Showing posts with label Lemon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lemon. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Warm Moroccan Spiced Broccoli Orzo Salad

I did not actually plan on posting today's lunch until I tried my first bite. I am at home, writing an outline for my bachelor thesis, sanding the sides of my bed to later paint them and preparing for tomorrows classes. I only planned on making a quick lunch, using what I have.
A look in the fridge told me that I really needed to use this broccoli that I got in my csa last week (or was it the week before that? I really don't know). A quick search on 101cookbooks provided me with an idea for the broccoli: Broccoli Orzo salad. I mostly follow the recipe when it came to the main ingredients but decided to add some Moroccan spices. Or what I think are Moroccan spices, I really am not an expert on Moroccan cooking. Harissa, a little cinnamon and some preserved lemon and I am in heaven.
I have to keep this short, should be back to work by now.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Potato, Chickpea and Asparagus Salad

I never considered myself to be a creative person. Creative were the others. The painters, the musicians, the crafters. The people who knew what they were doing. Who can take a pencil into their hands and just start drawing and produce a wonderful drawing. The people who constantly took beautiful pictures with their cameras. I always looked at their work and said to myself: Oh well, your just not the creative type. They just have talent.

Only recently I realized that creativity is not the same as talent (and talent is a concept I try to distance myself from) and expertise. Being creative is the process, not the outcome. No matter how the end result turns out, the mere act of creating something makes us creative people. And John Cleese shares this view, that creativity is not an ability but a process. If you happen to have time, please watch this video. It is really worth your time.

And it really is good to know that we all are creative beings.

It is in cooking that I often feel my creativity the most. I usually sit and read and write and type the whole day or spend it with friends or maybe on the bike, but don't spend it creating stuff. Creating something in the kitchen is when I feel really connected, to the food I make but also to life in general. Cooking is really grounding to me.

For this weeks recipe in the Food Matters Project, I really planned on making a soup, maybe adding a bit more garlic, pureeing the bean part and leaving the asparagus whole. But then summer came, it is really pleasant outside, I wear a dress, drink beer and just can't imagine eating hot soup right now. And turning it into a cold soup did not sound too great. So here I am today, with a version of the dish that is more suited to the temperatures right now.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Buckwheat Pasta with Mushrooms and Watercress

I'm away on holidays when this post is published. My boyfriend and I, we're off to Andalusia, Spain for almost two weeks. I'll take my laptop with me, but I'm not sure whether I'll be able to post anything new while were away.
I made this dish with the homemade pasta I posted earlier this week. We loved it, the buckwheat goes really well with the mushrooms. Oh, and I'm just slightly obsessed with buckwheat flour lately.
For this pasta dish you saute onions, lots of mushrooms, flavor it with some wine and a few herbs. Then you throw the mushroom sauce with the cooked pasta and a handful of watercress. Love it, really simple but so fancy. (Not so simple if you make the pasta, too, though.)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Good Morning Citrus Smoothie

One part of my eating habits I wanted to change is breakfast. As I said before, I love bread, but I just don't thrive on bread alone. And I end up starving after just 2 hours after eating, which is not that great, really.
So the smoothie entered my life. I did not stop eating bread completely, but I really try having something else whenever possible now. I began with making green smoothie (aka the Green Monster), tried one with beets in it (kind of strange, tasted really healthy) and now this. Citrus for the wake-me-up-boots I really need in the morning. Banana for sweetness, and what I really love about it, some chicory (or Belgian endive, however you may call it). I have been adding some greens to most of my smoothies, but I love the chicory here, because it doesnt change the color of the smoothie. Green smoothies just don't look that great.
One of Michael Pollan's food rules in In Defense of Food is to eat mostly plants, and mostly the leaves (not seeds) of them. I like to eat salad, but I love to have other options to increase my intake of leafy plants. And you can't actually taste it (I tested it on my boyfriend), which is great, because I don't always want to have a green tasting smoothie. The chicory loses the bitterness it usually has in between the brightness and sourness of the lemon and orange juice and the sweetness of the banana.
Oh, and I felt great this morning, much more awake than after a cup of coffee.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Roasted Winter Vegetable Tart

