Cauliflower, spinach & hazelnut salad with peanut butter dressing

in Savoury, Small bites, Taste -

Filled with so many colours and textures, this cauliflower, spinach & hazelnut salad with peanut butter dressing is perfect for the holiday season. 

Cauliflower, spinach & hazelnut salad with peanut butter dressing

I’ve been thinking about holiday meals a lot these past couple of weeks; ’tis the season I suppose, for gatherings, big or small, and tables filled with dishes reflecting seasonal colours, a celebratory mood and family or other traditions. There’s so much to enjoy during the colder months, so many beautiful ingredients, some discrete yet always reliable and others filled with wild colour and irresistible flavours. Cauliflower I feel is often left in the shadows, what with its pale skin and less than desirable cooking aromas; somehow though, it’s always been dear to my heart, much like a beautiful blank canvas, inviting and welcoming all at once. So when Blas Y Tir sent beautiful bundles of it, I could not wait to play around with the crunchy, snow white beauty. I’d already had very fond memories from working with their chubby, delicious spring potatoes and mixing them with fresh greens and smoked salmon, I was sure their winter produce would be qually satisfying, both to work with and to savour. [READ MORE]

Barley salad with orange, fennel & black olives

in Savoury, Taste -

This barley salad with orange, fennel & black olives is great both as a refreshing side dish or a light main for those hectic pre-holiday days. 

Barley salad with orange, fennel & black olives

It happens almost every year, around the same time: before the holidays, just when the weather starts getting wintery and the lists of things to do a little longer, as the light each day fades a little earlier. It happens and I am now almost at peace with the almost bizarre combination of feeling at once exhausted and filled with energy. I find myself under the covers often before 11pm, barely able to read more than a page (even though I have this in hand and it is pure pleasure), yet most mornings I get up excitedly, well rested and impatient. There’s meals to plan and gifts to be considered (thought I wait till the 1st of December to do any holiday shopping), cards to be made and outfits to be put together for upcoming festivities. I love all of the above and that too, that weird and exhausting and exhilarating amalgam of  energy and slumber. [READ MORE]

Leek & pink peppercorn risotto

in Savoury, Taste -

As simple and flavourful as it gets, this leek & pink peppercorn risotto is both humble & festive and perfect for winter’s gloomy days.

Leek & pink peppercorn risotto

Lately, more than usual, I am drawn to one pot dishes, filled with all sorts of autumnal and early winter treats: pumpkins, rough dark green leaves, apples & pears, thick chunks of meat and heaps of spices; I’ve made hearty pies and stews, roasted vegetables with their skin on in big trays paired with just olive oil and big bunches of fresh herbs; I’ve filled sweet potatoes with crunchy beans and melted cheese. Even breakfast is heartier and more rustic, with steaming bowls of almond milk oats, sweet raisins and crunchy nuts. Winter is all about staying in, keeping warm and enjoying all things simple, is it not? Comfort food, a glass or two of good, fragrant wine and meals ending with a sweet satisfying bite- they all make the season worth celebrating, other festivities aside. The mere thought of enjoying these simple comforts is such a good fortune, and one I try not to take for granted. [READ MORE]

Carrot soup with buttermilk & grape molasses

in Savoury, Taste -

Warming, spicy and subtly sweet, this carrot soup with buttermilk & grape molasses  is perfect for these first chilly fall days (and nights).

I don’t know this for a fact, but I’m quite certain that my mom’s favourite fall and winter dish to make and serve is soup. Hers have always been and still are always seasonal, colourful and filled with flavours; layers of flavours, which would linger on the tongue and stay with you long after the meal was finished. Some were chunky: with soft root vegetables and maybe chunks of fish or veal, in perfect proportion with the aromatic broth made with simple seasoning and fresh herbs. Others, velvety smooth, usually finished off with lots of freshly ground black pepper and possibly a trickle of the best, fruitiest olive oil. They were served hot, alongside torn thick dark bread and oftentimes, black wrinkled olives and crumbly feta cheese- two usual staples in the family table. [READ MORE]

Ginger, lime & toasted nut quinoa

in Savoury, Small bites, Taste -

Of all the speedy dishes my sister’s whipped together, this ginger, lime & toasted nut quinoa is packed with flavour and probably my favourite. Ever. 

