Wednesday 18 April 2018

Is bread fruit?

Despite my inclination for locally sourced ingredients, sometimes I do miss some things that never grow here. But, as part of my quest for food diversity, once in a while I like to explore things that I never tried before or haven’t tried for a long time. It’s important to keep the gut happy.

London is amazing for that. It has loads of ethnic markets and shops that ship seasonal produce to this country from all over the world. Last weekend, I went for a day out at Brixton Market. It was buzzing with people as always. The stalls were vibrant with fruits, herbs and vegetables.

Breadfruit (which originated in the South Pacific and spread to the rest of Oceania, South East Asia, Africa, Caribbean islands, Central America and South America), has crossed the ocean to Great Britain this month. When I saw it on the stalls it transported me straight back to my childhood. Mum used to take me to my dance classes and, on the way, we would walk past a breadfruit tree with lots of the fruits crashed on the ground. She always felt sorry to see them go to waste. But, she had a friend who used to grow them in her garden and always dropped a fruit or two for us. One of her favourite recipes was breadfruit flan. That dessert lives in my memory.

Breadfruit is an extremely versatile fruit. You can boil, fry, mash, roast, pickle, ferment, use it in bread doughs, made into a flour, puddings, savoury dishes etc. It is used as staple food in the Polynesian islands as it has great nutritional value (see A healthy note below). The mature fruit can weigh up to 3 kg. It can also feed a small family. In the north of Brazil breadfruit is consumed warm at breakfast, boiled or steamed, with butter. It is a great substitute fo any type of carbohydrate, like bread or cereals, potatoes or rice. It makes an ideal gluten-free dish.

The taste of breadfruit is very similar to cassava root, also a very popular staple food in the north of Brazil and is not as ‘smelly’ as its cousin jackfruit.

Whereas in the tropical countries the fruit is seen everywhere, understandably, here in the UK it doesn’t come that cheap. One kilo (or half of a fruit) can cost £5. 

With the excitement of finding breadfruit in London, I brought some home with me. I roasted it and invited my sister and my brother-in -law to come over to nibble the snack over a very cold glass of beer. Like being in the tropics.

Boil the fruit.
Allow them to cool.
Brush the slices with the oil of your preference, season...
...and bake until they are golden and crispy.
My roasted slices of breadfruit.
Roasted slices of breadfruit


Half breadfruit
Olive oil or coconut oil
Sea salt and Black pepper


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Remove the skin and the core of the breadfruit. Cut the white flesh in slices, as you would do with chunky chips. Boil, or steam them, in salted water until they are easy to prick with a knife. Not too soft.

Allow them to cool.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper, coat the slices of breadfruit with the olive oil or coconut oil, season and place the slices carefully on the tray. Avoid crowding them.

Place the tray in the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until they reach a lovely golden colour. Turn them over half way through.


A healthy noteBreadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) is high in carbohydrates and in dietary fibre, which helps to regulate your digestive system; lower high cholesterol and blood pressure. It contains high amounts of vitamin C, magnesium, calcium and potassium. It is also a great source of the B vitamins, especially niacin (B3), thiamine (B1) and pyridoxine (B6). Breadfruit contains both the essential fats Omega 3 and Omega 6 - they are good for your heart and skin health. The fruit contains some carotenoids, like lutein, which helps to prevent macular degeneration.

Till next week!

Thursday 12 April 2018

Wild for Garlic - revisited

What I love about seasonal food is the excitement of having in your kitchen that particular ingredient you missed in the rest of the year. 

Back in my farmer’s market this weekend I found wild garlic again in the stalls. Some people are able to forage for it. The plant is very easy to identify and can grow sparingly on the riverbanks and in the woods of England. If you are thinking of foraging, make sure you do your research: wild garlic leaves look similar to Lilly of the Valley, that is a poisonous plant.

