Fifty Shades of Greens
The original version of this recipe was created a decade ago, in the tiny apartment in Rome that was my temporary home. It was one of the first dishes I cooked for Luise and I like to think that it was then and there that she fell for me (and not watching my drunk feet trying to seduce her on the dance floor a week earlier). The original version didn’t include quite as many green vegetables – it was made with double (heavy) cream and served with pasta – but the essence was the same: green, creamy and delicious. You can use frozen broccoli and spinach instead of fresh, swap peas for beans and use olives instead of capers. If you don’t fancy coconut milk or cream, use ordinary cream, Greek yoghurt (added right at the end) or a vegan alternative. Serve with cooked quinoa, millet, rice or pasta of choice. – David Frenkiel
3 tbsp virgin coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, peeled
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
8 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked, or 1 tsp dried thyme
1 broccoli, head and stalk
3 tbsp capers, plus brine
120ml white wine
190g frozen green peas
1 x 400g tin full-fat coconut cream or milk
250ml vegetable stock
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
zest and juice of ½ unwaxed lemon
Cooked quinoa or pasta or grain of your choice
roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Heat the oil in a large saucepan on a medium-low heat. Finely chop the onion, garlic and thyme, transfer to the pan and sauté for about 10 minutes or until the onion begins to soften.
Cut the broccoli into small florets, trim and slice the stalk and cut the courgette into half circles. Add the vegetables to the pan along with the capers and brine and sauté for a further 5 minutes, then add the wine.
Once the alcohol has evaporated, add the peas, spinach coconut cream and stock and season. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened, stirring from time to time so the sauce doesn’t burn. Remove from the heat and stir through the lemon zest and juice. Serve with quinoa, topped with a sprinkling of parsley.
Extracted from Green Kitchen at Home by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl (Hardie Grant, approx €30). Photography © David Frenkiel.