Ginger, lime & toasted nut quinoa  

After having lived in different countries for almost seven years, I’ve found myself reconnected with my literal other half again. Alkyoni is back in the UK and her coming here has brought with it all the joy, frustration and memories that I’m sure close siblings share everywhere, always. It’s been a very long time since we’ve lived together, yet being in the same house for about two weeks felt like not even a day had passed; and it also felt like a lot of timed had passed, like we were both the same yet also very different.  I’ve always loved being on my own, despite being very very fortunate with my partners and friends. But I’ve realised a while back that this is probably because I have never been on my own, not really. I’m never alone, as long as she’s around. And she’s always been around, even if we’re countries, or continents away. [READ MORE]

Green baked eggs with spicy yogurt

in Breakfast, Savoury, Taste -

These delicious green baked eggs with spicy yogurt are packed with crunchy cavolo nero & fresh herbs. Serve with a good drizzle of olive oil & crusty bread.

Green baked eggs with spicy yogurt

It’s been a while since I last posted an egg recipe here; In fact, it’s been a while since I last made eggs. I vaguely remember a sad looking, deflated, dense Dutch baby, which somehow found its way into our breakfast table back in August – after that, there has been radio silence on the egg front. [READ MORE]

Cherry tomato, sardine & olive pasta

in Savoury, Taste -

This cherry tomato, sardine & olive pasta was my favourite all summer long and I’ll be making it on repeat while tomatoes last. It’s so so good!

Cherry tomato, sardine & olive pasta

It’s no secret tomatoes are summer’s highlight for me; come late May, we renew our love affair, which lasts until the last days of autumn, until there’s no more tomatoes to love. It can be a chunky salad or a simple bruschetta with pretty much only the juiciest, loveliest of them all, as soon as they appear, tomatoes have my heart. And of course they are the perfect partner to pasta. [READ MORE]

Courgette flower & pine nut omelette

in Savoury, Taste -

This fluffy courgette flower & pine nut omelette showcases these beautiful blossoms in the best way; and it’s even better served with a crisp white wine.

One of the things I most look forward to when I go home, is the weekly shop at the farmers market; in Greece, each neighbourhood has its own market, on a specific day each week, withe the same producers, stalls lined up in the same way every time. It’s perfect: much like a slightly chaotic stage, everyone has their part and everyone is vital: the farmers are loudly trying to lure clients, teasingly insulting their competitors and flirting with ladies of all ages. There is testing and haggling, small talk and gossip, there’s colours and sounds everywhere. I’ve loved it ever since I was a kid and I still do. [READ MORE]

Smoked trout & potato hash

in Savoury, Taste -

This smoked trout and potato hash with lots of fresh herbs and a lemony horseradish cream has become a favourite for a lazy Sunday brunch- so so good!

Smoked trout & potato hash

I first made this a while back, when I was full into my love affair with Blas Y Tir’s small, chubby & delicious potatoes. And while I’m not quite sure how the dish came to mind, I know we’ve enjoyed it time and again in the last few weeks. It is so very simple to put together and yet so flavourful and satisfying as the perfect hearty breakfast or leisurely lunch. [READ MORE]

Spicy bread & tomato salad (panzanella)

in Savoury, Taste -

Crusty sourdough, fresh juicy tomatoes and harissa turn this hearty and spicy panzanella into the perfect quick summer dish. 

Spicy bread & tomato salad (panzanella)

Just have a quick look at my Instagram these days- it’s a tomato extravaganza, my own summery inspiration wall, a love letter to the season’s true queen. All hail the tomato and its beauty! I am not a purist when it comes to almost anything, but I do discriminate between tomatoes from back home and those from anywhere else. And when I say home, I mean it literally, my family’s country house, where we grow everything that summer is made of: the juiciest tomatoes in all sizes, crusty cucumbers, small green peppers, some spicy, some not, white, chubby aubergines, the most fragrant herbs and sweet/ tart plums in the most gorgeous purple. It’s all there and my summers are made of them on repeat. [READ MORE]