Garlicky Pea Puree with Roasted Radish & Celeriac


I read a blog post recently on food bandits that really resonated with me. If you're a freelancer like myself and have frequent, crushing episodes of 'self-doubt' then I think it might be worth taking a peek ... I'll leave the link here. Go have a gander. It got me thinking ... in this current social media focused climate, we are often tricked into thinking everyone's else lives are so much better than ours. More organised. More fun. More whatever. And we buy it. We take those proclamations of perfection and hold up our own meager life offerings up in direct comparison. Same goes for work. I know I have periods when I feel like my efforts are totally redundant - it's not rational on any level but I can't say I don't have a continual worry that I'm failing.

Failure and success are such strange concepts really. Even when my career is going well I can't help but feel I could be doing more, creating more, achieving more. At what stage do we actually allow ourselves to think 'I have succeeded'. When our books are selling well and work prospects seem bright? Maybe. Or, if you're me, you might constantly looking for the negative in any given situation ... my inner monologue swings from 'how long will this last?' to 'you can't rest on your laurels' to 'what if they next book isn't as popular!' and on and on it goes.

I said to my Husband just the other night that I wished we lived in a simpler time. Yes, I'm probably one of those people that views the 90s and early noughties through rose tinted glasses but I pretty sure I was more content without having a phone attached to me at all times. Whilst it's wonderful to be 'connected' to so many people, I often wonder if that's such a good thing? The wheel turns faster now than it ever has done, leaving very little time for actual living.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a sucker for instagram and twitter, and most of the time get pleasure out of posting but sometimes, sometimes, I'd like to hop off the merry-go-round for a while just to catch my breath. Does this make any sense? Perhaps my lonesome freelance lifestyle really has propelled me one-step closer to the loony-bin. With that said, I honestly wouldn't change any of it ... where I am currently, how I got here and what the future holds. Of course, I'm going to have 'off' days but it's comforting to know that other creatives are going through the same thing. We really are a self-critical bunch, aren't we? Sheesh.

For me, I know it's important to step away from the chaos for a bit and do something for myself. Today, I finished off a little bit of work in the morning before allowing myself a bit of playtime in the kitchen. There's was limited light in our already quite dark living area but I think I just about got away with it - and even though it's not the most festive of dishes, my mood required something bright and cheerful. Now I feel totally ready to shake off the week and enjoy (savour) the weekend. Hope you have a good one planned too.

what you'll need

1 leek

1 large garlic clove

1/2 vegetable stock cube

250g frozen peas

1 heaped tbsp. coconut cream

1 tbsp. olive oil

salt and pepper

for the roasted veg

125g radishes

1/2 celeriac

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp. olive oil

salt and pepper

to serve

30g toasted almonds

handful of pea shoots

1 tbsp. chives

lemon juice

what you'll need

pre-heat the oven to 200c.

halve the radish and cut the celeriac into cubes. Place in an ovenproof dish, add the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Season generously and toss to combine. Roast for 30mins, shaking the pan from time to time.

place the almonds in an ovenproof dish or baking tray and pop in the oven for 10minutes, giving them a good shake about half-way through.

heat the olive oil in a small saucepan. slice the leek and add to pan. season and sweat for several minute until it softens.

add the stock cube, cover with water ... about 350ml - and pop in the garlic clove, no need to peel.

bring to the boil, add peas and then simmer gently for a few minutes until the peas are just cooked through.

drain the peas, reserving the broth, and transfer to a food processor. Unpeel the garlic clove and add to processor along with the coconut cream and a little more seasoning. Pulse until it forms a coarse, nubbly puree. Return to pan and heat through.

divide the puree between two plates and top with the roasted veg, toasted almonds and some chopped chives. Spritz the pea shoots with a little lemon juice and place a handful on each plate.