Seville Orange Maramalde

I love marmalade. My Dad used to have it on my mothers homemade brown bread every morning for breakfast so I presume thats where it stems from. I find most jams too sweet so what I like about maramalade is the bitter and sour flavour you get in it. It doesn't have to be bitter, you can make it as sweet as you like but I prefer a bit of a sharper marmalade. That's why I wanted to try the Nigel Slater recipe that I found a few weeks ago. He uses the in season "Bitter" Seville Oranges and a couple of lemons as well so the resulting marmalade is nice and tart, just the way I like it.
I have to be honest, the marmalade I made wasn't perfect. But that was completely my fault. I left it on the heat for too long and so it set a bit harder than I wanted. An amateur mistake I know but c'est la vie. Because of this I ended up with less liquid than I wanted, hence too much peel for my particular taste as well but we live and learn!
Nigel talks about spending the whole day making marmalade and enjoying the smells etc etc. With work, family and more work, the chances of that are zero so I made it over a couple of days and in a bit of a rush. Obviously, that leads to the above mentioned mistakes, so I would recommend trying to set some time aside for this if you want the proper result. 
Anyway, for all it's flaws, I'm still enjoying it every morning on my toast so it's definitely worth a go. But you'd want to be quick, the season for Seville Oranges is ending soon and you'll have to wait until next January for more.
Good luck!

The Recipe:
12 Seville Oranges.
2 Lemons.
12.5kg golden sugar.

The Method:
Peel the Oranges and Lemons as neatly as you can and shred the peel as thin or as thick as you like. Squeeze the Oranges and Lemons into a bowl and keep the pulp and pips aside. Top up the juice to 4 litres with cold water, put the pulp and pips in a muslin bag and push into the liquid. Leave in the fridge overnight. 
The next day bring your juice to the boil, leaving the muslin bag in and turn down the heat to a simmer. Nigel reckons this can take anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour and a half but it's done when the peel is soft and translucent. 
When you're happy its done, take out the muslin bag and add the sugar to the liquid. When you can handle the muslin, squeeze as much out of it as possible, and boil fast for 15 minutes or more. You want it to reach the point where it will set and this can take a while. Keep testing it by putting a spoonful in the fridge every 10 minutes or so. When a skin forms on it you know it's done. (I left it boil too long here and evaporated too much liquid so be careful).
When it's done, spoon into sterilised jars and put in the fridge.

It may seem like a lot of work but you really can't beat homemade marmalade so you'll be glad you made the effort.

Butternut Squash with chickpeas and tahini


1 medium butternut squash cubed
1/2 teaspoon of ground allspice
2 garlic cloves
1 tin of chickpeas
1/2 a red onion
1 handful of fresh coriander
the juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons of tahini
olive oil
salt and pepper

This is a favourite recipe of mine from a book called "Casa Moro" by Sam and Sam Clark. The book is full of beautiful recipes from South of Spain and North Africa and is must if you like food from these regions. It's pretty quick to make and makes a delicious and filling lunch or can be beefed up a bit for dinner by mixing some quinoa through.



Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. First thing to do is crush the garlic by smashing it with the side of a knife, add a little salt and mash into a paste.  In a baking tray, toss the butternut squash, half the crushed garlic, the ground allspice, a glug of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Put in the oven unitl the butternut is cooked through.
In the meantime, drain and rinse the chickpeas, finely slice the onion, roughly chop your coriander and make the tahini dressing. To do this, mix the tahini, lemon juice, the rest of the crushed garlic, a bit of salt and pepper and some olive oil together. Add water gradually until you get a nice runny consistency. I find the easiest way to do this (and all dressings) is to put all the ingredients in a jar, close the lid and shake gently, tasting and adjusting as I need to. 
When the butternut squash is done, add the onion, chickpeas, coriander and the dressing to the tray and mix well. Season to taste.