Aubergines with buttermilk sauce & pomegranate seeds

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I absolutely love aubergines: big shiny purple or the white ones perfectly illustrating why they are also called eggplant, small green or tiny pea-sized aubergines from Asia, long & slender Middle Eastern varieties. The almost meaty flesh is the epitome of savoury when fried, grilled or roasted, creamy and satisfyingly unctuous it melts on the tongue and offers itself as a worthy partner to almost anything from other vegetables (Ratatouille to name but one), lamb or feta or chicken, chillies and coconut or stands proudly on its own when charred for Baba Ganoush – any recipe featuring aubergines is my friend, especially when a meatless dish is called for.

My aubergine guru is Ottolenghi, who seldom lets me down and these divine aubergines with za’atar, a tangy yoghurt-buttermilk sauce & pomegranate kernels guarantee you plenty layers of flavour. One half is a perfect starter, two halves are my favourite lunch Continue reading

Leeks with yoghurt, dill & sumach

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I am on a continuous quest for new vegetable dishes to ring the changes: alternative preparations, different seasoning spices & new flavour combinations who will not only rejuvenate the usual suspects of sides but add an exciting twist & surprise us with hitherto unknown delightful tastes (with occasionally mediocre results or sad failures). Even better, when those experiments turn out to be such marvels and immediately join the ranks of the favourites, like these leeks with yoghurt, dill & sumach.

Elementary ingredients of Greece & the Levant give the leeks a flavour makeover: the various citrus notes of dill and sumach accentuate the inherent sweetness of the leeks while the seasoned creamy yoghurt refreshes and adds piquancy at the same time. A fantastic little side that goes with absolutely everything from Middle Eastern to Western cuisine, lamb tagine to pork chops, falafel or cauliflower fritters, roast chicken or this gorgeous citrus-spiced salmon. Did I say, it is a cinch to make? Well, it is ready in a few minutes: assemble the yoghurt dressing while the leeks steam, drizzle it on and finish with a final flourish of crimson sumach. Done. How fast was that? Continue reading

Citrus-spiced salmon

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See below for the recipe in German, siehe unten für das Rezept auf Deutsch

This is a fabulous oven-cooked salmon dish with a fragrant spice rub where the different citrus notes of orange, sumach & lime are enriched by woodsy cumin, warm cinnamon & scented pink rose petals. Minimum work for maximum flavour and the colours are equally beautiful. I bet you will fall in love with this Persiana recipe the moment you’ll grind the rose petals for the rub. I am no expert on Persian cuisine but Sabrina Ghayour’s book is one of my favourite books since I opened it and daydreamed of eating every single one of its enticing & mouth-watering pictures & recipes.

We have already had this three times and it could have been four times, if I had not foolishly decided to Nobu-Miso-Marinate the last salmon I have bought, that very pretty & expensive piece of wild, hand-caught, artisan, signature, super duper ‘loin’. You may want to skip the rant and rejoin at the beginning of the next paragraph… or: Let’s just say, I’ll reserve judgement until I try the original version with Black Cod but that was some wasted Mirin-candied salmon. To smoothly round off the whole saccharine fiasco (and adding even more sweetness), Ottolenghi let me down as well with a Japanese-ish vegetable side with a sweet sesame sauce (the name might have been a hint, more Mirin). Though, I am quite sure we’ll make up very soon. Rice was good.

Back to the good news… Continue reading

Ottolenghi’s baby spinach salad with dates, almonds & crispy flatbread

 

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Deutsches Rezept (Ottolenghis Babyspinatsalat mit Datteln, Mandeln & krossen Fladenbrotstückchen) wie immer am Ende

 

Not AWOL but we have the In-laws visiting and I am cooking, cooking, cooking. Some dishes even got a photo (for example my wild card Jambon persillé aka Ham & parsley terrine) – add those to the other ones in my queue for a little bit of a pile-up…

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