Showing posts with label Greens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Greens. Show all posts

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Swiss Chard Tart with Pine Nuts and Raisins

The end of February marked the 3 year anniversary of this blog. On 2/21/2011 I wrote my first post, about an eggplant dish I made from one of the first vegetarian cookbooks I bought after Michael decided to eat vegetarian.
I have been reflecting about my motivation on writing here, posting recipes, taking pictures of my food, and honestly felt a bit demotivated about it all for quite some time now. Nothing good can come from comparing your writing, your recipes, your pictures and your life in general to that of other bloggers.

I'll spare you all the self-criticizing thoughts I had in the past weeks/months, because what I mainly want to say today is: I just love to cook. Basta. That is the reason I started writing here those 3 years ago and still, this is the reason I come back to this space after being absent, again, for quite some time.
I realize it is already March, but back on New Year's Eve Michael and I talked about the highlights of 2013, and mentioned Marcella Hazan's Torta di Biete, or Chard torta as one of the best things I had made in 2013. It's been a while since New Year's Eve, so I am really sorry to have kept this recipe for myself for so long. (Although it is published in The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, so it is hardly a secret) You really should have had the opportunity to make this since January 1st, with Swiss chard being in season and all.
The original torta is crustless, but there is a whole mess of toasted breadcrumbs involved. You could definitely make the recipe as Marcella Hazan wrote it (I found a closer version to the original here) and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it with this sort of breadcrumb crust. I came to prefer the version with a crust though, if only because the crust makes it easier to steal a slice here or there out of the fridge.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Lentil and Greens Taco with Avocado Cucumber Salsa

When I was a kid I loved to read. I'd lie in my bed all morning and read. I really loved to read, it gave me an opportunity to live in another world. What I remember particularly well is the time when I read Harry Potter. At that time the books were still rather unknown (at least in Switzerland), and I'd have to wait at least another year until the next book came out. I think I devoured the first book when I was 10 years old, and on my 11th birthday I really wished to get a letter from Hogwarts. I mean, I knew that it was just a story, but I still was a bit disappointed when it did not arrive. You see, on one hand I really wanted to leave my class at school, I had no friends there, but also I wanted to be told I was special.
This need to feel special, it never served me well. I started many things, playing the violin, singing, volleyball, dancing, etc, just to find that thing I'm talented at. I thought I'd just find something I'd be good at naturally. I thought I would not have to work for it.
Still today, I really struggle to continue doing something I'm not good at from the start. And I came to realize that if I ever have kids, I'll never talk about talent in front of them. Talent alone doesn't get you anywhere. It's the work you put into it that counts.
One thing that I am trying to improve is my photography. I recently bought myself a Holga, a cheap toy camera, that makes me think long about the shot I want to make (Getting the film developed is quite expensive here).  But I need to dig deeper, practise more. If you have any tips or ressources I would love the hear them. But I also just need to get out and shoot. Just do it should be my new mantra. Just do it. (if you have any assignments for me, please give them to me)
Marx and Engels in Berlin

For this weeks Food Matters project installment, I made something simple. Since I did not change much, I'll just link to the recipe at the end of the post. I followed the basic recipe, but substituted lentil du puy for the black beans and used salad greens instead of kale because that is what I had on hand. I served it in taco shells with a simple avocado cucumber salsa, made with a little onion, avocado, about the same amount cucumber, a few sliced radishes, salt and lemon juice. The original recipe can be found over at good things grow: Beans 'n Greens Burritos. Check out what the other participants came up with this week over here.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Chickpea Nuggets with Escarole in Caramel Sauce

As I am writing this, I feel the urge to sneak into the kitchen to nibble on another of these chickpea nuggets. (Back again).
I have found that the food matters project makes me search for meat alternatives, while I usually just go without. I am not really one to buy fake meat or use tofu in abundance. I usually go for chickpeas, beans or lentils if I feel the need to add protein to a dish.
But for this project, I felt I needed to change this approach. For the coq au vin, I just left out the meat altogether, but doing that for another week for the cassoulet seemed kind of strange, and then this week: rhubarb sauce alone does not really sound like much of a meal. But luckily I stumbled onto this recipe for chickpea nuggets, or gatta as it is called, and new that I wanted to give them a try. They are really easy to make, but oh so delicious. While last weeks sausages need some improving, these I can really recommend. They can also be frozen (I guess, none survived to try it out), or dried as the recipe I found suggests.
For the sauce I used the escarole version Bittman suggests as a variation. Rhubarb is still not quite in season here, and I had escarole already at home. I also used a radicchio I had in the fridge. Since I stayed true to the original recipe this week, I only include the recipe for the chickpea nuggets here, please go to Camilla's blog for the whole recipe and check out what everyone else did with this recipe here. I have to say though that while I loved the nuggets, I wasn't too crazy about the sauce. It was to liquid, sweet and orangey. Something was missing and I couldn't find out what.
I also used these nuggets in a couscous dish a made earlier in the week. Cooked some couscous. stirfried some fennel and pea shoots, add the couscous to the skillet, season with a curry powder, throw in some apple and the chickpea nuggets. I liked that better than this recipe, and might make it again and share it with proper measurements.