My good friend Stefan introduced me to this one, it’s a great recipe from Food52, and perfect for a starter on a hot summer day. It’s so light and fluffy and fresh.
- 8-10 ripe tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 teaspoons salt
- ¼ loaf white bread
- Quarter the tomatoes and blend with a hand blender until tomatoes are smooth.
- Cut the bread into small chunks, add it to the blended tomatoes and stir, so that bread is completely saturated. Let it sit to soak up the tomatoes for a few minutes. Chop garlic and add to the bowl.
- Blend again and slowly pour in extra virgin olive. Add salt and vinegar, and continue blending. Taste and finish off with more salt or olive oil until you like the taste and consistency.
- Chill until you are ready to eat, and serve with toppings of your choice (a bit of jamon, a bit of chopped boiled egg, or like us, just olive oil!).
This is so healthy and satisfying. The noodles are chewy sweet potato noodles, which you can find at asian stores. Normally this should be made with beef or tofu, but I think the version with just vegetables is equally delicious, and a bit easier. The concept is that you cook each ingredient separately so that each one maintains its taste and the sum of the parts is positively delicious!
My Korean cooking inspiration is Maangchi, who has wonderful videos and writes great recipes, go check her out!!
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Soy sauce
- Sesame oil
- Sesame seeds (toasted)
- 1 large egg
- 3 large handfuls spinach, washed and drained
- Half a bag of dangmyeon (Korean sweet potato starch noodles)
- 3 green onions, cut into 2 inch long pieces
- 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
- A large handful of white or brown mushrooms, sliced
- 2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
- Salt & pepper
- Vegetable oil (peanut oil)
- First, soak your noodles in cold water.
- To prepare the spinach, put a pot of water on to boil.
- In the meantime, make the egg: beat an egg with a pinch of salt. Add vegetable oil to the pan, and use a paper towel to wipe off any excess- you want only a thin layer. Pour the egg into the pan and tilt it so that it spreads out as evenly as possible. Turn off the heat and let it sit for a minute, then carefully use your fingers to flip it over and let it sit on the pan for 1 more minute. Let it cool and slice it into thin strips.
- The water for the spinach should be boiling by now. Add the spinach and let cook for 1 minute, then take it out with a slotted spoon or strainer. Rinse the spinach in cold water to stop it from cooking. Squeeze it with your hands (or ideally cheesecloth) to remove any excess water. Cut it a few times and put it into a large bowl. Mix with 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon sesame oil.
- Put another pot of water on to cook the noodles.
- As you wait for it to boil, chop all your veggies as outlined above.
- Once ready, heat your skillet up over medium high heat, and add a glug of vegetable oil.
- Stir-fry the onion and scallion with a pinch of salt for about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to the bowl with the spinach.
- Start again with a glug of oil in the pan, and cook the mushrooms with a pinch of salt. Stir fry for 3-5 minutes and transfer to the large bowl.
- When your noodle water is boiling, cook your noodles as per package instructions (8 minutes or until chewy but cooked). Remove from the water, strain with water, and cut them a few times with scissors. Put the noodles into the bowl, add in 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon brown sugar. Mix with a spoon or your hands.
- Heat up the skillet with oil again and cook the carrots for a few minutes before adding in the red pepper. Cook for another 3 minutes and then transfer to the noodle bowl.
- Now you have all of your ingredients cooked separately and in the bow. Add 1 minced garlic clove (if you can handle it raw!), 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, and 2 teaspoons of sesame oil to the mixing bowl full of ingredients.
- Mix all together by hand.
- Top with the sliced egg and sesame seeds and serve.
This was one of the best meals of the year. This salad with fresh corn together with a pulled brisket (recipe coming shortly). A perfect fresh summer meal.
Don’t do this with canned corn it just won’t be as delicious.
- 1/2 cup dried pearl barley
- 3 ears of corn (shucked)
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup cooked cannellini beans
- 1 ripe tomato
- 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1/4 cup basil cut into ribbons
- 1 bunch of chives, thinly sliced
- ¼ - ½ cup(s) olive oil
- Boil barley according to package directions, using a large stock pot.
- Brush corn with olive oil and grill on all sides until charred gill marks appear.
- Meanwhile, halve all of the tomatoes and rinse and drain beans.
- Cut kernels off the corn. As you cut, collect any of the “milk” that comes from the cutting process, then use the back of the knife to scrape the remaining “milk” from the cleaned cob.
- Next, cut the large tomato in half and grate with a box grater over a dish or wide bowl, discarding the skins, but collecting the juice and pulp. Paste the garlic clove by mincing the garlic, and then adding some salt and rubbing the mixture between your cutting board and the side of your chef’s knife. Add that paste into the tomato mixture. Add a pinch of salt, crushed red pepper to taste, vinegar, and corn milk. Always crush dried herbs in the palm of your hand before adding to release the oils…releasing oils = releasing flavor! Whisk in olive oil slowly. Your goal here is to create an emulsion. This should yield at least a ½ c. of vinaigrette.
