Inspired once again by Nigel Slater, I brought home plenty of baby vegetables from the allotment.
The pinched out carrots, the first tiny summer squash and the last asparagus of the season, some peas and some cherry tomatoes.
The secret to this recipe is that you use a flavored oil. For this just quickly blitz a mild summer herb like tarragon or dill and the oil in a food processor.
Then saute the vegetables in this oil.
Best eaten in the garden or on the balcony on a hot summer evening - served with some good cheese, bread and a glass of red wine.
My new favorite comes from ottolenghi. It's dead simple and extremely delicious.
Fry the rocket for 3 minutes in a ovenproof pan. Season with salt and pepper. Make 2 nests in the rocket an carefully put 2 eggs in the hollows.
Put the pan in the oven and bake for 10 - 15 minutes - 150° until the eggs whites turn white.
Mix the greek yoghurt with some crushed garlic and a pinch of salt.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan, add a pinch of salt and the chili flakes and fry until the butter starts to turn golden.
Add the sage and cook a bit longer. Don't let the butter turn to brown then turn off the heat.
Take the rocket out of the oven. Add a dollop of the yoghurt and drizzle over the butter. Eat immediately.
Please excuse this crapy picture but this dish took us by surprise. It was one of these sunday evening fridge leftover dishes that turned out to be a star.
Very unexpected flavors for a casserole but totally delicious.
Mix everything together, sprinkle the cheddar on top and bake covered in the oven for ~40 min. ( 230° )
Being back in the kitchen feels so good! Not that I missed the daily "what are we going to eat tonight, hurrying to the supermarket after a full day at the office, being once again to late to pick up the kid " kitchen but the " weekends lets cook something nice and drink a lot of red wine" kind of kitchen.
Kevin was in control of the kitchen last night, his cooking is always based on improvisation, starting with an idea or an ingredient. Things often change along the process.
What we had yesterday was this little tower made of 5 layers.
The whole did not really work together but the single layers were great. We will have to develop further.
The different layers :
Layer 1: Chopped radish. That was a bit to strong in the flavor compared with the rest.
Layer 2: A mousse of sardines. Debone the grilled sardines. Quickly cook them in the frying pan with some almond slivers. Add dill and some noilly prat. Blend, season with salt and pepper.
Layer 3: Onion Chutney: In a heavy pan: Slowly cook a grated apple, 2 minced garlic, 2 cloves, a good bit of grated ginger, 2 shallots, 1.5 dl port wine, some chili, salt and pepper till it's a smooth purée.
Layer 4: Aubergine purée. Bake the aubergines for 30 min in the oven ( prick little holes into the skin ). Scrap out the flesh. Add minced garlic and shallots and some fresh chili. Fry for 3 minutes. Blend add chopped fresh mint.
Season with salt and pepper.
Layer 5. Avocado mash.
The next version will probably be just the fish , the aubergine and maybe some shiitake.
One thing turned out perfectly and will probably be seen rather often in our kitchen:
Celery stalk cakes:
Fry the shallots with some olive oil, add the chopped celery and rucola, fry very shortly,
quench with a little white wine .
Blend , then add the eggs. Mix . Fill into small forms like the ones on the picture. Bake in the oven ( 220° ) till they start to get slightly brown.
Decorate with the cress.
This is a new favorite in our home. Mackerel is one of the few fish not endangered by overfishing - theres so many of them - but it's also a very tasty fish with a delicious taste. It goes perfect with the caramelized beetroot. We usually serve it with potato salad but you could also eat it accompanied with bread.
- 4- 5 Medium sized beetroot
- Olive oil
- 25 gr butter
- 1 tsb chopped Thyme
- 3 Rosemary stalks
- 20gr brown sugar
- 150 ml balsamic vinegar
- 20 ml fresh lemon juice
Rub the beetroot with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Wrap into aluminum foil and bake 1,5 hours in the oven ( 180° ).
Take them out and let them cool a bit, peel and cut into slices.
Heat the butter with and the olive oil add the beetroot the thyme, the rosemary . Slowly cook over medium heat for 10 - 20 minutes till the beetroots are caramelized. When the beetroot starts to get soft add the vinegar and the lemon juice and cook till the juice turns thick like a sirup and the vegetables are tender.
- 8 Mackerel filets
- 1 tsb fresh Thyme
- olive oil
- 2 gloves of garlic
- zest of one lemon and a good squeeze lemon juice
Make a marinade of chopped garlic, thyme, olive oil and lemon
filet the fish, cut the skin several times. Marinate on the skin side.
Put the fish on a baking tray skin side up and bake in the oven ( on grill very close to the grill ) for 3 to 4 minutes.
The recipe comes from my favorite fish cook book - Tom Aikens Fish
This a new favorite of mine, lukewarm potato salad with cucumbers and mustard dressing.
Cook the potatoes till soft, meanwhile make a dressing of olive oil, white vine vinegar , plenty of dijon mustard and some crushed juniper berries.
Cut the cucumber into chunks ( without the seeds ) sprinkle with some sea salt and let sit in a colander in the sink for 10 minutes.
When the potatoes are done, drain and add to the sauce. Ad the cucumbers and a good handful of dill, serve lukewarm.
This lovely dish is from Nigel Slaters Tender Voulume I .
The mashy pumpkin goes very nicely with the crisp bread crumbs. The rosemary, orange zest, garlic and chili work beautifully with the pumpkin.
Is there anything better than a bowl of salty edamame? I always ordered them in japanese restaurants, but had no
clue what I was eating was actually soybeans. I found out this spring, more or less the same time I discovered that Zollinger is selling soy seeds.
This April I'll started the experiment of growing my own edamame. Wasn't too difficult, only next time I'll have to plant 10 times as much :-)
Cooked in very salty water - delicous!
3 big courgette plants in the garden means courgettes almost every day. This is a dish I could eat almost daily these days. Even better it's easy and fast.
2-3 medium size courgettes
1 small onion
a pack of feta cheese
1 bunch of fresh mint
some black olives
Fry the onion in a dash of olive oil. Add the finely cut courgettes fry for an other 3-5 minutes. Season. Take of the heat and add the feta cheese, the olives and the chopped mint. Roll out the dough, fill the pie and bake for 15 minutes or until slightly brown.
Serve with fresh green salad.
Our garden is in full blossom now. So many courgettes I don't know what to cook with them any more. We probably will have to start eating the flowers too - fried in batter a l'italienne.
Today I could also harvest the first beetroot and carrots. Soon the berries are ripe too.
What a lovely time of the year.