More and more I come to respect the course of the seasons, the long absence of summer fruit and vegetables. I had the desire to eat seasonally for a long time, but I still bought tomatoes in winter, unripe peaches or watery strawberries. I never bought said strawberries in fall or winter, but still, strawberries picked unripe and shipped and packaged never taste good. I always knew, but I still wanted that taste, bought the strawberries and was so disappointed. No more. Now I get most of my veggies in a weekly csa box, no eggplant or tomatoes from them right now. That's completely fine with me, their carrots and beets are beautiful. I get a lot of salad, and I'm really inspired to find more ways to eat them, and not let them eat me or me fridge (If you would like to hear about what to do with all the salad, let me know. I'd love to share what I did until now)

It feels like spring here, at the moment. I have no doubts that winter will soon return for a few more weeks, but right now the air smells of spring. The earth seems to awake, everything is just that bit greener. I really would love to eat asparagus right now. Or fresh peas, with just a little bit salt and butter.

I know that it is too early. My excitement will only grow more, and on the first day that I see asparagus here I'll be really happy. For now, I'm sticking, faithfully, to my root vegetables. They are not the only vegetables I eat right now (think cauliflower, cabbage, kale), but I just have a special place in my heart for them.
When I saw the January cover from bon appetit, I thought the tart it showed would feature many different winter vegetables. I was a bit disappointed, in the recipe and Ottolenghi, who I thougt was more of a seasonal cook. Peppers, tomatoes and eggplant right now?
Picture from last night. This is how the tart looked whole.

Hell no, and I dare to say that I think my version is better. I really loved the lemon zest, it added a much needed kick of freshness to the roasted vegetables.

And the homemade crust with buckwheat is just wonderful. I think I'll never go back to buying ready-to-use crust again, it just doesn't taste good and it contains strange things that I think have no business in a pie crust. You could use just your regular recipe for a pie crust, but adding buckwheat flour was a great idea. It makes play the crust a bigger role, not just the backdrop for what you put in there.
Before I forget to say it. It takes some time to prepare this tart. However, most of the time is spent chilling the dough, letting the vegetables roast, cool down etc. I'm currently writing some papers for college, and I just took some breaks from writing to prepare the different parts, but I really got something done too.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pasta with Thyme

I am back to college. Suddenly I have to shift from the lazy days of summer to a busyness I don't always like. I already miss the whole days spent in the kitchen. The long elaborate meals I shared with my boyfriend. The hours spent reading about food and cooking. The long bike rides. The spontaneous jumps into pools and lakes. The little things you don't really notice until they are over. 

But I am also happy to be back. I miss the structure of college days in summer. It requires a lot of effort to fit in running when I don't have my days, my times to just go. I miss the conversations, the challenges and the opportunities to learn.
But college also changes my cooking and eating habits. When I get home at 6.30 I'm just too hungry to wait longer than 7 till I can eat. I eat more pasta, more sandwiches for lunch and more not-so-tasty food in the cafeteria at college.

These last days I used lots of thyme. I bought a bunch, then I bought some more, and now I even picked lots of it in my parents garden. Until now, I sort of overlooked thyme, but with the colder temperatures, it is just right for me.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Crunchy Baked Acorn Squash with Mozzarella

A year or two ago I saw this recipe for baked squash with mozzarella in a cookbook. We looked at it in a bookstore and just loved the idea. My boyfriend took a picture of it, secretly and a bit ashamed because we had no intention to buy the book. I can't remember what the book looked like or what the name of the recipe was, but we took the inspiration from there and baked squash, topped with rosemary and mozzarella for quite a few times last winter, and I think also the one before. And it was absolutely delicious, the squash turns from hard to soft, it develops a balanced sweetness (not like pure sugar sweet) and the mozzarella melts, turns from white to golden brown and somehow changes its flavor.

Well enough, but this year I saw in the Ottolenghi cookbook Plenty, a recipe for crunchy squash with lemon. I don't remember the title of this recipe either, and I only remember the lemon bit about it. He cover the whole squash slices in a crunchy mixture that included lemon. Without looking up his recipe I decided to include the crunchy topping into the baked squash with mozzarella dish I already made. This is how this recipe was born, after thinking about it for quite some time, it came together really quickly.