- If you plan on making ahead, make ¼ c. of extra vinaigrette to freshen before serving. Reserve your vinaigrette. Combine barley, tomatoes, corn, beans and fresh herbs in a large bowl and dress with your tomato vinaigrette. Toss to combine. Finish with a drizzle of your best olive oil.
As I mentioned in the last post, I apologise for the visual repetition, I cooked these two dishes together on the same night.
This recipe is the green daal pictured in the back of the photo.
Its from the blog 101cookbooks by Heidi Swanson, and it’s been one of my standby recipes for years. It’s so easy to make, all you need is time (it takes about 2 hours in total, but really only 15 minutes of effort within that). Perfect for a dinner party because you can get it all on the stove, and let it bubble away while you pick up your mess.
The recipe calls for white daal (urid daal), but to be honest I’ve made it with every kind of lentils over the years, and it’s always delicious.
- 1 cup / 185 g white urid or urad daal, (or any other lentils or mung beans) picked over and rinsed
- 6 cups / 1.5 liters water, plus more if necessary
- 1/2 pound spinach, washed and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 medium green chile peppers, minced
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon pure red chile powder
- more salt to taste
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- In a large pot over medium-high heat combine the daal and water. Bring to a boil, then add the spinach, ginger, turmeric, 3/4 of the green chiles, and all of the tomatoes. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the lentils are extremely soft. You may need to add a bit more water during the cooking process to keep the lentils soupy. After an hour and a half, stir in the salt.
- In a separate pan, heat the butter and cumin and fry until the cumin seeds start to pop. Now add the red chile powder and fry for another 30 seconds. Add this butter mixture to the lentils and allow to cook for another five minutes. Taste, and season with more salt if needed. I also enjoyed a touch of lemon juice added at this point. Serve topped with the cilantro and the remaining green chiles.
I loved this. Creamy, not too sweet, and very arguably- healthy!
I made it mainly because we had some overripe bananas and avocados. This is really important, do not try to make it with bananas and avocados that aren’t yet fully (if not over) ripe. This is essential for both sweetness and texture.
Lastly, you have your choice of sweeteners, I give some options in the list of ingredients.
- 2 bananas
- 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
- 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (depending on how chocolately you want it.
- 3 tbsp pure maple syrup, Tate & Lyle golden syrup, or a handful of dates, soaked in water for a few hours before
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- To a food processor, add banana, avocado and cocoa powder. Process until just a few chunks remain, about 1 minute. With processor running, pour maple syrup through feed tube and process until completely smooth, scraping down bowl as needed, about 1 minute. Add vanilla and cinnamon and process until combined, about 10 seconds.
- Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until completely chilled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
We were aiming for veggie burgers but this came out tasting exactly like falafels (not a huge surprise since falafels ARE chickpea burgers), but the spice mix is just perfect here.
We had them with a simple salad and a dollop of thick yogurt. You should put some cucumber in the yogurt if you remember it (we didn’t).
- 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 teaspoons ground cumin
- 3 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed, excess moisture squeezed out
- 1/4 cup quinoa
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, garlic, tahini, eggs, salt, cumin, and coriander. Pulse the mixture until it's slightly chunky.
- Pour the contents of the food processor into a large bowl. Add the red onion, lemon zest, spinach, quinoa, and parsley.
- In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat. Using a 1/3 measuring cup, scoop out the mixture and form patties, approximately 1/2 inch thick. Add the patties to the skillet (careful not to crowd the pan), cover, and cook for 6-7 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip the patties, cover, and cook the 2nd side for another 6-7 minutes. Remove from the skillet and allow to cool on a wire rack or paper towel. Continue to cook the remaining patties in the same fashion, adding more olive oil as needed.
This is from the amazing Sprouted Kitchen Bowl & Spoon cookbook, given to me by some of my closest friends for my birthday last year.
The original recipe calls for tofu. I made it with chicken and I realized… it’s better without any protein as a super fresh and crunchy soba noodle salad.
So feel free to add tofu or chicken if you wish, but this recipe is without.
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
- 3 ounces soba noodles
- 1 red bell pepper
- 3 carrots, peeled
- 1 English cucumber
- 1 bunch of cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
- 1 large avocado
- 1 tablespoon yellow miso paste
- 1 (3-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Zest and juice of 2 limes
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
- Cook the soba noodles until al dente, rinse with cold water, and drain. Seed and slice the bell pepper into thin strips. Use a julienne peeler to make long strips from the carrot and cucumber, keeping away from the inner seedy part of the cucumber. Put the noodles and prepared vegetables into a large mixing bowl.
- For the dressing, whisk together the miso, ginger, honey, lime zest and juice, sesame oil, and Sriracha. This much can be done up to 2 days in advance and kept covered in the fridge.
- When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the veggies and noodles, add the chopped cilantro and toss to coat. Top the bowl with the green onions, sesame seeds, and tofu. Serve each portion with a quarter of an avocado.
