Lettuce cups with red pepper lentil balls

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Vibrant colours, bright flavour hits and warm spicy notes – all combined in these wonderful Turkish red pepper & lentil balls served on emerald green baby romaine lettuce. Turkish mercimekli köfte make a fabulous appetizer for a crowd, great finger food for a party, brilliant brunch fare or vegetarian meal and look stunning while being super easy to prepare and assemble. In the interest of stability when served as finger food I’d go back to its original shape of a small köfte, an oblong loaf shape, rather then the admittedly prettier balls which only pretend to remain stationary but suddenly start to roll on the lettuce like a fast spinning roulette ball Continue reading

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white bean gratin ( + grilled lamb chops & salsa)

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If the notion of a bean gratin evokes images of heavy & greige institution food, think again. This fine gratin is a layered flavour affair: tiny white creamy beans, a savoury, herb infused broth, a bed of sweet caramelized onions and all is covered by crispy thyme scented breadcrumbs. It can’t get any better and we found it a perfect partner to lamb chops with a slightly acidic tomato, feta & parsley salsa. Continue reading

Beetroot ‘carpaccio’

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This fabulous winter starter may sound a little fancy, bordering on pompous but apart from the original beef carpaccio, beetroot may be one of the few thinly sliced things to come close to be called after the eponymous Venetian painter of beautiful reds, Vittore Carpaccio. His precious vermillion, ruby, intense scarlet & carmine reds made the contemporary of Bellini, Mantengna, Giorgione and the young Titian the proper patron of the famous Harry’s Bar’s classic and maybe even the humble sliced beetroot. Just look at the beautiful burgundy-coloured beetroot slices, Carpaccio would have happily lend his name to this vegetarian version. Continue reading

Pad Thai-ish noodle slaw

 

 

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Certainly, I am not claiming any authenticity here but I love this fresh, punchy slaw with brown rice vermicelli that takes some flavour cues from the noodle dish Pad Thai while also sporting a bracing ginger & lime zing. Adding the scrumptious pan-fried Korean bbq chicken (or tofu / egg / shrimps) is in no way genuine either and not necessarily mandatory but provides a sweeter note and makes for the most delicious Pad Thai-ish noodle slaw for supper. Continue reading

scorzonera gratin – Schwarzwurzelgratin

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If you are an afficionado of white asparagus, then by now you are already aching quite badly for the next asparagus season to come around since mid-spring is months away, so absolute agony (remember Cartman wanting a Wii, pacing up & down in front of the shop while trying to summon the day to arrive: “Come on, come ooon” ?). There is a remedy though and winter bestows upon us many marvellous things like snow, Christmas and …scorzonera.

A scorzonera is a root of many names: black or Spanish salsify, winter asparagus, oyster vegetable etc. and its delicate, subtly sweet taste is best described as a mixture of all these exquisite things. Continue reading

Chickpeas, carrots & chard – Kichererbsen, Karotten und Mangold

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Back to the quest for great vegetable dishes and this one has proven itself many times over and therefore is a recurring dinner guest in our house. I love the combination of creamy chickpeas with sweet carrots and earthy chard in a pleasantly spiced sauce. A spritz of lemon finishes it with a jolt of acidity and lots of parsley for a fresh green note. A completely satisfactory & comforting dish on its own, this makes a pleasant change even for die-hard carnivores: add a fried egg or pan-fried halloumi slices for a fantastic vegetarian supper; at other times it’s a great partner to grilled lamb chops or a firmly fleshed fish like monkfish (Baudroi, Seeteufel or Lotte).

As always, find the recipe in English & Rezept auf Deutsch am Ende… Continue reading

Sweet & sour red chard

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Red Swiss chard is unrivalled in its beautiful play of colours from deep dark reds to vibrant pinks and has a wonderful earthy taste akin to beetroot only lighter and a little more subtle – excellent requirements for a stunning vegetable dish. Briefly blanched the chard keeps its fantastic colour and fine taste and has its own delicate sweetness balanced by the sweet & sour slow-cooked onions, plump raisins & a splash of vinegar. Again something agrodolce, this time not from Sicily like the Caponata but from the Mediterranean nonetheless: a classic Spanish preparation for spinach served in London’s Barafina translated into chard; I have added wine (or occasionally Noilly Prat) for a smidgen of sauce. P. S. recipe in English + Deutsches Rezept am Ende Continue reading