Allotment Diary with Katie Moore
Soften the blow of summer’s end with burgers and brownies, says Katie Moore of Allotment, the catering company she runs from her Cambridgeshire home and garden
Whilst we are starting to lose the light a little earlier, I continue to barbecue and eat outside until summer’s final breath (although I do draw the line at eating in the rain). This first recipe is a lighter substitute to the traditional beef burger, packed with whatever herbs you have growing in the garden or lurking in the drawers of your fridge and topped off with a zingy whipped feta. Serve with flatbreads and lemon wedges as a vibrant lunch or in a brioche bun as a more indulgent dinner.
Herby Yoghurt Chicken Burgers & Whipped Feta
2 chicken breasts
150g Greek yoghurt
3 handfuls soft herb leaves (I have used basil, mint and dill)
½ lemon, juice and zest
2 cloves garlic
1tbsp olive oil
1tsp olive oil
½ lemon, zest
100g Greek yoghurt
½ lemon, juice
1tbsp olive oil
Put the yoghurt, herbs, lemon, garlic, olive oil and a good pinch of salt + pepper in a food processor and pulse until the herbs are finely chopped and the marinade is a lovely green colour. Taste, and add more seasoning or lemon if needed.
With your fist, push down on the chicken breasts to flatten them slightly, then cut at an angle along each breast to get 4 slices, 8 in total.
Put the chicken and marinade into a bowl, cover, and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or overnight if you want to get ahead.
Roughly tear up your kale leaves, discarding the very thick middle stalks, and place in a bowl with the olive oil, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Gently massage the kale for a couple of minutes until the leaves are soft and delicate.
Give your food processor a rinse then add in the feta, yoghurt, lemon, olive oil and black pepper and pulse until the feta is broken down and the mixture is lovely and smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Once your chicken has had time to marinade, heat a griddle pan or bbq and cook for around 5 minutes on each side, until nicely charred and cooked all the way through.
When you’re ready to serve, smear the whipped feta on your flatbreads or buns and pile up the chicken and kale leaves. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and a crisp green salad.
This recipe is a twist on our salted caramel brownie recipe, but uses coconut flour and coconut oil in place of their more traditional counterparts. Not only does this infuse them with a wonderful coconut flavour, but it also makes the brownies gluten free so that no one has to miss out when dessert appears. I happened to have some delicious Jack’s Gelato to accompany mine, but any ice-cream or sorbet would be a perfect accompaniment.
GF Coconut Caramel Brownies
For the salted caramel:
125g unsalted butter
300g double cream
2 tbsp maldon salt
For the brownies:
250g dark chocolate, between 50-60% cocoa
180g coconut oil
250g caster sugar
75g coconut flour
Coconut flakes to top
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees and grease and line a baking tin, approx. 30cm x 20cm.
To make the salted caramel, add the brown sugar and butter to a medium sized pan and set over a medium/low heat until everything is completely melted – about 5-8 minutes. Stir until smooth. Add the double cream (it may bubble up a bit) and continue stirring until the caramel is an even colour. Bring it to the boil for a couple of minutes, then remove from the heat and stir through the salt. This makes a generous amount, but can be kept in the fridge for next time, or heated up and drizzled over the brownies to serve.
Weigh out your coconut flour onto a baking tray and toast in the oven for 5-6 minutes until golden. This is not essential, but it will add an extra coconutty flavour to the finished brownies.
While the caramel is cooling, melt the chocolate and coconut oil together, either in 1 minute blasts in the microwave or in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring regularly.
Beat together the sugar and eggs in a bowl or stand mixer until the mixture is pale yellow and increased in volume. Slowly pour in the melted chocolate and mix on a low setting until it is evenly incorporated.
Finally, fold through the coconut flour and salt, making sure there are no pockets of flour, and pour half the mixture into the prepared tin.
Drizzle over a generous amount of your caramel, then pour in the remaining brownie mixture. Spread it evenly over the caramel layer and then top with another generous drizzle of caramel. Arrange your coconut flakes on top, if using, and put in the oven for 20-25 minutes until puffed up but still with a slight jiggle in the middle.
Leave to cool before turning out of the tin and slicing (be gentle as they will be quite fudgy), then serve with ice-cream, extra caramel or fresh berries.