I love cabbage. And I love tomatoes. This soup is an excellent one to have on hand over the holidays, when you have people visiting, getting hungry at different times, and you need to have a healthy snack on hand at all times.
This soup is vegan, and packed with flavour. What makes it so unique is the splash of vinegar that gives it some punch.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 to 4 garlic cloves, to taste, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 small cabbage (about 1 1/2 pounds), cored and shredded or diced (about 6 cups)
- 1 small dried red chili pepper
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes, with juice
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- Freshly ground pepper
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, lidded skillet or Dutch oven. Add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about five minutes. Add the garlic and bell pepper. Cook, stirring, until the pepper has softened slightly and the pan is fragrant, about three minutes. Add the cabbage. Cook, stirring, until the cabbage has softened slightly and lost some of its volume, about five minutes. Add the chili pepper, sugar, tomatoes, salt and paprika. Raise the heat slightly, and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly and the mixture smells fragrant, about 10 minutes. Turn the heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the vinegar and pepper, and taste and adjust salt. Simmer another 10 minutes. Serve with thick slices of country bread or with rice. This will taste even better if you refrigerate it overnight and serve it the next day.
This is a recipe invented by my mother (the best cook in the world), and the method is often applied to other types of vegetables and other dishes on Beckwith Rd (parboiling and then sautéing in high quality olive oil with loads of salt and garlic).
This goes with just about any meat or fish main course, or it can stand alone as a delicious vegan main.
You could throw it onto pasta with a handful of freshly grated parmesan and it would be absolutely fantastic.
Or if you aren’t vegan if you want to jazz it up a bit add some sausage. And then throw that on pasta.
I recommend adding vegetable broth, but it depends entirely on your preferences and how liquid you want the final dish to be. Just keep tasting as you go along and decide how you want it.
- 2 medium Potatoes
- 1 bunch of Broccoli Rabe
- 6-10 cloves of Garlic
- 1 small can of White Beans (cannellini, navy beans, whatever you prefer)
- 1 cup Vegetable Broth (or more or less depending on how ‘soupy’ you want it to be)
- Salt & Pepper
- A very large glug of high quality extra virgin olive oil
- Wash the broccoli rabe, pick off any yellow leaves, and trim the ends. Separate the leaves from the stems, and cut the stems in half.
- Wash the potatoes (peel them if you like but you don’t have to). Cut off any green spots, and chop into tiny cubes.
- Bring two pots of salted water to boil.
- In the first pot, parboil the broccoli rabe, adding first the thicker stems, then the thinner stems after a few minutes, and finally the leaves for a minute or two. You want everything to be very soft. Drain, and set aside.
- In the second pot, parboil the potato cubes.
- Drain and rinse the white beans.
- Once all of your ingredients prepped, and you are ready to compile, chop up the garlic, and sauté it in a low pan with the olive oil, over medium heat.
- Once the garlic is soft (but not brown), add in the potatoes, and stir until thoroughly mixed and the sides of the potatoes are coated with oil. Add the broccoli rabe, and the vegetable broth. Stir to combine, and add in the white beans.
- Let the whole thing simmer slowly on the stove for 10 minutes or so, just to let the flavours meld. If you want it to be soupier add more broth, if it needs to dry up a bit let the liquid boil off.
- Salt generously to taste, and add plenty of freshly ground pepper.
We went to the bookstore today, and I had the chance to go through a whole bunch of cookbooks; take them to the other side of the store and sit in a corner on the floor and filter through all the recipes.
This bookstore is horrendously overpriced *ahem* Waterstones, but I did snap a picture of this one recipe from a Jamie Oliver cookbook, and we decided to try it out tonight to help us decide if we want to buy the book later.
It’s a YES!
Although the one disclaimer is that this absolutely did not take 15 minutes. I was slow… but even so- it took about an hour.
- 1 Butternut squash neck or chunk of pumpkin
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 thumb sized piece of ginger
- 1 fresh red chile
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ bunch of spring onions
- 1 heaped teaspoon peanut butter
- 4 dried kaffir lime leaves
- bunch of coriander
- 1 tablespoon each: soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil
- 300g rice noodles
- 600g asparagus
- 1 400g tin of coconut milk
- 3 limes
- Put 800 ml of boiling water on the stove, with the bouillon cube.
- Trim the pumpkin or squash chunk, and grate the flesh. Add it into the water.
- In a food processor or with a hand blender, combine the peeled garlic, ginger, chilli, turmeric, trimmed spring onions, peanut butter, dried lime leaves, coriander stalks (save the leaves), sesame oil, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Blitz together until smooth.
- Add this mixture into the water, together with the noodles.
- Trim the asparagus and cut into pieces. Add to the pan, together with the coconut milk. As soon as it boils, taste, correct the seasoning with soy sauce and lime juice, and turn off the heat.
- Serve with fresh coriander leaves & lime wedges.