Those who know me, understand my passion for Leiths cookery school. It’s where I first got bitten by the bug to shift my career from news to food after doing a summer holiday course back in 2008.
Leiths are sticklers for doing things properly – teaching their students how to do things the correct way giving them the perfect building blocks for a career in food. Every time i’ve done a course there i’ve felt genuinely inspired and come away having learnt an incredible amount.
So I was really chuffed to be invited along to hear about their partnership with Asda for the Extra Special Christmas range.
I was amongst a group of my favourite food bloggers and we got decked out in Leiths pinnies and set to work cooking a delicious menu showcasing the Asda ingredients. Properly fun and I was genuinely very impressed with the quality of the food.
Cast any food snobbery aside because they’ve got some great things to check out.
Try mixing the Extra Special hot smoked salmon with the ultra delish creamy French whipped soft cheese, horseradish sauce and a little lemon juice.
You then spread this onto little crostini for an impressive tray of canapes.
My favourite dish by far was the warm salad of butternut squash and tenderstem broccoli.
I’ve since recreated it at home and really wanted to share it with you guys as I think it’s a really smart side dish if you’re having people over for lunch or dinner this holiday season.
It’s probably not one for children unless they’re super keen on veggies, but it might be worth trying them out as the sweet butternut squash could tempt them.
Warm roast butternut and broccoli salad with feta and croutons
1 small (or ½ a large) butternut squash
300g tenderstem broccoli
100g golden plum tomatoes, halved lengthways
100g mini san Marzano tomatoes, halved lengthways
3-4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (or use to taste)
1 red chilli, thinly sliced (or use to taste)
200g feta cheese, crumbled
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.
- Trim the top and bottom from the butternut squash and cut in half lengthways, remove the seeds with a teaspoon and peel. Cut the flesh into 2cm chunks. Place in a bowl, drizzle over a little olive oil, salt and pepper and toss together. Tip into a roasting tin. Place in the oven for 30 minutes or until tender and slightly brown, turning occasionally. Add the tomatoes to the tray half way through the cooking time.
- Meanwhile, trim the ends of the broccoli. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Blanch the broccoli for 2-3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the stem, drain well.
- Pour the 3 tablespoons olive oil into a small saucepan. Heat on a medium flame and add the garlic and chilli. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the garlic turns golden. Place the broccoli and butternut squash in a large bowl, pour over the hot oil with the chilli and garlic, season with salt and pepper, add the croutons and toss well.
- Arrange the vegetables on individual plates or a large serving platter, break the feta and scatter over the salad.
I made the recipe at home using a pack of halloumi cheese instead of feta. I simply sliced up the cheese and pan fried it, before adding it to the salad. I also used a handful of sugar snap peas along with tenderstem broccoli.
It made a delicious accompaniment to sausages, but it’d also make a fabulous starter or light lunch on it’s own or with crusty bread.
Many thanks to Leiths and Asda for putting on such a fantastic event