recipes etc.
recent comments

a new trick

adding a slice or two of lemon when you are making a tomato sauce is something i picked up from honey & co’s food from the middle east. it is part of their recipe for vegetarian moussaka and it, plus the cinnamon stick that was also used in the sauce recipe, gave the tomato sauce the most amazingly delicious smell when it was cooking.

so, when i was making a tomato sauce last night for eating with pasta, i decided to try it again, this time without the cinnamon. most of the centre of the piece of the lemon disappears into the sauce and i removed the outer circle of pith and peel (you can eat this, if you’re so inclined or even finely chop it and stir it back in).

the lemon gave the sauce a hint of freshness that balanced the rest of the flavours – garlic, chilli and a mix of fresh and tinned tomatoes – really nicely; it’s more subtle than adding herbs. i will definitely be using this trick again – i think it would work really well in a tomato sauce for a light summery lasagne or for serving with herb-and-lemon-zest-flecked meatballs.


cauliflower-base pizza


i’ve been wanting to try a cauliflower-base pizza recipe for ages but struggled a bit to decide which recipe to use as there is a wide variety of options. eventually i decided to use anna jones’ any night of the week pizza from a modern way to eat, which uses a mix of cauliflower, oats, ground almonds, oregano, eggs and seasoning,plus i added some grated parmesan.

i also tweaked the topping – i love the simplicity of blitzing together tomatoes, basil and olive oil but wanted something with a greater depth of flavour so, as well as adding seasoning, i added some tomato puree and a little sugar. i used the suggested mozzarella, spinach and shaved fennel as toppings but also added some yellow courgette ribbons and parma ham, plus i added a little mint to the basil i sprinkled on just before serving.

the result was delicious both hot and cold - but not really very pizza-like; it’s also not too strongly favoured of cauliflower, in case you’re unsure about that. i will definitely make this again but want to experiment with making two thinner pizzas, rather than just the one. 

Click to read more ...


summer stew with borlotti beans and courgette

i found fresh borlotti beans in the local turkish supermarket earlier this week and wanted to find a way to make the most of their deliciousness. given the hot weather frankfurt has been having in recent weeks (temperatures 35-40c haven’t been uncommon), it perhaps surprising hat i chose to make a stew but once we had a cooler day and given its vegan character it was light to eat it was a nice change  from salad.

the recipe is from amy chaplin’s at home in the whole food kitchen, a book i was sent to review and which i’m really enjoying. it’s vegetarian and mostly vegan and gluten-free, with a good introductory section about ingredients, stocking your kitchen (for this sort of cooking) and some basic recipes and guidance of preparing ingredients.  the rest of the book has a broad range of recipes that will take you from breakfast through to the evening, with snacks and treats along the (healthy) way. everything seems to be put together in a quiet thoughtful way, rather than being full of big brash flavours and combinations and i’ve found it really encouraging when it comes to using ingredients which you might be less than familiar with – cooking with coconut oil, trying tempah and considering making my own nut milks are all new to me.

having said that, there are aspects of the book which i know some people will dislike – for example, all the recipes tell you to use filtered water and at the relevant point, to compost items such as bay leaves which are being discarded from the finished dish; i read a wonderfully raging review about this aspect of the book.  

regardless of this, which i find easy to ignore, the recipes i have tried have been good and it’s easy enough to skip over some of the time-consuming techniques and use your own shortcuts. this stew was delicious – the broth was light and full of flavour and i really liked the intensity of the flavour of the roasted courgette; i wasn’t keen on the pistou as an accompaniment as i thought it overwhelmed the delicacy of the vegetable flavours.

Click to read more ...


fennel and asparagus salad with toasted hazelnuts

we’re on holiday at the moment and this was a “use up what’s in the fridge” meal just before we left. one large bulb of fennel was roasted with strips of lemon zest and fennel seeds (follow the link for full details). i tossed this with some just-cooked asparagus and added drizzles of white balsamic vinegar and olive oil plus a couple of handfuls of rocket leaves and some chopped mint. final bits were some buffalo mozzarella and toasted hazelnuts. we ate this with crusty bread.


perfect coq au riesling with gnocchi


riesling is the best known german wine so when i saw the latest felicity cloake “how to cook the perfect…” column was coq au riesling i decided it was something i should try. the result was very, very delicious. rich but delicious.

i took a simplified approach, using a couple of chicken/thigh pieces and mushroom stock rather than a whole bird and homemade chicken stock. i also took the meat off the bone before adding it back to the sauce at the end of the recipe – this was just to make it easier to eat. finally, i added some cooked potato gnocchi as my plan to serve this with crusty bread was let down by closed shops (aka poor planning). leftovers reheated well. 

Click to read more ...