tagged ‘kale’

Vegetable platter

in Small bites, Taste -

My favourite vegetable platter features lots of crunchy veggies, toasted sourdough, mozzarella balls & my favourite, smooth, green, sour & sweet dip. 

Vegetable platter

One of the things that makes me happiest is having friends over and feeding them. I always prefer preparing the food myself (be it small bites or an actual meal) and not relying on store-bought options- so when guests do arrive, I’ve been through a bizarre state of mild stress and almost absolute bliss. And they can both be attributed to cooking, which stresses and relaxes me in almost equal measures. My biggest joy is to prepare a platter, abundant in some of my favourite things. These most often belong in the dairy family (there’s few things I love more than a good cheese platter), but as of late, I have been experimenting with including more freshness, crunchiness and colours.

Vegetable platter

Enter vegetables, my trusted cooking ally, the ones I always rely on for inspiration, texture, variation and goodness. They are humble and mighty all at once, filling without ever becoming heavy; I often prefer them raw, simply dressed in fresh lemon zest, perhaps a drizzle of good, light olive oil and a sprinkle of salt flakes. Here, they are sitting pretty, next to big chunks of toasted sourdough, mozzarella cherries and wrinkly, herby sun-dried tomatoes, keeping company to my new favourite green:

Vegetable platter

a smooth, acidic dip, inspired by a Caesar dressing; there’s fresh kale, anchovies, parsley, mustard, honey and yogurt in there, along with a good Grana Padano, lemon juice and vinegar. It’s strong and velvety at the same time, truly the perfect partner in crime for our beautiful raw vegetables.

Vegetable platter

Vegetable platter

WHAT

for the dip:

6 anchovies (from a jar)

1 1/2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard

3 teaspoons honey

juice for 1/2-1 lemon

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

4 tablespoons finely grated Grana Padano

3 tablespoons full fat Greek yogurt

2 cups kale, washed, hard chunks removed

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

for the platter:

1 lettuce, washed and torn in large chunks

15 radishes, washed 

1 fennel bulb, washed, hard leaved removed

1 red bell pepper, deseeded and cut in wedges

8 spring onions, washed

6 sliced sourdough bread, toasted or grilled and cut in thick chunks

150 gr mozzarella cherries (or one big piece, torn in chunks)

about 20 sun-dried tomatoes

HOW

  1. Make the dip by combining all the ingredients, except the olive oil, in a blender. Start blending while simultaneously adding the olive oil in a constant flow. Taste, adjust the acidity to taste and season with salt (if needed) and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Arrange the cut vegetables in a large platter, tray or platter, along with the bread, cheese and tomatoes. Serve with the dip at room temperature.

 

 

 

Chorizo, kale & blue cheese pasta bake

in Savoury, Taste -

pasta-bake-4

Let’s start the week with the absolute best food in the planet: pasta (duh!). Ever since I was a kid I loved everything about pasta: all the varieties and their versatility, how they’re basically the perfect canvas for different sauces and ingredients, textures and layers. From a perfectly green, salty and nutty pesto, the elegance of a squid ink sauce, or the wonderful simplicity of a one pot dish, pasta is king. As part of a tuna salad, in a jar or featuring the best summer ingredients, to more wintery versions, featuring dark colours and no frills. And of course, my all time favourite version: covered in a cheese sauce and baked until bubbly, golden brown and delicious. If I had to choose one comfort food, it would be this. Every time. [READ MORE]

Coquina squash, quinoa & goat cheese salad

in Savoury, Taste -

Coquina squash, quinoa & goat cheese salad

It’s pumpkin season and I’m in love. And by pumkin, I generally refer to all you wonderful squashes out there. All the different shapes and colours and textures- every year I get so excited and overwhelmed, I end up covering every corner in our house and sneaking squashes and pumpkins into most of our meals: from soups, snacks and mini cheese pies to main dishes and dessert, come October, chances are there will be squash or pumpkin in there. [READ MORE]

Black eyed beans, smoked mackerel & caper leaves

in Savoury, Taste -

Black eyed beans, smoked mackerel & caper leaves

I first had this dish two summers ago at a tiny restaurant in a tiny village in Milos island. We had arrived there on a hot, hot, hot afternoon, following my mom’s directions and her very fond memories of the village she had visited with my dad while she was pregnant. After a very brief stroll around, during which I was constantly repeating over and over again how hungry I was (it’s kinda like my mantra), we started looking for a place to eat. We randomly stopped by that minimally beautiful little restaurant and ordered almost everything on the menu. And what a menu it was: all fish and vegetables, super seasonal and local. And when the food arrived and we had our first bite, we were in love (at least I was). [READ MORE]

Couscous with roasted beets, kale & feta

in Savoury, Taste -

CouscousFeta-620-4

So the other day, my friend George requested some food inspiration to beat the January blues. I hear you, buddy. The weeks after the holidays suck. The tree is down, the presents have been opened and it’s time to put your party shoes away and get back to your normal routine. For me, it’s also time to stop having cake, cheese and wine with almost with every meal and get back to my less indulgent habits. [READ MORE]