Traditional Cuban black bean soup is made with a ham hock, which is simmered along with the beans and removed before serving.
I prefer this vegetarian version, adding smoked paprika to give the soup an element of the ham’s smokiness. Anyway, for me it’s the vinegar that gives Cuban black bean soup its distinctive flavour.
This soup tastes even better the following day, and freezes well too. Continue reading
This roast squash and chickpea salad with tahini dressing is becoming a favourite winter lunch around ours.
It’s lovely served with the squash still warm from the oven, and keeps well in the fridge. I bring it back to room temperature before serving, and freshen up the seasoning. Continue reading
With only two ingredients to worry about, you’d think it would be a straightforward matter for a bartender to make a decent martini.
But the number of crummy martinis I’ve been served over the years are proof that this isn’t the case.
Happily, we are in the fortunate position of having two good friends who are known for their skill with martini shaker. Continue reading
We usually observe the Italian tradition of eating lentils on New Year’s Day. Because of their resemblance to coins, lentils are thought to symbolise good fortune and prosperity. Worth a shot…;-)
Most often, I make Puy lentils simmered with carrots, onion and celery until soft, which I serve with sausages cooked under the grill. But sometimes I make lentil soup.
This lentil squash soup with turmeric is very different to my usual lemony red lentil soup. The addition of squash both softens and fortifies the slightly grainy texture of the lentils. Continue reading
This healthy, Christmas-y (not so often you use those two adjectives to describe a dish) romanesco apple pecan salad makes a refreshing change from turkey soup and turkey sandwiches at this point in the festivities.
And aside from steaming the romanesco, it takes only minutes to put together – another point in its favour.
I serve the dressing on the side – once it is mixed through the salad, the romanesco florets are less delightfully tree-like. If romanesco isn’t available, broccoli works too. Continue reading
In January my friend Margaret sent me a copy of the gorgeous “A Taste of Haida Gwaii” by the Canadian writer Susan Musgrave.
This wonderful collection of stories, recipes and photographs documents Musgrave’s life in the islands, where she is proprietor of The Copper Beach bed and breakfast. Continue reading
I’m pretty organised with food shopping and meal planning, but even so, there are regular occasions when I just need to get something to eat on the table in minutes.
Leftovers are a lifesaver at such times, or a quick pasta like linguine with sardine pesto or pasta cacio e pepe. Eggs are good — scrambled, fried, or in an omelette or frittata.
And there’s usually a tub of salad that can be combined with some toasted pitta, hummus, olives and chopped vegetables for what we call a “lunchy dinner”. While it’s often kisir or tabbouleh, this roasted cauliflower couscous salad has recently joined the rotation.
Roasted cauliflower softens without going mushy, and has a deep, almost nutty taste. I find that the textures of the cauliflower and couscous really complement one another. Continue reading