I’m a big potato fan, I love them in every shape, color, size or combination. From white and purple to sweet potatoes, from mashed, baked and wedges, to fries, rösti and potato salad. But for that particular moment when I cannot figure out whether I’m craving fries or mashed potatoes, there is a wonderful recipe called Hasselback Potatoes. This recipe combines both the earthy crunchiness of fries and the buttery creaminess of mashed potatoes. This adorable fan-shaped spuds are not only good-looking, but also delicious and healthy.
The technique is quite simple; the potatoes are sliced into thin parallel slices but they aren’t cut all the way through; after that they are generously greased with butter, they are roasted in the oven until they become golden brown. To make my work easier, I simply place the potato in a large spoon and I rest the handler on a paper towel roll (picture). The edges of the spoon will stop you from slicing the potato all the way through. I wanted to make this recipe vegan, so I substituted butter for some quality olive oil. I tried to mimic that rich flavor that butter gives to the dish and I placed some garlic and thyme between the potato slices. The result was (muuuuuch) more than satisfactory. Continue reading Hasselback Potatoes (Vegan)
After years and years of research, I’ve finally found the perfect salad! I’m a huge fault-finder when it comes to salads, but I have to tell you that this salad is flawless. I make it maybe twice a week and I use use fresh ingredients picked from my own veggie garden. This salad is both satisfying and delicious, and tends to be the healthiest addiction I’ve ever had.
The base of this salad is bulgur, a protein-packed nutty cereal, as well as chickpeas, another great vegan protein source. This two protein packed ingredients turn this salad into a extremely hearty dish. I top the salad with fresh cucumbers, onion, aromatic herbs and sweet and juicy cherries, which transform this salad into a genuine culinary symphony. Oh, and I forgot to mention that this divine salad is also exclusively plant-based! Continue reading Bulgur Salad with Chickpeas and Cherries (Vegan)
There’s not much to say about this tofu and mandarin salad, only the fact that I tend to prepare it excessively lately. It’s so colorful and packed with bold flavors and great textures and the best part is that it’s plant – based. The crunchy, fragrant fennel goes wonderfully with the sweet and juicy mandarin slices and the green onion and the baby spinach give this salad a nice, springy twist. For this salad I like to cut my tofu in triangles, marinate it in mandarin juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, olive oil, ginger and garlic and bake it in the oven until golden brown. Simlpe and delcious!
Why I love spinach salad with tofu, mandarin and fennel:
- it’s vegan
- it’s so colorful and tasty
- it’s nutritious
- it’s high in protein, so it’s very satisfying
- it’s lovely all year round, I just pick whatever veggies are in season
Continue reading Spinach Salad with Baked Tofu, Fennel and Mandarin Oranges
Shakshuka is an absolutely delicious North African dish. Under this adorable name hide some eggs poached to perfection in a decadent tomato sauce. Shakshuka is usually served for breakfast, but nothing keeps you from serving it for lunch or even supper. One pan. Some olive oil, onion, red bell pepper, garlic, cumin, paprika and tomatoes. Five eggs poached for five minutes. The beauty of this dish is the fact that all the story takes place in one single pan.
Why I love Shakshuka:
- it’s so easy to make, it’s mouth-watering, healthy and packed with protein
- it’s perfect for brunch
- it’s ready in about 20 minutes
- it takes just one single pan
- it has a charming rusticity
Continue reading Shakshuka (Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce)
Quail eggs boiled to perfection, served in a velvety and decadent butter and beetroot sauce, scented with ginger and Garam Masala. It does sound appealing, doesn’t it! The fact is I’m seldom dazzled by a combination of flavors, not because I’m a person hard to impress, but because I try really hard to content my emotions, at least culinary-wise. But this flavor profile mesmerizes me, it fascinates me to the point I drag myself to the kitchen at 1 am, in my pijamas, just to enjoy that taste again.
The starting point of this recipe is in fact Murgh Makhani, a delicious Indian butter chicken curry. About three years ago I substituted chicken with quail eggs and the recipe made so much sense, that I’ve made it only with quail eggs ever since. I often make this recipe with ghee, the Indian clarified butter, a very nutritious ingredient, but since I make my own ghee and I happened to run out ot it, I decided to use regular butter. And yes, that gorgeous chick in the picture is one of my quail-pets. On this note, how cool is the fact that my pets also provide breakfast? Continue reading Quail Egg Butter Curry
Cream of pumpkin soup is one of my favorite soups. I know I say the same thing about almost every soup I try and I’m also aware of the fact that I might have a problem. I wouldn’t call it a problem, though. I would rather call it an affinity for everything that’s nutritious, delicious and hydrating.
