This heat calls for lemonade, that’s for sure. This lemonade manages to refresh wonderfully, it hydrates terribly and it sweetens just as much as it should. I cannot decide what I like the most about this delicious watermelon lemonade. Maybe the hypnotic color. Or the lovely watermelon flavor. Or the fact that it’s ready in no time.
The sweetness of this lemonade is ensured mostly by the watermelon. And if the watermelon I choose is extra-ripe and extra-sweet, I might as well skip the sweetener. I like to keep my watermelon lemonade raw vegan, so if my melon isn’t sweet enough, I add a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup, but sugar or honey works just as fine. When it’s ready, I like to serve it in oversize glass jars, with lots of ice and mint leaves, just for an extra touch of freshness and I enjoy the whole thing at the shade of the huge cherry tree from my back yard. Continue reading Watermelon Lemonade
Sometimes, I’m simply not looking for symmetries, geometries and flawlessness. Sometimes, a rustic dessert chaotically dropped on a white plate creates for me an ecstatic state of mind, a genuine satisfaction that no other form of perfection could ever bring. Moments like that tell me it’s time to make a crumble.
Fruit crumble isn’t the most aesthetic dessert that you could think of, I give you that, but the taste is simply divine. Those fresh fruit that bake in their own juice, creating a silky, flavorful sauce go wonderfully with the crunchy buttery crust. For this particular crumble I used meaty June cherries, I flavored them with rose water (vanilla or almond extract work beautifully too) and I topped them with a buttery almond flake mixture. A delicious madness! Continue reading Cherry and Almond Crumble
These goat cheese, pea and quail egg triangles are simply extraordinary. They are delicious, flavorful and the fresh green peas add a lovely spring quality to the dish. What I like the most about the appetizers is they are a crowd-pleaser. These adorable guys are also a wonderful alternative to conventional appetizers, letting aside the fact that they’re ready in less than 30 minutes. To ease up my work, I use store-bought puff pastry and I bake it between two trays. This method keeps the dough from rising excessively in the oven, which leads to a relatively thin, golden and flaky crust. Those crispy rectangles are then iced with a tangy and flavorful goat cheese cream, topped with peas and quail eggs arranged chaotically. Continue reading Goat Cream Cheese, Pea and Quail Egg Triangles
This lovely canapés are more than suitable for spring. The base is a delicious homemade nigella seed focaccia which is topped with tangy goat cheese, juicy strawberry slices, smoky Prosciutto roses, fresh mint ribbons and a balsamic vinegar reduction. I simply love balsamic vinegar reduction, it’s such a versatile condiment; its acid and slightly sweet taste and its unmistakable aroma go wonderfully with different types of cheese, vegetables and fruits and it tastes divine paired with vanilla-flavored desserts, too. Since it’s springtime and my garden abounds with flowers, I decided I should garnish my canapés with edible flowers, just for aesthetic reasons.
For my canapés I used homemade focaccia (I used this recipe). The only changes I’ve made are the following: I prepared the dough, I placed it in a bowl, I covered it with cling film and I refrigerated it overnight. The next morning I kneaded the dough and I rolled the bread, I garnished it with nigella seeds and I drizzled it with olive oil. After 1 hour of rising, I baked it for about 20 minutes.
I usually make my own balsamic vinegar reduction. I add 1 cup of balsamic vinegar to a saucepan and I boil it until the liquid becomes syrupy and reduces by 1/3 cup. I pour the reduction in a jar and I leave it to reach room temperature before refrigerating it. Since it thickens considerably as it cools down, I reheat it in warm water before using. Continue reading Spring Canapés (Focaccia with Goat Cheese, Strawberries, Prosciutto and Balsamic Reduction)
Pea pâté made from frozen peas is a delicious appetizer but when made from fresh spring peas it’s absolutely exquisite. Spring peas are blanched and then mixed with ricotta, parmesan, spring onion and fresh mint and it miraculously transforms into a dense and flavorful cream, with an almost surreal green color. Almost.
I ran out of bread and I decided it’s about time to bake a focaccia (I used exactly this recipe), since I haven’t made bread for so long (for 3 days, to be more accurate). So, while the dough was rising, I prepared a minty ricotta-spring pea pâté. Since I finished the pâté extremely quickly, I decide to caramelize some God knows how old old white onions. I cooked them very slowly, at low temperature without the additional sugar until they turned a rich brown. I assembled the focaccia, spring pea pâté and caramelized onions and I got a cute and heavenly tasty appetizer. Continue reading Spring Pea Pâté with Caramelized Onions
Veggie pasta salad is a wonderful dish. It is a satisfying salad, as well as delicious and it tastes even better the next day. Regarding the ingredients, sky is the limit; you can add in your salad all kinds of veggies, herbs, dairy products or even fruit.
I tried to make my recipe healthier but I still wanted that rich taste, so I made a few changes. I used whole wheat fusilli, juicy cherry tomatoes and fresh snow peas and for the creamy dressing I used Greek yogurt, fresh mint and only 2 tablespoons of homemade mayo. The result was mouth-watering! Continue reading Pasta Salad With Cherry Tomatoes and Snow Peas
I love veggie creams so much, not because I am lazy (fine … that too, I admit), but because creams are a great method to include more vegetables in your diet. In my case it’s difficult to pick a favorite, in general I like everything that’s savory and creamy. Anyway, this broccoli and ricotta soup, which is a relatively recent discovery, has quickly become my obsession. It’s so rich, smooth and fragrant, and the subtle minty flavor gives this dish such a nice touch. Continue reading Creamy Broccoli and Ricotta Soup