A few years ago I posted three recipes here using wild garlic. This time I decided to make something new and easy. Great for a last-minute snack for visitors. As I also said previously in my post, wild garlic can be eaten raw or cooked. All parts of the plant are edible. They are milder than garlic cloves. You can add them to soups, make risotto, eat them raw, sautée them or make an aromatic pesto. Be creative. But go easy with the amount you eat, as it can create a little bit of havoc with your digestion.

The puff pastry I used and the wild garlic pesto.
Mix the pesto with and spread it on the pastry...
...if you prefer not to have ricotta spread the pesto directly on the pastry.
My wild garlic pesto with ricotta rolls
Wild garlic and ricotta roll

Depending on the size of the puff pastry you buy you may not need to use the whole amount of the filling. Too much filling can make the roll too rich and wet. You can also use the recipe below to mix into warm pasta, like a pesto sauce.


1 puff pastry sheet, thawed (I use organic Dorset Pastry)

For the filling

100g wild garlic pesto (see recipe here)
50g organic ricotta
1 egg, beaten 

Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)


Pre-heat the oven at 200°C.

Mix the ricotta and wild garlic pesto, season to taste.
Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the puff pastry dough and spread the ricotta mix on the dough. Roll up the puff pastry and close the edge. Rest the dough in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
Slice the roll in approx. 2.5cm pieces. If you want you can sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top.
Place them on a baking sheet, brush the sides and top with the beaten egg, and bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to 150C and bake for 5 more minutes - or until they are golden, dry and crispy.

Let them cool off a bit and enjoy!

A healthy note: Wild Garlic (Allium ursinum): also known as Ramsons or Bear’s garlic. Wild garlic has similar healing properties to the cultivated garlic. It is very good for your digestive system, immune system and the cardiovascular system. It helps to control blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels (it helps to reduce blood stickyness). Wild garlic has antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant properties. It also prevents colds and flus. Wild garlic is known to ease stomach pain and acts as a digestive tonic.

Till next week!

Thursday 5 April 2018

A lovely wobbly dessert

With spring officially here, I couldn’t help but bring some edible flowers into my kitchen (thanks London Foodie). I have been using them in every single way. I mean, in savoury and sweet dishes. This week, I made an elderflower jelly to salute the colourful season of the year. Apart from the fact that the jelly looked stunning, the family approved the taste too. The flowers I used were pansies which added a bit of texture and fresh flavour.

The edible flowers are delicate and quickly perishable. I had a big stash and decided to store the ones I didn’t use by freezing them in ice cubes to jazz up my summer drinks.

My sister gave me a beautiful vintage jelly mould which I was looking forward to using. The first time I used it, it was a bit of a challenge to turn it out but on the second attempt it worked out beautifully. The trick is this: the water you dip the mould in shouldn’t be too hot.

I plan to make a lot more jellies this summer using a variety of fruits and edible flowers.

Please do make sure that the edible flowers you are buying are certified organic - unless you are growing them in your own garden, free from pesticides.

...and after! My elderflower jelly.
Elderberry jelly


180ml elderflower cordial (I used a homemade one. Otherwise, I recommend Belvoir)
1 Tablespoon organic unflavoured gelatin powder
Blueberries, as many as you like

Edible flowers, as many as you like
310ml filtered water


Place the cordial in a small saucepan and heat gently to just below boiling point. Remove from the heat. Add 150ml of cold water to the pan, followed by the gelatin, and stir well until it is dissolved. Add the rest of the water.

In a jelly mould carefully place the berries, some flowers, and pour over them just a little bit of the jelly mixture. Place the mould in the fridge for half an hour to one hour. This will stop the berries and flowers floating to the top.

Repeat the method 2-3 more times. Cool it in the fridge until fully set.

Turn it out and serve.

A healthy note: Elderflower has been shown to soothe irritated sinuses and mucus membranes. Gelatin helps the lining of the intestine and the digestion of dairy products. Gelatin is recommended for people who suffer from Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, leaky gut, colitis and other digestive problems.

Till next week!
© Margot's Kitchen | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig