… a bit of advice to my younger readers – don’t get old. It’s highly overrated. The thing is, i’ve got a bit of a hip issue. In my continuing effort to stay healthy i’ve been running quite a bit. I hugely enjoy running, even though I know it’s really not particularly good for you, I love the freedom that you can literally leave your front door and start running… with cycling you need a bike and with swimming you have to go find a pool, get changed and then suffer other humans but with running you can just go and do it. However my running days are officially over. I have torn a ligament in my hip joint and the pain isn’t fun. As with all males over 40 I avoided the doctors until I could barely walk and at that point I hobbled to the surgery. My GP recommended that I see a specialist who could scan me to see what the issue was… so last Wednesday i’m on my way to the clinic and out of nowhere my dodgy ankle (another story) twists underneath me I slip and fall flat on my face whilst crossing Marylebone High Street. I lay there for a few seconds whilst the people sitting outside the cafe opposite me do nothing but giggle openly at my embarrassment. If you’ve ever twisted your ankle you’ll know that sharp pain that floods your body and makes you feel sick to your teeth. I pushed myself up from the floor, ran around the corner and wept with pain and humiliation for a few minutes before gathering my self together and hobbled into the clinic. My doctor was waiting for me and exclaimed that I was in the right place for an injury of this kind… and changed my hip MRI into an ankle and hip MRI… which sounds brilliant but meant I had to spend an hour inside the dreaded and very noisy scanner. If you’ve experienced the MRI you’ll know how awful this experience was and if you haven’t then imagine being shouted at by a crow with a megaphone for an hour without being able to move a millimetre… I felt violated.
… the outcome is that i’ve ruptured the ligament in my ankle and torn a muscle in my hip – with added early onset of arthritis thrown in. It’s not been a fun week although the only up side to the whole adventure is that my doctor continually (and continues) to think that I am 37 and can’t possibly be 45, to the point where it’s now becoming annoying and a little alarming but, you know, i’ll take anything at this point…
red pesto and broad bean egg pie with poppyseed and lemon thyme crust
to be honest this is just a quiche with a common name but i’m straying away from my traditional quiche recipe here and playing around with ingredients. The red pesto is whipped up using some very basic items and a vegetarian hard cheese – although feel free to use a pecorino or a parmesan if you’re not bothered by such grievances and the broad beans were all I had in the freezer but let me tell you, the combination is adorable and this little pie was a big hit. I’ve been inspired by a colleague who is making frittata on a Sunday night and eating one of four quarters for lunch Monday to Thursday and then treating herself on a Friday… buying lunch can be expensive and this is a wonderful way to extend a simple bake to a tasty lunch.
for the cashew red pesto
100g cashew nuts
100g sun-dried tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic – peeled
100g vegetarian hard cheese or pecorino
50ml extra virgin olive oil
the set of one lemon
1 tablespoon lemon thyme – torn
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
100g frozen peas
2 tablespoons red pesto
100ml soured cream (or cottage cheese / creme fraiche)
i’m using a 25cm, 3cm deep fluted tin with a loose bottom which i’ve greased well
pre-heat the oven to 150C fan
next make the pesto which is done by whizzing all the ingredients together in a blender for 5 mins until smooth – you may wish to adjust the olive oil up or down depending on how smooth you like it.
after 15 mins, remove the pastry and carefully lift out the beans – place the pastry back in the oven for another 5 mins to allow the base to turn golden
carefully tip the saluted vegetables into the pastry case – I do this by hand to get an even arrangement, finally pour the cream egg mix all over and bake on 160C for about 15-20 minutes until golden and risen, set aside on a wire rack to cool. The quiche should easily slide out of the tin.
eat and of course, enjoy!