Take root: Fresh ginger is perfect for creating healthy, refreshing dishes

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

A lot of people are put off by the thought of ginger – maybe it's the powdered stuff that gives it a bad reputation. But fresh root ginger is quite another story and I always keep a piece in my fridge – it comes in useful for all sorts of things, from making a healing and refreshing tea to creating a fragrant Asian broth. Occasionally, you also see the fresh pink ginger in Asian supermarkets – this is very young ginger, before the skin forms, which is very tender and not too overpowering. This is the stuff that often gets pickled for serving with sushi and sashimi. Then there is crystallised ginger and preserved ginger in syrup, which have their uses in puddings and sweets.

Halibut en papillote with ginger

Serves 4

Fish 'en papillote' means food baked in the oven in a paper parcel. You don't see it served often in restaurants these days, but it's a lovely way to cook healthy fish recipes. I've used greaseproof paper here but in the past have also experimented with roasting bags which work a treat.

4 halibut steaks, weighing 250-300g
50g root ginger, peeled and finely shredded
2 medium green chillies, trimmed, seeded and thinly sliced (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A couple of tablespoons of olive oil
4 circles of greaseproof or white baking parchment, about 25cm in diameter
1tbsp flour mixed with water to form a thin paste
A few sprigs of coriander, to serve

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Season the fish, lay each piece in the centre of the circles of greaseproof paper and scatter the ginger and chillies on top and spoon a little olive oil over. Brush or smear some of the flour paste around the edge of the paper and crimp the edges by folding and rolling the paper over at the edges by about a centimetre or so to form a seal all the way around. If it's not sticking, secure with 3 paper clips around the edge. Bake for about 15 minutes then place the en papillote on plates, cut open with scissors; scatter on the coriander and chillies, if desired.

Gingered rhubarb compote

Serves 4-6

Early season UK forced rhubarb has an affinity with ginger – with added sugar or honey you get an almost sweet and savoury flavour which in a compote like this makes a great accompaniment to ice-creams and sorbets, or simply with a spoonful of mascarpone or cream and a brandy snap biscuit (see overleaf).

300g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1-2cm pieces
60g root ginger, peeled and grated
150g caster sugar

To serve

Ice-cream or mascarpone

Melt the sugar in a pan with 150ml water and the ginger, bring to the boil and simmer for a minute, then stir in the rhubarb, simmer for a minute then remove from the heat, cover and leave to cool, stirring every so often. Once cool, transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Serve with ice-cream or mascarpone and a brandy snap.

Chocolate ginger shards

Serves 4

This a simple way to make after-dinner chocolates – and easier than truffles, too.

300g good-quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces
100g crystallised stem ginger, finely chopped

Put the chocolate into a bowl over a pan of simmering water for a few minutes, stirring every so often until it has melted. Stir in the stem ginger and remove from the heat. Line a tray with clingfilm and pour the chocolate mixture on and spread it out to about half a centimetre thick. Refrigerate for an hour or so, then remove from the tray and clingfilm and break into shard-like pieces.

Brandy snaps

Makes about 10-15

These are perfect with ice-cream. Start by making a circular template from an old plastic container (an ice-cream box, for instance). It needs to be about the size of a cereal bowl – it's handy if you leave a thumb-sized piece at the end to hold on to. Cut out a hole in the centre to about 1cm within the edge, and you have a template over which to spread the mix.

125g soft butter
125g glucose
125g caster sugar
125g strong flour
1tsp ground ginger
The finely grated zest of 1 orange

Gently warm the butter and glucose in a pan. Transfer to a bowl; slowly mix in the rest of the ingredients to form a smooth paste. Store in the fridge until required. Place the template on a non-stick oven tray, spread a thin layer of the mix over the template then lift it up to leave a thin circle of the mix. Repeat to fill the tray; bake for 6-8 minutes. Leave to cool so the brandy snaps stay as flat biscuits, or roll them over a rolling pin or bottle to make them curved.

Store in an airtight container for up to 48 hours.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
peopleBroadcaster has a new role bringing 'the big stories that matter' to US
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
Life and Style
Moves to regulate e-cigarettes and similar products as medicines come amid increasing evidence of their effectiveness
healthHuge anti-smoking campaign kicks off on Wednesday
Life and Style
fashionEveryone, apparently
Voices
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
art
Arts and Entertainment
Shia LaBeouf is one of Brad Pitt's favourite actors in the world ever, apparently
filmsAn 'eccentric' choice, certainly
Life and Style
An Internet security expert has warned that voice recognition technology needs to be more secure
techExperts warn hackers could control our homes or spend our money simply by speaking
Extras
indybest
News
peopleBenjamin Netanyahu trolled by group promoting two-state solution
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Management Accountant

    28,000 to 32,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our client, a hospitality busi...

    Food and Beverage Cost Controller

    18,000 to 20,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our fantastic leisure client i...

    Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive

    £20 - 24k: Guru Careers: A Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive is needed t...

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    Day In a Page

    Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

    Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

    and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
    Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

    Last chance to see...

    The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
    So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

    Truth behind teens' grumpiness

    Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

    Hacked photos: the third wave

    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
    Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

    Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

    Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
    Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

    Education, education, education

    TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
    It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

    It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

    So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
    This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

    Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

    Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
    We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

    Inside the E15 'occupation'

    We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
    Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

    Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

    Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
    Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

    Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

    The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
    Witches: A history of misogyny

    Witches: A history of misogyny

    The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
    Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

    Meet the most powerful woman in US television

    Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
    'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

    Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

    Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style