Pumpkin-wise, this year has been extremely productive and rewarding. I harvested some huge pumpkins from my own veggie garden. And when I say huge, I mean huge-huge, that’s-the-biggest-vegetable-I’ve-ever-seen kind of huge. If last year I had two semi-decent looking pumpkins (who am I kidding, they were a cross between a melon and a tennis ball, to be more accurate), this year I had about a dozen giant ones. And they were so incredibly tasty! Sometimes I looked at them and I felt it would be a shame to cook them, and then I remembered their perfect flavor and their addictive sweetness. And that was the nudge I needed to get things going! Continue reading Cream of Pumpkin Soup
Sweet and sour chili jam is an amazing thing! It’s a vegan sauce, made from only four budget-friendly ingredients (chili, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and garlic). This sauce has the capacity to elevate each and every single dish you can think of, it goes divine with veggies, dairy and meat products, pasta, rice, omelets, burgers or sandwiches. I love chili sauce so much that I’d be even tempted to pair it with tarts and cakes, the only thing that discourages me a tiny bit is the garlic in its composition.
Chili sauce has such a lovely vibrant color. It’s so creamy and dense. It is hot and spicy, fragrant and so flavorful. It is also extremely easy to make at it lasts in the refrigerator up to 2 months. Theoretically. Practically, the jar will be empty in 2 or 3 weeks. I really hope you’ll give it a try! Continue reading Sweet Chili Jam
Since fall is basically here and I’ve been shivering for days, I tend to incorporate more autumnal flavors in my dishes. And what would possibly be this glorious season without its vegetables? I simply love fall and its delightful veggies, little pieces of hearty and flavorful jewels. Today I stumbled across some tiny yet flavorful blood-red beetroot so I decided to befriend them with some lovely pumpkin seeds and some grated Grana Padano. The result was a vibrant autumnal pesto. While my beets were gentle roasting in the oven, I boiled al dente some dry pasta. I usually prepare my own pasta from scratch, but now I offered a chance to a box of trofie which was sitting on a shelf for quite some time. The dish was so hearty, and colorful with an extremely interesting taste, a bold, rich, astringent, quite citrusy taste. It tasted like October.
Since Pesto alla Genovese, the original version of this pasta sauce goes so well with trofie, I was so curious to find out if these funny looking pasta resonates with my roasted beetroot as well. They do resonate and every bite is such a rewarding experience! Continue reading Trofie with Roasted Beetroot and Pumpkin Seed Pesto
I’ve always had mixed feelings about eggplants, I haven’t been able to figure out whether I like them or not. They are so big, and shiny and… weird. I try almost daily to find a way to include them in my diet, especially because I personally grew them in my own veggie garden. I find their taste at least interesting but I cannot stand their spongy texture. Yet, there is a delicious Italian dish, melanzane alla parmigiana or parmezan eggplants which is a cross between a lasangna and a moussaka. I don’t know what makes this dish exquisite, maybe the way the tomato sauce’s acidity amplifies the taste of the eggplants or the way the parmesan’s taste dances together with the earthiness of the eggplant. Maybe all the reasons combined, but the taste is simply amazing! Continue reading Melanzane alla Parmigiana – Parmesan Eggplants
I have an almost irritating gastronomical curiosity, a curiosity that often leads to surprising (if not weird) culinary combinations. I love complex, technical and challenging things, but often I find myself yearning for simplicity. Throughout time I’ve learnt that those simple things tend to fascinate, they tend to mesmerize. You simply get them and they simply get you.
One of those mesmerizing simple things are undoubtedly tomatoes à la Provençale, ripe tomatoes stuffed with flavorful bread crumbs. There are 2 tricky things about this recipe: the bread crumbs must be fresh, made from day old bread and the herbs should be fresh as well, not dried; dried bread crumbs and dried herbs aren’t quite a match made in heaven, at least not for this recipe. These being said, it’s impossible for me to describe how mouth-watering these stuffed tomatoes are. The contrast between the sweet and juicy tomato and the crispy bread crumbs is so delightful and you cannot limit yourself at just one serving! Continue reading Tomatoes à la Provençale