yoghurt and garlic and season to taste. Leave to allow flavours to blend for at least half an hour.
200 g unbleached strong white bread flour, plus extra 100 g at least for mixing and dusting; ½ tsp salt; ⅓ tsp dried yeast dissolved in 170 ml tepid water; olive oil; ground spice mix including cumin, coriander, sumac and dried oregano
Cover a work surface with plenty of flour. Place 200 g of flour and the salt into a bowl. Pour the olive oil into the yeast and water mixture. Gradually mix the liquid into the flour, using your fingers to squeeze out the lumps. The mixture will be sticky so mix in more flour a bit at a time until the dough comes together enough to turn out onto the floured work surface. Knead the dough on the work surface. If it’s still too sticky add more flour, if it’s gone crumbly add more water. Keep kneading for about 5 minutes. The dough should be slightly tacky but also soft and elastic.
Form into a ball. Grease a clean bowl with olive oil and roll the dough around this to lightly coat all over. Keep the dough in the bowl, cover with a tea towel and rest for 45 minutes in a warm place. Roll out into golf-ball sized pieces of dough until about ½ centimetre thick. Sprinkle over some olive oil then some of the spice mix.
Place on to a hot grill or pan until bubbles appear. Flip over and cook until just starting to colour. Repeat for remaining dough.
Chargrilled spring onions and broccoli
Simply place spring onions, lightly rubbed with oil, directly onto a really hot grill or large pan. Cook until black grill lines appear all over. For large spring onions cook until black all over, allow to cool a bit then peel away burnt outer layers to reveal soft, sweet insides.
For broccoli or cauliflower: blanch stems or florets in boiling water for 2 minutes maximum. Then chargrill as for small spring onions. Dress everything with olive oil and sea salt flakes.
Finely slice spring onions, mix with chopped fresh tomatoes and finely chopped soft herbs, dress with olive oil, cider vinegar or lemon juice and seasoning.