The Purple Potter's Umra Archives
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Al's Butter Roasted Potatoes with Sea Salt
Al's Glazed Carrots with Rosemary
Al's Red Bean Salad
Al's Sprouts Roasted with Chestnuts
Brritski's Red Cabbage
Chris D's Brown Rice Salad
Chris McM's Kohl Rabi Mornay
Chris McM's Kohl Rabi with Chives and Parsley
Colin's Jumping Potatoes
Elizabeth's Minted New Potatoes
Elizabeth's Sauteed Spinach
Gumrat's Roast Pumpkin
Helen B's Baby Corn and Asparagus
Iain's Baby Corn
Jane's Potato, Avocado and Cress Salad
Kim's Swiss Chard and Turnip Salad (and other swiss chard ideas)
Kirsten's Oven Baked Kohl Rabi
Linda ff's Home-made, Non-fattening Oven Chips
Lizbuff's Fried Spinach
Lizbuff's Leek and Potato Ramekins
Penny's Oriental Rice Salad
Peter's Dhall
Roger's Deadly Attack Potato Salad
Sid's Roast Pumpkin
Stephen B's Brussels Sprouts with Apple and Bacon
Stephen B's Coriander/Cilantro Slaw and Coriander/Cilentro Marinade
Stephen's Hashed Brussels Sprouts With Fresh Oregano
Tony W's Braised Red Cabbage With Apple
Vicky's Green Bean Salad
Weevil's Red Cabbage

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Al's Butter Roasted Potatoes with Sea Salt

The salt crystals will glisten on the golden potato skins, which will be crisped, not leathery. You can clarify the butter the day before.

Serves 6

1.5kg/3lb 5oz old potatoes, peeled and cut into suitable chunks
130g/4.75oz unsalted butter
Malden salt, to taste
1. Parboil the potatoes in boiling salted water for 10 min, then dry by returning to the empty pan and shaking them over a moderate heat for a few seconds.

2. Clarify the butter (this prevents it burning) by melting it very gently in a small pan. Skim off and discard any white foam, then carefully pour off the clear yellow liquid, discarding any sediment in the bottom of the pan (or strain through a sieve lined with muslin).

3. Heat the roasting tin with the butter in the oven for 10 min before adding the potatoes. Toss until each is well coated, then return to the oven. Average sized potatoes will take about 45 minutes in a hot oven, with a last minute crisping as you cook the sprouts (see /Roast Sprouts with Chestnuts/), or about an hour in a moderate oven.

4. Sprinkle with Maldon salt just before serving.

Al's Glazed Carrots with Rosemary

500g/1lb 2oz carrots
50g/1.75oz butter
1 tsp very finely chopped rosemary (fresh if possible)
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp sugar
100ml/3.5fl oz water

1. Peel the carrots and cut into bite sized chunks, or attractive barrel shapes.

2. Put all the ingredients into a lidded pan and cook, covered, over a low heat, shaking the pan occasionally, for 30-40 mins until the carrots are tender. Remove the lid from the pan, turn up the heat and continue to cook, stirring, until the liquid has all evaporated, leaving the carrots shiny and glazed.

Al's Red Bean Salad

Mix together:

1 tin red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 stick celery, finely chopped
3 or 4 artichoke hearts, cut in four
1 large pickled gherkin, diced
3 spring onions, chopped.

(you can vary these amount to taste)

Add dressing:

4 tablespoons good olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon capers, chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
half teaspoon chilli powder
half teaspoon sugar
few drops tabasco
salt and pepper

Al's Sprouts Roasted with Chestnuts

It can be done! Fast roasted in the oven, turned up after the turkey has cooked, they emerge brown and crisped but essentially still crunchy.

Serves 6

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 rashers smoked streaky bacon, chopped
500g/1lb 2oz trimmed sprouts, quartered lengthways
200g/7oz cooked whole chesnuts, vacuum packed (such as Merchant Gourmand brand), or tinned, or frozen
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 230C/450F/gas mark 8 (or use top of the roasting oven in the Aga!).
2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and stir-fry the bacon over a medium heat for 10 mins or until the fat has run from the bacon. Transfer fat and bacon to roasting tin and heat in the oven for 5 mins.
3. Add sprouts and chestnuts and roast for 5-10 mins or until the sprouts are browned at the edges and crunchy inside.

I've just noticed that there is no mention of the salt and pepper. I generally add them before serving.

Yum yum.

Brritski's Red Cabbage

1 med red cabbage
1-2 oz butter
2 cloves garlic
1 lge cooking apple peeled and cut up
2 medium onions peeled and sliced
bunch thyme parsley and a bayleaf
grated orange rind or juice
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
pinch cinammon, pinch nutmeg
salt & pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar
sm. glass red wine (leftover best as it's slightly vinegary)

Preheat oven to 300 deg.

Take the large and damaged leaves off the cabbage, quarter it and shred as finely as possible, discarding the centre core. Melt the butter in a flameproof casserole, add the cabbage and cook gently covered for 5 mins. Add the apples, onions, garlic a little grated orange peel, herbs spices salt and pepper. Mix everything together well, sprinkle on the sugar, add the wine, cover and put in the oven for up to 3 hours. Check halfway through that it is not drying up and if it is add a little hot water. This reheats very successfully and is possible even better for it. This is from the Poor Cook book and is actually labeled German Red Cabbage rather than Danish.

Chris D's Brown Rice Salad

Brown basmati rice cooked so that it still has some body (15 mins I reckon) and rinsed under the cold tap
chopped green, red & yellow peppers
pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds
a few sultanas
a pinch of curry powder
Dressing (I use Newman's Own Italian)

Adjust quantities to taste.

Chris McM's Kohl Rabi Mornay

1lg/500g kohl rabi
4oz/100g butter
1oz/25g flour
pint/300ml milk
4oz/100g. cheddar cheese - grated
salt & pepper
2 tbs double cream

Cooking: 30 mins

Peel, cut into slices or strips. Blanch for 5 minutes. Refresh in cold water. Steam in 3oz/75g butter plus 3 - 4 tbs water for 10 mins.


Melt remaining 25g butter, stir in flour. Cook for a few minutes. Stir in milk until smooth and thick.

Add 2 tbs cooking liquid, fold in cheese and season to taste. Stir in cream, heat through without boiling. Drain kohl rabi.

Serving: arrange kohl rabi in dish and spoon mornay sauce over it.

Variation: Use only half the cheese in the sauce, sprinkling the remainder over the completed dish. Dot with extra butter and set under grill for few minutes until cheese has melted.

(for carnivores: goes well with roast or grilled meat)

Chris McM's Kohl Rabi with Chives and Parsley
1lb/500g kohl rabi
3oz/75g butter
sea salt
1 tbs finely chopped parsley
1 tbs finely chopped chives

Cooking: 15 mins

Trim and peel kohl rabi. Cut into in./12mm slices. Blanch for 5 mins. in boiling water with a little lemon juice. Drain, refresh in cold water. Melt butter in a pan, add 2 tbs water and kohl rabi slices. Cover with a lid and simmer for 10 mins. Spring kohl rabi liberally with sea salt. Lift out slices. Arrange in a shallow dish.

Stir chives and parsley into cooking liquid and spoon over veg. Serve with roast meat or with oily fish that has been grilled or baked.

Colin's Jumping Potatoes

Very rough recipe, but then it's meant to be.

Take as many smallish new potatoes as you want and wash them. Then, take each potato in turn and make it 'jump' by clocking it one with a rolling pin. Watch your fingers. The effect you are trying to achieve is to crack each potato a couple or more time but not to break it apart, though still use the breakages if you have any.

Once all the potatoes have jumped, heat some olive oil in a wok shaped pan, a wok'll do. When hottish hurl the potatoes in and fry them until they are cooked through and browned, especially all the cracked edges.

Take a good spoonful (you decide how big a spoon) of broken coriander seeds, not ground finely but just one whizz in the grinder or a quick go in a pestle and mortar, and throw it in with the potatoes--- I seem to remember putting the seeds in nearer the beginning than this so you might want to try chucking them in earlier.

Throw in a decent splash of lemon juice, a good glug of white wine, salt and pepper to your liking, and bung the heat up to evaporate off most of the liquid while tossing the potatoes.

Serve with whatever you fancy.

Elizabeth's Minted New Potatoes


New Potatoes
Fresh Mint

1) Scrub potatoes

2) Place in steamer with fresh mint and cook until tender.

Elizabeth's Sauteed Spinach

Fresh Spinach
Finely chopped cloves of garlic
EV Olive Oil

1) Place spinach in a pan of salted boiling water(or steam) until wilted.

2) Drain and cool the spinach,wring it until all the water has gone.

3) Fry the garlic in olive oil until golden

4) Coarsely chop the spinach and fry in the olive oil until crispy.

Gumrat's Roast Pumpkin

Nicked directly from an Australian chef called Bill Granger, website:

I use less olive oil and more spices. But I like spice.


* 800g Pumpkins (Bill Likes Using Butternut, Peeled And Cut Into Wedges, I just use a wedge of an ordinary round one)
* teaspoon Ground Cumin
* teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
* Sea Salt
* Ground Black Pepper
* 3 tablespoons Olive Oil


1. Preheat the oven to 220C.
2. Place pumpkin in a roasting pan and sprinkle with cumin, cayenne pepper, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. Drizzle with olive oil and toss until the pumpkin is well coated.
4. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender and caramelised.


Helen B's Baby Corn and Asparagus

Lightly coat some baby corn and some asparagus with olive oil. Grill. Cool and dress with balsamic vinegar, a smidge of sugar and some more olive oil.....wonderful.

Iain's Baby Corn

Parboil, then fry lightly in a very little oil. Finish with a dusting of garam masala and splash of soy sauce.

Jane's Potato, Avocado and Cress Salad (from Jamie Oliver)

Scrub and halve or quarter enough new potatoes for 4-6 people. Boil in salted water. Drain.

Return the potatoes to the pan and while still warm, drizzle with a generous quantity of olive oil. Toss. Add the juice of a lemon and freshly ground pepper. Toss some more. Peel and slice thinly an avocado. Add to the potatoes. Cut the tops of a whole box of salad cress. Rinse and dry and then add to the salad. Add a little salt if desired. Stir the whole lot together gently. Nice served still slightly warm.

Kim's Swiss Chard and Turnip Salad

The salad is pretty simple, boil or steam 1 inch bits of the stalks and an equal amount of turnip sliced and chopped into the similar sized pieces until al dente. Layer on a bed of mixed leaves (from the garden naturally). Dress with a simple lemon juice and walnut oil dressing, top with toasted flaked almonds and/or parmesan.

The good thing as well is that if you just use the stalks in one dish you can then use the leaves in another. Chard leaf and lemon risotto for instance.

Chard also stir fries well, stalks first and then shredded leaves later.

Kirsten's Oven Baked Kohl Rabi
Soften a sliced onion in butter by cooking.
Layer with sliced kohl rabi,putting some nutmeg in somewhere, and salt and pepper if you want.
Cover with milk and dot with butter and put in a medium oven for 45 mins.

Linda ff's Home-made, Non-fattening Oven Chips

Heat oven to hot. Cut 2-3 large potatoes into chip-size pieces. Boil a lot of water and put them all into the water for 4 minutes, then drain well. Put them back into the hot dry pan, put the lid on, and shake around to distress them.

Take a small roasting dish and spray it very well with Fry-Light. Put the chips in, spray them with Fry-Light too, add salt at this stage if you like (or any other oven-suitable coating) and give them a quick toss for good measure. Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins, turning whenever you get worried about them.

Makes nice chips, soft on the inside and quite crispy on the outside, doesn't make you fat, and easy to wash up afterwards.

Lisbuff's Fried Spinach
Blanch spinach for two minutes and drain.

Allow to cool and squeeze out as much water as possible, chop finely. Chop a few garlic cloves finely.

Heat fat (oil of your choice or butter) saute garlic until golden and add spinach and fry until crispy. Voila Chinese seaweed. Add toasted almonds if desired.

Lizbuff's Leek and Potato Ramekins

1 well greased ramekin dish per person. (I use marg but you can use butter)
Potatoes suitable for mashing
Spring garlic (if you can get it)
Seasoning of your choice (to be added as and when)
A garnish of your choice (a slice of tomato, parsley, whatever takes your fancy)

Boil the leeks (with the garlic) until tender, in the meantime make the mashed potato, in your usual way (I like to add garlic/onions).

Drain the leeks and put them in the dishes, leaving room for the spuds.

Add the mash to the dish and bake in a moderate oven until the mash is golden brown on top.

Now for the clever bit,insert a knife into the sides of the dish to loosen and up-end the dish onto the plate.

Add garnish. Arrange whatever you are serving with it around the spuds.

Penny's Oriental Rice Salad - freely adapted from Sarah Brown's Vegetarian Kitchen

For BBQ quantities I vaguely multiply by 4, using a kilo of rice and so on.

8oz long-grain brown rice (short grain is fine but it needs to be the proper Italian stuff, none of that thin American rubbish)
18 fl oz water - well, about twice as much by volume as the rice
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing
2 tablespoons fruit juice (she says fresh orange but I can't cope with orange and have used pineapple, cranberry or apple to good effect)
2 tablespoons of oil (I have produced a good result with far less than that)
1 dessertspoon of soy sauce
1 crushed clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon fresh root ginger, freshly grated
1 dessertspoon sherry (I'm sure I've used substitutes but actually bought some sherry this year - the recipe says this is optional anyway)
salt and freshly ground black pepper.

For the salad
6 radishes cleaned and sliced
2oz fresh bean sprouts
2oz raisins (I used sultanas)
1 orange, peeled and segmented (I have used pineapple, nectarine or apple instead)

Optional extras
2oz lightly toasted cashews (essential, to my mind)
2 sticks celery (I think I forgot these this year)
4oz fresh pineapple (I used tinned and put the juice from the can in the dressing)
I also added a little chopped yellow pepper, have added chopped water chestnuts in the past.

The thing about salads is that you can stretch them by adding just a little of a huge variety of things which can all add texture and colour as well as flavour.

Bring the water to the boil, add the rice, stir once, stick the lid on, turn down the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes until the rice is cooked. Then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Meanwhile prepare the dressing by mixing all the ingredients together in a screw top jar. Shake it vigourously and pour over the rice while it is still warm. So far this dish can be prepared a day in advance, I think the flavours develop better that way.

Prepare the salad ingredients and stir into the rice when it is cold.

Leftovers are very nice hot but make sure it is thoroughly heated through.

Peter's Dhall

For reasons which will become obvious, prepare the day after having roasted and eaten a chicken.

4 oz. lentils
1/2 pint chicken stock
1 rasher of middle bacon, chopped small
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 oz chicken fat
Salt, pepper to taste.

Melt fat in a in a cast iron pan. Fry bacon and remove. Fry onion and garlic until they start to brown, then stir in lentils. Stir in stock and pepper (some people also add coriander and cumin). Simmer very gently until lentils are soft, adding water if lentils are in danger of burning on the bottom of the pan. Add salt to taste.

Roger's Deadly Attack Potato Salad

Start with potatoes. Peel, and cut into about 1/3" chunks. A medium-sized pack of Maris Pipers made two saucepans-full.

Boil the potato chunks in slightly salted water until they're soft.

Meanwhile, chop up garlic; I use about four pigs per saucepan-load of potato. Either chop fine or food-process it into a couple of dollops of real mayonnaise (I use Hellman's; one could make one's own I suppose).

Drain the potato chunks, pour them into a bowl and stir in the mayonnaise. Keep adding mayonnaise until the consistency feels about right. Be careful when tasting; if you find yourself doing repeated tests, stop, because it's much nicer if you let it cool.

Sid's Roast Pumpkin

This is surprisingly tasty.

Cut into crescents about 2cm wide in the middle, seed, dress with olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs (sage and thyme go very well, either separately or together).

Roast at gas mark 7 20-30 minutes....or more, I can't remember and it depends on the type of pumpkin....until soft to a fork and a bit brown, anyway.

Stephen B's Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Bacon

(8 servings)

Tart green apples and salty bacon temper the pungency of Brussels sprouts. We bet even kids would eat these. Adapted from "The Elements of Taste" by Gray Kunz and Peter Kaminsky (Little, Brown & Co., $40).

In Advance: Blanch the Brussels sprouts, drain and refrigerate for up to 1 day; return to room temperature before cooking. Fry the bacon and set aside at room temperature for up to 3 hours.

1 pound Brussels sprouts, stem ends trimmed, sprouts quartered
7 tablespoons butter
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
Pinch sugar
8 to 10 slices crumbled crisped bacon

Have a large pot of ice water ready. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer to the ice water; drain and pat dry.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts just begin to brown, about 5 minutes. It may be necessary to reduce the heat slightly so the butter does not burn. Transfer the Brussels sprouts to a bowl; set aside. To the skillet over medium-high, add 2 tablespoons of the butter and heat until melted. Add the apples and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and the desired consistency, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate; set aside.

Add 1/2 cup of the vinegar to the skillet and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes, depending on the size of the pan. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook until the sprouts are warmed through and the vinegar has reduced to a sauce, 2 to 3 minutes.

