Georgina Hayden’s recipes for momos and persephone salad | Food
I am a parental cliché – I can’t tell you how many phrases come out of my mouth that make me sound like my own parents. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been told not to “play with your food”, but it’s a phrase I won’t repeat because I want my daughters to understand and be curious about the ingredients that we use, try them, smell them and smell them first, not just push them away. In fact, learning through play should be encouraged in all of us, in all aspects of life.
Spring Onion Oil Momos (top photo)
I’ve always made dumplings with my eldest daughter (and hope to start making some with the little one soon), whether it’s those rustic momos or more finely crinkled dumplings like gyozas; dumplings are therapeutic and tactile, and a soothing food to prepare. From peeling the ginger with a spoon and chopping the spring onions, to mixing and kneading the dough, there are so many elements to making momos that kids can get involved with. If you don’t know how to crease them, you can find plenty of videos online, but don’t worry if yours aren’t perfect: as long as the filler is totally enclosed, having fun is the most important part.
Preparation 15 minutes
Prove 30 minutes
To cook 1 hour
325g plain flour
¼-½ tsp fine sea saltor less for young children
2 cloves garlic
4 vegetable oil
½ bunch coriander
200g white cabbage
4 spring onions
1 low-salt soybeans
1 caster sugar
2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Put the flour in a large bowl with the salt and make a well in the middle. Add 200 ml of lukewarm water and mix with your hands; if it’s a little sticky, add a little more flour, but you don’t want the dough to be too dry either. Knead for a few minutes, wipe out the bowl then put the dough back in, cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the garnish. Peel and finely grate the garlic and ginger. Peel and coarsely grate the carrot and cabbage (you can also do this in a food processor if you have one). Put a large skillet or wok over medium heat, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil, then add the ginger and garlic, and sauté for a minute. Add carrots and cabbage and sauté over high heat for five minutes, until lightly cooked but not overcooked. Transfer the vegetables to a dish or bowl to cool, then chop or finely chop the cilantro and stir.
Peel and slice the spring onions. Put the remaining three tablespoons of oil in a small saucepan, add the spring onions and cook over very low heat for five minutes. Stir in the soy sauce, sugar and three tablespoons of water, increase the heat slightly and cook for five minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Divide the dough into four equal parts, then divide each piece into six balls. Line a tray with parchment paper. Place a ball of dough in the palm of your hand, flatten it a little, then transfer it to a lightly dusted work surface and roll it into a 10-12 cm circle. Put the dough back in your palm and spoon a heaped teaspoon of the cabbage mixture into the center. Using your fingertips, fold over to enclose, pleat and crimp the edges, then pinch the top and twist to secure it in the filling. Place on tray and repeat with remaining batter and filling.
Place a steamer over a pot of boiling water. Line the bottom with parchment paper, pierce a few holes, then place a few momos on top, spacing them out. Cover with a lid and steam over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Remove and keep warm, then cook the remaining momos. Toss the momos in the cooled spring onion oil and serve sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds.
Persephone, the goddess of spring salad
This salad is inspired by my daughter of the same name (and those layered shrimp pasta salads you get at gas stations). In an attempt to get my daughter to eat more greens, I try to make it more fun by building salads in layers – with her help, of course. It’s easily adaptable to whatever your kids prefer: for example, if you know they’re more likely to eat green beans than asparagus, then just swap. Do you like the sweetness of carrots? Add a layer, grated in the middle. Feel free to mix it to your taste, but the layer of parmesan and egg mayonnaise is a must. Most importantly, keep it fun – even if they choose certain elements, it’s a great way to get kids used to mixing flavors.
Preparation 15 minutes
To cook 35 minutes
600g new potatoes
4 large eggs
1 large knob of butter
1 olive oil
A few sprigs of mint or chives
250g of asparagus
175g shelled peas
1 large handful of baby spinach
sea salt and black pepper (optional)
Place the potatoes in a large pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Add the eggs to the skillet halfway through cooking. Drain the potatoes and eggs, letting the first ones steam dry in the colander for a few minutes. Meanwhile, put the eggs in a bowl of cold water.
Cut the potatoes into 2 cm pieces or slices, return to the hot pan and mix with half the butter and a little olive oil. Chop or finely chop the chives, or pick and finely chop the mint leaves and mix them with the potatoes. Peel the eggs, cut them into bite-size pieces, put them in a bowl and stir in the mayonnaise.
Break off the woody ends of the asparagus and roughly chop the spears. Put a large skillet over high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil, then sauté the asparagus for three minutes, until charred but not overcooked. Transfer to a plate and squeeze over half of the lemon.
Return the pan to the hob, add the peas and enough boiling water from the kettle to cover, then bring to the boil and cook for three to four minutes, until tender. Drain, toss with the remaining butter and finely grate over most of the Parmesan.
Put the spinach in a glass bowl and cut it. Squeeze the remaining lemon juice over it, season with salt and pepper, if desired, and toss to combine. Spread the dressed potatoes evenly on top. Pour over cheesy peas, top with egg mayonnaise and finish with a layer of charred asparagus. Finely grate the rest of the parmesan and serve immediately.