Sunday, July 05, 2009

quickie - real food

Not AWOL just busy. Fingers required to type words, lots of them. I have been cooking. Simple things. Delightful things. Here’s part of the week or two that was, in food.

1. Soup under Lucy’s guidance. How nice when a friend says “I can’t come for dinner tonight but I can help you cook instead”. The SE and I have been having this informal winter thing. Friends that are in the neighbourhood on certain chilly evenings have been assured a glass of wine or some warming chai, dips, nibbles and a hearty bowl of soup. If they stay long enough the SE mother’s solstice cake comes out. Friends, wine and food. A random assortment each time. What could be better?

Lucy’s soup involved onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, little green (puy) lentils, and ribbons of cavolo nero. Finished of with fresh coriander and a squeeze of lemon – it was a winner.

2. Baked vegetables. Not rocket science, just comforting, especially when they go all crispy. Potatoes are mandatory; I like them cut quite small so there is maximum crunchiness. Depending on what is in the house there has been some sweet potatoes, pumpkin, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts – all roasted after a toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. A little fresh rosemary if its not raining (because as nice as the herb is, even a short dash to the garden in the cold and wet is no fun).

3. Pasta of the month (or two) is onion, garlic and masses of cavolo nero, we just can’t get enough of this wintry green. Often with tuna, sometimes preserved lemon and olives. Stirred through gluten-free pasta and we’ve happy campers indeed.

4. More marinated tofu and salad (yes the SE been eating meat again).

5. Vegetable tagine/tajine in the real thing – the vessel itself soaked for 24 hours, dried for another hour, oiled then in a very slow oven. A slow bake. Onion, leek, fennel and Japanese eggplants are my favourite base, flavoured with lashings of homemade harissa. Pumpkin and chickpeas replaced the fish from my earlier endeavours. The drizzle of tahini when serving makes all the difference.

6. Brown rice. With tagines and curries. The latter made from Sri Lankan spice powder, added garam marsala, extra chillies and garlic. Lots of tamarind water for tang. Vegetables – something green and leafy, potato and chickpeas.

No photos, no recipes, just food. Hope this inspires a vegetarian twist in your menu this week.

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Blogger Johanna said...

I'm loving cavolo nero this winter too - I tried roasting it last week - quite good but not long enough the first time and then too long the next - ah well it tastes good in a stew!

7:25 pm  
Blogger Zoe said...

Also obsessed with cavolo nero. Been growing some, but needing top ups. My local co-op sells huge organic bunches for $4.80 - enough for 3/4 meals. We've been having it stirfried w garlic for breakfast! Also made a good quiche filing.

10:19 pm  
Anonymous Lucy said...

Good-o. Pleased they liked it! Was a lovely couple of hours worth of cooking and gossiping. Much needed.

Tagine sounds like it's getting a serious work out!

8:41 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Zoe - for the last 2 months the big organic bunches have been $2.90 at Vic Market. Now just crept up to $3.50. Cheaper, tastier and bigger quantity than silverbeet. One reason we've been eating so much of it! Darn epicurean polies and public servants are hiking the price in Canberra!

10:35 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish the market was open today - I now have a hankering for cavolo nero. Will have to wait until tomorrow. In the meantime, that soup of Lucy's will be perfect for dinner tonight, but with silverbeet instead of the CN. In fact, if I start now, it can also be a late lunch...

11:09 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Injera - its just a delightful variation on spinach and lentil soup, flavour-wise lots of coriander stalks and some freshly ground cumin plus finishing with lemon and coriander leaf is what makes it great.

Hope Lucy will blog it *hint* so you guys can have her recipe :)

11:14 am  
Anonymous Lucy said...

Hint well and truly taken, darls, and recipe, she is


5:06 pm  

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