Just before serving, add the apples and cook, stirring frequently, just until heated through. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons vinegar. Season with salt, pepper and sugar. Add crisped bacon and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Stephen B's Coriander/Cilantro Slaw and Coriander/Cilentro Marinade

Leaf Coriander is called Cilantro in the US. Here are a couple of recipes nicked from the cilantro page of Gourmetsleuth at . Not tested, but they look good.

Cilantro Slaw
from Sunset Low Fat Mexican Cookbook

5-6 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup firmly packed cilantro leaves, minced
1/4 cup lime juice
1 Tablespoon each water and honey
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large nonmetal bowl, mix all ingredients together.

Bob's Fabulous Yummy Marinade
from More Recipes from a Kitchen Garden by Shepherd & Raboff

This marinade can be used to marinate tofu and meats, as a sauce for noodles or rice, and as a dressing for a green salad.

5 T vegetable oil
1/3 cup packed fresh cilantro with stems
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup tamari soy sauce
1 ounce fresh ginger (about an inch of it?), cut into six 1/4 inch slices
6 large cloves garlic
1 1/2 T ground cumin
1 small jalapeno or other chili (optional)
Combine and blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender until the chili, garlic, ginger and cilantro are finely chopped.

Stephen's Hashed Brussels Sprouts With Fresh Oregano

(4 servings)

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups (1 pint) Brussels sprouts, trimmed, cut in half and coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons white wine
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil for 1 minute. Add the Brussels sprouts and garlic and cook until the sprouts begin to brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the wine and lemon juice and cook, partially covered, until the sprouts are easily pierced with a fork but not soft, about 3 minutes. Add the oregano and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot or warm.

Tony W's Braised Red Cabbage With Apple

Following umratic discussion of red cabbage, here's a recipe I tried for the first time on New Year's Day. It goes really well with roast pork! It makes quite a large mound of the stuff - probably enough for about 6 people.

1 red cabbage (2lb/1kg or so)
2 medium onions
2 cooking apples
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (or allspice)
1 tbsp dark soft brown sugar
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 oz/25g butter
fresh thyme (for garnish - optional)

Preheat oven to 170 deg C/350 F

Peel and core the apples, and grate coarsely.
Peel and chop the onions.
Mix apples, onions, sugar and spices.
Remove the coarse veins from the cabbage and shred finely.
Place layers of the cabbage and the appley/oniony/spicy mixture in an ovenproof dish.
Cut the butter into small cubes and sprinkle over.
Pour the vinegar over.

Cover and place in the oven. Cook for about 90 mins, stirring once or twice, until the cabbage is tender.

Garnish with thyme (or not) and serve hot

Vicky's Green Bean Salad

Mix one tin of green beans, chopped onions.

For the dressing mix 3 tablespoons oil to 1 tablespoon vinegar, half teaspoon mustard powder, clove of garlic crushed with salt and bit of pepper.

Weevil's Red Cabbage

Ingredients (for one outsize in male students... or two ordinary mortals)

Ham or bacon fat if possible, otherwise olive oil or butter,
A large onion
Four rashers of back bacon, or at least as much as that of leftover boily bacon (home-cooked gammon ham)
A red cabbage the size of your two fists
A large Bramley cooking apple
A small handful of raisins (optional)
Three tablespoons of malt vinegar
Four tablespoons of soft brown sugar
A teaspoon of salt

(You may want to reduce the quantities of these last three, but that is the proportions they want to be in.)

Cut the onion small and put it into the saucepan to fry in the baconfat until soft.
Meantime cut the bacon small and add it to the onion when the onion is soft. Cut the cabbage fine, discarding the white stalk-bit in the middle. Add the cabbage to the pan.
Simmer on low heat for a bit to reduce the size. Be careful not to let it burn: stir often.
Meantime, peel, core and cut the apple into thin slices.
Now add the sugar, and the salt; then pour the vinegar over the top of them so that they are washed down into the body of the cabbage in the pan.
Add the raisins. (Optional)
Put the apple in on top and put the lid on.
Leave for about five minutes at low heat, and see if the apple has begun to soften. Try again a couple of minutes later, and again....
When the apple starts to go fluffy at the top of the pan, stir all the ingredients together into a mass, and leave it with the lid on to simmer away for about half-an-hour. This recipe doesn't spoil with cooking: like stew, it matures; but after a bit it will go soggy rather than crisp so cook for shorter or longer depending how crisp you want it. You can test the flavour after a bit by taking a bit of the juice in a spoon, and add sugar or vinegar depending, if it needs it.

Goes well with plain boiled rice.

I would guess that making it without the bacon and raisins would be good, too.

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